Hiring the Right Kitchen Remodeling Designer
No matter if your kitchen renovation entails big time improvements or slight changes, you’ll go over your wants, needs and budget with your kitchen designer. Designers can offer great insights when it comes to cutting the right corners and remodeling on a budget. While they can’t make magic happen, they can better cater their designs to your needs if you’re completely up front about your budget from the get-go. Prior to hiring just anyone for the job, make sure that you see plenty of pictures showcasing their previous work. Ask if you can speak with previous clients to hear how their experiences went.
How To Save Money On Your Remodel So You Can Afford A Designer
Are you still concerned how you’ll afford a kitchen designer but really want one? Buying wholesale kitchen cabinets and countertops can save you thousands of dollars, affording you room in your budget to hire a designer. In doing so, you sacrifice nothing in terms of quality while skipping out on the costly surcharge applied by retail shops.
Give a Facelift to Your Kitchen with Refacing Cabinets
Design consultants have the skills, expertise, and experience in kitchen designs. During your consultation with a designer, you will discuss your specific needs on what you are looking for in the style, color, and design of cabinets for your kitchen. The designers will assist you in the final decision making on what options, style, and color will look best to give your kitchen that particular style you prefer. The procedure of cabinet refacing is completed in 4 easy steps. After you have consulted with design consultants the next step involves a professional installer to remove the existing hardware, drawers, doors, and drawer fronts. The cabinet face frames and boxes will be refaced with quality veneer. Once that has been completed the final step is adding your new cabinet drawer fronts, boxes, hardware, and doors. When the job is finished you will have given a facelift to your kitchen with high-quality refacing cabinets at an affordable cost.
Ask for Referrals.
Hands down, word of mouth is the best way to find a qualified professional to tackle the job. Ask relatives, friends and neighbors who they have had good experiences with. Also ask what made it a positive experience, how the contractor handled problems and whether he or she would use the same contractor again.
Look at Credentials.
With recommendations in hand, do some preliminary research, whether via a phone call or a visit to the remodeler’s website. Find out whether the contractor holds all the required licenses from the state and local municipalities, as well as designations from any professional associations like the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). Any remodeling professional worth his or her salt will have invested in the coursework and passed rigorous tests in order to earn a particular certification. Be aware, however, that all certifications are not created equal.
Have a Meeting
Do your homework before the initial meeting with a designer. If the meeting is at the designer’s studio, bring a current floor plan of your kitchen. Browse showrooms to gather wish-list ideas for appliances, cabinet styles and finishes, and flooring options. Compile a portfolio of magazine photos that shows your style preferences. I do like them to already have ideas of what they want. When I have to pull teeth, it’s harder/
The designer will want information from you, but you should seek information from the designer, too, including actual photos of his or her work — not brochures from manufacturers. If the designer can’t produce examples of his or her own work, leave. Ask to see a project similar to yours, including the plans, and find out how much it cost. You should also ask about payment schedules, contracts, timelines, and design services. The designer, in turn, will want to know about your lifestyle: Who’s in the family? What’s your cooking style? Where do the kids do homework? Do you pay bills in the kitchen? Are there ergonomic considerations — height or accessibility needs? Do you have pets? Are the cooks right- or left-handed?
Request bids and talk to references
Request at least three bids from the contractors you feel comfortable with. Ask them to include a breakdown of the price and estimated start and finish dates. Throw out bids that are greatly underpriced or over-priced compared to the others. That could be a sign that a contractor is either cutting corners or overcharging you. If you laid out clear and detailed information, the quotes should cluster within a small range.
As you compare bids and get closer to making a final decision, reach out to references and previous customers. While it can be time consuming to call and email references, it’s worth the effort. The information they provide may prevent suffering down the road. Ask them if the contractor stayed within the budget and within the start and finish dates. Find out if there were any quality concerns or problems with having the crews working in the home.
Construction bids are not the place to bargain-hunt. The lowest bid may result in disappointing work, costing you in the long run. Evaluate bids based on the contractor’s competence and experience executing similar projects.
Sign a contract
Read every word of the contract before you sign it. Feel free to bargain over details before you sign. A contract should include:
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of material suppliers and labor
- A detailed list of work to be completed with start and estimated finish dates
- Daily work hours
- Itemized pricing by labor and materials
- Payment terms
- Who will secure permits (this should be the contractor)
- Documentation of insurance, bonding, and licensing