Value of a Kitchen Designer

When it’s time to remodel your kitchen, nearly everyone has a budget they need to follow. Some are pretty big budgets, which gives those homeowners much more flexibility in how they spend their money, while other budgets are smaller – but, again, almost everyone has some monetary parameters around what they can spend. Often, if someone is trying to keep expenses from getting too large or needs to trim back on potential expenses, that person doesn’t use a kitchen designer.

Is that a wise decision?

Benefits of a Designer
Even if you remodel your kitchen once every few years, that still only means you’ve been involved in this type of kitchen project a couple of times each decade! Meanwhile, a professional kitchen designer could be involved in multiple projects at a time, throughout the year for numerous years. He or she will know about cutting-edge technologies and/or planning tools that you’d have no reason to know about. Quality designers are aware of the newest materials available (and their strengths and challenges), along with building code quirks that you might not be considering, roadblocks that are sometimes experienced by homeowners during the remodeling process, and much more.

Plus, it isn’t uncommon to “know” what you want (a more contemporary look, more efficient use of nooks and crannies for storage, a design that allows for more streamlined food preparation). But, how do you translate your vision into reality? Unless you are experienced in design, you may not have the know-how to turn your dreams into actions without spending unnecessary money and/or spending unnecessary time on the project. Have you ever spent significant money on a project (design or otherwise) and afterwards discovered another route that was better, more efficient or more cost effective? That’s what an experienced designer can help to prevent.

Here’s another benefit. While the remodel is going on, you’ll probably be busy with work, with family, and other commitments, and it’s helpful to have a knowledgeable pro to turn to whenever you have questions or when issues arise.

Types of Designer Services
At the high end, budget-wise, you can hire your own independent designer, choosing one who is experienced in kitchen design. There are advantages to that, including having a sounding board specifically focused on your project. The disadvantage is that this route is more expensive than what some budgets will allow.

Another route is to work with a company that provides start-to-finish services for your kitchen design, from planning and design to implementation. In this arrangement, both you and the designer have a vested interest in making this a successful project, without the added costs associated with an independent designer. When you talk with this type of company, ask for references and to see examples of other completed redesigns. 

Bottom Line
The reality is that a kitchen renovation is one of the most important investments you can make in your home, both because it’s the heart of the home while you live there and because it adds to resale value should you decide to move. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish! Discover what you love in contemporary kitchen design and then partner with professionals.

By Russ Gittle, Russ Gittle is the president of Total Kitchen Outfitters, and his team of professionals (including talented, experienced designers!) create custom kitchens, partnering with some of the industries’ finest suppliers to give you a wide array of styles and materials. In the past 20 years+, we have worked on more than 25,000 kitchens for homeowners, landlords, and contractors/builders.