Do I need to hire a designer for my kitchen and bathroom remodel? / by brent gomes

This is a question that I hope everyone thinks about before they start their kitchen and bathroom remodel. Every circumstance is different. If you are fixing up a rental unit, you probably don’t need to hire a designer. If you just need a cheap repair, you definitely don’t need to hire a designer. If you know exactly what you want, you probably don’t need a designer.

There are many reasons to hire a designer. Some people have no idea where to start. Others don’t want to spend lots of money only to end up hating their kitchen. Unfortunately, people can make bad decisions as a result of their inexperience and knowledge when it comes to design.  I tell my clients the worse thing that can happen at the end of a project is if you think to yourself “we should have…..”  

Before you start your project, take the time to figure out what you like.  (Sometimes it can be easier to figure out what you don’t like before you decide what you do like.)  A designer can help you do this.

Hiring a designer is a good decision if:

1)   You will see it day-to-day because you will live in the renovated home. 

2)   Your kitchen is the focal point of your home. 

3)   You have always wanted a dream kitchen and/or bathroom and now you have the money to build it. 

4)   Your goal is to raise the value of your home.

Here are some other common questions about designers:

Designers add cost to the project, and some are very expensive. Are they worth it?   It depends on the designer, depends on the project, and it definitely depends on your neighborhood. If your goal is to increase the value of your home, you definitely don’t want to overspend what your property will be worth. It’s a good idea to talk to a real estate agent that you trust before you start your project. Find out what the upgraded homes in your area are going for, and then you will have a better idea of what is the right budget for your project. If you live in an area where there is money to be made on a nice upgrade then you know it’s a good idea. You don’t want to spend money on your home renovation if you will not get your money back on the new value of your home.

What other value can a designer bring to my project?  Designers know where to get good stuff at good prices. Designers can listen to your vision and bring it to life. They will be able to provide you with photos and samples, and work together with you to make your dream come to life. Most of them can provide everything that you are looking for. A lot of them are distributors and can get you great prices. They have relationships with vendors, and get better pricing than you. Hiring a designer can easily add 1 to 8 grand to a project, but it doesn’t have to. It really depends on the size of the job. That said, the increased value you have just added to your home is usually worth it.  The peace of mind you will have from working with a professional can be priceless (assuming that there was clear communication between the client and the designer). A year later, after the burn from spending all that money simmers down a bit, people are usually happy they hired a designer. Designers can also help to recommend a good contractor (like us)

Does it have to be really fancy project to hire a designer? The answer is no. All designers are different. Lots of distributors that sell cabinets have a design fee built into the cost. Some designers will come out for a couple hours and give you advice on how to lay out your kitchen and others will give you full architectural drawings of your project, provide you with everything, and hold your hand throughout the entire project.

Where do I find a good designer? Ask around. Its best if you can find someone you know to vouch for them. Ask your friends to ask their friends. Find someone who can tell you they are good from first-hand experience. Another option is to go to design centers in your area. Homeowners Design Center is a great place to start (808) 847-0216. For a more, full service type of Interior Designer, I recommend Accents Design and Renovations (808) 295-8501