Do I Need a Designer for a Kitchen Remodel?

country kitchen remodelingRemodeling your kitchen is an exciting yet overwhelming project. There are many things to consider when making a plan. Depending on the scope and size of your remodel, hiring a designer might help make the process smoother.

If your goal is a basic remodel like new appliances and some paint, you can probably proceed on your own. Major remodels, where you are removing cabinets and changing the floorplan or footprint of the space, need more careful planning.

The Value of the Space

The kitchen is the central gathering place in a home. Lots of time is spent in this room so wanting a beautiful, functional space is one of the most desired renovations of homeowners. 

Kitchens are also complicated. You will be dealing with plumbing, electrical wiring, lighting, storage, and sometimes gas lines. A designer can help in many ways.

Why A Designer?

A designer can help you realize your kitchen goals and dreams. They will work within your budget to help you get the style and functionality you want from your space. They will help you consider options and issues you may not have thought of. They can help meet challenges of your kitchen remodeling project with a plan and thoughtful solutions.

Designers can help with: 

  • Making a floor plan, 
  • Planning the lighting, 
  • Coming up with smart storage solutions, 
  • Increasing the functionality of the space, 
  • Incorporating style and beauty.

Can I Afford a Designer? 

A designer is an added cost to any project, sometimes charging by the hour or the size of the project. A high end designer can cost up to 8-10% of the project cost. Be sure to add this into your total budget cost. 

Hiring a designer can save you time and money in the long run, however, by using their knowledge and expertise to keep your project on track.

Material Costs, Contractors, and Certifications 

Designers can help you decide which materials are best for your budget and design goals. They work with contractors and tradesmen so they will know who does a good job, is reliable, and will stick to timelines and budgets. Anyone who has struggled with hiring contractors, knows the value of this.

When choosing a designer, there are a few things to consider. Designers can hold certifications such as CKBD (Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer) or CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer). 

To earn these certifications, designs need to have extensive knowledge and years of experience. There is a directory to look up designers in your area if you desire a certified designer.

Choosing the Right Designer for Your Project

Most designers are hired based on personal referrals. Ask friends and family who they’ve used in the past or who they know in the business.

Interview several candidates if possible. You will be spending a lot of time and money on this project, so making sure you and the designer are a good fit is important. 

Ask questions about experience, style, communication levels, timelines, costs, and the process. It is also good to know how much input they want or will accept from you in the design.

Establish a Budget 

Before you start, establish a budget for your kitchen remodel. Make a list of must haves and dream items. Collect photos and ideas that appeal to you to give your designer a sense of what you are looking for. 

Make a list of projects you want done like new appliances, new flooring, moving cabinets or walls, etc. Kitchens account for about 10-15% of your home’s worth, so budget according to that guideline. For example, if your home is worth $200,000, you can spend around $30,000 on a kitchen remodel and improve your home’s value without overdoing it.

Read more about Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas on a Tight Budget.

Final Thoughts

Hiring a designer does not mean you are letting go of all control over your design choices. They are there to help enhance and realize your own thoughts for the space. They can also be helpful if you aren’t sure where to start or what your style is. They can help the new space blend in with the rest of your home and style of the house.

If you are planning a major remodel, carefully consider hiring a designer as part of the process. They can be a smart addition to the budget and make the whole remodeling process unfold more smoothly.


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