When you’re deciding who to hire to cut your grass or fix your plumbing, it’s easy to ask a friend. However, many people are less familiar with redesigning their kitchen, so it may be harder to get a referral from someone you know. Homeowners often struggle both with knowing where to look for a professional kitchen designer, how to begin the process, and picturing the final results.
A professional kitchen designer can help choose the best layout, materials, and appliances and make the whole process less stressful. The right designer can bring about a magical transformation and contribute greatly to your kitchen design remodel project.
Here’s what to look for in a professional kitchen designer:
If you don’t know anyone who can give you a referral, start your search for a kitchen designer online. Search in your area for contractors who received positive reviews from previous clients, then visit each designer’s website. Note credentials like required state licensing and professional associations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) or the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). Both require rigorous testing to receive certification.
Once you’ve done your research, talk to the designers you’re considering. Before you go, search kitchen remodeling websites and home magazines to collect photos that show looks you prefer.
Take notes about your existing space.
What do you love?
Where does traffic bottleneck?
What absolutely must go?
When you talk to professional kitchen designers about your ideas, you’ll get a sense of how you might work together. Be open to fresh input, since a good designer might see problems you overlooked or be able to suggest changes you would never have thought of.
Talk about your budget. Assess how the designer you’re considering plans to make the best use of your funds, from appliances to high-end materials. If you find someone with whom you can communicate, who shares your vision and inspires trust, that’s probably the designer you should hire.
Ask to see some of your potential choice’s previous designs. Has he or she worked on projects of similar scope? Do some of them have looks like what you hope to see in your own home? If you like what you see, ask for references and contact every single one.
Once you’ve hired your contractor and you receive an estimate, make sure they put all agreements in writing. Warranties, an estimated time frame, and a price breakdown of materials and labor should all be included.