It’s likely that before you start interviewing potential design partners you will have measured your kitchen and done a rough sketch of the layout. The sketch will identify where existing appliances, fixtures and cabinetry are located. This is an important tool that offers the designer a basic idea of the size, shape and capability of the space.
At this point, some kitchen design firms will ask to visit the home to take measurements and see the space before money has exchanged hands. Others will ask for a token deposit before an in-home visit.
Here’s an example of a kitchen remodeling industry convention distorting the market for both consumer and designer. One of the hard truths about kitchen remodeling is that the value of design is often hidden in the cost of the cabinets. On average the NKBA estimates that design, as a line item, is just 4% of the remodeling budget. Think about that. What kitchen design showroom could stay in business if they made $40,000 a year on $1 million in sales?
By contrast, an architect’s fees are typically 5% to 15% of a project and a general contractor’s fee can be anywhere from 10% to 25%. (Source: nkba.org/tips)
With big-box stores offering design services for “free”, consumers have become accustomed to undervaluing the importance of kitchen design. As a result, some kitchen designers are reluctant to step into a prospect’s home or share any design ideas without having a small deposit.
At Jax Bargain we embrace a pay-it-forward approach. We know that more than a few hours a week are wasted on home visits that aren’t based on serious interest. But our truth is that we are passionate designers and perfectionists. We need to see the home to offer our best work and the most comprehensive proposal.
After discussing your project and site survey, your designer will work with you and begin to prioritize items based on your budget. Functionality is where the layout discussion normally starts, but it always occurs in the context of the current space. For example, it might be on your list to a wall and create an open concept kitchen, but if that wall is load-bearing, it could be expensive. Similarly, it’s cheaper to keep the sink in its current location along a wall, but you might decide it’s worth the extra plumbing expense to move the sink to the center island. There are many excellent resources to help you understand your options for kitchen layouts. Here are just a few that should that I have found helpful.
Showroom and in-home Consultations also available.