Friday, February 25, 2011

Why working with a designer is important and can save you big bucks!

I realize I have a lot to say about this subject, I really am rather passionate about my desire for everyone to have a successful remodel so bear with me while I tell you why you need a designer on board before you tear out your kitchen and order some new cabinets! I think I am actually turning into Mike Holmes and just want it done right!

If you are sitting around day dreaming about a new kitchen, bathroom or addition it is easy to imagine a picture of a fabulous room that came together in approx 30 minutes or at the very least a weekend! We all see that happen on HGTV daily don't we!

But the reality is that "30 minute" project took a lot of pre-planning. This is where working with a CKD or CBD designer that understands the full scope of what your project entails will be one of the best investments you can make before your remodel starts.

You may ask "Can't I go to a big box store and pick it all out and have it delivered and it will save me money?" My answer is "Maybe....., if you are really handy and really understand the science behind good design." but my bigger concern is that if you don't have a plan expensive mistakes can be made because of it. Watching HGTV doesn't count as education!

I can't tell you how many phone calls I get from clients saying "my room does not work, we did this or that, I saw it in a magazine but now we realize it does not function. Come fix this!"

What I always propose to my clients when we meet for a consultation before anything is ever ordered or started is they need a plan. A full set of working drawings and specifications of each material and appliances we will be using. By doing this first every cabinet, finish, light fixture,and plumbing fixture is accounted for placed and will be installed correctly and in order. Who knew there was a sequence to remodeling! There is and that is where just shopping at a big box store or an exuberant homeowner may get tripped up.

So what do you get by working with a designer, can't I get a cabinet layout from my big box store? Yes, you can get a free layout, but what you get is a cabinet layout and only a cabinet layout from someone who may or may not really understand the principles behind good design. Does it really function? Do you have enough space between appliances, can two cooks work successfully if that is your goal, is there enough space between the aisles for 2 people to pass?

Back to that set of working drawings. After meeting with a client for the 1st time, I take photographs, measure the space and have an extensive conversation about the goals of the redesign. Then I head to the drawing board literally. There I create a few options for the room. After finalizing the plan I go on to create a full scale electrical plan, plumbing plan, construction plan, cabinet elevations and a full color rendering of what their new space will look like. No useless mini drawings! Then I provide them with a list of specifications, a selection of materials, fixtures and appliances that I recommend for the finishes. The guess work is gone! The package is complete and it all works together. For the investment of a few hundred dollars you will know exactly how this room will look when it is finished, where every outlet will be and how to get it there. Nothing will fall through the cracks. As a consumer you have been very smart, you have used my vast knowledge and resources to utilize in your project. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, I already own it! No costly mistakes.

So if you are thinking about a remodel or redesign invest in your project right up front and hire a educated designer. Whether the designer completes the project or you opt to be hands on you can get it right the first time!

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