Do I Need A Kitchen Designer

July 7, 2017

Why Hiring a Designer is a Good Idea.

The road to a good kitchen remodel starts with a proper estimate. Some people have enough cash they can buy a remodel all at once. We mere mortals with average budgets need to be a bit more judicious.

Having a kitchen designer on your site at the very beginning can help you make correct cost estimates and project phases. Doing your project in phases is the easiest way to spread out costs over time, but to do a phased project you need to properly estimate your kitchen remodel cost.

This article will go into when it makes sense to hire a designer, as well as some kitchen remodeling traps that many would-be designers fall into.

Do You Need Help?

Some kitchen remodels are simpler than others, but before you can learn whether or not you need a designer or an architect, you need to ask yourself two questions:

● Do I know exactly what I want my new kitchen to look like?
● Do I know what needs to happen, in detail, to get from my current kitchen to my dream kitchen?

If you don’t know the answer to the first one, you need a designer. Unless you spend hours poring over home design magazines, you may not know what design options are available today nor what the market is looking for in a new kitchen. If you ever plan on selling your home, a designer can keep you from making costly mistakes.

If you don’t know the second, there are a few things to consider. Some kitchen remodeling steps can be easily done by a homeowner and the help of a few instructional videos. For instance, replacing an appliance or a fixture, or painting your cabinets and walls, can be done cheaper by doing it yourself. But if you need to expand the floor plan or knock out a wall, you’re better off hiring a professional.

There’s another good reason to hire a professional. Depending on the extent of your remodel you may need to get building permits. Having an architect sign off on your plans will make this process much faster. Plus, an architect can tell you how you can build an expanded kitchen without compromising the structure of your house.

Why Phase your Project?

Phasing your project does more than just spread your costs out. It also lets you change your plan between stages. This is a great advantage. Many a rich homeowner has been disappointed when the picture they had in their mind didn’t match the finished project, despite their best efforts. Yet another reason to hire a designer who can sketch or render kitchen designs for you to compare before any work begins.

The best way to order your phases is from the bottom up. Start with flooring, then move to lower cabinets, then upper cabinets, appliances and fixtures, and finally paint and decorations.

Do I Need A General Contractor?

One problem with phased construction projects is that contractors can be leery of them. Due to the way that the construction industry works, they have a lot to fear from their clients changing their mind or not having enough money when the next phase arrives. That said, it’s not impossible if you have a clear plan and you can generate trust with your general contractor.

You also have to trust that your contractor will be available when you need them for the next phase. It’s also quite likely that you’ll pay more upfront for a phased project with payments decreasing over time, so you’d need to adjust your budget accordingly.

You can also choose to do it yourself, but hiring subcontractors on your own and buying all the materials can run you more than you might think. A general contractor can make an educated guess on how much materials they need to finish a job and where to get good prices. You run the risk of buying too much or too little if you do it yourself.

Having a designer to help with planning the phases and making selection lists can give contractors peace of mind before starting a project. A designer doesn’t just design kitchens. They also source materials and can provide price quotes that you can use to shop around with different contractors.

Once you have your costs, it will be much clearer how expensive your remodel will be and will help you decide which parts need to be done when on your phases. If the price is right, you have the money, and you know who to hire, it’s time to pull the trigger!


As you can see, having a kitchen designer on your side can help you in all phases of your project. They can help you see what’s trendy and marketable, how much it will cost you, and provide plans for your contractor or architect so they can give you accurate cost estimate. For anything but the smallest remodel, consider hiring a designer right at the start.

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