We're planning some pretty extensive kitchen remodeling, and friends suggest we use a kitchen designer. I'm not sure if most designers get paid an hourly fee, or if they make their money from markups on the kitchen remodeling components that they help us purchase. Please enlighten us!
Colby ~ Orlando, Florida
There are different ways that kitchen designer's bill for their work. Some will charge by the square foot. Some will do the design for a fixed cost. Some designers will bill based on a percentage of the total job cost. Some will bill an hourly rate. Often times designers are negotiable on their billing terms, so be sure to have the terms of your contract sorted out before you start any design work. The most important thing here is to understand exactly what you want from the designer and exactly what the designer plans to provide. You will also need to know if you will want the designers services beyond working drawings. Are they going to provide specs for cabinet style, cabinet hardware, countertops, flooring, trim details, lighting, appliances, colors, plumbing fixtures, construction management, and permits? There are hundreds of design decisions that go into a kitchen remodel and a kitchen designer can be an incredible resource. Once again I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing the scope of service that the designer plans to offer. If you have a clear understanding at the beginning of the project you should be able to have a ton of fun creating your dream kitchen.