I used a CAD design program to draw up plans for a home addition and they're very bland. Cookie-cutter. I know I need to have a structural engineer double check it to get permits. Before I give up, are there templates for additions that can be a little more creative, or should I punt and hire a kitchen designer?
Ted R. ~ Orange County, California
If this is your first time designing a kitchen from scratch I would recommend hiring a kitchen design specialist. The kitchen is the most expensive as well as the most used square footage in your home, so you want to get it right the first time. There are no real shortcuts in the design process if you are doing it yourself.
Some CAD programs will offer design advice on kitchen layout, however since you are planning an addition, your design is going to be specific to your situation. The design process is the toughest part of any project because this is where most of the big decisions are made. If you do hire a designer, make sure you have a budget for the design work to be done.
I have seen lots of projects get into analysis-paralysis where so much money is spent designing and redesigning that the project ends up shrinking significantly in scope or in some cases it is totally abandoned. Designing and building an addition should be a very fun and exciting process, be creative and enjoy it. Good luck!