Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Can Your Contractor Design Your New Kitchen?

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This is an easy one. With a few, very rare exceptions the answers as to whether or not a contractor can DESIGN a kitchen is a resounding NO.

I used to be a contractor. We installed hundreds of IKEA kitchens. I used to do the designs. I used the Home Planner. I learned, painfully, that the free software and the designs the I, an artistic and precise and graphic design-skilled person, were nothing like the designs a professional could do.

How did I learn this? By noticing that the installations that were done for clients with professional designs were completed more quickly. Cost less. Look much better. Happier clients. We got the credit often. But it was the design, the designer, who deserved it.

Now, with a company that designs IKEA and similar kitchens, I see how this works. We spend weeks working with a client to create a truly elegant and optimal layout. Inch by inch. We provide detailed diagrams for installation.

Weeks later the client has purchased cabinets and the contractor hired has installed them. The client has forgotten the designer. The contractor is right there, sweeping up the final bits of dust and getting all the credit.

But I know that had the contractor drawn up, with a pencil, some layouts for the client who sought to save a bit with "free" design done by the contractor, he would not get the kudos nearly as often. Chance are, he made less because his own layout took him longer to install. What contractor knows IKEA components the way our team of experts does? What are the chances some small boo boo had to be fixed during the job. Hopefully the client never knows.

Not to belabor a point, if someone thinks design can be "free" just because it isn't marked on an invoice, think again. The contractor wants (and appreciates) the job. Sometimes he offers to do the design for free to "save" the client a design fee elsewhere. But rest assured the time he spends is hidden in his final invoice. OR he does the design in 20 minutes, with free (and inadequate) software.

Kitchen design is a skill and trained professionals want to be paid for their work. The kitchen design underlies your entire project so don't skimp on it. The value of it won't be obvious until the project is done, and even then you could think it's the contractor's work alone.

Both you and your contractor get great value out of an investment in professional design.


P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation