KITCHEN DESIGNER, CONTRACTOR OR ARCHITECT?
WHO TO HIRE, WHERE TO START & HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
It’s official, you have spent more time stuck in your kitchen then you deemed possible. You now know everything wrong with it in detail and are ready to finally perform a well deserved renovation to the space.
You might have a very specific vision for your kitchen, or just know what you don’t want- your current setup. Now it’s time to hire a professional and get started, here is some information to help you figure out who to call, when, and what the cost will be. ARCHITECTS Visionary geniuses, architects can offer you fantastic support on designing a functional, structurally sound and pleasing space. They have a general idea of cost, but many times will not be able to design the space to a budget, and, (to be fair) your finish materials play a big part in that cost. If you are in the Bay Area of California you can expect to pay several thousand dollars for your drawings, they will usually be well done but the look and feel of the space will still be up to you with tough choices such as cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes not included on the drawings.
WHEN TO HIRE? If your kitchen remodel is a complicated project, and you are making significant alterations to the interior or exterior of the home (like moving a load bearing wall), you will greatly benefit from the knowledge and insight of an architect. An architect ensures the project specifications are safe and up to code. This is vital if your project will require a permit, and an architect should be hired right at the start. COST? As a general rule of thumb, architect fees range from $150-$250 an hour, with your total cost being around 5-15% of the total project cost. CONTRACTORS Many contractors have a general sense of basic design trends and are especially well equipped to work with a budget. If you are planning on a DIY project, they can assess any issues you might run into with your design, and tell you if any special permits or regulations may impact you. Having them consult, if willing, may be very helpful. Where many contractors fall short is in the details, while they can read an architectural floor plan set to a T, they are more often than not able to handle some of the design work such as drawing up the meticulous details of your cabinetry layout, interpret the style you are trying to accomplish or give you design input. If your project is small, and you have a great eye for design and function you may well just go straight to a contractor once you have a solid vision for the space. WHEN TO HIRE? In most cases, you want to hire your contractor soon after your architect, interior designer or kitchen designer is chosen (assuming you are not doing the work yourself). They will help you with a clear view of project costs early in the process and ROI. COST? A contractor will typically charge around 15% in fees for their management and project coordination. KITCHEN DESIGNERS Kitchen designers working out of a showroom can be very advantageous at the start of a project. Being able to show you a large variety of cabinets, countertops etc. will give you a clear vision of what you want your kitchen to look like. Yes, you can go online, but let’s face it pictures can be misleading with different screens showing different shades of a color for instance, (we’ve all ordered a product in purple, just to have it delivered in lavender). Also, actual samples give you the opportunity to feel the quality and finish of the product. Their job is to follow trends and since they work with kitchen design day in and day out their input is invaluable. Also, a good kitchen design showroom will have numerous kitchen layouts and styles to take out the guesswork of what the different products will look like coming together. When researching, make sure the kitchen design showroom you visit carries several different cabinetry lines, has various countertops and appliances on display and a seasoned design staff. If you are in the Contra Costa area, visit us over at Premier Kitchens in downtown Lafayette. WHEN TO HIRE? Since they typically have a full showroom and samples for you to play with, start there first to gain ideas from their design staff and get inspired by all their product lines. COST? For an average kitchen remodel they can build out the layout for you, often at no cost with your order of cabinets, countertops etc. which you will need to buy no matter what professional you work with anyways. Even if you don’t move forward with them, you now have a much better idea for the style and finishes of your space. HOW MUCH WILL YOUR RENOVATION REALLY COST? Before meeting with a kitchen designer, you should have an idea of your total budget, keeping in mind any professional designer or architect fees if you choose to use them. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, in the San Francisco Bay Area, a minor kitchen remodel will cost about $30,00 and you’ll recoup 94% of its cost at resale, compared to just 70% for an upscale major kitchen remodel with a price tag of $83-$163,000.
Besides the monetary investment, remodeling a kitchen is an emotional investment too. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, where your family gathers and memories are made. In that respect alone it is well worth the investment- especially with how much time we are now spending in our homes. We hope to see you at our design showroom and that your dream kitchen space becomes a reality.
Interested in getting started with a kitchen design? Contact us below.