Daydreaming about a new kitchen seems to happen just about every time you use it. Finally, comes the time when you take steps to learn if a remodel is possibile. Before you schedule an appointment with a certified kitchen designer, here are 7 things to do to make it a productive meeting:
1. Make Some Lists
Rather than a wish list, divide your ideas into two separate lists: Needs and Wants.
Needs are the things that you must have to make a kitchen remodel worthwhile. As you work around the deficiencies of your current kitchen, you learn what layouts or features would make life easier. Classify these as needs – what will make or break the project.
Wants are things you’d really like to have but if that’s not possible, it’s not a deal breaker.
It’s important to keep track of why you want a new kitchen. Think of the main 3 or 4 reasons why you want a new kitchen so that all plans are made with these goals in mind.
An example of a priority list can look something like this:
• Need workspace for 2 cooks
• Need more storage
• Need better lighting
Thinking through what’s important to you will create a list of priorities to discuss with your designer.
3. Collect Photos and Ideas
Websites like Houzz and Pinterest make it easy to gather kitchens you like, and your choices will reveal the themes that inspire you the most. Also begin saving photos of desirable kitchens you see in magazines.
These are valuable communication tools between you and your designer. It’s like giving them access to your innermost wants and needs, and a tangible way to express your style. It is also a productive shortcut, keeping your designer from spending time on designs you don’t want.
4. Think About Appliances
Essentially, a kitchen is a work room and the appliances are the equipment you need. Kitchens are planned around appliances, so make a list of what you need and want, and which of your current appliances may remain in place or be used for the remodel. The earlier you identify appliances, the easier it is to program your new space, which can speed up the design development phase.
5. Determine a Budget
Analyze your finances to learn how much you can spend on a kitchen remodel. A good designer can work within any budget amount, so be honest about what you can realistically spend. Designers are educated on product lines, vendors and costs, and know how to conserve in one area to splurge in another. It’s wiser to work within your financial parameters than to be disappointed by having to pass on your dream kitchen.
6. Research Designers
Do your homework to find the best designer for you. Keep track of the names and companies who did kitchens you love, and then check out their websites for more examples of their work. Talk with people whose kitchens you admire for their input and experiences. Research these candidates’ history with the Better Business Bureau and other review sites.
By doing this type of research upfront, you narrow down your choices, and increase your odds of quickly identifying your perfect design partner.
7. Make a List of Questions To Ask at the First Appointment
There are, literally, a thousand details that go into a kitchen remodel, and once you start conversation with a designer, it’s easy for enthusiasm to override practical concerns you may have. So write them down to make sure you get answers.
Important questions that help you make a decision can include:
• What is your design process?
• How long will this project take to complete?
• Are you part of the construction process, as well?
• What does your warranty cover and for how long?
How a designer answers your questions also helps establish a rapport, and decide if you will have an enjoyable and productive relationship. The more comfortable, knowledgeable and secure you feel during the initial appointment, the better your chances of a successful kitchen remodel.
Once you’ve completed these 7 steps, it’s time to make contact with your potential designer. If you’re searching for a certified kitchen designer in Metro St. Louis, consider Mosby Building Arts, who not only design your kitchen but build it as part of a seamless process. See examples of their kitchen remodels. To get started, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.