If you plan to hire a kitchen or bathroom designer you might be wondering where to start. Of course there’s no substitute for word of mouth recommendations, but if that’s not possible you might be grateful of a few pointers. Avoid a horror story with our quick guide!
One of the most important questions to ask a potential designer is how long they estimate the project will take to complete. This gives the designer the opportunity to work around any existing commitments, and it affords you some foresight so that you can ensure the dates fit with your own schedule. Imagine a half finished kitchen or bathroom at Christmas…it doesn’t bear thinking about!
At your first discussion find out how many different designs you’ll be presented with. It’s good to see a few options to make sure you’re getting the best from your space, and it’s always nice to be a little flexible, perhaps taking the elements of more than one design and pulling them together for the final project.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding so make sure you ask to see some photos of previous projects. Any designer worth his salt should produce evidence of his work, and be more than happy to do so. Some previous clients might have offered to supply testimonials too. Make the most of any offer to see previous designs so that you can make sure that your style is one the designer has produced before.
With the internet at your fingertips you can check out your potential designer in minutes. You may find nothing but praise, or nothing at all, but a little time spent playing detective can be good insurance. There are now some really useful web sites dedicated to naming and shaming or praising designers, labourers and many other home improvement ‘experts’. This is a good place to pluck names from thin air if you need help getting started.
This might sound like an obvious one, but make sure your potential designers will be able to guarantee you an accurate quote, and keep you informed of any unavoidable changes as the project progresses. The last thing you need is unforeseen expense to spoil the feel of your new kitchen or bathroom. Ask potential designers to explain their pricing and quotation process.
Another point to be clear about is who will be entering your home to do the work. Before you make the decision to hire a designer, make sure you know the names and credentials of the labourers he or she plans to send to carry out the work. You may even know electricians, fitters or plumbers from past experience, so ask if there is a chance for you to get them involved.
Planning a new room is an exciting prospect, so it makes sense to do everything you can to help the project run smoothly. Knowing from the outset what to expect in terms of design and cost will mean you can be sure you’re coming home to comfort, not chaos.