Hauling out the sledgehammer and ripping apart your kitchen or bath for a makeover is an expensive proposition. It’s only natural that homeowners considering a major renovation are tempted to cut corners and look for opportunities to lower costs.
But is contracting a professional designer something that ought to be worked into the budget or quickly given the axe?
The answer, it turns out, is not so simple. In this article we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of hiring a designer so you can make an informed choice that works for you.
DIY wizards need not apply
Much of the decision boils down to being honest about your do-it-yourself skills. If you’re a talented planner with an exceptional design aesthetic and a knack for renovation, passing on a designer may be no big deal.
But if the idea of managing a full gut & replace leaves you feeling like a duck out of water, you could wind up costing yourself more in “mistakes” and “re-dos” than you save by going solo. Those who don’t possess full faith in their DIY prowess should be very wary of jumping off into the deep end without the help of a flotation device.
That said, even the handiest of homeowners can still benefit from bringing in a pro.
Pro: material selection and discounts
I’m not going to try and pull the wool over your eyes and tell you that hiring a designer doesn’t cost money. Of course it does. However, you can recoup a sizable portion of your investment by procuring materials through your designer’s insider relationships. Designers generally receive deep discounts on raw materials and other services as suppliers appreciate customer loyalty and bulk purchases.
More importantly, designers work with tile, paint, countertops, faucets, fixtures and flooring every single day. That experience means they know which mediums work well together and which don’t, and they’ll also have a better idea of quality and price.
It’s easier to finish up a cohesive design with compatible materials when the schematic is laid out by someone who strategizes kitchen and bath concepts every day of the week.
Con: working on someone’s else’s timeline
The best designers are often booked up months in advance. This means that hiring with your favored team could delay your project for a considerable length of time.
Similarly, hiring someone else to manage your project requires you to work around their schedule and not the other way round.
Pro: knowledge of building codes
The more complicated your makeover, the more likely it is you’ll require a building permit. Once a building permit is pulled you’ll be required to pass inspection.
I think you can see where this is going. Hiring a designer makes it a whole lot easier to ensure what you’ve got planned follows the rules.
Con: Who’s the boss?
There’s no question that hiring a designer means that you’ll be handing over the reins to an extent. Sure, you’ll still have final veto power on any major decisions, but not everyone feels comfortable giving up their autonomy.
Pro: peace of mind
Even if you’re more than confident in your ability to design and implement an awesome new kitchen or bath, there’s something to be said for giving the job to someone else who’s not riding in their first rodeo.
In many ways, a small investment for assurance you’ll achieve the remodel of your dreams is money well spent.