Never underestimate the value of having a designer with your project. Their expertise goes well beyond picking out countertops and paint colors. Unfortunately, when you have a project and are looking at ways to cut corners, the elimination of the designer seems like a no-brainer way to save money. But you better watch out — you may end up spending more.
A work colleague of mine once said, “Everybody thinks they have good taste.” This is so true! We individually know what we like, but quickly turn down our noses at others who do not share our own design acumen. Because we all think we have good taste, there is a fair amount of us that forego using a designer. This ends up being the first of many mistakes in the project, resulting in wasted time and lots of headaches.
True story: a friend embarked on a kitchen remodel alone; not using a kitchen designer. She thought that since this was a “small remodel” – just new cabinets, new appliances, new countertops and new flooring, but all within the existing kitchen footprint – that she could easily manage it herself. All seemed to go perfectly, up to the day when she had her new appliances installed. She was so excited that she was getting a new bottom mount style refrigerator to take the place of her old side-by-side. As soon at the installers put in her new refrigerator, she pulled out the bottom freezer drawer, only to have the front handle of the drawer collide with the new cabinetry on her kitchen island. She never took in to consideration that the freezer drawer would pull out further than her side by side doors did. Result? She had to move the island, which had already been permanently attached to her new floor, 12 inches which caused damage and needed repair to the island and to the new floor. A kitchen designer would never have let that happen.
Another true story: a different friend was using a kitchen designer. Late one afternoon during the demolition week, the designer called her to state that the demo had caused a pipe to burst, leaking through the ceiling of the basement, into her husband’s office. Then the designer quickly added, “I’ve talked with the builder and he has fans drying out the ceiling and we’ve arranged for painters to come in two days to paint. Plus I’ve asked the builder to install a couple of new shelves in your husband’s office at no expense.”
Ahhhh. Now that’s mental health.