Generally speaking, it is a good idea to upgrade your kitchen at least once every ten years. With an upgraded kitchen, you can enjoy the many benefits that modern appliances can offer while also ensuring that your kitchen is aesthetically pleasing and up to date. Additionally, the right upgrades can help make your kitchen much greener and reduce your monthly energy consumption.
Kitchen design, as you might expect, can take many different forms. The type of remodeling that will appropriate for your home will depend on your general cooking habits, your personal tastes, your budget, and many other factors. Naturally, when planning what the kitchen of your dreams will look like, there are many different things you will want to keep in mind.
At the beginning of the planning process, it will be a good idea to choose which firm you want to work with. By taking the time to consider multiple different options, you’ll be much more likely to find a design company that is within your budget and is also able to offer the sort of value and features you are hoping for.
Currently, there are many different kitchen design companies available to choose from. Knowing where to begin your search can sometimes be very overwhelming. When conducting a preliminary interview, be sure to ask these simple, yet important questions:
1. When are you available to help remodel my kitchen?
When planning your project, the first thing you will need to do is establish a timeline. With some firms, you will be able to get to work immediately while others will require you to wait. Typically, summer is the busiest season of the year for doing a kitchen remodel. It will also be helpful to get an estimate for how long the project is expected to take.
2. What type of design services do you currently offer?
Within the kitchen design industry, you will quickly find that there are many different types of firms available to choose from. Some will be willing to design just about anything, while others will occupy a very specific niche. If you’re redesigning your whole kitchen, you’ll want a firm that is fairly comprehensive. If you’re only redoing one element, such as new floors, new lights, or new appliances, then you might want to consider working with a specialist.
3. Do you think we can complete this project within my current budget?
While most people don’t really want to talk about money, it is still a topic that will inevitably be brought up. Before selecting a firm, try to determine a reasonable budget for the project. You just might be surprised by the range of options that are currently available.
4. Can I see some examples of your previous work?
Any kitchen design company can talk the talk, but you’ll also want to ensure your prospective partner can “walk the walk.” Prior to making any final decisions, take some time to look at the projects the firm has completed in the past. Not only will this be a great opportunity to see what they are truly capable of, but you might also get some creative design ideas that can be included in your own kitchen.
5. Which brands do you typically prefer to work with?
Whether you are discussing appliances, furniture, lights, counters, or even paint, you’ll have plenty of brands available to choose from. Bulthaup, for example, is a high-end European brand that is typically associated with luxury, bespoke design. Though your design team will likely be willing to work any of your favorite brands into the design scheme, it still helps to know which brands they typically prefer.
6. Do you have a network of contractors or do you typically do all of the work yourself?
During the course of remodeling a kitchen, there are likely many different things that will need to be changed. Suppose the team discovered that, due to a previously unknown issue, you will need to rework your kitchen plumbing. When this is the case, are they capable of making adjustments on the fly or will they need to call for backup?
7. How can we improve the layout of my kitchen?
Naturally, the overall layout of your kitchen is something that is very important. Adding an island, tearing down a wall, or adding a skylight can have a major impact on how the space looks and feels. An experienced team will be able to make pointed recommendations that you may have overlooked.
8. Which aesthetics schemes do you think will be best for my kitchen?
Popular kitchen design ideas are always changing, so you’ll want to work with a partner that is up to date on what’s new in the industry. For example, while graphic signs (Live, Laugh, Love) were very popular just a few years ago, these sorts of details are already on their way out.
9. How can we increase the storage space in my kitchen?
Whether you cook very often or not, there are probably many things you will want to keep stored in the kitchen. A well-designed space will make it easy to store everything you need without restricting living space or making the place seem cluttered. Be sure to ask about ways to maximize your potential storage space.
10. How will this project impact the current value of my property?
One of the reasons kitchens need to be updated fairly often is that, perhaps more than any other room, kitchens can have a huge impact on the value of your home. While your prospective firm will only be able to give you a “ballpark” estimate, understanding how certain features can influence property value will still be quite useful.
11. Do you do work in every room of the home or do you specialize in kitchens?
If the only room you are upgrading is your kitchen, then it will likely be in your best interest to choose someone who specializes in working within this specific space. However, if you are hoping to upgrade your kitchen along with other areas of your home, you might want to choose a more generalized partner.
12. Why should we choose you to help remodel our kitchen?
When closing your interview, it’s a good idea to give each prospective partner a chance to pitch their own services. By asking about their background, strengths, and kitchen design philosophy, you’ll be able to determine if the company you are considering is truly a good fit for you.
Conclusion – 12 Questions to Ask a Kitchen Design Partner
While you are probably excited to upgrade your kitchen, it’s important that you don’t jump into things too quickly. Take the time to ask these simple questions and any others that you might have—at the very least, you can be much more confident in your final decision.