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Why should I consider a Designer Consultant for my renovation project?

Happy Monday!!

The content for this blog was not coming to me until I spoke with a contractor that I often do work with. It was something that the contractor said really stuck with me. He mentioned he finds a lot of potential clients refuse the service or referral of a Design Consultant for the planning process. He mentioned that the clients feel they can accomplish this themselves or they will choose to work with the Kitchen Cabinetry and Design Company that offers this for 'free' (Refer to my other blog 'Cabinetry Company Designers VS Hiring a Design Professional/Consultant- What To Do?' for more insider info on Cabinetry Companies). I hear this often so why not use my platform in order to help give some necessary (and totally non- biased) input on why hiring a Design Consultant is a VERY good idea for your up and coming project!

First and foremost if you are the type that is saying 'the cabinetry company offers design consultation for free, so why would I pay for this service?'- AGAIN- read the previous blog I refereed too above. As I mentioned in this blog- this is NOT a free service and you could be paying substantial hidden costs associated with the commissioning payouts that a Kitchen Design company needs to include on top of the job profit. Sales first- Design second. Also keep in mind 9/10 times these companies will not coming to your home for free.

Usually us 'industry types' see similar characteristics in potential renovating clients- and here are some categories that I feel, cover the whole lot of you!

If I didn't nail you in my 'categorizing'- then I apologize up front. If I offended you then don't worry about contacting me for your project, and do some soul searching!

Potential Client Categories;

1. A seasoned renovator or someone who just understand design elements and mathematical space planning. You are resourceful and have no issue spending your time sourcing out space planning information to help guide your decisions. You have great taste and can really pull the final large and small details together without any help- good for you!

2. The controlling type always has a hard time trusting someone to do the right thing by you- not necessarily good for you- I recommend therapy and drugs- or better yet a really good professional Design Consultant to help!

3. The penny pincher who wants it all for nothing $$! Sorry guys- but you are TIME WASTERS. Worst part is you end up very frustrated and with a very frustrated contractor because you are now putting the work load of the design planning on the contracting team of professionals. How could you blame the them though- that is not their job! Important decisions that should have been made before any demo or product ordering happens without proper

consideration and these last minute details are made fast and during the middle of the project. In the end you may not feel your project expectations have been met, multiple small details have been missed and you ALWAYS spend more $$ than you had originally budgeted for.

4. You are a first time renovator/ building a home and are unaware of the steps to take in order to begin the process. You have been to multiple showrooms and spoke with multiple industry people and you are more confused by the process now, than when you first started!

So which type are you? If you are #2 and #3 please do not contact me for my services- haha! No, really I like to work with everyone and I can tame the hearts of most lions! I have found in my time as a Professional Kitchen and Bath Design Consultant, my clients are 100% happy that we have spent the time combing through all details pertaining to the project well in advance. A Design Consultant will most often include a free visit to your home to attain proper measurements, details and to really 'get in your head', ALL of my clients give up much more information about expectations, needs and requirements when we are meeting in the space where the renovation will take place. When you are in your own home with a Design Consultant there is more fluidity with the progression of details and you feel much more comfortable with the sharing process. When you are working with a sales Designer in a store front/shop, you tend to give up less information because who are we kidding- the looming sales pitch is just around the corner- so you're eager keep your guard up! You unknowingly withhold important information about your project because you know you are about to be 'sold' on the companies product/services, and at this point you are not ready for such a large commitment deposit. I have mentioned this in other blogs, the cost of a design package with a Design Consultant can be much less of a monetary investment than an initial deposit working with a Cabinetry Design Company, However when you chose to work directly with a Design Consultant you have the freedom to take your business to multiple vendors without upfront deposits. Your time in very important and this has all been taken into account by the Design Consultant so that you are on your way to a successful start with the estimating process once the planning stages are complete. Something else to keep in mind, most contractors have no interest in being involved in the estimating process until the design planning is complete OR they have the option to sell you on their in house Design Consultant- fees/deposits upfront (usually 35% + on the actual Design fees) The contractor needs a clear map (IE deign plans,elevations and 3D renderings) of what the project and estimate will require before they will even consider putting pen to paper on your project details and quote.

It is pretty clear that I am very vocal about the fact that an independent Design Consultant has your best interests in mind. A Design Consultant is relying on extensive industry and consulting experience to help guide you to make the right choices by giving you alternative options and asking you hard hitting questions. A good Design Consultant will never say 'No' - they will always look for a compromise, and try to work towards what makes you the most happy! When you decide to work with a (good) independent Design Consultant you will see how quickly the pieces of your project will start to come together and you will quickly make a solid relationship with your Design Consultant on the project. You should be so happy with the experience that you will make it your dieing wish to refer the heck out of them to your friends and family and include them in your last will and testament!

To wrap it up, you can afford a Design Consultant, more often than not your prohject does require a Design Consultant so take the step in the right direction and connect with a consultant that is excited and commited to your design planning and project!

Happy planning!


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Lindsay Gilmour Kitchen Design

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