We Can’t Afford To Pay Designers’ Fees!
Has This Happened To You?
#1: “Do I Need Someone To Help Me?”
That’s a great question! You may not need a bath and kitchen designer if you’re:
- Thinking about freshening up with a new color scheme
- Painting your existing cabinets
- Installing a new countertop and backsplash
- Installing new flooring
#2: “Can I Hire A Decorator To Help Me?”
- Decorators: People who can help with colors, furniture, window treatments, and accessories. They do not have the education, training, and experience with building systems to draft plans and specifications. They need specific technical knowledge to make the best recommendations for you and your budget.
- Designers: People who have education, training, and experience. They can draft plans for a project. But they may not have the specific knowledge of products and codes to prepare detailed plans and specifications for your remodeling project.
- Kitchen-Bath Designers: People who have education, specific training, and experience related to remodeling. They can draft detailed plans and prepare specifications for contractors’ estimates and permits. Some kitchen-bath design specialists have become certified to prove their knowledge and dedication to help you. Get more information about these designers at the National Kitchen & Bath Association website.
- Architects: People who have the most education but may lack the training and experience to help you with specific details for your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project.
#3: “When Do I Need A Designer?”
- Do more than freshen up — new cabinets, new appliances, new plumbing fixtures, etc.
- Change the layout within the same footprint.
- Enlarge your bathroom or kitchen.
- Help you select the right products for your budget and lifestyle.
- Create detailed plans that follow building codes. Design plans should show all your decisions.
- Refer you to qualified contractors and suppliers.
The third question will help you refine who to hire.
#4: “Okay,” you say, “I get it. But what is a kitchen-bathroom designer going to cost me?”
- Hourly rate
- Flat fee
- Percentage of the project cost
$ Hourly Rate
Jill Geisdorf of Chic on the Cheap was quoted on houzz.com, “No two projects are the same, and no two designers charge the same.” Bob Vila says, “Most independent kitchen designers charge by the hour with rates that can range from $65 to $250 an hour, and $125 to $150 is typical. If your designer charges by the hour, you’ll want an estimate of how many hours the designer expects your project will require.”
$ Flat Fee
This system gives designers the most flexibility because they can charge whatever they want for every project. You must know:
- When the designer will expect payments.
- What percentage of the fee they’ll expect you to pay for each interval.
$ Percentage Of The Project Total
There’s A hidden “Gotcha.”
- What services they do include for the fee they charge.
- What services they don’t include for the fee they charge.
- A description of how they calculate their fee.
- Their maximum-not-to-exceed total fee.
- How they will invoice you for their services.
#5: “Why Are Designers’ Fees So Secretive?”
- Designers do not want their competition to know what they charge homeowners.
- Months or years after the fee is stated, someone may demand that fee, creating a potential dispute.
You’ll have to call candidates to gather information, including how much they charge, so that you can make an informed decision. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what and how they charge and be able to write it down on a comparison list? I will give you a free chapter from my award-winning book to help you! You can get a copy of the chapter immediately by simply filling out the request form below. Filling out the form will also subscribe you to my informative Newsletter filled with remodeling hints, tips, and special offers.
Variables That Will Drive Up Your Investment
There’s one part of any remodeling project that will increase designers’ fees and the overall investment. It’s the complexity of the project. Here are some examples:
- Non-standard cabinets loaded with storage accessories
- Imported appliances, plumbing fixtures, and tile
- Custom backsplashes and tile layouts
- Changing your mind after the designer has finalized your plans
Up-front, honest communication about expectations is the best way to prevent problems. For example, if a designer has quoted a maximum fee based on what you’ve told them, you may have to re-negotiate their price if your project becomes more complex during the design phase.
You Ask For Total Honesty and Transparency. Here It Is!
Now I’m going to share my information with you. You deserve it! Here are the guarantees you get when I work with you:
- I never sell products. Never! My responsibility is to help you find the best value for the products you buy.
- I have never received nor paid referral fees and never will. You’ll get the results you want for the lowest possible investment. I am transparent about what you’re paying for my services and provide a detailed written proposal immediately after a meeting with you.
- I’ll help you select all the products for your remodeling project.
- I’ll recommend contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers to you who I know are honest and ethical.
- I’ll be available to you every day during the process! Yes, from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., I’ll be available to answer questions and reassure you. Yes, we always answer the phone — unless we both happen to be in the middle of a call already.
- I’ll reply to email within a 24-hour period.
- I’ll provide detailed plans that include all of your decisions.
- I’ll create Virtual-reality “photographs” of your finished project starting early in the design process, so you can make informed decisions about how it looks, feels, and functions.
- Minor changes to the layout
- A private toilet room
- Two sinks
- Storage for all personal-care items and linens
- A whirlpool tub
- A large, separate tiled shower with fixed and personal showerheads, a shampoo niche, and a bench
- Dimmable LED lighting
- Powerful, quiet exhaust fans
- Minor changes to the layout
- New appliances (range, hood, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave oven)
- Quality plumbing fixtures
- New custom cabinets
- Stone countertops and custom backsplashes
- Dimmable LED lighting
- Ventilation that complies with current codes
- Wood flooring
How much you pay a professional designer will be an essential part of your total investment. Their fee is only one aspect of your decision about who to hire. Your relationship with your designer will last from the day you meet until after finishing your project. Therefore, it should include:
- Mutual trust and understanding.
- A common goal.
- Stellar communication.
You can call other designers and ask questions about how they work and how they charge for their services. Will you get honest information? Maybe and maybe not. Do they understand (and care) about your situation? Maybe and maybe not. Will they have similar guarantees to reassure you that you’re getting the best value? Maybe and maybe not. So why take a chance? Call me today and discover the positive influence I will have in your home and in your life!