Who Makes The Best Kitchen Designer?
Where should you go to get your kitchen designed?
When thinking about your new kitchen you have an array of options open to you when choosing someone to design your kitchen, but who makes the best kitchen designer?
This essentially breaks down into five groups, major nationals, trade outlets, builders, interior designers and independents/sole traders. So what are the pros and cons and where are the best places to go to get your Kitchen designed?
We can’t name names, but we have tried to give an indication of what to expect from each group. Have a good read; we hope this will help you make a decision in choosing the design service that suits you the most.
All major national retailers will offer a design package where there will be no additional costs for this service to the customer. They will invest a lot of time and resources in training their staff and in the CAD design packages used and tend to run a very slick well-oiled machine. All will be working to targets and the designers will be required to fulfil a minimum quantity of sales on a regular basis.
This can come across to customers as high pressure sales tactics, but they will be working purely on a numbers game so will have no choice but to work to the set protocols. If you do not like high pressure sales tactics and prefer to be treated as an individual, then one of the major nationals is probably not the best place for you but they do run a very efficient design service.
Trade outlets are slightly different in that as a customer you can only deal with one of these outlets through a builder or tradesman that hold an account with them. Most will offer a design service, which again will not incur any additional costs to the customer. Although there is a significant investment in training, the CAD packages used do not tend to be as glossy as with National Retailers so can limit the visual impression for customers, and depending on your perception can come across as a cheap imitation. Again bound by numbers, can come across as high-pressure sales that are not to everyone’s taste.
Most builders will not have a CAD design package themselves but will tend to go through a trade outlet where they hold an account. As their supplier will be carrying out the design, this can sometimes become a bit complicated with third party involvement. Most builders tend to be much more relaxed in their sales approach and as a result the process can be much less pressurised for the customer.
Some, but by no means all builders will place an admin fee on home measure services that are often included with design services by most other outlets. Many of those that do charge for this service will deduct this from the customers final bill when an order has been placed so make sure you check to see what these costs would be and that they are refunded from your final balance.
Most interior designers now use CAD designer packages but some still revert back to the old pencil and paper format. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, providing it gives the customer an accurate visual impression of what the design will look like. Some customers prefer this approach as it demonstrates a highly personalised service that is specific to them.
Interior designers tend to work much more on an individual basis and on a whole concept approach, so, rather than just looking at your kitchen, will take into account the property, colour schemes and other rooms within the home. There will always be a design fee for an interior designer that is likely to vary widely from area to area. Most customers that seek an interior designer tend to be looking for a highly individualised service on a wider concept that expands to the rest of the property and will very often be looking for the bespoke supply service.
Independents and Sole Traders
Most independents or sole traders offer a design service that is free of charge to the customer, some charge for this service but is refundable upon the final purchase value. As with builders that carry out this practice, check what the costs are and make sure that it is refunded against your final invoice. CAD packages can vary in this sector but what is important is that you are able to visualise what your kitchen will look like.
To support the design, they will very often bring samples to your home so you can get a very realistic idea of what the product will look like in it’s environment, Independents and Sole Traders are the only other sector that will do this as a mater of course, rarely will you find this service offered from any other source. Independents and sole traders tend to operate very much on an individual basis so the service is personalised around you and your circumstances and much less pressurised by sales numbers. There tend to be a lot of recommendations so there is a sense of security, however, it is probably the sector where most unscrupulous practices go on so always check for reviews and their background and history.
So, Who Makes The Best Kitchen Designer?
You have a few choices, having read the above, we have given you some pro’s and cons’ of each, it is now up to you to choose who you feel most comfortable with. They all have their good points, I suggest you also take the time to read our post entitled “Questions to ask a kitchen designer” as this will also help you when deciding who to go to for your kitchen design.
Having a new kitchen can be a stressful time, it is a big project to undertake, so whoever you choose, whoever you think the best kitchen designer is, make sure you are comfortable with them, ask as many questions as possible and ensure you have everything clarified in your mind.
Please Note: We now offer a personalised kitchen design service and can now offer the complete kitchen package, from design to installation and the corresponding trades. Please do get in touch if we can be of assistance.
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