Do You Really Need to Pay for Design?

Having helped hundreds of homeowners install and finish new Ikea kitchens, we've identified the most basic, vital concerns a homeowner should address when planning a new kitchen. The issues are both technical (walls, floors, electrical, etc.), creative, and matters of kitchen functionality.

As a  former remodeling contractor (with a creative and experienced Ikea kitchen planners on our team), we make no claim to be interior designers. We've installed Ikea kitchens for interior designers and we respect the work of those designers. However, for the majority of homeowners, Ikea cabinets come with a promise of simplicity and affordability that rules out the relatively high fees ($1000 and up) for professional interior design.

This is not to say that homeowners cannot draft basicl kitchen plans on their own. But many people need and ask for help with planning. Our experience with those who needed help has enabled us to learn what a thorough planning service needs to accomplish.

There are perhaps four main categories of homeowners who can benefit from expert help with planning:

1. First, are homeowners who do not move forward on a vital or desired project because of uncertainties. Sometimes this is just a lack of measuring-expertise, sometimes it is confusion or difficulty with Ikea’s planning software, sometimes it is really an issue with the house itself, as in category #2, below. But whenever there is uncertainty, self-planning might not adequately assure that a major purchase of cabinets will fit, or that the result will be beautiful and optimally functional.
2. A second category are those with older homes, where the condition of walls, plumbing, venting and electrical needs to be evaluated as a part of the planning phase. For this group especially, the type of planning service we offer can save a lot of time, money and stress. Know before you go.
3. A third group would be those with small kitchens who need to get the most function out of every inch. Small kitchens are often the hardest to plan and most likely to have planning errors turn into problems during installation.
4. A fourth category might be those who know exactly what they want to achieve, and want to minimize risks and maximize efficiency. Expert help with planning is suggested.

Our planning service is adapted to the needs of the individual customer. Some primarily need help with creative design. In this case, we send our planner to do an in-home consultation.

Other customers have wall, plumbing, or electrical issues that must be evaluated in the planning phase. In this case, we send our most experienced contractor for the in-home consultation and measuring. The plan is later drafted by our kitchen planner.

For customers who have already drafted their plans, we can do a plan check.

When we provide any level of planning service, having done an on-site inspection, were able to give detailed bids on any remodeling that might be needed, along with an installation bid. Remodeling work has to be evaluated on-site and, if any is needed and if the plan is already done, a site inspection is the best service to request. (If the customer does not need planning help, we still can provide an accurate bid for cabinet installation based on existing plans and Ikea purchase list).

The fourfold result we are going for with our planning service:

1. Customer has a professional kitchen plan he/she is excited about. 
2. Customer has had questions answered and feels confident to move forward
3. The kitchen design truly addresses all issues. It's beautiful, functional and increases home value. 
4. Customer has a shopping list of Ikea materials to purchase and knows their cost (materials)

Kitchen planning is both a technical and creative endeavor. We try to cover all bases with our planning service to make it truly helpful.

If you'd like to discuss your project with me, I can offer you a free, 30-minute phone consultation. Here's my calendar, just pick a time that works for you.

Susan