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The Cabinet Center / Cabinets  / 12 Questions You Need To Ask Your Kitchen Cabinet Designer

12 Questions You Need To Ask Your Kitchen Cabinet Designer

When it comes to upgrading any part of your home, you should feel comfortable asking the involved professionals any and all questions that may come to mind. If they show any sign of inconvenience or annoyance, that is likely a red flag, since any professional worth your time and money will value your confidence in them, their process and their product. Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to know where to begin with the questions. If you want to make sure you’re doing your due diligence, but don’t know exactly what you should be inquiring about, here are some suggestions to sparking those crucial discussions with your cabinet designer.

1. What can I expect from my budget?

This may be the singular, most important question. If you have a maximum limit on your budget, you want to be sure your expectations are realistic so you can proceed with confidence. If your budget simply won’t get you to the final design you desire, it may be best to save up more before revisiting the project. Because once you give the green light, you want to be sure you’ll love it for years to come.

2. Will you immediately inform me of any budget changes?

If you have an upper limit on your budget, make sure you are personally approving any increased costs. For this reason, we recommend having an additional safety cushion that you don’t plan on spending on your remodel, but can draw from without creating unnecessary anxiety if a need should arise.

3. What materials do you plan to use for the project?

There is no correct answer to this question, as it fully depends on your particular wants and needs. If you want eco-friendly materials, however, it’s good to feel informed with what’s being used. The same can be said of budget, or high-end materials. Regardless of your preferences, it’s good to be sure you and your designer are on the same page.

4. Can I see samples?

Things may seem different in person than you may have imagined them through conversations or by even by photo. See if you can get your hands on any of the actual material your designer plans to use so you can be sure it’s exactly what you’re expecting.

5. Will you provide designs and drawings, and how much detail can I expect?

It is very important to have a clear understanding on the design before beginning. You should feel prepared for what type of preliminary mockups they give you before you receive them, so you are not disappointed, and they are not caught off-guard. Will they be detailed or big-picture? As a follow up question, you can ask how many times they are willing to edit their design if you don’t like what is initially presented?

6. Have you done work like this in the past?

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with being their first customer of a specific style, it’s good to know their strengths and experiences. Additionally, if they have performed similar work in the past, ask if you can see photos of the finished product.

7. What type of finishes should I consider?

There are different pros and cons to painting versus staining. While neither option is better or worse, you want to be sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages when making your final choice.

8. What hardware will you use?

Quality and material will have a significant impact on longevity and future use. Will they be under-mount soft-close? Those will keep your drawers functioning with ease. Will they be cast pewter or cold-rolled steel? The former is a cheaper material, the latter is better. Listen to your options, ask questions about them, do independent research, and make sure you feel confident in the final selections.

9. What is a reasonable timeline?

Arguably the second most important question following the matter of your budget is to determine a timeline. Particularly when you’re on a deadline, but even if you’re not, make sure you and your designer are on the exact same page regarding building and installation.

10. Is installation included?

Piggybacking off the above question, make sure you understand what your designer plans to do, and what is included in the price. The cabinet maker does not always provide installation, but it’s far better if they do as opposed to someone who has never seen the cabinets or your kitchen.

11. Do you recommend a particular layout for my lifestyle and my home?

This is a great question to ask no matter what. If you don’t have anything specific in mind, get some professional feedback to guide your imagination! Or, if you have a specific plan already in mind, don’t be afraid to bounce it off the professionals – they could give you some insights you never would have otherwise considered.

12. Are there any upcoming trends I should consider?

Whether you are thinking big picture, or subtle details, there may be some up and coming trends you want to take advantage of before building and regretting their absence. We are always innovating new ways to save space, make certain areas multi-functional, or just make something new that looks really nice. No matter the case, make sure you have all your options in front of you before making a final decision.

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