Your kitchen designer will ask you questions.  This should happen and you need to be prepared.  While my last blog post covered the Top 3 Questions to Ask Your Kitchen Designer, your professional needs to know all about your project. In fact, the more she/he knows, the better the end result.

1. Do you have a deadline?

Think about any upcoming big events at your house and give yourself a nice cushion.  A renovation is stressful enough without the added panic of wondering if the project will be done for the holidays. Also, think about when you might be able to escape a bit during the project (but still available). One of the biggest issues I see is that folks don’t give themselves enough time to do all the running around and making all the decisions required for a great kitchen design and project.  Remember that the timeline starts when all the design, specifications, budget and decision making is done and order can be placed. 

If you are planning to sell your house, you may want to think about a kitchen facelift to stage it.  This type of project offers a shorter lead time.  It’s a quicker process since cabinetry typically remains in place.  However, if you are underway with a new home or big renovation, hopefully you started kitchen planning well in advance.  

2. How much are you prepared to spend?  

Few folks answer this question, but they should try.  You’ll get to the starting line faster and with less frustration.  Most companies have lots of options on design elements and material selection, so this information makes things more focused and realistic from the start. 

3. How did you find us?

This not only justifies the expense of advertising and marketing, but helps shape the approach the kitchen designer takes to get you the right information.  For example, if you have been referred by an architect, builder, family or friend, say so.  It can tell the kitchen designer (or contractor) a lot about how serious you are, how much they may know about the process, or even how much these things cost.  

4. Are you talking with anyone else about your kitchen?  

Granted, it is kind of a forward question, and perhaps uncomfortable.  But, the answer could be synergistic if it’s a remodeling company that the kitchen designer has worked with successfully.  It would also help shape a closer comparison for the planned work to know whether the other company is high end or more basic.  

If a potential client tells me they are talking with a basic shop or big box store, I know that my custom or semi-custom approach may not work.   Perhaps, I use one of my semi-stock cabinets to be competitive.  Or, I conclude I am not going to be competitive and cut the project early which benefits us and the client. It can also help me to ask the right follow up questions about quality, level of products and services.

5. Do you have any images or ideas that we can look at to see your kitchen design goals and style?

This is the fun stuff.  Reference those images while you’re in the showroom as much as possible.  You’ll be able to see it in the flesh, hear about it and touch it.