I find it funny, how in the midst of the summer, so many people put their remodeling projects on the back burner. When asked Why? They have all sorts of excusses. Oh, the kids are home from school, vacation time, too hot, blah, blah, blah.
So when is the best time to do a project? Considering how much time is required to: first plan it out; determine budgets; preparing finances; have plans drawn up; get approvals from the building dept.; shop for and select materials; adjust budget and financing options; compare contruction estimates; adjust budget and financing options again; hire craftsmen; apply for permits; etc., etc., etc.,
If you wait till after the summer to get started, the winter Holidays will be your next excuss. After that, the dead of winter will depress you, and you won't want to drive in the snow. Then Spring comes, and you'll be obsessed with gardening, and the kids will busy with soccer.
All said and done, there's no great time to do a project!
Timing isn't going to get any better. One thing that I can guarantee, the longer you wait, the more expensive it will get.
"prices will go up"!!! So Why Wait?
Get yourself in gear, and start those plans, and follow through with them.
Occasionally I come across a picture of a kitchen that I can relate to.
I was very much attracted to this one in particular.
From a visual standpoint, (first impression), the hood makes a statement.
Centered on the back wall, flanked by mullion doors on cabinets and then windows, it's very symmetrical;
Balanced in color by the Island, it's all very pleasing to eye.
The room is inviting, and its layout is non-conflicting.
From this angle, I can't tell if there is yet another window over the sink. But if there isn't, there's enough natural light entering from the two on the back wall.
Sinks don't necessarily need to be under a window. Unless the window has an unobstructed view of the back yard where the ---"young children are at play".---- Frankly we are usually in front of a sink after dark anyway. The window serves no purpose then.
Enough of that!!
The Island, which also echoes the color of the hood, is "anchored" to the floor. The secondary color is a nice compliment to the white cabinets in the perimeter. The decorative back and ends, gives it a finished look from all around, and the pendant lights serve as illumination as well as an attraction for your eyes, yet not blocking the view to the hood.
It's sized proportionate to the room. Two stools are plenty. The counter curves just enough to allow the two casual diners to associate with each other.
The windows on the back wall are a good source of natural lighting, as well as, help to break up the monotony of too many cabinets.
The ceilings are probably 9'-0". This allows for the uppers to be taller (42"), as well as the transom mullions. There is also a 6" soffit which blends with the ceiling. Crown mouldings and fascia connect the cabinets to the soffit.
The positioning of the appliances and work stations are roomy enough for two people to move about effortlessly. One can be in front of the sink, while another by the stove and the island. Yet the refrigerator and the microwave can be accessed by others without interfering with the cooks.
I tip my hat to the designer of this kitchen. Unfortunately, I don't know who that might be.
O.K., so these times are a little slow for many of us in the Kitchen Business. We welcome every lead with enthusiasm, in hopes that they'll become a client. Unfortunately, some customers approach us with a disappointing agenda. They're price shopping! and have NO intent on paying for our services. If you send them on their way, they'll "Bad Mouth" you. If you entertain them, you're "giving it away".
It's not uncommon for Kitchen Design firms to charge a design fee. Our time and expertise is valuable, and most clients feel comfortable with the process.
But it's perceived a little different if you're also the cabinet dealer.
Customers tend to be more willing to pay independant designers, than the dealership.
Maybe, because they think we're earning our pay from selling the product.
But since times are a bit slow, what about that customer who doesn't see it that way.
The one that doesn't want to pay anyone for the design.
Do we stand by our grounds, or do we adjust? How flexible should we be? I suppose it depends on how desperate we are?
I personally use the Design Fee as a tool to weed out such "leeches". Most of the time I don't even need to bring up the "design Fee". When I'm meeting with a referral, and my instinct tells me that they will definitely be my client , I merely mention, "when we get to the point of preparing detailed drawings, I'll ask you for a initial deposit".
So getting back to the Shopper. They'll even tell you that they have a design. When you ask to see it, it's nothing more than a pencil sketch. "conceptual design". If they would be satisfied with us just giving them a price, it wouldn't be so bad. But they will insist on us giving them suggestions. Now, isn't that using our expertise?
So my question is;
How do we spread the word to these potential customers?
"We're Professionals". Please treat us that way. You're money will be well spent.
I would like to hear from other Kitchen Design Dealers, as well as customers that are in, or have been the process of shopping for a new kitchen.