09 | 19 | 2013
An alarming trend!
Have you visited a locally owned and operated kitchen design showroom in the southeastern Massachusetts area?
If so, you were probably greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable kitchen designer. Most certainly the designer would go over all of your kitchen cabinet and countertop choices while explaining the pros and cons of each. They would also have taken precise measurements of your space. With that information they would design and price your kitchen or bath remodeling project. That kitchen designer would be your go to person from the design and quote phase all the way through the construction phase.
There’s a new trend brewing in the big box kitchen departments and it is already showing up in Massachusetts. For many years the big box home improvement companies trained and staffed each location with kitchen designers, much like local showrooms do here in MA. Some of these designers were full time and some were part time. However, it seems the big box stores are facing turn over in the design staff and it has prompted them to make a cost saving decision.
Instead of training new design staff at each location they are hiring designers at their corporate offices to handle kitchen designs for all of their locations. This central design center allows them to place traditional sales staff at their retail outlets more easily. This sales staff is trained in how to sell cabinetry but not how to design kitchen layouts. The advantage to the homeowner is that there will most likely be a designer with more experience working on the design. The disadvantage is that the designer is not local and will never see the actual space being remodeled.
Another disadvantage is that the homeowner is relying upon the sales person at the local store to relay all of the pertinent information to the designer. This can lead to some misinterpretation that could show itself during the construction phase. It’s just like verbally sending a message around a classroom, the message will change more the further down the room it travels.
Is this a bad model? Not really, however, it does require a greater awareness from the consumer so they can be sure the message being conveyed is heard correctly by all people involved.
How do you know if the person you meet at the kitchen department will be designing your kitchen themselves? Just ask!!
Also, be sure that any designer you decide to work with visits your home to take measurements themselves to be sure the design being offered will fit the space available!
09 | 13 | 2013
How far is too far?
We are often asked how far we will travel for kitchen and bath remodels. As you may know, we have our main showroom in Middleboro MA and a Contractor Showroom in New Bedford MA. Our service area however, is much greater.
Based on our locations it is common for us to work in the surrounding towns like Lakeville, Carver, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Acushnet, Berkley, Westport, Mattapoisett and Marion.
However, our Kitchen Designers have traveled from Eastham MA, up to Boston MA, over to Franklin MA, down to Newport & Tiverton RI. So to say we service Eastern MA & Rhode Island would sum it up pretty well.
With that being said, we are happy to offer free in-home design consultations just about anywhere providing that you are prepared to visit our showroom at least once during the process. This is an important step because you would benefit greatly from seeing the displays and samples of exact the cabinet style and countertop you may be purchasing. This is almost always the deciding factor in how far we will travel.
Of course, you can do some in-home shopping by visiting our kitchen planner page and you can also schedule a free design appointment by visiting the contact page any time day or night!
09 | 10 | 2013
Tips on starting your kitchen remodel
So you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel? This is a project that most people will only do once in a lifetime. Here’s some information that will hopefully make your showroom selection a success.
First, decide on the scope of the work to be done, as well as the budget you have to work with. Since this may be your first remodel or you haven’t done one in decades, these decisions could be overwhelming. In our market, to remodel an average-size kitchen with stock cabinetry and granite will cost up to $10,000. A semi-custom kitchen could range between $10,000- $20,000. Pricing for a custom kitchen with many deluxe features typically starts at $20,000.
Next, visit a kitchen showroom and meet with a designer to develop initial plans and determine pricing. This process will give you a sense of what you can do with your space. From there, you should seek out two more showrooms to compare pricing. It is important to stick closely to the original showroom’s design and cabinet specifications. This will ensure that you have a true price comparison because not all cabinets are created equal. There will be time to modify the designs and options once you select the designer you want to move forward with.
From the initial pricing process you should have a good idea which designer you felt most comfortable with. Was he or she knowledgeable? Did he answer your questions? Was she open with information and details? If they were not transparent or easy to work with during the pricing phase how will they be during the construction process?
In the end, your decision should be based on your connection with the designer, the products offered, the design options and, of course, pricing.