/ Budget & Planning

What You Need to Know Before Working With Professionals

With all the do-it-yourself hype surrounding home design projects, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement, grab your sledgehammer and tear out the old cabinets-all before your favorite home improvement show cuts to commercial.

But what happens behind the scenes — the meticulous planning that skilled professionals put into these projects — may be more than you bargained for. Consider hiring a professional to do some of the grunt work for you, but first get to know a few basics about designers and contractors:

  • A designer will take the hard work out of planning your kitchen while you have as much creative input as you want. You still get to dream your kitchen dream, but the designer guides you along the way, maintaining your budget, keeping the project to schedule and taking care of logistics.

  • If you're going to hire a contractor, know where to look. Starting with your friends and family's recommendations is one way to find a reliable contractor. You can also check out the Better Business Bureau for a thorough background check on the contractor you're considering.

  • Expect to pay a fee of $50 to $150 per hour or a retainer of $300 to $5,000 per job. Often the designer's payment will be taken off the total cost of the job if you end up buying your new kitchen from him or her.

  • The best way to get to know your professional is seeing his or her work. Remodeled home tours are becoming more and more popular and provide great access to see the fine details of potential professionals.

Continue browing these pages to learn more about what you need to know about hiring professionals for your kitchen project.

More in this category:Finding a Designer »