Week 3: Who Should I Talk To First - A Designer Or A Contractor? (Kitchen Remodel Know-How)

Week 3: Who Should I Talk To First - A Designer Or A Contractor? (Kitchen Remodel Know-How)

We're continuing our countdown of The Most Commonly Asked Questions When Redesigning a Kitchen. It’s a double whammy this week answering both Questions 8 and 7.

Question 8: Who Should I Talk To First—A Designer Or A Contractor?

You’ll hear a lot of nightmare stories about general contractors. We love the ones we work with, who refer us again and again, and think we’ve come to understand them. Contractors know how tough remodels can be. They know they can’t give you an accurate quote until they see exactly what you plan to do. That means you must have construction drawings (floor plans, elevations, details, and notes) showing what is being taken out and what is being added. So, call your designer first so that she can create the construction drawings your contractor needs.

By the way, if you want to get an inflated estimate, call your contractor while you’re still brainstorming the design. Then, he’ll have to add everything you might do to his estimate to make sure both you and he are covered in the end!

Question 7: Do I Need A Building Permit?

Some contractors and homeowners are comfortable working without a permit even when one is legally required. However, we’re against it. A kitchen remodel is a major undertaking, and the cost of a building permit is usually a tiny component of the total budget. The building code is focused on serious stuff – fire safety and structural integrity. Why take a chance?

Want to know the key questions you should be asking a contractor and how to get the most reliable quote? Need help choosing a contractor? Call 925-285-0815 or email jackie@venueathome.com now to schedule a 30-minute phone consultation. Yours FREE when you mention this blog post.

Next week we’ll answer Kitchen Design Question 6: How Much Of My Time Is This Project Going To Absorb?


Jackie Lopey embraced her creativity and passion over 10 years ago when she left her corporate job in San Francisco to become an interior designer. Since then she has worked with over a hundred satisfied clients transforming hundreds of rooms, and Jackie’s reputation now precedes her as one of the top Certified Interior Designers in the East Bay.

She has a keen eye for detail and uniquely intuits her clients wants and needs. If you want a home that is breathtaking and deeply personal, Jackie Lopey and her team at Venue are the experts you need to talk to.

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