Three types of design professionals offer helpful services for anyone planning a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. If you've already got a detailed plan, many design professionals are willing to review existing designs and make suggestions, for an hourly consultation fee.
- An architect can oversee engineering and design, including a building's structural, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and mechanical systems. Most architects charge $50 to $100 per hour; or, if the project is large, an architect may charge a percentage of the project's overall cost.
- An interior designer, or a designer who specializes in kitchens and baths, can't help with engineering details but can help with layout, choice of materials, and the way the room will look and function. Look for certification by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Evidence of certification means the designer has completed and mastered rigorous instruction, including certified training programs in room layout, storage planning, cabinet installation, plumbing, and lighting.
- A designer/builder can both design and build the project. Hiring such a firm or individual can help ensure a smooth transition from dreams to reality. Some designer/builders, however, are short on design skills and long on building expertise, while in other cases, design talent and training don't necessarily come with technical skills.
The scope of your project will help you decide which kind of professional to consult. Jobs such as replacing bathroom fixtures or kitchen cabinets don't require an architect's skills. If your renovation involves remodeling an oddly shaped, cramped, or other geometrically complicated space, however, an architect may be able to advise you better than anyone.