Kitchen designers generally offer three levels of service, depending on the amount of help you need:
Basic kitchen layout.
Retailers such as lumberyards and home centers often offer computer-generated images of your new kitchen for free. You are responsible for providing accurate measurements, as well as for installation of cabinets, appliances, and countertops. You probably will not get much help with customization or problem-solving.
Kitchen design strategies.
Many retailers have designers who can discuss your remodeling needs and offer suggestions. The designer will visit your home to take measurements and will draw up a floor plan. The designer may or may not handle installation.
At the highest level of service, a designer oversees a project from start to finish. The designer will analyze your space and create working drawings. Once the plans are finalized, the designer orders products and monitors the work. This level is more typical of kitchen dealers, design firms and remodelers.