Online K&B plan consult?

terrinmOctober 6, 2012

Is this even possible? Has anyone used an online consultant?

I live in a smallish town and we don't have big (or even small) design firms. I could drive 3 hours to Albuquerque but between building the shop and apartment, doing a gut reno and owning a small business we just don't have the time.

My contractor is fabulous and has lots of great ideas but I don't want to miss out on any new concepts and ideas. I do have a long list started of ideas from you all and Houzz but it sure would be helpful to see it on a plan with all the items drawn in and maybe a 3D view.


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I think some cabinet makers might give some rudimentary design help online or over the phone, but I don't know of any online full-service KDs!

Most of us are not professionals (there are some, btw), but you can give us a try at designing your kitchen (more on bathrooms in a minute). We work with people here to help them get a design that works for them and their family.

Once you have a good design, you can take it to a KD to tweak and order cabinets...maybe only one or two trips instead of 5, 6, 7, or more! If you're going with IKEA or Home Depot or Lowes or your Contractor handles the cabinet order, you will still have the design worked out and things like manufacturer-specific options, possible filler, etc. can be decided with that plan in hand.

How does your Contractor usually handle kitchen design?

I recommend reading the "Read Me" thread (linked below) and then asking for layout help here (see the "Layout Help" topic in that thread).

Bathrooms....we also have a Bathroom Forum. I don't know how active or how much design help they give, but I recommend giving them a try as well. Here's the URL for it:

Here is a link that might be useful: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:38PM
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As Buehl noted lots of folks manage with help here. Where I see occadsional problems in detailing. For many kitchens that is not an issue, hard to say if it is for yours.

I've seen one desinger who does consults in this region but her work to within range of Long Island.

You may find a dealer who is regional who has provision to work remotely. I use with all of my clients. It works really well with those who are relocating here or out of the region. Should be the kind of thing that solves your problem. I've run into a few others who do the same. I require at least one visit to my studio and then do quite a bit of traveling myself.

Call around and ask and you may find one. OR suggest it- has worked really well for me while starting a business mid recession, most clients love it.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 2:14PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I've done it in the past, but as I'm retired now, I don't need to take on that type of headache. It takes a lot of accuracy on your end, and trust on the KD's end that the installer, A) can measure correctly, B) understands the intricacies of measuring for cabinets and C) can actually do a good quality cabinet install involving out of whack floors, walls, and ceiling, as well as crown moldings etc.

There's a local member of my NKBA chapter who posts here sometimes (GreenDesigns) that still takes on some projects like that, but you'd better be sure of exactly what you want out of such a relationship. Do you want a functional critique of your ideas? A critique of the planned finishes and how they integrate into the rest of the home? Suggestions for design elements and finishes? A critique of another designer's kitchen layout, or the finishes involved in their layout? A kitchen layout that may or may not be possible in some cabinet lines due to their limitations? An actual kitchen design using a cabinet line that would be really buildable within that line? A design with major custom work that can only be instituted by a fully custom line or maker? What do you expect? And, yeah, are your expectations in line with market rates for designers for the services that you want?

You can get a lot of valuable input for free from this forum if you are willing to do the legwork of proper measuring and a bit of thinking outside the box when suggestions are thrown your way. Of course, if you want more personal attention, then do some calling around if you don't have anyone local.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Thank you everyone for the input. I haven't talked alot to our contractor about this yet because we are building the shop first (priorities!) and he and DH are working closely to get that completed. So alot of this info is coming second hand from DH (not usually a good source! hehe)

The cabinet guy is a local custom shop. DH is telling me he isn't a KP. I guess I was trying to get a head start on this while they are busy finishing the shop. Contractor usually builds high-end homes so I have no doubt he can do it or knows who can. I think I let the voices in my head got to me this morning!!

buehl, yep I've been reading the bathroom board too. In fact most of every evening is spent on this site reading various boards :) Altho I will admit I have passed over the thread you posted, so that is on tonights agenda.

hollysprings, I totally understand the hesitation of doing this online because of the accuracy involved. Doesn't take much to throw everything off. I guess I'm looking for a more basic mock up and then our contractor can take that and do accurate measurements and go with it.

And once we settle on the perimeter I will definitely be posting it to ask for input. I've seen such amazing ideas and advice here, so great to see so many people willing to help and share.

Thank you all for the advice and giving my brain logical things to think about instead of the circles it was running in last night and this morning! I think it's time to corner DH and our contractor and ask him these things! Hopefully floor plans to follow soon

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:51PM
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I might be wrong but doesn't live-wire-oak do "remote designs"?

He or she is in TN, I think, and GreenDesigns is also in TN (Memphis).

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:13AM
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try these websites...Cliq studios.... and Barkercabinets.....Cliq has start to finish free design service apparently, and Barker has downloadable software. Someone on the forum just showed a new Cliq kitchen-it was quite nice[darn-can't remember the poster].

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 7:29AM
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If your guy gets you to layout and all you need is 3D, and I'm not crazy plan and elevations (prefer pdf or cad) and I'll do. Couple of renderings NC
NOTE this is not a blanket offer- can't get in the habit of this and will not be responsible for layout or details.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 9:48AM
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As Eleena says, I've done that in the past, but I'm starting a new job with a new company, and I'm not sure how they'll feel about that. The best suggestion so far is to post what you have now, and let everyone help you to evolve it. I've never seen a home built by an architect or builder that had a really functional kitchen in it, so the time to think about the kitchen is before you finalize the blueprints for the build.

Only a side tangent, but relevant to the discussion..

Jakuvall, can you tell me more about the Basecamp software that you use? Does it act like a mailing list? Or a remote file host accessible by the project members? Has it cut down on communication errors? How do YOU use it to help your business, and would you consider that it's paid for itself in savings by helping to eliminate miscommunications between trades and customers?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 11:32AM
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LWO- basecamp-
To begin with keeps all communication in one place, easy to check as topics can be threaded. But still convenient as send each as email which can be replied to directly.
Can post pics and links to uploaded files and or other web sites
Files and pictures don't go by email though have to login for that.
Contractors, architects etc don't typically have a lot to do with it till job is sold, but I make it available. Where it shines is keeping final drawings, spec, appliance cuts etc readily accessible.
Also since renderings look better on computer allows clients to see them at their best AT home.
When I started out on my own I subscribed at the s.e time as getting a phone and a software liscense. Had used it for several years elesewhere. I've done several jobs that were between 2 and 5 hrs away.
I think it is worth it just for the clients that like it (some don't) all else is just gravy.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:07PM
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jakuvall thank you so much for the offer! Hopefully we've decided on the basic perimeter layout and how much we are adding on and I'll have drawings with measurements on it this week. Both master baths will be new addition and I'm working on getting mine uploaded to the bathroom forum. Can't wait to get far enough along to get great input from everyone!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:27PM
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I see you are in New Mexico, so you might find this useful. I used the Santa Fe Home Depot because it offered custom cabinetry that was reasonably priced. We had the bases made at 36.5 inches. Made in Albuquerque by "Visions in Wood" and extremely nice. Santa Fe is the only HD that offers a local product, apparently.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 6:37PM
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This is a really late reply, but I found it interesting to discuss.
I found this company online while looking for an online service.
has anyone heard of this?
They say they work with Houzz, which is a tool I love... I am tempted to give it try.
if anyone knows, please let me know.


Here is a link that might be useful: online kitchen design

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 11:41PM
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