Hire a Great Designer When Remodeling

A professional kitchen and bathroom designer can help your home look stunning.

Designer Ginger Lamm, with Macktown Construction Group, 9957 N. Alpine Road, in Machesney Park, Ill. likes to help clients by pulling “palettes” of samples, each showing an arrangement of matching floor samples, cabinets, counters and tiles. The palettes offer a birds-eye view of the new kitchen or bathroom. This conversation might cover textures, color schemes and what makes a good match.

“It’s a lot of asking questions, and then I have to stop talking and let the client do most of the talking,” says Lamm. “It’s almost like you’re a psychologist or therapist. You have to draw out what they’re actually saying and read their body language when you set something out. They may not be able to verbalize it, but you can see it in their body language. Oh, you’re not feeling that, are you? And then we do the process of elimination.”

Once everyone has agreed upon the materials, it’s time to place the order. Lamm says it’s wise to order all materials upfront, because doing so helps to avoid problems down the road.

The designer-contractor relationship is only one approach to home remodeling. Some companies bring designers and contractors together under one roof, in what’s called a design-build firm.
Macktown Construction Group operates this way, so it can offer clients a smooth process and clear expectations, upfront, when it comes to budgeting and planning.

In fact, Lamm has such a tight control on information that she offers a real-time picture of what the job will cost, as they’re selecting materials. When clients sign their final contract for construction, they’re agreeing to the exact cost of the project, not a ballpark estimation as some contractors provide.

“We can give you a line-item cost for every single piece of material, every bit of labor we do, including job setup and cleanup, even a professional cleaning service at the end,” Lamm says. “It’s all there and the client can see it. They can even see our overhead and our markup.”