Design Adds Value...Read Between the Lines
This is a comment I posted on a LinkedIn forum:
I hate to pound the drum, but I’ve been saying this my whole life: DESIGN is what makes this (the kitchen) business run.
It is a service without which money, time and other resources are wasted. I don’t know how anyone can contemplate executing a kitchen without the help of a designer.
But they do.
Until people make an effort to understand the difference between price and value, we’re going to see some version of this conversation.
We’re going to keep hearing about the infamous “work triangle” which is the worst fraud ever to be perpetrated in the name of design principles.
On the other hand, the retail markup on cabinetry may be the next sacred cow to die.
If you’re taking your “design fee” out of “markup”, you’ve left yourself without recourse.
Charge for design. Take less markup. Educate the client as to where the value is created in the process…it’s in DESIGN.
This was originally intended for people “in the industry”, but I thought it might help for everyone to see.
Money spent on design fees can be the best money you ever spend. It prevents mistakes, it saves money, it allows a client to “get the details sorted out” on paper, before things are built incorrectly and then have to be altered or torn out and re-worked.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve had clients spend as little as $75 on a consultation (granted, that was in the 80′s) but the point is that many people don’t even know what questions to ask much less where to begin to execute a project.
Pay for design services. Once you have a fully developed design, you can ask as many people as you want to price the execution.
Design levels the playing field in favor of the client.
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To me, these are like concept cars at an automobile show…some interesting ideas, but nothing that jumps out as really innovative in the realm of function. Mostly designed by people who have another agenda – appliances, for instance. Or some sort of “Transformers, the Muddling of Kitchen Design” approach. Also, if we’re going to innovate, we want LOW TECH solutions – there’s no reason to introduce electronics, for instance, unless there is a FUNCTIONAL reason to do so…
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The reason I’m putting this “industry insider” comment here in a more public venue is that it has ramifications for the consumer: the issue is, I believe, a properly executed design. Unless the manufacturer has a competent design staff as well as contractors and installers to execute the design, the consumer isn’t going to get the result to which they should be entitled.
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