Big Box Stores versus Independent Kitchen Designers

Big Box Stores versus Independent Kitchen Designers

Is a Big Box Store Really Less Expensive than an Independent Home Designer?

Recently a business colleague asked us about big box stores versus independent kitchen designers. Which is less expensive: independent kitchen designers like Armstrong Interiors, or big box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot? After all, they said, both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer design services and will come our to our home to measure the spaces for us, if we need it. Below is our take on which option is actually less expensive.

Points to Consider When Comparing Price and Quality of Big Box Stores versus Independent Kitchen Designers

Higher Quality for Less Money

You may be surprised to learn that independent kitchen designers can offer a higher quality product for less money than big box stores. Consumers know that the quality of big box store products can often be poor or mediocre at best. It’s press board versus the real wood materials that independent designers offer.

At the same time, people think the big box stores are automatically less expensive. But this is not always the case. Quite often, the cabinetry offered by the independent kitchen design firm is actually less expensive.

Your Best Interest in Mind

Sales associates at big box stores concentrate on sales first, not design. They may not have the client’s best interests in mind, because they are selling their boss’s product exclusively. So cabinets, countertops, flooring, paint and other materials will all be offered only from what the box store provides. And there is often no room for negotiation: the big store sells its own at a set price.

Whole Project Management

An independent home designer can act as your renovation project’s general contractor. That’s like having your own personal liaison to all the different vendors: cabinet makers, flooring installers, counter top manufacturers, plumbers, electricians… all trades your renovation needs. The independent kitchen designer contacts competing trades people to get the best value for each project in your renovation, whereas the big box store employee does not act as a general contractor and cannot manage the entire project for you. So using an independent design firm saves you a ton of time coordinating all those vendors, and money as well by finding the best fitting sub-contractors for your project.

This is why you sometimes find that ironically, the independent home designer can deliver better quality products and service than the big box stores for less investment on your part.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Kitchen Design Company

    • The independent home designer may also have a diversity of products available as opposed to what the chain store sells.
    • Personal attention will likely be better when hiring an independent designer, because you will likely do business with one main contact person.
    • The continuity of personnel will be better: you can reach your personal designer every day as opposed to whoever is working in the cabinet department at Lowe’s on any particular day.

Are you ready to renovate your kitchen? Call Armstrong Interiors today for the personalized experience, higher quality materials, and the likely better price that you deserve.

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