After many years of helping Staffordshire homeowners redesign their kitchens, I’ve learned something troubling: many head to the big brand home improvement stores first, where their time and money often goes to waste.
I’ve had many clients tell me about their bad experiences with these stores. After being strung along for weeks or even months, frustration prompts them to seek out other options.
In this blog post, I’m revealing the top 3 ways that I’ve seen big brand renovators ruin Staffordshire kitchens, time and time again. With these warnings, I hope that you can avoid the headaches that come from trusting these stores with your kitchen renovation project.
1. Using Cookie-Cutter Solutions
The moment you walk into a home improvement store or browse their website, you’ll probably notice something: there’s a collection of ready to fit kitchens, already designed and pre-packaged. Sure, you may get a few options to tweak here and there, but you’re still confined to only a small number of standardised choices.
Instead of giving you a custom kitchen that really matches your personal style and the way you live, these stores try to sell you a factory-made product. It’s not uncommon for the reps to rush through the entire design process, trying to force quick decisions and simply replacing like for like. There’s minimal effort, no innovation or vision.
This is where a lot of people become dissatisfied. They feel like no option presented is really right for them, and they often have to make a lot of compromises by the time they’ve selected something. If you aren’t totally happy with your new kitchen, what’s the point of spending all that money?
2. Making Design Confusing & Boring
Redesigning your Staffordshire kitchen should be exciting! Your meetings and chats with your renovator should leave you feeling inspired and optimistic, not bored and drained. The cookie-cutter options I mentioned previously definitely cause a lot of the boredom, but there are other fun-killing things the big brand stores are guilty of too.
When they come do in-home consultations, many people complain that the store reps don’t really listen. They aren’t interested in finding out about what you really want, so you feel like you’re wasting your breath. Then they pressure you into signing a contract before they’ve even proposed a kitchen design.
I’ve heard terrible tales of sales reps waiting around homes for as long as 4 hours until the clients finally cave in and sign. Afterward, everything turns into endless paperwork and e-mail tag. This can drag on for many weeks.
The worst is when the work finally begins and the project manager is nowhere to be found. You’re left with contractors tearing up your old kitchen and starting the installation without supervision. There’s no one who can explain what’s being done each day, and you feel like you’re now single-handedly responsible for managing a process you paid someone else to handle.
3. Lacking Skill and Expertise
The employees of these big brand stores can be friendly and put in a good effort. But they’re often lacking the skills and expertise needed to advise you well and deliver high quality.
It’s not uncommon for reps to be unable to give proper advice on materials, layouts, and other design elements. This is how you end up with kitchens that lack efficiency and aesthetic cohesion.
When it comes to the installation stage, a lot of Staffordshire residents complain that the handymen sent over are unskilled. The stores typically hire outside contractors whose experience levels are highly variable. Materials and appliances get installed incorrectly, and sometimes whole parts of the job are left undone. This leads to expensive and time-consuming follow-up repairs. Kitchens that aren’t installed well by expert craftsmen from the very beginning just aren’t poised to stand the test of time.
There’s a Better Way
Every year, many Staffordshire kitchens are renovated without any fuss at all. That’s because their owners decide to skip the big brand stores and head to the experts. Your best bet is going with an independent service provider who’s dedicated to offering you personalised design and a well-managed installation from start to finish.
It was just last week that yet another client told me how they had regretted wasting time at one of the local brand stores. Coming to an independent designer was the only thing that got them back on track and excited about their kitchen again.
If you want a successful remodel, look for Staffordshire kitchen designers and renovators who have a proven track record of delighting their customers with luxurious, fully-custom kitchens. They’ll know that your kitchen isn’t just another product, it’s a part of your life and your home.
– Tony Rose, Lead Designer of Rose Kitchens