Bottom lines can often be misleading! When comparing design estimates, it is absolutely essential that you compare apples to apples. A simple price comparison may not give you a clear picture of relative value. For example … If one design incorporates more sophisticated products, appliances or craftsmanship, then it would be very difficult to compare your investment dollar for dollar with another design that does not assume the same variables.
Make certain that the quality of cabinetry, appliances, flooring, countertops, etc. are consistent from proposal to proposal before you consider any designer's bottom line.
Interview two or three design professionals! It's very important that your personality mesh well with the designer who's going to develop your vision. Make sure he/she is willing to listen to you and incorporate your ideas in the design process. Remember, it's your vision that matters, and it's your budget that's at stake!
Make a wish list Collect photos, notes and ideas to share with your designer. Examine the
products provided by each of the firms you are interviewing. Make a wish list, and prioritize those wishes as “must have” and “would like.” Ultimately, a true professional will neither over-design nor under-price your project in order to secure your business. They will discuss each element that affects the cost and allow you to make fully informed decisions.