Why Should I Pay For Kitchen Design?

June 19, 2018

You’ve finally had enough of your outdated, storage deficient, prep space void, and dare I say it… “UGLY” Northern Virginia Kitchen.



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.

Before pics by Lensis Builders……..YIKES…..


Maybe you’ve started surfing the internet for ideas – Houzz, Pinterest, etc. There are SO MANY beautiful options! So where do you even start? That’s easy. You contact me. I’m a Kitchen & Bath Designer working for one of Northern Virginia’s premiere Design/Build firms, Lensis Builders Inc.! (Hey, it’s my blog post, I can advertise).

 Your best bet is to find a Design/Build Firm in the NoVa area who has a lot of experience with Kitchens – whether it’s working with the existing space in your home, knocking down walls to enlarge the existing Kitchen area, or doing an addition to your home to rethink AND enlarge the space for your new Kitchen. Your best bet is a Class A Builder with credentials from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) to design and construct your Kitchen for WOW results.


white kit four

Manassas Kitchen After Pic

                                         Image via Greg Hadley Photography


Occoquan Kitchen After Pic

 Image via Greg Hadley Photography


Do You Really Need A Kitchen Designer?

The first step is figuring out the best design and layout for your new Kitchen. There are SO many variables that go into this process – and a good Kitchen Designer will ask you A LOT of questions at your first initial in-home consultation. I also give my potential clients “homework” to fill out and send me (it’s not hard, I promise). This homework is essentially a “How Do I Use My Kitchen” NKBA survey that addresses several issues, to include: How tall is the primary cook? Is the person who does the clean-up left handed or right handed? How often do you entertain and for how many people? Do you do a lot of baking? Any specific small appliances (bread maker, blender, KitchenAid mixer) you’d like easy access/stow away storage for?

Great Kitchen design isn’t about slapping cabinets up on the wall in a computer program. It’s about considering things like plumbing location, proper lighting, windows and doors, wall removal, functional prep spaces, more than adequate countertop space, proper distances between work areas, and of course an aesthetically pleasing layout.

A well designed Kitchen starts with a CAD drawing – to include an existing conditions plan, proposed layout, elevations, and perspective views.



Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


Image via Lensis Builders, Inc.


You wouldn’t let a mechanic at a speedy oil change joint replace your transmission. Probably wouldn’t want your Family Doctor removing your appendix either. You’d go to a specialist who knows their field, has years of experience and excellent reviews.

Many Design/Build Firms who offer Kitchen and Bath design and construction have NKBA accredited Designers on staff. These professionals are best equipped to make sure you have a beautiful, functional, safe and comfortable Kitchen that works for your family and lifestyle.



                                    Vienna Kitchen After Pic                                              

Image via Greg Hadley Photography


white kit five

Nokesville Kitchen After Pic

Image via Greg Hadley Photography


How much does the design cost?

The short answer is, it depends. Every firm is different, so I can only comment on how Lensis Builders does it. For all of our Design/Build projects, we present an “opinion of probable cost” prior to starting ANY design work. This is an anticipated cost range for the project based on many factors – the size, the expected finish materials, other similar scope projects in the past, information gleaned from our first in-home consultation, etc. Once we’ve given our Home Owners this projected cost range, we ask for a design fee/retainer of 3% of the high end of the range. For example, a Kitchen with a projected cost range of $65K to $75K would have a $2,250.00 design fee. Again – all Design/Build firms are different; however, Lensis Builders credits this upfront cost to the cost of our construction. You’ll actually see it come right off the top when we present a construction proposal. Because let’s face it, no one can do a completely accurate and detailed construction proposal without a design you love and materials you’ve selected in place – both with the help of a trained Designer.

Remodeling Magazine puts out a “Cost Vs. Value” report every year which lists the average cost of various remodeling projects in different areas in the US. The 2018 report shows the average midscale to upscale Kitchen remodel in the Washington DC is between $64,514.00 and $128,117.00. This is a large investment in your home. Make sure yours is well thought out. A Kitchen Designer provides you with attention to detail, all the right storage components, properly sized seating areas, safe landing areas, appliances in the perfect place, plenty of prep space, lots of exciting ideas for the perfect layout, and of course assistance with tying all the finish materials together for a GORGEOUS new Kitchen you’ll love.

Ready to get started? Call or email me to schedule your in-home consultation, or schedule a time to come by our beautiful showroom in Manassas to start looking at cabinets, countertops, tile, faucets, and much more!


Stacy Lensis, AKBD

Lensis Builders, Inc.

703-367-8999 showroom/office

703-856-5963 mobile




If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page. 

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