Kitchen Remodel: contractor or architect or ??

So we just made our first home purchase and our current kitchen is super cramped and small. We want to open the space up by tearing down some walls but because there are multiple walls involved, I want to make sure we do not damage the structural integrity of the home. I wanted to know what people recommend!

Could we go directly to a contractor who is familiar with kitchen remodeling? I feel like an engineer would need to be consulted so my gut is telling me to hire an architect. However architects are expensive... I am at a total loss! Please help!!!


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Hi a reputable contractor will tell you if you need a designer )doesn’t have to be an architect) or an engineer.

You don't necessarily need to hire an architect. Any decent Contractor should be able to determine which walls (if any) are load-bearing and will need structural engineering. If you go with a bigger outfit for the contractor they might already have engineers they work with for situations like that.

I recommend talking to my kitchen designer, Lisa Cannelora of Cucina di Cannelora. She'll know what you need and be able to provide plans to use with a contractor. Look at her website: She did an amazing job in my weird kitchen.

Please use an architect!!  We used a "design-build" contractor to add our second story, then 12 years later used an architect (plus contractor, of course) to remodel our kitchen and a portion of our downstairs.  While we have been generally happy with our upstairs, using an architect downstairs highlighted for me just how much better our upstairs could have been had we had an architect who is trained to design, not just to build.  Although contractors are, as you say, "familiar" with kitchen remodeling, what architects excel at is use of space, and the money you will spend on that is both a very small fraction of the overall price, and well worth the priceless result.  Our architect spent hours with us on maximizing use of space and did several plan revisions to efficiently use every inch of our Rockridge bungalow.  Remember, you're not going to want to go back and do it again (as I now wish I could with our upstairs).  Feel free to contact me offline if you'd like our architect's info - we are beyond thrilled with the result.