A new kitchen design can make your home more functional overall and can even make it seem homier and more inviting. A new kitchen can also make the space seem cleaner and a better place for food prep. If you're ready to have a new kitchen designed for your home, note a few questions to ask your contractor so you know what you're getting.

1. How much will it increase the home's resale value?

This question can be asked of a contractor or a real estate agent, or even both. Note that not all kitchen designs will actually increase a home's resale value, if you choose features that are too personal. For example, you might think that having two stoves makes your kitchen more functional for big family dinners, but potential homebuyers might see it as being very awkward. If you want your new kitchen design to actually increase the home's resale value, be sure you discuss this with a contractor first.

2. Ask if you can provide your own appliances and other materials

You may be able to save money on your new kitchen design by providing your own appliances, flooring, light fixtures, and so on. However, don't assume that you can do this and still have the design you want; the appliances may not fit into the footprint of your kitchen with the cupboards you want, or the flooring you choose may not work well for damaged or sloped floors. A contractor or designer may also point out that you're choosing too many dark surfaces or too much of the same color overall. Ask what you can provide on your own but listen to their recommendations as well.

3. Always ask about the energy efficiency of your choices

You want to be concerned about the energy efficiency of your choices as you need to live with them for many years and will want to consider their long-term cost, not just the cost of installation. Note the electrical usage of new appliances and if you should see an increase or decrease in your electric bill. Ask if the flooring, exhaust hood, and other options in the kitchen will help to keep it insulated and cool so you don't need to run the air conditioning while you're cooking. If your new kitchen design means new windows, be sure they're double-glazed or otherwise work to keep the kitchen cool as well. These simple energy-efficient choices will mean saving money from your new kitchen design.