Trust me on this: working with an experienced interior designer to plan your remodeling project is well worth the investment. It will save you time, money and frustration. Why? Because you don’t know what you don’t know, despite the years you’ve devoted to home improvement television (we love it too!). Interior designers have planning tools and technology that you don’t. They’ve devoted their lives to following trends, keeping up to date on materials, and memorizing building codes. Not to mention, most good interior designers have more than a few completed remodels under their belts giving them a vast knowledge base and valuable lessons learned. Here are some things that will help you get the most of working with an interior designer when planning your remodeling project:
Know your designer’s qualifications. If you’re ordering cabinetry and more through a national chain or cabinet showroom, there likely will be “designers” on staff who can help you plan. Keep in mind that some are designers by title only. Actual interior designers have a degree in interior design. Designers not affiliated with a particular store or brand can sometimes be more objective about materials than those who work for a retail location that represents specific brands.
At Red House Remodeling, we have in-house design, saving you the trouble of finding your own designer. We charge a planning agreement fee that is based upon the estimated cost of the remodeling job. The fee is deducted from the cost of the project when the homeowner proceeds with the project.
Know what you want to change. Perhaps your kitchen or bath is arranged just fine, but the finishes are long past their prime. Or maybe you want to rearrange the layout so the space functions better. Be prepared to share with the designer what you like and what you hope to change about your space.
Know what you like and dislike. Your initial meeting with the designer will go more smoothly if you have a general idea of looks you like and don’t like. For example, if you absolutely positively don’t want white cabinets, share that information. There’s an abundance of web sites, magazines and decorating books that you can browse. Save your faves, and those you really dislike, and show them to your designer. It’s true that a picture is worth 1,000 words.
Be open. A good designer will eliminate materials that won’t work for you no matter how much you love them. Conversely, he or she may introduce you to options you’ve never considered. And he or she will keep you from sacrificing function for beauty, which is a waste of your remodeling budget. Be open to suggestions – after all, expertise is why you are using a designer.
Know your budget. Seriously. You have some idea of what you can spend and by sharing that information, you’re helping your designer focus your design. If he/she designs a project you can’t afford, you’ll be unhappy. A good designer has the experience and the know-how to stretch your dollars as far as they’ll possibly go. Of course, you can also make small changes yourself to keep things affordable. A few new scatter cushions on your sofa or a new rug in your bedroom can go a long way, and you can find plenty of home decor items somewhere like Home Depot. A Home Depot promo code will help you to save even more, so it’s just a matter of choosing a few small items that will have a big impact.
Agree on a timeframe. Even the best designers won’t present you with what is your final design on the first try. Typically you’ll see and provide feedback on the overall design a couple of times. Once the overall design is agreed upon you will work together on nailing down the details. At Red House Remodeling, you’ll sign off on the final design and all selections before any work begins. Lots of up front planning leads to a successful remodel!
To learn more about the remodeling process, register for one of our free remodeling seminars.