How Do I Find a Designer?

In considering a building addition or remodel, or perhaps a new home, one of the first steps in pursuit of your dream is finding a design team capable of capturing your thoughts and vision.  Surely you have ideas of your wants and needs!  These ideas must be provided to your design team to help in the planning and detailing of your house.

A few suggestions to consider.  Think about the size of the project and carefully interview design professionals most suited for the task.  If you are remodeling your house, speak with design professionals such as interior designers, plan designers, or architects specializing in residential remodels, preferably those who have experience with projects in your geographical area.  Active designers are usually aware of current and forthcoming trends providing refreshed living spaces for years to come.  Also, experienced remodel designers are more likely to anticipate design considerations for integration of new concepts into existing features such as removing or modifying load bearing walls, plumbing accommodations for connecting new plumbing lines into the existing plumbing system, and providing convenient and relevant locations of electrical components in this ever-changing world of electronics.  

Plan designers are often used in smaller scale residential projects, either new custom homes or building additions, requiring building permits from local municipalities.  Local plan designers are generally most familiar with the nuances of plan production necessary for you to obtain your building permit.  They may have relationships with local building contractors capable of constructing your project and offer collaboration while your house is constructed. 

Architects generally exhibit a higher degree of detail in the plan production needed in larger, custom houses.  While expenses for these professional services is often higher, the professional service level requires extensive commitment to large house planning, design, and construction.  The architectural community is generally aligned with multiple professions necessary to manage the electrical, HVAC, plumbing and structural demands of your new project.  Architects and interior designers can assist in selections for interior finishes and detailing your house.

Final thoughts – interview and get references from your design candidates, review their presentations, call their references, and inquire about their vision for the process of your remodel, building addition or new home.  Obtain a written contract, preferably reviewed by an attorney, identifying the scope of work, fees, and time of delivery for services.  Managing these business matters prior to starting your project can pay off in the long term.  

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