How important is a designer?

When you have a designer from the beginning, they can and will help to create a REALISTIC budget for a project. Many times in my ”designer” past I have been brought in when the homeowner and the contractor were frustrated with each other, because there was only $1,000.00 left in an allowance that should have been ten times that amount. The job is at a standstill because details were not discussed until the contractor needed them. It’s not really the fault of the contractor; it’s just reality.

I also have to say that having every line item chosen at the drawing phase is a difficult task. The trick is to be a couple steps ahead of the timeline. Weekly meetings with the homeowner are helpful to keeping the project and budget on track. Find out what the next phase requires. Some materials need lead time. Many tile lines need 4 weeks or more to be ordered and shipped. Always leave a little extra time for problems.

In my 12 years in this business I have yet to be on a job that didn’t evolve a bit from the original drawings. We cannot see into the future or know about that termite damage under the floors or the mistake the builder made 50 years ago that has been hidden until the demolition phase. We have to remain open to a bit of wiggle room and a lot of patience and understanding throughout the entire process.

SO before you renovate have these 4 things in place…

  • Architect (if needed)
  • Designer + Contractor (preferably one person who wears both hats)
  • Therapist (I counsel couples frequently during a project)