You Are Ready To Renovate.

Who Should You Hire First? Contractor Or Designer?

Which comes first? We hear these questions a lot but often too late. Renovating can be a confusing process. Homeowners are often confused as to where to start. When homeowners are ready to begin a project, they often start with hiring contractors to physically implement the project, then schedule this contractor to begin work. You might tell them that you want a new kitchen or a new bathroom, expecting that your contractor can guide you from there, but you soon realize that a vital step in the process has been skipped, the design. Your contractors are now looking at you for detailed information on what exactly you want them to build. The design is the overall plan and specific details of the project.

You Are Ready To Renovate. Who Should You Hire First? Contractor Or Designer? Which comes first?

To avoid confusion.

All of the specific design decisions and material selections must be made before the project even begins.

Many homeowners call us after breaking ground on a project, or with a start date already scheduled, they are distressed because they realize that they need a design fast because they skipped this very crucial step in the process.

Unfortunately, as a busy design and build firm we can’t always accommodate the scheduling needs of a project like this. If we can assist, we can certainly help to steer them in the right direction, but often it is too late as many important design decisions have been made, often by default.

These clients often miss out on some of the biggest benefits of hiring an interior designer, the designer’s resources, vendor connections, their team of highly skilled contractors, and the ability to have a detailed interior design plan prepared before construction begins. Making changes in the planning stage is much easier and less expensive than changes during construction.

Watch this great video of a design walk-through with Gia.

Always hire the designer first.

Always hire the designer first.

The truth is, someone has to design this space, it will either be an experienced designer, you spending endless hours googling your way through a minefield of information that usually leads to expensive errors and design flaws, or a multitude of contractors that are not necessarily skilled at design giving random advice just to keep the project moving. Let your contractors do what they do best and leave the designing to the experts.

Hire a designer in the very beginning so you reap the full benefits of their experience and expertise.

Work with your designer until you have a fully developed plan. This will take some time. It is the designer job to discuss with you the design options that are best for your lifestyle, tastes, needs, and goals for your project.

Your designer will then come up with a complete plan for your space.

This will help you visualize the project in its entirety, develop a project quote, make any revisions if needed. Now that you know what you are building, and this will also save an enormous amount of time as all of this preparation has been done before the start of construction. Once construction does start, there should be minimal reasons to pause for decisions or due to incomplete details.

When you hire a designer first, you also now have access to a team of handpicked contractors that will work as a team with the designer’s oversight to be sure every detail is implemented to the design specifications.

Even if you still would like to attempt managing the build of your project on your own, contractors should only be hired once you have a fully developed design plan. This will always save you time, money, and confusion.

So when you know you are ready to renovate, your first phone call should be to a designer who is skilled in your type of project. Your designer will guide you through the process from there.

Until next time,


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