Hiring a designer or architect may seem like a pricey move when working within a budget, especially for smaller projects like a one-room remodel. But having a professional during the planning stages is not only money well spent; it can save you from paying more down the road. So if you are thinking about starting a project without design services, here we give you four good reasons to think again:
Hiring a designer can help you make decisions that will increase the value of your home and avoid costly mistakes. A professional brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the table, making sure all aspects of your home improvement project have been considered. He or she will be able to evaluate your lifestyle needs and develop a design that addresses your desires as well as any structural and code requirements. Having a clear path will help the overall job go as smoothly as possible.
If you already know what you want and have a work plan in place, you may feel that design services are unnecessary. But, do you know how your vision is going to impact the structure or the flow of your current home? Or what about options for new materials or technologies that might be cheaper, better, or more appropriate than what you are familiar with? Figuring those things out takes A LOT of time. A skilled professional will be able to guide you through all the options, advising you on how to get the best value out of a tight budget.
Most remodeling jobs require a building permit. To obtain one, you need to submit plans to the zoning administrator. And if you are applying for a loan to underwrite a significant renovation, your bank may also want to see professionally prepared blueprints.
Some small projects don’t require construction plans for permitting, but we strongly advise that you hire a professional to create one regardless. Even when you have the complete design mapped in your head, communicating that vision to contractors is not as easy as you may think. A common complaint from homeowners when seeking to hire a contractor is that the estimated costs widely differ from one another, which leaves them as confused as concerned. Having a set of plans that clearly state the scope of work will give you, in return, accurate estimates. Once you select your crew, you can rest assured that plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and every other subcontractor will be on the same page when they begin work.
A trained eye working through your design can also spot problems you may have overlooked. Correcting those before construction starts is always cheaper. A well-developed design translates into fewer change orders (and headaches) during the course of the job.
Residential designers are trained to see the overall spatial picture that homeowners often cannot. They can translate your needs into functional spaces while making them beautiful. Good designers are three-dimensional thinkers that find unique opportunities missed in two-dimensional drawings. They also have a working knowledge of ergonomics, something that seems intangible at the beginning of the project but will affect how you and your family interact with the space on a daily basis.
Design work, or the lack of it, always shows. Small mistakes that often occur in the absence of a good designer – doors that open into other doors; windows that look good from the inside but out of proportion from the outside; a Pinterest idea that seems out of place when adapted to your home – will haunt you for years to come, as well as affecting the resale value of your house.
Successful spaces are the result of proper planning and a combination of functionality and aesthetics, where each material, texture, and color were selected for a reason. We all appreciate a home with quality finishes, nice furniture, and interesting details. But architectural design is not only about a good looking space; it actually impacts the safety, health, and well-being of everyone within. In the long term, the way a space makes you feel starts reflecting in your mood, your outlook on life, and the interactions you have with the ones that surround you.
A functional environment based on your lifestyle will streamline your daily routine, giving you more time to do what you enjoy. Having a home that is neat and well organized not only makes it more comfortable and inviting; it also reduces anxiety and stress. The way you interact with light, both natural and artificial, influences the production of mood-enhancing hormones like serotonin. The composition of the materials you bring into your home affects air quality and pretty much everything it comes in contact with.
You get the idea: design goes way beyond beauty. It promotes a healthy environment for you and your loved ones. It encourages togetherness, but it also offers individual spaces for each member of the family to unwind and recharge.
A good designer comes to every assignment with a body of training, experience, and, perhaps most importantly, an open mind and a fresh eye. While hiring one won’t guarantee the end result, the odds are higher that you’ll end up with a living space that exceeds your expectations. Skipping this vital planning step to save some money can cost you big in the long run. Remember that the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
The rate for our design services is $95 per hour. Concepts, drawings, and finalized plans developed for you are yours to keep, and you can use them to shop around. Please note – our estimates are free, but the design work must be paid for, even if you choose not to move forward with the project.