Home Design 101

September 14, 2016

It’s daunting, at best, to decide whether you’re ready for home renovations. Or perhaps you’re really weighing your options, and wondering if it’s worth it. Maybe find a new house with all your requirements. The decisions are endless, but just not that hole in your pocket?

So where to start?

It is to your advantage to build a team to support your decision. Some folks find contractors or builders that their friends use, or maybe a family member saw an ad for a house designer in the local paper. Both are great sources to start. Any reputable house designer, builder or contractor should be ready and willing to meet and discuss your project, potentially or otherwise with you. Don’t hesitate to interview candidates for both positions of designer and builder. Seeking counsel in this instance should be done without compensation.

The key thing is team work, and trust. Both of these elements are required for a successful project – don’t settle for anything less. Some builders actually do designing, likewise some designers project manage. Both are options – however we feel that more heads are better than one – let each utilize their area of expertise and build on one another’s knowledge. Both should be willing to look out for you, the client, and at the same time be willing to work with one another with a clear end goal in mind…..your happiness!

The one piece of advice we can give – make sure you check out their track record. What experience they have, have they worked on projects similar to yours? You’re the client. Make your questions count, and be prepared.

What else is required?

Make a list of what your needs and requirements are. Bring magazine photos of ideas. If your renovations include an addition a digital survey of your property is required by the designer in preparation of plans.

Think about what your budget is – and we hate to inform you – be prepared to times it by 2. Under budgeting is a common mistake. It’s better that we remove that band aid quickly right now – rather than suffer through the pain and aggravation later. Ouch. Sorry.

Michael and Lisa Dunsmuir have over 20 combined years working in the building design industry. Michael is a certified residential designer and Lisa is an interior design consultant. In 2010 we finally joined forces and started Step One Design. As a husband and wife design team we each bring different skill sets and experience to the house design process. Designing is our passion!


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