A Professional Designer Will Help you In Many Ways
The right professional designer knows where to find the products that reflect your personal taste, products that are compatible with your home. He or she can help you fit each product into your budget priorities. Designers like this do make a difference. How do you find the right designer for your project?
The best way to find a professional designer is referrals from family, business associates, friends, and neighbors. The next best way is through professional organizations such as NAHB, NARI, IDS, or NKBA. There may also be local design organizations, or local chapters of the national organizations that you can find in an internet search. Tell them the type of remodeling project you want, and they will provide names and contact information for up to three professional designers.
You can contact the designers by phone or through an email message. Provide detailed information about what you want to achieve, how much you want to invest, and when you want your project completed. Here’s an example:
“We’re thinking about adding a master suite to the main level of our home, about 300 square feet. Our home is a 1970s ranch, around 2250 square feet. We remodeled the kitchen five years ago, but the designer who helped us has moved. She helped us select all the products, referred a contractor to us, and drew the plans for permits and construction. We’re looking for similar services for our addition. Our budget is a maximum of $65,000. We want it to include the designer’s fee. We want the project finished by Labor Day, if possible. Please let us know if you’re interested in helping us.”
Initial Phone Conversation Or Meeting
In the first contact with a professional designer, whether a telephone conversation or an in-person meeting, ask the following questions:
- How long have you been in business?
- How many projects have you done that are similar to ours?
- Do you have a specialty? Are you certified?
- Do you provide plans? May we see a sample of your work?
- How do you charge for your services?
During the phone call or meeting, the designer should ask some questions, to get valuable information, and show genuine interest in helping you. It’s your home, your project, your goals, and your money. Ask for a list of references, and call them. When talking with past clients, get information about:
- The designer’s follow-through, timeliness, and attention to detail.
- Any problems during the design or construction phase, and how they were resolved.
- Whether the clients would hire the designer again.
Like everything else associated with home remodeling, finding the right professional designer is a matter of following the logical steps of the process.
“See the Possibilities. Create a Positive Difference.”
Read about Diane Plesset, award-winning author and designer — her philosophy, experience, and training.
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