Clarifying The Scope Of Work
Whether your project is new construction, total remodel or an update of finishes, the decisions are best made in a walk through of the space with your design professional.
Reviewing Fee Arrangement And Signing An Agreement
Share your budget and ask for a written fee estimate. Discuss if you will be billed by the hour or by a fixed fee contract. Ask for details on discount purchasing through your designer.
Determing The Schedule
Let your designer and contractor know if you have a specific timeline in mind for your project, and they will let you know what is reasonable given your scope of work.
Discussing How You Will Communicate
Ask your designer when you will be needed on-site. Plan weekly phone conferences and expect regular communications by email and post. It is very important to make decisions and answer questions in a timely manner to ensure that your project stays on track and within budget.
This is the initial phase of design when you meet with your designer to determine the scope of the project. Be sure to discuss your needs and how you will be using the space.
This is the time to decide the overall theme and choose major finishes. Your designer will present preliminary plans for space, built-ins, furniture, finishes, plumbing, and electric. This is also good time to consider if additional consultants such as architects or structural engineers are needed.
Developing A Design
This is the fun part as finishes, furniture, cabinetry, plumbing and lighting fixtures are selected. This phase requiring the most input from you, so plan to be available for at least 2 full days depending upon the scope of work.
Reading Construction / Contract Documents
The designer produces a drawing set and specification book for your contractor. Typically, these documents include:
• Floor plans
• Lighting and electrical plans
• Enlarged plans.elevations of all key areas
• Sections and details of complex finish locations
• Finish specifications (carpet, wall color, tile, stone, etc.)
• Lighting and appliance specifications
• Plumbing hardware and bath accessory specifications
• Cabinetry, door, trim and hardware specifications
As the client you should familiarize yourself with the contents to be sure all your needs and desires have been addressed.
Communication between the owner, contractor, and designer is vital. Job-site meetings should be documented and the notes copied to you to ensure your satisfaction with decisions made. A good time for you to visit the project is after sheetrock is installed when you can better visualize the space.
The Final Product
Throughout the course of the project you should feel that the design team is professional and attentive to your needs. At the conclusion you should be rewarded with a beautiful and functional space.
Keeping A Finished Look
Even after installation and the final punchlist, your designer is still your greatest resource. Consider having your designer walk through your home every 6 to 12 months to make suggestions or add touches to keep your home fresh and up to date.