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  • Writer's pictureLaura Redd

Budgeting for the details when building or remodeling

I try not to toot my own horn as to the benefits of using an interior designer on any project, but I keep running into this same issue on projects and wanted to share it with you.

Story time! I was brought onto a new build project to look over the kitchen, master bath, laundry and hall bath designs. The existing plan was very basic and simple, not really supporting the “wow factor” for building a new home. We discussed the fees and rates, agreements were made, and we were off to the races. A new kitchen plan was created to make the space not only look amazing but function perfectly. The same held true for the master bath, laundry and hall bath. When it came time to settle the first invoice a bit of concern was expressed. They really had not set aside the funds to continue with design services and now will have to go it alone.

When planning a remodel or new build, knowing the value of an interior designer is key and ensures you come out of the project feeling great, and loving your home.

When you’re looking at a remodel, new build or design project, you should start with the plan or DESIGN of the space first, then look at how it will be built, and then what it will be built with. The first and third steps are where your interior designers’ knowledge is priceless. The biggest advantage is experience, they have been through it before and know the pitfalls before they ever surface. They know the next steps and what to expect. This applies to the building phase also. Having someone who can speak the language of the builder is key to keeping the team happy. A designer can also present options to the builder to help you, the client, get what you want and try to keep it at the agreed price point.

Now, back to our story. We’re ready for the next step of planning out the selections for the kitchen, master bath, hall bath and laundry. When it came down to it, they were just not prepared for the sheer number of decisions and how to make all of them come together. The biggest dilemma I am asked about is, “How do you get all the pieces of the project to go together?” Selecting countertops alone can be 3 different colors and then we have backsplashes and cabinets which leads to flooring and then PAINT! And if you choose incorrectly, a change order will have to be made along with a fee to make it happen. The knowledge of your designer is key to the success of your project.

When you begin to plan for your remodel or build, look at the total cost of the project. I would set aside 20% of the total project for your planning and design fees. If you do not use it all, you can use it to buy something awesome for the house. But if you do realize you need the help, and don’t have it, it’s painful and can cause buyer’s remorse. This should be an amazing and fun experience, make sure you are ready to enjoy the ride!



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