GHBA Remodelers Council: Design dream project in new year

GHBA Remodelers Council: Design dream project in new year – written by Kevin Vick, Vick Construction & Remodeling – Published in the Houston Chronicle -Sunday edition – Homes Section – January 8th, 2017

The new year has begun and it’s time to plan those home improvement projects that will begin in the Spring. A question I often hear as a remodeling contractor “is it really necessary to hire a designer or have design drawings for my project?” Every project will require, at minimum, a sketch to show a layout of the space. A basic sketch can be done by your designer or most any professional remodeling contractor. For larger and more complex projects I like to answer the question by comparing a remodeling project to baking a cake. In much the same way you begin to create a cake with a recipe, you would need a plan to do a home improvement project. A plan, which will include a drawing and a written scope of work, will help determine the size and cost of the project as well as how the new space will function and look.

Putting together the project plan should be a collaboration between you (the homeowner), your designer, and your remodeling contractor. Prior to beginning the design, it’s important to communicate your needs, wants and approximate budget to your remodeling contractor and designer. Once you and your designer have finalized the design, the remodeling contractor can write the detailed scope of work and put together the plan for the project.

In addition to the drawing and written scope of work, you will need to select the color pallet, hardware, appliances, fixtures, and finish materials to be included in your project. A professional designer does this every day and is trained to put together color pallets that are beautiful and is familiar with what materials are available in the marketplace.

Ultimately, you, as the homeowner, will need to envision your project before it is completed to ensure your complete satisfaction with the final result. Consider these things before deciding what design help you need:

  1. The size and complexity of the project – more complex projects will definitely benefit from the skills of a professional designer, while smaller projects may dictate hiring a designer to assist with just a few aspects of the design such as color selection or the best materials to use.
  2. The size of the budget – Make sure that your designer and remodeler work together and that you, your designer and remodeler understand your budget.
  3. Whether design drawings are necessary for the remodeling permit – if so, it will be better to have a skilled designer involved who knows how to produce drawings to satisfy the permit requirements.

Overall, having a good plan for your project will help you to avoid cost and time overruns and will help ensure a more beautiful and functional project upon completion.

The goal is to have a beautiful, safe, and comfortable space to live in and enjoy with family and friends. The right designer-contractor team can accomplish this for you. Happy home improvement!