Before you schedule a meeting with your design and remodeling team, you may spend some time evaluating a number of companies. You’ll ask about their experience with projects like yours, as well as verify that they have the proper licensing and insurance to do the work. Once you get to your first big design meeting, you may have lots of ideas to share. It’s also important to ask these questions.
What Is Your Experience With This Project?
When you did an initial screening for perspective remodelers, one of the first things you may have asked concerns the type of experience the team has. Now, you have an opportunity to get more detail on their answers. Try to ask open-ended questions about your team’s background, interests and experiences. This will help you to get a sense for their general styles, and how they might fit with yours. This is a great time to request pictures of past projects, because this may help you clarify your expectations and goals for your project.
Who Will Be Working on the Project?
When you contract with a design and remodeling team, you may be working directly with the lead designer and contractors for the project. In other cases, you may have a contractor who works with an independent designer, with you needing to communicate with each of them separately. It’s important to ask who else may be coming to your home or performing work at various stages. This is a good time to verify who is the lead contact to give you updates and answer your questions.
What Is the Timeline for This Project?
When you consider a possible timeline for home improvements, you should keep two factors in mind. The first is how long the project typically takes your design and remodeling team to complete. You should expect the whole process to take several weeks at a minimum. The second factor is when you can start. This involves a discussion of your obligations, the best time for you to do the project, as well as your team’s current schedule. This is why most professionals suggest planning your project months in advance of when you actually need it completed.
What Do You Need to Know to Complete the Design?
As a homeowner, you’re hiring an experienced team to create your design and carry it out to specification. However, this is still your home and your investment. This means that you may be involved in consulting or making decisions at multiple stages of the design and construction processes. Your team probably has a checklist of items that they will need from you. These range from your stylistic preferences to the way you use the space, as well as your maximum budget for the project. This is a good opportunity to make sure that you have provided all the information they need to begin work on the design.
When Can I See the Design/Plans?
Creating an interior design plan or architectural blueprints for a project takes a significant amount of time. During your initial design meeting, you may or may not get a rough mock-up of what the finished project will look like. This depends on the length of the meeting and how much information has already been provided. When you ask about the timing to finalize the design, keep in mind that this may take at least a week or two. It depends on the complexity of the design, as well as your team’s other commitments. If you give the team plenty of time to consider your needs and build a complete design, you’ll end up with a better result.
What Is the Payment Schedule?
As a general rule, you should avoid working with contractors who demand a significant portion in payment for the project in advance. However, most remodelers will have a set schedule that may include multiple payments over time. Some may ask that you pay a nominal fee for an initial design consultation. This provides them with a basic payment for services while you determine which business is right for you. Otherwise, depending on the size of the project, you may be expected to make a percentage of the total in payment at different stages. For example, you might be asked to pay at the completion of a particular stage of the project, or put a deposit on supplies that need to be ordered.
Is It Reasonable for Me to Live in the Home During Construction?
Home improvement projects take months of planning, and sometimes it isn’t realistic for you to remain in the home while your team is working on it. It depends heavily on the size of your home and the type of project. For example, you might easily be able to use two other bathrooms while you renovate your master suite. On the other hand, a large home addition or a major kitchen remodel might be too much hassle for you to deal with. Ask your team for their preferences and their recommendations for you, so you can make an educated decision and prepare for it in advance.
Your first design meeting can be exciting and a little nerve-wracking. If you ask these questions, you’ll get more information in a way you can manage. Contact us today to discover how delightful remodeling your home can be.