You might be asking yourself; why do I keep recommending experienced professionals such as Residential Designers, Residential Architects, and Interior Designers?
First, I am a Residential Designer and not an architect or an interior designer. My residential design services include: consulting or pre-construction planning, producing construction drawings, assisting with the bidding phase and construction administration. In addition, I can assist you in selecting green and energy efficiency products and methods at any point of the process of services listed above.
Before launching Taylor Made Plans, the first part of my career was spent working for architectural firms, residential designers, and the occasional builder developer company. This is where I gathered my foundational experience to set up my company and provide expert design services.
Over the years, many homeowners have asked me about how to interview and hire design professionals. There are no set rules in the residential design industry, so it is no wonder many people aren’t sure where to start.
Many residential designers and interior designers start out working for medium to large companies or firms. These architectural or interior design firms have large projects which may take one to three years to complete the construction drawings. There are many steps and phases to get to the final construction drawings for bidding.
An interior designer usually selects all of the interior finishes and all the material selections that help make your house look beautiful on the inside. Interior designers will specify materials such as ceramic tile, hardwood floors, the countertops, the cabinetry, lighting, plumbing fixtures, etc. All of this will help you define your lifestyle and what you like to be yourself. There are so many fun options at this stage.
However, you want to ask an experienced company or person and it is best to have someone that’s familiar with your type of project. If you have a historic house, they should be experienced in adding or renovating on to a historic house. If it’s a brand new homes, built after 1980, you’d want someone that’s familiar with that type of house construction. Same goes for having an older brick ranch for example. You need to qualify the professional’s experience with the type of project you are doing.
House construction changes about every 5 years or so. Over the last 25 years, I have been inside houses from the 1860’s to suburban homes built in the 2000’s. I have been in more attics, dirt basements, and even the crawl spaces than any woman should be! However, this has helped me learn about the different construction types of homes since the 1880’s.
I believe the residential designer comes first, because the residential designer will give you many different options on your house plans. It is my belief that a great residential designer, or residential architect exhibits several attributes such as:
- Able to solve challenging house and property conditions
- Able to provide great design for your home, your way
- Able to solve problems on paper first
- Able to save you money by creative problem solving
- Able to assist in keeping you on budget
- Able to keep home maintenance and durability in mind while designing
- Able to explain material recommendations and selections
- Able to pre plan and prepare so that it is less likely to have unexpected cost overruns
- Able to be your personal advocate during the process
Of course I’m going to say ‘yes’ on most projects, especially additions, because they require construction drawings. However, if your project is an interior renovation; such as a kitchen or bath make-over, you would benefit by working with an interior designer.
The residential designer will have much more design experience than a contractor. I can always design and draw many more projects than a contractor can build. And I’m going to represent your needs.
Most contractors do not think about this because they are there to build. It’s not that they do not care about your lifestyle; it’s just not part of their job. So this is kind of some of the things an experienced design professional will bring to the table. And again we represent your needs and what you can get. And not just what’s easy to build.