Working with Remodeling Professionals
In this section, you will find everything you need to choose the right professional. It all depends on what your project consists of, and of course, what exactly you want done.
Before work begins, ask your remodeling contractor about inconveniences which may occur while the project is underway and plan for them accordingly. Consider moving personal property from construction areas and declare all work zones off-limits to children and pets.
Be sure that you feel comfortable with the professional you choose. Importantly, that person should share your vision for your new living space. After all, it’s about building your new home, one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime.
Determining the Scope of the Project
Depending on what you want done, there are several professional options available to you.
As you’ll soon discover, it takes a multitude of remodeling professionals to complete most jobs. It is important that you understand the roles and tasks that each has. Below, you’ll find a summary of the different professionals that you may need to contact.
Architects represent the most highly educated and trained category of designers. The title requires a college degree and state certification. Architects are able to translate your ideas into detailed plans and material specifications. They can also oversee your project while it’s in progress and are an excellent resource for the other professionals you might need.
Designers are skilled in the design/building process, but are not licensed or regulated in most states. If you’re planning to work with a designer, be sure to verify his or her experience and professionalism. You’ll want to review the designer’s portfolio and look for references, design degrees from accredited universities and membership and/or certification from professional organizations. Certification bodies to look for include: the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD), the National Council of Building Design Certification (NCBDC), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
Residential Designers (Space Planning professionals) are trained to use space efficiently and tend to focus on floor plan design, detailed lifestyle evaluation and design functionality. If you’re considering a floor plan, a family room, bathroom or kitchen, you may wish to consult with a residential/interior specialist. He/She can spend additional time and devote attention to specific areas of the home that are especially important to you and your family.
Structural Engineers need to be consulted if your project requires any structural alterations to an existing building. Their role complements the work of architects, who are the spatial and aesthetic experts of building design and construction. A structural engineer can provide advice on any required strengthening and the design of new lintels, beams, walls or foundations.
Kitchen and Bathroom Designers
Kitchen and Bathroom Designers provide expert product knowledge, but they may lack construction experience or miss design components associated with additions or the movement of walls, according to some building experts. If the project involves high-dollar budgets where expensive cabinets, materials and appliances will be used...choose these professionals wisely.
Home Center Staff Designers
Home Center Staff Designers are an easy, immediate and cost-effective way to learn about basic design ideas. You can check your local home center store to learn about classes they are offering, or simply visit the store and tell the staff designers what you’re planning to build. Be aware that the staff will recommend solutions using their store’s products, though.
Interior Designers and Home Decorators
Interior Designers and Home Decorators are specialists who offer advice on furniture, wall coverings, colors, styles and the overall appearance of your project. While not essential to the process, home and interior decorators can save you both time and money by helping you narrow down choices and get professional discounts for materials like furniture, home accessories, wallpaper, or paints.
Already have a good idea of a floor plan you like? Draftspersons primarily prepare technical drawings of designs created by others, although some can assist with design. These days, most drafters work in Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) programs. Make sure your professional is checked by an engineer before speaking with general contractors to bid, apply for permits, and build.