GOOD REMODELING DESIGN, BY MIKE FOURNIER, TULSA
Solid remodeling design is essential when taking on a remodeling project. Most homeowners need help making decisions about options and in determining what is feasible in terms of the existing structure and the overall budget. If you don't hire an architect or some other qualified remodeling design professional, you may find that your remodel doesn't meet building codes, incorporate an integral part of your vision, ensure that products will fit properly, or stay within the original budget. Builders don't just come in and start tearing down your old bathroom and kitchen to rebuild it again. They carefully follow professional remodeling design plans. A design professional can ensure that the end product is attractive and meets all of the objectives.
Remodeling Design Now that you know you need to hire an architect your home remodeling project, you probably also need to know what you want from your home remodel. The first item is to set a budget. This can be as specific as telling the architect you have $6,000 to spend on the remodeling project. Or, you might have a more open budget, telling the architect that you're financing the project and would like to receive as much return on your investment as possible in terms of increasing the value of your home. Even then, you can still cap the remodeling project's budget: Few houses are going to give you a reasonable return on exorbitantly-priced remodeling projects, anyway.
Once the architect has an idea of what the budgetary restraints are of the project, you can begin to delve into areas in which you hope to improve the remodeled section of your home. Is your bathroom too small? Does your kitchen never seem cleaned and organized, no matter how much time you put into it? Are you tired of leaving your basement unfinished and unused? Make a list of the things you would like in the remodeling design. Prioritize this list and discuss it with the architect. He or she can incorporate this list in the design, and can help you set an expectation based on your budget and time frame.
Full-Service Remodeling Companies vs. Independent Architects Some remodeling companies have in-house remodeling architects. This doesn't mean they can't or won't work with your architect. Talking to that company's architect and an independent architect isn't a bad idea. You'll generate more ideas this way and be able to price their services accordingly. Some innovative architects even provide specific service on an hourly basis these days. While not nearly as comprehensive, you get the help you need the most, without having to spend a lot of money. As a general rule, the larger the project, the more important it is to have design help.
Other Advantages of Hiring an Architect The advantage of an architect is his/her comprehensive service and knowledge in the area of design, materials, and structure. While you may know what you want, the architect can tell you whether or not what you want will actually work in your home. An architect can also inform you about new design trends and materials and can offer ideas that you may not have thought of. The key to hiring the best architect for your remodeling project is to make sure you choose one experienced with remodeling. He or she will have a greater understanding of incorporating existing structure than an architect who specializes in new construction.
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