Let me set the scene. You’re sick of your kitchen and you’re ready to get the ball rolling on a major renovation project. Who do you call first? A contractor, of course! They tell you they’ve got it handled, you don’t need to lift a finger. But…you do. You find yourself pouring over floor plans, you’re trekking to the tile store, the kitchen and bath showroom, the stoneyard, and the lighting place. And on top of that, you’re fielding questions daily from the foreman and the subcontractors, making decisions that you have no experience making. Oh, and it turns out that the project is over budget. What once seemed like a dream project has turned into a nightmare.
Believe it or not, there’s a better way. Undertaking a major renovation project can be incredibly daunting without the right support team in place. Enlisting an interior designer who offers renovation or construction management services can help to ensure the process goes smoothly and with as few headaches as possible.
But what are the benefits of renovation management? And why do I need it?
Determining An Accurate Budget
The first step to ensure an accurate budget is to create an accurate scope of work (SOW). Keeping with the kitchen example, if the layout is changing, plumbing, lighting and flooring will need to be moved, which leads to an increase in cost. If you have your eye set on a marble countertop versus the quartz option, the pricing is once again going to increase. An interior designer will be able to engage with you in an exploratory process, whereby we develop floor plans, cursory construction documents (i.e. elevations) and make initial selections based on the inspiration and vision you have for your space. This will enable you to obtain accurate pricing for your project. If you have multiple projects you’d like to tackle, an interior designer can also guide you to make decisions regarding which one you should work on first, taking into account how long you’re planning to stay in your home, the real estate market, construction deadlines, etc. We also advise you that there are almost always overages in construction projects and you need to set aside a budget for those (it’s usually about 10 to 15% of the project total) or that there will be surrounding expenses, like increased housekeeping fees, more eating out or storage for all your items displaced during construction. As you’re starting to see, having an interior designer as part of your renovation team is crucial in reducing surprises, particularly when it comes to your investment.
Working with an interior designer on renovation management creates an established “chain of command,” whereby you, the homeowner, isn’t hearing updates or answering questions from all parties involved (contractors, architect, trades people, etc.). Your designer will act as the disseminator of information, streamlining the flow of information back-and-forth. Both you and your contractor and/or architect will benefit from this arrangement. It also helps to avoid costly and aesthetically displeasing decisions. Have you ever walked into a beautiful dining room, only to come face-to-face with an ugly HVAC vent? Or walked upstairs to bed only to realize you didn’t turn off the outside lights downstairs? These are the types of decisions that an interior designer will make, reviewing HVAC and light switch plans, making sure that every decision is in line with your vision and communicating that to the team every step of the way.
This is a key role in any renovation project and is at the heart of what LP & Co. does. We also consider advocacy to be a part of any interior design project we take on, whether it’s simply furniture and decor, or we’re gutting an entire home. You can learn more about interior design projects from my YouTube video: What To Expect From An Interior Designer. When it comes to renovation management, your interior designer is the advocate for your original design vision; we push back when the contractor is trying to steer the project in a different direction. We also are your advocates when you inevitably reach the point of burnout. If you’re living in your home during a renovation project, it is extremely likely you will experience construction fatigue, making you irritable and doubtful of your team. We step in to help you cope and determine how to change your routine so that the work isn’t impacting your life so significantly. And last and certainly not least, as with all design projects, something will inevitably go wrong. As your designer and renovation manager, we are there to ensure the team is doing right by you and we are handling the issues as they arise, hopefully eliminating the need to rope you in at all.
As you can see, the benefits to hiring an interior designer for renovation management are HUGE. Your investment in this service will save you time, money, and stress. And we could all use that, right?
Ready to get started on a renovation or new construction project? Reach out today and we can start assembling your dream team.