How to Hire the Right Design Professional for Your Home Renovation – 7 Essential Questions to Ask

Hiring a design professional for your home renovation project can be exciting as well as stressful. You will be working with your design team for months at a time. So, it is crucial to ensure that you hire the right professionals who are a good fit for the job, understand your design style, and work well with you. Our San Antonio based interior designers and architects at Amity Kett are explaining the different types of home design professionals and how they can help with your project. We are also covering five steps to prepare for your home design project and seven essential questions to ask before hiring a design professional. Following this process and asking the right questions is the key to forming an effective home design partnership with the right team.  

Know the Types of Home Design Professionals 

Before you start searching for home design professionals, take time to learn the roles of each. Understanding what each design professional does will help you narrow down your search for the right person for your project. 

Architect 

Architects design home plans to pass on to contractors for construction. Architects are typically hired for new home designs, additions, or major home renovations. Their designs will feature interior and exterior plans.  

Interior Designer 

Interior designers focus on the home’s interior and handle spatial planning, project management, and decor selections. Interior designers can tackle everything from redesigning a kitchen layout, adding or removing interior walls, and selecting paint colors. They coordinate with both architects and contractors to bring the project together. 

Interior Decorator 

Interior decorators are similar to interior designers. However, they only focus on decorating a completed space with soft finishes. Decorators can assist with furniture and decor selection, but they don’t typically handle home redesigns and spatial planning.   

Contractor 

Contractors work with architects and interior designers to construct and bring design plans to life. They will handle demolition, construction, and bring attention to any issues along the way. 

Why Not Get an Architect & Designer Team?

Amity Kett is a team of in-house interior designers and architects who work together to streamline the design process and create beautiful work that functions. Benefits of working with an architect and interior designer on the same team include faster timelines, streamlined communication, and the ability to get two expert options at once.  

Things to Do Before Interviewing a Design Professional

It is important not to jump into interviewing design professionals for your project before you’re ready. Make sure to check off these five steps before your first design consultation. These steps will help save time and guide your interview. 

Set a Budget 

Set a budget for your home renovation project. With a clear budget in mind, design professionals will be better able to guide you through available services, material options, and realistic deliverables. 

Establish a Timeline 

Determine if you have a set timeline for when the project needs to be completed. If your timeline is flexible, let your designer know. Timelines will affect budgeting, orders, and material availability.  

Collect Inspiration Images 

Don’t come to your first design consultation empty-handed. Start collecting inspiration images. Words are not always practical ways to communicate your design style. Your definition of modern may differ from the ideas others have in their heads. Make sure to provide clear inspiration images and details about what you like about them. Your designer may pick up on things you overlooked and surprise you with unique new options!   

Determine Your Must-haves 

Make a list of your top priorities for your space. They can be specific, like painting a room, or general, like increasing a space’s function. Budget restrictions may prevent you from getting everything on your wishlist, so make sure to define the most needed deliverables. 

Research Local Design Professionals

Start your research early and browse the work portfolios of local design professionals. Looking up services, project photos, and reviews can help you narrow down your choices. Past client testimonials and completed projects are a great way to get an initial idea of a prospective team’s design and work style.  

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Design Professional 

When you go to your first design interview or consultation, make sure to come prepared with questions for your designer. Here are seven essential questions to ask before hiring a design professional. 

#1 What is your design background, experience, and credentials? 

On your design interview, make sure to inquire about design backgrounds to get a sense of their style, past projects, as well as credentials and licenses. 

#2 What design services do you offer? 

Ensure you get a full understanding of your potential design professional’s services and if they align with your project needs. 

#3 Can you work within my budget? 

A design professional will help you better understand what your budget can achieve in your project, and they can explain their pricing structure for their services. 

#4 Have you worked on a project similar to mine? 

Ask about past projects and how they compared to your home. Past projects will not only give you an idea of the team’s experience, but it will also provide some insight into what you can expect during your renovation. 

#5 What is your work and project management style?

It is essential to have a good working relationship with your design team, as the process is highly collaborative. Make sure the team’s work style, project management, and personality complement your own.  

#6 What is your favorite design style? 

While a designer doesn’t have to have the same style as you, it is a great bonus. Inquire about your design professional’s favorite design style. You may be excited to learn they share the same style as you, or they may show you a new style you love. 

#7 How can I live and function better in my home? 

Finally, ask your designer how they can help you improve your home’s function. This open-ended question is more effective than asking something like, “can you build an addition?” When it comes to design, we take a solutions-based approach. While you may think a home addition is the only way you can get an office space, your designer may be able to discover the potential to rework an existing floor plan.  

With this background knowledge, to-do list, and interview guide, you are ready to begin your design journey! Our design team at Amity Kett wishes you the best on your project and is always here to assist. 

Ready to start on your home project? 

Contact Us for a Design Consultation Today

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