Conceptualizing what your new kitchen or bathroom will look like is as exciting as it is overwhelming. There are an unlimited amount of ways you can redesign these spaces; inspiration online is not scarce! But when it comes down to decision time, you must choose one; and the reality is, you’ll likely be living with this new space for multiple years so you'll want your home to have a trendy, yet timeless design.Working with a design professional can help you feel more confident in your decision and ensure you’re happy with your space for years to come. The rest of this blog post will focus on why working with a design professional can pay major dividends towards your overall project satisfaction.
Before we get into the benefits of working with a design professional, let’s differentiate between the different types of professionals you can hire for a remodel.
Generally speaking, you have two different options: an order-taker or a collaborator. Let’s break down the difference between those two and why it matters.
An order-taker is a contractor that will do whatever you tell them to do. In this arrangement, you are responsible for making every decision; the contractor’s job is simply to tell you how much it will cost and how long they think it will take to get done.
A collaborator is a contractor or design professional who works alongside you to come up with a solution. In this arrangement, you’ll have a general idea of what you want your new space to look like, but you don’t have the time, desire, or expertise to make every decision.
If your project is smaller and less complex, an order-taker is the way to go. You don’t need multiple cooks in the kitchen overcomplicating your project. If your project is larger and more complex, a collaborator is the best choice.
We’ve identified that hiring a design professional is best when your project is complex and unnecessary if your project is straightforward. Now you might be asking yourself, “Do I really need to hire a separate design professional, even for large remodels? Don’t people usually collaborate with their contractor if necessary?” You certainly can collaborate with your contractor, but they’re likely not trained in design. You’re leaving an opportunity on the table if you go this route.
Here are the reasons to consider hiring a design professional:
Have you ever stared at a document dozens of times, convinced you’ve identified all errors and clearly made your point, only to pass it onto a friend or colleague who quickly pokes a hole in your argument and points out multiple typos?
When you live in your home for multiple years, you become accustomed to its look, shape, and feel. It’s so cemented in your memory that stepping back and imagining a new possibility is nearly impossible. Conversely, a design professional comes in unbiased, emotionally unattached to the way things were/are. On top of this, they’ve also been in dozens, if not hundreds, of homes. They’ll be able to identify common problems other homeowners experienced with similar layouts and provide a list of possible solutions.
As early identified, you’ll be making the bulk of decisions if you choose to work with an order-taker. For smaller projects, this probably won’t be too much of a hassle. But for larger projects, it can mean countless hours of research and shopping for appliances, finishes, and other materials.
When you work with a design professional, your role is focused on communicating what you want, providing feedback, and giving approval. The last thing busy families want to do after a long day of working or running errands is made more difficult decisions. Working with a design professional is a great way to battle decision fatigue and focus your energy on the other areas of your life.
Most homeowners focus on aesthetics more than function when planning a new kitchen or bathroom. Unfortunately, those shiny new appliances won’t bring you much joy if they’re misplaced and you’re constantly bumping into family members when moving through the kitchen.
Human factors, the study of how humans interact with machines and technology, is an easily overlooked element in home design. A good design professional will help you see the big picture, consider the flow of your new space, and make sure each feature is as functional as it is beautiful.
While it’s tempting to cut costs and take on more responsibility yourself, a design professional is a necessary expense. They can help you identify creative solutions to your home pain points, win back your free time to enjoy what you love, and create a new space that is as beautiful as it is functional.
We recommend hiring a design-build firm, one entity that employs both design professionals and contractors. To learn more about the benefits of working with a design-build firm, read our other blog post “How To Find The Right South Bend Remodeling Contractor”.