I want help with my kitchen and/or bath renovation,but don't know how to choose a designer/planner
jdmh
November 30, 2012 in Design Dilemma
First, I want to choose the person who has the most experience with kitchens/bathrooms and who has classic good taste. I want quality items that are appropriately priced. I do not want to be involved with someone whose judgement and quality work I cannot trust. I want to plan and to understand exactly what is involved and what time-frame we are expecting.
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Dytecture
Renovating is unique in that one could never know what is behind the walls until demolition starts. To keep the project on track a reputable contractor is needed.

In terms of finding a designer you would first need to like what they have done and do an interview with them and see if they share similar visions with you. Word of mouth is still the best way to find someone to work with.
   November 30, 2012 at 6:14AM
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
Obviously we are biased, but I would recommend interviewing a couple of design/build remodelers. That way there is no hand off and there is one person who is accountable for the whole project.

If you do choose to hire a designer independently from the contractor, please understand that the homeowner (in this case you) are the only common link in the project. Unless you specify that one of them has the lead and has the authority to make changes and that you are willing to compensate them for this role, then it will fall on you to make sure everything is coordinated between the two. We go in to talk with so many homeowners that are disappointed about past projects and find that they hired independent parties (either because they thought it was best or to try to save money) and failed to understand that none of the parties were being compensated to take the lead role, therefore no one did and things fall through the cracks.
   November 30, 2012 at 7:23AM
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jdmh
Your specialty seems unique to Greensboro. There are qualified contractors in my area and those who call themselves kitchen planners. One can't start with a design plan until we know what is possible. Which in your opinion comes first-if we have to choose?
   December 1, 2012 at 5:28AM
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
If you don't have access to design/build in your area, then I would start by interviewing contractors and narrow it down to someone you have confidence in and that you feel you can communicate with and trust on a daily basis. Someone who makes you feel like they truly have your best interest at heart and will not make you feel intimidated or unknowledeable for asking questions. They will be able to tell you (at a minimum) the basics of what you can do with your space and give you a rough estimate of what the work might cost in your area. Once you select a contractor, they can then give you the names of several designers that they feel can give you good advice and represent a range of good products - you can expand that list if you wish. Interveiw designers and select someone that you feel is listening to your needs and will give you the opportunity to participate since this is important to you. It might be best if you ask both of the professionals that you ultimately choose to meet jointly with you for some period of time so that everyone stays on the same page. The last thing you need is to have a design that is not in the budget or to have quality construction that doesn't meet your needs.

If you have any interest in trying to locate design/build professionals in your area, you can start at nahb.org and under find a remodeler you can enter your location. It will direct you to the nearest home builder assoc. and you can find folks on thier website. From there you can go to individual websites and note ones that you like. You may also google design/build remodelers in your city.
   December 1, 2012 at 6:46AM
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jdmh
Thank you for your comments. They have been most informative.
   December 1, 2012 at 5:57PM
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