If you’re making some updates or starting a remodel on your home or investment property, you might be wondering if hiring a contractor is enough?  Do you also need to hire an interior designer?  Won’t that cost more money when you’re trying to keep costs down? Well, today I’m sharing 3 big reasons why it’s worth hiring both a designer and a contractor for your next project. 

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What Contractors Do Or More Importantly NOT Do

All that amazing stuff I said about GCs is true.  But, there is one thing that isn’t so great about general contractors–they don’t do the pretty stuff. 

And what do I mean by pretty stuff?  Well, they aren’t too keen about picking out the stuff that actually makes your home stand out. You know…the actual design. Of course they’ll know what types of materials will work for a space (like if a natural quartzite or manufactured quartz is best) but when it comes to creating the design and making that all important AirBnB worthy image well–that isn’t their bag.  

So, if you’re going to do a larger remodel with a general contractor, then it makes a whole lot of sense to bring in an interior designer to really create a show-stopping design.  You’re already investing the money anyway. You might as well make sure it really stands out and that the best materials are selected for the job.  An interior designer can help you get that dream result you want. And you can write off the expense if you’re a real estate investor. 

Reduce and Eliminate Overwhelm

Trust me when I say that a remodel involves A LOT of details and all those details need to be picked out.  In just one room you could have: flooring, tiles, accent tiles, lighting, moldings, focal walls, colors, appliances, window coverings, built-ins, electrical outlets, fixtures (like faucets and sinks), hardware (there are millions of options) furniture layouts, fabrics, window coverings.  Are you getting my point?  

There’s a lot to pick out and I wouldn’t expect a GC to hold your hand through the whole process.  That’s not what you hired them to do.  But a designer on the other hand will figure out your needs, style and preferences and present options to you.  These options will all coordinate perfectly and give you that Insta or Pinterest-worthy design.

Depending on your agreement, Your designer can handle all the communication and decision making with your general contractor.  

As you can imagine there are lots of decisions to make in a remodal.  Avoid overwhelm by having a designer handle those decisions for you.   

Maybe you like the idea of a GC calling you mid-day asking you if you want your outlet 5” from the wall edge or 2”, or if your tile should wrap around the window sill or if you want the wood trim instead.  But, I can bet that those decisions will get overwhelming–fast.  How great would it be to have your designer make those decisions for you and you don’t have to stress about any of it?

Contractor Costs Get Higher

Time is money, right?  An interior designer makes a renovation go smoother and good contractors and general contractors know this.  A project that goes smoother takes less time.  And a project that takes less time costs less money.  If a GC has to hold your hand and spend a ton of extra time helping you, it’ll add to your costs.  Yikes.

Of course a designer has their own costs to factor in, but we carefully choose and coordinate materials all the time so we’re very efficient and skilled at it. It’s what we do.  

We’ll select all the materials, and share every detail and specification with the general contractor.  All you’ll have to do is click “approve” and work is set in motion.  No need to stress and figure out the details.  As a designer, I’ll work with the contractor to do that for you.  It’s part of my job.  

You hire a general contractor to handle the construction details.  You hire a designer for our creative vision.  By hiring both you get the best of both worlds AND the best outcome for your remodel.  

How to Choose a Contractor

There are lots of ways to find and hire a good contractor.  A few are:

  • Word of mouth
  • Reviews-Google, Yelp, realtors, friends, FB groups, Next door
  • You’ve seen work they’ve done online or on social media and you like it or are impressed

As you evaluate contractors think about what feelings you get when you talked to them.  Trust your gut.  Even if it’s a remote project in another state, you’ll still want to feel good about who you’re working with.

There are some important questions to ask your contractor before you get started.  Some of these apply to designers as well.  You should ask:

  • What deposits are required, what’s the payment schedule.  DO NOT pay in full upfront.  Always hold final payment until you’ve seen the work and are happy or if remote-someone else has verified the work.
  • What’s their work schedule, ETA, how long to work each day, job timeline
  • What steps to protect the property (plastic barriers, shoe covers, dust barriers, ram board, paper or sheeting down
  • Do you use subcontractors?  It’s not good or bad either way.
  • Best way to keep in touch if needed or if there are problems
  • Do you offer a warranty on services?
  • For contractors-Do they have a license and it’s available for you to see (don’t actually have to see it, but if they get dodgy then they likely don’t have one)
  • WIth designers-do they work remotely?  Some don’t, I do.  Can they help with picking materials, colors, furnishing the property, designing spaces?

I also teach how to do this in my Room Design Essentials program.  You can take 20 years of my knowledge and experience and use that to design and decorate your home or rental property.  Have confidence knowing that you’re doing it well and can save a ton of money. It’s a small investment to learn how to do it once and rinse and repeat for you different rooms and/or properties.

Final thoughts on Hiring Both Designers and Contractors

Things I talked about in this post:

If you own an investment property the worst thing is a vacant property. That’s money you’re paying for a home nobody is using.  

You need to help your home stand out among the sea of competing properties

A designer has the trained eye to make your property memorable and desirable.

The contractors do the physical labor, but not the design work.  Doing a great job installing tile isn’t going to help if the undertones of tile don’t match the wall paint or flooring.  A poorly designed house won’t attract buyers.  

How to find the contractors and or designers

Alright…That wraps up this episode and please hit subscribe and leave a review

It helps this podcast reach and help more people like you.

And Thanks for listening and Have a great day.

How to work with me or learn from me

I do limited work with 1:1 clients and projects have to meet certain requirement for me to add them to my calendar.  But, you can work with me through my courses and trainings. 

Room Design Essentials teaches you the A-Z of designing a space quickly so you can design and decorate with confidence.  It works for both homeowners and real estate investors.  And I’m in the process of revamping this and making it more effective than ever so it gives you faster and even better results.

Kitchen Refresh 101 teaches you how to update and refresh your kitchen yourself.  You’ll walk away with the processes, order of operations, ideas and inspiration to make your kitchen stand out.

And I’ll be launching something new called Accelerated this year to work and train with me 1:1.

To get on the waitlist and learn more go to: https: nestorations.com/waitlist

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Sally Soricelli