Designing your dream kitchen, bathroom or addition can be a lot of fun. It’s also much more complicated that you might think so it’s important to find the right designer for your project. They need to have the skills and experience to address structural design, home systems and of course the finishes you’ll see every day.
Picking the Best Designer
You’re probably familiar with architects and they’re certainly qualified to design any project. There are others who can design your project and do it more cost effectively so let’s review who’s who in residential design.
- Architects – integrate structural requirements from roof to foundation, window lighting, home systems and building codes. They address room fixtures like kitchen cabinets, appliances and storage and how people will move from room to room.
- Interior designers (not decorators) – focus on the space, how it will be used along with ease of access, lighting, acoustics, seating and storage. They also consider health and safety and environmental impact.
- Home designers– emphasize listening to the homeowner and rendering their dream using sophisticated software. The design then has to be vetted by a structural engineer or builder to confirm structural integrity when walls are being moved or space is being added to the house.
- Kitchen and bath designers – have expertise in design basics like the kitchen triangle, from designing many rooms and learning what works and what doesn’t. They also keep on top of industry trends and the latest products to simplify and enhance your life.
- Builders – have expertise in how homes are structurally engineered, i.e. what will work. Some builders offer design-build services to integrate the planning and design phases of building projects.
- Homeowners – may want to design their own project and where there are few structural changes, that works well.
- Roof and exterior envelope – are key to integrating an addition with the existing house. If not done correctly, homeowners must deal with hidden water damage and high energy usage.
- Natural lighting and windows – provide homeowners with maximum natural light combined with optimal energy use.
- Doors and ease of access – are important for a structurally sound house that’s easy to navigate for family and guests.
- Home systems– are critical to creating a home that is comfortable and healthy. These systems include heating, cooling & ventilation along with plumbing and electrical.
- Finishes– are what you see every day, reflecting your personality and supporting your lifestyle. Home finishes include lighting, flooring, custom trim from ceiling to baseboards, cabinets, countertops and room appropriate fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms.