Monthly Archives: May 2015

  • Remodeled bathroom by Beth Bynon
    Permalink Interior designers and general contractors must work together to create a beautiful home remodel.Gallery

    The Role of Interior Designers and General Contractors in Your Home Remodel

The Role of Interior Designers and General Contractors in Your Home Remodel

Caleb and Rita Summers have both recently retired, and Rita is itching to remodel and redesign their small, outdated kitchen. She dreams of having her large family over for weekly dinners and inviting friends over for the book club she just started. She knows that she will have to hire both an interior designer and a general contractor, but this is her first major remodel. The Summers have no idea what is in the purview of the general contractor and what the interior designer handles. Should they hire a contractor first to do all the heavy lifting and then the interior designer to add a coat of paint and curtains?

The Summers are not alone! A homeowner’s first remodel can be confusing, especially when it comes to hiring both an interior designer and a general contractor. In this article, I’ll explain what each professional does and how they work together to transform your home!

General Contractor vs. Interior Designer

There is some overlap between the capabilities of a general contractor and an interior designer, but generally, a general contractor builds and an interior designer designs. Typically, you will bring on an interior designer first, because he or she will help you lay out your new room and determine all the different finishes to use.

For example, an interior designer like myself will help Rita and Caleb determine if they want to knock down a wall to open up their kitchen, add in recessed lighting, install an island in the kitchen for more food prep space, and add in large bay windows to enhance the view. The interior designer may also help the couple choose new flooring, new cabinets, new countertops, and, yes, new paint colors.

Once the overall design [...]

  • Room remodel
    Permalink Finding a quality contractor can be hard! Credit: Brock Builders, FlickrGallery

    Working With Contractors – Smart Homeowners Need to Ask These Five Questions

Working With Contractors – Smart Homeowners Need to Ask These Five Questions

Interior design often goes hand-in-hand with home remodeling. Homeowners who are already investing in a new interior design will often take the plunge and go for the total transformation that requires some remodeling. Many of the clients I work with have never done a major remodel of their home before. The process of finding an honest, high-quality, and reasonably priced contractor can be difficult and/or confusing. That is why I always suggest that my clients reach out to several remodeling contractors and ask each one these important five questions:

When will you be available to start?

Many contractors cannot start on a project right away. In fact, it’s not unusual for smaller firms to be backed up for months. It is not necessarily a bad thing if a remodeler has a long wait time. It means they are popular! However, if you have a specific timeline in mind, you may need to reach out to larger firms that employ several crews.


How long will my project take?

Don’t expect an exact end date for your project before all the details are finalized. However, your remodeler should be able to give you an approximate timeframe for the project after doing a home review and getting a sense of the scope of your project. Smaller remodeling companies will likely take longer to complete the project. Beware if a company gives you a suspiciously short timeline. They may be trying to win the project by creating unrealistic expectations.


Can you help me understand all the details of your quote?

Trying to compare price quotes between contractors can be hopelessly confusing. The quotes from some companies can fit on a napkin, while other companies practically hand you a thesis paper. Make sure you understand [...]