Doing a complete remodel yourself will take a lot of patience, perseverance and knowledge. If you choose to go this route, it just might behoove you to at least hire a design/construction consultant (like me :-). Oh, you won’t have to give up any of the credit….. you can use your own designs…… but if you have a professional look over your ideas/plans (yes you need plans especially if you are doing it yourself) they can help you avoid costly mistakes from the start. Yes it will cost a little bit of money but in this scenario, don’t you think mistakes will cost even more? A pro can discuss your options with you, give you some tips, and tell you what to look out for. They should be able to help you with things like a schedule (what to do first etc.). They will also have specialty subs you can call on if you get in a little over your head on something like electrical issues or plumbing. Yes you can watch “How-To” videos on DIY.com for specific projects but if your overall project/remodel requires things like demo, new framing, electrical, lighting, plumbing, new flooring, appliances…… and cabinets, hiring a consultant before you start can be your saving grace. This person should be able to give you some good direction and plans or drawings in about 2 to 6 hrs. @ anywhere from $75hr. to $150/hr. depending on your project and/or their skill level. Then they can always be called on during your project if you get stuck and because they already know your project objective (big picture) they should be able to get you back on track easily.
Designers like myself can usually be hired for design consultation which usually consists of brainstorming ideas only. This meeting usually takes place on the first real meeting on site. The designer will give you a variety of design options whether you are hoping to open up walls or move doors, windows or cabinets to create the space you desire. This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on your space and are really just ideas and options at this point. Then if you want to take it to the next step and have plans made, we can be hired to take measurements of your existing space, draw it up on a CAD program and give you options of the wall/door changes. My CAD program shows really detailed 3D renderings of the proposed ideas from any angle in the room so you can really visualize the changes before any work begins. This eliminates the guess work and costly mistakes. The 3rd phase I can be hired for is cabinet design and layout. This can be helpful
even if you are planning to make the cabinets yourself or have a local custom cabinet maker build them, because you will have the cabinets drawn out in detail showing design details, interior storage details and full dimensions for a builder to work from. I also love to help the homeowner specify all the surface materials so they make sure that all their ideas actually go together. I have seen all too many times when a homeowner has chosen back splash tile for instance and granite and flooring because they loved them all, but when these items were pulled together, they all compete with each other in style and color. A designer can help you look at the big picture and make sure that the items you have chosen really work together and work with you to find other options if they don’t. These items include flooring, counters, back splash, lighting, hardware, cabinet color, and even sinks and appliances. The last thing a designer can help you with on a DIY project is the schedule. Once you have all your specifications done and you are ready to start, the designer can help you schedule your project so you do the right things first and so on. Doing a project out of order can cause costly mistakes. Let the designer, who has done this process many times, help you with what to do and when.
DIY projects can save you money, give you the satisfaction of doing it yourself and be lot’s of fun…… if you don’t make costly mistakes along the way. Planning is key to your success and most designers are passionate about that process. They know the mistakes that can happen and why and they will help you avoid them through careful planning. Then they can step back and let you create. See my How can I help you page for more info.