Sunday, November 11, 2012

Guest post- Hiring An Interior Designer Versus DIY!

This article is brought to you by Karen Landsky.

The excitement of renovating a room or entire living space is undeniable. Perhaps you have a vision in your head for what you want your home to look like, but you are not sure how to bring this vision to life. Perhaps you know you want the space to look different, but you are not sure what your options are or how best to begin.

Many aspiring do-it-yourselfers often adopt an attitude of “how hard could it be!” and launch in, unaware, until they get past the first layer of primer that the answer is “…much harder than it looks.” Of course, there are components that must be factored in to deciding whether to do a project yourself or hire the experts – and there is also a happy medium that can often be reached in the presence of budget, time or availability constraints. The key to a successful home renovation lies in the planning phase. Whether you are planning to simply update your bathroom vanities and change the paint color, or you want to completely flip your home, learn how to decide whether to hire an interior designer or take the project on yourself.

Setting The Budget

The initial part of the planning phase must revolve around your budget. It is great to have big dreams and a concrete vision for what your new space could look like, but your budget is what truly determines the scope. Even if you have aspirations to conduct a do-it-yourself project, this is when you may want to consider hiring an interior designer as a consultant for the budgeting and planning phase. Often, you can get a professional to come in and consult with a flat hourly fee, and they can help you to assess what materials,as well as what the time value of your labor will cost you, per  piece of the project. If you plan to do the project yourself, you can also use the consulting fee time to pick the designer’s brain for ideas and use their expertise to help you foresee trouble spots up ahead. For instance, a designer may let you know about websites where you can find great deals on fixtures and furnishings at lower prices than what you would pay in a retail store environment.

Starting Your Project

Once your budget is set, you will have more control over how and how quickly your project progresses. If you are considering a do-it-yourself approach, this is where you should select one small piece of the project – maybe redoing your vanities and retiling the floor – to get your feet wet, so to speak, and see how you like it,in addition to how easy you find it to be. By taking on one small contained part of the project, if you discover in the midst of your efforts that it is harder than you originally thought it would be, or it is taking more time than you have, you haven’t ripped apart your whole house yet and you can still call in the pros to help.

Be Flexible

If you have done a remodel or redesign project in the past, you may come into the job with some expertise and information under your belt. But for the first time do-it-yourselfer, there is no substitute for giving it a try to know whether this approach is for you. The best approach is to simply be flexible. Be willing to keep some parts of the project for yourself, such as shopping for fixtures and installing the easier ones yourself, and then outsource other more complicated parts – such as electrical rewiring and plumbing renovations – to professionals. Usually, the best tactic to a home redesign is to split up the job, as your budget permits, doing the renovations, piece by piece, to be sure that each room gets done to your total satisfaction. Remember, this is your home and you both want, and deserve, to enjoy your beautiful new residence!

About the Author:  Karen Landsky is a California-based professional interior designer. She enjoys blogging, speaking and consulting for others who dream of a fresh new look for their home space. She suggests using to her clients. 

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