Remodel Design Guide: Proposal Meeting

You’re exploring the possibility of a home remodel. You’ve reached out to a designer and discussed your hopes and dreams for the project.  Now, you’ll attend a meeting to discuss the next big step in your remodeling journey: signing your proposal. 

Our remodeling team at Lamont Bros. knows that for homeowners, designing a remodel can often feel overwhelming. It often feels much more digestible to break the process down into several smaller steps. Your proposal meeting is one of these important steps on the way to a remodel built just for you. 

In this article, you’ll get to read about what makes the proposal meeting a vital part of the process. We’ll discuss what you can expect from your proposal and how to prepare for the meeting. Topics you can expect to read about include:

What is a proposal meeting and why is it important?

Having a complete set of design plans sets your remodeling project up for success. It’s one of the most effective ways to ensure that the final build matches your vision and your budget.

Before the design process begins, you and your design team will review a proposal to go over expectations regarding the design, process, and budget of your project. At the end of the meeting, you get to decide if it makes sense for you to move forward with designing your remodel. 

At your proposal meeting, you’ll decide if you want to move your remodel forward into the design phase.

A remodeling project is successful if it can achieve two separate, equally important goals. 

  1. It creates a space that serves the needs of the homeowner.
  2. The cost of the project must be within the homeowner’s budget. 

To make sure you can achieve these goals, you and your design team must be able to communicate with each other effectively throughout the design process. 

For your part, you’ll want to make sure your team knows your expectations for your remodel project. This includes the issues with your home’s current design, as well as your budget constraints. On the other hand, it’s your design team’s job to communicate what you should expect from the design process.

Keep in mind that this meeting isn’t about agreeing on a design. Rather, it’s about setting the parameters for the design process, otherwise known as the “design criteria.” The time for refining and adjusting your design will come later. For now, it’s all about laying the groundwork and making sure that you are ready to start designing your remodel. 

What will you discuss at your proposal meeting?

To set your remodel project on the right path, your design team will discuss some “big picture” topics with you. Everyone must be on the same page before the design work begins. Here are the most important issues you’ll discuss at your proposal meeting. 

Problems to Solve and Scope

Chances are, you don’t want to pay for design work that you aren’t going to use. That’s why it’s important to establish the scope of your remodel before beginning the designs.

Think of your remodel’s scope in terms of what issues you’re currently experiencing with your home. If you need more living space? Want to improve the usability and design of your kitchen? Do you want your unfinished basement turned into usable living space?  Consider what parts of your home you want to change, and what you want to leave the same. This defines your scope.

Design Aesthetics

Whereas the scope defines the overarching vision for the remodel, the design aesthetic relates to the specific visual features of your remodel. What do you want your remodel to look like? If you have photos that convey your stylistic expectations for your remodel, share them with your design team.

When it comes to discussing design, it’s all about how your space can better serve your needs. It determines how your remodel will be specifically tailored to you. This initial discussion is about determining potential layouts, features, and preferences you’d like to see as the designs take shape.

Cost Range

Another important part of your proposal is to discuss the project cost. One important goal of the design process is to create a set of designs that can be built within your budget constraints. To achieve this, you and your design team will discuss a target budget range.

The budget range provided at your proposal meeting will be based on several factors. Your design team will likely create a custom budget for you that is a combination of historical averages and projected prices for selections and features that will be included in your remodel. 

One important thing to remember is that your proposal cost will be presented as a range.

 At the end of the design process, your design team will be able to provide you with an exact contract price for your remodel. However, it’s impossible to know the total cost of the project until after those designs are completed. That’s why your projected costs are presented as a range. Your designs could come in towards the higher or lower end of that range, depending on the specific costs associated with building your designs.


As part of your proposal meeting, your team will provide you with a project roadmap. This document will give you a preview of how the design-build process will look for your remodel.

As your design team works on drafting design plans for you, there will be several stages that require your input and cooperation. The design roadmap serves as a timeline you can use to better understand the remodeling process. It also allows you to plan ahead and make sure you are prepared for each step along the way. 

Design Retainer and Next Steps

The last part of your proposal meeting will be a discussion of exactly what’s going to be included in the design phase and what the retainer required will be. Your design-build firm should be crystal clear about what is included in the design work that they provide. Typical remodel projects may include any of the following: 

  • Survey work
  • Site plans
  • Concept drawings
  • Construction documents
  • Engineering
  • Materials Testing
  • City planning meetings
  • And other types of design work

On average, you should budget 5-7% of the cost of the project for design work. At Lamont Bros., we’ll typically ask for a retainer of 5% to get started with the project. The entire cost of the retainer will be credited toward the total budget of the project. 

How to prepare for your proposal meeting

The proposal meeting is a crucial step towards transforming your home. To make sure you have a productive proposal meeting, you need to come prepared. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you and your design team both walk away from this meeting with what you need for a successful remodel.

Keep your design team up to speed

The success of your proposal meeting depends on good communication. Your design team will likely spend several days piecing together your remodel proposal. All the information they use to assemble this proposal will be based on the details you’ve provided, including your design preferences, budget, and remodeling timeline.  

If any of these factors change before your proposal, you should communicate these changes with your team so they can adjust accordingly. Otherwise, they might present a proposal to you that uses outdated information, which wouldn’t be helpful to you. 

Attend the meeting in person at the showroom

If you’re working with a remodeling company that has a showroom, attend your proposal meeting there. A remodeling showroom is a great place to see many of the product options and design features available to you. 

Also, attending your proposal meeting in the showroom allows you to fine-tune your remodel’s criteria and aesthetic. As a result, everybody involved in making decisions for your home should be present at the meeting. The goal is for you, your family, and your design team to be on the same page moving forward.

Be prepared to make a decision

The ultimate purpose of the proposal meeting is to provide you with what you need to make an informed decision about moving your project forward or not. If you’re considering a remodel with Lamont Bros., there’s no pressure to sign. It’s totally okay if we’re not the right fit for your project. 

At this phase, your remodeling firm should have clearly identified the problems you have with your home and spent a lot of time creating a solution and budget that make sense. You’ll want to do them the service of taking some time to seriously consider the decision and come prepared to ask any questions that might be standing in the way of saying yes or no. 

The sooner your design team has the green light to begin designing your remodel, the sooner you’ll be able to move into your newly remodeled space.

Want more information on the design-build process?

Now that you understand what to expect from your proposal meeting, take a deeper dive and check out our design-build process page. Here, you can learn about how a full–service remodeling company like Lamont Bros. can provide you with a great home renovation experience.

Considering a remodel and want to take the next step towards transforming your home? Click the button below to schedule a free design consultation with a member of our team. We’ll help you understand the design-build process from beginning to end so you can have a great remodel.