Remodeling isn’t something that most people do frequently. Without frequent practice, learning how to navigate the challenges of remodeling can be difficult. As a professional whose job is to help homeowners navigate the process of remodeling, a design consultant plays an important role in turning your current home into your dream home.
At Lamont Bros., our full process approach to remodeling is designed to give homeowners the best remodeling experience possible. That begins with providing seasoned remodeling experts to guide our clients through the process. While every remodeler has a different approach, the purpose of a design consultant remains mostly the same. Their job is to provide you with the information and expertise you need to make informed decisions for your home.
In this article, we’ll explore how a design consultant guides and influences the remodel experiences. By the end of this article, you should have a comfortable understanding of what a design consultant does and how their work can benefit you. We’ll discuss:
- What is a design consultant’s job?
- How can a design consultant benefit your remodel?
- What you can do to make the most use of your design consultant
What is the role of a remodel design consultant?
When you choose to remodel your home with a design-build firm, you’ll have a team of professionals to help you bring your vision for your home to life. The role of a design consultant in all this is to act as your guide throughout the remodel design process. Their role includes three distinct responsibilities:
Educate and inform
To make educated decisions for your remodel, you first have to understand the options available to you and how each option might affect your remodel. Depending on the extent and complexity of your project, there could be a lot of information to sift through.
Fortunately, a design consultant goes through the remodeling process many times as part of their job. When it comes to understanding industry best practices, they’re tried and tested experts. As a result, your design consultant can assist you in making decisions by helping you better understand the process and the options available to you.
Balance scope and budget
Every remodel is a balancing act between two competing factors: scope and budget. Everybody has an idea of what their dream remodel looks like, but their budget often puts limits on that dream. The challenge lies in finding the right balance between a remodel that meets the lifestyle needs of the homeowner while also keeping the project within your financial constraints.
When you work with a design consultant to design your remodel, their experience and expertise in remodeling help to provide you with a more predictable, balanced approach in this regard. It’s your design consultant’s responsibility to help you achieve a remodel design you love at a cost you can afford.
Coordinate the design-build team
The process of remodeling involves many different areas of expertise. You’ll need somebody to draft the design drawings, somebody to assemble the budget, order products, and materials, and schedule the build process. Rather than have one person do all of these jobs, it’s best to have a team of specialized experts to make sure each one is done well.
As the homeowner’s primary point of contact, the design consultant leads the charge during the design process. They must coordinate with the rest of the design-build team to ensure that they can all work together to serve the client’s needs. When you work with a design-build firm, your design consultant is your advocate to the rest of your team. They make sure your voice is heard and your needs are met.
What are the benefits of working with a design consultant?
Having a design consultant work with you through the remodeling process comes with several key benefits. As someone whose job is to help clients navigate the challenges of remodeling, they bring unparalleled expertise and foresight. That way, you don’t have to learn important remodeling lessons the hard way.
You have a go-to concierge for your remodel
Remodeling comes with a lot of questions and a lot of what-ifs. Throughout the design process, you’ll ask a hundred questions and answer a hundred more. Instead of having to track down individual experts for each topic of interest as they arise, it’s better to have a single point of contact who can find those answers for you.
While your design consultant may not have an answer to every question you have, they can find somebody who does. With their network of professional craftsmen, manufacturers, designers, and engineers, chances are, your design consultant will be able to find the information you need faster than you will be able to on your own.
You have more control over your budget
When it comes to prices, nobody likes a surprise. As your advocate to the design-build team, your design consultant is ultimately responsible for keeping you in charge of the cost of your remodel.
At the start of the design process, your design consultant will work with you to establish a viable project budget. As the designs progress, it becomes your design consultant’s responsibility to ensure that the project cost remains within that budget moving forward. They’ll hold the design team accountable for creating a plan set that can be built within the constraints you’ve set.
This doesn’t mean you’ll get every design feature you want at a cost within your budget. Rather, it means that you are the one who ultimately decides the cost of your remodel. If the design you had originally envisioned ends up being more expensive than you can afford, your design consultant will work with you to pare down the scope of the project to fit a more realistic budget.
Oftentimes, it can be difficult to reduce the cost of a remodel on your own. Analyzing a line-item budget sheet can take a long time, and it usually doesn’t yield the cost-saving results people expect it to.
However, a design consultant’s experience in remodel budgeting makes them uniquely qualified to help in this scenario. They can easily identify and change the features of your design that will most effectively reduce the cost of your remodel.
The build schedule is more predictable
One common challenge of remodeling is the task of developing and following a build schedule. For homeowners who choose to work with a general contractor, they end up taking on more of the scheduling responsibilities.
This often feels like putting together a puzzle while the pieces constantly move around. You have to account for design time, permitting, and contractor availability to make sure the job runs smoothly. Oftentimes, one task can’t be completed until another one is done. If you want your remodel completed by a specific date, you have to be on top of scheduling from the beginning. Any changes to the design plans should be reflected in the timeline.
Fortunately, a skilled design consultant can help manage the schedule as your design plans take shape. Remember, since they’ve been through this several times over, they know how long different stages of the process will take. Based on their experience, a design consultant can help you keep a strict schedule for your remodel so it finishes on time.
How to maximize your design consultant’s effectiveness
Once you understand what a design consultant does and how they can benefit your remodel, it’s time to talk about your responsibilities. As the design consultant guides you through the process of remodeling your home, there are a few things you should do to get the most out of the experience.
Follow the design-build process
When it comes to remodeling your home, the design-build process is an excellent way to maintain control over your remodel’s design and its budget. However, this only works if you follow it.
A design consultant will guide you through each step of designing your remodel and provide you with input and advice along the way. For them to do that effectively, you must stick to the process.
Trust your design consultant to provide you with useful information
The relationship between you and your design consultant should be built on trust. As the coordinator between you and the rest of your design-build team, the design consultant must curate information and advice that helps both the homeowner and the team work together. This job involves sifting through mountains of information and breaking it down in a way that is useful for you to make decisions.
Take, for example, a line-item budget, as mentioned above. That type of document contains a lot of information. Unless the homeowner knows the purpose, importance, and design requirements for each item on the list, handing them the raw budget sheet wouldn’t be very helpful in reducing costs. The better approach is for the design consultant to interpret the budget sheet for you. They’ll analyze the different line items, identify which ones can be struck or pared down, and present a new, lower budget sheet to the homeowner.
Ready to meet your design consultant?
Now that you know more about the role of a design consultant in the remodel process, take the next step! To learn more about the design-build model and how using it can help you have a great remodel experience, check out our Design-Build Process Page.
Are you ready to start designing your remodel? If so, click the button below to get connected with a top-notch design consultant from Lamont Bros. We’ll guide you through the process of remodeling your home from start to finish.