At long last, after hours of searching online, the home design that you love is in your hands. You’ve made your choice and are ready to take the design from paper to brick and mortar… almost.
While the design has all the important pieces, there are some elements that you want to adjust, change and add to it so that it more perfectly matches your lifestyle and family needs. In many cases, the design is great but the layout isn’t quite what you were hoping. Maybe you are thinking of expanding your family in the future, and that one small bedroom/nursery should be closer to the master bedroom.
At first glance, it would seem the next step is to talk to a contractor, but in actuality, that depends on the level of customization and design needs.
“If the plan online meets all the homeowner’s expectations, the next step would naturally be to seek out a contractor,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “But if the design changes are specific and aesthetic in nature, a professional designer can craft those modifications better.”
A professional designer, therefore, is where you go if you had your heart set on a large, country-style kitchen or a larger storage area in the garage.
Choosing a designer starts with experience. A professional designer with the right experience can make all the difference in modifying the layout and feel of your home. It’s also important that you are able to communicate well with the designer. Going around in circles about an idea and never getting to the right point is not efficient or fun.
“Personality should also be considered,” said McAlexander. “It’s important that you and the designer are compatible, which is crucial to communicating the design wishes and desires.”
In the end, a designer becomes a friendly ear, a sounding board, a partner on the road to building your home. You shouldn’t be looking for someone who just follows your instructions without offering advice or presenting options. A designer brings artistic flair and a wealth of ideas, and with the right collaborative spirit, the changes you want won’t seem so far-fetched.
At each meeting with the designer, your design changes will be continuously altered and refined until it’s exactly what you want. Each room will be kept to scale so that the basic layout still remains consistent. But, during those conversations, it’ll become apparent that part of your idea goes against building ordinances for the area. For that reason, it is to your advantage to find a designer that’s located where you’re hoping to live.
“A designer who is near to your future home site will be more familiar with the building rules and regulations for that area,” said McAlexander.
This does not mean that you shouldn’t reach out to the original designer of the home plan. Even though you bought your design online after hours of searching and may not know exactly where the designer is from, he or she will know the design in and out and will be the person best equipped to make any major customizations. For instance, if you purchased the design from a large website, ask if the person assisting you is the original designer. If not, ferret out whether they can assist you correctly.
“Keep looking for someone else to help you with those modifications,” said McAlexander. “Because with a designer at your back, guiding you through each step, your custom dream home will be that much closer to a reality.”
Finding a home design that works with your needs and lifestyle doesn’t mean it can’t be modified or refined. An experienced designer with whom you can collaborate easily and who is able to give you effective advice will help you make those changes. You’ll be that much closer to building the home of your dreams.