More people are working from home than ever before, and thousands of homeowners are looking to make their space more comfortable and conducive to their new lifestyle. Regardless of what they want to renovate or remodel, many aren’t sure who to hire for their project. Should they look for an architect, interior designer or contractor for their remodel needs? Who should homeowners have on their dream team?
When to Hire an Architect
Architects provide a level of style and attention to detail that a contractor and interior designer cannot. These professionals play with angles, lines, light and shadow, and other integral design aspects to turn a house into a home. The best architects know how to combine art and building design science to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.
Is an architect right for the job, though? If remodelers plan to change their home’s layout by tearing down or constructing walls, they might want to consider hiring one. Moving gas and plumbing lines might also require their expertise.
Hire an architect to draw up a design plan or keep them on board through the entire process. On top of working their magic, they’ll also select and check in with the contractor or oversee the whole project to ensure everyone works together to accomplish a unique vision.
When to Hire an Interior Designer
Some architects offer interior design services. However, homeowners might have to find a designer on their own. This person will help remodelers find their unique style and combine different materials, products, textures, colors, and patterns to help them achieve it.
If a homeowner is unsure which style best suits them, they can make an appointment with an interior designer. This professional is a one-stop-shop for conceptualizing, planning, designing, and decorating. Remodelers can also hire them for the sole purpose of finding the right lighting or managing an entire project from start to finish.
Hiring an interior designer vs. an architect will help complete small-scale projects and fill a space with things that complement the home’s original design. However, there’s a bit of a price difference between the two. Depending on the scope of the remodel, hiring an architect can cost $2,100 to $8,400, whereas hiring an interior designer might be $1,900 to $11,000. Ultimately, understanding their unique roles will help homeowners choose the right renovation professional for the job.
When to Hire a Contractor
Compared to an interior designer or architect, a contractor’s work is pretty clear-cut. Generally, renovation contractors oversee the entire project — if no other professionals are involved — and provide plumbers, carpenters, and other workers to complete the work. Their job description includes tracking the progress of each individual project and getting their hands dirty to physically construct various elements of the remodel.
Contractors may have an in-house interior designer or architect if remodelers need one. Otherwise, they might be able to recommend a few local ones or offer some advice on their own. If remodelers choose a contractor with years of experience, they’ll likely be willing to provide guidance on design, materials and creative solutions for roadblocks and challenges as they work.
Homeowners that don’t want to worry about construction codes and building permits would also benefit from hiring a contractor. Often, they include permit costs as part of their bid. Those that don’t might have something to hide — like a missing license or shoddy workmanship.
Investing in Quality Work
When it comes to pulling off a remodel, homeowners typically get what they pay for. In other words, it’s wise to invest in quality work rather than shop for the cheapest possible price. Be wary of professionals that offer low-cost services, and do some background research before hiring them.
Read reviews and request a portfolio and proof of a license. A locally valid license and proper insurance is a must, especially for contractors who will be working with electrical outlets, plumbing, and potentially dangerous tools. Hiring unlicensed workers and having them remodel a home may nullify the homeowner’s insurance policy, which could end in a lawsuit if someone sustains an injury.
Homeowners will also want to choose experienced architects and interior designers if they decide they need their help. While these professionals may not have licenses, their portfolios will often speak for themselves — and so will their prices. Even so, it’s best not to take the lowest bid unless they’re a friend or are offering a special discount.
Otherwise, those cheap professionals might turn out to be inexperienced scammers who are more prone to mistakes and love to take their sweet old time. In the end, homeowners will pay more for a mediocre remodel than they would have for a good one from a licensed professional.
Cut Costs, Not Corners
Depending on the project’s scope, homeowners might consider hiring an architect, interior designer, contractor, or all three. Of course, involving more than one person will come with a bigger price tag. However, there are ways to cut costs without cutting corners.
Homeowners that want to save a little bit of money can do some projects on their own or find friends and family members who might be willing to help. They might also consider stretching a remodel over the span of a few months so their savings account doesn’t take such a big hit all at once. Lengthening the timeline will also allow them to budget and appreciate the final product when it all finally comes together.
Bio: Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized Magazine. She has over three years of experience writing industrial topics for the construction, manufacturing, and supply chain industries.