Finally ready to get that remodeling project underway? The design phase is where the fun really starts – taking all those ideas and wishes and putting them together to a real possibility for your home! Every remodeling company and every home are a little different, but we’ve listed the most common steps to the planning and design process:
Step 1: Meet with your remodeler or general contractor.
For a small, one-room upgrade, you may have only one remodeling contractor working on the project. Bigger projects usually require the services of a general contractor. Not sure if you need a GC? See our guide to general contractors to learn more.
The most important thing to bring to this meeting is a well-thought-out budget for the project. This lets your contractor know up-front what the cost constraints are. In addition, it’s a good idea to bring a layout sketch with rough measurements and pictures of your home in its current state.
You can also bring pictures of other rooms and finishes that you’d like and a list of “must-have” changes that need to be made. Houzz is a wonderful place to browse professional home design photos and save ideas for your builder. You can view photos from the Parade of Homes on the SCHBA Houzz profile. Even better, participate in our Spring Tour of Homes in April and our Parade of Homes in September to talk with builders and view their work in person!
Don’t be afraid to tell your remodeler exactly what you want. Sometimes homeowners assume that their “dream” scenario is too difficult or expensive… but you may be surprised at what is possible! Even if you can’t get exactly what you want from the current layout or footprint of your home, your remodeling contractor may be able to design an amazing alternative. If you conduct this meeting at your home, you can combine it with the next step.
Step 2: Remodeler’s survey of the project.
Expect your remodeler to come to your house to take his/her own photos and measurements to use for design sketching and planning. If you are remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, they will need to look at your plumbing if it is accessible. It’s a good idea to move large items out of the way in attics or basements to allow the remodeler to locate pipes and wires.
Step 3: Planning and Design.
The remodeler will take the project information and measurements from the survey and build a design plan. They will usually document the current state of your home first. Depending on the scope of the project, this can be extensive. If you are building an addition, for example, the documentation will include locations of city utilities, drainage, and energy efficiency data.
Next the remodeler will create a schematic for the remodel, documenting the new floorplan, plumbing and electrical wiring diagrams, window and door placement, and exterior elevations if necessary. From there, the details will get filled in: the carpentry and cabinetry, lighting, and fixtures. Here is where you get to give input on all the “fun” stuff: the materials , flooring, tilework, and hardware. Once you and the remodeler are both happy with the design, you are ready to move on to the final estimate.
Step 4: Proposal.
After you approve the design, your remodeler should come back to you with a proposal and estimate for the project. If the plan sounds perfect — great! You are one step closer to an updated home. If you don’t like the estimate, ask about what modifications can be made to make the project more budget-friendly. After all, you already gave them your budget estimate! Be sure to discuss the timeline during this time as well. It’s important to have realistic expectations of how long your life will be disrupted by a remodel.
Ready to Start?
See the Sheboygan County Home Builders Member Directory to find architects, designers, and home builders today!