Building and renovating a home is a tough job. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made quickly and sometimes on the spot. The perks of hiring a designer are the attention to detail, and their ability to organize, plan, and execute everything in a timely manner. PLUS, we know all the red flags to look for and call out as the construction process evolves (your grout lines are uneven! put blocking in the walls for shelving! the trim hasn't been caulked before it's painted! the chandelier isn't centered over the dining table!)
Here is a list of what we think you should invest in when it comes to building a home, to avoid being unhappy with your selections a few years down the line...
1) Re-work the floor plan from the cookie-cutter plan. Not all families operate the same! Make a list of what is most important to you based on what you've learned from past living situations. Larger bathroom? Closed off kitchen? Do you really need an office?
examples of floor plans for full scale renovations
2) Invest in the basics. Builder's finishes are usually whats on sale and what they can get a lot of quickly. If this is your forever home, take the extra time to pick out and wait for something you really like (or hire a designer that will organize this for you!) We're talking about tile selections, kitchen cabinets, trim details. This does not mean you have to overspend! Maybe it just means you take that builder tile and lay it in a herringbone or parquet pattern for something more unique.
3) Upgrade your lighting! A statement piece of lighting goes a long way in dressing up your home. Find something you really love and can imagine yourself hosting a dinner party under. Don't love a bathroom vanity with overhead lighting? Upgrade to two sconces on either side of your mirror for better functioning light.
why have one chandelier when you can have 4? they create amazing shadows!
4) Don't be afraid to challenge something that doesn't look right or you're not happy with. Honestly is the best policy when it comes to something that will be in place for a long time & that you're paying for!
Of course, there is a long, long list of things to avoid and splurge on when building or renovating - but we can't give away all of our secrets! Investing your money in a designer usually only accounts for only 2-4% cost of the project makes a lifetime of impact!