How to Choose a Home Designer

A home designer can be a draftsman, an architect, or an interior designer.

Be careful, though, of hiring one person to design the home and another to create the full blueprint set. In my experience, if there is no communication between the two from the beginning, elements of the design will be lost or changed because the firm drawing up the blueprint set is not aware of the importance of these elements.

When interviewing potential home designers, there are a several very important things to look for.

  • You want to feel that the designer is able to really listen to what your needs and wants are for your home.
  • Is the designer asking you lots of questions about how you live your daily life? These are the insights to understanding your needs, and how your house should flow. Whether you’re planning on retiring in this house, or selling it in a few years, the floor plan must reflect those needs.
  • What is important to you should be important to the designer. After all, it is your home, not theirs. If a designer says they don’t like to show you anything until “it’s perfect” – be concerned! If you’re not seeing the progression of the design, you are losing your opportunity to make choices, to have a voice. Most people need to see something on paper in order to clarify what it is they do and do not want. By being involved in the design process, you are saved costly changes during construction.
  • Will your designer be available during the construction process?With any project, questions will come up that are best dealt with between the designer and the builder.
  • Be sure you’re getting a full set of blueprints required for your area. Otherwise, you’ll be paying someone else to create the additional pages. These hidden costs take away from your spending budget for things like lights, appliances, flooring, etc.
  • Site visits are crucial if the designer has a real concern for helping you build the best home for your land. How disappointing to find out too late that you’ve just missed being able to capture the views from your home because there were no site visits.

A good designer will make all the difference in bringing together these and other elements to create a home for you. Make sure your thoughts, concerns and ideas are heard. Otherwise, you’ll be spending money during construction to fix what is lacking in the plans.