I was recently forwarded an article by property investor Kristal Heise, who owns Mahalo Properties. Kristal sent me an article that she thought would be an interesting read for me. The article was titled:
Renovating a Property: Hiring An Interior Designer
In the article mentioned above, the author lists finding a great contractor as number one on their list. While I totally agree you need to have a great contractor, you are missing what I believe is the most important step before hiring a contractor! Um hum….an Interior Designer. Although I am not a lawyer, here are my arguments for hiring an Interior Designer prior to a contractor.
When you hire an Interior Designer they will design your renovation for you. What can that look like? It can come in many shapes and sizes however when you work with me, it looks like the following:
Options are looked at and provided to the investor. The function of the property is always thought of during the design phase. Once the plan is approved by the owner, every step taken forward is based off of this plan. This plan becomes the ‘roadmap’ for the renovation. Using the plan, items that are staying and used in the renovation are identified and items needed to purchased are identified. The list goes on and on. And why is that so important?
Without a plan, how do you know what you need to buy for your renovation? Have you seen how many sizes and choices there are for something as simple as a bathroom vanity? And do you know what all has to be thought of?
- What size does the vanity have to be? Who is using the bathroom(function)?
- Does the vanity already come with a counter and sink?
- If not, what type of counter should go on the vanity?
- What size of sink should be used? What style of sink?
- Depending on the sink, what faucet are we going to need?
When you hire an Interior Designer, these are the things we think of. This bathroom vanity is just one example of all of the decisions that need to be made. All measurement decisions also have to be made.
It’s so funny because as a child growing up, I really hated math. I know the word ‘hate’ is strong, but I really did hate math. That is why I find it so funny that pulling together a renovation budget gets me just as excited as creating the design. What I love best is sharing my Designer Discount with my clients. For those of you who I have worked with, you know exactly what I am talking about. Do you think you would get those discounts without me? No sorry – you wouldn’t. Why? Because I have worked hard at creating relationships with great Trade Only sources. As a result, I continue to come back time after time to purchase. As such, I continue to not only get great service, I get great pricing! A win-win! I love seeing what ‘retail’ pricing is and then the next column over, my Designer Discount and what my clients are saving!
On this particular kitchen renovation, my client saved $6,889.14 by simple working with me and choosing great products for her renovation!
By having a design plan in place, you can get quotes to have the work carried out. Just imagine how professional you look when a General Contractor or various trades comes in and ask you what is going to be done and you present them with a solid plan. Just imagine when the electrician or plumber ask you a question and you have the answer. You have a clear vision of what you want done. What does that mean for you? No surprise bills at the end! You should be able to get a quote to have the work carried out with little to no changes along the way.
For those of you who know me well, you know I am a very structured person. So this won’t surprise you. Ahhh…the construction calendar. I’ve just completed two so I’m still on the ‘calendar high’! When this gets pulled together I get goose bumps. I know when a construction calendar is created, we are close to starting the ball rolling. Once the ball starts, it doesn’t stop until we’re done. There should me minimal to no delays (baring any curve-balls) because all of the work has been done prior to this stage. The planning is all done. The picking out of items and shopping is all done. It’s now time for the experts and trades to come in and get ‘er done!
When you put time and effort into all of the above, it is nice to be given the go-ahead to drive the ship! Although some may look at this part as baby-sitting the trades, I look at it as a time where I get to see the trades in their element. Meet them, talk to them, get to know them as a person; create a relationship with them. Why do you think the trades want to keep working on my projects? Respect. It’s a two-way street. This is also a time where I get to see the stages of the renovation. The ugly demolition stage, the boring plumbing and electrical rough-in stage (sorry guys – as an Interior Designer I don’t get jacked-up often at this stage), the exciting stage where drywall starts to re-shape the space, and of course – the finishing stages.
Hiring an Interior Designer: Invest
When you are ready to invest in a property that needs a renovation it means there will be work. What you need to consider is:
- Do you have the time?
- Do you have the energy to see the project from start to completion?
- Do you have the connections to get great pricing along with on-trend items?
- Do you have the design background to design your property ?
- Do yo have the complete vision for your property?
If you answer no to any of those, then I suggest you hire an Interior Designer who loves working with property investors. A designer who gets the whole process of renovating!
Contact me today to discuss your next investment property!