Deciding the best path for your home renovations and remodeling projects can be intimidating. The most important element of any home improvement project is to determine you needs and desires. It's important to complete this process before meeting with builders or general contractors.

Creating a hierarchy and sorting through ideas is critical.

Start by making a notebook for collecting and organizing your ideas and thoughts. Any information should be added during your investigation process. Create tabs in your notebook which include the following categories: Ideas, Floor Plan, Resources and Products.

Collect information for your remodeling project. Gather photographs and pictures of products, kitchen designs and ideas that may add value to your impending project. Make notes for each picture. Clearly label your likes and dislikes. Also, note items that are a must have. Many samples of renovation and remodeling ideas can be found throughout the internet and in remodeling and kitchen specialty magazines.

Now, create a floor plan of your existing house. It's not a typo. You will be best served by a floor plan of the whole house. The focus of your efforts will surround the area of emphasis and adjoining rooms.

Now that you have finished compiling your basic information, you are ready to start making one of the toughest decisions regarding your home improvement project. Do I help with the design? Unless you have experience, you will need some advice in order to achieve the best results.

How do you determine whom should help with your renovation's design? You must first realize your limitations. In your initial research for ideas, have you developed a crystal clear set of features that you want? Do you need help resolving issues or are you looking for unbiased guidance?

Is your renovation project simple or complex? Kitchen renovations are generally more difficult than a secondary bathroom remodel. Then again, an owner's bathroom remodeling project may be every bit as complex as a kitchen renovation.

Following are different levels of design help available for your remodeling project. Each will provide a different level of assistance. This list starts with the areas of greatest assistance to the least. They are as follows:

Interior Designer

You may consider hiring an interior designer if you have an expensive high-end kitchen remodel. Finding the right interior designer that suites your style can require a healthy undertaking. The site listed below has detailed instructions on finding the interior designer for you.

Be forewarned, many interior designers provide construction services. Make sure that the design is not part of the construction. You will want to feel free to bid the project through other sources.

We don't advise allowing a single source of design and construction. Authorization over one and advisement over the other is advisable.

Kitchen Supply Center

This is an area that you need to tread carefully. All information and guidance from this source should be checked by independent sources. Just in case you receive conflicting opinions, it would be best for you to seek additional resources. The typical goal with this system is to bring you in with the visual samples and help with their professionals. They will keep you within products and services that they offer. This is not necessarily bad, it is only biased.

Design Services Consultation

This is a less common path though, the least biased and most open form of information. These services would include advisement by an individual or a team in the design and construction of your kitchen. There is no opportunity to use their subcontractors with this service, therefore, no hidden or advice to steer you in a specific direction. Ideally, with this delivery, you would have access to training and advice throughout the process. With this process, YOU WILL BE EMPOWERED to manage the team. In other words, you become an informed consumer in the process.

DIY: Do it Yourself

You may have all of the tools and confidence in the world to complete the project on your own. In this case, once your ideas are organized, you are ready to proceed with the design and construction yourself.


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