The High Price of Home Design

All too often I speak with friends, family, and home owners who know that they need to do something with their house — but they don’t know where to start. Maybe they are bored with their same old vinyl exterior, tired of the lack of green space or gardens out front, or envious of their neighbors custom patio and deck. We all know that feeling – but acting on improving your house is a whole different matter!

I have to admit, my family members are big fans of that addicting web site and App called Houzz. We scrolled through their iPad app for weeks on end looking for cool ideas that may have worked for us – when we decided to do a big home reno. But ideas are one thing – albeit a fantastic starting point – committing to a reno without actually seeing what YOUR house would look like is pretty darn scary!

That’s when we decided to hire a professional house designer to draw up some sketches of “what could be”. Unfortunately we must have forgot to have her also draw up a more concrete list of what her deliverables “would be” along with a firm price quote. *sigh*. But, she was a friend of a friend and we were anxious to get moving. Lesson Learned.

After nearly $1,000 in “designer fee’s,” we ended up with a couple pages of loose leaf paper that had some new design concepts sketched of our homes exterior – plus introductions to some of her contractor friends who would give us a “great deal” on the work. Needless to say – we declined.

We wanted to do something to our house – but in our haste we learned just how expensive professional designer fee’s can be. We didn’t want architectural drawings, schematics, plans for city approval… we wanted some basic ideas, colors, and concepts that we can could quickly say we either like or dislike. We didn’t want any pretentious expert to have sit down meetings with us about our motivations, desires, likes and dislikes… heck we just wanted someone to make our real estate look great! This simple and quick approach is something that professional designers often have a hard time doing – and fair enough. They want to display their best talents, best ideas, and best abilities to you – a potential client. And their time is worth money. Lot’s of money depending on who you hire!

But sometimes we just want to get it done. Make it quick – make it affordable – make it great.

So here are the top three tips to get you started… and remember, you should always start out with the basics. Play around with your own ideas surrounding colors, materials, and landscaping before ever hiring someone to spend thousand of dollars designing your dream… because you may just find that all you really wanted was a little help spurring your own imagination and giving you that quick glimpse into “what could be”.

1) Outsiders Opinion

This is so important – talk to friends, family, colleagues and see what they would suggest for your home. But don’t forget they can be a little nice. The real home run opinion is that of your neighbors… you know… the ones with the perfect lawn, seasonal flowers, and freshly painted window trims. They have a vested interest in you doing the right reno’s as it only helps their curb appeal!

2) Online Ideas

Visit apps and websites for home design and home improvement. Don’t spend hours – spend seconds scanning photos & videos. Find something that looks like your house and quickly note what you like and what you hate. Can you recreate that archway with your roofline? Would that outdoor rock work be suitable for your climate? Take note of the improvements or designs that stand out the most to you as being “difference makers” then try to think about whether they would work on your property.

3) Affordable Designer Options

The web has an abundance of highly talented and highly motivated individuals and companies. You can hire a professional design Company half way across the world who may be hungry for work, or an independent contractor from Croatia who has just the skills you need. Search for “freelancers” or “online contractors” and then find the perfect worker for your needs.

So before shelling out thousands of dollars for exterior and landscape designs – start of with the basics. New ideas don’t necessarily have to mean big bucks, and who knows – maybe you’ll discover your own inner designer!

Hiring an Architect – Great Value Begins With a Great Home Design

A good architect or residential designer can make your new or existing home unique. If you’re looking for a truly custom home for a new building project, a home designer has the experience and tools you need.

It’s an investment in quality and comfort.

Question: When should we hire an architect … and why?

Answer:

The quick and easy answer to this question is; every time you build a new home or plan a home addition. Architects are creators, designers, and structural professionals. Many will also work with structural engineers and even interior designers.

Custom home building demands custom design. And, with a major remodel where additions are planned, you will most certainly require some form of home design professional. You cannot expect to get what you want or match the look and functionality of your home without a home designer.

Home Designing Exceptions That Work

Rarely are home building answers black and white and as simple as saying “do this … don’t do that.” And, when it comes to home plans, you definitely have other options besides hiring an architect.

Online and off, there are pre-drawn house plans for homes in nearly every size, style, and quality you can imagine. Some of them are quite good. You can find quality construction, good design, and very competitive pricing. But, the one thing you give up the most is having a true custom home. That’s something to consider before you purchase.

Why an Architect Could be Your Best Bet

Here are some popular reasons to hire an architect to design your home:

  • Local codes & restrictions  may require a local & licensed architect
  • You want a truly custom home designed to your specifications
  • You want a skilled designer to wow you!
  • You want ongoing design support during your construction

If you do use an architect, get clear on what you want early in the process to avoid lengthy and expensive re-works on the design.

Minimalist Home Designs – Considerations You Must Know

Let’s face it, choosing the right home design plan is a difficult task. If you have a small home then the situation becomes more difficult. There are so many options that we can consider, and it can be very confusing to choose one that fits with our style. What you must know is that figuring out the best design involves a number of factors. If you want to use minimalist home designs, there are some considerations you must know.

Consider the Lighting

Do you know that lighting also plays a very important role when it comes to minimalist architecture design? Be sure that you make use of only high quality lights. By using high quality lights, you can create a simple effect to your home. When it comes to picking colors, don’t forget that black and white are very common. These colors are the basic color used by many homeowners wanting to have minimalist house designs. For the floors, you can consider using dark wood. To create a simple effect, the roofs are usually flat. This is quite different from regular houses which you have seen so far. By using flat roofs, you can create a simple effect which is very ideal for minimalist home designs.

Use Bright Colors

Bright colors such as red, yellow and orange can provide an interesting design to your home. If you have decided to have a small home then bright colors will become a perfect choice. They can take the forms of artworks, vases, or simple pieces of display furniture.

Don’t Forget to Add Technology

When it comes to minimalist decorating, it doesn’t mean that you have to forego technology. For example, adding an entertainment system can be a great choice. Adding technology gives you some advantages. Some good examples include a big television and a DVD player. Keep in mind that some of these choices may take up less room than others. Thus, you need to be more selective when choosing them.

Add More Windows

A small home features many windows as it can help the home and room feel larger and more open. Thus, if you want to design a home that feels more open, don’t forget to add more windows. These windows can enhance the minimalist decorating style and create the modern feeling.

Choose an Architect That Has Experience in the Industry

Choosing a builder or architect that has experience in the industry is very vital. You can check how long they have been working with home plans. You can also check their experience especially when it comes to designing home plans. Keep in mind, not all architects are the same, meaning that you must be selective when choosing them. By finding the best one, you can ensure that everything will run smoothly.

Find a Style That You Enjoy

Choosing the right style is also important. The key is that you find a style that you enjoy. You need to find a builder who can accommodate your needs. Those who are effective in creating that particular style of the home should be included on the list.

Why Choose Small Home Plans

Sometimes small home plans can look as good as big home plans. Having a small house gives you some advantages. For example, a small house uses less energy to operate. It means that you can save some amount of money. A small house also requires fewer building materials to build. If you are on the budget then a small house plan is definitely a great idea. Another benefit you must know is that a small house is less expensive to build.

These are some tips that you must know if you want to build a new home. Consider these tips and add beauty to your home.