Planning your new home renovation should be the exciting part where all of your ideas come together and your home starts to take shape on paper. But finding the right designer can prove to be a headache. There are many things to consider. Choose the wrong designer and your home renovation can move you away from your intended goals, and in the worst case scenario, can result in expanded costs which can exceed your original budget intentions.
Carefully selecting the right designer; one that can build upon your own ideas and bring them to life is a challenge worth accepting. The rewards of helping create your own renovation masterpiece, in concert with your designer, are absolutely worth every minute of the time you will invest.
As we have said, great renovations begin with a clear vision, and a clearly articulated plan. Today we will concentrate on the plan. Understanding the services and roles offered by various design professionals is the first stage to finding the right professional for your grand renovation plan, so let’s start here.
“Architect” is a term that is used today in a generic sense to describe just about any design professional who puts pencil to paper. What is an Architect exactly and what can they do for you?
The profession of architecture is represented in BC by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia. In fact, each province in Canada maintains its own Architectural associations. However all Architects in Canada must be licensed by the federal Architectural licensing body called the CACB (Canadian Architectural Certification board). The CACB maintains the high standards that Architects in Canada must meet to practice their profession. All registered Architects must hold professional indemnity insurance equal to the level of the projects they take on. Architects produce sets of plans and drawings as a part of their work; however, they provide many other services to the homeowner as well. For example, an architect can complete, feasibility studies, planning and building regulations submissions, tender packages and contract administration. Needless to say, a Canadian registered Architect will charge substantially higher fees to design your renovation than would a non-licensed designer. It is also important to note that in many residential construction renovations it is not necessary to employ a certified Architect.
Designer, Architectural consultant, Draftsperson, Architectural technologist
There is a dizzying array of terms for design professionals who are not registered Architects. However, they all find employ by designing structures as a service. Many of these folks are exceptionally talented and have years of experience. It is not always necessary or even desirable to hire an Architect when a design professional can do the job for you at a lower cost structure. Architectural technologists can take a building from inception right through to final certification, and in many cases, on a more cost effective basis than employing an Architectural firm.
Many Interior Designers are ideally suited to design projects involving renovations to existing homes. The “right” Interior Designer can save the homeowner thousands of dollars in potential design missteps. The JBR team knows from experience how vital the role a good Interior Designer will play in completing a project. Warren Barrow, Managing Partner at JBR Construction says “Our Design professionals start with the premise of exceeding our client’s expectations at every level; that’s the only path forward as far as we are concerned”
Whether it’s choosing the right colour palettes, tile selections, lighting design, or interior trim package, an Interior Designer can help bring all the components together as a whole. Be warned, there are lots of amateurs out there calling themselves Interior Designers with little or no experience. Our team at JBR Construction maintains a list of the most sought after Interior Design pros in the business.
Making a choice
If you are confident about the changes you want to make to your home, and if you understand in a general sense how you would like your finished renovation to look, then you might only need to employ the services of a good architectural consultant or designer. On the other hand, if you feel that you need help with the whole project from inception to completion, an Architect/Interior Designer combination might be the best way to tackle your project.
The first step is to identify your needs, and then seek assistance according to your level of need. The JBR Construction team regularly works with homeowners who wish to renovate their homes. Our job is to work with you the homeowner to identify your goals, your budget, and your ultimate vision. Once we understand completely your project parameters, we can then pair you up with the “right” design professionals who will translate your vision into a blueprint.
Preparing for your meeting with a Builder and a Design professional is not as daunting as it first appears. The JBR Construction team has compiled a simple list of questions for you to answer before your meeting so that you are ready:
- Identify the purpose of your renovation
- Provide a clear description of what you would like to change in your home
- What are your specific goals for your renovation?
- What are your top priorities for your renovation?
- What is your preliminary budget for your renovation?
- What is your rough timeline to complete your renovation?
Take some time now to write down answers to these questions. Don’t worry if some of your answers change as your project evolves and becomes clearer. Welcome all new ideas as they occur to you because it means you are making good progress. Remember that the best renovations all have a common element and that is good planning.
Once you have selected your team, and your ideas have been put to paper, your next steps are municipal permits. Here your design/build team will begin to take greater prominence as your project takes its first steps towards becoming reality. Building your dreams into reality… that’s where we really shine! Give JBR Construction a try today!