You want to start a project in your home, but you are wondering who you need to hire and what to look for? Whether you are doing a refresh project in your home, remodeling a room, or building an entire new home, we want to help you gather the right pros for your project.
The Handyman vs Licensed Professional
A refresh project is one that entails minor projects that can involve changing out materials or fixtures to update a room. This could be items like new lights and paint, drapery and new furniture. While you always want to do your homework when hiring people to work on your home, we recommend If you are switching out lights or plumbing (those things that are buttoned up behind the walls) you want to have the licensed and insured plumber or electrician who can take care of that for you. For all other minor repairs outside of walls, you can hire a handyman. It is obvious to some, but If you hire these trades on your own, you are managing them.
Vendors include cabinetry makers, countertop fabricators, flooring stores, tile shops, plumbing showrooms and lighting galleries. Each vendor might have their own installers available. This is very helpful when you are wanting to refresh areas of your home and are not doing major remodeling. When it comes to stone countertops, you work exclusively with the fabricators installers.
The General Contractor
If you are planning a home renovation or a full-scale construction project, hiring a general contractor is the way to go. They are typically a trained, licensed carpenter or a renovation technician and a licensed contractor. They have the resources and team to manage your project from beginning to end. The contractor will either have staff that do each trade or will be able to sub contract each job out and organize and manage the overall order for your construction project and codes inspections.
An Architect is the Designer of Buildings with a degree in Architecture. If you are building a home or planning a structural remodel to your home, you will need to hire one. The architect will develop a full set of plans for your home that a contractor can build from. This will also be sent to codes for the city to approve.
If you are remodeling a unique or historic home hiring an Architect is important. They are able to keep the home’s design consistent with original style, while giving strategic options to expand for your needs. When and where design is critical, hire an architect.
The Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator
Interior Designers and Interior Decorators are related but are two different professions.
Decoration is defined as the process or art of decorating or adorning something.
Design is defined as a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is built or made.
Decorators are there to make a home look great and are typically self taught. Decorators are amazing at styling or accessorizing a home. They are also great if you need a simple refresh.
Interior designers have a Bachelor’s degree in interior design. They deal not only with furnishing and decor, but also with the building plans, lighting plans, function and location, the social context of the project, codes and regulatory requirements, and environmental sustainability…just to name a few.
While both will be creative and talented, they can each branch off into difference niches within design and decor.
Interior Designers that specialize in construction and remodeling can also do interior drawing packages for the interiors- for codes to approve as well as a contractor to build from. Every city will have different drawing requirements and you will need to check with your city.
The Landscape Architect vs Landscaper
Once you hit dirt, it is out of the Architect and Interior Designer’s wheelhouse and on to the Landscape Architect. You need the Landscape Architect to build the overall landscape plan. They will do site planning that has to do with your property lines, water and sewer lines, as well as other codes. Do NOT do any major reconstruction of your property without one. The Landscaper has a team to do the work. They are able to pull together a great design and has knowledge of plants and their needs . The Landscape Architect has this knowledge as well and uses this in their planning. They work together for sure.
For ANY of these professionals, what you really want first is a recommendation from someone who has used that professional and can attest to their work. The second would be getting a recommendation from someone in the industry, like a designer, architect, or ask the associate at the tile store who they use. And then lastly, if they have it, check out their reviews online.
Once you determine WHO you need, the best thing is to hire them at the same time. Even if they don’t all need to start the work at the same time. This will help you avoid paying for something twice. Let each trade know who you are pulling on board and hold a meeting with everyone there so everyone knows their part to play. Trust me! -THIS works the best!
We work a lot with Architects, Contractors, trade vendors, and so much more! We love partnering with other professionals to ensure you have the best outcome for your home! If you need recommendations for your projects, reach out to us, we can help you build your dream team!