Working with a Designer

Hiring a designer

Chances are that if you hiring a designer, and not buying your plan off a website, you have a goal you are trying to accomplish. Which means you need someone who understands your goals for the property and has a process on how to get there. Here are some good goals on why you would want to hire a designer:
  • I have a difficult site and I need someone to come up with a plan to maximize the benefits
  • I want to design my dream home
  • My own sketches on a piece of paper aren’t working out, or even better
  • I really like the sketches I have created for myself

These are design goals, and you should hire someone who understands design goals. A good designer will listen to your ideas for the project, discuss the possibilities for each one, combine those ideas together, while working with the constraints of the building site, to then offer solutions which best meet those goals. They will do this in a way that reflects your understanding of the home you want designed.

Designers should never make you feel silly for not understanding their craft. A large part of their craft is figuring out how to communicate what you want to see in your home. Design can be a complicated beast and it the designers job to fully explain what it is you are getting and why some things just wont work together. You don’t do this everyday remember? We almost get more nervous when a client doesn’t want to change anything and knows exactly how it will look.

Picking the right designer

Remember that time you were looking for someone to help you manage your investments? And you fired up Google and searched for “best investment advisor’s” and they ended up being a hack? And it set you back time and money and prolonged your misery? And then you talked to a few people, did some research and found someone who actually knew what they were doing?

Chances are you know someone who has used a designer at some point in the past. Or maybe you are building in a community with lots of new construction, or in an older area with a lots of revitalization? Lots of those projects will have a good designer behind them. That doesn’t mean that designer will be right for you, but if not they will probably be able to point you in the right direction.

The problem is, anybody can call themselves and designer, and we absolutely aren’t created equal!

Almost all the work Boss Design takes on, is from referrals. We have great relationships with our past clients, and love to take care of any referrals they give us.

Checking out previous work

Once you find a designer you would like to work with, check out a portfolio of their work. Ask where, and what type of person they have done this work for. What issues were the trying to solve with this particular design? Keep in mind, their portfolio is a record of issues they solved for other people with their own unique budgets.

Portfolio’s are great, and you might find something that really appeals to you, but focus mainly on the quality of the design and the attention to detail. We use our portfolio of previous jobs to reinforce design concepts for many things such as roof designs, window configurations and different architectural styles. Visual examples are the best way to explain a complicated design idea.

Don’t sign a contract based on previous work

When you meet with designers, you are going to get two types of people. Designers who will talk about themselves and all the great things they have done, and those who will listen to you, your ideas and what you are looking for in a home. Achievements are a good barometer, but choose the latter. Look for designers who ask questions about your goals, your lifestyle and your needs and who are generally interested in your vision, rather then designing another architectural masterpiece for their portfolio.

Tell us your budget

At the end of the day, you are paying money to get a home designed. You get what you pay for. Consider the example of a tailor. You can get a $300 suit or a $3000 suit and many points in between. If you have $600 to spend, sure you will get a quality suit, but they will probably start with less expensive fabrics, not include as many options and likely skip the vest. The budget is one of the most important factors when designing a home, and knowing what it is up front will influence us when suggesting possible solutions.

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