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Building a Home

Should I Hire a Designer when Building a Custom Home?

Published on:

8/19/20

written by:

Carrie Barker

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I was recently on a Zoom call with one of my ‘Building Your Foundation’ (BYF) members. She’s starting to plan for her home build and she asked me, ‘is it worth it for me to hire a designer when building a custom home?’

We determined that she probably didn’t need a designer, but your situation might be different. It all boils down to YOUR needs and YOUR level of comfort with making design decisions for your new home.

Below, we’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of adding an interior designer to your home build team.

Designing a custom home can feel like a full-time job at times. Here are some important things to consider when you decide if hiring a designer for your custom build is worth it for YOU:

  • Do I have the time to devote to selecting finishes?
  • Do I have an idea of what I want style-wise?
  • Am I able to envision what the finished design will look like?
  • Do I have the money to invest in a designer?

WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE A DESIGNER WHEN BUILDING A CUSTOM HOME

Adding an interior designer to your home building team offers many benefits, including:

REDUCED STRESS FOR YOU!

An interior designer can make the custom home build process SO much easier and less stressful for you.

You have the option to turn over all the decisions to your designer OR you can be a part of the process and have the designer narrow down your selections for you make the final decision.

Either way, the help of a designer = less stress for you!

A DESIGNER CAN HELP YOU VISUALIZE

A designer has the ability to visualize the space and materials when everything is put together.

She/he can help you better visualize the design aesthetic by creating physical or virtual design boards.

Interior designers can collaborate with your architect and/or builder for optimum spatial planning, window, and door placement, ceiling details, etc.

VAST KNOWLEDGE OF OPTIONS

An interior designer can help you with all the design selections … lighting fixtures, flooring, counters, paint colors, etc.

Also, she/he will have knowledge about products available, as well as access to options that are only available to ‘the trade’ (i.e. you can’t order without a designer).

DRAWBACKS TO HIRING A DESIGNER WHEN BUILDING YOUR HOME

While working with an interior designer can be beneficial in helping you bring your vision to life, there are a couple of drawbacks.

COST

First of all, designers can be quite pricey! Some charge an hourly rate while others charge a flat fee or a %age of your overall project fee.

Make sure to get full clarity up-front about how the designer you intend to use will charge you.

Do keep in mind that although their fee can be hefty, designers may be able to save you money through their vendor discounts. Not to mention, they save you time … as well as reduce your stress!

CONFLICTING STYLE

Another drawback is if you can’t find a designer with the same style as you. Make sure to check references and, if possible, tour homes she/he previously designed. Also, be sure to verify if the designer can work within your budget.

You’ll need to do a little research to find the best fit for you both style-wise and cost-wise.

SO … IS IT WORTH IT TO HIRE DESIGNER?

Again, this all depends on your level of comfort with creating a floor plan and choosing finishes on your own.

HIRING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER IS WORTH IT IF:

  • You have a difficult time envisioning your future home on your own
  • You don’t quite have a ‘design eye’
  • You’re too busy to take on the large project of choosing finishes
  • You either want your options narrowed down for you or you want someone to take over completely

HIRING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER IS NOT WORTH IT IF:

  • You know what you like and you know your overall ‘vision’ for your future home
  • You have the time to put into this project
  • You enjoy choosing finishes on your own and think you have it under control
  • You don’t want to invest in an expensive designer

If you have a pretty good idea of what you want and all you need is a little guidance (but not a full-fledged interior designer) you might be a great fit for my signature program, Building Your Foundation

This is a low-cost alternative to get design ideas as well as personal support and feedback throughout your home build … without hiring a designer when building a custom home.

Whether you choose to use a designer or not, make sure to grab my *FREE* Custom Home Build Prep Guide to learn the five crucial steps that will help you prepare for a home build with less stress, more confidence, and a plan to stay on budget!

  1. Adrienne says:

    Also, designers have tons of resources for furniture, window treatments (both stock and custom ), carpet (the builder will have limited selections), artwork, accessories and decorative light fixtures. Do you want that cookie cutter “builder look” like you just walked into Nebraska Furniture Mart? Or do you want a unique home which reflects your family’s personality and lifestyle?

  2. That’s a good point that an interior designer would be pretty expensive. I would probably prefer to spend that money on making the house nicer if I was to build one. I should probably leave the design of the home to the builder if I decide to have one built.

  3. You made a good point that designer will definitely help if I’m having trouble envisioning my future home. It would perhaps be best to hire a custom home design service when I get my new home built. This way, I will be able to immediately see if my ideas would actually look good before actually committing to them.

  4. Fred Gibbons says:

    It’s helpful that you point out that hiring an interior designer can save you a lot of stress when you are buying a custom home. My wife and I are having a custom home built for us right now, so I’m considering hiring an interior design service to help us arrange the inside. I’m going to look for a good provider of interior design services in the area that we can hire.

  5. I like that you said that it would be beneficial to hire a custom home design service if the homeowner doesn’t have a “design eye” and would like someone to narrow down the options for them. My husband and I plan to have our dream home constructed next year. We want to be hands-on on the project, but we admit we lack the knowledge and “design eye,” so we’ll definitely consider hiring a design firm. Thanks!

  6. Chance Cook says:

    I like how designers can visualize the space. That is a gift that I wish I had. Perhaps I can find a designer that can help me out with this.
    https://www.hastingsconstruction.com/drafting-design-services

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