Utilizing A Designer

Design Consulting for R.J. Manemann Custom Homes, Inc.

Photography Provided by R Thomas

A designer can be an invaluable resource to everyone planning on building or remodeling a home. Often considered the “decorator”, the designer provides much more in service than simply helping with the selection of colors and materials. From concept to space planning, interior detailing, and coordinating of all elements of the project, a designer “pulls it all together”. The finished project will be an environment that functions efficiently, is aesthetically pleasing, and reflects the needs and personalities of the client.


The designer compliments the builder by acting as an interpreter for the client, facilitating decision making, and communicating ideas. The builder draws from his own expertise and then uses this information to complete the project.

Coming up with a concept is probably the most important part of the process. The designer accomplishes this by interviewing the client and determining their needs, aesthetic tastes, and budget. This concept or vision guides the client in making decisions throughout the project.

Often the client has a plan or ideas they are working with. The designer can evaluate the plan and make recommendations or modifications to make it flow and function more efficiently. Something as simple as moving a door can change the entire function and look of a room. The designer can work with the architect, builder, or home designer to implement these changes.

Interior detailing is another important part of the planning process. The designer can detail each area of the home, including cabinet plans, bathroom layouts, soffit details, niches and built-ins. The designer can integrate the cabinet plans with appliances, plumbing fixtures and lighting plans so that all parts work together, creating a cohesive environment.

Drawing on the concept or vision, the designer can facilitate in selecting the interior products that will finish the home.  The experience and knowledge of these products can make the selection process easier for the client. The designer can coordinate plumbing fixtures, cabinets, floor coverings, light fixtures, countertops, hardware, and color to complete the project.

Many people don’t realize that the designer can also help with selections on the exterior of the home. The selections that are made for materials and colors will make a lasting first impression.

Using a designer can make the building process easier for the client as well as the vendors and subcontractors. If the same information is clearly communicated to everyone involved, the process is smoother, fewer mistakes are made, and the final outcome is successful.

As the client you may only need to utilize part of the services that are available. You can hire a designer as a consultant, paying them an hourly fee, or as an integral part of the entire project which is usually fee based. Knowing your own time limitations, budget, and knowledge of the building process, you can determine how much help you desire. Ask your builder, he may also be able to help you decide. 

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