Remodeling Company vs. Interior Designers
There are many paths to take to get your remodel completed and it can be confusing out there! With hundreds of companies that specialize in basements, how do you know which to choose? And what is the difference that an interior designer can bring to the table?
Basement remodeling companies are good at what they do (most of them), however they are known for getting in, getting done, and getting out. This might mean that you don't have much say in the layout, design, material selections, and other elements that you may want to be more involved in. Many remodeling companies give away "free design," when in actuality they have an app that can draw up a floor plan for you, and you will only get one option. When working with a remodeling company it is also common to have a narrowed selection of finish materials, such as granite, tile, carpet, etc. to choose from. The bigger companies are able to buy in mass quantities and its easier for them to sell you something they have already acquired, than it is to walk through a slab yard with you and find that all-start piece you are hoping for. At the end of they day, if they have good references, and you like their work, there is nothing wrong with going for it with a remodeling company. However, often we get clients after they have already started with a remodeling company and they are looking for help because they want something other than the standard options provided to them. It can get tricky coming in after you have already hired someone, but we are glad to help when we can.
When you start your process with an interior designer we are going to first sit and evaluate your needs. Do you have a need for an entertainment room, or are we doing an Irish pub / man cave? Just because the drain for the plumbing is in the far corner, doesn't always mean that is the best placement for your bathroom. Your builder didn't interview you when they built the home, they built something that would generally satisfy a majority of homeowners. As an example, we worked on a gorgeous basement a couple of years ago, and our client really wanted a second kitchen downstairs for entertaining. This is something we take seriously, because the first lesson in design is always about how we are going to USE the space - no two spaces are equal to their end user.
Once we dive in and get your needs met we can generally offer 2-3 different floor plans, or layouts. This is where our services really start to vary from those of a remodeling company. You pick the layout and we make a few more changes to it, until it completely satisfies your needs. Then we roll into customizing the selection of materials, finishes, cabinets, colors, etc. with you (not for you).
The end result is unique to your needs and style, and not the same basement that you will find in your neighbors home across the way. This can help with resale value down the line, and help you to enjoy your customized space for many years to come!
What about the Budget?
Many people that have not yet worked with a designer might be worried when they see a design fee, especially if they are also looking at remodeling companies that offer "free design." We can't speak for every remodeling company out there, but we can speak to the level of service and share the discounts we provide to our clients.
When you work with a remodeling company, you may be paying a markup on materials. In fact, many contractors write in a markup percentage in their contracts.
When you work with Spark Interiors on your basement remodel, we extend a design-trade discount to you on your project related goods and materials. What this means, is that it should be no more expensive to work with a designer than with a remodeling company. In many cases, our clients save well over what they pay us in design fees which means their bottom line does not change. Design clients get a personalized experience, a choice of materials beyond the standard, and the peace of mind in knowing that their basement use fits their needs.