In home improvement

When it comes to planning out home additions, you’ll need to make a design brief to keep things organized and manageable. There are a lot of details involved in planning such a project, but a design brief helps you guide through them so you can visualize what the outcome should look like.

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A design brief is needed to give you a better understanding of your project as it serves as a guide on the more difficult parts of a remodel. It’s not hard making one for yourself, but you’ll need the help of a capable contractor so you can be confident that your home remodel gets done without delay. To get things started, here’s what you need to do:

Create a Set of Questions

One of the first things you need to do when planning your remodel is to create a list of questions. Planning out home additions will be much faster if there are clear goals that can be attained. This will also help you get closer to your vision of your completed remodel. Start by getting a design questionnaire from an online resource as it makes things easier in creating your own project checklist. Below are a few sample questions:

  • What kind of style do you require for your remodel? Are you going for traditional, contemporary, industrial, minimal or rustic?

  • How much time and energy are you willing to invest in maintaining your home?

  • How many floors or rooms are you planning to do? What’s the use of each room?

  • How many pets do you have in your home?

  • How many people live in your home? Do they need special accommodations?

  • Do you, your spouse or family members have any specific accessibility requirements?

  • What particular areas would you like to be more private than others?

  • Are you planning to add sustainability and energy efficiency features?

You’ll need to include the little details in your design brief as well, be it the type of lighting fixtures in your bathroom renovation or the type of wood to be used in the cabinetry of your kitchen remodeling project.

Keep in mind that what you want for your remodel will be different from what’s really needed, so be sure to have a thorough discussion with your contractor. Cover both the obvious as well as more design-specific questions so that any possible or future issues with your project will be covered. This is important especially when it comes to explaining your needs and preferences to your hired contractor.

Useful Tips in Creating Your Design Brief

When planning out your design brief with your hired contractor, don’t forget to keep these points in mind:

  • A List of Goals and Objectives 
    An ultimate list will help you explore how you can reach your goals and objectives for the project. You can expect the list of materials for your design brief to be long, but don’t forget that you’ll need to stay within your budget.

  • Style and Scope 
    You’ll likely have distinct likes and dislikes for your remodel, yet you may not be always good at expressing and bringing them all together. This won’t be a problem if you make use of online tools, such as mood board creators, floor plan sites and visual pinboards like Pinterest. These can help you visualize the themes and ideas for your dream remodel, and exploring what other people have done can also help you hone in on what you really want for your design!

  • Schedule Feasible Deadlines 
    This is an important part of your design brief; bad planning can delay your project and increase costs quickly. It will be more beneficial and cost-effective to hire a contractor who’s capable of managing the costs and processes of your remodel as it helps in feeling more at ease with the way your remodel is being completed. This is especially important if you need it to be completed by a certain date or if you have to move out during the course of the project.

  • Keep It Within Your Budget 
    Unless you have an open budget, you’ll need to weigh the costs involved with creating your remodel. While a basic kitchen remodeling project may just involve researching products online and in-store for visualization and a spreadsheet of purchase prices, a full home renovation will also need to include product costs, labor costs and even possible council fees. A contractor can assist you with this.

Adding the Finishing Touches

When you’re nearly done with creating your design brief, you need to go over it once more as it’s highly likely that you’ve made a few mistakes during this process. Be sure to check whether you didn’t commit certain mistakes such as the ones listed below.

  1. Favoring Beauty Over Function
    While beauty and aesthetics can mesmerize, function and practicality is much more favorable in the long run. Even if the remodel is for historic restorations, if it’s fundamentally for you and your family’s use, make sure your plans favor quality and comfort over pure visual aesthetics.

  2. Not Thinking Ahead Into the Future
    Keep in mind that you’ll stick with your newly remodeled home for years before you consider another renovation project again. It helps to add a bit of flexibility to your design right now so it can grow together with you and your spouse and/or family. Should the need to adapt when certain circumstances arise, you won’t need to spend as much since your home is already welcome to the change.

  3. Not Considering Your Family’s Opinions and Feelings
    While you’re the one mostly leading the whole design process, you should also take into account the ideas and opinions of your spouse or the rest of your family. Listening to their thoughts and suggestions will help you in planning out your design brief, and incorporating their ideas will make them feel like they’ve helped in making your project a reality!

When it comes to excellent home and historic restorations, you can count on our excellent services offered at Cottage Industries. Contact us at (610) 293-9750 or through our online request form.

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