Remodeling projects can be complicated. There are so many decisions to be made, both big and small. One of the first ones you will have to make is what type of professional you will hire to design your project: an architect or an interior designer.
While there is definitely some overlap between some of the things theses two types of professionals do, there are also some distinct differences. In the end, the type of project you are going to be undertaking will determine who you should hire to design it.
Using a Long Beach Architect for Your Home or Business Remodel
Everyone knows that for a ground up build you should use an architect, but when you’re talking about a home remodel or tenant improvement project, the decision can be a bit more complicated.
In general, if you’re contemplating a large or complex remodel, using an architect is the way to go. Architects are highly trained, licensed professionals. A good architect will consider the space as a whole—whether it’s a house or commercial property. They’ll think about things like flow and how the space will be used. They will take into account the lot that a home sits on and how it can be best utilized or how to take advantage of a particular view. For an office or commercial building, they’ll help you maximize your space and design something that will inspire both employees and customers. They’ll think about things like safety and compliance with local regulations, and may even be able to help you make your space more environmentally friendly.
One thing a lot of people don’t seem to know about architects is that they can also serve as your project manager. Most people assume that once the plans are drawn up and approved, they never interact with the architect again. This may be true in some circumstances, but it’s also the case that your Long Beach architect can be involved with your project from start to finish. Who better to do things like deal with the city on permitting issues, or to make sure your general contractor executes the agreed-upon plan to your satisfaction?
When to Use an Interior Designer for Your Long Beach Remodel
Not all renovation projects need an architect. If your project just involves changing up the finishes of your space, such as flooring, cabinetry, window treatments, or moldings, an interior designer will do just fine. If you’re happy with the overall footprint of your current space, an interior design professional can give it fresh, updated look and offer a design plan that can help you make the best use of it.
There are also designers that specialize in kitchen and bathroom remodels (conveniently called kitchen designers and bath designers). They can help you reimagine the space you have and come up with a more efficient and attractive layout. They should also take into account things like lighting, storage, and ergonomics. A kitchen or bathroom designer can typically also handle a certain level of project management after they complete the design—meaning they can work with your general contractor to ensure their vision is executed properly.
If your kitchen or bathroom design is going to involve blowing out walls or if it is part of a larger remodel, you should definitely consider bringing in an architect. A Long Beach architect can do everything a kitchen and bath designer can do, and then some.
Here at Grisafe Architecture, you actually get the best of both worlds. Yes, we have skilled architects at our Long Beach architecture firm, but we also have interior designers who know the latest trends and are up on new products that will take your remodel to the next level.
What About Using My General Contractor for Design Ideas?
Experienced, talented contractors are typically great at coming up with functional solutions, but given that they’re not trained in design, those solutions may not always end up looking or feeling right once they’ve been executed. There are, of course, exceptions. You may luck out and find a contractor with a great design sense. But generally speaking, a contractor should not be relied upon to design your remodel.
Most general contractors know their limitations. In fact, we work with multiple general contractors who send their clients to us when they need designs that are beyond their abilities.
If you’re not sure what type of design professional you need for your remodel, contact us at Grisafe Architecture. We are happy to talk with you about your project and give you some guidance. If our Long Beach architecture firm isn’t a good fit for your project, we’ll let you know and refer you to someone who will do a great job for you. If it’s something we can help you with, we’ll get started turning your vision into a reality!