HOLMES: Opportunity to meet industry professionals face to face

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As things open up, the home and designer shows are personal and personal again. This is excellent news for the renovation and construction industry. It’s also good news for homeowners.

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It’s been two years since we’ve had a personal experience to see, touch and feel. Home shows can help homeowners on so many levels to improve their homes, offices, and living spaces.

I always recommend homeowners to do their due diligence and homework before embarking on any home improvement project, large or small. Home Shows offer homeowners the perfect opportunity to discover the latest trends, new products and educate themselves through keynote speakers, workshops and live demos. Ask questions, take notes and videos, get contacts, brochures and view samples. It’s a great way to do research and get inspired.

Many homeowners are becoming more savvy and educated, and they go to home shows with ideas of what projects they want to do and what companies they want to scout out. Ask lots of questions and educate yourself, but when it comes time for the actual renovation, I recommend working with a general contractor for any large-scale renovation, especially when it comes to the structure. The great thing is that you will also find many contractors and renovators at home fairs.

A general contractor is usually the lead project manager, but often also a licensed carpenter or certified renovation technician. You can do some of the work yourself or hire a team of subcontractors. General contractors obtain building permits, make recommendations for fit-out and materials, and find solutions to redevelopment challenges.

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Before signing the contract, make sure you compare multiple quotes, check references and previous work, confirm liability insurance and bondage, get a detailed contract with a clear understanding of the work and payment schedule, anticipate delays, and be on good terms. Home shows are a great way to start your search and meet people with no strings attached. It’s similar to speed dating.

There is great value in hiring an interior designer. Although a good general contractor has developed a great deal of design sense over the years, they are not designers and may not have the expertise to help you work within a specific style.

Interior designers often stand in for architects, assisting with room layouts (particularly kitchens and bathrooms), space planning, and storage. They often provide homeowners with 3D renderings and elevation drawings of the affective space. They can also help with cosmetic decisions. What style of crown molding will look best in your home? What type of kitchen cabinets will look best in your space? Interior designers can help you create functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing spaces while following building plans, building codes, accessibility standards, and inspection requirements.

An interior designer will spend time with you to find out what you like, what your lifestyle demands and what best suits your needs and tastes. Designers have the knowledge and experience to get you the best price for your needs and they usually pass their trade discount on to the customer and charge their time. They also help you find the best way to use your budget by spending money on quality materials instead of fancy finishes.

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Again, home shows are great for checking out the latest trends, finishes and innovations. At this point, however, the process can become overwhelming and an interior designer can help you meet your wants and needs. Also, at-home vendors often offer special pricing, deals, and contests to help homeowners save money.

Remember that an interior designer is not the same as an interior designer. An interior designer can dress up a room to make it look stylish and trendy. At the same time, a registered interior designer will examine the form and function of the project, your vision, lifestyle and budget, apply for planning permission and draw up plans for plumbing, electrical and spatial planning, among other things. Interior designers do not need to have the same technical training as interior designers.

Doing your homework and understanding the selection process are essential to a successful project. Do not be afraid to inquire about previous projects, competencies and procedures. Experienced contractors and interior designers have portfolios and a track record of completed projects to back their claims. It’s important to do a thorough screening of your builder and interior designer before letting them into your home. Trust and respect are essential for a successful project.

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