The decision of whether or not to use a remodeling consultant is one that comes with pros and cons depending on your own expertise and confidence for planning and executing a home remodel. After all, consulting is one of those businesses that is oriented toward needing a particular service and, like other services, when it comes to deciding whether or not to hire a consultant for your home remodel, it often comes down to a simple question: Do you need the services and expertise of an outside professional?
There are several ways in which you can determine whether or not a professional remodeler is right for you. Have you done a home remodel before? Do you understand the construction process? Do you have connections in the business who can get you good deals on supplies and labor? If not, a qualified home remodeler surely has and does. It’s their business to know how to successfully execute a complete home remodel from start to finish. And if it’s important to you to get a job done quickly and efficiently, but you don’t have any experience yourself, then a using a consultant may very well be worth the money. In fact, sometimes the money you spend on consulting services can be made up, at least partially, in the wholesale savings for materials that some consultants may be able to pass on to you. Ask before you hire him or her if this is something that they offer.
The idea of using a consultant is probably the most appealing to consumers who want a job done quickly without any hassle or who are unable, for physical or other reasons, to do a home remodeling project on their own. In most cases, all it takes to get a job done is calling up their company, setting up an appointment, and then going over the work you’d like to have done. They write up a remodel estimate for the amount it will cost and then they handle the rest. Many remodeling consulting firms even offer warranty programs, so that the project continues to be their problem if something happens to go wrong. You hand over the liability and the responsibility to someone else. End of story.
On the other hand, using a remodeling consultant is a lot like using an interior decorator. They are there to offer services to you but, ultimately, you’re putting the control of the project in their hands. If you’re a person who prefers to be in charge of the reins and have your own home remodel ideas, then maybe this isn’t the best idea for you. An alternative would be for you to interview and receive bids from contracting companies and make the decisions, the hiring and the management of the work yourself. Also, some people view consultants as being one more middle man that a project doesn’t need. It’s simply one more person in the mix, to coordinate the work, employees, schedule and budget. And for those who are comfortable doing that kind of management themselves, then there might not be much value in using a consultants services.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to hire a consultant comes down to personal choice and comfort level. Do you think that managing a home remodel is something you’re comfortable with? If not, perhaps it makes sense to at least give a professional a call. Many offer free consultations, and one appointment could be all it takes for you to be able to make an informed decision.
I can agree, to a certain level, with the first answer posted. But, what I would disagree with is the part listed saying that a home owner would be putting the project in the hands of the consultant. That isn’t completely true in most cases. A consultant is just that, a consultant. They are used for their experience and expertise in a certain area. They would not be a general contractor, and unlike a home decorator, they don’t have “visions” of what a space is “capable of”. The would work with the home owner to help them with their ideas and offer suggestions where needed. Not take over the project. They can be as involved as the home owner would want.
In fact, when it comes to home remodeling, a consultant can be used in a wide range of duties. If a particular home owner is not sure where to start, or unsure if their ideas would work within the space allowed, then a home consultant is a great idea. They can come in and go over the plans or ideas and then inspect the area looking to be remodeled and give advice, suggestions, and more importantly can set expectations for the home owner on what the project will mean to them. A good consultant can even offer up advice on whether the project will raise, or lower, the value of the home. A good consultant can also sit down with the homeowners and look over multiple proposals to make sure they are seeing everything and comparing “apples to apples” from one proposal to the next. They may even know the contractors and can give feedback from other projects that the consultant is aware of. It starts the homeowner out on the right path.
A consultant can reduce the stress of the project, give peace of mind to homeowner, and the consultant can also be the best friend of contractor. There are a lot of contractors that are great at remodeling and construction, but may not be great with customers. Communication is half of what an average home owner regards as a “great experience” with a contractor. The consultant can help the contractor make sure the right message is being sent across and if, like many projects have, a problem occurs and something needs to be changed due to something unforeseen, then the consultant can work with the homeowner to make sure they understand and make sure the contractor isn’t just trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Don’t get me wrong, most contractors are honest, hardworking, and skilled individuals. But, then there are also the other kind who do or say anything to get the deposit and contract signed then the follow up and service may not be what the homeowner is paying for.
With the price of remodeling and the importance of value and appeal of the home to potential buyers, I would say paying a small fee to a consultant to get the project started on the right foot is worth it’s weight in gold. I mean, how much is it worth to have peace of mind in one of the most stress projects you will take on.