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The Difference Between Hiring A Designer And Going DIY

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Only you know whether you’d rather hire a designer or develop the space on your own. Image Via: Martha O’Hara Interiors

Changing the look of your home is never easy. It’s an investment of time and money that you want to continue falling in love with for many years to come. It’s no surprise that many people seek professional assistance to ensure that they create a timeless look.

But hiring an interior designer isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to be more hands on and thrive under the opportunity to create the look of their own space from scratch.

But, how can you tell which camp you fall into? We’ve outlined some of the main differences between hiring a designer and going DIY, or doing the project on your own. Read them over before you start your next remodel. They’ll help you make the decision with confidence.

Both professionally designed rooms and DIY projects look great in the end, but there are tradeoffs in the design process. Image Via: Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers

Before starting any design projects, odds are you have some idea of what you’d like the finished space to look like. Since working with a designer often requires steady communication to get your concept across, take the time to consider how you see the space before you start hiring.

For some of us, it’s all about the details. Are you the sort of person who already has the furniture for your new space picked out? Is your heart set on recreating a contemporary Japanese style? If you have very specific thoughts on how you would like to design the space, you may be better suited to tackling the space on your own so that you can be sure your vision is executed exactly how you want it.

Others of us, however, are more about seeing the big picture. These are the people who know what they like when they see it, even if they have trouble nailing down exactly what it is that makes that look so appealing. In this case, a designer will probably be your greatest asset since he or she will be able to present you with a multitude of options and help guide you through the decision making process.

Going DIY means that you can entirely control how the space looks, right down to the tiny details. Image Via: Andra Birkerts Design

It goes without saying that DIY projects tend require a large investment of time. Though they are often worth it in the end, if you’re not prepared for the process, they can be more trouble than they’re worth. Before you start your design project, think long and hard about if you can handle the commitment or you would rather consult a professional.

If you’re the type of person who is constantly clocking overtime hours at work or is in charge of balancing several family members’ hectic schedules, DIY may not be the best choice for you. It may be better to hire a designer who can do all the legwork of finding contractors and sourcing materials, so that you only have to give final approval.

On he other hand, if you happen to have a good amount of free time at your disposal and genuinely think you’ll enjoy spending your nights and weekends giving your home a facelift, go for it. Renovating a space can be an opportunity to hone new skills, not to mention a point of pride that you’ll have for years to come.

A designer will handle all the pesky details of your project, so you can just enjoy the end result. Image Via: Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer

We’ve got some news for you: interior design projects are rarely a one or two person job, no matter how small they may seem. Even if you plan to tackle a lot of the physical labor on your own, the process will be much faster and more enjoyable if you can call in a few connections who are willing to lend a hand.

When you’re considering doing the project on your own, it’s often a matter of calling in favors from your rolodex. Do you have any friends and family members who may be willing to help you help you tackle some of your more tedious tasks? Have you worked with contractors on a past project that you’d like to hire again, if need be? As long as you can think of a few names that you can turn to for assistance, you should be fine.

But, if you have trouble coming up with some names, a designer may have just the connections you need. He or she will likely have a large network of contacts that they’ve worked with on previous jobs. You should have no trouble getting plenty of recommendations for qualified contractors.

Designers have contacts that can assist with every aspect of the remodel. Image Via: IKEA

Every home design project comes with some element of cost and hiring an interior designer is no exception. Fox News estimates that most homeowners spend between $75-$250 per hour on their services. At that price range, cost absolutely needs to be a factor in your decision.

Sit down and look at your budget for the project. Are you content with the idea taking a sizable chunk of money out of your budget to pay a designer? Considering the estimated hourly figure, did you also leave a cushion for extra expenses and unforeseen costs? If the answer to either one of those questions was, “no”, we’d strongly advise you to go the do-it-yourself route and put your money towards design elements that you’ll love.

However, if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford hiring a professional, you still want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. As you interview each designer make sure to ask them not only about their price, but what services are included in that figure. Make sure to ask if any additional fees apply and what the procedure is for handling additional incurred expenses.

Repurposing items you already own such as using slip covers can also help you stay on budget. Image Via: Leslie Glazier @ Properties

The decision of whether to hire an interior designer or develop the space on your own can be a weighty one. While professional help may require a large investment of money, going DIY takes an equally big investment of time. Only you can decide which path is right for you, but we’ve got a few tips to make that right answer become clear. Read them over before you start your next project and let us know what you decide.

Do you like to hire a designer or to redo your spaces on your own? What factor makes that decision for you? Tell us in the comments below.

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