Insider Secrets: The Best Time To Start Designing





Fall: The best time to start thinking about a remodel or building a new home.


If you have ever taken on the adventure of building a new home or remodeling an existing residence (even if it only was a kitchen or bathroom remodel) you know that construction can be a little bit tricky during winter, and that the project from beginning to end ( design to finished construction) can continue over multiple seasons. But how do you use that to your advantage? I will let you in on several industry secrets that can make the process much easier on your pocket while avoiding the headache of battling Mother Nature.


  1. Start looking for a residential designer during the Fall: This is secret #1. Many people decide to start the design of a new home during the season in which they want to have the project finished. This tends to force most designers to juggle many projects during the Summer months and most projects to be built a year later than expected. If you start your home design in the best building months, the designers you prefer might not be available, especially those with the most reasonable fees. Not only will the design phase of your project take longer if started with an already very busy designer, but you will also miss out at an opportunity to negotiate a better rate. At Studio Boise, we offer special incentives to start design during the Fall-Winter seasons because we prefer to spread our workload throughout the year allowing us to give more attention to each design. Many respectable firms would do the same. The secret here is simply to ask and ask before the building months.
  2. Take note of the pros and cons of your home in each season. During the warm, outdoor months, we tend to guide our thoughts to being outside and how we can improve our porches, gardens, deck areas, and access to raft and bike storage. When we are snuggled up indoors during the cold, windy months, we notice how tight or poorly designed a kitchen or living room is. We notice cold spots by an old window and realize that the window let in either too much or not enough natural light. Keep a running list of the qualities you like and dislike. If you choose to hire a residential designer during these months when you spend the most time indoors, he or she will take time to ask you questions that determine what you like and need; having such lists will help your conversations to be more productive. Use those Fall-Winter months to work with your designer on how to solve those issues.
  3. Take your time. If you expect to start building in March and start talking to designers in October the previous year, you have five months to tweak the floor plan until the home of your dreams is accomplished. When you are designing your dream home, you will want time to consider every aspect of the design. Never rush through the design phase only to build a home that is not everything you wanted.
  4. Look for a Builder. Just like you with residential designers, builders also slow down significantly during the cold months. Some will be happy to start early in the year and negotiate a good rate. Remember, they have probably spent the whole winter waiting for a project to work on and will be both excited and willing to gain your business. If you want to act as the general contractor for your project and work directly with the electrician, plumber, framers, etc., you especially will benefit from designing during the off season. While you and your designer are in the design phase, you can interview different craftsmen to find a building team with the best price to quality ratio for your project.

These are just some of the reasons why it is best not to put off your plans to remodel until those summer months when everybody else wants to design and build. By starting early, in the Fall or Winter, you can get a better rate, take time to have everything you want, and find the right builder. If by chance the time for your remodel does fall during the busy Summer months, a good home designer will be delighted to talk about your remodel or new home and provide a good reference should he or she be too busy at the time.


Good luck, and have a great Fall!

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