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What To Expect From A Consultation

At Studio Boise, we start every project with a free consultation.  Many a residential designer will offer this free of charge.  Sometimes, however, clients are not sure what to expect or what questions to ask.  Here is a quick what to expect and what not to expect from a free consultation with your home design professional.

What to expect:

  • Do expect your designer to ask you lots of questions to understand the scope of your new home design or house remodel project.
  • Do expect your potential home design professional to ask you about your preferred style or styles and to briefly look through any photos you have saved either from magazines or online sources.  This gives us a better idea of the cost per square foot of your project.
  • In the case of a home remodel, do expect your designer to come to your home in order to see the problem areas or the space available for an addition.  (Hint: I love it when potential clients do not clean up before I come over for a consultation; this way I can see where you need more storage for kids’ toys or where you set purses and keys when you come in, how you are really using the formal dining room, etc.)
  • Do expect a home designer to explain an outline of the design and construction process along with a general idea of how long the project should take from preliminary design to end of construction.
  • Do expect a designer to give you a ball park range of how much he/she expects the design fees to amount to.
  • Do expect your designer to explain his/her fee system whether it is an hourly, flat rate, per square foot, etc. and how often payment is expected.
  • Do expect a residential designer to spend some time getting to know you; it’s important that all personalities involved in the design process will be able to work harmoniously together.
  • Do expect a designer at a free consultation to give you his or her professional opinion on whether or not you are heading down the right design path.  For example, if you are proposing to build a new home, but love everything about your house except for the size, a designer might suggest considering an addition instead of a new home.  In the case of a remodel for which you have very strong ideas, a designer should tell you whether or not they think the remodel you are proposing is worth the money it will cost.
  • Do expect a residential designer to ask about your budget.
  • Do feel free to bring your family to a design consultation at Studio Boise.  After all, the home will be designed with everyone in mind.


What not to expect from a free consultation:

  • Do not expect a designer to sketch out a design solution for your new home or remodel during a consultation.  That is the service that you will pay for if you choose to move forward.
  • Do not expect a designer to know exactly how much the design fees will amount to unless they charge a flat fee.  (Flat fees are increasingly rare in the residential design world.)
  • Do not expect a designer to bring a portfolio of work; instead, check out the company’s website before hand to see previous projects or read about their design philosophy.
  • Do not expect a home designer to know how much your future dream house will cost.  While we can give you a very vague range after listening to the size and number of rooms you hope to incorporate, we cannot possibly know the cost before the home has been designed.
  • Do not expect your residential designer to be wearing black pants, a black turtle neck, and glasses.  While the stereotype does hold up most of the time, we occasionally look like happy people.  🙂


If you have any more questions about consultations or would like to meet with Studio Boise’s principal designer for a free consultation, fill out the contact form to the right.  We can’t wait to meet you and start designing the perfect home for the way you truly live.


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