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6 Ways to Create a Positive Designer-Client Relationship

The success of your renovation or new home build is highly dependent on the quality of the relationship with your designer and contractor. spoke with Albert Donadio of AJD Construction Group, a design, construction and renovation company, for tips on building a positive relationship before the shovel hits the ground.

Create a scrapbook 

Whether you’re doing a kitchen renovation or a new home build, Donadio suggests browsing magazines and cutting out images that appeal to you.  This helps the designer get a feel for your personal style.  “Some people think they’re style is modern, but when they go through this process, they find actually they really like the traditional look,” says Donadio.

Collect paperwork 

Come prepared to your first meeting with your designer with a survey of your lot and plan.  Especially if you’re doing an addition, your designer/contractor will need to know your home’s zoning bylaws and height restrictions.  If you have existing house plans, this can be of great assistance to the designer.  “If the homeowner has the original drawings, I don’t have to spend time measuring the whole house,” says Donadio.

Know your budget 

Don’t hide your budget from your designer.  “It’s a very important aspect to the design to know what the budget is,” says Donadio.  Your designer can help you save money by allocating resources wisely and will let you know if your wish list needs modification.


Be honest 

The designer will do a sketch of the space, but Donadio warns some individuals aren’t able to visualize what something will look like from a simple sketch. If you don’t understand the designer’s drawings, it’s best to be upfront before construction begins.  “Sometimes, you’ll have to pay a little extra to have three dimensional drawings done,” says Donadio.

Know thyself 

While your designer may offer many suggestions, Donadio says it’s important for homeowners to remember they will be the ones to live in the home, not the designer.  “Tell the designer what you like; don’t let the designer tell you what they like,” he says.

Be accessible 

Communication is of utmost importance to the project’s success.  “You should be able to be reached within a reasonable amount of time if some issue should arise or if changes have to be made,” says Donadio. Discuss any vacation plans with your designer ahead of time.

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