No-strings opportunity to meet industry pros

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With things starting to open up, the home and designer shows are back again and in-person. This is excellent news for the renovation and construction industry. It’s also great news for homeowners.

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It’s been two years since we’ve been able to have an in-person experience, to be able to see, touch and feel. Home shows can help homeowners on so many levels to improve their homes, offices, and living spaces.

I always recommend homeowners do their due diligence and homework before embarking on any home-improvement project, big or small. Home shows provide the perfect opportunity for homeowners to explore the latest trends and new products and educate themselves through keynote speakers, workshops, and live demos. Ask questions, take notes, and videos, get contacts, brochures and see samples. It’s such a great way to do your research and get inspired.

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Many homeowners are becoming much more consumer savvy and educated, and they go to home shows with ideas of what projects they want to accomplish and which businesses they want to scout. Ask lots of questions and educate yourself, but when it comes time for the actual reno I recommend working with a general contractor for any large-scale renovation, especially where the structure is involved. The great thing is, you will also find a lot of contractors and renovators at home shows.

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A general contractor typically is the lead project manager but often is also a licensed carpenter or certified renovation technician. They can do some of the work themselves or hire a team of subcontractors. General contractors secure building permits, make recommendations for finishing and materials and find solutions for renovation challenges.

Before you sign the contract, make sure you compare multiple quotes, check references and previous work, confirm liability insurance and bonding, get a detailed contract with a clear understanding of the work schedule and payment schedule, anticipate delays, and have a good rapport. Home shows are a great way to start your search and meet people with no strings attached. It’s similar to speed dating.

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There is a lot of value in hiring an interior designer. Although a good general contractor may have picked up a lot of design sense over the years, they aren’t designers and may not have the expertise to help you work within a specific style.

Interior designers frequently fill in for architects, assisting you with room layouts (especially kitchens and bathrooms), space planning, and storage. They often provide homeowners with 3D renderings and elevation drawings of the affective space. They can also assist with cosmetic decisions. Which crown moulding style will look best in your home? What type of kitchen cabinetry will look best in your space? Interior designers can help you create functional, safe, and esthetically pleasing spaces, while following blueprints, building codes, accessibility standards, and inspection requirements.

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An interior designer will spend time with you finding out what you like, what your lifestyle demands, and what will best suit your needs and tastes. Designers have the knowledge and experience to get you the best price for your needs, plus they typically pass on their trade discount to the client and charge for their time. They will also help you determine the best way to use your budget by spending money on high-quality materials instead of fancy finishes.

Again, home shows are great to check out the latest trends, finishes, and innovations. However, this is where the process can become overwhelming and where an interior designer can help you navigate your wants and needs. Also, vendors at home shows often offer special pricing, deals, and contests to help homeowners save money.

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Keep in mind that an interior designer isn’t the same as an interior decorator. An Interior decorator can dress a room to make it look stylish and trendy. At the same time, a registered interior designer will consider the project’s form and function, your vision, lifestyle, and budget, apply for a building permit, and create plumbing, electrical, and space planning plans, among other things. Interior decorators are not required to have the same technical training as interior designers.

Doing your homework and understanding the selection process are essential for a successful project; don’t be afraid to inquire about previous projects, competence, and procedures. Experienced contractors and interior designers will have portfolios and a track record of completed projects to back up their claims. It’s critical to thoroughly vet your contractor and interior designer before allowing them into your home; trust and respect are essential for a successful project.

Keynote speaker, Mike Holmes, National Home Show, April 16 at 1 p.m. and Mike Holmes Jr., National Homes Show, April 23 at 4 p.m.

Watch the latest episodes of Holmes Family Rescue on CRAVE.



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