FAQ Successful Remodel or Renovation Project

Frequently asked questions for your successful remodel or renovation project, please call or write if your question is not answered below.

How is it different working with Provanti Designs on my remodel or renovation project?

Henry Ford had it right when he said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” That is why I developed the 5 Essential Keys™ to Every Successful Remodel. I work with homeowners ideally before they even meet with a general contractor. With you I assess your needs, research, design and specify all the plans and materials for your remodel. Completing these steps makes you “ready” to talk with contractors/remodelers. It puts the power of knowledge in your hands.

Why is it important to have everything specified in detail prior to interviewing remodel contractors?

When you have a well specified and solid plan it eliminates the grey areas, guess work, and chances for assumptions. This is a good thing as they are the avenues to disappointments, cost overruns and time delays. Detailed specifications and solid plans give any good remodeler an excellent basis for their estimate of cost and time to completion. And that is your ultimate goal – to have a valid estimate of cost and an accurate timeline to achieve the dream you are seeking.

How does this approach help me manage my budget?

Bids that are built upon detailed specifications offer you line-by-line item costing. With this level of detail, you now have power over your remodel investment. It is much easier to compare various bids on an apples-to-apples basis. And if you need to modify your total overall expenditure, you will have the data necessary to delete or add items. You need to have the power to control your investment

Why did you develop this approach with the 5 Essential Keys™ to Every Successful Remodel?

Over the years, I have received many calls from homeowners mid-way through their remodel project wanting to hire me to solve the problems that have cropped up. These problems always arise because the remodel plan was not well defined prior to demolition and construction. Invariably the construction bid was based upon assumptions that were never fully explored until time of installation resulting in a disconnect between specification and execution. Once things go awry midway through your remodel, you feel trapped and often unsure how to proceed, no one wants to find themselves in this position. It is important to keep one thing in mind – contractors build – that’s what they do. To expect them to also consistently excel at paper work, design specifications, exploring all the options best for your project and reading your mind is a tall order. Recognizing where my expertise serves the remodeling process led me to define the 5 Essential Keys™ to Every Successful Remodel, which guarantees that the proper steps are taken in the proper order. This method ensures that your remodel goes smoothly as it meets your needs and investment level.

About Provanti Designs’ Services

Do you personally create the design work? Do you perform any construction work?

Yes, I am the owner and sole designer of Provanti Designs. As my client you will get my personal attention to every request and detail of your design project; you will not be relegated to an associate designer. Any actual construction projects are completed by sub-contractors specializing in their trade (plumber, painter, electrician, tile installer, etc). The sub-contractor can be one of your choosing or one from my list of vetted and recommended sub-contractors.

Do you do remodeling?

Yes, many of the projects I’m engaged in are remodel projects. I work with the client on the remodel design and selection decisions. The actual construction work is performed by a WA State licensed contractor. You may have one already in mind or you may be interested in talking with contractors that I have successfully worked with before.

Do you design kitchens?

Yes, I love to design kitchens! Given the “wish list” for your new kitchen; I begin working on every detail to improve lighting, storage, appliances, plumbing fixtures, functionality, color, livability and space. Kitchens have become the room in the home that everyone uses for assorted purposes beyond cooking & eating. Each of my kitchen designs is unique to the client and their aspirations. You may have already identified your remodel contractor/builder or may be interested in chatting with one of several I partner with.

Do you design bathrooms?

Yes, bathrooms hold a dear spot in my design repertoire. Most bathroom remodels come with the assignment – “please update”. And in the process of updating, so much more can be accomplished! After a tour of your bathroom, I can offer design ideas to maximize storage and improve utility while creating the unique design look you want to achieve. You may have already identified your remodel
contractor/builder or may be interested in chatting with one of several whom I partner with.

How do you work with my builder and/or architect? Why do I need an interior designer as well?

Major construction projects require local government building permits which are obtained upon the work of your architect and general contractor. They both have important and vital roles in building or remodeling your home. Like all experts they have their areas of qualified strength. However, their knowledge expertise is not all encompassing. Let me give you but two examples where an interior designer adds value…

1. You are working with the architect on floor plans and elevations. I love architects, but the vast majority of them never designate space in the floor plan for heating duct work. At installation, the contractor “makes space” wherever it suits to run all the duct work necessary to heat your home. Ladies, that means that all those closets you covet will now be smaller as space is taken away to install duct work. And that is OK, if you don’t care about every inch of closet space…

2. Your general contractor is the person to make sure you house is built to plan and is engineered well using all the proper materials. It is his job to coordinate all the sub-contractors and build you a fine structure. But when you start asking his advice on paint colors, tile, appliances, carpet, and if your green sofa will look OK with the paint selection – he may have answers, but in those areas he is not an expert. He builds houses; he does not do interior design work.

I work as a successful team member to bring additional value and support to your overall finished project in the arena of all interior design aspects.

Do you design exteriors?

Yes, I can assist you with the overall look of your home’s exterior. Paint colors, roof tile color, stone façade selection, trim style, light fixtures, garage door style – all aspects can be combined and coordinated to show off the best architectural features of your home and its landscaping.

About Costs & Budgets

Do work you under contract?

Yes, all my clients are given a contract unique to their project. The contract outlines the specifics of your job. It is for the convenience and reference of both you the client and for me.

How does an interior designer save me money?

I save you money in several ways. Because I work in with interior design projects every day, I am able to easily and quickly gather ideas and materials to meet your needs. Time is money; saving time, saves money. Your investment can also be minimized by reducing or eliminating homeowner missteps.
My sharing information about the pros and cons of various materials and their applications enables you to make better and informed decisions. Just one unfortunate decision can be costly to you the homeowner when the designer or contractor needs to backtrack in order to accommodate a “change of mind”. It is my job to help you make decisions in a timely and productive fashion.

Is it necessary to have a budget for my project?

Yes, it really helps both you and me. At times there can be a lack of correlation between the wish list and the available funds. If I am not aware of your planned expenditure, I may well waste design time researching and selecting options that won’t work. Wasted time is wasted money. Working to maximize the creative design effort with the allotted funds is what designers do – don’t omit to clue me in on the amount you have decided to spend.

What is my investment in your hourly rate and what does it include?

The design fee will is $175 per hour. The hourly fee includes (but is not exclusively limited to): creative design time, research, travel, client meetings, presentations, email/phone, sub-contractor coordination, and documentation time. The design fee does not include expenses (professional plans, printing costs, sample costs, shipping, etc.)

How Provanti Designs Works

What can I expect during your first visit?

The first visit to your home lasts about 2 hours. It offers the opportunity for you to explain your wants & needs, give me a tour of your home and for you to get to know me better. Likewise, the initial meeting allows me the opportunity to learn more about you and your project parameters. During this time, I also share a wealth of information regarding timing, costs, logistics & sources of products as well as help define/mold your remodel expectations.
The minimum charge for this meeting is $350.
Upon a mutual interest in pursuing working together, I will return for a second meeting at your home with a contract/proposal specified to address your needs.

Do you have a store front/design studio I can visit?

Sorry, no. A design studio staffed with the latest materials on display is an overhead expense that is passed onto the client. Keeping my overhead costs low allows me to keep your design fee investment to a minimum. By researching and shopping amongst a variety of up to date resources, I am to select sample materials for your consideration. And it is always preferable to see selections in your home before making purchase/installation decisions. The way the sample choices look in your home are influenced by the lighting, paint colors, design and style of your home.

Are you licensed and insured?

Yes, I have a Washington State business license and I am insured.

Have you personally ever built or remodeled?

Yes, over the years I have personally remodeled twice and built four custom homes. I have experienced first hand the voluminous, never-ending and time-sensitive decisions that you are going to need to make as you build your dream home. Understanding the hands-on process of a remodeling or a new construction project comes only with experiencing it day-in & day-out. After working with various builders & sub-contractors, I have the applicable knowledge of how decisions are made and how costly mistakes can be avoided. Let me share this with you.

Do you work for me or with me?

I can do either or a combination of both. Some clients want to be very involved in research/shopping as well as decision making. Other clients want to be freed from the time commitments of research/ shopping and are involved only in the decision making portion. It is your home and I strongly encourage all clients to be as involved as their schedules & interests permit.

Do you have a design team and/or employees?

I am Provanti Designs and Provanti Designs is me. You can be assured that I will personally handle all your requests and needs. You are not fostered off onto a design team or associate designer. Not having other design employees ensures quality control is held to my high standards. When it is necessary to engage others for expertise or installation that I can not provide, I have accumulated a well-vetted list of sub-contractors that I partner with (painter, plumber, electrician, upholsterer, etc.). Or, if you have a sub-contractor chosen, I will coordinate with them.

What styles of décor do you specialize in?

I have worked for clients with varying degrees of style: contemporary, traditional, urban, Pacific Northwest, transitional, seaside/nautical. My design objective is the same regardless of your tastes and style; your home needs to flow and have an element of personal living style. It must meet your functional needs as well as your décor style objectives. This is what I provide for you as your designer.

My Project

Does my project need to be classified as a custom job?

To me, every project is treated as a custom job. I take pride is designing and producing an end result that makes your home “look like you”, meets your personal needs and looks unique. That is the definition of a custom job.

What do you provide above and beyond what I can do for myself?

Along with having easy access to & knowledge of a vast array of products, it is my job to make everything flow. Your home should not give the impression of a “great shopping trip”. It needs to give off the aura of subtle design culminated in the collection of personal items & colors & patterns you love. I know how to make this happen for you in your home.

How do I know I will end up with a result I will like, not something the designer likes? Do you ever “talk a client” into a purchase or décor decision.

My worth as your interior designer is based upon value-added advice. My vast industry experience & knowledge come into play while defining, educating and representing the options available to meet your design objectives. I have a responsibility to you to engage in a discussion of the strengths & weaknesses of the selections you are considering. Every decision is a tradeoff of two priorities: form vs. function and budget vs. desire. Good design is a winning combination of successfully combining both. After discussing the pros and cons of your choices, the final decision rests with you.