Gail’s most frequently asked questions…

Henry Ford had it right when he said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” That quote is the basis upon which Provanti’s 5 Essential Keys™ to Every Successful Remodel were developed.
Provanti works with homeowners before they even meet with a general contractor. Assessments are made of your needs and goals. Then we begin the space planning, research and creative design that is specific to your project. Pulling the plans, materials, layouts and installation instructions into one comprehensive document gives you a detailed road map that you can share with your contractor. It puts the power of planning in your hands.

Over the years, too many inquiries have come my way mid-way through a remodel project wanting to hire me to solve problems that have cropped up. It is heart-breaking to see the problems that arise due to a lack of appropriate planning prior to demolition and construction. Invariably the construction bid was based upon assumptions that were never fully explored and checked until the time of installation, resulting in a disconnect between specification and execution causing disorder. Once things go awry midway through a remodel, the homeowner feels trapped and is unsure how to proceed. No one wants to find themselves in that position. In looking for a way to help avoid the pitfalls of deficient preparation, I created the 5 Essential Keys™ to Every Successful Remodel, thus safeguarding the vital steps to avoiding these sorts of problems. Learn the more

Yes, I love to design kitchens! Given the wish list for your new kitchen we begin working on every detail to improve lighting, storage, appliances, plumbing fixtures, surfaces, workability, color, livability and space. Kitchens are now the room in the home that everyone uses for assorted purposes beyond cooking and eating. Each kitchen design is unique to the client and their aspirations.

Yes, and today’s bath designs differ significantly from those of a decade or more ago. Extra attention is given to the actual layout of the space while functionality is increased utilizing advancements in materials and technology. A room that once was considered a necessary room, is now being designed comparably to a spa providing an enjoyable and relaxing destination.

Yes. It is common for homeowners to make their product and surface selections one at a time without overall insight into how everything will look and work together. Too many, as well as too few, focal points leave the eye dissatisfied. Translating small samples and colors into a finished room all in your mind’s eye is challenging. The software I use not only provides 2-dimensional space planning benefits, it also allows color 3-dimensional renderings. It is fantastic to see your choices come to life in a scaled computer rendering!

Every homeowner wants to know how much their remodel is going to cost, and whether it is worth it. The answer is based on a variety of factors: room size, selection of products, level of detail, amount of reconstruction, ease of access to site, economic factors – you get the idea.
Good news! There is a gold standard report in the remodeling industry that gathers and collates current data to help homeowners and professionals make informed decisions. It is called the Cost vs. Value Report. The analysis is performed annually and available online to everyone, free of charge. The Cost vs. Value Report provides average costs for 30 popular remodeling projects in 100 U.S. markets. Each project is given an average cost (for your geographical market) along with its clearly defined scope of work. This allows you to estimate the cost range of your particular project, after making your scope of work adjustments, which is an invaluable tool. Read more on our Cost page

When you have a well specified and solid plan it eliminates the grey areas, guess work, and chances for misleading assumptions. By eliminating these pitfalls, you are avoiding the avenue of disappointments from confusion, cost overruns and time delays. Detailed specifications and effective plans provide any good remodeler an excellent basis on which to estimate cost and time to completion. That is your ultimate goal – to have a valid estimate of cost and an accurate timeline to achieve the dream you are seeking.

Contractors know how much lumber, concrete, nails and sheetrock cost. But when a contractor does not know how much an item costs that you are selecting, he makes a guess. That guess is called an allowance. The allowance is a placeholder for an unspecified item or group of items that the homeowner still needs to select. Example: Appliances have not been chosen, so an allowance of $18,000 is placed in the quote to represent a best guess. When the appliances are finally chosen, that allowance of $18,000 is changed to reflect the correct amount. If the actual cost of appliances chosen totals $25,200, it produces a cost overrun on this one line-item of $7,000 or 40%. If construction has already begun and you are still making product decisions, you can imagine the concern of losing control. Making all decisions in time for them to be accurately priced in the quote is the best way to have power over your remodel investment. My best advice – have your selections finalized prior to demolition day so you are not trapped midway through construction facing cost overruns that are out of control.

As the owner of Provanti Designs I am its sole designer. As my client, you will get personal attention to the requests and details of your design; you will not be relegated to an associate designer. Actual construction projects are completed by a general contractor and his/her specialized sub-contractors (plumber, painter, electrician, tile installer, etc.).

That saying ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’ often applies the first time one undertakes a new mission. A remodel undertaking for many is a once-in-a-life-time event. And it can cost time and money as well as regret over missed opportunities to get it right. It is reasonable to suggest that your orientation point may be outdated, ill-defined and non-inclusive of what solutions the market has to offer today. Too often a homeowner walks into a showroom and is stunned by the amount of choice. Eyes glaze over and a small panic sets in – the overwhelming array of options is mind-boggling – and often the homeowner is unprepared to sort through the noise created by the array.
With daily interaction with showrooms and industry professionals, I am able to keep in touch with current products and their applications. At the same time, I’m building & maintaining vendor relationships so we can tap into their expertise to bring the best possibilities and solutions to your projects. Materials and products are changing faster than ever as technology impacts the components and workings of almost every element installed. By narrowing the field of solutions to those relating to your actual needs and tastes, I am then able to define the pros and cons of various selections to enable you to make better informed decisions.

Typically, each professional has their own area of expertise. Although some firms which work on large residential and commercial projects do offer overlapping services: ‘Design/Build’ and ‘Architecture/Design’.
Generally speaking Architects offer structural advice and plans for major changes including additions and moving weight-bearing walls. Architectural plans may require engineering elements as well to ensure structural integrity and to obtain building permits. Builders offer the construction or implementation of the architect’s plan as well as execution of the client’s direction on fit and finish materials.
Neither the builder nor architect routinely offers the variety of services that clients look for in pulling together their dream remodel: space planning, material selections, color guidance, appliance/fixture research, product comparison, custom products, 3-D renderings, tile layouts, documentation of specifications. If you do not want to do these tasks yourself, these services are best accomplished by engaging the services of a kitchen & bath designer.

The initial visit to your home lasts about 2 hours and is complimentary. It offers the opportunity for you to explain your wants, needs and tastes as well as the chance to give me a tour of your home and to get to know me. 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. Upon a mutual interest in pursuing working together, a contract proposal is sent to you via DocuSign for your review/approval.

You can be assured that I will personally handle all your design, as I am the sole designer at Provanti Designs. You are not relegated to a design team or associate designer.

No. A design studio that tries to cover it all can only include a representative sampling of a little bit of everything, and that studio space is an overhead expense that is passed onto the client. My clients are looking for the best possible design for their project. It is my preference to research and source amongst the best vendors/showrooms to meet my clients’ needs. Visiting individual showrooms that specialize always offers a better selection and access to more expertise than visiting a location that has a little bit of everything.

For some, the definition of custom means high-end, the best. Actually, custom means one-of-a-kind, unique, modified to suit a particular set of goals, and it may or may not be a high cost element. Your remodel is going to meet your requirements within the walls of your home, the resulting product is not a commodity produced for numerous users. It will be exclusive to your dream. While another master bath may contain the same free-standing tub (a commodity), the actual design and construction are considered one-of-a-kind. Your project will be customized for you.

I can do either or a combination of both. Some clients want to be very involved in the researching/sourcing as well as the decision making. Others want to be freed from those time commitments. I present several options and then they are involved in the final decision-making. This is your home, and I strongly encourage all clients to be as involved as their schedules and interests permit. Regardless of your involvement level, I will always be your advocate from beginning to end.

I have worked for clients with varying degrees of style: contemporary, traditional, urban, Pacific Northwest, transitional, seaside/nautical. With my designs, I strive to provide a combination of innovation, function, aesthetic appeal and creativity. The design objective is the same regardless of your tastes and style – to create a successful remodel you will love.

Yes, my husband and I have remodeled once and built four custom homes. So I have experienced firsthand the voluminous, never-ending and time-sensitive decisions that you are undertaking. I find it is invaluable to have an understanding of the hands-on process of construction. Each design and product decision has an impact on the construction process: time to install, level of expertise needed, coordination with adjoining surfaces/products, effect on supporting infrastructure.
It is not as simple as just choosing what you want, each choice has a mitigating impact that requires planning. My personal experiences allow me to be more mindful of your perspective as well as the contractor’s.

Yes, all clients are provided a contract for approval outlining the parameters of the specific project. It is for the convenience and reference of both the client and the designer.

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

Yes, my company has a Washington State business license and is fully insured.