Is a Renovation Designer worth the money?

Many of us are now working from home. Enjoyable workspaces can either make or break us in terms of our motivation and productivity. Have you started to think about how to make your homes more comfortable and enjoyable? There are simple and cheap renovations or are you thinking next-level renovations? A renovation designer at this stage would be worth every dollar.

Simple and Cheap Renovation

If we aren’t loving being and working in our own home then we need to think outside the box and change up what we are doing. Changing rooms is one example. Have you ever swapped the dining room into the lounge room? Even changing the table or desk that you work on? Can you use the dining room as your office instead of a corner of a bedroom? What about going outside and working from the garden.  Is there a local park or a café where can spend a few hours working? These changes are a great alternative to re-motivate and increase productivity. The other simple change-up is we can change the soft furnishings, pictures and decorations of our home.

Next Level Renovation

When our office is in our own home,  the changes we can make can be immense and having an enjoyable place to work is paramount to the success of working from home.  So what can we do with the boring space we call home?  The sky, our imagination and the budget is the limit. However, practicality and budget often ends up being the decision maker.   Any improvements we make will give you great pleasure, but not everyone can handle the mess and pressure of home renovation. This is where a renovation designer can be your smartest dollar spend.

Go it Alone or employ a Renovation Designer

Ask yourself these 3 questions. Have you ever designed a home before? Have you ever designed an area of your home before? Do you already know, deep down, that it all needs upgrading? If you answered ‘No, No and Yes’, then do not proceed all on your own!!!  If you think you know what will look good,  please do not proceed on your own. There is much more to a design than looking good!  Please, employ the services of a designer, they will be your best friend.

Benefits of a Building/Renovation Designer

  • A building designer will look at your needs, they will take into account your budget so you end up with the perfect solution for you, and they will give you a great outcome.
  • They will look at the areas of your home with different eyes and consider the compliance issues and building codes for your area.
  • They will see what is possible, which may be things you have never considered yourself; they will come to the table with ideas that you have never thought of.
  • Their ideas will be up to date, well thought out, making living in your home much more enjoyable improving your quality of life.
  • Sometimes it is not about making more space, but more about making the space you have work more efficiently for you and this is what a designer will do
  • A designer should be up to date with new products as they become available so they can advise you on what best suits your needs and your project.
  • The money you spend on a designer will show in the final product and increase the value of your asset, your home.

Finding the Right Designer

I must stress though, that finding the right designer for you is imperative.  Like every trade, there are good ones and ones that just don’t fit your criteria or your personality. Here are the key elements to keep in mind, questions to ask and some homework to do.

  • Know the scope of work you are asking them to do for you and have an idea on what you want it to include
  • Previous work – ask to see their previous work and speak to the owners of these projects to make sure they were happy working with the designer and that they listened to them. Ask them if they got what it was they wanted and how the experience was for them.
  • Style – Make sure the styles they do fit into the look of what you want your home to be like, no point speaking to an industrial designer if you hate the industrial look. So find the designer who designs the look that you like the most.
  • Interview a few designers – take your time speaking to a few building designers before you make a decision on which one you will work with.
  • Costs – See what you will get for the budget you have set, will they include plans etc. and let them know what you intend to spend on the overall project, be specific so they know what they are working with. Make sure any brainstorming fits within this budget, no point in brainstorming about the taj mahal when you can only afford the dog kennel, you know what I mean.
  • Questions – Have a list of questions before you go and meet with them so you don’t forget to ask things you want to know and don’t presume the answers you got from one designer will be the same as the others you are seeing.
  • Trust your instincts, your gut will know if it is not the right person, so move on and see another designer.

Markers of a Good Designerdesigner working on tablet computer

A good building designer works with a drafts-person who will give you a full set of plans which makes it much easier to submit to the council, to get quotes from builders and to work through the project.  A good designer does more than help you choose your floor plans, surfaces, colours and trades. They can even help you to choose a project manager and work with the trades to achieve the end results.  Make sure you articulate to your designer what it is you need from them.

Escape the Chaos of your Renovation

If you are averse to living in chaos, trades coming and going, not being aware if they will show each day and hate the dirt they will make, then don’t do it alone, it will send you mad and you will hate every day.  Employ a builder who will take care of everything for you, he will co-ordinate the trades for you and then you need to go away on a long-extended holiday or move into an air-b-n-b or hotel.  It will cost you a lot more money doing it this way,  but save on your sanity.

If you work from home and need a productivity boost, it could be time to renovate. If your life has outgrown your home, it could be time to renovate. If your home suddenly became old, it could be time to upgrade. Whatever is motivating you, the money you spend on a renovation designer is, without doubt, money well spent.



Julie G is our renovation queen, growing up with a father who was a builder, she has been traipsing around building sites and home renovations all her life.  With a passion to turn old decrepit buildings into amazing new homes, she really is the expert in renovating your home.  


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