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Estimating a Renovation Fee Before the Renovation

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When starting a renovation project, figuring out the cost is one of the most daunting tasks. Estimating the renovation fee involved in remodeling your home, your office or your business can be stressful and make you want to tear out your hair. Thankfully, there are tools out there that can make the process easier.

Before starting your home remodel, you can estimate the cost your project by using an online remodeling calculator. Most calculators, like the one linked, will ask you for a few specifics regarding your project (is it a bathroom remodel? Kitchen? What’s the square footage involved?) and your ZIP code to give you general costs for your area. For instance, say you were doing a remodel of your 300 square foot kitchen. You want mid-range materials and appliances, and there’s some partial demolition involved. You happen to live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas. The average cost would come out to be around fifteen thousand. You must remember though, that these numbers are including the compensation fees of the workers you’ve hired, not just the materials needed to complete the job. These calculators are often able to be used to estimate costs for businesses as well, so don’t think they can only be used for home renovations.

If you don’t want to trust a computer, however, than you can always look at the average prices of work and material in your area. You can generally expect to pay around $70 an hour for a carpenter, while a painter would be paid around $25 to $35 an hour. Electricians, if your job calls of one, can average between $70 and $90 dollars.

Cost of materials are generally simple to figure out by simply perusing the hardware and do-it-yourself stores in your area, such as Home Depot. Do some research on your contractor to find where they get their materials and how much they cost. Paying more than $2 per square foot of fiberglass insulation is much more than the national average, so make sure your contractor allows you to know the materials and costs as a way to keep track of where your funds are going.

Don’t forget to factor in costs that aren’t usual for simple renovations. According to the Houston Chronicle which recently posted an article about renovation costs:

Factors that can raise your costs include rezoning issues, seismic upgrading, installation of new air conditioning, exterior refinishing and the addition of handicapped-accessible entrances.

Knowing these costs ahead of time will help in your renovation cost estimation. Always be thorough in your checking of your home or business before your start your project, so you can anticipate additional costs ahead of time. However, as a buffer, try to put aside a small part of your budget for contingency: a just-in-case fund, for any unforeseen problems that may occur.

If you are planning a future remodel for you home, office or business feel free to contact us.

Considering the Pros and Cons of Ready-Made vs Custom Furniture

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When it comes to furnishing your home or business, you have the option of using custom-made or ready-made furniture. Often, people don’t give enough consideration to the idea of decorating using custom furniture; there is a general perception that it is a costly extravagance. In truth, both types of furniture offer pros and cons, and it’s important to understand the differences fully before making a final decision.

Furniture which uniquely reflects your personality or business

While ready-made furniture may allow a degree of choices regarding color, styles, and fabrics, the most obvious advantage of having a custom-made piece is that it will be the only one of its kind. By working with a designer, you will be able to create something that is an accurate reflection of you, your home, or the business concept you wish to promote. A custom piece can blend seamlessly with your existing decor or make a bold statement and be a conversation piece.

The perfect fit and maximum efficiency

Two of biggest advantages of having something made for a given area is the flexibility you have in making sure it conforms exactly to the required size or shape and the ability to maximize the potential use of space.

Quality and durability

By commissioning a custom-made piece of furniture, you are not only able to contribute creatively, but you are also able to pick out all of the materials used. You have the final decision on the wood and fabrics utilized, and the result will be something of lasting quality. In contrast, ready-made furniture is often made using pressboard or plywood and will not have the same quality and durability as a custom piece. However, consider whether the furniture will be in an area of high traffic or have children or animals using it; in this instance, investing in something easily replaceable might be the best option. By its very design, ready-made furniture is also more lightweight and therefore easier to move.


Generally speaking, factory-produced, ready-made furniture will be available much more quickly, with wait times ranging from none to a couple of weeks, if you have selected a color or style not immediately in stock. Conversely, a custom-made item could take months or years depending on the popularity and schedules of the designer and carpenter. If your need is immediate, it’s clear that you cannot opt to wait for something to be custom-made. However, if you have the luxury of time, it’s worth evaluating whether purchasing something less expensive, but that may wear out and need replacing, truly saves more money in the long run.


When it comes to price, ready-made furniture will have more easily available replacement parts and typically cost less than having something made; although, not necessarily by as much as you might think. Built into the cost of ready-made furniture are the overheads of the cost of materials, running the factories, transportation, and profits made by the middlemen. Taking these things into account, you may find that having a custom-designed piece of furniture, of higher durability and quality, is not that much more expensive after all. Also, while ready-made furniture will only depreciate with time, a quality custom piece may turn out to be an investment that increases in value.

No matter your budget or furnishing needs, please contact us so that our team of experts can help you create the perfect balance between beauty and functionality.

Why Does a Good Restaurant Designer Cost So Much?

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Why does a good restaurant designer cost so much? Why should you have to pay an architect or interior designer just for a consultation? After all, isn’t interior design simply a matter of picking color palettes and furniture that you like, putting it all together in one place and calling it a day?

Not exactly.

There’s a great deal more involved with interior design, and it can have far-reaching effects on your business. A study conducted in 2014 found that the interior design of a restaurant is one of the most important factors influencing customer satisfaction.

Your restaurant’s look and feel is a part of your brand, and you want to make sure that your restaurant’s atmosphere conveys exactly what you intend. You’ve probably noticed that different types of restaurants give you a different sort of feeling when you walk inside. Family establishments are typically large, open and noisy while more intimate establishments surround their patrons with softer, somber, quieter environs.

All of these factors, and more, are well within the realm of expertise for a good interior designer. It’s their job to listen to their clients’ wants and needs while providing them with the finest design that their space allows. They’ll consider the business’ theme, maximum occupancy, and ease of operation and put it all together to provide something both functionally effective and aesthetically pleasing to everyone involved. The benefit of a good designer is that your customers will not only be satisfied, but will keep coming back.

If you’d like additional information regarding designer cost or a consultation, please feel free to contact us any time!

Home Sweet Office: 3 Office Design Trends to Transform Your Space

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Your office is so much more than bare bones and cubicles. It is a blank canvas meant to be painted upon with vivid colors, exciting trends and bold beauty that speaks to who you are as a company. In fact, studies have shown that an esthetically curated office can boost creativity, skyrocket performance and keep your employees better focused on the job at hand. From gentle greys combined with bold hues to unexpected elements of home, let these 3 office design trends inspire you to get off that conference call and get on your way to a bright, new beautiful office space…

Gorgeous Grayscale

Muted greys are catching fire across the office scene when combined with unexpected pops of color like sunny mustard yellows, look-at-me teals and deep, delightful plums. Grey is a great choice for an office space because you can completely re-make it again in a couple of years without having to completely rethink your color scheme. Grey is a favorite among offices for this very reason. Neutral and inviting, grey lends itself well to entryways perfect for welcoming clients into an atmosphere that is both professional and on-trend. This simple but statement-making design is perfectly suited for an office lobby.

Eclectic Chic

You don’t need to make everything perfectly matched to make your office and design a match made in heaven. Eclectic is bigger than ever this year and a great way to welcome this trend into your office is to mix and match pretty chairs to help personalize desk stations and make your color scheme pop off the page. Other eclectic ideas? Go for bold, bright framing of licensures and creatively posed company portraits. A great example of an eclectic office? This Google set-up with has a fresh and current vibe that is exactly what you would expect from this innovative technology giant.


Homey Ambiance

You just may be selling yourself short if you are failing to see your office for nothing more than an office. If your employees commute, they likely spend more time at the office than they do at their own homes. Creating a homey atmosphere in the office can work if you mix these down-home additions with professional musts. Think unexpected fireplaces in your waiting area mixed with perfect storage space that keeps everything you need handy and organized but still thoughtfully well-hidden. Consider a “family wall” where each employee can display a family photo. This beautiful business space shows home-esque design done right.


Your office is your home away from home and your client’s first impression of who you are and what you do. Whether you are new to office design or a seasoned pro looking for something current and on trend for your space, contact us today to find out how we can help you rethink your office space, transforming it into a place where creativity is fostered.