As the economy tries to recover, it is apparent that many home owners are deciding to stay put and improve the home they currently live in rather than buy a new home. I'm not talking about full remodeling or making major changes here. No, I'm finding that many people are re-organizing the layout of their homes by changing or adding one or two windows to allow more light. Or opening up a kitchen or dining room wall to have the appearance of a larger living space. Maybe adding new flooring that has a mix of wood and tile. These kinds of changes sound like alot of work and some are, but most are not that difficult to do.
If you simply look around your home and visualize the changes that you would like do and make simple sketches for a contractor or handyman to build from, your ideas will be better interpretted by the people doing the work. Many contractors have their own design groups or automatically refer you to an architect and wait for them to come up with something to present. Sometimes this is the best way to proceed but there are contractors and handymen out there that have a gift of visulaizing simple changes and conveying those changes in such a way that the homeowner better understands the ideas and how the project will benefit them at a much lower cost. In other words, you don't always need an architect or designer if you already have a good idea of what you want and you have a good contractor or handyman to guide you through the project.
I'm all for helping people do projects on their own and I often provide advice or guidance on projects that homeowners think (at first) they can't do themselves but later realize they can. Most of the time however, I'm hired to actually do or assist the customer with the start-up or completion of projects and that is the reason I love this kind of work.