What Is a Home Renovation Consultant (and Do You Need One)?
The average home renovation project lasts six to eight months and involves around 15,000 decisions. Sometimes hiring a professional to guide you, keep you on track, and make some of those decisions is worth the investment.
A home renovation consultant, also referred to as a home renovation coach, is like “an expert project manager for your remodel,” according to Realtor.com. But what exactly does a home renovation consultant do and do you need one? Read on as we explore a typical consultant’s role and the types of projects that benefit from one.
What Is a Home Renovation Consultant?
A home renovation consultant advocates for you and your project by hiring and managing the right people for your renovation job. This professional isn’t a contractor or architect but rather helps with the budget, design, vendor meetings, and/or material selection. They may guide you from start to finish or put you in the right direction.
While costs vary depending on the consultant and the project, Realtor.com spoke with several professionals and found base packages starting around $250 for initial design consultations. Larger projects, like a complete kitchen remodel lasting two to three months, can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000.
When to Hire a Renovation Consultant
When is it worth it to spend $250 to $5,000 or more? Larger projects that require multiple vendors are a prime example of when a home renovation consultant can save you time and possibly money in the long run.
Rather than carving out the time to manage multiple vendors on your own, the consultant can provide you with unbiased advice and connect you with professionals suited to your project. By giving you a realistic picture of what it’ll take to complete the project and connecting you with the right people upfront, the renovation consultant can save you from costly do-overs and mistakes.
If you have trouble staying on budget, you may want to consider a renovation consultant. The consultant can develop a realistic budget at the beginning of the project so you know what to expect rather than later facing a half-completed project and vendors telling you it’s going to cost more than anticipated. This person can also keep the project on task, ensuring vendors—and you—are always working toward your ultimate end goal versus getting sidetracked.
One of the most valuable things a home renovation consultant can bring to your project is their network of trusted vendors, from architects and general contractors to designers and materials specialists. If you don’t know what professional(s) to hire for what portion of your project, you can hire a consultant to point you in the right direction.
When You Can DIY
If your budget is tight and you can reasonably find time to manage the project, then you may consider forgoing the services of a renovation consultant. However, you may find it’s worth making room in your budget for a renovation consultant if only to ensure you’re plotting a course that will get the project done right the first time—and keep you within budget.
Small, weekend jobs also don’t warrant a renovation consultant. Of course, if the job ends up going off the rails in a weekend, it’s not too late to hire a renovation consultant to assess the situation, mitigate any disputes, and provide you with the most cost-effective path for getting your project back on track.
Before you assume that you can cut corners and forgo the initial cost of a renovation consultant, take a step back from your project. Do you know what kinds of professionals you need for your project? Do you have a professional you trust? Could you have blind spots that would benefit from an unbiased outside opinion? Sometimes the small, simple projects are the ones that can easily get off-track. The added upfront cost of hiring a renovation consultant may save you from unexpected costs later in the project.
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The opinions expressed in this post are for informational purposes only. To determine the best financing for your personal circumstances and goals, consult with a licensed advisor.