| Guest Blog

Part 2 of 4:

Last week we started a 4-part series to answer the question, “How do I put my design plan into action?” We started the series by outlining Fia & Company’s signature Design Process: Explore, Plan & Execute. We also discussed ways to pull your design ideas together so that you can communicate your vision to your design/contracting team.

If you missed Part One, you can catch it again HERE

The next step is to PLAN for your renovation and that starts with building a team of trade professionals that you can trust to execute your vision on-time and on-budget.

When it comes to building a team, the two most FAQs are: Who do I hire and how do I know if they are reputable?

There is great confusion about what professionals do and in what combination they should be hired. The answer depends on your project scope, budget and desired project management style. Ultimately, the decision is yours and all trade professionals should be willing to work with the team of your choice.


WHAT DO THEY DO? An architect’s main focus is on the design and layout of an overall space. They are not typically concerned with interior finishes or furnishings, which is why hiring an interior designer complements their efforts.

WHEN SHOULD I HIRE ONE? If you want to build a home from the ground up or want to undertake a MAJOR renovation, working with an architect alongside an interior designer and builder is the winning combination. It’s not imperative that an architect & builder have worked together in the past, but it helps!

– ID’s are skilled at space planning, creating interior finishes and furnishings packages. An experienced ID will have solid relationships with individual trades and/or contracting teams and architects.

WHEN SHOULD THEY BE HIRED? If you want to re-configure, renovate or furnish an existing space, hire an ID.

As their title suggests, D/B firms have in-house teams of contractors and architects who work together to design, plan and build homes. Not all D/B firms provide material finish packages or furnishing plans, so hire an ID to round out their services.

WHEN SHOULD THEY BE HIRED? If you want to build a home from the ground up and have the budget to hire a large firm, a D/B firm is an efficient and effective route. Be sure to include your Interior Designer during the planning phases to ensure that your ENTIRE vision is considered.

WHAT DO THEY DO? Contracting firms comes in all sizes and breadths of skill. Who you hire will depend on your budget and on your desired project management style. Your biggest decision will be whether you hire a large firm or a single-outfit firm.

LARGE FIRMS are the big brand names. You know these companies… they have signs sprawled across your neighbourhood, drive company vehicles and wear matching t-shirts! Large firms will typically assign a team to each project: Job Foreman (onsite boss), Project Manager (budget & schedule boss) and Sub-Trades (guys who do the dirty work). Having a large team in place costs money, so expect project estimates to be higher than smaller firms.

The benefit of working with a SINGLE-OUTFIT firm is that you’ll receive personal attention and can count on the project manager/contractor being on-site throughout the project.

At Fia & Company, we act as Contractors on smaller projects including kitchen & bath renovations. On larger projects, we partner with architecture , design/build and contracting firms.

Stay tuned! Next week we will continue our series on How to Get your Design Plan Rolling!

Erika Floysvik is the Founder and Principal Designer of FIA Interiors, a boutique design firm in the heart of Toronto. A Designer for over a decade, Erika works collaboratively with her clients to create livable, personal, design. Visit her website at http://www.fiainteriors.com/

Have you started your design plans for the new year but stumped for room ideas? Head on over to our Pinterest boards with plenty of unique designs, great projects and room ideas! Or, give us a call 416-572-1380. We would love to see your space and help you re-imagine your home!




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