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Thinking of Renovating your home or Workplace. Then you need to make a plan...

Here at MD Designs, Monica Daly can help you "Make a plan".

Before we start making your renovation plan, ask yourself if you are one of the following clients.

A. On site in a panic wondering where to get tiles quick.

B. Hoping to extend renovate in the next 6 – 12 months.

Here are my Top Tips on how to MAKE A PLAN

1/. Engage in the services of a professional, If it’s a house extension then you need a qualified Architect to apply for planning and create construction drawings.

2/. If you don’t need planning and you want to reconfigure your home and internal layout, then you need to engage in the services of an Interior Designer.

Do your homework, make sure that the Interior designer you choose can offer you this service. Keep in mind that no two designers are the same, some will offer you services to dress and furnish your home, others will offer you Spatial planning only.

Here at MD Designs, we offer both services along with project management, personal shopping and bespoke storage, cabinetry design and marriage counselling.

3/. Having followed steps 1 or 2, You now have a measured site survey and an existing Floor plan. With this plan, your designer will set about giving you alternative layouts and options to reconfigure your home. With that in mind, there are several items your designer must identify.

· Services for water and waste. Where are they located and where do they go.

· Structural walls – is there a chimney, is it holding up your house.

· Site access – If it’s a house, do you have clear access to the back of your property for a digger.

· If it’s an apartment, then check in with your neighbours and management company. Check for parking spaces and locate a space for deliveries. Its all achievable if you have a PLAN.

· Converting an attic? Then you need an engineer to access the roof trusses and identify if the floor below can carry additional weight. Will there be a protected Fire stairs and so on.

· Flipping your kitchen from the front to the back of the house, then you need to identify what the costs might be to extend or move services such as water or gas.

· Identifying the ground levels of the garden. If you are extending, then you need to set aside a budget to make good the Threshold of your house. Do you need to level it or build up the ground area to meet a new opening.

4/. Deciding on your preferred Floor plan

Now that you have followed step 1, 2 & 3. You have in your hand several options; your Interior Designer will take you through the various options. This process is easy for some, but for a lot of clients they come to me as they find it hard to visualise the Floor plan and see the possibilities or making a few clever changes to a space. You need to sign off on a NEW FLOOR PLAN that reflects all your needs and achieves the extra storage and working flow of your home.

In my experience signing off on a floor plan is the most important part of the Design Process.

Up until now, it’s as though my client is Blindfolded. They say “I can’t see it? How will that work?

They are second guessing where everything will go. Will it fit there? should we block a door? what about the radiators? Oh, I forgot there’s a window there. How high will that go etc.

5/. Now that you are on PLAN.

Congratulations as you have your NEW Floor plan!! All has been revealed, you can see clearly now.

At this point you feel more confident, Informed and you are quick to see and know exactly where everything is. It means when you are speaking to a Kitchen company or a bathroom showroom you will be able to recite the measurements, the position of the hot & cold taps and so on.

6/. Planning your Colours & finishes.

Now that you can see and know where everything is, the fun begins.

This is where I take your approved floor plan and work into the individual spaces, creating for you a new look. I identify early on what you originally had in mind. It usually starts with the kitchen, and Island, Huge utility room. There after I give you Visual options, a new perspective and look from what you had before. I like to explore the environment and setting out of your hobbies, and I also identify historic problems like Noise, or nowhere to take a call, or a growing family, growing friends etc.

7/. Plan to shop around.

At this point you have allocated you budget for the project, but you may not of allocated a budget for each space individually… the best way to do this is to SHOP around. Now that you are equipped with your MD Designs Floor plans and selected mood board, you can take to the shops…

However, Time will dictate your decisions.

If you are the client that has already demolished the four walls and has a builder jumping up and down looking for materials, then please do not PANIC Shop… Breath, ask about availability on all items, call me and let’s look at a Kitchen or Bathroom plan.

But if you are the client that came to me 6 months before commencing works then, take your time and shop around. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Enjoy it! You will be like a child in a sweet shop.

Remember to take your time if you are not already on site. I will have directed you to suppliers that I know to be reliable. The 2 Fundamental questions you must ask suppliers is price and availability.

Ask for samples, try something new, give it a go! Don’t rule anything out at this time.

8/. Plan to assign your builder.

Now that you are on PLAN and have selected your finishes and identified where you will source recommended Builder or trades person. Again, Shop around. Look before you leap, it’s easier said than done.

Again, try not to panic, take your time if you have it and include the following in your building pans.

1 /. Put the feelers out, don’t say … “Desperately seeking Builder”. Instead ask for recommendations.

2/. Check to see if they have their insurances. Find out what Insurance you need for sub-contractors onsite.

3/. Don’t part with your money until you are certain.

4/. Ask and see photos of recent work, if they work locally , ask if you can take a look at some of their work.

5/. Ask for dates and plan. You need a potential timeline to get the work done.

6/. Decide on whether it’s a fixed fee or a Materials & Labour project.

7/. Ensure that they are working to your plan and specifications. You absolutely do not want to end up with a Version of a Vision that you set out with in the beginning.

8/. Make a contract, at the beginning ensure that you have outlined the agreed the head of terms for commencement, supply of goods, materials, and labour. Payment terms and completion for snagging.

9 /. Do I need a certified structural engineer?

Yes you do, if you are extending and stripping back the foundations of your existing Property. Again, the same rules apply as the builder. Plan! Make sure you will get a signed of off certificate on completion and a set of engineer’s drawings.

10/. Hidden Costs – extra Over.

Were all guilty of loosing the run of ourselves, you only need to watch any of the home improvement programs to see how easy it is to go over Budget. Between pandemics, shortage of materials and running costs, nothing is certain. So, make sure you plan for an extra that are needed to get you to completion.

The list goes on. But most importantly of all … MAKE A PLAN

If the above comes across as overwhelming & daunting, then MAKE A PLAN To recruit a qualified Interior Designer like myself, Monica Daly of MD Designs or a recommended architect.

Meet Interior designer Monica Daly of MD Design Studio, Wicklow Town

Having qualified in 2003 with a BA in design in DIT , specialising in Furniture Design, bespoke cabinetry. I have been designing Interiors and furniture for residential, commercial & retail properties, both inside & out for 20 years. No two rooms have ever been the same because we are always looking for something new!

Here in Wicklow, I am surrounded by a broad landscape which is filled the most beautiful colour palette. Between the rolling mountains and deep blue sea, I am spoilt for choice when it comes to creating new colour schemes for my clients. During a busy week conceptualising, designing and project Managing, I regularly get outdoors and soak up the horizon and fresh air. Why, because it brings me back down to earth."

My role as an Interior Designer is to create a space for you that enhances your surroundings and lift your mood. To create all the comforts that you need to support your lifestyle. Having worked in Architects practices and direct for Builder developers. I have gained a wealth of experience. I love designing for my clients and seeing a project evolve from concept to completion.

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