HomeInterior DesignSpring 2023 Upstate Lake Living Article

Spring 2023 Upstate Lake Living Article

Our article in the spring issue of the Upstate Lake Living article:

Planning a Successful Design-Build Project

So many people want to get straight to construction. The quicker you get started the quicker it gets done. However, it doesn’t work quite that way without some detailed planning before starting construction. There is a specific process that needs to be followed to get the best results in a timely manner.

Planning is the key in keeping a build or remodel successful and clear. It helps coordinate thoughts and initially keeps everyone that is a part of the project in focus.

Let’s look at some important steps in the build process that will help you make the right decisions and ultimately achieve the best goals to make your dreams come true whether building new or remodeling.

Step one is to hire the right design professional to help you create a complete overall detailed plan and scope of work. This scope of work may include determining the clients wants and needs, looking for inspirational imagery and items that the client wants to keep, drafting, cabinetry design, spatial planning, major structural work or additions, furnishings, window treatments, accessories, coordination of products, material, and color schemes, as well as figuring out the end results to be achieved.

Step two is to schedule an in-person or virtual meeting and assess the client’s needs, space, and any information that is necessary to start the planning stage. This is the opportunity to understand the services and costs that the design professional offers and to discuss any budgetary constraint information for the design services and build process.

The third step is to establish a contract agreement in written form that states the scope of work and services to be offered to the prospective client by the design professional.

Once an agreement has been reached, step four, is to start the conceptual design with consultations, research, schematic diagrams, and gathering lots of information. This information and research is put into a preliminary plan, which is then presented to the client for consideration, thoughts, and decisions. Once decisions are made along with any changes necessary, the plans will be detailed and presented to the client a final time for approval.

The fifth step is to get the necessary contractors involved into the process to provide preliminary cost estimates. Whether a scheduled meeting on site along with final plans and design, or working off plans and specifications only, the design professional and contractors gather the information to compile an estimate for the material and labor services. This estimate is then presented to the client for approval. Upon approval by all parties, the contract agreement signed, and tender terms met, the procurement process begins.

Step six is to get products ordered and contractors lined up and set on “Go”. With the plans completed, material selections approved, the contract agreements signed your design professional and contractors will set a projected schedule of the work process. Once the lead times are determined for the products and materials, contractors’ schedules confirmed, the design professional will lead in the project management of the services.

Even though the planning and estimating process may seem long, everyone involved will have a much better vision of the process and final outcome. The investment of time and energy in the beginning ensures that your design professional, contractors, and you — will begin the build or remodel project all on the same page.

An infographic depicting, in detail, the steps in this design process is available at:

This article was written by the design team at Wanda S. Morgan Designs, Inc. For over 40 years, the team at WSMD has been a solid resource for many in the upstate looking to remodel or build a new home. The WSMD design studio in Seneca is a full service design and drafting company that employs interior designers who can both design and project manage your interior and exterior needs, from conceptual ideas to a finished project. Contact WSMD at: 864-973-8800 or visit