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Designing an outdoor construction project can be a daunting task. It is important to have all of the information you need before you meet with your designer and have all decision-makers in the meeting. That way, you can be sure that you are getting the most out of your meeting and that your designer has all the information they need to get started. In this blog post, we will discuss what key pieces of information you will need to provide for your designer and how to best prepare for your meeting!

Financing

What is your budget? How will you finance your project?

This is important to discuss with your designer so they can understand what you can afford and what materials may be best suited for your budget. If you have a limited budget, there may be some restrictions on what can be done or what materials can be used.

It is also important to know how you will finance your project. Will you take out a loan? Pay cash? There are many options available and your designer will need to know which one you are pursuing to provide the best advice.

By not providing details or having some thought in mind about the project, we are often forced to use allowances in our estimates. This can make or break a budget.

Take some time to think about your budget and financing options before your meeting so that you are prepared to discuss them with your designer.

Type of Structure & Size

What type of structure are you looking to get:

Be sure to have a good idea of the size and scale you are looking for. It doesn’t have to be exact, but your designer will need to know if you are looking for a small structure or something more grandiose.

Materials

Think about what materials you would like to use as well. Do you want a wood pergola or an aluminum one? Would you like stone veneer on your outdoor fireplace?

For example, when it comes to exterior renovations, weighing your options between vinyl shake and traditional lap siding, or vinyl or wood windows, can be tough. But with the right information, you can make a decision that fits both your needs and your budget. For example, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of exterior siding you could choose for your room enclosure:

Shake Vinyl Siding

  • Cost-effective
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to install
  • Not as durable as other materials
  • Limited color options

Traditional Lap Siding

  • More durable than vinyl shake
  • More aesthetically versatile – can create a variety of looks with different colors and styles
  • Requires more maintenance

Restrictions

  • Are there any restrictions that you need to mention to us? For example, do you have a Home Owners Association that has design guidelines?
  • Do you have pets in the area, or do you have a locked fence?
  • Are there any structures, sprinkler systems, brushes, or plants that will need to be relocated?

It is important to mention any restrictions upfront so that we can make any needed allowances.

Must Haves

What are the top things you must-have in your project? For example, if you are choosing an outdoor structure, you may need:

  • Electricity: Make sure you have enough power to run all of your devices and appliances. A good rule of thumb is to plan on 20 amps per square foot.
  • Water: Whether you’re installing a pool or just need a way to keep landscaping watered, make sure you have a plan for bringing in water.
  • AC/Heating: If you’re putting in an outdoor structure, be sure to include cooling and heating options. Many people don’t think about this until it’s too late!
  • Plumbing: If you will be using a room enclosure for guests, this might something to think about so they don’t have to run back to the main house.

Likes & Dislikes

  • Do you have a big backyard but it is empty and is boring?
  • Do you want a space to enjoy the outdoors without being subjected to the scorching heat of San Antonio?
  • Do you want a place to entertain but don’t know where to start?
  • Do you need storage for outdoor equipment?
  • Will you be using the space during different seasons?
  • Do you entertain often?
  • Do you have a large family?
  • Do you need a designated play area for the kids?

All of these questions will help us get to know how you live and what your specific needs are so we can turn your vision into reality.

It is also helpful if you bring ideas that you have found to the meeting. Find ideas from Pinterest, Google, magazines, YouTube, Home Renovations TV shows, and your own sketches or plans. Tell us why do you love these ideas and how these ideas will work in your home? You can print these ideas out or send us the links.

When meeting with your designer, be sure to bring along all of the above information. This will give the designer a good starting point for understanding your vision. It’s also helpful to make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your new space. This will ensure that your designer understands what is most important to you and can focus on making those items a reality.

Additional Expenses

You should also ask during the consultation if there are items that you will need to purchase on your own?

 

Window Treatments

Furniture

Kitchen Fixtures

Flooring

Hardware

Accesories

Paint

Appliances

Artwork

Start & Completion Dates

Lastly, we will ask when you would like the project to start and when you need it to be completed. Will there be a time that you are not available? We understand that there may be some flexibility with this timeline, but it helps us plan our production schedule.

We Are Here To Help

Now that you know what you need to prepare for your design meeting, all that’s left is to give us a call and schedule an appointment. We can’t wait to help you transform your outdoor space into something amazing! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to answer any of your questions and help you get started on your new project! Thank you for considering Integrated Outdoor Designs for your outdoor construction needs!

If you have a project in mind, please give us a call at 210-272-7120 or fill out our form to set up a consultation. We would love to hear from you!