7. Don't Forget About the Inside Design

If your project will include the services of an interior designer, bring him or her in at the very beginning. Designers think about rooms differently from architects and builders and often notice problems that others might miss. TOH senior design consultant Alexa Hampton recalls a meeting with a prospective client who immediately laid out the architect's floor plans. "I took one look at the master bedroom and asked her what size bed she has," recalls Alexa. "When she said king, I told her that the way the plan was drawn, she'd only have room for one bedside table. She hired me on the spot." Designers can also help plan the best placement and number of electrical outlets, and determine if windows are positioned to allow enough room for curtains.

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