The first meeting with your design-build team marks the beginning of your remodeling journey. It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know the team and process, as well as evaluate if that team is the right fit to bring your remodeling vision to life. Here are some helpful insights to consider for a successful first Design/Build meeting.


Take time to compile a list of must-haves for your redesigned space with any decision-makers involved in your project. Keeping this list general will leave room for creative collaboration between you and the designer. Design details will eventually be developed but beginning with a general list will help keep the conversation focused on what matters most. If you have ideas for a unique feature or specialty space, be sure to mention them to your designer.

Share what you like and dislike about your existing space during the first meeting. Having those priorities will steer the initial analysis and redesign in the right direction.

Sending existing photos of your space will help the designer prepare similar project examples and design insight. Providing inspiration photos is also recommended. If you have a Houzz or Pinterest inspiration board, share it with your designer! This will help them establish trends in your design interest early in the process.

Don’t be discouraged if you are unsure of layout changes or finishes, this will be solved during the redesign process. Everyone has design preferences, whether they realize it or not. Even if you cannot pinpoint exactly what you like about an image, a good designer will be able to pick up on the smallest of details to establish your style.


It’s important that all decision-makers involved in your project be present at the first consultation. In this first meeting, the designer will share information about themselves as well as walk through Advance Design’s “Common Sense Remodeling” process. Your overall project vision, including must-haves and project inspiration, will be thoroughly discussed. The designer will provide some helpful resources including a referral list, financing options, relevant past project examples, and more.

Functional design is a reflection of a homeowner’s lifestyle. Your designer may ask questions like how often you entertain, what your routine is like, who will be using the new space, and how you envision utilizing it. The first meeting takes between 45 minutes- 1-1/2 hours but varies depending on project scope.

General measurements or photos are taken depending on how you plan to move forward. The designer typically shares general ballpark estimates based on projects we have completed that are similar in size and scope.

Questions related to project timeframe, process, and investment goals are great to discuss during the first meeting. For larger projects or when moving structural elements, it will be determined if architectural or engineering drawings will be required.



As the meeting wraps up, the designer will walk through clear next steps to move your project forward. We recommend setting a date to review your preliminary design and investment analysis once it’s complete.

A design retainer may be collected at the end of your first meeting, depending on the team you partner with. For example, at Advance Design Studio, a 1st Step Design Investment is collected in order to move your project quickly into the detailed analysis and drawing phase. Retainers vary in amount depending on the size and scope of your project and may or may not be put toward your project total. At Advance Design, our 1st Step Design Investments vary between $500-$3,000 and are credited toward your project. If you are eager to see detailed drawings and an accurate investment analysis, retaining a designer is the best route to take.

Budget is discussed early and often throughout our process at Advance Design, as design and budget go hand in hand. Balancing your vision and investment goals requires honest and open communication between a client and their designer.

Custom investment ranges are prepared and revised as you work through the design process. Once a solid design direction is established, a site walk-through is completed by the designer, construction project manager, and each expert trade. This step assures that final figures presented are accurate and reliable for the project start.

Design Renderings


At Advance Design, we understand the apprehension that homeowners experience when trying to figure out who to trust and where to start. Through our step-by-step process, we work to provide a transparent experience and make remodeling as enjoyable as possible for our clients. This is evident from the first meeting through construction completion. We will be with you from start to finish to complete your remodel. Click here to help you decide whether or not design-build remodeling is the best path for you.

Our award-winning design team would love to partner with you and bring your remodeling vision to life. With our “Common Sense Remodeling” approach, the process of renovating your home has never been easier. Contact us today at 847-836-2600 or schedule an appointment.