Getting Started

If this is your first major project for your home, you probably have a lot of questions. I’m here to help with the answers.

The First Step in most projects is getting together with someone to talk through your ideas. You don’t need to have everything figured out at this point, you just need to have a clear idea of what you don’t like and what you do like about your house the way it is.

Find a professional, like New Leaf Home Design, who has experience with projects like yours. You may want to talk with architects, remodeling contractors who provide full design services, or residential designers. The important thing is to get someone with experience who can help you with the planning process. Good design drawings help you to think about how you will live in your completed project and how you want it to look. Make sure you give the design phase of your project as much care as its construction.

Good chemistry with the people you work with is important too. Your designer needs to listen carefully to what you want to accomplish and explain ideas for your project in a way you can understand. You will probably be working together for several months, so find someone you like working with.

Design tools are another thing you will want to ask about. Ask designers if they do their drawings by hand, use a two-dimensional drafting program, or work with three-dimensional virtual modeling. Many homeowners find it helpful to see three-dimensional images of their project during the design process. New Leaf Home Design uses a program that quickly and easily produces color renderings of your design, allowing you to see virtual camera views of your home design. Our “What Will it Look Like” page shows a few examples of these images.

Two ways to start:

  • Consultation Meeting. For some smaller projects, it makes sense to start working together at an hourly rate right away. I can come out, listen to what you want to accomplish, and give you immediate feedback. This is best when you are adding or renovating just a small area like a bathroom or laundry. I can tell you whether what you want to do is practical, how we can approach challenges like bearing walls you want to open up, and even provide sketches during the same meeting.
  • Free Introduction Meeting. If you are just starting to think about a project, or if you are interviewing a few architects, an Introduction meeting is the way to go. We can get together at your home at no charge, so we can talk about what you hope to accomplish. This gives you a chance to tell me about your project and ask me questions about what it would be like to work together. It can also help you get more focused on what you want for your home so you are ready to move on to the next step.  Please note that if we meet more than 30 minutes from my west Akron studio I will need to charge for some of the time in this meeting.

Ready to get started? Let’s get together to talk about your project. You can contact me at or by calling 330.329-6901.