Finding a designer for your facility isn’t a task that should be taken lightly. You’ll want to make sure that he/she has the right experience to match your facility’s needs and is able to complete your project to-code and on-budget. Here are five important tips selecting the right designer for your facility renovation.
- 1. Senior living experience. This is the number one point to cover when talking to potential designers for your facility. Just because a designer did a great job at the new office down the street or a friend’s home, does not mean they are well-versed in designing for senior living. Keep in mind that senior living furniture is made from special fabric and materials for durability, support and, most importantly, fire codes. Your designer must know the codes your draperies, blinds and fabrics must adhere to.
- 2. Flexibility. If you’re doing major renovations that require an architect, you’ll want to make sure your designer is willing and able to collaborate with that person or group. And, while you may not be a pro at design, you will probably want to add some input throughout the process—and you should. Your designer should be a great listener and flexible in their designs to help meet the needs of your facility.
- 3. Documentation. The work is finished, your residents and staff are happy, and you’re seeing an increase in interest. Once all the hard work is done, it’s easy to forget about the documentation that you need. Fire safety certificates, warranties, cleaning and maintenance instructions are provided for inspection and given to you post-project.
- 4. Presentation. Does the designer provide a concise professional document showing architectural finish and material selections or just loose samples attached on boards? What happens when the boards are thrown away and the painter needs to match the paint used in the corridor? The documentation should be there and available for future use.
- 5. Repeat customers. A sure way to help you decide if the designer is right for your facility is if they have repeat customers. Knowing that customers continue to trust and use the designer’s expertise for multiple projects speaks highly of his/her skills.