By Renée Biery

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Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How to take the lead, on any project

  • How to bring value to every project you’re on

  • How to define your role on projects

You have a project coming up, and it’s time for you to take the lead…..

But where do you even start? How do you define your role on projects?

What I hear most from designers is that they are managing the project themselves, so this isn’t a ground-up construction. It is a smaller project. Maybe a kitchen and bathroom renovation or a small addition, and they’re left wondering, “Well, how do I establish myself as the lead on this project?”  

And I get it. It IS intimidating to be the only girl on the jobsite, so you automatically are insecure about your footing on the project. But here’s the thing….

I had a beloved Grandmother who had a saying that I think about and subscribe to often, and that is “Start as you mean to continue.”

I’ve applied this to every area of my life, and I believe wholeheartedly it applies to the role of an interior designer on a construction project. What do I mean by that?

If a designer shows up on day one feeling insecure, not really sure what she’s doing, doesn’t have everything organized, not taking the lead, and nothing is being accomplished, then that is the role the contractors are seeing the designer in. 

That is not what the client had in mind when they hired an interior designer. 

So what is the best way to start? The best way to start any project is to actually take the lead. 

If you are on the jobsite, taking the lead looks like what you think it does. You are organized. You are bringing all of the assets that you need to run that project that you have at that time so that you can review them and have access to them if questions arise. 

The trades are not going to see you as a project manager. Whether that’s fair or not, they will see you as the person coming in to put in decorations and lighting fixtures. So taking the lead for you also looks like educating the people you’re going to be working with. 

Now make sure you notice how I said with. They won’t be working for you. will be working with you. And that is a mindset you must have when you are walking onto a project. Here’s the thing, you can’t renovate with just one trade. You can’t do a renovation project with just an electrician, just a plumber, or just an interior designer. You need everyone on that team to buy into the fact that they are a member of a group, and the group is what brings the project to fruition. 

You can take on the role of lead no matter what project you are on, whether you have had experience or you’re brand new, and in every case, find ways to add value.

Many contractors and trades may not have worked with an interior designer before, so you have the opportunity to change their mindset on how much value you can bring to each project. 

This is so important that designers have the confidence to take the lead on the projects they are managing on their own. It is truly the first step in a successful project. And by taking the lead, starting as you mean to continue, you will see a tremendous difference in how projects are running from this point forward than projects you ran before hearing this episode. 

Get ready to take some notes, and transform your projects. I promise, if you master these skills, you will come back and tell me how much more you enjoy doing what you do!

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