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Stage One: Design

In-Home Meeting

Every Chicago home remodeling project begins with a simple, casual and free in-home consultation. This is your chance to ask questions, pick our brains, and develop a more thorough understanding of your design/build options. Learn about similar projects we’ve completed or are currently developing, and everything else you may want to know about feasibility, cost ranges and construction timelines.

This meeting is the first step in a lasting, trusting relationship, and our Chicago design/build team’s first opportunity to learn more about your ideal project, so we can advise you on your best options. Are you happy with the layout of your room and how it functions? What sort of value do you want to add to your home, and how will it compare to others in the same neighborhood? For larger projects, we’ll even help you figure out your financing options, and consider whether a project makes sense as an investment.

Design/Build Proposal Meeting

Following the in-home meeting, our Chicago remodeling team develops a proposal that meets your individual needs. This preliminary design, complete with a detailed floor plan and 3D layout, helps you evaluate your ideas and understand our vision. Visualizing the project this way makes it easier to improve your home and determine what you like and what you’d like to change ahead of time.

At this meeting, our costs are broken down and categorized, item-by-item. This easy-to-understand guide is more than the typical verbal estimate or ballpark figure—you’ll see how the costs add up for yourself, so you know that you’re getting a value you can feel good about and a Chicago design/build team you can trust. This is your home, your budget and your future, and we don’t take gambles on guesswork.

Design Revisions

The more detailed the project, the more likely you’ll benefit from our home remodeling design revisions. This is your home, after all, and the design is a collaborative process—revisions give you the opportunity to explore options you’ve always wondered about. Ever wonder what it would take to knock out a wall, or relocate a staircase? You have a world of options to choose from, and we’re here to guide you toward a design that maximizes your investment and makes the most of your space.

The average homeowner takes about two weeks from the first consultation to the end of design revisions. Only when you decide that you’ve seen all you need to see and you know that our Chicago design/build team is the best fit do we consider the design process complete. Your designer has listened to your needs, our staff has developed the right project and you’re eager to get started. As we move into Stage Two, you officially become our client and part of the DESIGNfirst family with a 10% deposit and a signed contract—congratulations!

Stage Two: Development

Project Acceptance

You’ve signed your contract and you’re ready to prepare for construction. Internally, our design/build team delivers all of your materials—drawings, specifications, contract—to our development and production staff. Your paperwork is checked into accounting, and your drawings are sent to architecture, where construction sets are prepared.

At this point, our various Chicago remodeling departments scrub through the specifications and drawings together, searching for anything that may have been missed in the initial meetings. If any mistakes are found, they’re corrected. We submit for permits and accept your project into our digital management tool, and all the gears are set in motion.

Selections Meeting

Some clients love making selections—others can’t wait to be finished! Whether your home remodeling project requires choosing cabinets, countertops, flooring, windows, doors, lighting or more, the process can become tiresome without a little guidance—that’s why our team is here.

We have Chicago remodeling specialists that can narrow your options to the highest quality products at the best price tag for your budget. You’ll schedule a day and time that works for you, meet with our interior designers and finalize your material choices. We’re as eager to get started as you, and the faster the selection is made, the quicker we can start working inside your home. Selections meetings are often the most exciting part of the process, as you get to see details of your project taking shape before your very eyes.

Product Purchasing

Behind the scenes, our purchasing specialists barter with trusted vendors, negotiating better pricing on all of our products. Because of our industry relationships and project volumes, we’re able to command certain price breaks that others can’t—and we pass those savings onto you.

That said, we’re a bit different from other Chicago design/build firms, because we don’t force you to order your products through us. We give you the option to order from outside vendors if you prefer—with our prices, though, hardly anyone takes us up on it. Our pricing is fair, and every product you purchase through us is covered by our standard warranty.

Stage Three: Production

Schedule Acceptance

Once all the necessary product orders are placed and construction is ready to start, we draft a working schedule.

Our production management team evaluates the project scope and organizes our crews as needed. We coordinate the entire schedule on our client-only website, where you can track progress, approve any changes and get up-to-the-minute financial breakdowns.

Our efficient, coordinated approach gives every project total transparency, so you can track our progress from anywhere at any time.

Project Construction

This may not be the easiest part of the process, but it’s the easiest to explain: Our Chicago remodeling team goes to work and construction begins! Your project takes shape as walls come down and go up, cabinets are installed, tiling is laid and more. Most of the tricky decisions have been made by now, so you can stop worrying and let our team follow the plan. We handle any issues along the way, so you’re still satisfied long after construction is complete.

If you’ve never been through a home remodeling project before, there’s something you should know about how our process works—this step is often the most stressful for homeowners. Your home is under our care and expert guidance, but there is a period of adjustment the first time around. At DESIGNfirst, we appreciate how stressful it can be to live through a remodel, so we take every step we can to make the process more comfortable for you. We’re here to keep you calm, happy and confident, and whatever you need, you can trust us to help.

Project Completion

Congratulations—you made it. You can sit back and enjoy your new kitchen, addition, bathroom, or basement, and see for yourself that the quality of our work can’t be beaten. And while our design/build team has packed up and left, you can count yourself as a lifelong DESIGNfirst client. You’re under our 5-year warranty, so if anything isn’t up to par, you can just give us a call.

At DESIGNfirst, we continue to do what we do because of consistent referrals from our valued clients. We hope that you tell your family and friends about the finished product and our work, but we hope you tell us, too. We want to know that you’re completely satisfied with the process and with your new home, so keep in touch, let us know about your experience, and enjoy all the benefits that come with a new DESIGNfirst home remodel.


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Award Winning


Our job coordinator, Jon Weber was pretty awesome – he communicated with us almost on a daily basis – providing updates on when things would be done, etc, coordinating everything beautifully. In addition-ALL of our wants/needs/desires to change little things were handled exactly as we asked. …the overall experience was extremely pleasant.. We would highly recommend this company for a kitchen remodel and we will probably use them again when we redo a couple bathrooms in the future!
Monica O.