The home is where the heart is, and everyone can certainly see the heart of your home in its very design. The way that it is built, decorated, and laid out certainly speaks volumes about the home's owners. If you are like most of us, you probably do not have an architectural degree and don't have the foggiest idea about how to design and build a home; but you definitely have some good ideas! If this sounds like you, then it may be time to call up a residential designer and start planning your "new" home.

Since most home owners do not know what they are in for, they do not know the right questions to ask or what to look for. Look no further; we'll help you out right here.

One thing that all designers should offer are free consultations. If they do not offer free consultations, cut them from your choice of designers (there are more designers than you may realize, so cutting one or two certainly is not going to leave you designer-less). You must also not consider any designer who does not have the Better Business Bureau, or "BBB" seal. The more professional seals they have, the more qualified they are for the job AND the better the company they are. Lastly, it is also very important to cut any designer that has obscure information, or information that you can't verify. Remember, professional designers LOOK like professionals and treat their business seriously.

Now that you have cut a few o the designers from your list, it is time to place some calls! Pay attention immediately to how quickly the phone is answered, and how polite the voice on the other end is. If you receive some sort of answering service or machine (which does happen) see how long it takes for the call to be returned. Does it take an hour? Two? Or does it take a day? Next, when you mention the free consultation, see how excited the designer sounds. Does he or she sound passionate about the job and excited to get started? Or do they seem distracted and even bored? Did they answer your questions courteously or did they seem annoyed?

I hope that you selected a few of the passionate, excited designers - this is their passion, after all! Once you schedule a meeting with them, be sure that they stick to the time that they promised. When you meet them at the door, extend your hand and see if they accept your hand. See if they hold eye contact and seem friendly. This is important, since you and the residential designer will be working together on this project.

You should also mention your plans be sure that your design ideas are heard. A good designer will take your ideas, and then expand upon them with his or her own to enhance the design of the home. They should also be very receptive to whether or not you like the idea, and not show that they are offended if you do not particularly like that initial vision they had. Be sure you do not feel rushed, either; take your time and be sure that you are completely happy with the designer that you choose.

Remember, you will be spending a lot of time with this designer since a home can take weeks, or even MONTHS to be built or rebuilt. You want to be sure that you feel at ease with the man or woman you are working with, and that they fit into your budget. If you do this, then both you and your designer will have a very happy few weeks ahead of you.