Step to take for remodeling? Need advice please!
We are in the planning stage of remodeling kitchen and 3 bathrooms. We are keeping the same foot print, not much plumbing and electrical changes. We are not sure what are the sequence of events that need to occur. Below are some of the (dumb) questions we have:
Our understanding is that we should have a detailed design in place for the new kitchen and bathrooms and then call GCs to provide quotes and their references. Once we decide the GC we would go with, we would then form a formal contract with a lawyer to review. Is this understanding correct?
If it is, how detail should the plans to be? Should we have details such as exact measurements, the type of counter top, brand and model of toilets, bath tubs, fixtures, cabinet and its options we need..etc.?
If it is, do we hire someone to work on the design since we do not have experience, know how, and time to come up with good designs?
We received good recommendation for two GCs, both of them offer design service. Do we allow using them for designing? Do we pay them for the design before the quotes?
Or do we tell them from the beginning that they are one of the two we would like to get the bids? Do we wait until they finish all the details of the design, and we determine who would get the job based on the quotes of their detailed designs? Is this the right process?
We want to be fair, we do not want to take advantage of anyone. We don't want to waste anyone's time to invest tons of work for a job that may not win.
I think from the questions we ask, it is clear that we have never done remodeling before, we sincerely need your advice. Thank you.