Tackling Renovation Projects w/ Renée Biery

Episode #251 the Wingnut Social Podcast

When Renée Biery entered the interior design industry, she thought everyone did renovations. It wasn’t until she moved back home to Delaware that she realized she—especially as a woman—was the anomaly. She had to work hard to show how much value she could add to a renovation project for both the client and the contractors. She believes that Interior designers CAN and should do more. In this episode of Wingnut Social, she shares how you can learn to master those tricky renovation projects (and the clients that come with them).

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:25] Check out our FREE photography webinar
  • [3:30] Mini News Sesh: Scheduled live displays on Instagram
  • [5:10] Learn more about Renée Biery
  • [7:29] Why you should be an expert in project management
  • [15:33] Why don’t more designers take on renovation projects
  • [23:46] How this business model can fill your pipeline
  • [26:26] How Renée charges for her projects
  • [30:10] Market your services with social media + networking
  • [36:55] The What Up Wingnut round!
  • [38:22] How to learn more from Renée Biery
  • [44:35] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Renée Biery

Resources & People Mentioned

Why you should become proficient in project management

As the owner of deVignier design, Renée has almost 30 years of experience in the industry. She’s formally trained in practical interior architecture with advanced technical and rendering proficiency. She sought to be a one-stop-shop that offers everything from project management and design to decorating. She loves being part of the design and build. It also sets her apart from other women in the industry.

Despite her formal education, Renée believes that it isn’t necessary nor should it be a barrier to entry. She learned more from the women she’s worked with over the years. You simply learn as you go. You can find contractors, architects, etc. who will work with you to get a permit or draw a design.

Renée believes that offering renovation projects will sustain the industry. Why? Because procurement is becoming a problem. Many firms are giving up that revenue stream. But what does that leave them? There are only so many billable hours in design. If you’re trying to salvage your billable hours, managing renovation projects is a great way to get started.

Why don’t more designers take on renovations?

Renée believes that many designers lack confidence in their skills. Plus, it can be intimidating. Everyone watches HGTV and every episode of any show features some great challenge to overcome. Those challenges get expensive. That’s why Renée encourages people to gain experience in numerous ways. She started “The Only Girl on the Jobsite” because as the only woman among 20 guys on a worksite, you feel like the odd man out. So you have to build skills to level the playing field.

Where do you get your feet wet? Do you intern under someone with the experience necessary? Some people have renovated their own spaces and feel comfortable learning as they go. Plus, if you have some experience, you can build on it. Price yourself at an obtainable level until you’ve built a portfolio. There will be clients that are excited about getting a great price and don’t mind that you’re learning. But above all, do not fake it til you make it or you’ll end up making expensive mistakes.

Taking on renovation projects sets you apart and gives you a leg up. What else can you do to break the mold? If you decide to add renovations and project management to your portfolio, how do you market yourself? Renée shares a plethora of advice in episode #251—don’t miss it!

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