I cant even tell you how many phone calls we get every week about potential clients wanting to start a new renovation or build a home and have absolutely no idea how much a project can cost. I blame it on the tv shows setting unrealistic expectations for their viewers. i also blame it on just plane ignorance. Neither of these is a bad thing. It just means you as the client has never been given the correct information or simply has no experience in it at all.
When people call us on the phone we have a litany of questions for you, we call them our “initial phone interview.” As much as we appreciate you finding us, it is just as important that we understand where you are starting from. If you have done a remodel, you may remember what it entailed and the costs. Often times those were done 20 years ago when your kids were still at home and you need an extra bathroom and more storage space. Things change and they change often.
One of our questions is “what is your budget?” I would say 90% totally wing that one. They either have no idea or simply don’t want to share. I find if they do have a number , it is relatively arbitrary. Again this is not a bad thing, but understanding getting to the right number for you will be a process.
The process goes something like this…
You decide you have an idea of a renovation you would like to make to your home, or you want to build a new home. You have grand ideas of what you would like it to look like. You start making phone calls to General Contractors and Designers. You want us to tell you how much and how fast. The how much question is totally up to you.
Step 1: Decide how you want to pay for the project. Will you be financing it or paying cash? That will determine just how much money you will be able to spend on the project. Period. You should really find this out ahead of time. For us it doesn’t matter how much you want to spend on your project. We charge a flat fee for our design work and if we purchase any materials or finishes or lighting, we charge a mark up after our discount.
Step 2: Have the financing in order before you start your project. That will set a clear and finite scope of work that can be completed. When clients are wishy washy about money, the project can go over budget in a heart beat. Planning is key to staying on target. be prepared, know what you want and what you can afford, or what you want to invest in your project. Always weigh your ROI – return on investment for your property against what you want to spend.
Step 3: Stick to our guns or find more money. I see all the time that peoples visions rarely match their bank accounts and our designs fly out the window because there was not a good enough handle on the financial aspect of the project. have a plan and stick to it. The more changes you ask for, the more costly the project will become.