A few years ago, we worked on a Master Plan Design Strategy for a client. For those of you who do not know what that it is…it’s a paint by numbers design plan for clients to implement as their time and budget allow.
This project was very robust and we were hired after my clients discovered that their previous designer was not a good fit. So, by the time my firm was hired, we had a contractor that needed finish selections a yesterday.
My firm’s design process is very linear and in order to save time and therefore my clients’ budget, we make a comprehensive presentation. In this instance, that was not possible because the contractor was already on site and there was no time to waste. So, we jumped into designing the bathrooms.
The contractor provided me with the tile and plumbing allowances so I could source materials based on the targeted budget. The budget was low but I wasn’t concerned because I know how to maximize a budget. After sourcing materials for the bathrooms, I received SHOCKING news…..the budget that the builder provided INCLUDED his labor. Strangely enough, he refused to disclose what percentage the labor was.
After a very unpleasant conversation with the contractor, I had to break the distressing news that the provided allowances were grossly inaccurate. Not only did it not provide for the level of quality my clients wanted but it was simply unrealistic.
Because this was not a full service project, I was not involved beyond providing the completed design. A few months later, my clients confided that they had to terminate their relationship with the contractor.
This was an unnecessary and stressful start to my clients renovation. It wasted a great deal of time and in construction, time IS money. I’m happy to share that they landed on a wonderful new contractor. After their experience, they discovered the RIGHT questions to ask in their vetting process and all is well that ends well, right?
Have a well-designed day,