One of the things we do at Kerr Construction and Design when we first talk to a client about their renovation is something we call a “pre-construction process.” But when we talk to them, we call it our “design process.”
What this entails is making sure we can build what they’re asking for with the budget they have.
Lessons learned over time
Our “design process” has evolved over time. What used to happen was that a client came to us with a budget in mind. We would do an initial sit-down but then they would start looking at what more they wanted to be done. And the more they looked, the more they wanted to be done, thinking it would fit in their budget.
So we used to go away and do a design with all these changes that would end up costing three times their original budget. Ouch! A big, unwanted surprise.
So we don’t “design, design, design, design, budget” anymore.
Collaborative process with the client
Our design process is now “design, budget, design, budget, design, budget.” It is a very collaborative process with the client that starts at the beginning.
When we sit down with them, we get a budget worked out for the initial design. With later changes, we add and subtract this or that, working with the client’s budget and costs, so that we get the client the absolute best value for their project and get them the features that are most important to them.
In-house design makes it possible
This is why we have an in-house design department. With external architects and designers, they really had no idea of the costs involved in building. So a design would look great on paper but then building it doubles the client’s budget.
We don’t let this happen anymore. Our production staff work hand-in-glove with our designers to ensure the budgets are real and we can deliver the project as designed and budgeted.
Design process prevents costly changes
This “design, budget, design, budget” process works with the natural law of renovation costs that we discovered. Simply stated, if you make changes to a project already under construction, your cost for that change will be 10x what it would cost to make it in the design phase. If the change comes after the project is done, the cost is 100x. It is maddeningly expensive.
So with “design, budget, design, budget” our clients avoid making incredibly costly changes to their projects because those changes are taken care of in the design phase. Therefore, they get the most out of their renovation budget.
Our clients get a fixed price
In fact, our process is so good and reliable we give our clients a fixed price for their renovation.