New client called five days into the new year, quite frantic. Needed help on her bathroom redo – a present for her husband. She had googled interior designers and found me. A meet up process takes place at clients residence. Being a new client and a big reno, I go to site to chat, get to see if the fit is right, survey the problems and then discuss all issues, including fees.
This project was difficult – the client had already had a renovation take place. It was her ‘design’, her builder and her PM. A very challenging project. Client was extremely upset with her reno and her suppliers for wrong design to her vanity slab etc.
Time was allocated to chat and let her know that without drawings you cannot expect good results. The project was commissioned for go ahead to concept design and estimate a budget.
This was promised for 4 weeks time to present. Her husband was not present at this phase. Concept design was presented at my office with both husband and wife. They were very confused as to where to look and did not recognize their bathroom! They thought it was another house.
We had a good laugh and I continued presenting. This presentation took 4 hours! Due to ideas flowing between hubby and wife, grappling with what colours to use and lastly budget. This can happen when clients want their say and their stamp. It got worse when the budget was presented. All told, it turned out to be accepted but for my builders quote – they wanted to look for their own builder. I don’t usually buy into this process but silly me, but I did.
I had their builder see me and we went thru drawings, specs etc. His quote was ridiculously low, especially the plumbing quote and this was highlighted to the client. We had to continue – time was a factor. There were a lot of extras added to the project and her builder commenced. It wasn’t a good fit and an unpleasant time with the builder. To cut a long, long story short, the builder eventually showed his true colours and didn’t come back. This now was on my shoulders to get the project back to where it should have been.
It took a year instead of 4 months to finish the project. Mainly because of extras added consistently and sourcing and quoting from my subbies to continue with the job – this all happening whilst clients are away in Europe.
The project was eventually well executed and the results as per design. The clients were extremely happy and just love showering – the words of wife.
This project was a lesson to my clients to not act on their own and always use professionals.
On my side, I shall make no exception ever again when it comes to hiring. It is in my policy to use my building team and my suppliers. The job is slicker, costs are saved and it gets done on projected time.