We have a run of potential clients this year, that come to us with plans, ready to receive their quote and move on with the process of building their dream. These clients have typically spent $2,500-$5,000 on their new plans and are happy and excited about the opportunity in front of them.
Adam will meet the clients on site, plans, finishes, and the site are discussed, and he heads back to the office to prepare the quote for the client. This is delivered via email usually within the week. At this point, for many of our clients recently, this is where it begins to go wrong. The quote is right out of the ballpark figure they had in their mind, the plans they’ve had drawn reflect what they would love on site, but are right out of budget.
So how do we fix this? Unfortunately sometimes there is no fix, dreams are dreams, and some clients choose not to build in hope of being able to afford the whole dream at a later date, in many other cases, there is an opportunity for the client to work with Adam while he tries to find another way to do the job, to produce a similar outcome, at a lesser price.
This may be as simple, as the client painting for themselves, or could be as complicated as altering the plans to suit a less expensive alternative. Very often we find, if the builder was included in the design stage, there is no need for the disappointment that can come with a quote. In our experience, we have found that our clients are 100% happy with plans, and quoted price, when the builder and architect work together right from the beginning.
We find it saves the client money on many levels, from making practical decisions about what can be done within scope and budget, to not having to pay for altered plans.
The other alternative is to do your homework prior to contacting the architect, have a firm idea on what budget you have and what you are likely to get for the price you have in mind. This post has a calculator to help you find an idea on the price for the dream you have. Architects typically, are not able to accurately estimate a price, therefore when you have a budget to work with, unless you have an idea of what you should receive for your money, you could end up with plans that have no use right now. A little bit of time, or involving the builder right from the beginning, can save a whole lot of money and heartbreak.
Remember though, builders aren’t designers of architects either, as reflected in this post from The Plumbette, we all have our roll to play, and for the best outcome for you as the client, usually comes through us all working together.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have a tight budget to work with? How did you approach the situation?
I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.