Exploratory Remodel Design Phase

In our last series of blogs, we discussed the importance of a productive, and well-planned consultation. This week, I would like to introduce an option in place of a design retainer… that I am going to call “exploratory design”.
Exploratory design, was presented to me by a potential client that I met for an in-home consultation. This client had many ideas for various remodeling projects for their home. These projects ranged from a partial kitchen remodel, to a full kitchen remodel, a new deck, flooring, and a bathroom remodel.
The intriguing thing about this consultation was that they were looking for a what they could get for various budgets. Starting at 50k, then 75K, and finally 100k. Well, as you may know, we do not do free bids, so I started with ball park numbers for their ideas. This client wanted more, they wanted a better idea of the cost before moving onto the design phase.
So, I proposed charging a fee to come in and take measurements and sit down a give them a proposal of what they can get for each level of budget options. I proposed a $1,000 fee to complete this type of proposal. This was a way for the client to have something tangible to make an educated decision on what direction they wanted to go.
From here, once budget and scope of the remodeling work is determined, then we will move onto the design phase. The design phase will require another $1,000 deposit. Some of you may be asking, why not just pay for the design and skip the exploratory design.
Well, the fee for the design with three options would be a total cost of $3,000, and only a portion of that money would be credited towards the remodeling project selected. In the case above, when the client moves forward with the remodel we would credit towards the project $2,000. $1,000 for the exploratory design, and $1,000 for the final design.
If you are contemplating a remodel for your home and are looking for more information on budget, and what you can get for that number, perhaps the exploratory design is for you. If you are more decisive on your remodeling needs and flexible on the budget, then the final design is the perfect fit you.