This step occurs when a client is looking at various buildings to move into. Based on the needs of your company, such as current employee counts, anticipated future growth as well as ancillary space requirements we help you define how much square footage in office space you need. We can then help you work with your leasing or real estate agent to find the perfect space for your company.
Is the step we take in order to define your specific requirements for your space, such as how many individual or shared offices, open plan workstations, storage, meeting space(s), etc. you may need. For retail clients we determine things like merchandising display needs, private spaces if required, point of sale areas, etc. Once programming is completed, we create a layout of the space for client review. This is where the true development of the space begins to take shape, determining work flow efficiencies, use of space and aesthetics.
This begins to take shape with the space planning phase, the individuality of each client and company is addressed here by incorporating company philosophies, logos, and colour schemes. Finishes such as flooring, walls, ceiling, furnishings are selected in this phase.
We produce drawings that the General Contractors may use for permit purposes and also for pricing to build out the space, and will work with them and other consultants such as engineers and move coordinators to ensure your office project runs smoothly.
A Designer will help allocate your “design dollars” and how best to spend your money now and plan for future phases of your design project. Designers work with trades-people and manufacturers regularly and have more leverage to get things repaired or replaced when necessary.
I always insist that I meet with every potential client in person before I offer a quote for my services. I need to make sure that we are a good fit for each other. There needs to be mutual trust and respect. But you also need to do your research on them and make sure they are capable of tackling your project.
“Hiring a designer can help you to avoid costly mistakes that will not only help you save money but can increase the value of your property or business.”
The Client’s Responsibility:
1. Be prepared.
This means know what you want and what you like prior to meeting with a designer. The more information you give them, the more likely you will be getting what you want. This also means less research time, which means less money you will be paying them.
2. Be honest.
Always be ready to tell your designer exactly what you want. Don’t settle on something if you truly don’t agree. Always remain open minded, but don’t do something that you know is wrong. This is all about you getting what you want and them having the eye to accomplish this.
3. Plan it out.
Know your budget from day one. Do not allow yourself to be persuaded to begin spending more. It is the overall budget that will tell the designer how much you can get with this money. It is their job to keep you on track. You can then decide what your designers budget is. This means whether you will have their skills on an hourly basis or not. Otherwise if it is a long term process, you can then agree on a fee for the overall project. This should all be considered and discussed from the beginning, so that there aren’t any surprises later on. Then, once you have the budget settled you can begin to plan out your time frame. It is important to plan all of this out because you need something to try to get the designer to stick to.
While we do our best to stay within your budget, we never sacrifice on quality. We provide value for the money you invest. We work on the clients’ behalf by recommending the “best” choice to help you avoid costly mistakes. We are dedicated to introducing value and identifying financial saving to maximize your ROI.
2. Space Planning
The space plan, developed from the information obtained during programming, arrives at an efficient, productive, cost effective environment in which to conduct your business. We allocate space to each of your functions, fit them into the space available and ensure that the flow of work and information is helped by the relative position of each area. Emphasis is placed on requirements of privacy, flexibility, future growth or reorganization, and efficiency of use of space. On your approval of the block plans, we prepare a detailed space plan showing furniture and equipment layouts, personnel and special requirements. Next we go to:
3. Interior Design
Here we develop a design and decorative scheme to reflect the character of your organization and to provide an enhanced work environment. We help identify your desired image, determine the design for each specific area, select furniture and establish a budget range for design and decoration. Using this information, we produce proposals for each area including wall, floor, and ceiling treatments; furniture, art and accessories, together with all those elements that fix the character of each of those areas. All this is presented for your approval before:
4. Construction Contract Documentation
This stage covers the preparation of drawings, documents and specifications which will form the basis on which the contractors and suppliers will bid for the job. We include partition plans, reflected ceiling plans, furniture and finishes plans and schedules, and all required details for custom work if required. The plans and documents are checked for accuracy and compliance with lease agreements and legal regulations. We also implement a control system to monitor and report on variances from your planned budget and schedule. We also co-ordinate our work with that of the architect, electrical, mechanical and structural engineers to make sure the final documents contain all the necessary information needed by the general and subcontractors.
The prime objective of this phase is to maintain quality control, work schedule and contract cost. We work with the contractor to help eliminate problems with those items that could create time and budget problems. We review progress and quality during site inspections and meetings, which are recorded for the minutes of the meeting to provide a written record of commitments. The contractor’s job is not completed, as far as we are concerned,until the final deficiency is corrected and the last workman is off the job. Finally, we review the course of the entire project with you and appraise the efficiency of the completed job.