Some Interior design projects have a way of evolving! Sometimes the initial vision and the initial projected costs parameters begin to expand for a variety of reasons. Some reasons relate to changes in the prices of elements you originally considered and which your Interior designer “priced out” at the time, but that have escalated in the meantime. You may wind up having to a.) change your choices, b) modify some design elements, or 3) choose to go with the increase in cost.
Such junctures are where a very important document comes into play: the “Change Order Authorization!” The Change Order is not just another document (darn!) to add to the files. It is the document that comes into play at the end of the line when the Client looks at the overall costs of the completed project and thinks (or yells): Wait a minute! This is way more (or some more) than we agreed on at the beginning!
It is not an uncommon fact that many Clients “forget” some of the changes they wanted to make; just simply forget their decisions to spend “just a couple hundred or so more” for elements they wanted – even though the manufacturer raised the price “in the meantime.”
Another reason for costs modification (and another reason for conscientious implementation of Change Order Authorizations) happens when the scope of the project changes.
The scope of your Interior design project can shift in several ways. To mention just a few, you might decide to defer some aspect of the project until a later date – thus, scaling back the scope. However, more often than not, it’s the opposite that happens: “Wow! This is great! Why don’t we just go ahead with those other areas we have wanted to do? Sometimes an event (such as illness or a financial issue) will stall a project indefinitely, or convert it into increments with time between.
All issues that involve changes in the scope of the project also involve financial impacts. Almost without exception, Change Order Authorizations that reflect the mutual understandings and agreements of scope modification can be negotiated to the satisfaction of all parties reflected by the signatures.
If your Interior design team was to brag about anything, it ought to be the need for flexibility! The end goal of both parties – Interior designer and Client – is to successfully create the Client’s vision, within reasonable costs parameters, and in consideration of the possibility that changes may have to happen!
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
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Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo