Now is the time to have definitive conversations with close associates who have a vested interest in the project, family members it may impact, and spouses and partners with whom you share the decision making process.
When serious moves and large financial commitments are on the horizon, you and your designer must have all the factors on-the-table in order to avoid the expensive “Oops!” factor, later. It is not only money matters that can disappoint. Forgetting to include a special element at the front end can be very disappointing as completion approaches. Of course, you might be able to work it in, but what if you can’t?
Transitioning from free-fall dreaming to solid commitments is one of the most exhilarating aspects in bringing your vision to reality! So, try not to bog down in that awful trap: what if? It is a lot cheaper (in every way) to make changes on paper than to realize halfway into your project that something just won’t work. There are wise and welcome junctures in the plan development phase for changing your mind early on; but it can be very difficult and expensive to try to retrofit further along.
Developing a realistic budgeting approach at the beginning is wise. There are many approaches to financing your design project. First, you and your designer must arrive at agreements concerning the scope of the project. Once that is determined, it will be easier to develop the financial projections.
Projects are paid for in several ways. For some, a loan may be taken to cover the whole shebang. Another approach might be to divide the project into phases, modestly draw on savings, cash flow and lines of credit for each phase and take a breather in between. Your professional designer is familiar with all of these approaches, and understands the need to be flexible.
At this important juncture as you begin to develop your project’s pragmatic master plan; it would be smart to get some input from your financial advisor. Your designer can help with any questions concerning timing, seasonal and weather impacts, materials or product availability and access. Those elements can definitely have a bearing on costs.
As choices are finalized and decisions are made concerning scope, style, financial management and client readiness, your designer will have what is needed to completely profile your project and prepare the all-important paper work. Sound agreements that tie down your verbal understandings will help ensure that your project moves smoothly, with clarity and integrity.
Robert Boccabella, B.F.A., Certified Interior Designer
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Collaboration & Writing: Ms. Zoe Tummillo