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Charges for Christine's Services

I am often asked what it costs to engage the services of someone to pull a project together in the way I do and its not an exact formula but as a general indication there are two ways.

I can give an overall cost and a final figure with a whole specification if whats included. The downside to that is that to give cost certainty I have to build in a substantial contingency for "just in case" items which may never happen. It also makes variations more difficult and generally works out more expensive and I really do like my clients to feel they have had good value as well as a great result.

Some jobs are very straightforward and I can give a final, total figure with some cost certainty and this is more often than not the method on rental properties where the owner trusts me to make the right selections and get in with it and where variations and un knowns are unlikely.

My preferred option when a scheme include numerous elements as well as furnishing, is to run the project on an "open book". We therefore charge a set fee and then charge each element at trade cost with a % uplift on all costs. We then operate an open book structure whereby the client can at any time see exactly where costs are and what my uplift is. There is total transparency at all times.

This method enables the client, to benefit from the discounts and contacts I have access to which can be substantial - usually 40%/50% discount on retail prices.

In this scenario, we invoice our Design & Project Management Fee as follows:

  • 50% immediately
  • 50% upon completion of the project

Under this system the % mark-up element is incurred when payments are made for works done.

We operate an Open Book accounting system so that at any given time clients can have access to information about payments being made on their behalf and see the actual cost of the project as we progress. This system enables any changes / additions they may decide to make to be incorporated into the scheme with the minimum of fuss.

We pre approve with the client all quotes on purchases / contractors before work commences at each stage of the project.

Because of the system in place at any time the client can see what funds we are “holding” and where these have been spent.

The Fee includes the following:

  • Attendance at as many meetings as required until completion with the client and any tradesmen
  • Making as many site visits as required until completion
  • Design input and expertise
  • Source and supply samples e.g. paint colours; fabric samples etc.
  • Source and supply materials, fixtures & fittings etc. as required at the best prices
  • Liaising with contractors throughout the project; arranging access as necessary with minimum disruption to the client; taking deliveries; etc.
  • Obtaining and managing quotes for each element of the project
  • Preparing quotes for the clients consideration
  • Value engineering contracts before acceptance; Managing contracts once accepted
  • Project management & administration including operation of the Open Book cash flow and making payments on the clients behalf
  • Telephone calls and travel costs

As regards to timescale once we have had the prices for each element in and agreed these with the client we organise the programme to be as compact as possible to minimise disruption.

Before proceeding clients sign our terms and conditions which can be emailed on request.

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