No design project is the same and the opportunity for unforeseen costs and unexpected delays
can be great. The good news is with some insider know-how, you can keep your design
project on time and under budget.
Have a Plan
First things first, define your plan! Without knowing what you want to accomplish, it is
impossible to understand potential cost or timing. What will the layout of the new design look
like? What kind of finishes do you envision? If you are planning your project independently it
will be helpful to walk through the space with a contractor so they understand the scope of
work you will need. If you are working with a design professional, they will most likely create a
floor plan and vision board for the finishes that can be priced out.
Establish a realistic budget and deadline from the get-go. Commercial costs can vary greatly
from residential costs, which you may be more familiar with. Do your homework. You’ll want
to be sure you have a solid understanding of all key expenses such as furnishings and
installation, cost of renovations and finish materials.
Get Aligned. Stay Focused.
It is crucial to ensure that all stakeholders are on board, aligned, and communicating regularly
(consider using one specific communication software for the project to easily keep everyone
connected and reachable). Doing this will help with time management and is needed for
developing the most efficient schedule for the project. When establishing timing and deadlines
remember to include meetings with professionals, lead times for products and delivery dates.
Be sure to avoid “scope-creep” during your design project, which can happen when you grow
your design plans after the budget and deadline has been established. The best way to do this
is to have all decisions finalized, including having alternative selections for certain products if
need be, before you lock your budget and deadline. You should also keep a line item for
contingency costs. Depending on the size of your project this can be anywhere from 5-10% of
the overall project cost and will protect your overall investment from unforeseen expenses.
As your project progresses, keep track of all expenses and see how they compare with your
budget. Remember that it is okay to be over in some areas, as long as overages are balanced
with savings in other areas.
Flexibility is key
Stay open-minded throughout the process! Do not be fooled by anyone who ever tells you
they’ve never experienced a problem on a project. While many problems are avoidable,
unforeseen circumstances, big or small, arise in Every. Single. Project. Ever! This doesn’t mean
your project won’t achieve its time and budget goals. It does mean, however, a little flexibility
and quick thinking from the project team will be required. In the event an item is out of stock
or won’t be available until after your deadline, stay open to alternative solutions. Remember
that delaying a project costs money, so saving $100 on “the” lighting fixture may not be worth
it in the end.
Always weigh your options and try to save where you can. It is better to splurge on necessary
and high use items, like commercial grade office chairs for the employees in your office, than
making sure you buy smaller accent pieces that may catch your eye. (Read more about when to
save and when to splurge here!).
At Design Your Monday! LLC, we want you to feel confident that your renovation will stay on
track, and we do everything within our control to plan upfront and minimize delays and project
costs while reacting quickly to unforeseen problems. If you are ready to move forward with
confidence in the quality of your project management, click here. We’d love to help you!