What Level is Your Design Business?

Week #2 Chatbox Q&A


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    Q: What software do you use for the finish schedule?
    A: Google spreadsheet. You will get the file to use in google spreadsheet and excel.

    Q: Do you use a spreadsheet to keep track of selections as they are chosen?
    A: Yes, google drive spreadsheet, which is the same as my finish schedule.

    Q: Builder’s budget: Do you know mark-up? Do you calculate?
    A: This was asked earlier in the class and I believe we addressed it later in class but I will answer it here as well.
    The builder will develop the budget. Use it as your guideline to know if you are in budget or not. You will need to ask the builder if the plumbing budget (for example) includes installation or just fixtures and valves? You will want to know before you begin making selections if the builder’s fees are cost plus or flat fee, because you would need to take into account the mark-up to know if you are in budget. If the builder is a flat fee, you can ask him if he gives the product at cost, if so, you won’t need to do the calculation of a mark-up.
    *Let the sales associate know what builder you are working with before you start selecting. Some builders have better discounts than others, so you will want to make sure you’re working off the correct numbers.

    Q: Can you take us through a tab from the book.
    A: Yes! We will do that in the upcoming class.

    Q: Does the plumbing budget include accessories?
    A: Ask the builder, they may have a separate line item for it.

    Q: Based on the 6-8 week time frame for your 16,000 sq ft build, how much time a week will you spend on it?
    A: There will be three of us working on the project. I will put together the preliminary design concepts, the lead designer will work on the selections and updating the presentation, our cad specialist will be working on the elevations. So there’s a lot happening all at once. 6-8weeks is pretty tight for 16,000 sq/ft, but in this case it is what it is.

    Q: How many projects do you work on a week?
    A: We work on all our projects every week. There may be days that lean more heavily on one project, but we have 16 projects right now and all are touched pretty much on a daily basis by at least one person on the team.

    Q: When you are brought on early to discuss budget, allowances, etc., you have already been hired so it’s billable?
    A: Yes! For more information on this, if you look at our class conversation I answered a similar question for Kirsten about being brought on early, during the architectural phase and how to bill for that if you want to go back and look at that thread.

    Q: What if you selected something that is backordered or d/c’d by the time they go to order it?
    A: I use to just reselect, but since the pandemic I will now have in my contract that if things are backordered or discontinued that I will bill hourly to reselect.

    Hope that helps!

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What Level is Your Design Business?