The Design Process
The process John Evans Interior Architecture and Design goes through on every project can be broken down into stages.
During initial meetings with clients the following is discussed:
The client's wish list.
The timescales required to achieve the work.
The budget that is available to complete the work.
The cost to complete the work to the level required.
The function of the space.
The users of the space.
The identity of the interior.
The design life of the materials.
This helps the design team devise a brief and from this, the project's organisation and duration can be assessed.
As each project is different it is not possible to prepare a quotation without spending time taking details from the client and assessing their needs, analysing the site and working out how the project might evolve.
After assessing the project, a quotation with a price for presentation of initial proposals is issued. This stage is charged for, as it represents a crucial body of work, vital to the success of the later stages. Correctly defining the project's brief, to the client's satisfaction, minimises the possibility of project and budget overruns.
The presentation can take the format of mood and sample boards, sketches or computer aided visual and plans, depending on the complexity of the project and the client's wishes.
An estimate of fees for the project's duration, with hourly rates, is also provided at this point. Once fees and fee structures and agreed, designers progress to the next stage.
The brief given is now worked up to give a client illustrations of the space and how it will be used in order to meet their needs.
During this stage the brief is refined and the client has the opportunity to make adjustments to their 'wish list'. However, it is the practice's job to make sure that the design meets the agreed budget and project timescales.
It is important to resolve design issues during this stage, rather than later on during the project. When changes become more expensive and extend the duration of the work.
Detail Design Stage
Once the concept is agreed it can be drawn up in enough detail to be put to tender and then built from the drawings. A well-resolved concept allows the viable design details to be drawn up.
A contractor has to be able to cost every fixture and fitting (whether screw, plug socket or door handle) in order to cost a job. Therefore, designers have to make sure every detail is included to achieve an accurate cost.
A contractor is appointed on the basis of the tender they submit against the design details drawings. The work can then be carried out on site.
Site work is changeable, especially when working with existing buildings, where some problems are only identified once work commences. Here the designers help the client make decision quickly in order to keep the project moving.
On some projects the supply of goods can be organised for the client, if required. This process is referred to as FF+E (furniture, fittings and equipment) and runs alongside the main design.
The supply of goods (FF+E) generally starts during the design stage to ensure products with long lead times are acquired in time for completion. A full administration service is provided; a client account is opened; items are ordered from trade suppliers and logistical tasks are also completed on the client's behalf.