are a big part of our business. We do a lot of work designing interiors for renovations and spend a lot of time working with our team of architects and designers to get the design right before the build begins – but it’s the on-site collaboration we have with our builders and tradesmen while the project is going that really make the end result awesome.
There are a few key phases in a building project where collaboration is really important. Obviously the first one is the design phase. We feel it is really important to have the whole team on board early in this phase. A well-integrated project relies on the designers working with the builders (and architect if there is one involved) from the very early stages. Having the whole team on board focussing on constructibility, budget and design ensures that the clients needs will be met.
We have always worked very closely with our builders and contractors right from the start of the build process, but recently we have started a collaboration with Cullen Build Group where we work together before they have even been engaged to do the job. If you are looking for builders to quote your job I highly recommend you find a builder who works closely with an interior designer from the very early stages. Cullen BG charge a tender fee each new build they are asked to tender for. This allows them to spend the time necessary to do a thorough and accurate quote – which means you get the benefit of knowing where you stand before you start. Through experience Cullen BG has learnt that the biggest challenge for clients with fixed price quoting is in the PC items. These are finishes and selections that are generally made further down the project and are very hard to estimate unless the client knows roughly what finishes they are going to choose.
Cullen engages us to do a complimentary consultation with their client during the tender process. This helps the clients narrow down what they want in terms of things like 2 pac or laminate, marble or engineered stone, flooring, tapware selections and tile choices etc. Tile costs vary hugely and depending on the selection the actual tiling price also changes dramatically. We meet the clients at Beaumont Tiles for a 2 hour meeting where we help them select everything from flooring, carpet, tiles, benchtops and joinery finishes so that Cullen BG can quote effectively.
It is a fantastic service and so far has proved to be of great benefit to their clients. It helps the client learn early on how small changes to finishes can affect their budget and allows them time to change their choices if the cost comes in too high or too low. We are then also available to the clients on an hourly rate if they would like our help with other decorative selections like window furnishings, lighting and outdoor spaces – all of which need to be made early on in the project and in collaboration with the builder so that changes don’t need to be made to the construction in the middle of the project.
The other huge benefit to this process is that we at Cranberry Design are available during the build process to answer any questions the client and/or builder may have. The builder/contractor is the one who literally makes ideas, visions and drawings come into life and the reality is that details come up during the build process and they need to be addressed. With a collaborative relationship designer and builders can work together on site to nut out any issues that arise.