Whenever I first meet a potential client to discuss the scope of a new project, I am always asked how much it will cost. If the project is the type that’s a strip out and start again, I can give a guidance based on average square meterage costs of previous projects. The decorative and furnishing part of a project is more difficult to assess as there are so many options at different price points from Ikea to B&B Italia.
In turn, I am cautious asking clients what their budget is, as most people are not sure, instead I ask for a variable of what they are prepared to spend for the works proposed. Through experience I’ll know if expectations are achievable with the funds available.
Projects can be completed on time and within budget but only if there is thorough preparation of actual costs rather than just valuations before going on site. Here is how we do that at Studio Hopwood.
The costing of a project is based on two parts. The first is the building works. The works are valued by potential building contractors based on a Design Package created by us. The package consists of a set of drawings including spatial, electrical, joinery, structural, bathroom, kitchens etc. A finishes schedule which is list of paint colours, floor finishes, tiles wall papers. A Specification which concludes the schedules and drawings as a description of the works to be carried out. As the Contactors put a figure against each item in the Specification it is possible to see a breakdown for the cost of the building works as well as the bottom line.
The second part of project costing is the product list, known to contractors as the Free Issue list, the items that they do not supply, furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E). These are the items that Studio Hopwood purchases on behalf of the client. We create a spreadsheet that comprises of an image of each item, quantity, code, supplier and cost. When compiling the list there might be a number of options, for example various sofas options at different price points but only one is selected to create a bottom line of costs.
Compiling the two lists together creates the bottom line of the total project cost. Add some contingency and the project is ready to go.