Searching for the right design professional is challenging for home and business owners. There are multiple conflicting information sources and many imitation designers out there. Here are the important facts about our projects that you have the right to know.
1. What is "interior design"?
Interior design is the practice and application of the safety and welfare of the occupants within a space. It is a highly technical profession similar to an Architect that focuses on interior living environment building codes, fire protection, exits and egress, the use of construction techniques, sensory conditions, energy efficiency, sustainability, universal accessibility, and materials. It focuses on human behavior, psychological perceptions, historic precedent and a particular process to solve the Client's needs.
There are 2 certification bodies for interior designers:
2. What are we looking for in our Clients projects?
We are looking for astute owners that value creativity and professionalism that a qualified interior designer brings to a project. Owners should have professional trust in us and not be afraid to let us make the big decisions for them. The most successful projects are with trusting clients that participate in the project we're about to design.
Projects that aren't a fit for us are:
- Real estate flips or staging
- Projects for Christmas completion that all the design work is not finalized by July
- Renovations/new construction where completion is within the next 9 months
- Project where the homeowner does not want to make decisions
2. Why should you choose us?
CKID is a multidisciplinary design studio - meaning we handle the design work in-house while many other firms outsource the work to vendors, suppliers, or overseas. We have 3 internationally recognized levels of certifications and multiple design awards. When working on design projects, our vision is clear:
The STUDIO acronym guides us while we work:
Skillfulness in our technique
Teamwork with clients and each other
Understanding the problems
Dedication to find solutions
Imagination with planning and materials
Organization to execute the project
4. When are we available?
We are available during our posted business hours and our site visits and design meetings are scheduled during that time. Just like you, we have families, friends, events, wellness routines, laundry and more to attend to. There are some exceptions from time to time, but it is important to Corey that he provides a respectful workplace for the whole Design Team.
5. What do you need to get a project started?
As the home or business owner, you will need to provide us with information to get started. Here's what we will need:
- Existing plans of the building and property lot
- Inspiration images in a Houzz Ideabook or Pinterest board
- A starting project budget with 10% contingency and 15% for additional services (such as design fees)
- A timeline for design work that allows for 3 months to a year
- A timeline for construction work that follows the design work
If you don't have these items now, it's a good time to start getting them together before booking a Telephone Interview. You can also consider purchasing Corey's ebook "Client Project Planner" for $11 (incl. tax) (for residential clients only.)
6. How do we charge?
We charge using a flat design fee billed in 2 phases, much like a milestone, with Additional Services to pay-as-you go during construction. This fee is based upon the square footage of the areas we're working in. We package our services as a tangible line item charge you can understand and there may be some instances where there will be additional charges. We outline the Additional Services scenarios in a separate fee schedule.
7. What's a realistic project timeline?
There is no rule or guideline for project timelines. Based upon our history with 100's of projects and interactions with busy and professional clients, the typical full-scope design project requires at least 3 - 6 months to design. Construction timelines depend on relocation of housing needs, building permit application processing, and complexity of the general contracting work which averages somewhere between 6 to 12 months.
We always recommend that a buffer be added to your ideal timeline for construction projects due to the nature of the industry, continued labour shortages, product backorders, and material customizations that invariably will happen.
8. What's a realistic project budget?
Each project is different from the other so it is impossible to tell what the final numbers will be. Based upon our history with 100's of projects, and this isn't a secret but more our professional recommendation, here what we know it'll take to complete projects:
|Starting budgets for projects (excluding design fees)|
|Descriptions||Residential Interiors||Kitchen & Baths||Interior Styling|
The portion of design fees will vary in complexity from 10 - 15% of the total budget. All other project types can utilize our Online Design Packages for a paired-down, online only professional design service.
9. How are decisions made on design, products, and budgets?
This is easy for us to answer, but many homeowners get sidetracked by other decisions. Here's what is important to remember at all times:
10. How are product selections made?
We can not stress enough how important receiving your Inspiration Images will be because it informs us of your style and product preferences. Many of our clients are busy professionals and they trust us to make the products selections that are right for them, with some input. There are millions of products to select from and we have a packed studio space with the most common materials. During our Client-Focused Design Process, Clients have access to their products in our Online Design Studio to review, flag, and suggest alternatives. This process is extensive. If after receiving 3 revisions to products, and you want to see more options, there will be additional charges.
Selections from our trade-only vendors
Our Trade-Only vendors are pre-selected and vetted by us and this eliminates time wasted by sourcing all the products yourself. If we don't have what we are looking for, we order product samples that arrive within 2-3 weeks. We always include order management, delivery, and furniture installation inclusive of our selections.
Selections made at showrooms
We schedule key visits with you at an appliance or plumbing fixture showroom to select these products together as they pertain to your proposed design solution. Showroom specialists must provide you with a complete quotation and tear sheets with all products, which you pass along to us.
Retailer and online stores
We do not shop at retail stores. Many of our Online Design projects are selected from an online retailer (Amazon, Wayfair, etc.) where the owner purchases and manages the order themselves without our involvement.
11. Who purchases the products we select?
Once you have approved the products in our Online Design Studio, purchases are handled through the contracted parties (either the homeowner, Designer, or the Contractor.) Our business model (and Contractors) relies on the sale of products as a part of their revenue streams and, therefore, removing product sales from a contract will increase your design fees and construction labour rates in many other areas.
Purchases made from us
The CKID Team sells you our cabinetry, counters, decorative cabinet hardware, select BLANCO plumbing fixtures, furniture, window coverings, accessories, artwork, decorative lighting fixtures, and more direct to our clients and our preferred rates. The majority of our products are lower than retail and we manage the order, shipping, delivery and installation inclusive of our sell price. All of our contracted sales are special orders and are non-refundable. When we sell you products, are the exclusive agent (retailer.)
Please note that we do not provide cabinetry installation. This is construction work and managed by the contractor.
Purchases by your Contractor
All labour and materials, fixtures, and finishes are purchased by the Contractor. They will provide a cost-plus contract, meaning that the costs to furnish and install have an additional 15 - 20% added to the price. We highly recommend this process because the Contractor will provide owners with a minimum 5 year warranty on workmanship and 2 year warranty on installation.
Purchases made on your own / Appliances
Purchases made by owners are solely their responsibility. If we become involved in the purchase, for whatever reason, there will be additional hourly charges. The only exception to this are your appliances and professional installation. Appliances are purchased directly from the Appliance Specialist, delivery is coordinated by the Contractor, and professional installation is provided by the Contractor.
Purchases made from a foreign retailer or US online stores
It is important to note that many owners (inadvertently) source from a foreign retailer located outside of Canada. If this is a must-have product, these purchases are made by the owner, whom will also manage the order. It is important to factor additional costs such as shipping & handling, foreign currency exchange, custom brokerage fees, and duty (often 100% of the purchase price). Many foreign retailers can provide curb-side delivery or a door-drop, meaning you are responsible to bring the product inside the space on your own.
Good to know
Any fixture (appliance, plumbing, electrical, lighting, or HVAC products) must have a UL or CSA approval or it can not be installed in Canada by any Red Seal contractor.
12. What if my project is outside of the Lower Mainland?
Corey has worked with clients across the world and we can still help you. Yet, when starting projects outside the Lower Mainland there are some additional details that you need to know:
- For the first In-Home Consultation, a flat rate of $2,500 for an 8-hour day will apply
- Travel, accommodation, and vehicle expenses are additional
- Meals allowed for at $50/day
- The design work is completed from our Vancouver office using our online studio and video conferencing for design meetings.
- Administration phase services are determined by the needs of the project and client.
13. Who hires the Contractor?
For projects that require construction work, you hire the Contractor under a separate agreement. Although we will collaborate with you and the selected Contractor, we are not responsible for their performance. We do have a recommendations and the majority of our projects have been successfully completed by:
Fifth Element Construction
14. What if I don't have existing plans of my property?
Obtaining a set of as-built plans is critical to any projects success. To obtain an AutoCAD file and PDF, we recommend:
Draft On-Site Services
As Building Designers, Draft On-Site can also assist our Design Team with substantial renovations and new construction projects.
15. What are the typical issues owners need to be aware of?
This is an evolving list but here are the big points:
- Busy Owners. Your project will require your time to make decisions and take action items away to implement. Be sure to schedule your time accordingly and keep progress moving ahead.
- Absentee Owners. From time to time, owners "disappear" on us for weeks at a time. If after 10 days of no responses, we automatically pause all work. In these scenarios, there is a 20% surcharge of the contract price to re-start a project.
- Owners not reading legal agreements fully. It is the our responsibility to provide you with a contract and offer to review it together. It is the owners responsibility to read and understand the contract. We can not make you read our contract, but it is our responsibility to complete and enforce our Agreements.
- Owners shopping on their own (or going rogue). This is both a good and bad thing. Remember that we offer cost-effective design fees based upon set revisions so more options and more revisions mean added costs.
- Untrusting Owners. We can't help you there, and untrusting owners are often met with additional charges somewhere, but keep in mind that we are a professional business, we also are in business to be a business, here to help, and we have certifications that prove to you we have the skills and knowledge to complete the project.
- Owners changing their mind. In each of our design meetings, we take direct action based upon your feedback to implement solutions and products. Changing your mind is costly and counts toward the revisions accounted for in your contract.