1. We will bring it up. Every. Goddam. Meeting. (Sorry, not sorry)
Money is a bit like religion and politics. Try asking your neighbour what they spent on their renovation and wait for the crickets. No-one wants to talk honestly about what they spent on their home – it’s uncomfortable because they feel showy, embarrassed or afraid of being judged.
However… when you walk in the door to work with us, money will be one of the first things we ask about. We won’t pin you down to a hard number: to start with, we talk about your ‘comfy’ budget and your ‘nervous’ budget. (And there’s a potential outcome for each of those, by the way!
At each step of the design process, we test your project outcomes against ‘comfy’ and ‘nervous’. That means as you add the sunken lounge, concrete roof garden or Japanese built-in bath, we will update your budget, talk openly about it and help you decide if the gain is worth the cost.
While some people might squirm about the ‘hard conversations’, we will be upfront. Every. Meeting.
2. We talk about your ‘wishlist’ rather than your ‘brief’
Some clients have spent months Googling ‘how to write the perfect brief for your architect’ and come to us with a 10-page dossier on everything they want and why.
As much as we love this intel, we turn that brief into a set of desired outcomes called a wishlist. Why?
A wishlist says, “This is what I’d love to have.” A brief says, “This is what I must have.”
A wishlist lets your reorder your priorities as we investigate your project’s potential, whereas a brief is a checklist with no real hierarchy and limited openness to new opportunities.
And most importantly, we’re yet to receive a brief that matches a budget! So while we recognise you may want that ensuite for the 5th bedroom in your home, it is probably going to be the first thing tossed out the window when we let you know how much your project will cost!
It’s much easier to let go of things on a wishlist. This simple change in language helps us educate our clients about how projects are delivered on budget. Things drop off the wishlist, OR the budget grows to accommodate it! We won’t pressure you in either direction, but we’ll make sure you’re fully educated about your options.