Why we ask the Budget Question

Among the first questions you will be asked upon contacting Custom Dwellings is if you have a budget in mind. Undoubtedly, some people think the question is asked, to enable us to take as much of the clients money as possible. This simply isn’t the case (though I’d probably be guilty of the same flawed logic, if I didn’t know better from experience!) Knowing a budget upfront is simply one way we can help determine if we will be a good fit for the client. Rather than working with us to go through a design process and ultimately project management, some projects really make more sense for the client to sub-contract out themselves or hire a handyman to handle for them, in order to make their budget and scope feasible. For smaller projects, the costs of professional project management may be too significant a portion of the overall cost. Custom Dwellings excels at projects that require both professional design and professional project management to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible. The budget question can also give us an idea of the level of quality desired or required. While we are happy to use more economical products, we aren’t going to use products we know will become a problem in the future for our clients, because we warranty our work and minimizing call backs is a priority. We also are not willing to sacrifice the level of workmanship and professionalism we offer to meet a budget. When working in occupied homes, the skilled tradesmen must be at a higher level of professionalism than crews accustomed to production building. Sometimes what we offer isn’t what the client needs and that is ok. We aren’t the best fit for every potential client and the budget question is one of many gate keepers to help us make that determination. Assuming a project appears to be a good fit, and we move forward with the design phase, having a budget in mind doesn’t stop being important. In order to design a project that meets a budget, the designer has to have an idea going in what that budget goal is. We don’t want to design a ‘high end’ project only to find out the budget was never there. Likewise we don’t want to design a ‘budget’ project if the client was expecting much more. In our process, communication and trust from both parties is key and knowing the budget upfront is fundamental in designing a solution that meets our client’s expectations. Otherwise, we are flying blind and that never ends well. Design is certainly a fun part of the process, but seeing a project come to fruition is where the real excitement lies. Remodeling, expanding, or building a new home is a very personal process. We will be designing something unique to our client’s wants and needs and we will be in their personal space on a daily basis for months at a time. It is critical to have open lines of communication and trust for the relationship to work. We always strive to set realistic expectations whether it is in regard to time frames, performance, or budget. It doesn’t serve anyone’s interests to pursue a project that isn’t going to be financially viable for us to execute. While it is a complex process to get to a final price, it can often be very simple to determine if a project is even feasible, if budget constraints are known up front. Asking the budget question can initially seem to be too personal, we make no apologies for asking the necessary question as it is a qualifier to quickly determine if a project is feasible and of a size that makes sense for us to undertake.

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