Do you charge for the first consultation?
Yes, the initial consultation is a working meeting. I don’t hold back on design advice, we discuss the project in detail and I give my perspective on the spot. At the end I complete a detailed summary of our meeting, with next steps, so even if you don’t proceed with Annie Bowen Design you have a detailed to do list to move ahead with.
How do you charge?
The fees for the initial consultation, trade day, and estimated fees for the design & documentation stage are invoiced in advance.
Our time is charged at an hourly rate. We estimate the hours required to complete each stage as part of the quoting process, based on your specific scope of works. Estimates are based on the time taken to complete projects similar to yours.
The team keeps detailed time sheets and we communicate these on a regular basis to ensure we are all across the time to complete each task, as well as the time taken to address any variations or items added to the initial scope.
Some tasks, such as client meetings, site visits, show room visits and installation / styling services, are hard to estimate in advance. These items are charged at an hourly rate, invoiced in advance in 15 – 20 hour blocks.
How long is the design phase?
Once the retainer for the design phase is paid you should allow 6-8 weeks before the presentation date. This is a very labour intensive stage. We find the best way to approach a project is to plan as much detail as possible from the beginning. Our aim at the presentation meeting is to present all floor plans, colours, finishes and fixtures to bring the project to life.
If you are undertaking both renovation and decorating, we often divide the design phase into two sections, one for the colours palette, fixtures and finishes, and the other for the furniture and decorative items.
What kind of documentation do you provide?
We will complete floor plans, kitchen, bathroom and other joinery designs, furniture placement, and elevations. When required, we produce realistic 3D renders to show our client how their new room will look. We are also happy to complete electrical plans.
All our drawings are to scale however are conceptual in nature.
If you require construction drawings, particularly relating to structural changes, we would need to engage an architect, building designer and / or engineer.
We complete detailed schedules for the trades outlining the application of all colour choices, finishes, fixtures and fittings, along with a scope of works.
Do you have a preferred builder or specific trades?
We don’t have a preferred builder as such, but we have a number of builders and trades people we work with on a regular basis. Depending on the size of your project we would put forward the builder(s) / trades we see as the right fit. Renovating can be stressful, and it’s important you engage trades you feel you can work with during the process of building your home.
Do you project manage the build?
Once you have appointed a builder for your renovation they are responsible for the site, and all the trades. We undertake design management at this stage, ensuring the design details are executed, and advising on any variations. We complete regular site visits to check progress however the responsibility for the build time frames and the execution of plans sits with your appointed builder. Your builder is the project manager.
How are builders / trades paid?
Your preferred builder / trades are contracted directly by you, not via Annie Bowen Design. This ensures that their insurance directly covers your property, with no middleman in between. As a result, they would invoice you directly for deposits and work completed.
Do I get access to trade pricing?
Yes, Annie Bowen Design receives varying trade discounts from suppliers. Some are extremely small businesses with small margins. Others are able to provide a larger discount. We share these discounts with our clients.
What are your payment terms?
We ask that all invoices for design fees are paid within 7 days.
We are a team juggling a number of projects at one time. Everyone in the team is paid on time for the work they have done. Clients who don’t pay on time unfortunately cause delay to their own projects. We are not able to continue work on projects that have invoices outstanding.
When ordering fixtures, fittings, furniture, etc the payment terms are set by the suppliers. For furniture it is common to pay a 50% deposit to confirm the order, with the balance due prior to delivery. These terms can vary, depending on the supplier.
What are your office hours?
Our team is made up of working mums. We may complete work at odd hours, but generally are available for site meetings and phone conversations between 9.30am – 4pm Monday – Friday.
How are we best to communicate?
Although there is the temptation to send messages via text and Instagram, on the most part it is best to communicate via email, as well as scheduled meetings and phone calls. This means that design related discussions are detailed and recorded, ready for application on site.