When I was a schoolboy—yes, it was a while ago—there was a game that was played out regularly with shopkeepers that went something like this: “How much are those lollies?” boys would ask. “How much money have you got?” the shopkeeper would reply. The schoolboy assumption we made was that the shopkeeper was establishing our budget so that he could “spend” every penny of it, regardless of how many lollies went in the bag. So we wouldnʼt tell him.
I see echoes of this apprehension occasionally today in our business when a very few prospective clients, whether through prior bad experience, or misperceptions about the way we do business, substantially understate their budget. Inevitably we then find ourselves designing a house to something less than their real budget—with an outcome that is something less than they really want.
Happily that is the exception, because one of the most critical contributions that clients can make towards helping us design their home is to be precise about their budget. Our experience is that most clients understand this. As a consequence our design focus is properly directed. We are able to concentrate on producing plans that deliver the best design outcome for their individual needs, within their nominated budget.
It may be helpful if I state our policy on pricing. Our business margin is constant. It is applied at the same level, to all labour and materials, on all homes, for all clients. I know of no other way that I can run the business effectively. Your budget is vital information. Without it weʼre designing blind.
Our enthusiasm for the design process runs so high that we provide our design service at no charge. I invite prospective clients to make the most effective possible use of the expertise of our designers, by giving serious consideration to both your needs and your budget. Thereʼs all the difference in the world between buying boiled lollies and designing a home.