Firstly, we invite you into the LTKI Design Studio to touch, feel, see, hear, experience & learn…
Well firstly, at LTKI, prior to calling out to visit you at home, we find it’s more beneficial to invite our new potential client into the showroom first, to be able to show them:
- What’s new?
- What’s available?
- What new materials are out there?
- What are their advantages and disadvantages?
- What fixtures & fittings are available today that they haven’t seen before?
- Most of the latest design ideas from Europe are always on show.
All of this is because if we call out to your home before you’ve had the opportunity to see, touch & learn about these new things, any conversation and therefore benefit to you will be somewhat constrained by you not being familiar with much of what the designer is talking about.
When this happens the quality of the communication suffers greatly, usually to your disadvantage. For this reason, we believe a showroom consultation PRIOR to our calling out to your home is essential.
By spending time in the showroom first, and based on the ideas, materials and displays you like the most, we can usually start to give you some good indications at this stage on overall project costs and where you are likely to be heading with your ‘budget’.
- This showroom consultation might vary anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours. This is where both client and designer can start developing a relationship based on trust & respect.
- The client is able see all those things mentioned above, in the flesh, not just on a computer screen, TV, or a magazine.
- You get to look at many different fittings and determine what you like and don’t like.
- What are the pros & cons between this material, or that benchtop stone, etc.
- Also start to get a feel as to what might fit your budget and what might not.
- Examine some of the 50+ door samples, styles & colours we have on display
- Also, you can browse the many varieties and finishes of stone available.
- Looking at all of this, plus the ovens, hotplates, hoods, sinks, taps, D/W, lighting, etc., etc. an hour can go very quickly once one starts immersing oneself in this process.
- When chatting with a designer he/she will be able to walk you through many different scenarios and provide advice on what might and/or not work in your home.
It’s always helpful if you can bring to this appointment any images of the space/spaces that are to be renovated and any imagery you may have collected online, in Houzz or Pinterest, etc., that inspires you. Setting up a Pinterest board or Houzz idea book are great ways to start bringing together some reference images of the kind of materials, styles and colours that you like and will speed our ability to understand your likes & dislikes. Likewise, a physical scrapbook or folder of magazine clippings are equally as helpful.
When you feel comfortable to return the invitation, we would then come out to your home to discuss, sketch, measure, photograph…
Having visited the showroom and now that you have a better feel for what might work for you, you might now decide to have a designer visit you for an “in-home” consultation. There is no charge for this first and very important onsite meeting.
It will typically take about 2-3 hours depending on how many rooms are to be discussed& we will consider things such as:
- How you’ve furnished your home, what colours you seem to like using etc.
- Is your taste Traditional, Modern, Hamptons, Contemporary or Eclectic or something else again?
- Could the space benefit from some structural changes? Major or minor, or none at all?
- Is the footprint ok, or might it benefit from change?
- What are your family’s dynamics?
- How long have you lived there?
- How long do you intend to stay? Is this your forever home?
- There are dozens & dozens of things to consider.
- Then we need to sketch the space, measure it and then photograph it
- We will be able to discuss the different elements of the renovation and the costs. It’s amazing how most people can make a rough guess at the cabinet cost, but usually have no idea of the tasks and/or the costs associated with the rest of the project’s elements.
Here is a list of the typical elements required to complete a renovation:
- Splashbacks (tiles, stone or glass)
- All of the trade’s costs, for the host of tradies that pull it apart and put it all back together again; Demolisher, Cabinetmaker, Installer, Plumber, Electrician, Plasterer, Builder, Painter, Stonemason, Rubbish Removalist…
- Other important elements such as flooring, appliances, tiles, fixtures &fittings, etc.
As a Registered Building Practitioner, we will advise you and take care of all of these things, as necessary.
At the end of this onsite consultation we should now be able to provide a much better idea of what the project is likely to cost. The only way we can provide anyone with a firm costing is to complete a design, write a “Scope of Works” and then have everything costed accurately.
Up to now, you have not incurred any cost.
Should you now feel comfortable that we are all on the same page, and would like to proceed to the design phase, this is when you would begin incurring our professional fees.
It’s worth pointing out that, whether it’s a renovation or a new home, we can work with you in 2 different ways;
- Design Only - which is simply charged out an hourly rate.
- Design, Construct & Project Manage, which has a set fee structure, based on the room/s to be designed
Click here to view our design fees
Once you have engaged us, we would go off and commence the design work on your behalf.
When you are ready to engage us to perform the design work on your behalf, the design development will begin. This is often over 3-4 design appointments and includes helping you select all related appliances and fixtures and bringing an accurate costing of your project together…
- Here, depending on the brief we have jointly developed, we will speak to any of our outside specialist people that might be needed, e.g. one of our builders, should structural changes be required.
- When we have all of the required information, we now commence the design work.
- We keep in regular touch and will also arrange to accompany you to look at and select appliances, flooring, tiling and/or whatever else you might need assistance with, throughout the specification process.
*This is actually a critical part of the process, as many times when a client is left to choose on their own they are often swayed in store by enthusiastic salespeople and end up buying products that are too large/small or in some other way not quite right for their project, but possibly better for the salesperson’s commission. It’s part of our responsibility to help ensure you purchase the most appropriate products for your project.
- When we have the first draft design ready, we will invite you to the showroom to review what we’ve done to date, make changes, revisions, etc., to ensure it’s “your” kitchen/bathroom, etc., rather than “ours”, as it were.
- Once you can say, “Yes, that’s exactly how I wanted it!”, and whether this occurs at the 2nd, 3rd, or4th, meeting, once you’re happy with the design, then we will have it costed for you.
- If you’re happy, (who is ever happy with a cost?),then we can proceed.
- We will have all the paperwork prepared and signed. Your project will then be registered with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA)for Homeowner Warranty Insurance purposes, (assuming it’s in excess of $16,000), and we’re away!
After you place your order we then ‘Check Measure’ your spaces and reconfirm all the details before putting your job into production. From here our Operations Manager and on-site Project Manager schedule and manage your project through to completion…
- After you have placed your order, one of our Technical Detailers will be in touch to make an appointment to come and do a site “Check Measure”, in company with your designer, of the total project. He/she will check all dimensions, the structure, cabinetry specifications, stone details, all of the required trades work (and appliance & fitting details)...…. Absolutely everything. This is the most important part of the process.
- The final production drawings are now completed and signed off by you, prior to being sent to our factory.
- Once received by our factory and placed into production, we will be given the earliest available delivery date for your cabinetry. We can then establish a suitable installation schedule for the entire project, taking into account your preferences.
- Our office then creates a Gantt chart, or Critical path, which drives the whole project sequentially.
- Once everything has been delivered to site, we need to be as efficient as we can. Any major renovation is a very disruptive and high stress environment for any client. Our absolute focus must be on keeping your stress to a minimum by being respectful of your home and being clean, prompt, time efficient and keeping you informed at all times.
- The client, their Project Manager and every other person involved in the project also receives a copy of the Critical Path and to the best of their ability, everyone works work to it. This ensures an orderly and methodical construction process which in turns helps to ensure it’s done in the allotted time and we end up with a happy client. Always remembering that things can occur which could interfere with any building process and as a result delays do happen however, we will keep you well informed of any necessary changes, should they occur.
- The LTKI Project Manager is now in complete charge of the project and all trades people report to him.
- Usually throughout the installation phase the designer will also call out a few times to check on progress and answer any question that you might have.
When the project is complete, the LTKI Project Manager will do a “walk through”, with you to ensure all is as it should be and if necessary, attend to any minor adjustments that might be required.
Your designer will pop-out to see you and your finished rooms soon after completion and will usually bring a bottle of wine or flowers to say thank you for putting up with us.
Once you have settled back in, and if you are comfortable to allow it, we would then photograph the completed renovation to add to our portfolio of work.