When searching for a space to lease, Landlords or Management Companies mentioned that they will provide design services if lease a space in their building. This sounds like an amazing deal! Or is it? Although this service may be represented as free or a “low cost” it is important to understand what you are actually getting.
Design as a Lost-leader to a Space
Let me start by saying the Landlord or Management Company is performing this service in an effort to help you visualize yourself in the space and to serve as a tool to strengthen their negotiating position. Although you, the Tenant, can see the layout of your Chiropractic office in the space, very often the design service provided by the Landlord is lacking design creativity and the resulting space plan lacks the attributes of a fully-vetted and well-planned space. The typical Landlord space planning approach tends to be more of a back-and-forth process. Typically, the plan created is not developed with the intent that there will be significant input and refinement meetings, and never developed with an in-depth knowledge of how a Chiropractic office should layout and flow. As a result, the limited time, cost investment and Chiropractic expertise of the Landlord’s design person leaves you, the Tenant, lacking the assurance that neither the design or functionality have been adequately addressed.
In-depth Gathering & Discovering
Our recommended approach is a much more collaborative approach that begins with an in-depth discussion with you, which is based on a probing questionnaire that is tailored to how Chiropractic offices function and what they typically require. This questionnaire is reviewed online with you to make sure clarity is achieved and expectations are understood before any drawing commences to ensure we all are on the same page.
Multiple Space Plans
With this foundational knowledge, we are ready to start creating multiple space plan options (not just one) that we will personally review with you online and get your feedback in real time. First we develop 3-5 preliminary space plan options. Then we have an interactive discussion of these various space plans, via an online design meeting. We then continue to create a multitude of plans with you live online. This allows you to see, and respond quickly to, the selected changes that might enhance and/or impact the space plan as a whole. Our goal is that by the end of the 2nd meeting, we will have collectively worked out the preferred direction for the space plan and have a fully vetted out layout that you love.
Further Defining the 3-dimensional Space
At the 3rd meeting, we will review the final space plan and present a written schematic design description & pricing narrative that we have created uniquely for your project. The purpose of this document is to define and qualify what the space plan illustrates. As an example, the pricing narrative is going to define allowance parameters for all finishes, wall and ceiling design information, lighting consideration, key electrical needs, built-in millwork needs (such as your front CA desk, etc), plumbing needs, etc. Without this defined pricing narrative, it is virtually impossible to get qualified contractor(s) pricing that is in accordance you’re your design intent; and pricing between multiple contractor(s) will not be comparable ( i.e. apples to oranges). At the close of the 3rd meeting, we will have reviewed the pricing narrative and noted your feedback or requested changes. Then, we will document the final changes into a comprehensive Schematic Design package. This will include the space plan, design solutions, proposed furniture budget and pricing narrative, along with a contractor pricing breakdown form.
This contractor pricing form is a detailed construction scope of work. It will have line items, such as wall framing, painting, electrical work, flooring, etc. You will give this contractor pricing breakdown form, along with space plan and pricing narrative to each contractor that will be preparing a project cost estimate. This form forces the contractor(s) to allocate their cost into pre-defined categories, which then allows you to understand where the dollars are being spent. In addition, if you have multiple general contractors preparing their estimate using this form, you can more clearly compare and negotiate effectively which contractor will be best for the job. You now not only have a well designed space plan, but you also have a complete set of tools to get qualified cost budgets before you spend excess time and money and obligate yourself to a space or building that isn’t going to work for you in the long run. And, working as a team with experts means you get clear in what your vision or image truly is and get a clear “map” for translating that vision into your space.
Often after our client completes the services I have described above, CrossFields can review the contractor(s) pricing breakdown form and assist you in evaluating the cost and determining where best to spend your money. Once this evaluation is complete and you understand qualified project cost, you are ready to proceed to the “next steps” where the design and engineering is finalized.
As it has been said many times…..Time spent up front in preparation and planning is seldom wasted and goes a long way to avoid unnecessary issues on the back-end.
Ultimately, a well-planned space will produce increased efficiency and promote an elevated professional image to make you stand-out.
Are you ready to get the plan you will love? Contact us to schedule your free consult!