The initial meeting, with you and your representatives, acquaints all of the parties involved and establishes a dialog covering the overall scope of the requirements. These discussions develop a basic understanding of your functional requirements, as well as your operational expectations. The discovery process brings to light any special considerations, construction practices or any other requirements that must be addressed and any impediments or limitations that would restrict the overall design. Your budget allocations are discussed at this meeting, and a framework for proceeding adopted.
Although we work on an hourly basis, many of our projects are undertaken on the basis of a proposal for a given scope of services at a fixed fee. Establishing this fee often requires more knowledge of the project, the client, and the nature of the design effort than can be obtained at the proposal stage, or depends upon decisions made on the basis of our working interaction. For this reason, we prefer to propose most projects in two stages.
At the first stage, we work either on an hourly basis or for an interim fixed fee. We participate in meetings with the architect, the client, and other members of the design team, do preliminary programming, budgeting, and/or schematic work. Or, if we are "troubleshooting" an existing installation, we'll make our initial fact-finding visit and provide a report. During this period, all of us have the opportunity to "get to know each other" professionally, and determine the workability of our relationship.On the basis of that preliminary work, we then prepare a proposal which defines the scope and scale of the project, and establishes our fee.
Not every project has to involve lots of our time. We\'re often able to make significant improvements to existing systems or proposals with only a limited consulting effort. We\'re happy to take a day or two to look at systems, blueprints, and contractor proposals. Often, the combination of us working with your local contractor can result in a much better system at an affordable cost. You\'ll still be paying our standard rate, but only as much of our time as you need to get the job done well.
This framework is flexible and should be crafted to fit your needs and comfort level. At one end of the scale, we offer a Time & Materials contract that includes an initial Retainer (to retain our services) and rates for work, to be billed as it is expended. If you are just getting your feet wet and want to explore your options, perhaps this pay-as-you-go plan is best. At the other end of the scale is a contract for the entire project. For those in the middle, we offer a step-by-step approach: a contract for an initial, limited scope of work with optional follow-on packages for subsequent stages of the project. You may chose any or all of the services outlined below. When you have decided, we will prepare a formal proposal listing the scope of work to be performed under the contract, our fee(s) and all deliverables.
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