Hello and welcome along! It’s been a whole year since I’ve had the time to sit down and write a blog. Let start with the statement that 2021 was a lot! Full on, relentless.
I am grateful for all the projects myself and the team has worked on over the year.
However, by the time we reached the end of 2021, I felt utterly disheartened by the delays in the design and build process. So, I’d thought I’d write this blog to try and explain where this came from and how we can all prepare better in 2022.
Price increases, delays, and supply chain issues were all we discussed in the autumn of 2020. Initially, this was all understandable and many clients would see reports in the media of these delays however as the pandemic rambled on the delays have increased. The reality by mid-2021, saw project completions extended from 6 months to 12 months and in extreme cases, builders abandoning projects.
This left client’s feeling frustrated, suppliers with orders they couldn’t fulfill, and an entire industry of interior designers left to report the sad news “sorry, we're not sure when your ovens will be arriving as the factory is closed”
Reflecting back, I had become the grim reaper on a weekly basis relaying the delays to client after client. As you can imagine, we too became frustrated that we couldn’t get projects across the line, often waiting for one item, that was intricate to the design. Overwhelm hit hard!
Now I know you’re thinking, get to the point, isn’t 2022 set to be the same?
In short yes, however, I can help you avoid these project delays with 3 simple steps.
We specialise in kitchens and bathroom design, We are well versed in the art of project management, working with multiple trades pre-pandemic. However, in this new world, I set out and follow the below 3 principles for all our client projects to reduce and ultimately avoid delays, price increases.
Step 1: One-stop solution – Design, supply, and fit
From the initial consultation, I explain to clients each step of the bathroom/kitchen renovation. The Design side takes 2-3 weeks. In this stage, we book in a slot with our accredited fitters, who are well versed in working with our designs. For example; The more intricate tile lays the specific lighting plans. They forecast the time needed for this work, create an accurate quote for the client to sign off. Should the work be postponed the price will remain the same (within a 6 month period). The client can create a budget for the bathroom/ kitchen renovation, knowing that it will be installed at the pre-agreed cost, to the specification in our bathroom & kitchen plans.
Step 2: Manage the supply chain
Once the design is complete, we work alongside the bathroom manufacture to ensure all the goods needed for the project are in the warehouse prior to starting the installation of the project. This ensures that this messy job is completed as smoothly as possible, clients are not left waiting for products, any damaged or returned items are still within their warranty period.
Bespoke bathroom items like shower glass, can cause an unavoidable delay as this must be templated once the bathroom tiling is complete to ensure a snug fit.
With costs rising on a seemly monthly basis, It would be great to have the inside track on when these will be happening. Suppliers communicate these increases to us as interior designers 30 days prior to implementation, allowing our clients to benefit from this insignt and act accordingly. Orders are usually placed prior to the increase and then amended or tweaked as the design proceeds.
I predict there will be 3 price rises this year in products, e.g.: Aluminium windows and doors, bathroom sanitary wear, tiles, and appliances. The first of which will fall at the end of January the second in April and the final increase in September early October. I am hoping after this it should remain fairly stable.
Step 3: Flexible solutions
When initially looking at the elements in a kitchen design, I will first check the supply chains and lead times on all the products I’m considering. If these are experiencing severe delays or looking to be discontinued these do not make it to the design phase. This ensures you as the client is only seeing a final kitchen/bathroom design with elements that are available to install and that fit the budget.
I really hope this is helpful, in conclusion by working with a one-stop solution, you have avoided Price increases, Install delays, and supply chain issues.
As always this can seem a little daunting and If you've read this far you are probably feeling overwhelmed and I don't blame you as a studio we create on average 24 room designs every year and we learn something new every day. This is why we are so proud to launch our new service the pre-build consultancy, we aim to highlight the potential pitfalls when undertaking a house extension /renovation before you start. Within this session, we examine the architect's plans, with a view to futureproofing your home. Focusing on how you will live in the space on a daily basis.
Our key objective is to ensure each room scheme works together with design continuity. Once the session concludes we send you over a full video link to watch back at your leisure as the information comes thick and fast and we don't want you to miss a beat.
Head over to our services page and hit the contact us tab to book your session and get your project underway.
That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email – emma@EmmaMerryStyling.com. All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and tag if you use them. Thank you. x