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What's in an initial design consultation?

Let us walk you through the entire process, giving you a clear picture of what to expect. Understanding our nominal fee for this first meeting is important; it ensures that our time together is used efficiently. When our clients are more informed, our time together is more productive.

This consultation overview is of a substantial project in Zionsville, Indiana. Having explored options with several companies and encountering two designs, neither perfectly aligned with the homeowner’s vision. However, upon discovering our designs and renderings on social media, this client was intrigued by our potential. During our ninety minute walk through, we delved into the space, revisited the previous designs, and discussed his likes and dislikes.

From there, we developed a rough sketch and were able to create a very rough budget. The goal is to provide a project outline and list very basic assumptions to come up with a preliminary budget. Experience has shown that without this initial step, there tends to be a misalignment between ideas and budgets, which ultimately results in wasted time and frustration in the design phase. We strongly prefer addressing any potential “sticker shock” or initial concerns upfront to prevent surprises later in the process. This approach helps us streamline the design phase, avoiding unnecessary costs and ensuring a smoother transition to our design team.

Initial budget range: $311,000 Р$410,000 + appliances + TBD + homeowner provided elements (swim spa and possibly outdoor kitchen appliances). Design fee: $3,500 after adjustments. The red circled areas denote budget changes made post-discussion on essentials vs. negotiable features.  After our initial consultation, the client removed a custom stone fireplace, a Smart Pergola, and a few other things, resulting in a $100,000 reduction. However, during the design phase, he reintroduced a pergola kit, lighting, an entertainment wall, and more.

rough budget 1
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Here’s where the design ended up! Take a look at the full design here.  Now that the final design is confirmed, we can make an estimate. Final price is ~$335,000 and includes:

  • ~1,250 square feet of Unilock pavers
  • ~725 square feet of Tanzite Stone Decking
  • 13′ x 40′ Modern Louvered Pergola
  • Large L-shaped kitchen entertainment wall
  • So much more!

What’s NOT included in this price:

  • Client provided swim spa
  • Actual cost of pergola kit system materials
  • Irrigation