To help you succeed with your upcoming design project, we sat down with Ramsin Khachi, principle of KHACHI DESIGN + BUILD, to discuss some things you need to consider when hiring a professional team to take on a renovation project or to build your dream home.
Q: With 30+ years of experience in the Design + Build Industry, what is the number one thing that you would advise people to consider when preparing for a renovation or a new build?
A: Take the time to really evaluate how you function day to day, how you entertain, how you work, what your habits are and what things drive you crazy in each room of your current home. Create a file for every room of the house and start collecting information for that file (paper or digital) including a clear description of the function of each room as it relates to you.
Q: How do you get to know a potential client(s) to better understand their needs?
A: I listen for what troubles them in their everyday use of their current space. How they function, how they live, what their routines are. It helps me design solutions in my mind. These ideas are assembled throughout the design process and really begin sculpting proper solutions for every challenge clients face when using their home.
Q: Once someone becomes a client, what is the next step? What is your company process?
A: The first step is the design phase. This is where the ideas are crafted and developed. Once the perfect design package is assembled, including every finishing detail, every material selection, as well as furnishing and decorating details, the package can then be costed for construction. With such clarity up front, the potential for cost over runs is eliminated.
Q: How do you approach the topic of budget and how do you educate your clients on what certain costs are?
A: The first thing is assisting clients in understanding the factors that need to be considered when budgeting for a renovation. These factors may include why a client wants to live where they do, land costs, design costs, permit packages, how long they intend to be there, and more. It is also important to understand the client’s preferred esthetic and expectations of quality so that proper construction costs can be considered. Most importantly, I am very detailed so that expectations are clear.
Q: How do you work through the design phase? Is it a collaborative experience with the client?
A: Yes, a client’s involvement is extremely important. Having said that, each client has a different desire or willingness to be involved. We do not need the client to do any work. However, we do need their attention from time to time to ensure the proper trajectory so that we can be as efficient as possible when creating a comprehensive design package.
Q: You are very well known in the industry as a professional that integrates innovation and current technologies into all your projects. How do you stay on the “pulse” of what’s new?
A: I travel to key industry trade shows that feature the latest in design and innovation and I make sure our entire team is well educated, through our suppliers and through available workshops, on the proper execution of the latest modernisations.
Q: How do you advise a client where to save and where to splurge?
A: My philosophy has always been to do the right thing. It has ensured our success and it will safeguard our survival in a very competitive industry. I never have a problem with advising clients on where to apply their money. Conversely, I will be the first to point out sensible or economical ways of achieving the results. I have gone as far as discouraging clients from certain work, embarking on renovations, or even building new when it did not make economical sense. I encourage them to research and to really evaluate the market before proceeding. Giving people honest and sincere advice is the simplest way to acquire lifelong clients.
Q: When a project has reached completion, what is your company policy on client “after care”?
A: Every homeowner is a client for life. We provide clients with a complete “home” manual that outlines the details of the work we have completed and any relevant product warranties. We encourage clients to always call us in the event of any warranty concerns. We are always able to stand behind what we do and take care of any issues that may ever arise. Leaving clients to deal with suppliers, and ultimately other tradespeople, can place them in compromising situations and we do not ever want that.
Q: Are there any other exciting projects that you are involved in right now that you would like to tell our readers?
A: We are currently working on completing a Design + Build of a contemporary home full of creative design, innovative technology, and impressive custom fabrication. Our sister company, Stone Lab, is very busy supplying quality Stone + Quartz Fabrication and tile material to builders and homeowners whether renovating, building new or simply updating an existing space. We are also filming a fun media project with Fernbrook Homes – taking one of their new builds and working with them to take it to new heights. You can watch along on my YouTube channel as the project provides viewers with excellent customization ideas and introduces some unique and innovative products.