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Working with Chris

Looking through my book collection and selecting a few that the client would find useful is a great way to introduce ideas. Flipping through them we gather a lot of information fairly quickly. It helps refine the approach and narrow down options. If the client is thinking about a slide-in stove or a butcher-block countertop, we can look at the different ways these items are placed or designed. What a client doesn’t like is just as important as what they do. That tells me a lot.

Get Started with a Cabinetry Project

Most people who contact me are within four to six months of starting a project. It’s important to give the design process adequate time to be carefully envisioned. I would rather spend three months talking, meeting, working on plans, and two weeks in actual construction. If we can avoid rushing the planning process, it’s easier to end up with a finished product that really works for the client.

What to Expect

At our first meeting we go over the client’s vision to develop a sense of the project. If the client has rendered plans, we can meet anywhere – at the job site, the client’s home, or at my shop – whichever is easier for the client. If they don’t have plans, I need to first visit the site to see the space that we’re working with.

Between the first and second meeting, I reflect on the conversation and spend time with the drawings and ideas, thinking about the project and its potential.

For the second meeting, it’s really useful if the client can come here to my shop to access all my reference materials – books, moldings, photographs, doors, finish samples, and so on. It really lets us get a hands-on sense of where the project is going. In this meeting we’ll cover the project’s budget and scope as well.

For a larger project, a deposit of $500 typically gets things started. This covers a set of hand-rendered drawings with elevations and design details which the client can review. The client also receives a full-size door sample with the proposed finish and a detailed proposal that includes pricing and timeline.

If the homeowner is acting as a general contractor and is unfamiliar with the process I can help with a job itinerary also.  This provides a general timeline and will help them manage the project more effectively. If it’s an architect, designer, or builder, I’ll work within their parameters.