Why hire a designer?
Every project has its own unique set of challenges and goals. You’re making a significant investment for which you demand quality results. A good designer is experienced at coordinating the multitude of consultants, details and vendors involved with every project. There is no smarter investment you can make than to hire an advocate
to represent your best interests.
How can ix be of service before design begins?
Since our inception in 2009, we have been committed to delivering exceptional design and singular service. Insights gained through years of applied practice combined with our client’s lifestyle, inform and direct our work.
Guided by equal parts innovation and common sense, we embrace the responsibility of managing a process that is contingent on communication and client engagement. The results embody the spirit of collaboration and underscore our commitment to authenticity, professionalism and fair value.
What is meant by “full service” design?
Before you buy a property, it is important that you understand both its potential and its limitations. The following services will help you decide if a property under consideration is the right investment for you:
- Preliminary Survey: we identify the existing structural and service limitations of a property so that viable design options can be explored.
- Preliminary Space Planning and Budgets: What are your short and long term goals? What is a reasonable renovation investment? Space-planning sketches and preliminary budget ranges will inform your next steps.
- Preliminary Review of Building Management and Department of Buildings (DOB) procedures and requirements: A review of the documentation required by your building and the DOB will guide you in developing a preliminary schedule.
How does ix earn its professional fees?
We offer a range of services
that you may select depending on your needs and scope of work. For a full service project we are involved until you move into your new space and the décor is complete. We work with you from concept and planning through design. Our full service also includes documenting the design for contractor pricing, local building permits and approval processes, and we supervise the project through completion of construction.
Professional fees are earned through time spent (billed hourly) for phases and/or tasks of the design process OR through a mark-up on the purchase price of furniture and furnishings. Either one of these methods is industry standard but some projects may require a combination of fees generated by hourly and mark-up. Depending on the type of project, the complexity and the scope of work, total professional fees will range between 15 – 25% of the overall project costs.
What are the typical phases of a project?
While there is a general sequential process to design as listed below, there is often an overlap particularly during the design and documentation phases when your scope of work is being developed and refined.
How will I have input to the design and planning?
2. Schematic Design
3. Design Development
4. Project Documentation
5. Bidding & Negotiating
6. Construction Administration
7. Project Close-Out
Your input is the key to a successful project. Through regularly scheduled meetings, emails and 24/7 online access to your project database, you’ll have ample opportunity to share your ideas and submit your questions throughout the project phases.
What happens after I approve a schematic design or floor plan?
Your approval and sign-off of a schematic design (floor plan) is the basis of a design direction. From there we will move into the design development phase of the project. Completion of each subsequent phase will require your review and approval prior to advancing further phases of work.
How is a contractor selected for my project?
Often General Contractor (GC) referrals and recommendations come from friends and family, or you may have heard about a contractor that has done work in your building or neighborhood. Your design professional can recommend a qualified GC based on previous experiences. It is important to know that ixdesign is independent from any particular contractor and that any formal contracting agreements are made between the owner and the GC directly. We want our clients to receive the best possible competitive pricing, therefore our contractor and vendor recommendations are based solely on quality and competence of work.
What is the difference between contractor bidding and a negotiated contract?
Most often clients prefer a bidding process whereby a number of qualified GCs submit a competitive pricing proposal based on the documents we produce. These documents are critical to convey the design intent and instruct the contractor about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your project’s scope of work. This bidding process can take a couple of weeks to a month or more depending upon your project complexity, the number of bidders and the scope of work.
How long will my project take to complete?
Sometimes a client may have a particular reason or interest in eliminating a bidding phase, in order to save time, or perhaps a client will know of a GC that they prefer to work with on their project. In this case the GC is usually identified during the design and documentation phases to begin estimating the project’s costs. Once the design and documents are completed, the GC will finalize his pricing and the client is able to move into the construction phase more rapidly.
This will depend primarily on your scope of work and the speed at which your building management company and the DOB respond to the documentation required for approvals. The renovation of your bathroom and kitchen can take as much as 4-6 months, from concept to completion of construction, whereas a gut demolition and renovation of an apartment or house can range from 6-12 months or more – from concept to completion – depending on the size and complexity of your project.
How much will my project cost, (estimate vs. actual)?
Cost is most often the driving force behind any project. Whatever your project budget is, we advise our clients to reserve an amount equal to 10% of the projected project costs. This is a reasonable amount to cover cost overruns due to client changes or unforeseen conditions that may arise during the course of construction. The best way to avoid cost overruns is to issue a comprehensive set of drawings so that important details are captured, leaving little room for the GC to find opportunities for change orders. Further, diligent jobsite overview by a competent design professional will insure quality workmanship and keep you informed of the tangible progress of the work.
Is there a warranty on the project work completed?
Warranties for work completed on your project are offered through two sources; individual manufacturers of products and materials specified and installed on your project, and through the General Contractor for performance of workmanship. Manufacturer warranties will vary depending on the nature of the product, while a well-qualified contractor will generally guarantee their workmanship for a period of one year. But like manufacturer warranties, a contractor’s warranty can vary depending on the GC.
Will I have to file for building permits with the local building department?
This will depend upon the complexity and scope of work for your project. If your scope of work is limited to cosmetic renovations and upgrades or changes to fixtures and fittings, generally you will not require local building department approval and permits. On the other hand, if your scope of work includes demolition and reconfiguration, it is likely that building department approval and permits will be required. Although often subjective, most Condo’s and Co-ops supply “Alteration Agreements” that explain each building’s position on filing for permits, insurance requirements, fees, etc.
Do all NYC buildings require a formal approval process for renovation work?
No not all, but certainly most. It depends on the scope of work and the building’s policies. Details of the required fees and procedures are outlined in each building’s Alteration Agreement.
Some of the more well-known management companies with which we’ve dealt and buildings within which we’ve worked include:
Charles Greenthal Management
Cooper Square Property Management
R.A. Cohen & Associates, Inc
Douglas Elliman, Property Management
Penmark Management, LLC
Solstice Residential Management, LLC
Orsid Realty Corp
Vintage Real Estate Services, Ltd.
130 Barrow Street
225 Fifth Avenue
230 Riverside Drive
151 West 17th Street
246 W17th Street
20 W72nd Street
242 E19th Street
77 Seventh Avenue
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