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Rona Clients

x-jla

Rona Clients are a new type of client that are home all day thinking about a project that they would like to do, but have no actual intention to do it.  When the rona clients fantasy goes on unchecked, they call designers for consultations, to feed their fantasy, knowing that they aren’t really going to do the project in the near future.  

 
Aug 27, 20 4:07 am
Non Sequitur

don’t have any of these fantasy seeking clients but we have a sudden glut of fancy island cottage/vacation home projects from our commercial clients and their buddies.  Important note, we do not offer or market ourselves as residential architects. 

Aug 27, 20 7:05 am  · 
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Bench

Are they still asking you about doing it even though they are aware your office doesn't do residential? I know quite a few friends/firms back home who are getting a ton of interest in home building now.

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Non Sequitur

totally. got 3 of them on the books.  2 in DD, the other is 50% through CD.

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BulgarBlogger

Probably because you have no clue how to design residences.

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Non Sequitur

^I do, it's just not something we specialize in.

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Wood Guy

I had four inquiries yesterday, two new homes and two renovations. That's more than usual but I am slammed. Timelines are all over the place, but I'm not seeing a lot of tire-kickers. 

Aug 27, 20 8:49 am  · 
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Bench

Many of my friends in the city down here who can WFH and expect to for the foresseable future are all looking at projects up in your neck of the woods from the sound of it ... lots of barn / farmhouse restorations in the near future.

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Wood Guy

Yeah, friends of mine in the Berkshires and upper Hudson Valley are really slammed with people leaving NYC but plenty of people are moving here to Maine as well. I have mixed feelings about it but as long as they want to build or renovate in an environmentally responsible manner, I'm game to help.

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bowling_ball

I've been looking to get some extensive renovations done at home. From the pricing I'm getting back, it's clear that residential builders are swamped and are just throwing out ridiculously high numbers just in case clients are dumb enough to agree. Super annoying.

Aug 27, 20 9:30 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

I'm in the market to get our home's AC and furnace replaced (and perhaps a new kitchen)... and even have all the financing in place (Thanks M'erica for causing record low-interest rates) but won't pull the trigger yet. Last thing I want is another shut-down with a partially completed project.

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bowling_ball

Had my AC replaced this week. Just in time for a 30* heat wave.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

^the bus this morning had it's heater on full... winter is coming.

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thisisnotmyname

Usually 10-20% of residential jobs we ever look at turn out to be people with insufficient funds to do their project.  Usually they just had no idea of what construction actually costs, or the cost of an architect's fee.

Aug 27, 20 9:38 am  · 
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proto

We get the same, tho the % is likely higher. Starry eyed ideas from Dwell coupled with “while we’re at it” upgrades that taken alone fill the budget (unsexy infrastructural things) & zero understanding of what it will cost to have a good GC build it. That first phone call is important to weed out the unprepared.

1  · 
JLC-1

not the case around here, 100% of "rona" (I would love to know who came up with such a creative nickname) clients are asking for their projects to be done yesterday, no questions asked, bills paid on time without looking or flinching.

Aug 27, 20 11:12 am  · 
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tduds

I only have commercial clients, but my wife does residential landscape design and after sharing an office with her since March I can confirm these folks are coming out of the woodwork. Asking for $300,000 dreams on a $25,000 budget. Demanding detailed cost estimates for things they already said they have no intention of building. Wealthy enough to expect the world to revolve around them but too cheap to do anything but spew entitlement. Just a total disconnect from reality & how the profession works. 

She doesn't get paid enough to indulge their fantasies.

Aug 27, 20 11:26 am  · 
1  · 
x-jla

This is exactly my issue. I also do landscape design-build. I had been getting a normal amount of good inquiries, but an enormously inflated amount of “rona” clients in recent months like your wife describes. It’s a lot of work to sift through the frivolous leads, and it’s beginning to really weigh me down.

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proto

We often get the "I just paid $750k for this house & I want to remodel it completely & have $150k to do it".

Sorry, mate...

And what's sort of ironic is they feel like the house was a value at the price, but they are limited out on that mortgage and don't see the value in paying what it takes to completely rework it. "But Dwell said it was just $150/sf to remodel this...[shows pic of self-built architect-owned property]"

Even at $150/sf (if that were even close), it's still $300k min...[sigh]

Aug 27, 20 12:42 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

I make the fee cater to their impossible demands and a job that doesn't go past the initial bids is a) less headaches, b) no liability.

Usually it goes like this...

"Ok, well that is about this much." - architect

"What? no way. How?  I can do some of it.  We know people." - prospective client

"Well, on my end it's all paper, so we'll provide the drawings and you can go shop." - architect

get paid most the fee, walk away knowing they'll probably never come to reality.

I'm totally honest about it up front.

Sep 24, 20 8:31 pm  · 
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bowling_ball

It goes the other way, too. I've been drawing up renovation plans off and on foot a couple years now, and secured what should have been enough financing back in November. Unfortunately I waited too long to pull the trigger and now the quotes I'm getting are more than double what they were pre-covid. In some cases it's 3x. 


Meanwhile commercial construction hasn't changed pricing, which means it's just greedy residential contractors trying to take advantage.

Sep 27, 20 12:38 pm  · 
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curtkram

the cost of wood studs jumped about 3x in the last few months. sounds like it's starting to stabilize this month.

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apscoradiales

Rona clients?

You can blame most of that on various TV house renovation shows where things get done in half an hour, and final budget never really revealed.

Then again, how often do people renovate their homes or build another?

Once in a lifetime, if they're lucky, so how would they know what's involved or how much it really costs?

Sep 27, 20 2:06 pm  · 
1  · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

Do yourself a favour, and don't buy kitchen from Aya.

Installation crew are, without doubt, most uncooperative bunch of people you will ever find in construction. They refused to put my cupboards at the height I wanted, "We don't do that. We always put them at this height, and that's not the height you are asking, so we are leaving".

I wanted no ceramic tile slivers between the counter top and the underside of cabinets - I wanted full tiles.

The cabinets are actually pretty good, but the installers are garbage.

Sep 27, 20 2:15 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

thanks for the tip, but we're going to hold off on the kitchen until next year. It's a small space but needs enough work that any stoppage due to 'rona flair ups will be too inconvenient for my small family. Likely to use ikea for cabinets/doors since we live within walking distance from those sweet sweet swedish meatballs but are keeping options open.

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apscoradiales

Love working with Ikea in Europe. Did a kitchen there that cost me only about $3000 or so including Electrolux appliances. No problem with delivery or assembly on the second floor - no elevators, only stairs. Such a kitchen would cost around 15K in Toronto.

Ikea here suck when it comes to selection, and customer service. Totally different experience in Europe, totally!

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Yes, I’ve priced out several options with ikea cabinets and even when including their own appliances, it comes out significantly less than anyone else. I do get your anger with the cabinet height and full tile, I’d have lost it if I got that answer. We were speaking with a cabinet designer a few years ago and I was speechless when he could not understand that I wanted symmetry in my gallery style layout.

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