Design budgets require clarity

I agree with Tim Greenhill that fee justification is vital (Letters, MW January 27) whether a client is a design debutante or an experienced design buyer. Indeed, we are fond of quoting the Italian expression “patti chiari amicizia lunga” – tight agreements, long friendships – in our proposals to clients.

In my experience budget detailing and control are two of the primary requirements of all clients and we find that by being as transparent as possible with our costs we have been able to stay friends with ours for many years.

As participants in the article “Identity crisis” (MW January 13) we were simply trying to make the point that design debutantes don’t always understand many of the issues and production complexities of design so there is more of an onus on designers to take them through the process in a manner they understand and, I should say, enjoy. On a simplistic level this may mean explaining how you have arrived at your fee estimate.

Having recently sat “on the other side of the fence”, when I commissioned an architect to undertake some work at home, I can fully appreciate how simplicity and straightforwardness made the whole process more enjoyable and fruitful.

Giles Calver

Managing director

Lippa Pearce Design

Twickenham

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