Understanding that nothing is required
When we are asked to create a home improvement for a client or advise them on some safety changes or modifications they can make to their home – irrespective of what they are willing or able to spend on the modification or how extensive that modification might be in terms of time to complete or disruption to their daily routines – we don’t have a list of features or products already printed that we can give to them.
There is no required number, style, type, or format of improvements that we should offer or need to make, that we customarily include, or that is mandated in any way.
There are many determining factors such as the client’s needs and abilities, their age, the age and condition of their home, the floor plan or layout of their home, how willing they are to have us help them, how soon they want the work accomplished, and how much they can afford to invest in a project.
We don’t know what someone might need to accommodate their needs or abilities, and we cannot know what their home will accept in terms of additional features until we meet with the client in their home and begin to investigate their space.
The client may have a large need for improvements and a budget that will accommodate it, or they may have very little to spend on a project. They may the simplest approach possible. Of course, it can be somewhere in between.
There is no standard response that we can or should offer.
Their needs will dictate what we recommend
More than anything else, even their budget, their needs and requirements will dictate or suggest what we are going to recommend to the client. This might be very different than what we have recommended to other clients in comparable situations because everyone’s priorities are different, even when encountering similar needs.
We will want to quickly determine what they have now and what they need to remain safe and free from injury in their homes. This is where we will begin.
We will formulate an initial strategy to modify and improve their living space to make it safer, easier to navigate, and more comfortable for them to use.
To the extent the client is able to embrace what we initially recommend to them, we can move on. However, they may not agree with all that we are suggesting and we will have to address the most serious issues or the ones they are the most comfortable in having done – they may not be the same.
Eventually, the budget will be a factor
Few clients will give us a blank check to recommend and spend whatever we feel would be a good idea for them. They are going to define a budget – with our without our suggesting one for them.
To the extent that the client can fund a budget that is sufficient to make the improvements we feel they need, all is well, When they have more limited funds, we have to be more creative. Often, there is more than one way to approach a situation or to define and create an acceptable outcome. It might just be in the types of finishes we suggest for them, the brands, or the number of items. We often can affect their budget in a positive way by looking after this.
When it’s more a matter of safety than aesthetics, we need to diligent in creating an acceptable solution for the client that is budget appropriate for them. When money for the project is tight, we might be able to find a less expensive approach to a workable outcome.
Often, there are some very simple, practical, and lower-cost ways to approach creating a solution that will serve the client well and make them feel good about working with us. We need to aware of how we can meet the total needs of our clients – functionally, aesthetically, and financially – to achieve solutions that they will be happy to have in their home.