One of the first steps we take when we begin working with a new client is to send them a simple questionnaire to fill out and discuss with us at our very first meeting together.
The client questionnaire is a very useful tool for both us and the client, as it helps our studio to learn more about both your practical needs as well as your aspirations for the project. It’s a way to get to know you and to understand what is important to you.
Some of the initial questions we include are fairly obvious. For instance, for a residential project we always start by asking:
“Names of all family members, including ages of children? Any pets?”
We then move on to ask about, for example, the number of bedrooms you think you need. To make sure we size rooms correctly, we also ask:
“Bed sizes for master bedroom and kids’ rooms?” and “Any particular artworks or furniture that will need locations ascribed?”
This is followed by:
“Storage requirements for toys and books?” and “Do you regularly have house guests to stay? Any special accommodations we should consider incorporating?”
Another related and key question we pose is:
“Any important relationships / adjacencies between rooms and spaces?” as this helps you to think about, say, whether or not your children need to sleep on the same floor as you, or if you’d prefer to have your kitchen separated from your dining area somehow to conceal any untidy counters from guests’ sightlines.
With these questions we begin to build up a clear idea of what your project really needs to accommodate from a spatial perspective. And, just as importantly, it helps you begin to figure out what your priorities for the design are.
Perhaps you’ve always lived in an apartment but now you are renovating an entire house. Living in a house can be quite different from living in an apartment, so our questions can help you see how you may want to structure the new space to take advantage of the different types of design opportunities it offers.
Our questions then become somewhat more abstract in an attempt to understand how you want your new space to feel and look. One crucial question we will ask you is:
“What are the key elements of the existing building (or site) that you particularly like and would like to emphasize or maintain?”
And, perhaps most importantly:
“How do you hope the space will feel to live in once the renovation is complete?”
Using the client questionnaire tool, we build a picture together of what your project means to you so that once construction is complete we can hand it over to you with full confidence that it will deliver everything you are looking for and will be a true reflection of you, our client.