After the budget, the timeline for a custom interior design project is one of the most important considerations, no matter how large or small the project. At this point, we’ve all become accustomed to longer timelines and wait times for materials, products, and fabrication in all industries. Unfortunately, the design world is no different. Pre-COVID estimates on timeframes were shorter, there’s no doubt about it, but our impeccable interior design team brings your our impeccable design processes to your total project experience can be as smooth and enjoyable as possible – even with pandemic realities.
Expect Construction Delays
In pre-COVID years, builders would project roughly 16 months from start to finish to build an 8,000-10,000 square foot residence. Enter COVID, and, honestly, it’s the Wild West right now. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but my lovely, I want you to be prepared. We’ve seen multiple projects where ONE material backorders and the entire construction project comes to a halt. Recently, a steel beam late to a project, and imperative for structural integrity, halted construction until its arrival.
Patience is a Virtue – Especially Right Now
We joke with our clients and advise that everyone drink a cocktail called patience on the rocks…shaken, not stirred. True story: We ordered a beautiful chaise for a new build project five months before writing this blog post. In previous years, the piece would have arrived in three to four months. Here we are five months in, and when we’re expecting a “covid appropriate” ship date, we actually received a message from the fabricator. They’re “unable to fulfill the order at this time because there’s a foam shortage, and the cushions are empty.” (Sorry??! Come again?!?)
If misery likes company, I’m right here with you in my own home. A pair of new host chairs for my kitchen, which would typically take just a few months to fabricate and arrive, and should have arrived last month are projected ship date isn’t until early 2022. (Who’s got the martini shaker??)
This same resource, just prior to COVID, shipped in a gorgeous 3 month turn around two other uphosteered items to me for our home. Like clockwork. Now, orders placed in February and March of 2021 for clients in which we projected “reasonable COVID delays” and thus expected them to deliver right before Christmas this year….are not projected to SHIP in February or March of 2022.
It’s Not All Bad News
Fabrication time is always a part of custom interior design, so our clients, like all experienced design clients, are used to lead times in the custom furnishings world.
Now, we advise clients it will take five to six months from start to finish for a single room project if the COVID goddess is on your side. But in reality, we see even this timeline backing out. And for full home – we are advising people to expect to wait up to 10 months+ for upholstered items.
Remember in any design project, there’s a tremendous amount of design legwork that has to happen before a single piece of furniture can go into fabrication: At IDH, we move you carefully through the discovery phase, space planning, budget forecasting, and of course then creating and presenting your design – which may include taking clients on a discovery trip to NYC or Philadelphia for the right showrooms or design centers.
Smaller, multi-room projects will move more quickly through this design phasing because there’s less to design as compared to a full residence.
Either way, any timeline deliverables also come down to how quickly you, as the client, make decisions.
Designing FOR you is swift efficient for our team. IDH processes are impeccable and proven. It’s the fabrication lead time for custom pieces that is the challenge.
As a side note: even small private workrooms are taking longer to issue quotes or turn work around. They are shorthanded and busier than ever. All the furniture manufacturers are swamped – it’s all that pent-up demand as people have been stuck at home for months and months and are now ready to redo things! 😉
Realistically, a custom interior design project for an entire residence will take anywhere from 18-20 months. I know it’s hard to wait, but there’s always a wait in the design and build world. As we like to remind our clients, impeccable things come to those who wait!!
Get a jump start on your project by downloading the Luxury Project Budget Checklist for Success. You can even bring it to your consult with our team!