When it comes to the point to start interior renovation project it is a must requirement to know what questions to ask in order to estimate the scope of work correctly, get the idea of what your client wants, and simply feel the project.
I recently had a chance to go over some of the most extravagant interviews with Vincent Wolf and it is still quite fascinating that his questioner consists of 16 pages and the best part of it is that most of questions are not made for him to get the idea what his client wants but actually for the client himself. That way the client gets a chance to conceptualize or at least have a vague vision of what he/she wants to get out of the project. I personally consider that as a brilliant approach.
What is it so important to know from the very start?
1. What space we will be working with?
2. How many people use the space and how?
3. Do you have children/pets that should be taken under consideration for “wear and tear”?
4. Are there any physical constraints that should be considered within the design project scope?
5. Are there any allergies, smell sensitivities within the users of the space?
6. Do you have any safety concerns that should be taken care of within the renovation project?
7. What would you like to do with the space?
8. Which space will be a priority within this project?
9. Would you prefer to do long term changes or light touch ups to refresh the space?
10. What would be the use of the space after project is over?
11. How long do you plan to stay in this place?
12. Would you consider to age in this place? (based on the project)
13. Does the design project include outside spaces?
14. What would be the time frames for the project?
15. Please tell me more about your family (based on the project)
16. What are your plans for the next 10 years?
17. Please describe your regular day? Other space user’s daily routine?
18. What do you usually do at your spare time?
19. How often do you have visitors?
20. How often do you host parties? (depends on the project)
21. What are your hobbies and other special interests?
22. Who would be the members of the family that you share the space with?
23. Do you share the same color, style, taste preferences?
24. Please choose the pictures that you like from the ones you’ve received along with this questioner.
25. Would you like a smart space?
26. Are there any structural changes to the space that could be performed?
27. Do you have the construction drawings for the plumbing and utilities?
28. What are your main concerns about the existing space?
29. What kind of storage would you like?
30. What are the flooring preferences?
31. Do you need radiant heat?
32. What are your lighting preferences? Natural light or artificial?
33. Do you need the space to be wired for sound system?
34. What stays and what goes?
35. Would you like to refinish the items that stay?
36. Are there any special collectibles that you would like to keep?
37. What are your likes and dislikes? Absolute “must-haves”?
38. Are there any specific materials that you would like to use in the space?
39. What are your color preferences?
40. What is the budget?
41. Who is the primary contact?
42. Who is the decision maker for the project?
This list is a very raw example of what should be asked at your first “date”. Regardless of how big or small list you have it would still have to be customized for every project. The only thing I know that this list will be growing and get populated simply because knowledge is power.