Have you ever wondered what one of Los Angeles' Top Interior Designer's contract for professional services looks like? For the first time ever, AARON B DUKE is sharing his contract with all of you. One of our core values in transparency, and by sharing our interior design contract for professional services, we hope to give you an insight into what to expect when hiring the expertise of AARON B DUKE.
LETTER OF AGREEMENT
Company name: AARON B DUKE, LLC
SCOPE OF WORK
The scope of the project encompasses the design, furnishings, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) for the following rooms:
KITCHEN: New Space Plan; New Flooring; New Custom Cabinets; New Countertops; New Backsplash; New Appliances; New Lighting; Paint Walls, Ceiling, and Mouldings; New Counter Stools; Art; and Accessories
DINING ROOM: New Rug; New Buffet; New Wallpaper; New Lighting; Paint Walls, Ceiling, and Mouldings; New Counter Dining Chairs; Use Existing Dining Table; Art; and Accessories
LIVING ROOM: New Rug; New Sofa; Reupholster Existing Lounge Chairs, Use Existing Coffee Table; New Side Tables; New Lighting; Paint Walls, Ceiling, and Mouldings; Custom Built-ins; Art; and Accessories
MASTER BEDROOM: New Rug; New Sofa; New Lounge Chairs, Use Existing Nightstands; Use Existing Tables; New Lighting; Paint Walls, Ceiling, and Mouldings; Custom Built-ins; New Bedding; New Mattress an Box Springs; Custom Bed; Art; and Accessories
OUR DESIGN PROCESS CONSISTS OF 10 PHASES
- The Consultation
- Project Launch
- Interior Design Concept
- Design Concept Presentation Approval
- Design Development
- Structural Build or Renovation
- Hard Goods Approvals
- Goods Purchasing
- Hard Goods Installation Coordination
- Final Reveal and Finishing Touches
DESIGN PHASE DETAILS
1. THE CONSULTATION
Before we begin any project, AARON B DUKE will personally meet with each client in their home for a two-hour interior design consultation where Mr. Duke will review your goals, priorities, wishes, wants, and desires for your home. Along the way, he will ask questions that evoke clients to address what they don't like, what they do like, and what they would like each space to feel like when it is complete. He will offer his experience, knowledge, and expert opinions of how you can best achieve your desired effect.
Next, he will review with you our 10 - phase design process and answer any questions you might have. Finally, Mr. Duke will review in detail with you our contract, retainer, and billing procedures to ensure everyone is in agreement of the terms and conditions of hiring expert interior designer, AARON B DUKE to execute your design vision.
2. PROJECT LAUNCH
The initial design study will Include a collaborative meeting to clarify who will be the main contact and decision maker, the scope of your project, and direction of the design. We will interview you to learn about your preferences, what is important to you, and how to make your home blend perfectly with your lifestyle.
We will need you to provide us with all relevant information on your home, like architectural drawings, site and project information, and the contact information of all other parties that will be working on your project with us. We will meet with you a few weeks later to review preliminary Design Concept ideas and develop the foundation for a formal Interior Design Concept.
3. INITIAL DESIGN STUDY
The initial design study will include consultations with the client to clarify the scope of work and direction of the design. The client will provide all available information regarding their needs, aesthetic requirements, reports, architectural drawings, and all relevant site and project information in order to begin work on the design concept. We will meet with the client as needed to review preliminary design concept ideas and develop the foundation for a formal interior design concept.
4. INTERIOR DESIGN CONCEPT
Based on the project requirements, initial design study conclusions, client preferences and client feedback on preliminary design concept, a complete design a comprehensive design concept shall be prepared. The interior design concept will include the hard and soft goods selections including furniture, materials, fabrics, wallcoverings, curtain design, floor design, color selections, lighting, and other relevant design elements being applied to the project.
5. DESIGN CONCEPT PRESENTATION AND CLIENT APPROVAL
The interior design concept will be formally presented to the client for client feedback and verbal approval. The client can expect to be presented any combination of sketches, material samples and other visual aids as necessary to illustrate the Aaron B Duke design concept and plan. Approximate pricing of goods and services will be provided during the presentation. All client parties are required to be present for the interior design concept presentation.
6. DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
Once the Aaron B Duke design concept has received client approval, the design team will commence with developing the concept. Aaron B Duke welcomes coordination and collaboration with other parties involved in the project such as the architect as well as a/v, contractor and subcontractors as needed for design development.
7. HARD AND SOFT GOODS PROPOSALS AND APPROVALS
As the hard and soft goods are finalized for use in the project, each will be presented to the client in the form of a proposal for client approval. The client will sign each proposal and provide the required 100% payment in full for approval. These proposal approvals are binding and may not be reversed.
The prices quoted on the proposals will indicate the most accurate pricing available. Minor variations in final vendor pricing and shipping costs may occur on occasion and will be indicated upon final product invoicing. We will make every effort to provide you with the most current information regarding all of the products that are specified in the proposal; however, material costs may change between the time that a product is specified and actually ordered. In such a case, we will notify you of any significant price change as soon as we become aware and provide you with an updated proposal indicating the new pricing.
7. GOODS AND MATERIALS PURCHASING AND PROCUREMENT
Aaron B Duke will manage all ordering and expediting. We will coordinate with the architect regarding what goods are to be purchased by the architect, contractor or Aaron B Duke. For all appropriate merchandise, Aaron B Duke will act as the purchasing agent on the client’s behalf. All invoices and questions from vendors will be forwarded to the Aaron B Duke office to be handled. We will prepare all specifications and purchase orders associated with the interior design. Aaron B Duke will communicate with all vendors regarding specifications, ordering, expediting, quality inspections, coordination, delivery and financials.
In the event of a defect or complaint regarding finished products, we will do our best to rectify any issues, but we cannot be held financially responsible for items without warranties or in cases when the vendor does not accept responsibility for the issue.
8. HARD GOODS INSTALLATION COORDINATION
Aaron B Duke will coordinate with relevant parties to oversee the installation of hard goods at the project site. This shall include coordination of the delivery, installation and final placement as specified. We will visit the project periodically to observe and to become familiar with the progress and quality of work as it relates to the interior design concept.
In the case of out of state installations when goods are required to be delivered to the site for installation, Aaron B Duke requests that contractor receive, inspect and notify Aaron B Duke of any damage. If goods are as intended, Aaron B Duke requests that the contractor safely stores and protects product until it is installed.
For our records, we must be able to photograph and/or videotape the project before, during, and after installations. Photographs and videos are the property of Aaron B Duke for record keeping and/or marketing purposes.
9. SOFT GOODS INSTALLATION
All furniture and other soft goods shall be received and warehoused until the project site is complete and all goods have been received and inspected. At this time, an installation and reveal will be scheduled. Aaron B Duke shall coordinate all aspects of the installation of all soft goods.
10. FINAL REVEAL AND FINISHING TOUCHES
The client shall be off site during the installation. Once the installation is complete the client shall arrive at the site for a complete reveal of the final design in place.
Compensation for services is based on an hourly fee schedule as listed below:
HOURLY BILLING RATES
- Principal designer $200.00
- Junior Designer $75.00
SUMMARY OF TIME BILLED SERVICES
- Initial design study
- Interior design concept
- Design concept presentation and client approvaL
- Design development
- Hard and soft goods proposals and approvals
- Goods purchasing
- Hard goods installation coordination
- Soft goods installation and final reveal
- Time spent creating specifications for products purchased by parties other than Aaron B Duke
- Time spent for all on-site meetings
- Time spent for coordination and on-site for installations
- Time spent coordinating with third party providers
PRODUCT EXPEDITING AND PROCUREMENT
Aaron B Duke is to specify faucets, fixtures, sanitary ware, flooring, tub, tile and other hard goods that impact the integrity of the design. The architect or contractor is to provide all project requirements for these goods and will generally provide procurement for these goods as well.
Often products or materials are sourced or specified by Aaron B Duke and then purchased by the contractor, sub-contractor or other third party. The time associated with providing this service will be billed at the appropriate hourly rate.
All goods purchased by Aaron B Duke shall be subject to a 30% expediting and procurement fee on net pricing. Generally, this price is still below retail. The management fee serves as compensation for all time and resources associated with product procurement: placing the order, ensuring accuracy, order receipt and estimated delivery dates, coordination with vendor, inspections of goods for quality assurance, vendor payments and delivery coordination. No hourly billing will apply to the time required for product procurement.
A signed proposal and 100% payment in full are required before orders can be placed for furniture, furnishings and services. Your signature and payment indicate your acceptance of the items as listed on the proposal. Once the deposit is received, orders cannot be changed and items cannot be exchanged or refunded.
A 100% payment is required with each signed and approved proposal. The final invoice for goods will often consist of only shipping charges, sales tax and in some cases minute variations in pricing from the vendor.
In the case that Aaron B Duke is able to negotiate better pricing for any merchandise, the firm will pass the savings directly to the client. These savings will be credited to the client’s account with the firm and may be used as a credit toward other goods or services through Aaron B Duke.
THIRD PARTY SERVICE PROVIDERS
All third party service providers will be billed directly to client. These may include:
Site survey; window-tinting; audio / video products and services; cleaning; and art installers. All time associated with coordination with any of these third party providers will be billed at the appropriate time billing rate.
All out of pocket expenses associated with the execution of the project will be included with the bi-monthly time billing invoices. These expenses may include: messenger service, travel expenses, printing, and other such out-of-pocket expenses directly applicable to the project. These expenses will be re-billed to you at 1.2 net costs.
GENERAL CONDITIONS REGARDING COMPENSATION
Time billing invoices are sent out on the 15th and 30th of each month. Time billing invoices are due upon receipt.
If there is a project dormancy caused in part or wholly by the client, for more than a period of six months, the project shall be placed on ‘project hold’ status. Once the firm is notified that the client is again ready to move forward with the project, the project must first be re-activated. The steps for project re-activation are as follows:
Scope of project reassessed.
Timeline of project reviewed and rescheduled based on the firm’s current workload and capacity.
Compensation update to current Aaron B Duke procurement and time billing rates.
A new project proposal or proposal addendum shall be submitted to the client for approval.
Invoices for furniture, furnishings, services and reimbursable expenses are payable upon receipt. If payment is not received within 30 days of the billing date, a service charge of 1.5% will be applied to the unpaid balance.
- All projects require a site survey and accurate existing measurements for the site. The project architect is to perform a complete site survey. In the case there is no project architect; Aaron B Duke will provide a referral to an appropriate architect that can provide a comprehensive and accurate site survey.
- In the case that Aaron B Duke is working with an architect on the project, all hardware requirements are to be given to Aaron B Duke. The firm will then select and specify hardware, fixtures and appliances to ensure that the products not only meet the architect’s or contractor’s given requirements, but are consistent with the integrity of the design as well.
- Estimates of the costs for goods, submitted by Aaron B Duke represent the best information provided to Aaron B Duke by the respective suppliers. It is recognized that neither Aaron B Duke nor the client has any control over the costs of labor, materials, contractors’ pricing methods or other market conditions. Accordingly, Aaron B Duke does not, nor cannot, guarantee that the actual prices will not vary from the estimates submitted.
- Our goal is not to sell clients the most expensive items. We make choices based on quality, craftsmanship, and work with to the trade only vendors who stand behind their products. Should you decide to purchase items on your own, we will accept no responsible for the physical condition, shipping, timing, and coordination. Many times when you see something at a discounted rate, it means there is something wrong with it. It is not our responsibility to refund your money for price variances. By going through AARON B DUKE, you are guaranteed reputable companies who stand behind their products.
- In the event the scope of work increases beyond what is described in the agreement, Aaron B Duke reserves the right to renegotiate the fee structure to reflect professional and industry standards.
- Furniture and soft goods are to be stored until all goods are received and inspected. Once all goods are ready for installation, the installation and project reveal will be coordinated. Our role is to expedite and check purchases made on your behalf and to follow up in case of loss or damage. Please bear in mind that we indeed endeavor to keep the furniture deliveries on schedule, but we cannot answer for vendors who do not make the promised delivery dates.
- All merchandise and third party services specified by us shall be purchased solely through us, with all fees payable before installations and deliveries will be scheduled. We shall have the right to withhold delivery of any items of merchandise or performance of any service until the client makes the required payments. No design services are required to be performed by Aaron B Duke when payments are outstanding from the client.
- The client shall have the benefit of all guarantees and warranties possessed by Aaron B Duke from suppliers and manufacturers. We, however, make no warranties for the goods or services we propose, design or provide, over and above the manufacturer or supplier’s warranties. In particular, we cannot guarantee any fabric, material, or article against fading, wearing, or latent defects, over and above the manufacturer’s warranty.
- We shall have no responsibility for the discovery, presence, handling, removal or disposal of, or exposure to, hazardous materials, in any form, at the project premises.
- Aaron B Duke does not assume any accountability for specifications or requirements provided by the architect, contractor or sub-contractors including electrician, plumbing, painting, and other trades. It is the responsibility of these entities on the project to double check all specifications and ensure the requirements they provide Aaron B Duke as well as the specifications provided by Aaron B Duke are accurate before they begin procurement. Aaron B Duke will not assume responsibility for issues resulting from inaccurate requirements or specifications should such a situation arise.
- In the case of projects without architectural plans, many instructions will rely on verbal and on-site walk through. It is the responsibility of the respective sub-contractor and / or the supervising contractor to confirm accuracy of all specifications related to their trade. Aaron B Duke will not assume responsibility for issues resulting from inaccurate requirements, specifications or misunderstandings should such a situation arise. It is the tradesmen’s, sub-contractor’s and / or contractor’s responsibility to double check all measurements, requirements and specifications to ensure accuracy and to provide the highest level of expertise on the project in their related trade.
- All drawings and specifications prepared by Aaron B Duke shall remain our exclusive property at all times. Our drawings and specifications may not be used on any other project or for the completion of this project by any other firm, without our written consent. If requested, copies of drawings can be supplied for the client’s own personal use and will be billed to the client as a reimbursable expense.
- Either party, upon seven days written notice, can terminate this agreement. In the event of termination, Aaron B Duke shall be compensated for all services up to the notice of termination, together with the reimbursable expenses then due. Payments toward design fee are non-refundable
- Should there be any claims, disputes or other matters in question between parties involved in the agreement, they shall be decided by arbitration in city under the American Arbitration Association. The award of the arbitration shall be final.
- The client permits Aaron B Duke or our representatives, to photograph the project and premises upon completion and grants Aaron B Duke permission to use photographs for it's business purposes, including portfolios, marketing and magazine and trade publications. Under no circumstances will the client’s name or address be revealed unless the client grants written permission for such an instance.
- AARON B DUKE business hours are Monday through Thursday from 9AM to 5PM. Meeting rescheduled outside these business hours will be billed at twice the hourly billing rate, which would be $400 per hour. Phone calls and emails will only be answered during business hours. Clients are to communicate via email only regarding their job, so we have a written account of all communication. Please do not text, as AARON B DUKE will not respond. Phone calls lasting longer than 15 minutes will be billed at the hourly rate.
- Should a client need to reschedule a meeting, 24-hour notice is required. In the event that a client cancels less than 24-hours before the scheduled meeting, a $200 fee will be assessed.
- If design fees are not paid within 7 days, AARON B DUKE will stop all work on the project and will not commence again until all fees are up-to-date.
If the above meets with your approval, your signature below will indicate your acceptance of the terms of our agreement. Please return one signed copy of the contract so we may begin the design concept and a $10,000.00 deposit, which will be billed against. Once the deposit has been depleted, bi-monthly hourly invoices will be sent to the client for immediate payment. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions.
Aaron B Duke
ACCEPTED AND APPROVED
Client Name: Date: