buzz page                                                            

10 things to consider when contemplating a salon project:


                               I'm considering striking out on my own
                               and think I want to be a salon owner.

                               How do I begin the "build-out" process?

We would recommend having an initial no obligation discussion about
your vision/objectives/goals etc. for the salon. The intent would be for
you to share as much information about your thinking as you can. Such as:
your space plan/building program, whether you have a location already
selected or if you want help looking for a space, if you have a "look" in mind
or if you want help creating your own "signature", etc. It's really not much
different than considering a more significant purchase, like a car, it's just that
there are factors to consider that are particular to the building industry and
not dealt with on a regular bases by most people. That's where an Architect
who is trained to look "globally" at a design "problem" can help direct and
focus the process from the beginning.


Things just don't "feel" right in the salon
                                       but I'm not sure what needs to be looked at.

                                        Can you help?

The message is that you don't have to live with a non-functional space, just
ask and hopefully yes we can help. After meeting in your salon and sharing
your concerns we can usually determine whether it is a space planning or
operational issue. If as an example you feel you are not maximizing your
"cutting floor area" and are wondering whether you can fit in a few more styling
stations, that's exactly the help we can provide. Or if you don't have a
"street presence" and you want to present a better image to the public we
can help with that as well. It's really just getting a dialog going and usually
when you get another person's viewpoint the conversation helps to un-stick your thinking.


Is there a typical step-by-step process
                                          used for doing a salon project?

Yes there is a process that is traditionally followed for most design projects
regardless of whether it is a construction/remodeling project or product design.
It's easy, one with typical presentation and review meetings along the way.
We will take as much time to describe the process as you would like. An easy
rhyme to help describe the process might be; design it, refine it, define it,
finite it (design, develop, draw, construct). Sometimes however folks like
to follow a different path when considering a "build out" or certain pieces
of information are not available during the traditional process. That's another
opportunity for us to "think outside the box" and we simply solve the problem in another way.


What do I need to budget for
                                        when considering a salon project?

There are a number of components that need to be considered. Our expertise
focuses on the design and construction aspects of the project. Other significant
budget items to be considered include: the terms of the lease, furniture-fixtures
and equipment, product and accessories, soft costs (promotion, advertising,
etc), payroll, etc. We suggest working with consultants who specialize in
assembling complete business plans. We recommend a way of getting a
good handle on construction costs would be to engage an Architect to help
develop your program and create a preliminary plan/diagram of the program i
n the space under consideration. A preliminary sketch/plan along with an
outline list of building materials and finishes, both generated by the
architect, would then be given to a general contractor who can prepare a
"cost estimate". By adding the Construction Cost Estimate, the Furniture,
Fixture and Equipment budget and finally the consultant's estimated fees
approximately 75% to 85% of your first/up front costs will be defined.
Depending on how the project costs are being addressed the other
expenses may be financed over a longer time period. To help
establish a budget our suggestion is to work with you on"feasibility study
bases" at our hourly rates to develop a sufficient amount of data for a
contractor to provide you with a workable construction budget.


                                 How much time will all of this take?

Of course every project is different and the timing is somewhat determined
by your availability. As a few examples here are the stats of the projects on
the website:

 • The Men's Dept from start to finish = 10 months
   (raw space to a soft opening),

 • New Reflections Spa/Salon from first design concepts
   to completely reopened = 16 months
   (time frame was developed around Owner's availability and
   sequenced construction to allow the salon to remain open
   during construction),

 • Indulge from first interview meeting to soft opening = 7 months
   (demolition of existing space and final preparation of working drawings
   ran concurrently),

 • Volume Salon from the initial call to reopening = 3 months
   (design was produced by another company but could not be constructed,
   project was stopped and restarted after legal construction drawings were
   submitted to the City).

Although we are not Contractors, typically in the initial interview meeting
if we have a good handle on the scope of the project we will try to give you
a feel for the project time frame if asked.


                               How many people will be involved
                               in the process and do I need to work
                               directly with all of them?

A typical Salon project, whether it be raw space build out or remodeling,
consists of the following players; Owner or Owner's representatives,
Architect, Building Official, General Contractor, Furniture/Fixture &
Equipment supplier, General Contractor's sub-contractors,
independently hired contractors (communications, audio, computer
systems, product supplier, etc). We try to make the process as
open to you as possible. Whether you want to be totally enrolled in
the process or entrust the majority of the process to us the choice
is yours. We don't want you to feel that by doing the project you
have to set any of your business needs aside. We are here to create
and facilitate the project for you.


                              Do I really need an architect?
                              ...and what is the benefit of having
                               one on the team?

From a legal standpoint some States and/or Cities require the project
to have an Architect as the entity responsible for health, safety and
welfare thus an architect's registration number and signature must
appear on the construction drawings. Setting aside the legal issue the
main reason for having an architect involved in the project is that an
architect is trained in both the design/creative side of the business,
"seeing" and creating an environment, as well as the building
technology side, the ability to assemble building components on
paper safely and using appropriate construction techniques for a
general contractor to bid and build from. Having been around the
hair-care world for over 28 years initially providing architectural
services to a product manufacture at their corporate headquarters,
training facility and their blending laboratory as well as selected
remodelings at Aveda concept salons the ability to "hear between the
lines" is an added benefit we bring to the mix. Similar to the
background knowledge pertaining to the "business of hair" we have
a learned and intuitive understanding of the structural, mechanical
and electrical components (read proper lighting!) that will come to
play in the design process and final constructed out-come. We feel
that you will benefit from this ability to simultaneously marry both the
creative and technical sides and the end result can be something that
will set you apart in your salon.


                                How will I know what the finished
                                design effort will look like?

We have a host of presentation mediums to depict the design proposals.
Examples include hand drawing, computer generated drawings both 2
and 3 dimensional, scale models, rough hand sketches, floor plans, etc.
Everybody is at a different level of being able to "see three dimensionally"
so we will provide you with as much info as you need.


                                Will I be able to stay in business
                                while the project is under construction?

We will explore phasing and sequencing scenarios as part of the design
and planning process and, if a contractor is on-board at the start, we will
use their experience to make sure that you maximize the salon's potential
fully to stay in business. We will consult with you as to whether
construction can take place during "off hours", around the clock, on days
that the salon is closed, and other on creative ways of providing
service to your clients.


                                           Why can't I just go to a retailer
                                           of salon furniture and fixtures
                                           and get the same service?

The fact is many salon projects are handled by working directly with the
supplier and, depending on the budget and the perceived scope of the work,
having the supplier facilitate the work may be fine. But by engaging an architect
you will be working with someone who is accustomed to making design
decisions based on the "big-picture": the "look", space planning,
circulation, color, texture, lighting, fixtures, etc. When approaching a design
problem, architects consider many aspects of the salon environment at once,
a little like playing 3D chess. Since our built environment is a 3-dimensional
world, an architect is considering all of the features and elements that are experienced by your clients/customers, from the interior to the exterior.

Think of the architect as your advocate, and as the facilitator
of your vision in three dimensions!


open a new salon                                       •                                       add a location                                       •                                       re-model                                       •                                       expand
next page