Those who have built or renovated a home or business in the Caribbean know that this process is not for the faint of heart. All it takes is one little surprise during excavation, or a fluctuation in demand for materials, and before you know it, your costs are skyrocketing exponentially. Whether your budget is in the tens of thousands or well into the millions, it’s a number that guides your project throughout the design and construction phase; keeping costs down is a delicate dance of give and take that is best managed by professionals.
“There is a way to reach what you want without compromising on the ‘wow’ factor or ideal objective that you have,” says Josée Atkinson of Barbados-based Blueprint Management, which helps clients navigate everything from property procurement to architectural design to project management. “It’s possible to achieve something that looks absolutely fabulous, even on a more restrictive budget.” Atkinson points to their recent project, the DKE Hair Studio, where Blueprint achieved a New York loft-esque setting despite a smaller budget. Cladding the walls in real brick would have been cost prohibitive, so Blueprint sourced a visually similar, quality material to evoke the same feel. The wood shelving unit that displays DKE’s style products would have been quite costly if it were purchased “as is’’; instead, the piece was fabricated in Barbados using local wood.
Even large corporations have budgets that need to be considered during design and construction, and international petrol distributor Rubis presented tight parameters for their new Barbados headquarters. “They sent one cheque for the project and that was it—no coming back,” says Atkinson. “No matter what, we had to fit the budget. We decided every single finish and the location of every cable ahead of time, and we fine-tuned the drawings based on feedback from the contractor. We made sure this was a success that belonged to the team.” This skill is especially worthwhile at present, as demand for building supplies driven by the catastrophic hurricane season of 2017 has caused prices to rise, necessitating some creative compromises.
“We sit down with the client and try to find out what is most important to them; what’s the main thing they will not sacrifice,” says Atkinson “We also try to be very sensitive to maintenance and ongoing costs. It’s a coordination of all parties to ensure my clients are able to achieve their dream project.”
Blueprint| 2nd Floor Hastings Financial Centre
Hastings Christ Church Barbados BB15154
T: 1 246 573 8858