Aspiring to produce the highest quality work, Hot-Metal seeks to ensure that our customers get exactly what they hoped for and at a price that they’re happy with!

To do this we operate a transparent service that engages the client through the process of conception, design and implementation of the work. There are a number of steps here…

Defining the Design or Concept – This will involve an initial discussion, so that we can talk about the nature of the work, the rough budget you have in mind and whether you require me to visit the site, (there will be a fee for visits more than ten miles away) – visits to the workshop are welcome and can be arranged.

If you already have a plan or drawing with dimensions and know exactly what you want, great, we can work from this and give you an accurate price to make your design. If the design is impractical and needs to be improved and you agree (or, if you wish for it to be adapted or altered) then a fee for consultation and development will be charged.

I will also explain at this stage my approach to the design and the payment schedule for production – usually, a third of the payment upfront to cover the cost of materials etc, a third when the work is made and ready for “finishing” and the balance on completion or delivery – if necessary, installation can be arranged and charged accordingly.

Developing the Design – This is the most important stage in any project and requires attention to detail. I’ll first of all give you a rough idea of cost involved in developing and making the design – this will vary depending on the work and budget. If you’re happy with this figure, I will draw up a brief for the project so that you can see exactly what’s involved, including a realistic completion time. You can then share this with any third parties engaged in the decision-making process, for example someone paying a grant towards the work.

The development phase is usually a very interactive and iterative exercise, where we go through detailed aspects of the design and sign off each element – when we have complete clarity and agreement from all parties, I can then complete the brief and the cost for the work can be considered.

(At this stage payment for consultation and development will be required but can be added to the budget if the work is to go ahead. You may wish to ask another contractor to quote for producing the work, and I have no problem with this – however, unless all designs and developments I provide are paid for they are assumed to be and remain the property of Hot-Metal)

Working Estimate – If you’re happy to proceed after the design or development stages I will provide a calculated estimate for the work (and delivery if required).  I will set a schedule for procuring the necessary materials, making or construction, additional processes, cleaning and finishing the work. At this point the collection or delivery date can then be agreed.

(Depending on the quantity and complexity of the commission, I will include a sum for any contingencies or oversights that might arise – so that you can see what the total costs may amount to.)

Quotation –  A quote for exact costs can only be provided when all aspects of a design have been rationalised. Development, materials, services, consumables, finish, delivery, installation – or any other element, or expense in relation to the work – will need to be considered and confirmed in writing.

(If the work involves replicating an existing Hot-Metal design then the quote will reflect this and will only be adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of materials, labour, or any further development in relation to the original.)

 Production  – Once the costing has been accepted in writing and the initial payment received we can begin making the work. As it’s not always possible to predict every aspect of all work, I will  keep you posted on how it’s going and if any snags or changes should crop up. When the work is near completion and ready to be finished, the second payment will be required -a receipt will be issued for any payments (smaller commissions will require a 50% deposit).

Payment – When the work is completed, delivered or installed, and you’re delighted with it, I’ll prompt you with the final invoice to provide the last payment for the commission – all work will remain the property of Hot-Metal until full payment is  settled.

The initial payment and second payment for the work will be entered against the total cost and shown on your invoice.  In all cases I try and reduce this as much as possible and the final payment will reflect any draw on the contingency budget. If the contingency wasn’t required, the price you pay will reflect this! 

And that’s it! – These guidelines have been drawn up to ensure that you get the very best work at the best price  – and to assist us in its planning and delivery in the most efficient way.

George Thomas