Club Design Group, Inc.

This is a list of our most Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not find your question answered on this page, Send Us a Question and we will be happy to help you.

Questions about Client Needs

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Should we update or should we renovate?

Great question! The answer is…that depends. If your facilities work well from an accommodation and operational standpoint, then periodically replacing furnishings and finishes may be all that is necessary. However, many clubhouses were built without proper consideration for their long-term use. This means structural modifications may be required in order to meet the needs and expectations of your current (and future) members. Either way, you will benefit from consulting with an experienced club design firm like CDG. We have saved clients tens of thousands of dollars in design and construction costs by properly assessing their needs relative to the potential of their existing facilities.

What "quick fix" things can we do to improve our club’s appearance?

Even though no two clubs are the same, you may be surprised by the common nature of minor design and decor problems. Sometimes it just takes a set of trained eyes to identify your least expensive yet impactful opportunities. You can do wonders with a little paint in the right places!! For a modest fee, CDG will assess your club’s needs and make effective "quick fix" recommendations.

Can we save money by doing some of the work ourselves?

SURE! We understand not every client is in need of our complete professional services, and often times there are extremely tight budget constraints. However, we encourage you to make decisions based on your club’s long-term goals, your knowledge of commercial grade materials and code compliance, and a realistic assessment of your willingness to manage all the complexities.

When it comes to renovating or even updating, what common mistakes do we need to avoid?
  • Waiting until plans are drawn before hiring a licensed interior designer
    • Licensed interior designers specialize in space planning and can help clients avoid mistakes in designing an efficient and functional floor plan. It is easiest to include these recommendations during the early stages of development
  • Establishing FF&E budgets without knowledgeable professional guidance
    • Using a formula from a book or assigning an arbitrary number will almost certainly result in less than a satisfactory outcome
  • Working with a decorator instead of a licensed interior designer
    • It’s illegal in Florida when working on commercial projects, and could result in project shutdown.
  • Involving club members as contractors or service providers
    • Doing so often leads to political problems and uncomfortable situations
    • In addition to providing unbiased professional advice, a qualified and skilled third party can take the heat off the club manager and committee members
  • Selecting the wrong materials for the wrong application
    • Slippery tiles, broken chairs, worn-out fabrics, faded window treatments are all signs of improperly selected materials
  • Failing to invest money in the proper areas of a project
    • Few FF&E budgets are open-ended. Knowing how to value-engineer a budget for the best combination of durability and "wow factor" means better investing
Where do we begin?

With a professional Facilities Assessment. You already have a good understanding of your basic facilities issues. A professional Facilities Assessment will confirm those issues and find others that might be even more important to your planning. CDG and its network of design/build professionals can help you identify all of your facilities issues, prioritize their impact on operations, and develop a strategy for addressing them.

When should we hire an Interior Designer? Architect? General Contractor?

Many people don’t realize that commercial interior designers specialize in floor planning and effective space utilization. If you are contemplating a major renovation, it is important to engage the services of a licensed commercial interior designer early. Project planning goes much smoother when an architect and interior designer can collaborate on floor planning from the outset. If you are uncertain about the desired scale of renovations, it makes sense to first engage an interior design firm to evaluate the potential of existing facilities. Be sure the firm is familiar with club operations and has a track record of successful floor planning. CDG is such a firm. A General Contractor can be brought on board at anytime, but we suggest you start with an interior designer and/or architect to develop an approved scope of work and preliminary drawings.

How do we develop a realistic FF&E Budget?

Two words: knowledge and experience. You wouldn’t ask a cardiologist to give you an estimate for brain surgery. So why ask a contractor or an architect to give you an estimate for FF&E expenses? Don't guess. Hire a licensed interior design firm with club experience. CDG has the knowledge and experience required to help you develop a realistic FF&E Budget.

How long will the project really take?

That depends on the scope of the project. Updates can happen in as little as 90 days (though 4 to 5 months is more realistic if custom design work is involved). Renovations require far more planning, and usually take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years to complete. A renovation timetable will typically revolve around your Board’s decision process, scheduling downtime during the off-season, and acquiring permits in a timely fashion. Proper planning and organization will speed the process. CDG has a successful track record of planning and organizing renovation projects.

How do we continue operations during renovation?

We never met a client who was happy about shutting down their clubhouse for renovations. If at all possible, we try to avoid complete shutdowns. Ultimately, though, the scope of your project will determine what operations can continue during renovation. With proper planning many clubs can continue to provide some level of service to members. If the kitchen and/or bar must be shut down, you may be able to improvise with party tents, outdoor grills, and portable bar arrangements. We’ve seen some very creative solutions along the way…and some disasters, too. CDG can help you develop your options.

How can we enroll our membership in the idea of renovation or updating?

Two more words: research and planning. A professional Facilities Assessment will get you started on the path of discovering your options. From there, our knowledgeable and club experienced team will help you prioritize needs and desires, develop strategies for achieving goals, establish appropriate investment guidelines, set a schedule, and then put it all together for presentation to your membership. CGD can help you gain the support of your membership.

Questions about Club Design Group

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How long have you been serving the club industry?

The founder and President of Club Design Group, Joanna Wood, completed her first major clubhouse renovation in 1999. Since then her company has advised, updated, or renovated numerous other club facilities. CDG enjoys an exceptional reputation within the club management community. We actively encourage prospects to contact any or all of our past clients to learn about their experience with our firm.

What clubs have you served?

Please see our complete list of clients here

Why do architects and general contractors want to work with you?

We enjoy excellent relations with some of the very best architects and contractors in SW Florida, and they regularly recommend us to their clients. They want to collaborate with us because they know they can rely on our professional, team-oriented attitude, our attention to detail, and the outstanding quality of our design work.

What are your qualifications?

We focus exclusively on clubhouse design. As such, we are totally committed to an unmatched level of knowledge and expertise about clubs, their operations, and the business of renovating them. Beyond that, our firm is licensed by the state of Florida to perform interior design services for commercial projects. We have more than 45 years combined experience in managing large-scale commercial design and renovation projects. In addition to our skilled design professionals, we have a dedicated purchasing manager who is well versed in acquiring products at the right price and having them delivered on time.

How do you charge for your services?

Ultimately, our charges are based on the amount of time it will take to meet your unique project requirements. Complexity determines cost. Renovations are more complex than updates, and 5 star design solutions require more customization than 3 star solutions. That’s why any realistic quote for services must be based on a clear understanding of your expectations.

For planning purposes, most of our clients prefer a flat fee billing arrangement for the design portion of their project. Short consultation arrangements are usually billed by the hour. When it comes to managing procurement, some clients prefer a fixed budget approach while others want to work on a cost-plus basis. We can accommodate whichever method you prefer.

Why should we hire Club Design Group?

Hire us because you can trust us. You can trust CDG to produce the best possible return on your design investment. You can trust CDG to work in a complete spirit of collaboration with your design committee, architect, and contractor. You can trust CDG to meet our obligations on time. You can trust CDG to prevent design disasters and solve problems quickly, effectively, and transparently. You can trust CDG to stay within your budget with no surprises.
Bottom Line: You can trust CDG to make you and your club look good!

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