What is your Preference for selecting materials for your Design/Build Remodeling project? What’s your Design Selections niche?
Just like different approaches to home remodeling: ie: DIY vs. Chuck & His Truck vs. Enjoyable Remodeling, there are 3 distinct approaches to design materials selection: Designer-Assisted vs. Endless-Shopping vs. Contractor-Driven
Let’s start with what I call Contractor-Driven:
- Many home remodeling contractors fall in
this design selection category, the most common is likely tract home builders and remodelers with design centers. You don’t think there’s any particular reason these home builders only offer 1 cabinet manufacture to choose from, do you? It certainly couldn’t be because said kitchen cabinet company offers the home contractor a deal or kick-back on their products? Do you trust this contractor is going to offer you access to all sink fixtures from Delta/Kohler/Grohe/Danze/etc, or will they only offer you the fixtures they get the best deal on? If you’re okay with your kitchen remodel looking the same as a neighbors house the home remodel contractor completed before yours, then I suppose you’ve found your design niche. Certainly you don’t feel discouraged by the lack of available options, it’s all right there in front of you at the “Design Center”, right?
Now we’ll look at the Endless-Shopping approach to home remodeling material selections which is the category that the majority of remodeling contractors fall in to. When I say endless shopping, who do you imagine is doing the endless shopping? You guessed it, YOU!
- So how does this scenario typically play out? More times than not, you’ve selected this contractor because he did some work on your street, or you played the out-dated and un-realistic game of “getting 3-bids”. So now you sign a construction contract with a kitchen remodeling contractor based on a ‘price’ that is full of “allowances” (I’ll save my comments about the inaccuracy of allowances for another time). Fast forward a few weeks, or months, or frankly whenever the contractor decides to give it to you……. The Shopping List for your kitchen remodel project:
- “Here’s a list of suppliers for you to visit in all of your free time, go pick out the following items and report back to me what you’ve selected. Oh, by the way, did I mentioned we need it completed by the end of the weekend?” How bad could the list really be, it’s only a kitchen remodel after all? (Our Design Team works off a list with over 30 high-level categories to select, and 2-5 options to choose from under each category. A total of 60-150 design and material selections to be made for a kitchen remodel). Surely he also mentioned the change order you’ll be surprised with later, once all of the selections have been priced and ordered?
“Honey, what was the allowance for the kitchen sink?” How in the world are you going to keep it all straight? Especially since “Honey” is trying to keep up with the score of the ball game on his phone.
- How are you going to feel when the contractor tells you the plumber is coming next week, and he needs you to go pick out the sinks and faucets?
Finally, we’ve come to the Designer-Assisted selections process:
- Working with a Professional design-build home remodel contracting firm has the added value of working with a qualified design team.
You’ve openly discussed your ‘actual’ desired investment home with the Remodeling Contractor, and everyone involved agrees it is realistic and achievable. Remember you are partnering with a Design/Build Contractor for your project, if you’re looking for anything other than mutual trust and respect then I’d suggest one of the 1st two approaches may be a better fit for you.
- Once the project budget has been established, you’ll meet with the Designer for your project. He/She wants to learn more about your wants/needs/ideas for your house, and how you live in it. What’s your morning routine? Do you need a large island to sit the four kids at in the morning for ‘assembly-line’ breakfast before school?
- Share with the Designer any pictures you’ve pinned on Pinterest, saved to your Houzz Ideabooks, or magazine clippings you’ve pulled for inspiration. Asking a lot of question, the design team will gain a good idea of what your style is. In some cases, you may not know what your style is, and looking at ideas you’ve discussed, the designer will be able to show you other ideas you may not have considered.
- The Designer will take all that information you’ve discussed, along with budgetary guidelines, and put together material and design selections for you to choose from, AND the beauty is they fit within the investment range. Designers and Selections Coordinators are constantly visiting suppliers, and have a good understanding of “what’s out there”. Do you think it’d save some time and frustration by working with someone that knows exactly where to go to find what your project needs?
- Many people do enjoy the opportunity of visiting material suppliers to see some of the various things that are available, and that’s okay too when working with a design-build home remodel contractor, but you’re the one making that choice to do so (not the contractor telling you to), and you have the added assurance that the final selections are what you want or fit within your budget, or the ultimate – BOTH!
So what’s your flavor, which approach do you prefer? Are you okay with the limited choices from a design center? I’m sure you don’t mind missing your daughters volleyball tournament this weekend to visit 6 tile flooring suppliers? What would keep you from teaming with a design build professional to help with the selections process?
Since 2001, the Hochuli Team has been helping homeowner navigate their way through the home remodel process. View our galleries for inspirational ideas for your kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, room addition, or other remodeling project. Then Contact Us to Discuss Your Project!