Additions, architects, architecture, Atlantic City, Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Beach House, Brant Beach, business, Cabinets, Cape May, climate, construction, Custom Home, custom homes, design, design build, Energy Star, environment, Granite, Green, Harvey Cedars, home energy efficiency, Hurricane Sandy, Kitchen, LBI, LED Lights, Linwood, Long Beach Island, Longport, Loveladies, Margate, New Home, new homes, Ocean City, professional designers, professional remodeler, QMA, QMA architects, QMA design, QMA Design+Build, Remodeling, renovation, Renovations, Ship Bottom, Surf City, Todd miller, Todd Miller AIA, Todd Miller QMA, vacation, Ventnor
As a professional remodeling contractor, we strive to deliver something special to every customer. One of the reasons we love remodeling is that every project is unique. We rely on several resources to help our clients fashion a project that reflects their individual taste and budget.
One resource is the showroom. Many of our vendors and trade partners include showrooms as part of their businesses, usually for retail (or walk-up) traffic but also for professionals like us and our customers. The best showrooms provide a wide variety of choices in real-world scenes or applications (called vignettes) that show how the products will look in a finished home.
The earliest showrooms showcased kitchen and bath products, such as cabinets, appliances, and plumbing fixtures. Recently, however, vendors of windows, doors, stair parts, countertops, trim, lighting, fireplaces, and other products have begun to use showrooms too. That diversity has allowed us and our clients to create personal and distinct home features.
When we use a vendor’s showroom to make those choices, we usually have an allowance — or specific dollar amount — that we and our homeowners have agreed to allot for those products. Our clients (or prospective clients) generally go to the showroom at their convenience, letting the vendor know that they are coming and what their allowance is. In order to help insure an enjoyable and stress-free showroom experience, it is important for everyone involved to follow a bit of etiquette.
The first point of showroom etiquette is to make an appointment and stick to it. With an appointment, our clients can take advantage of the expert assistance of the vendor’s representative. Keeping a timely appointment helps our clients to make their choices on schedule. Like many of the decisions made in the process of remodeling a home, selecting the many finish products within the agreed schedule is the client’s responsibility and part of the partnership we strive to create between us.
The next item of protocol is to stay within the budget allowance. We make every effort to prepare (and remind) our homeowners with regard to the budget choices they have already made. But showrooms are filled with variety and are designed to make the products look appealing. Showroom offerings may be out of the range of the planned budget amount. Although it is tempting to exceed the budget “just this once,” getting off budget can have a ripple effect on other costs, pushing the clients beyond what they can afford or want to spend. Wherever possible, stick to the allowance amount and seek great choices within that number. We rely on our vendors to help our clients stay within the identified budget and resist the temptation to “up-sell” to a higher-priced product line.
The last rule of thumb at a showroom is to make full use of the vendor’s experts. Increasingly, these are design professionals who can help make product selection easier and more satisfying. Design professionals have a trained eye for what creates cohesiveness and comfort, such as selecting colors or finishes that complement each other. They are skilled, too, in assisting homeowners to identify and satisfy their personal tastes. We encourage our clients to ask questions and share their dreams and desires with these professionals. We select vendors who have that level expertise for our customers’ benefit.
Equipped with these three simple rules, our owners can relax, enjoy their showroom experience, and make choices that help keep the project on time and on budget.
Todd Allen Miller, AIA
QMA Design+Build, LLC
5000 Boardwalk, Suite 2
Ventnor, NJ 08406
NJ New Home Builder License #037561
NJ Home Improvement Contractor #13VH01107300
(609) 822-4949 – phone
(609) 822-4429 – fax
c. 2009 All rights reserved.