How Do I Make Selections With Your Remodeling Firm? Choosing Products and Finishes for Remodels in Maryland and Washington D.C.
What Are “Selections”?
When Winthorpe remodels homes, one of the most important and involved steps for the homeowner is “making selections”. What does this mean? It’s the process of choosing the many details that go into the home: tile, flooring, trim, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, and countertops, to name the most common items. Some other items may include knobs and handles, stylized outlet covers, fireplaces, and garage door styles.
How Do I Make Selections?
Winthorpe has a showroom, as do many suppliers of all things home-related, and some people prefer to shop in person this way. But these days, more and more people are shopping online, selecting their tile and countertops through photos they find on the web.
This is more popular than ever before with the advent of software that lets you see the product in place in a rendering of the space- a sort of virtual “try before you buy”.
Does It Take A Lot of Time?
It can take as much or as little time as you want. Some people have lots of time to commit to searching the internet for inspiration and visiting showrooms. Others need to rely on electronic shopping options to accommodate their busy schedules or because they travel a lot. We’ve had clients who entirely designed and outfitted their homes while on the road, using the internet to choose their finishes and communicate them with us.
Winthorpe currently has a client who spends a lot of time in Europe, so most of our communication regarding their project is done via email or Skype. Once they narrow their choices down to a couple of options, we’ll pick up the products to show them, sometimes taking them to the house to they can see the colors or textures in the space via Skype. It’s helpful to see flooring or tile samples in the natural light of the space they’re meant to be in, or next to the wood grain of the cabinetry, to see how the colors are coming together.
We use a very personalized approach, entirely customized to each client. We recognize that people are busy running businesses, raising families, traveling, and handling all of life’s other tasks. So, we try to accommodate people based on what their schedule is and how they can interact with us. There is no “one size fits all” approach at Winthorpe.
What Selections Do I Need To Make?
It’s our job to keep track of what selections need to be made for any given project. A remodeled kitchen requires different selections than a master bathroom. First we produce a spreadsheet, with a list of needed selections, sectioned by room. We add dates by which those selections need to be made in order to keep construction running on time. For some projects we may have a price range, or an allowance indicated for different things like appliances, based on the agreed-upon budget.
Occasionally, clients come to us having already chosen some of these items, so much of the spreadsheet can be filled in from the beginning. Other times they want to see the room in full scale before choosing some items, so we add them as we go. The spreadsheet lives on our BuilderTrend software, indicating the selections made and scheduled due dates. Clients can post photos to their BuilderTrend account, to share with us ideas they’ve found. This is a great way for them to ask, “will they green tile work for the powder room downstairs?”, and our whole team can review it and respond.
Throughout the project, the client has a spreadsheet that’s filled out with colors, model numbers, and a detailed overview of where they are with their budget. So, before the selection purchases are made, they can see that maybe they’re a little bit over budget on the tile, but it works out because they’re a little bit under budget on the plumbing fixtures.
Am I limited To Just A Few Options?
Many builders call themselves “custom” builders, but only offer their clients three or four options for everything from cabinets to tile. This is really only “semi-custom”, in that their clients do get to make some choices, but they don’t really get to fully customize their home. When these builders construct multiple houses in the same Washington D.C. or Maryland neighborhoods, neighbors may discover that their houses look much like the ones next door and don’t feel as custom as they’d wanted.
At Winthorpe, we don’t limit the options. Some homeowners prefer that we bring a small handful of suggested options to the table from which they can choose without having to sort through endless possibilities. That can feel overwhelming to some. Other homeowners might bring us a picture of a specific knob they want, and we track it down for them. When the exact right thing just cannot be found, we’ve even had custom lighting, gates, and doors specifically manufactured for a home. Winthorpe truly is custom builder, with each home built entirely to the owner’s tastes.
For most homeowners, while quite involved, the selection process is a lot of fun. It’s exciting to explore the available options and then image them in their home. And we’re here to facilitate that process for the best outcomes and a beautiful home.