Updated: Jul 30, 2018
Once a client has designed the kitchen or bathroom of their dreams, what is the next step? Finding the right builder to make the dream a reality. Through your recommendation, by word of mouth or using the internet, the client will choose who they trust to come in to their home and handle the details.
As a showroom owner, you will have to face the same issues when you decide to renovate your showroom. A major renovation is something the average showroom undergoes every 7-10 years.
Before you start anything, ask yourself this important question:
“Why am I doing this?”
There could be a thousand reasons for renovating your showroom. Maybe the space is outdated. Maybe a renovation to increase your sales. Maybe your sales staff is begging for a new look (our clients tell us this all the time!)
You will go back to this question again and again during the renovation; the answer is your motivation and your point of focus. No matter what the reason, deciding who will handle the many aspects of the renovation can be a challenge.
SH Design-Build has spent four decades coming up with answers to these questions. That’s why we are the experts at designing and renovating showrooms.
Here are a few questions we hear time and again-
along with the answers.
Does the contractor have a process or system for large-scale retail projects? The more experience a builder has with a certain type of project, the more likely they are to follow a process from beginning to end. These systems save time, money, and stress for builder and client alike. (For example, see our 4-Step Process).
Who will come up with the overall design and merchandising plan?
Over the years, we have heard from showroom owners who went through renovations in a variety of ways. Given that most showrooms have good relationships with designers, it is not unusual for the showroom design to be managed in-house.
How much do I, the showroom owner or manager, want to be involved?
This will depend on your level on interest in the project or how busy you are with other showrooms or projects. One thing is for sure- managing a construction job takes a lot of time and energy (and coffee!). Having a strong team on your side means that you can stay involved if you like, but you can also rest easy knowing things are moving forward.
Will a general contractor handle the fabrication of my display fixtures?
What we hear most is that general contractors hand off display fixture design to a local millwork, which will then produce the display fixtures. The trouble is, most millworks deal with cabinetry and maybe more general fixtures like shelving. It is unlikely they will be able to build display fixtures that support the weight of heavy decorative plumbing merchandise. Our displays are designed and fabricated for the kitchen and bath industry; products will fit and the displays will last.
Do I want to hire a generalist or a specialist?
Hiring specialists, like those found in design-build firms, ensures that budget, design, schedule and installation are discussed and detailed from the very beginning. Here at SH, we act as specialists when it comes to design, display fixture fabrication, and installation. We hand highly-detailed plans over to a local contractor (a generalist), who is able to do most of the work on their own. We have done this in showrooms across North America and distance does not limit the quality and efficiency of our work.
After honing our expertise and experience for so long, we know what we do best and we know what general contractors do best. Our goal is to make the renovation process as low stress as possible, and that's why showroom owners across North America have trusted us for more than 42 years.