In a recent digital marketing trends survey, 86% of consumers said they’re willing to pay more for a product or service it comes with great customer service. About 65% said a positive customer experience is way more persuasive than the best advertising campaigns. Clients debating how to choose a contractor for a remodel value customer service as well, and it’s surprising to us as a full-service design and build firm that so few other firms have paid attention to that need.
Some firms fight for the lowest bid by leaving things out of their proposals — think board approval processes and Department of Buildings or architectural filings. Their clients are either left to handle these processes on their own or forced to pay more to hire an architect or other vendors to do it. Firms that leave out or don’t handle material purchasing and logistics don’t always explain that, either.
To help clients avoid stress, headaches, change orders, and cost overruns, we make the process simple by handling everything for them and making it clear what that means upfront. We start by asking several questions because we can’t do anything until we know the client’s goals, intended use of space, lifestyle, future plans, etc.
From there, we showcase a variety of contrasting projects and designs to see whether we can sense a pattern in what the client gravitates toward. We use that info to create a base design and build on it from there. With our digital design rendering software, we make it easy for clients to visualize their renovation and the entire home remodeling process.
Steps to Renovate a House With Our Full-Service Design Firm
We know there are several renovation firms out there to choose from for your next project, and how to choose a contractor for a remodel might not seem obvious at first. To help you sort through your options, here’s a look into what the process looks like when you work with our firm:
1. Introductory phone call
During the introduction, our goal is to gain a thorough understanding of the project. Prospective clients get a dedicated liaison who will answer all their questions and provide insight about ourselves to decide whether we’re a good fit. If so, then we can discuss preliminary budgets and timelines. We’ll also schedule a site visit from there. The liaison remains the client’s advocate through every step of the process. If we determine our partnership wouldn’t be valuable, we’re happy to part ways on good terms.
2. Site visit
When we see the property in person, we can walk through the renovation with our client. Being there in person allows us to dive more deeply into the details of the project and what the home remodeling process will require for each specific renovation. It also gives us a better idea of how to bring the client’s vision to life. For example, if existing cabinets or backsplashes do — or don’t — match the intended aesthetic, our design team will know ahead of time.
3. Off-site meeting
Our next meeting with the client is off-site, and it’s where we dive into the details even further. At the meeting, we provide design options, discuss levels of finishes and fixtures, and more. For example, if a client’s ultimate home renovation goal is simply to expand his kitchen space, he might not have given the aesthetic as much thought. Using our expertise and understanding of our clients, we can often help them hone their artistic vision, as well.
4. Detailed proposal
Detailing the proposal is one of the most important things that sets us apart from other firms. Being a full-service design firm means our team covers every aspect of your home remodeling process, and it’s all laid out in full, easy-to-understand detail in the initial proposal. That includes the cost of dealing with red tape such as permits and filings, especially for the historic Manhattan townhomes, brownstones, and landmarked buildings we specialize in. Plus, our proposal will cover every aspect of your project, solving the problem of how to keep track of remodeling expenses.
5. Retention and onboarding
As soon as a client retains us, two processes begin simultaneously. On one side, we start working on the red tape: permits, architectural plans, board approval, and more. On the other side, we also start more formalized design meetings in which we provide 3D rendering options for the client to approve. We can upload all of the material selection options that we discuss into Job Tracker, our digital project management tool.
6. Purchase finishes
When the client’s board and the Department of Buildings approve the project, we can begin purchasing all the selected finishes and fixtures. We can also put cabinetry and other millwork into production. At this phase, we schedule a date for the project to start. To streamline the process, every client has a dedicated team (led by their liaison and project manager) to handle the tedium of procuring approvals, finding finishes and cabinetry, and making sure everything proceeds on schedule.
7. Project starts
With the help of the client’s liaison and dedicated team, we can officially begin work. We supply a project manager and foreman for each site, and they supervise everything from demolition to electrical and plumbing work to installing finishes. The project coordinator will also help ensure all selections and materials delivered during the project are properly inspected before being sent to the project site for installation.
8. Client walkthrough
Before closing out each project, we conduct a walkthrough with the client to develop a list of any outstanding touch-ups or things that need attention. We’ll work through that list and meet again to make sure everything on it has been handled to the client’s satisfaction and to the high standards to which we hold ourselves. If anything on the list can’t be accomplished, the expert liaison will explain why and offer several alternatives to meet the client’s needs.
Tackling a home renovation is no small undertaking. We’ve carved out a niche for ourselves with busy professionals in New York City who are looking for a trustworthy, reliable firm to partner with for their renovations. If you’ve got a renovation on the horizon, it pays to find a full-service design firm that not only has the infrastructure to take over your entire home remodeling process, but also cares about your project enough to see your vision through.
To learn more about what sets apart Gallery Kitchen & Bath and how we can help with your specific renovation, speak with one of our experts today.