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What REALLY Makes The Difference?

What REALLY Makes The Difference?

An entryway can give the first, lasting impression of your home. A single choice in sofa can make or break a living space. And choosing the right bathroom vanity can make all the difference in your day-to-day.

Design choices in your home is a subject in and of itself, but what about quality? Beyond the number of lights on that entryway chandelier, or the color of that sofa, or the number of cubbies inside that oak vanity, quality is the investment that will make the LASTING difference.

You don’t just want to make a difference in first impressions. You want to make the lasting difference that keeps your remodel at its highest value for as long as possible.

Looking for quality sometimes means conceding a higher price-point, but the two don’t always collide. When you consider the total cost of ownership of a less-durable fixture, you’ll end up paying MORE in the end if you have to replace it. Two (or three) lower-quality fixtures over a period of time cost a LOT more than that one, lasting piece.

So, don’t let sticker prices scare you…just be sure to budget for the real, lasting difference you want to make in your home. Do you want this to be the one, big remodel that does it all? The one that keeps you happy? The one that sees your house sold?

Start by asking yourself some questions

Here’s a quick quiz to figure out your priorities and whether you’re ready to look at things based on clout and review over price. Try this worksheet to see if you’re really ready to make the lasting difference in your remodel.

1. Which of these is your number-one priority in your remodel?

A. Livability    B. Budget

2. Do you have any pre-conceived ideas of what certain name brands and high-end products bring?

A. Yes    B. No

3. Do you have the budget to do your remodel again in under 10 years if fixtures don’t work out, or quickly fail to serve or work?

A. No    B. Yes

4. Do you have a designer you’re working with who you trust?

A. Yes    B. No

If you answered “a.” to ANY of these, keep reading. This blog will be your first of several break-downs of examples we’ll write about where the investment in the right fixture or service is what makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Let us reiterate:

Now that we’ve buttered you up a bit to loosen the budget, there’s something we HAVE to stress: bigger prices do NOT always correspond to better products.

…In walks Restoration Hardware, the high-end furniture store. Check out this article by the fabulous Laurel Bern to learn about this example of pricing that plainly takes advantage of the consumer.

A lot of these mark-up scams come from cheap imports. Buying local isn’t just about supporting the local economy—it’s also about buying from lower volume makers who aren’t slashing quality to hack their prices. Imports, by the time they arrive to our shores, are typically from high volume makers with the market footprint to ship around the world at low cost (thanks to lower quality and production cost).

Local craftsmanship tends to carry sticker prices higher than you’d find at Target, but their business at least isn’t based on crazy mark-up.

…In walks fixture distributor Ferguson. THIS is the kind of relationship we’ve nurtured at our company, so that we can take our clients directly to the source, and feel confident about the quality.

Here’s ANOTHER example of legit craftsmanship and service: Schluter shower systems. These guys are so confident in the quality of their product and installations that they give you a 10 YEAR GUARANTEE from any leaking. Yes! That’s right—the ones who know they’re awesome offer legit guarantees.

Making the difference

So…what are we really talking about here? We’re talking about getting the BEST plumbing, or building, or fixtures, or furniture. We’re talking about working with distributors instead of big box retailers. We’re talking about the best makers and craftsmanship.

…In steps your designer. We like working with Ferguson, for example, because we know the story of their craft. We know how they make ends meet. We also know the lifetime of their products and installations, having been in the business ourselves for more than 20 years seeing which products outlast which.

“But, how do I figure this out when looking at options? How can I tell what makes the difference?” We’ll tell you, it pays to do your homework. Check where a product is made. Favor distributors over other retailers. Search for the same item online to see if it’s available cheap elsewhere. Mark-up hacks are no joke—renowned designer Laurel Bern wrote about Restoration Hardware marking stuff up as much as 3,000%.

Lastly, get a designer you trust. If you have the right designer on board, and want to know if you can really invest your trust, here’s what the BEST designers should be able to do for you:

  • Advise you on every product question
  • Do the homework for you on where products come from
  • Find you the best deals on what you really want
  • Hook you up with their local distributor connections
  • Give you the FULL picture without any salesy connections to a seller or store
  • Even go with you to pick furniture and fixtures out

This describes who we are. This is what we believe in. AND, we’re expanding and hiring on more members to our team because we preach what we mean and we live what we preach, and it always pays off for the homeowner.

Give us a call or drop us a message to learn MORE about what really makes the difference.

To read more, check this article out.

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