April 09, 2015

When undertaking a renovation, material selections are an essential part of pulling together and finishing the project. This is your opportunity to express your style and taste.  It is also a solid motivation during the construction to select the “pretty” part of the project. But where to start…

1) Cabinetry –  I suggest getting pricing from at least two resources. If you have a plan, it will help you compare apples to apples in order to get the best pricing. Typically, you can research the quality of the cabinets online. If you are interested in custom cabinets, price them against the box shop and they will probably be about 20% higher. You just need to determine if this is worth it to your project.

2) Countertops – Using the direct fabricator will always be a better price than the kitchen store, unless they are running a special. You will receive better customer service and options as well!

3) Flooring & Tile: Typically, there will be resources around you that will have multiple lines. I am a big fan of price comparing and seeing if you can bring the vendor down in pricing.

A word about big box stores… These products are great for certain things and under certain circumstances. If you are doing a quick reno and just need to get into the space (not intending the products to last more than 5 years), selling the property (buyer beware!) or it is an investment property.

However, if you are intending to purchase these items for your home, here is a good rule of thumb:

a) Plumbing: You can comfortably purchase the sink but do not buy the faucet. A Kohler, Memoires is not the same at a box store as it is in a dealer location since they have different internal parts.

b) Tile: Typically, a few of them will be broken and they are also very thin and will warp over time.

c) Lighting: Go for it. You can always replace light fixtures. All light fixtures have to be UL Listed so they are safe and you can replace them later. On the flip side, watch the Lighting distributors in your local area. They give the builders and electricians discounts but you are paying way too much for those fixtures and can find them less expensive online.

I love material selections, I find them fun and stimulating to the creative process. Give me a call if you need help with your material selections.