Breaking Down the Building Barriers: How to Work with Material Wholesalers

There is so much in the design and building industry that is confusing and intimidating.

A big part of Abrigo Home is about breaking down the barriers between consumers and professionals. The industry is vast, and there is a reason why it is a significant economic driver. Beyond the designers, builders, and suppliers, there are manufacturers, reps, salespeople, installers, and sub-contractors inside each industry division, from foundation to roof and plumbing to electrical, and so on. We all work together to bring your home to reality, and as complex, as it is, our goal is to make it feel simple and whole.

We are several options for purchasing the exterior and interior finish collections. Each represents about 35 hours of Abrigo Staff time. Amy Dutton Home clients pay roughly $6-8k for these collections to be created so that we can bring them to you for less expensive. 

SET IT & FORGET IT. The goal behind the Finish Collections is to simply be able to hand this to your contractor and go on vacation, get married, focus on work, or have a baby and forget about it until the project is completed. 

ALL DECISIONS ARE MADE FOR YOU. The format will come in a google sheet with tabs for exterior, interior, kitchen, living, dining, powder room, bedrooms, bathroom, primary bed and bath, family room, guest suite and office, all lighting, and all plumbing, all tile, and all appliances. Each tab has between 5 to 35 items specified. In addition, there are columns for vendors, quantity, description, and a visual image (trust me on this, it’s vital). This complex document represents hundreds of hours of questions from your contractor, driving around town looking for products, and ongoing online research. 

DESIGNER STAMP OF APPROVAL. Perhaps my favorite part of these Finish Collections is the guaranteed stamp of approval from a designer. Each of the room materials works together and works with the house. To me, ALL materials must dance and compliment each other. 


  1. You will want to review this by room and ensure you are all set with the selections. 
  2. “Set it & Forget it” – just hand it over to your contractor and move on with your life. 

If you want more control over your project or your contractor wants you to do some of the ordering, you will need to be armed with more information to work with the material wholesalers. Here are just a few bits of advice:

  • LIGHTING: Go ahead and order the lighting. Open the box and make sure that you like it. If not, you can return lighting if it has not been installed and all the parts are there. Then label the box and seal it up. There is a good chance you won’t open it again for many months. 
  • PLUMBING: You can go by your local Ferguson (they own, so you can also go online, and there will be additional information on the product). You can visit the store to see finishes and touch / feel the products. I’m not in business with Ferguson, so it doesn’t matter where you go; they are just the largest distributor in the US. 
    • Important note: Do NOT swap out fixtures from box stores. There is a whole blog about this, but long and short, the quality is sub-par. Also, your plumber will not want to install anything from there or just be prepared for a leak. 
  • TILE: Most people find tile stores to be completely intimidating. So it will save so much time to just present the one page of complete tile list Finish Collection to the salespeople, who can show you the sample before your contractor purchases it. 
    • Note: Getting samples of your tile is very common. If we have selected an online retailer, you can contact them, and they will send you a sample. Or, if your tile store doesn’t have the same tile we specified, you can have them order a sample. 
  • APPLIANCES: You can search for the specifications of the appliances in the collection or go to your local appliance store. These have been difficult to get in the last few years, so it’s best to order appliances early and at the beginning of the project. If you change any of these, notify your builder! Some cabinetry might need to be edited if there are any size changes. 

These Finish Collections have been put together with incredible scrutiny to ensure they are complete and exquisite. So enjoy the process of building a home with the ease of these Finish Collections.


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