When you are in the midst of home improvement, a renovation, or custom home build, it is certainly an emotional rollercoaster — it may even feel like a whole theme park! As professional, streamlined, and responsive as your contractor and/or builder is, living in flux is always challenging. It’s equally demanding for builders who need, and want, to deliver the highest quality under some tough conditions.

Ready to hop off the rollercoaster? A trip to a design center is like enjoying the lazy river. It’s your time to relax, take a deep breath, explore the best products on the market, and ask questions of top experts. How do you make the most of it?

5 Tips to Make Your Design Center Trip a Success

This is the fun part, folks! Visiting a design center is a breath of fresh air (especially when that design center is located along the beautiful Nickel Plate Trail); it’s an opportunity to both take a step back from the rollercoaster and take some big steps forward when it comes to completing your project.

Optimize your opportunity:

1. Go with a Plan

You can go to a design center and browse, imagine, and draw inspiration — and we encourage that! That said, if you are in the middle of a significant project, it is optimal to go into your visit with a solid plan:

  • What’s the goal for this visit? It may be finding a supplier for plumbing and heating system components, fixtures for the chef-worthy kitchen, a landscaping firm to build a dream backyard, or a designer to help you navigate the entire process. Whatever it is, know what you want to achieve with a trip to the design center.

    Builders, what do your clients need and want? What should you accomplish by the end of your visit?

  • What are my budgetary guidelines? As you consider what you need and want for your project, keep your budget in mind. Which items and features are “must-haves”, and which are “nice-to-haves”? Where are your or your clients’ lines in the sand, so to speak, and in what areas are you or are they open to suggestions or alternatives?
  • Nuts and bolts. It’s a smart idea to have some measurements in hand when speaking with design center professionals. Depending on your goals, these may include the square footage of rooms, the size of the yard for landscaping, ceiling heights, window and door dimensions, etc. This will help them help you to the best of their ability.

2. Bring Your Visions

As a homeowner, you have likely spent a great deal of time imagining what your project will look and feel like when it’s complete. As a builder, you have likely spent a great deal of time with people who have spent a great deal of time imagining what their project will look and feel like when complete! In either case, bring these ideas with you.

If you or your clients have Pinterest boards, scrapbooks, portfolios, printouts, pages torn from magazines, etc., take them with you to the design center. This will help the experts get a clear picture of your goals and provide the advice, products, and services you require to make them a reality.

3. Bring Photos/Samples

When you’re going to a design center on a mission, specificity is your friend. To achieve your goals, bring photos of the home, copies of plans and/or blueprints, and even small samples. For example, if you are looking for finishes or fixtures that coordinate with the show-stopping entryway floor, bring the tile sample along. The more information you can provide, including tactile input, the better.

 4.… And Take Photos

Visiting the design center is meant to be a break from the hustle and bustle of a construction project. But still, it can be overwhelming to see, touch, and explore all the options. Bring your trusty phone and take photos of products or displays that catch your eye — and that will bring you that much closer to a finished project. This way, you can go back home or to the office, review, think, consider, weigh the options, consult with your builder or client… You’ll have the resources you need to make the best decision based on all the factors. It’s easy to make an impulse decision in the moment; feel free to take your time.

5. Ask Questions

This is what design center tenants are here for: you. They are experts in their respective fields, and you can leverage their knowledge, experience, and insight for optimal results. Before your trip, prepare a list of questions concerning your project needs and goals. Whether it’s inquiring about the appropriate HVAC system for a 5,000 square foot home or how smart technology can be integrated into a holistic home experience, find out what you need to know.

And never be afraid of asking “dumb” questions. No such thing. Construction and design can be highly technical, complex areas to explore. Consider design center tenants as your helpful guides.

Bonus Tip: Take Your Time

Remember: lazy river. You’re off the rollercoaster, and you’re taking a breather. Explore the options, share your ideas, talk to the experts, take photos, consult with your builder if you are a homeowner, and take your time. There should be no pressure to buy products or commit to services on the spot. If you decide to, great. If you need some time to consider your best move, great.

Yes, you do want to order products and book services in a timely manner, but you don’t want to make a decision that ends up as an obstacle to your project’s success. This is another reason it’s so important to prepare for your trip to the design center; you’ll be that much further along in your decision-making process.

Visiting the Hub & Spoke Design Center

The Hub & Spoke Design Center brings together the best people, products, and services for your construction project. This collaborative one-stop-shop empowers you to find the answers to your questions and the solutions you need for exceptional results.

The Design Center is open to the public. Whether you are looking for inspiration or specific products and services, you will find it under one roof. Come on in for a visit!