Once considered a luxury or an afterthought, most homeowners now view customized organization as an indispensable part of maximizing space. But storage can be so much more. With a little planning, your home organization project can do as much to amplify your style as it does to establish order. Before you start your next project, it’s worth the research to find a company that fits your expectations. The following tips will help you identify a professional that not only delivers a great storage solution, but a great experience.
1. Preview their work. The best way to get a sense of the quality of a company’s product is to visit a showroom. Additionally, companies with showrooms tend to be better established.
2. Look for a company that has experience. That is not to say that newer companies cannot provide great service and product. However, a company with many years in business is more likely to be there to back up their warranty or match original installations.
3. Referrals from prior customers. Referrals are a great way to get an idea of what sort of experience a company delivers. Customers’ first-hand accounts of their experiences are available through Yelp, Angie’s List, Houzz and GuildQuality.
4. A professional company should offer a guarantee. Not only does that protect your investment, it shows that the provider takes your satisfaction, and their reputation, seriously.
5. Make certain that a company’s designers have backgrounds in design. Off-the-shelf designs are fine if you are doing the project yourself, but a true expert in conceptualizing unique spaces is part engineer, part artist and worth the effort to find. The advantage of a real custom closet designer is that he or she is trained to combine form and function in a way that matches your style, whether it is contemporary, transitional or traditional.
6. Materials and hardware matter. Designs can be realized in different materials to achieve different price points. Make sure the company you choose offers a variety of finishes, from wood to laminate, and can explain their benefits in more detail than just price. A company that works with wood will have a higher level of experience and skill than companies working exclusively with laminates. Projects built with wood require greater attention to fine details. Besides wood selection, hardware is one of the most important components to choose for a storage system! Doors and drawers are opened multiple times everyday. Metal hardware lasts longer and performs better than the plastic counterpart.
7. Consider where the pieces are built. A company with in-house manufacturing is advantageous in terms of greater control over your project and a higher level of customization. Additionally, future changes, added work and quality control are better managed in-house. Independent companies that design, manufacture and install are more flexible and tend to take a personal stake in your satisfaction.
8. Know whether or not the company is licensed, insured and bonded. Any professional or company that is manufacturing and installing fixtures should be licensed, insured and bonded. Generally speaking, this means a company is reputable, responsive, and equipped to handle any problems that arise with your project.
9. Installation arrangements are telling, so ask. A legitimate company will have its own installation crews who do nothing but install storage solutions. Installers that are not subcontractors, and who work closely with the manufacturer, will take responsibility for their work and be accountable. That translates into fewer mistakes.
10. A dedicated service department makes a difference. Some companies have dedicated field technicians solely devoted to handling service requests. This can speed up response time and result in expert customer service. Look for it.