Making Selections During a Supply-Chain Crisis

The selection process for a remodel and/or custom home is never easy. With so many options, vendors, price ranges, etc., there is a lot to take in and a lot to see. Combine that with our current global supply-chain crisis, and things can feel rather daunting. While the selections process has become more complex, you can still get all the gorgeous finishes you want to bring your vision to life. In this article, we will go over an array of tips and tricks to help you easily navigate through the selections process.

The most effective tool, and the first step you should take, to help navigate the selection process is to know exactly what you need to pick out. We accomplish this by creating a list/spreadsheet of all items you will need to pick out for your project. This master list will help you remember exactly what you need to pick out at each vendor, help you stay organized and keep all selection info in a central location, as well as be a useful tool for all those involved in the project. Items that should be on this list are paint colors, tile selections, countertop selections, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, door and cabinet hardware, accessories, appliances, etc. Listing items out by area (if multiple areas are being updated), and keeping like items grouped together, will help substantially. The more organized this information is from the onset, the less difficulty you will have down the road trying to figure out what goes where.

With your master selection list in-hand, it’s time to go out and start picking your materials and fixtures. While some people prefer to hire a professional interior designer to help them navigate vendors and select finishes, not everyone is able to take this step. If you are one of the many who will navigate the selection vendor showrooms without the aid of a commissioned designer, have no fear. Many great material vendors keep in-house designers and highly knowledgeable salespeople on staff. Before you go into the showroom, there are a couple of steps you can take to make everything go smoothly. First off, call ahead and make an appointment to meet with a salesperson in the showroom, don’t just pop in. When you just show up to the showroom, many times there is no-one available to work with you immediately. To make it worse, likelihood of the person who finally becomes available being knowledgeable in the specific items you came to see is hit or miss at best. Making an appointment will ensure the appropriate salesperson/in-house designer has set aside time to work with you specifically. Secondly, if you are working with a specific Remodeler/ Builder, make sure to mention who you are working with on your project when making your appointment. Remodelers/Builder generally have specific reps they work with at each vendor. Finally, bring a lot of pictures. Bring pictures of your current space, as well as pictures of similar projects (inspiration photos) you’ve found online/in magazines that you really like, as well as any drawings you may have. Make sure to write down what you like about each inspiration photo, as this will help your rep narrow down what materials to show you.

Now that you are out looking at all the beautiful finishes you could incorporate into your project, it’s time to start asking all the right questions. Just because something is in the showroom, or a brochure, doesn’t necessarily mean you can have it anytime soon. Determining a products availability, lead time, and comparable alternatives is key to overcoming supply-chain issues. The following questions are some of the most important to ask to ensure you won’t be delaying your project unnecessarily:

  1. Is this product available, and is it in the United States?
    1. Products listed as available that need to be brought in from Europe/overseas can take months to arrive where they used to take only weeks, and can lead to delays in the completion of your project. Not to mention if you get to the end of the project and you are 1 box short of a tile that takes 3 months to get in….
  2. How long will this product take to get in?
    1. Knowing how long a product will take to arrive will help you know when you need to order it, how this product will affect any project timelines you have established, and whether or not you need to select a different option.
    2. Certain appliances can take upwards of 6 months to arrive and need to be ordered well in advance of the start of the project.
  3. Do you have any comparable products that have a shorter lead time?
    1. If you are looking at a finish material that you love, but can’t live with the lead time, it’s best to ask if there is something similar that can be ready sooner. A lot of times vendors will have similar options through various suppliers, and each supplier will have different availability and lead times.
  4. Is it possible to have this product sooner if I decide to go with a different finish?
    1. Many manufacturers have adapted to the deteriorating supply-chain and labor shortages by focusing on their more popular products. So while the bathroom faucet you love could take 4 months to arrive in an Oil Rubbed Bronze finish, that same faucet could be here next week in Satin Nickel or Chrome.

Custom homes and remodels have a lot of complex moving parts, and one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle are the finish selections. At the end of the day, the finish selections are what everyone sees, and are key to putting your own personal touch on your home. While the current supply-chain issues have added another layer of difficulty to the selections process, you can still get the finishes you want to achieve the look you are going for. Armed with your master selection list, inspiration photos, and availability questions, no supply-chain problem can stop you from turning your house into your dream home.

We hope the information in this article helps make your selection process go smoothly, despite these unusual times. From all of us here at Charanza Contracting, we wish you the best of luck on your upcoming project.

Written By:
Ben Alexander
Charanza Contracting, Inc.