The Best Kitchen Designers Are Up-Front & Transparent with Their Customers
For many years there was a silent conspiracy between kitchen professionals.
Architects, contractors, countertop fabricators, fixture suppliers and the kitchen showrooms conspired to avoid transparency in pricing. Each professional wanted to get paid for handling every aspect of a customer’s job. I was recently at meeting of construction professionals where many contractors still felt no guilt in refusing to install any materials that they didn’t order. IE make a profit on. One general contractor said he was intentionally absent when a homeowners granite countertop was templated and installed. Why? Because it hadn’t been purchased through him. What a recipe for disaster for everyone involved including that contractor.
By hiding the true cost of everyone’s services in the cost of materials or kickbacks, the public is deceived. They are kept in the dark about what they are really paying for.
Many home builders charge three or four times the value of cabinetry and countertop upgrades. They pretend that the inflated charge was for material costs.
Everyone involved in a construction project needs to get compensated appropriately for a job to run smoothly. But under this system of hiding labor costs in material costs and hidden kickbacks, there ends up being an incentive to sell nice looking things that can be made cheaply and so don’t last.
This lack of transparency becomes responsible for bad material selections.
Sadly, well-made cabinetry and other building products are often only 5 or 10 percent more than their poorly made cousins.
If only architects, contractors, countertop fabricators, fixture suppliers and kitchen and bath showrooms could be transparent. Then, homeowners would be able to make informed decisions about the professionals they chose to work with. And if consumers were paying the true price for better materials, they would almost certainly be selecting them more often.
Happily, this whole system is now being undermined by the ease of pricing things on the internet.
Of course, other new problems arise when customers don’t understand what they are pricing and are possibly ordering online. However just being able to better price things easily makes the old system problematic.
At Main Line Kitchen Design, we try our best to be completely transparent and we nearly succeed. Occasionally, we are asked to pay a referral fee to an architect or builder, but we take it out of our profit as the cost of doing business.
Our customers pay the same discounted pricing they always would.
We also refer our customers to granite showrooms, lighting, flooring, and appliance specialists, but unlike other traditional showrooms we ask those specialists to sell to our customers directly and at our cost.
Our business model helps us be able to accomplish this, but soon all professionals will have little choice, and we hope this antiquated system will then truly be a thing of the past and professionals and consumers alike will benefit from the refreshing transparency.
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Wishing you a transparent 2013,
………..and as Julia said “Bon Appetit!”