Water occasionally

17. April 2018 12:04

By: Joe Knobbe, Senior Project Manager: Exclusive Woodworking, Inc.

At my company, Exclusive Woodworking, relationships are built over a period of years and nurtured on a regular basis. These relationships take years to grow, but once they’re established they only need frequent “watering”.

Admittedly, the architect and interior designer each have a certain aura. Architects are notorious for being aloof and intellectual, while designers' creative flair leaves them with a reputation of being fussy and difficult to please.

Unfortunately, those stereotypes scare some millwork professionals away, keeping them from making contact. When they do try, they are left frustrated, grumbling about how all those stereotypes are true. Occasionally, they'll bid on a project and waste hours trying to interpret specifications that seem to call for outdated products in all the wrong places.

Yet, there are others in the industry whose businesses flourish because of their connections to those two groups. Local architects and interior designers turn to them almost exclusively when they need help trying to write specifications for a project or are looking for design ideas.

Become a Resource

To be fair to the profession, architects must be visionary designers of structures and also technicians with at least some working knowledge of roughly 250,000 component parts of a project. Cabinetry and millwork is only a very small part of that total. It’s no wonder that the attention paid to the millwork specification by the architect often seems cursory.

This is where you come in. You can provide a valuable informational and educational service to design professionals that ultimately works to your mutual benefit. There is nothing better than a clear and accurate, use-appropriate product specification -- and nothing worse than one which is vague or sloppily written.

Have you ever seen in a spec for a project where they might call out a self-close, soft-close side-mount fully-concealed under-mount drawer slide full-extension with over-travel? Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but I have seen similar specs in bid documents.

You could take the typical approach and send an RFI for clarification or you could take a different approach, like we do at Exclusive. An approach we use is when there is a spec for expensive material or hardware, we provide pricing based on the actual spec AND also alternative pricing based on other options we recommend.

This is just one example of using an opportunity to get in front of a design professional and using it to your advantage. To learn more, attend “Working with Architects and Designers” during IWF.




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