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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Seeing is Believing - or - Be Careful What You Wish For

I am particularly thankful for this weekend, for a couple reasons. One, it gives me a chance to spend some uninterrupted time with my wife and youngest son ... the eldest is at work, then out with friends. He's 17. What can I say?

Second, it gives me a breather from what has been an amazingly busy week. It seems the economic slow-down has started to loosen its grip, at least as far as kitchen and bathroom remodels go. Only 2 weeks ago I was hoping for a bit more traffic through the showroom ... today I need an extra day in my week.

Another reason I've been busy is I've been in the "detail phase" of a project. This means going over the design to be sure all the client's pots, pans and appliances have space allocated in the cabinets I'm about to order. For some clients it's a simple process, for others, not so much. This particular client had put a lot of thought into her new kitchen, so I knew I was going to have to do the same.

One area we spent a lot of time on was the television. Thankfully, the age of flat-screen televisions has made incorporating the tube into the kitchen a lot simpler. In this situation however we also had an oven cabinet to contend with. The large cabinet threatened to impede the view of the TV.

Rather than guessing what this would all look like, I turned to one of my favorite design tools, Google's Sketchup. A completed drawing of the area in questions showed the client we had plenty of room for the TV, DVD player and HD box, and that the TV could be seen easily from the kitchen table.

As a result, the "detail phase" of this project went quickly and efficiently. The client knows exactly what to expect in several key areas of the project, minimizing the stress associated with any remodel project, especially one this detailed. The end result for me? More time to spend with my family ... working in our garden.

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