Top 5 Insider Tips for Materials Selection

In Uncategorized by Daniel

It can feel exciting, and also overwhelming, when it’s time to select materials for your home renovation.

The material selection process involves creating a curated list of fixtures, finishes, and hardware based on your personal style, preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Nobody wants to spend a lot of money only to say, why didn’t I think of this, why didn’t they tell me that or why didn’t they show me this option or question my choice of this fixture.

A Design-Build company brings the design and construction team together from the start—partnering with you through the entire process for a regret-proof home remodel. With this mind, here are five pro tips for materials selection.

Tip #1. Set a Realistic Budget: Research what your type of remodeling project costs in your area. The “Cost vs. Value Report” from Remodeling magazine is a good start.

There is a lot of misinformation on the web and HGTV provides unrealistic budgets. It comes down to determining 1) what you can afford and 2) which type of contractor you need. Do you need a handyman, installer, or independent trade contractor? While a general contractor can manage the whole project, their ability to provide design and materials selection services will be limited; they may have to find a third-party architect or designer.

Tip #2. Create a Houzz Idea Book: Create a Houzz profile and start looking for home design ideas, like available fixtures and finishes. Houzz tags items with details; use your mouse and hover over the item for the manufacturer, color, similar products, type of finish, and sometimes price.

Using Your Idea Book: Looking at different home designs opens your mind to the trends and what is possible.

  • Save photos to your Idea Book and make notes on each picture.
  • Use it as a hub to capture your likes and dislikes.
  • Define what you want and are trying to accomplish with the remodel.
  • Specify what you want your space to become.
  • Create multiple Idea Books for different rooms or projects.

Tip #3. Select a Design-Build Company: Once the Design-Build company is selected, they determine the overall cost of your project and should create an Allowance Sheet for the fixtures, so they fit within your overall budget. An Allowance Sheet is the amount of money allocated to cover the cost of materials and any applicable sales tax. It excludes the labor cost for installation, overhead costs, and profit. You may also receive an Installed Allowance Amount, an approximate cost for all labor and material to install the fixtures plus any applicable sales tax.

Tip #4. Create a Account: Visit that is owned by Ferguson, the largest fixture distributor in the world. Create an account and start a project. Search for fixtures (plumbing, lighting, appliances, etc.), save your choices to that project, and narrow down your selections.

Tip #5. Determine a Focal Point: Avoid making selections that clash and create chaos in the space; decide what element is the focal point. This helps determine what needs to pop and what needs to blend. Before making any selections, step back and look at your space. What do you want to be the focal point? Backsplash? Lighting fixture? Take time to pick fixtures that go together.


If you want your backsplash to be the center of attention, then the countertop should blend and not be very busy. On the other hand, if you want the countertop to be the focal point—the “wow” piece—the backsplash should be simple without a lot of texture, color, and movement.

Key Takeaway

The main benefit of a Design-Build approach is that is gets everyone together early, allowing all team members to share their ideas for creative and innovative solutions. This can lead to faster project delivery and best cost value. A Design-Build firm should listen to you and create beauty and functionality, not act as a sales team pushing you to spend money.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Select a Design-Build firm that will be your partner in the design and selection process. Result: You won’t have any regrets at the end of the remodel.

Excited about your remodel? Call us today and get started!  301-762-6621.