There are a lot of custom closet companies out there. With so many to choose from and each offering a product that seems similar on the surface, how do you even begin to compare them? We all want to make educated decisions. Use these guidelines to cut through the morass of gimmicks and find your perfect fit.
Important factors to consider when selecting a closet company.
If you're in the market for a closet or other custom storage system, you have an abundance of companies to choose from. You don't want to just take the first guy who comes along. This stuff is expensive, and you want it to last a long time. We all want to make informed decisions. But there are so many to choose from, how can you possibly keep them all straight let alone make a good choice? Plus, if you're like most of us, you probably have limited time in which to research the options. Could it be that if you've seen one closet company, you've seen them all? Definitely not. There are several key factors to consider that will quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. Use these tips to rule out the weak players. You'll have a lot fewer contenders and it will be much simpler to make your decision.
10 Important Guidelines for Selecting a Closet Company
How long have they been in business?
You'll want a company with experience who can get the job done right. Furthermore, you may need them again in the future. The longer they've been in business, the more likely they are to stay in business. These are the companies who can and will stand by their product for the long term.
Do they subcontract their labor?
Many small closet companies are really just independent sales teams. The design, manufacture, and installation are subcontracted to a larger business. They are basically brokering and act as a go between for you and the company that will actually make and install your closet. This doesn't bother some people. But others feel that they cannot possibly be getting the best price or the most knowledgeable service with this set-up.
Do they manufacture themselves?
The company that manufactures its own product will have greater ability and be far more knowledgeable about what can and cannot be done than one who just sells. There is simply a much deeper knowledge and skill required to take a project from concept to completion. They also have complete control over the entire process of building your closet. Want something a little edgy and unique? The company that makes its own products will be much better able to fill that need.
Do they provide a complimentary in-home consultation with a professional designer?
Any custom closet company worth its salt won't charge for a consultation. After all, it's their chance to get in front of you and try to make a sale. The idea that you should pay them for this opportunity is ludicrous. The very fact that you are willing to take the time to see them proves that you are seriously in the market. All the closet designer has to do is provide the best design for the best price within a reasonable timeframe. Doing so will most likely win your business. There should be no charge for this.
What kind of designs are provided with the proposal?
Don't accept a "back of the napkin" drawing for your closet. Custom closets are, quite frankly, expensive. You should be able to see exactly what you will get before purchase with no surprises. Every company has computers these days. A high quality computer generated rendition of your new closet should be a requirement to win your business.
Do they have a showroom with examples of their quality?
A showroom is usually your best opportunity to see the quality of a business's product. It's the place where they can control the environment as well as the design, so the examples should shine in this setting. If you have a friend who has already used a certain company and you are already confident of their quality that's great. However, you should still go look at the showroom. Closet companies use their showrooms to present innovative ideas and cutting-edge products that may not yet be present in very many homes. If you're interested in all the possibilities, take the time to visit the showroom.
Is there a reasonable selection of colors, door and drawer styles, and finishes?
Don't forget for a minute that your closet is a custom product. That means it is being designed for you and your possessions only. Maybe you'll just end up buying a standard looking white closet with simple tube-like polished chrome handles, but don't you want that decision to be yours? In order to be empowered to make your own choices, you must be presented with more than a single option. The greater the number of possibilities in colors, hardware, and door or drawer styles, the more likely you are to find that one perfect fit that suits you to a T.
Check online reviews.
This seems so obvious, but a lot of people skip this step. It is said that the unhappy customer is always the first to leave a review while the pleased customer doesn't say anything. This may be true, but a legitimate company will have more positive reviews than negative ones. Check Google, Facebook, Yelp, Angie's List, and any other review sites that are local to your community.
Do they offer LED closet lighting?
LED lighting is a growing trend in closet design. Even if you don't think you need it now, changes are you will want it at a future date. Make sure upfront that this is available either with the order or a later date. Remember that most closet companies will not work on, or make alterations to, another company's product.
What is the guarantee?
You need a company that is willing to stand behind their work. The fact is, the length of the company's warranty is a good indication of how long you can expect the product to last. Furthermore, a company can only warranty its own work. If someone else is handling the design, manufacture, or installation for them, you won't get much of a commitment. They'll just refer you to the manufacturer. You want someone willing to make a lifetime commitment to their product.
Owning a custom closet can be like having a private sanctuary where everything is perfectly organized inside your own home. It can also go the other way and be an unmitigated disaster in wasted time, money, and resources if you make the wrong choices. The key to a good outcome is to pick the right company. Do your homework before you buy. Every closet company is not the same. However, if you make the right choice, your new closet is bound to be a relaxing and stress-free experience offering many years of enjoyment.