At Tile Doctor, we’re on a mission: to promote contractors, designers, and industry professionals who support our vision of providing innovative solutions and products to homeowners.
Today we’re proud to feature Todd DiFiore, owner of Creating Space, a general contracting company in North Metro Atlanta. Let’s welcome Todd as he shares his insight, tips and trends in home remodeling projects.
Tile Doctor: What are some of the popular remodeling projects you see homeowners requesting these days?
Todd: The Atlanta metro area big 3 have pretty much always been basements, bathrooms, and kitchens
Tile Doctor: What trends are you seeing in bathroom and kitchen remodels and redesigns?
Todd: White and cream colors on cabinetry are making a comeback. Not the white of the 90’s boom though, a true cabinet grade painted white or cream color. Much more durable and better looking. Frameless doors are a must on showers. Vertical accents in showers instead of the traditional horizontal.
Tile Doctor: What’s your favorite design trend right now?
Todd: I like that people are incorporating more natural elements into the jobs were are doing. Solid wood posts for support instead of drywall wrapped studs, Wood beams. More stone and natural stone tile or very good porcelain mimics of natural stone tile like travertine.
Tile Doctor: What are some of the mistakes you see homeowners make over and over when going through a project?
Todd: Their are two big mistakes that homeowners make the most. One is hiring a G.C. primarily based on price, and the other is stopping a little short of getting what they really wanted. Often people will omit a few things for budgetary reasons that they really wanted. Those items often are the difference in a nice finished product, and one the wows. Often leaving them with regrets. If an extra 5-10% gets you what you really wanted and you plan to live in the house for a while, it’s well worth the cost.
Tile Doctor: What do homeowners usually blow their budget on?
Todd: Upgrades. It’s easy to get a little carried away. Often one will lead to another.
Tile Doctor: What tips can you provide to either 1) help them stick to their budget or 2) help them understand when to loosen the purse strings?
Todd: They will usually stick to their budget or close to it if they hire the right contractor. Hire one who has given them reasonable allowances and has relationships with vendors that help your clients with selections and working within their allowance. As I mentioned earlier, I do think that often 5-10% more can make a huge difference in the overall finished product when making design choices.
Tile Doctor: It’s always hard to know what to expect when going through a remodeling project. As a contractor, how do you help prepare clients?
Todd: Most of our clients have done some sort of remodeling project before and have some idea what to expect. We do discuss the details of what will happen and approximate timing of when things will happen with our clients.
Tile Doctor: What do you love most about what you do?
Todd: I love being able to step back at the end of the day and see the finished product. Something about being able to physically see what you’ve helped to accomplish is very gratifying.
Tile Doctor: What are some things you recommend from the start so that the contractor/homeowner relationship is as mutually beneficial and positive as possible?
Todd: The most important thing is communication. Quick response time and reaction to our clients needs helps to keep them happy. From the contractor’s perspective, it helps if the homeowners recognize that we have lives and families. Limit your contact during non business hours as much as possible. That being said, sometimes it can’t wait, and we understand that. Just don’t abuse the after hours contact and you’ll keep your contractor happy.
Tile Doctor: Final words of wisdom: what insider information, wisdom or tips can you give to homeowners who are thinking about (or currently in the midst of) a remodel?
Todd: Construction is an imperfect science. Most of the time there are more trades involved in a project than the average person realizes. This can make scheduling difficult, so expect the occasional small delay. Also, if price is the most important thing to you, expect to be disappointed. You will either get a lesser finished product than you wanted, or nickeled and dimed to death. There’s more value in an established contractor and their connections.
Tile Doctor: Since we are a tile and grout company, and you’ve given us such great insight – can you also tell us a little about your experiences with tile and specifically the grout you’ve worked with? What if there was a new product that didn’t stain, change color and was easy to install?
Todd: We have a lot of experience using epoxy grout, in fact, that’s what I used on the shower in my basement. I love it, and recommend it to our clients for all its advantages over regular grout.
Thanks to Todd for taking the time to chat with us. To learn more about Todd and Creating Space visit: http://www.creating-space.net/. Creating Space is Kudzu.com ‘s Best of 2012 & 2013 – North Metro ATL’s Basement Finishing Specialists since 1998. Free estimates, excellent communication & unparalleled results.