The coronavirus is shutting down much of our economy, including home construction. While the Giraffe build team is idle, our design team is still on the job completing designs and specifications to be ready to start building as soon as it is safe and legal. 

If you’re considering building a new home, or maybe you would like to start a renovation project, now is a good time to begin the design phase. Most, if not all, of the design can be done remotely and Giraffe has been successfully providing remote design services for many years. We’re good at it!

With the availability of online tools and virtual conferencing software, we can provide the full spectrum of personalized design services you would normally receive in person from the Giraffe design team. In fact, we’ve been providing remote design services for years. We have a refined process that takes care of our clients’ design needs — from our first meeting with you to the hand-off to construction.

Related reading: How Does the Design of Your Home Affect Your Wellbeing?

We’ve Been Through This Before

About six months ago, our design team was helping a client who was moving to Ann Arbor from Texas. The homeowners were concerned about having a smooth design process while they were still living in Houston. We met over Zoom and Google Hangouts, and used the online tools at our disposal to follow our typical design process. The design project went seamlessly, and the only significant difference was meeting virtually rather than in-person.

Working with clients through the remote design process has enabled us to develop a refined understanding of the elements our clients need most. We will assist you to easily make the transition from in person to remote design. It can be fun, and now, it’s our civic duty 🙂

The Silver Lining in Remote Home Design

The remote design process isn’t a perfect one, but some aspects of working virtually are actually easier and more efficient than meeting in person. For example, your designer can open up the exact file they’ve been working on and take you through their 3D design — which is far more helpful than static images on paper.

Virtual meetings are usually more efficient, as well. There’s no drive time, and you never have to wait for someone who got stuck in traffic. We realize that time is a valuable resource for a lot of our clients — especially as they’re juggling a home renovation and their work lives. It’s often very useful to hop on a conference call for 15 minutes and talk through a question.

Maintaining the Personal Touch

Creating and maintaining a good relationship with your designer during the remote design process is essential. We also want you to connect with the materials and selections we will be using in your home. Mandi, lead interior designer with Giraffe, will email selections that speak to your aesthetic. Once these ideas are narrowed down, she will send samples to your home. 

It is important for clients to see and feel what they are selecting. Door knobs and cabinet pulls, for example, are fixtures we use everyday, experiencing them in person is an essential part of the selections process

Last week we met remotely with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery. Amber, the sales representative, walked us through the store while the client and Mandi were viewing remotely. Thanks to that tour, we were able to select the plumbing fixtures for the entire house. 

We understand, meeting in person at your home helps to foster a trusting relationship. For Giraffe, that’s a critical part of our mission with our clients. Virtual meetings are one step removed, so we use several layers of communication to help bridge that gap. After a video meeting, we follow-up with emails and phone calls. Since the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve been on the phone more than ever with clients. We’re continually checking in and providing assurance their projects are moving forward.

In-home meetings are always our preference whenever it’s possible. But in these uncertain times, we’ll do everything we can to foster personal connection…while maintaining a safe six-foot distance.

What’s the Right Timing to Start a New Design-Build Project?

If you’re thinking about a home building project or renovation, you might be wondering how long you’ll have to wait before you can start. Now is actually a great time to begin your project. Depending on the scale and scope, the design phase can take a few months, or more than a year. Mandi is currently working on selections for clients who are scheduled to start building in July.

Related reading: How Long Will Your Design-Build Project Take?

Our Promise to You

These are uncertain times, and we’re all craving stability and personal connections. Giraffe Design Build promises to give your new home build or renovation project the same personalized attention and care that we are known for. Our design team can’t physically be there for you at the moment, but we’ll always be in your corner.

Ready to get started on a new home project? Let’s start a conversation today.

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