By Nina Patel. Why would a remodeler take on the burden of spending an extra $100,000? For Gary Marrokal (Big50 1992), the answer is simple: to raise the level of the design services he offers. Marrokal, president of Marrokal Construction in Lakeside, Calif., made the investment to build a new design center and hire a full-time designer/product selections guide. He plans to increase his design fee from 2% to 3% to pay for the services.

To help the company realize his vision, Marrokal wooed architect and interior designer John Davies. Davies had been working for an architectural firm and creating artist renderings for Marrokal on a part-time basis. Davies now works with Marrokal's four salespeople to enhance the designs they offer.

Davies brings several talents to the team, including his skill in creating interior and exterior renderings that help clients visualize their final project. "Computer drawings are good, but artist renderings have life to them," says Marrokal. "When you show them to a potential client, it enhances sales."

Davies' other job is to guide clients through product selections so they're satisfied with their purchases. The 1,900-square-foot design center is 15 miles from the main office and gives Davies a comfortable place to work with clients on those selections.

Having a product selections guide keeps Marrokal Construction's customers within their budget, too. Selections are completed before the job begins, allowing the production team to stay on schedule. Davies also puts together a detailed package that has all the information production needs to begin construction.