Remodeler: AJ Paron-Wildes
Company: DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, St. Louis Park, Minn.
Product: Bellacor.com, www.bellacor.com.
AJ Paron-Wildes and the rest of the design staff at DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen used to spend hours running around "all over town," she says, looking for just the right lighting fixture. "We were having an impossible time trying to sell lighting at a decent markup to our clients," says Paron-Wildes. But since she and her colleagues started using the online product search services at Bellacor.com to find lighting fixtures, Paron-Wildes has found selling lighting and controlling clients' projects much easier.
BellacorPro, a service exclusively for professionals, allows pros access to an expanded selection of products, includes trade discounts and special offers, and provides customized services. Professionals can also print out pictures with no pricing or manufacturer information and include them in client presentations. Paron-Wildes says that BellacorPro's product specialists can help designers and contractors track down hard-to-find items by searching all manufacturers and sources. "They do the work for you," she says. "It's like having a personal lighting assistant."
Remodeler: Jack Philbin, CR
Company: Philbin Construction & Remodeling Co., Crestwood, Ill.
Product: Ambiance LX linear lighting systems from Sea Gull Lighting, www.seagulllighting.com.
Jack Philbin had been looking for a lighting system to use in undercabinet applications in kitchens, but he was never completely satisfied with the systems he tried. That was, he says, until he came across the Ambiance LX linear lighting system from Sea Gull Lighting. "We find it to be very versatile, and easy to install and use," says Philbin. In fact, he says, "I can't think of one [project] in recent years where we haven't used it. I include it as part of the deal, because it makes the job look so much nicer and the client is happier in the long run."
Using the frosted Xenon bulbs that are available in the Ambiance LX system, Philbin finds that he can reduce glare and mirroring on dark countertops. He also uses the lights to illuminate toekicks of bathroom vanities for soft night-lighting.
Remodeler: Darlene and George Gayler
Company: Gayler Construction, Danville, Calif.
Product: NuHeat Radiant Floors, www.nuheat.com.
"Every one of our clients who has had NuHeat installed has told us that they are really happy they took our advice," says Darlene Gayler. "They love the feel of that warm floor, and every time they walk on it, they thank us."
NuHeat's radiant heating mats, including the new 220-volt mat, are installed between the floor surfacing and the subfloor using the same bonding materials used to lay tile. No special supplies are needed for installation, according to the maker. The homeowner can use the energy-efficient programmable thermostat to set floor temperature and on/off cycles.
"This product helps us maintain the reputation of being on the cutting edge of technology," says Gayler. "Most contractors aren't familiar with the product, or don't know how to install it, and neither are most clients."