The more products proliferate, the longer some clients take to select theirs, particularly when their remodeler has neither a big showroom nor endless time to walk them through endless catalogs and retail stores. In New York City, where both space and time are in chronic short supply, Knockout Renovation has two effective tools — one decidedly low-tech, the other more sophisticated —that help people make confident and relatively quick decisions related to products and design.

“Visualization is one of the biggest issues that people have when it comes to remodeling,” says Keith Steier, president. “They just can't picture it.” His low-tech solution is a cabinet-height “mock-up” frame on which clients can Velcro together mini vignettes showing hundreds of potential combinations of counter materials, cabinet doors, backsplash tiles, and floor tiles.

Made from 2x4s, the frame supports two side-by-side base cabinets (for 15-inch sample-size cabinet doors), along with a counter-depth stone or composite slab that sits easily on top. More than 40 such slabs — custom-made for this purpose — are stored in a metal rack right next to the mock-up. “Clients can now see it all together, and our designers love it,” Steier says.

Knockout Renovation's customizable mock-up help clients make selections.
Knockout Renovation's customizable mock-up help clients make selections.

Steier's higher-tech visualization tool is a wall-mounted, flat-screen TV that is connected to a computer in the showroom. Clients and designers can surf the Internet for infinite product choices, and can also jointly review and refine designs that were created using 20-20 design software. “It makes a really big Knockout Renovation's customizable difference seeing them mock-up helps clients make selections. on a 42-inch screen,” he says, noting that manufacturers “are getting better and better with their visual representations.”

Frequent travelers especially appreciate this setup, Steier says. “They would rather sit in front of a computer for a while to make their selections than squeeze a day into their schedule for running around town.”