Remodeler Jack Philbin won't start a kitchen or bath remodel until all the products have been delivered. The president of Philbin Construction and Remodeling, Crestwood, Ill., prefers to explain this philosophy to his customers rather than deal with their disappointment when there are delays after a job begins. "If you start a job and then you have to stop because materials aren't in, they don't understand," he says. Besides avoiding delays during the job, Philbin says this system also results in fewer change orders because clients make decisions early and the product list becomes part of the contract. He says 99% of clients choose products at the start of the process. Clients occasionally change their minds about faucets or fixtures. "I make it clear that the products are not returnable without additional expenses and delay on the job," Philbin says.

Two things make this process possible. First, the company's showroom helps salespeople manage the selection process. Second, Philbin has a 2,400-square-foot warehouse to store materials. "We've had as many as four full kitchens in the warehouse at one time," he says. Some remodelers argue that Philbin is double handling products and it's better to have suppliers deliver material directly to the jobsite. But Philbin says suppliers are busy and the just-in-time delivery is often not possible, so this system gives him more control.