Builder Services

For clients designing a custom home with an architect or build-to-suit contractor, Gray & Associates can escort you through the sometimes cumbersome task of selecting flooring, appliances, lighting, plumbing fixtures, cabinetry and more. This takes time, and detailed attention, often unavailable from the client. After all, clients have their own professions, families, and usually are not formally trained in this selection.

How does Gray & Associates begin this process?
First, we will meet with the client to understand their availability and comfort level in participating with these detailed selections. We can share the work, or have us do those tasks that are more complex. We discuss builder deadlines for these selections, the home's design concept, and other topics.

Then, Gray & Associates has a methodical system, whereby the budget for these items are set by the value of the house, and within this budget, "allowances" are set for each category. Builders are great at setting these allocations. Yet, the selections are extensive, and in a custom home, especially, the interior finishes usually match the architectural integrity. So, consistent selections are important, keeping within the allowances. Sometimes a client wants to upgrade one area and invest less in another, so the allowances are adjusted. Gray & Associates can help with this.

Where do you shop for these items?
We use the vendors recommended by the builder, where the builder has the best buying power. If a client wants to use another source, he/she should discuss this with the builder.

What makes Gray & Associates different than other designers for these services?
By working nationally, Gray & Associates brings a myriad of styles to any project. If a client says, "California-type" home, we are familiar with those building materials. Likewise, the Tuscan style, popular in some areas, is familiar to us. We are not limited, by having experience in only one region, to one style.

Many designers are able to provide these services. When interviewing several designers, please remember to check their availabilty. If they are too busy, they may not have time to meet your needs. Compare deadlines and obligations to come up with an accurate availability.

How does Gray & Associates charge for the service?
We charge hourly, for the service. It is based on the scope and complexity of the work we do, vs what the client wants to shoulder. Please contact Gray & Associates Interior Design, Inc. to discuss these rates based on your project, at

What documentation is involved?
Gray & Associates can take responsibility for the data input, then providing this to the builder. Or, the builder's staff can handle this if available. The documentation includes all the specification information, scanned photos of the item, tear sheets, installation drawings, elevations, floor plans, indexes and references to the blueprints, and any other information that enables the builder to know what items are going where, and price them.

What are some examples where these services are important?
When a client wants a custom look, or does not have the time or confidence to take on this responsibility, it's a great opportunity for Gray & Associatess to help. These decisions take time, and builders want them made as promptly as possible to keep the construction schedule. And, clients want to know where they are with their budget. The process we provide satifies both.

If, for example, a homeowner is a busy professional, or has a spouse busy raising the family, they may lack the time it takes to make these selections. Also, keeping a consistent color palette, style and investment level in the different areas of the home is challenging for some.

Case in particular:
A builder of a $2.65 million home in Phoenix asked for my help with the client. The client traveled extensively and his spouse had several young kids. He wanted his home to reflect Tuscan on the outside and parts of the inside, yet he had an interest in Asian finishes. Traveling in Asia, he had become accustomed to the serenity of that style, and collected many artifacts and fine art pieces to display.

Gray & Associates knew what direction to take for the most expensive items in the home, which were flooring and cabinetry. We selected bamboo flooring (durable and beautiful, crossing between soft contemporary and traditional), custom bamboo cabinets for the kitchen, and original stone facades in the family room fireplace, reflecting a clean, organic look. Blending the two styles in finishes resulted in a truly unique proposal.

Another couple building a southwestern home needed help with flooring, kitchen backsplash tiles, bathroom and shower tiles and fixtures. They needed consistency in these selections, and occasionally were overwhelmed with what they saw (and fell in love with!) in showrooms. We kept them on track with items that were appropriate.

Some people need a few items, as in remodeled homes, and others need more.
We are flexible with each client, seeing the challenge from different angles.
From this phase, we can provide the furnishings and interior details to finish the concept.

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