Showroom Design Cost Management, Vol. 2, Issue 7

How Much Is This Going To Cost?

 Vol.2, Issue 7


How much is this going to cost? Like we haven’t heard that before, right? For most showroom owners and managers, that is really what weighs heaviest on their minds when deciding to remodel or build a showroom.

The first thing you need to establish after determining that you are going ahead with the project and have established the type of showroom you want, is to create a budget. Budgeting is as much of a mental issue as it is a financial issue. The dollar amount you determine you can comfortably afford in your mind might not be realistic in creating the showroom you want. That can be very discouraging to say the least.

Every job has a budget. Period! The core of success and happiness with your building project begins with an accurate and realistic budget. My experience in the construction industry for over 40 years and the design field for over 35 years have allowed me to go back and test the cost projections for showroom projects. I have developed a schedule of budgets that will keep you out of trouble cost-wise and help create a realistic expectation of expenses.

David L. Hawkins Design Management

Budgetary Cost Guidelines per Square Foot for Showroom Programs

Please see the following chart for our budgetary cost per Square Foot:

Demolition                                                        $ 1.50 per sq.ft.

New walls w/ blocking & light carpentry   $ 9.75 per sq.ft.

Electrical & lighting                                        $ 14.00 per sq.ft.

Ceiling Grid (no pads)                                   $ 3.00 per sq.ft.

Painting                                                            $ 3.00 per sq.ft.

Plumbing (Existing)                                       $ 3.50 per sq.ft.

Floor coverings                                               $ 4.50 per sq.ft.

Displays & Millwork                                      $ 60.00 per sq.ft.

Custom Shower Display                                $ 6.00 per sq.ft.

Furniture                                                          $ 6.00 per sq.ft.

Contingency                                                     $ 4.00 per sq.ft.

Total Budgetary Cost per Square Foot   $115.25 per sq

These budgetary costs are meant only to be guidelines and may be adjusted based on the type of construction and nature of your showroom remodeling. I should point out, that the contingency budget is one of the most important numbers to include in you budget, due to unforeseen problems that always arise during construction. These guideline budgets are developed to consider construction costs nationwide other than Hawaii. (Which I look forward to making a study of! )

This is the seventh in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic: How Quickly Can It Be Done.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

Showroom Design Cost Management Vol.2, Issue 5

Planning & Display Strategies For Your Showroom

 Vol.2, Issue 5



While you are designing your new/remodeled showroom floor plan, here are some strategies to consider during the design process.

1. Parking lot & customer entryway- Parking areas should be clean, neat and well lit. Separate the contractor entry from your retail entry. Seasonal adornments and outdoor speakers playing pleasing music all add to a welcoming atmosphere.

2. Welcome area and refreshments- Upon entering, your customers should be greeted and offered refreshments, a place to sit and relax and be allowed to browse your “boutique” for a few minutes while waiting for assistance.

3. Circulation- This is very important; balancing the need to display a large variety of products while maintaining a spacious look, allowing room for growth and most importantly, following handicap clearances required by law.

4. Staff Offices- Establish your offices in close proximity to the showroom lobby and work areas. Confidential information should be put away when leaving to assist other customers.

5. Work area within the showroom- When sales staff are working with clients it is very helpful for your staff to leave their desk as is, to meet with clients on the showroom floor rather than bring them to their desks. If possible plan an outside space as an option on nice days.

6. Working displays, sinks, showers and tubs- Most every up-to-date showroom has working display’s of some type. Consider those locations for cost savings early during the planning stage.

7. Lighting- Anyone that has worked with me knows I feel lighting is the single, most important element to effectively display your merchandise.

8. Washrooms- Make your washrooms working displays. This creates is an opportunity to build up your customer base by using a local designer/customer to help with the decorating.

9. Aging-In-Place Products- This is a large and growing segment of our society & should not be overlooked in showroom planning.

10. Designer Areas- More and more professionals come to showrooms with clients and prefer to be left to work without a third person involved. Provide space, maybe a video monitor, internet access and refreshments.

11. Training Room-Break Room- Having the space to train is very helpful when sales reps come in for a “lunch and learn” or present new product lines. Any lunchroom should be remote from the main showroom.

12. The closet, electrical, lighting controls, and internet- This space may already be in place. However, it has been an issue in the last few showrooms where an extra closet made sense for expanded use of electronic equipment being called upon for showroom upgrades.

13. Storage of support materials- There never seems to enough room for literature, paper, design books.

14. Showroom access- Most showrooms have direct access to the sales floor from the warehouse. Layout the showroom floor so that you don’t have to move a dozen things to switch out one item, or have to bring things in through the front door.

15. Internet sales area- Does your showroom need a “will call” area? If you are palnning for internet sales, you will want a pick-up/storage area.

This is the fifth in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic:Preparing for Showroom Displays.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

Showroom Design Cost Management, Issue 3

What Kind of Showroom

Do You Want?

 Vol.2, Issue 3


The showroom you create will be based on the merchandise that you want to sell. Whether you decide that you need to expand into kitchen and bath related items or you prefer to stay with a traditional wholesaler/showroom, it’s important to maintain and gain market share. One thing is for certain: change is inevitable — you can make it part of your showroom’s mission or you can suffer on the sidelines.

One trend that is gaining attention is the retail kitchen and bath store. Traditionally, kitchen and bath showrooms are attached or part of the wholesaler’s warehouse. These generally are located in industrial areas for a very good reason. Contractors, plumbers and builders are not bothered by trucks and muddy boots, chilly interiors and no-frills displays.

Today’s customers are younger and more product savvy, preferring to shop and price compare online rather than schlepping out and shopping in an industrial environment. Fortunately, if they want an air-tub and want to see how it works, touch it, feel it, sit in it, they will have to come to you. Do you want a showroom that makes them say ”WOW!” and stay and browse for related items, perhaps even get inspired to upgrade to a higher price point? Or are you content to continue offering what has worked for the last 20 years by only catering to plumbers/builders?

You may say, “What’s wrong with having the trades as your main customers? Our profits are just fine selling that way.” That may be true, depending on where in the country you’re located — but change is coming at an increasing speed. Our business has a tendency to wait and see what other industries do in relation to consumer trends..

This is the third in a series of 12 topics outlining successful Showroom Design Cost Management. Look for next month’s topic: The Process Can Now Begin.

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!

Showroom Cost Management

Should It Stay or Should It Go?

 Vol.2, Issue 2


Once you have decided that your showroom needs a facelift or it’s time to open a new location, the first questions you need to ask yourself are: What are we going to sell? Will our offerings stay the same? Will we use the opportunity to switch out to more updated product? Will we expand to a wider range of products? Are we going to venture into new areas of merchandising?

These are very important elements to consider for the future of your showroom success, growth, and place in the retail arena. The movement within our industry to offer many more items related to the kitchen/bath business is gaining in popularity and quickly being adopted.

Wholesalers that have showrooms open to the buying public have been resisting change ever since my first showroom in 1996. I’m not saying that showrooms won’t prosper without the wholesale business; good wholesalers will still succeed, but they are leaving money on the table.

Many larger companies in the kitchen/bath industry have ventured out into related products, creating destination retail profit centers.

This is the second in a series of 12 topics outlining successful showroom design principles. Look for next month’s topic: What Kind of Showroom Do You Want?

Contact David Hawkins for a FREE Showroom Design Consultation!