Thursday, February 22, 2007

Design Elements-clarifications

Design Elements (click for original post), is one of the tools used by our Builder Group only. It is not something we sell in the open market. I've had a call a day from folks wanting to buy it and in short-No. It's not something we will ever release to the general public.

When designs get long in the tooth or are emulated by our competition we will release them as plans on the open market. We give the new designs to our contractors only-so the only way to stay ahead of the crowd is to work within our Builder Group.

We are planning a thumbnail version of design elements for Landscape Designers and Landscape Architects, but the detail drawings will rest safely with our Builder Group Contractors.

If you are a landscape architect or designer and you want to be contacted when the thumbnail version is released in about a month send me an email here that has your full name, company name and phone number included.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Erroneous Advertising by Eon - CPI Plastics Group Limited

Erroneous Advertising by Eon - CPI Plastics Group Limited

I've ripped into the shows on TV about giving people unrealistic numbers regarding costs of renovations, and here in my back yard my time is being wasted by people with unrealistic expectations of price due to poor marketing.

"Based on an average 288 sq. ft. deck, including labor, decking and material costs. Does not include maintenance costs of wood decking of $1/sf' per year, eon is an incredible value over time. "
They were stating quite clearly:
  1. You can purchase an installed 288 sf pressure treated deck for a little over $3,000 completely installed with materials included that will last 10 years. (our estimated cost of materials only is $3456)
  2. You can purchase an installed 288 sf Cedar (type of cedar and grade not specified), deck for a little over $3,400 completely installed with materials included that will last 18 years. (our estimated cost of materials only is $4320)
  3. You can purchase an installed 288 sf pressure treated deck for a little over $4,000 completely installed with materials included that will last Forever.
Well, I called them this morning I told them I would like to buy the cedar or the Eon deck that they had alluded to in their ad.
Eventually she passed me on to Cliff Hatch , (the Marketing Director)
This incident had a good resolution.
Cliff from Eon wrote me back within the hour letting me know that they have directed all their reps to pull in all the offensive marketing materials from every store in North America. He also sent the replacement marketing ( 2007), and let me know that the previous brochure was designed in 2002He apoligized and as it turned out it was a simple misreading of statistics provided by an American company.
Thanks Cliff!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Builder Group- Design Elements

“ Design Elements” is now released.

If you are part of our “Builder Group” in good standing you should see your package arrive within the next 10 days.

“Design Elements” is a comprehensive package of line art that will help deck and structure designers create elevations and layouts for decks, pergolas, fences and any other garden woodwork feature imaginable.

Version 1 features 109 pages of our best designs and details for decks, deck rails, privacy screens, pergolas, outdoor buildings, fences, gates and trellises.

Print out templates on your own printer, lay it over and simply trace details—superimpose a sketch of the residence behind and you have created a realistic rendering of the project.

Offer your clients the most powerful design resource in existence and your sales should increase dramatically. Allow your clients to browse possibilities they never imagined possible.

The best part—new details every few months to keep you well ahead of the competition.

Updated forms featuring our new logos are included on your new CD as well as an advertising template already edited with your information. We will be doing a mass printing in about 2 weeks so get in touch if you want to be involved. When 4 or 5 contractors share printing costs it means dramatic discounts.
For more information about the Builder Group please call 888 293 8938

Monday, February 05, 2007

Style Nazis--Not Quite

Well, I spoke to Jansen Ho about this authorized taste police in Surrey BC today. He very patiently worked with me to make a determination as to why this lady was confused.

What is normal in your neighborhood may not be on the other side of the country, and that is the case in this instance. Approaching an expert for advice seems to be more culturally acceptable in BC. It is due to a call about 10 years ago that our DIY plans came into existence.

Planned communities are becoming the norm in BC and it is possible to buy a house that is governed by a master plan and not even hear the term "planned community".

The City of Surrey is so used to it that a client can approach the counter and within minutes they know that they are from a planned community. They tell them that they need to speak to a "Design Scheme Consultant" to make sure that what they are planning is acceptable to the development master plan. The nice thing about most planned communities is that they have a committee approve designs for construction.

When you are the guys that show up with the nicest drawings and presentation you get to love committees. The scary thing is that the design acceptance is by one human. Personal taste has a part in the decision, coupled with interpretation of written instructions.

If the "Design Scheme Consultant" is capable it can work well. If the consultant is strictly by the book-- YUCK.

Lets just hope it is a trend, like the uniformism of Germany before WW2. L

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Design Dictators in South Surrey BC?

Style Police in British Columbia?

I received a very disturbing phone call this evening. A lady wanted to know some information about P003 pro pergola plan. Specifically the type of columns to use and whether or not we ship the material to BC. I told her, the material grows in BC, so shipping it back from Ontario may be cost prohibitive.

I told her all the specs were in the plan for her to source locally.

Her next question gets a bit strange. Is this pergola more than .6 meters high? “You mean is is more than 23” high?” was my retort. Yes, it’s about 110” high overall.

“No vertical structures more than .6 meters high permitted in yard is what she was instructed by the Style Nazi. Nothing higher than 23 inches.”

Maybe this lady was blowing smoke but if this is for real I need more information about it.

She said that to get a building permit you need an appointment with a city design consultant who will give you guidelines as to what you can build and what color “colour in Canuckian”. What color? YIKES.

She told me that it has come about and is spreading everywhere because people were painting their houses ungodly colors and upsetting their neighbors. Last I checked good taste was individualized and not a pre-requisite for buying a home. They get their punishment when they sell.

Is this the “Do as we Say Festival Gone Crazy?”.

I told her that this is either a historic district or a planned community (Click for an Example)—she insisted it was not. She told me she lives in Sullivan Heights.

Please—someone give me more information about this, I really would love to know. I tried the building department in Surrey but they were already closed. I’ll try them again tomorrow, but feel free to email me if you know anything about this.