For multi-unit tract housing and condominiums, one of the things the builder should orchestrate during the construction of the sales models is the collection of finish materials to be featured on display within the sales office.
Such items as door casing, detailed baseboard, bull-nose drywall cornerbead, bathroom sinks with the plumbing fixtures installed, doorknob hardware, and other featured materials are sometimes mounted on display boards by the interior designer and placed within the sales office as a sales tool.
Consider this activity item with the sales department and the interior designer before the start of the construction, so these materials can be procured from the various vendors and subcontractors in a timely manner.
Pre-planning is better than coming up with this idea as an afterthought, then rushing to get these materials to the interior designer in time for the sales office grand opening.
Several things can be done to prolong the new look of carpeting in the sales models in spite of the wear-and-tear from sales traffic.
The first thing is to place wipe-off mats at the entry doors to each model. These mats should be washable, and they should be cleaned often. Mats at the entry doors intercept dirt before people can track it into the models and onto the carpeting.
The second thing is to schedule cleaning of the sales models on Fridays and Mondays of each week. Models are cleaned in anticipation of increased weekend sales traffic, and the weekend wear-and-tear to the flooring is then followed up with a Monday cleaning. This benefits the lighter sales traffic generated during the upcoming week.
Carpet manufacturers recommend frequent vacuuming as one method to help maintain carpeting. Not only does the Friday/Monday cleaning schedule get the sales models looking their best for the busiest sales period of the week, but it also gets the carpets vacuumed before and after the heaviest foot traffic period.
Carpet manufacturers also recommend having the carpets professionally cleaned periodically. Because of the abuse that sales models carpeting takes from all of the foot traffic, the builder should consult with the interior design center (or the flooring contractor) and the carpet manufacturer directly to determine how often the carpet can be safely cleaned to keep it looking new.
Periodic maintenance, repairs, and repainting of the sales office should be included in the project budget.
On one particular project, the sales office was a separate structure from the sales models assembled out of two double-wide trailers joined together in the middle, which resulted in a 40’-0” x 60’-0” office.
The exterior doors and windows were wood sash with glass panels, and the woodwork was stained a dark mahogany color with a clear lacquer sealer.
After a couple of years, the lacquer finish started to peel off, and the stain on the wood faded. The carpeting showed signs of the constant wear and tear of homebuyer traffic. Several other items needed fixing including the water leaking underneath thresholds when it rained, and doors binding against each other.
The builder in terms of budgeting might look at a temporary sales office as a one-time expense for the initial construction, without considering the repairs and maintenance costs required to keep a sales office looking nice for several years.
The painting or staining of exterior woodwork, the interior painting, the doorknobs, and the carpeting or other flooring might not last the two, three, or four years required to sell-out a large project.