Words: Uma Basso

Words: Uma Basso
Photo: Belgard 

Technology continues to open doors for the construction industry. It can provide a valuable resource for contractors seeking an effective tool to improve efficiency while controlling costs. 

Belgard Design Studio is an option that contractors can use to potentially bring ordinary drawings to life with advanced technology features such as fly-through animations and virtual reality renderings of outdoor projects. Contractors can engage customers better by allowing them to experience their designs with a 360-degree view. When owners can visually see how a project improves their lifestyle, it can affect their overall project satisfaction. 

Bring Outdoor Projects to Life

The desire to create comfortable rooms set in outdoor spaces continues to rise in popularity with homeowners. Rather than adding costly additions to their homes, many owners are leaning toward repurposing their backyards into outdoor living rooms, offices, dining rooms, and kitchens.

However, effective customer engagement with a hand-drawn design may not always occur. Giving homeowners the ability to view their outdoor life concepts in 3D format incorporates an exciting element that can bring the contractor a variety of benefits. 

Improve closure rates – Traditional contractors who continue to rely on hand drawings may find that it can take anywhere from 10 hours to 30 hours just to prepare a bid and close a project. Using the Belgard Design Studio technology, contractors can shave hours off their design and bidding process. Not only can contractors save time using this advanced technology, but 360-degree visualization can bump up their closure rates anywhere from 75% to 80%, according to Joe Raboine, the Director of Belgard Hardscapes. 

Increase efficiency – The Belgard Design Studio improves contractor efficiency, which saves both time and money. The visual renderings are scalable and customized to the owner’s desired style. Contractors can make changes as needed and easily calculate the project’s cost. This improves efficiency throughout the ordering process and helps trim down costs of buying too much product. 

Enhance customer satisfaction – Giving customers the ability to visualize a concept before construction helps improve overall satisfaction. The 3-D renderings can reduce miscommunication in the design phase. Materials, colors, and functionality can be experienced by the customer and agreed upon ahead of time. These visual designs can even incorporate such accents as landscaping and lighting, giving customers a better view of what their outdoor living area can look like. Visualization technology can influence how satisfied the customer is with the end project.

Using Belgard Technology

There are many ways to access and use the Belgard Design Studio and its related technology.

Belgard Authorized Contractor App: Using an iPhone or iPad, authorized contractors can submit their Design Studio requests through the Belgard Authorized Contractor app. Contractors upload photos, designs, sizes, and project details through the app, whether in the office or at the customer's location. Design renderings are usually completed within five days and can be easily viewed and shared with customers and vendors. 

The app is available to Belgard Authorized Contractors only. App availability to Android users is currently in the works.

Online: Authorized contractors who cannot submit design requests through the app can do so through an online portal on the Belgard website. And for those contractors who are not a part of the Belgard Authorized Contractor program, they can submit up to two free projects to the Design Studio online. 

Belgard Rooms: With this newest feature, Belgard has predesigned a series of living areas within outdoor spaces. There are over 100 predesigned templates displaying outdoor kitchens, dining rooms, and living spaces. Utilizing 3D technology, consumers can choose their style, material, and color choices.

For the contractor, this library of 3D templates can be used to aid in the design of outdoor living spaces quickly. These predesigned templates are scaled and can incorporate a myriad of materials, sizes, and colors to meet consumer-style needs. 

While these renderings incorporate the use of Belgard products, these pre-made designs allow the owner to fully visualize what the end project will look like. Once approved, the contractor orders the necessary components based on the style and scale of the room. 

Although the Belgard Rooms Planner is homeowner-facing, this library of 3D renderings can prove invaluable to the contractor when working with a potential client. The planner gathers vital information about a consumer's vision, personal style, and needs and incorporates this into the design of their outdoor living space. Consumers, or contractors, answer questions about the size, flow, desired features, and finish to be used throughout the design of their outdoor living space. The planner even incorporates other soft touches that can boost customer satisfaction, including lighting and landscape. 

Contractors can use this library of 3D models to help design outdoor living areas quickly. Rather than starting a rendering from scratch, contractors can easily incorporate the customer's style into their project. Since many designs are based on researched lifestyle preferences, the style, materials, and colors give these modern renderings a greater appeal to homeowners. And with Belgard's continued push to add more designs to its library, contractors have a trove of innovative ideas they can use with their customers. These pre-made designs can affect the contractor’s close rate and improve overall customer satisfaction with the end project. 

What is the Bottom Line?

Technology can help contractors efficiently produce exciting designs. The ability to displays your plans using 3D image and visualization technology allows customers to experience the lifestyle impact of their outdoor spaces. In turn, contractors have a valuable tool that helps them close deals, save time, and reduce costs. 

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