Walking into Cascade Flooring America on Highway 99 in Vancouver, you notice right away it’s a busy place. Phones ringing, people helping customers, people looking at samples of tile, cabinets, carpeting, and grout. It’s natural to wonder how anyone can possibly make a decision when there are SO. MANY. CHOICES.
What’s immediately evident is our Account Manager, Shawn Medak, is a major asset to Cascade and Evergreen Homes. Shawn has an extensive and wide-ranging background in residential construction and understands the important details of home building just as well as he does the latest trends in countertops and flooring. His experience and knowledge are an invaluable resource to our customers, and we’re lucky to work with him.
The Selections Process
- Cascade Flooring gets involved early in the design and planning process with each of our customers. First, we complete the floorplans and specifications under the client’s direction, and then describe to Shawn our clients’ tastes and wishlist. Shawn inevitably provides clever ideas on how to achieve the clients’ wishes and personal style in a way that still manages to meet their budget. He then writes up a fixed price bid which defines the type and quality of materials and budget amount for each area in the house.
- Once Evergreen has begun construction of the home and reached the rough plumbing stage, Shawn visits the job site so he can look at the framing details, floor transitions, where electrical outlets are, etc. He provides feedback which is noted in the specs.
- Just prior to sheetrock, the clients meet with Evergreen’s designer, Tama Sundstrom, and Shawn at Cascade Flooring’s showroom to make their color and finish selections for every room in the house, including:
- Cabinets – wood species, color and finish, door style, and handles
- Flooring – laminate hardwoods, engineered hardwoods, pre-finished hardwoods, bamboo and cork products, luxury vinyl tiles, stone (granite/marble/slate/travertine), ceramic and porcelain tiles, vinyl, etc.
- Countertops – granite and quartz slabs with under-mount sink style, as well as large-format fine grout line porcelain tiles and drop-in sinks
- Backsplashes and decorative tiles – almost every imaginable material, style, and pattern is available from metals to stones to glasses to porcelains
- Showers, tubs, and fireplaces – huge variety of tile and stone available–so many textures, colors, styles, and sizes for every price point
- Layouts – whether it’s just the direction of the floor tile or a special design at the kitchen cooktop backsplash, Shawn will sketch out the layouts and make sure the installers know what the clients want
- Exterior and interior paint schemes
What to expect / How to prepare
Some clients know exactly what look they’re going for and arrive at the meeting fully prepared with Pinterest boards and paint chips, while others claim they have no taste and need lots of help. Regardless, nearly everyone starts off the meeting a little intimidated by all the choices. With his laidback manner and excellent command of the products and the budget, Shawn makes these meetings easy and productive. Both Shawn and Tama are great listeners and seem to thrive on figuring out a palette of materials to delight the client. They’re each known to disappear from a meeting for a few minutes into the aisles of samples, returning with a triumphant “I’ve got just the thing for you” look in their eye as they put that one perfectly-colored tile or chunk of granite in front of the client that somehow ties all the colors together into a beautiful palette. No matter their state of mind when the meeting starts, clients leave the selections meeting excited, confident, and eager to see the completion of their home so they can see their vision materialized.
One of the biggest advantages of working with Evergreen Homes to build your new home is that you aren’t limited by packaged choices. Because there are no pre-set color palettes or designs you have to select from, the only limitations are your budget and your imagination!
Amazingly, these selections meetings typically only take about three hours to choose all the colors and materials for the entire house. Even after many years of working with clients to design their homes, Tama says helping them make their selections is still the second-most fun part of her job, “I still feel like a kid in a candy store every time I arrive at Cascade Flooring America. The only difference is it’s not my own allowance, and I’m looking for the client’s favorite candy, not my own, but I actually love doing that. It’s a gratifying experience for Shawn and me. It might sound corny, but by finding materials that the clients love and can afford, we know we’ve made a positive impact on their life…their family will be happy living in their beautiful custom home for many years to come.”
We asked Tama if that’s only the second-most part fun part of her job, then what’s the most fun part? “Walking through the finished house, of course! Seeing all of those conversations and pieces of paper and emails and samples turn into a real, wonderful home that our clients can have a great life in — that’s the most fun!”