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From Tiny to Tremendous

Paragon Construction's expansive new showroom lets customers bring their room design visions to life

Fifteen years ago, when Paragon Construction Co. opened at 12747 Oak Lake Court in Midlothian, its showroom measured 300 square feet. Thanks to a just-completed expansion, the design center is now a whopping 900% larger – 3,000 square feet. Today, customers stroll through four distinct departments and view three kitchens, a complete master bath, a model sunroom, and displays of exterior windows, doors and siding.

“Our business is so visual across our major lines it really is critical for people to understand and to see what they are getting, and what the possibilities are,” said Jeremy Shank, president, designer and customer adviser. “The idea behind our showroom is to give customers the actual visuals rather than pictures in a brochure, so they can take their vision and actually see it.”

The showroom’s largest department features three very different kitchens – traditional, transitional, and contemporary.

Customers can compare the traditional warm wood tones, contemporary colors and styling, and bolder gloss finishes, and then mix and match.

“Part of what we hear from customers is that other companies impose their design will on their vision,” he said. “We listen to what they love about their kitchen and what they want to change.”

The model kitchens demonstrate new functionalities like full-access cabinetry, also known as frameless cabinetry, which provide more storage capacity and improve access within the cabinets. Other options include hands-free touch-to-open doors and drawers, pull-out trash bins, pull-down shelving, hidden electrical outlets, and in-drawer and in-cabinet storage systems.

The showroom’s second area features a model master bath done in transitional style, with a sleek freestanding soaking tub, a frameless glass shower, and a double sink, all finished with matte black fixtures and cabinetry.

Customers can explore functioning heated floors, lighted closet rods, full skirted and concealed trap toilets, and frameless touch-to-open doors and drawers.

In the Outdoor Living department, Paragon advisers start by learning how customers use their existing decks.

“Most of our customers have decks that they use a dozen times a year, because of mosquitoes, heat and pollen, and they’re tired of the maintenance,” Shank said.

Outdoor Living features the low-maintenance PCV planking that forms the foundation for Paragon’s decks and porches. It also showcases a model sunroom that can be built as a screened porch, a three-season room, or an all-season outdoor space. Customers can choose just a deck, just a sunroom, or a combination.

Also in this section are examples of railing and lighting, which leads customers into the fourth area of the showroom, featuring exterior windows, doors and siding. “It’s not just about replacing these because they’ve gone bad; it’s about updating style and improving quality,” said Shank, noting that new exterior options are low-maintenance and energy efficient.

The showroom experience concludes with a 3D creation of the customer’s redesigned living space. 3D technology has been used at Paragon for about eight years, Shank said.

Once out of the showroom, customers continue to get personalized service.

“The showroom is the starting point for your project,” said Shelley Neofotistos, business manager. “All our customers get a portal that lets them follow their projects from beginning to end. They can see the schedule and get daily communications. We’re with them every step of the way.”

The portal, called Builder Trend, gives customers the assurance of knowing exactly when demolition, installation and finishing work will be done, as well as providing a one-stop place for invoices, product warranties, photos of work in progress, and communications from the project manager. The portal stays active even after the project is completed, Neofotistos added. “Everything is there, and it doesn’t go away,” she said. “It’s a central place for everything.”

Neofotistos also serves as liaison between Paragon and the company’s vendors. “Our philosophy is that we don’t think a customer should be limited by the choices we have on display,” Shank said. “We don’t give people just five granite choices. Our job is to understand what they want, and if we don’t have all those things in our showroom, we can show them the countertops that meet their style preferences that are available through our partners and vendors.”