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This week we sat down to speak with Greg Buitrago Jr., the Owner and Director of Sales at Hammer Contractors Design & Build, which serves the Montgomery Co, Howard Co & DC Metro in Maryland. It’s easy to see why this family-owned company stands out among the competition.

Hammer Contractors

See our interview with Greg below for some insight into the remodeling process, the definition of universal design and the passion that drives the entire process.


Steam Showers Inc: Do you have advice for those budgeting for a bathroom remodel?

Greg: I highly recommend working with a design build professional. Someone who has experience in the design and the actual construction process, beginning with setting budgets and expectations for the level of finishes, the type of fixtures and materials they would like to use based on their taste and their homes need, as well as setting a budget and expectations for the level of construction or work being completed (based on the differences between a cosmetic update, a full replace remodel and the more invasive renovation, which could entail relocating utilities and fixtures, such as the toilet and the shower).


Steam Showers Inc: What sets your company apart from others?

Greg: We’re a company that’s really focused on customer experience. We have a saying in our office that we believe that our customers deserve to love their remodel and not just the end result. Most customers’ experience with the contractor is that they’re only happy after they’re done. We really believe if a homeowner’s trusting a company, and bringing them into their home for six to eight weeks or more, it should be somebody that they trust and they enjoy having them and their employees and staff working with them on a daily basis. We believe in leveraging technology and innovation to really improve that experience for our clients with consistent accountability, communication, and updates.


Steam Showers Inc: What do you love most about your job?

Greg: I’m passionate really and it goes to what makes our company different. I’m really passionate to see a client actually enjoy doing the remodel from the very first meeting through working with our design team through working with our production coordinator and our operation staff and them being as excited going through the process start to finish as they are when we turn over the project. We see that in the fruit of that labor with our clients, whether they themselves are hosting an open house or welcoming or warming parties for the new kitchen or new addition and inviting us just out of really the happiness and the excitement they have from getting a project that exceeds their expectations, in addition to actually coming out of the other end with a good relationship with the contractor where they desire to invite them back into their home to do other work. Really, that’s what keeps all of us motivated; that’s the vision we have here at our company. That’s the experience we try to provide to every client.


Steam Showers Inc: Can you tell us more about your experience in NKBA 30 Under 30 at KBIS 2013?

Greg: 30 Under 30 [of 2013] was the inaugural, or the first year, that they actually invited (after selecting from applicants) the top thirty industry professionals within the kitchen and bath industry under the age of 30. We did a presentation at the kitchen and bath industry show, which that year was in New Orleans. This last year it was in Las Vegas. Our group did a presentation to the show’s audience regarding universal design and how to implement universal design within different remodeling projects within the home. My company individually has a lot of experience with that; with our clients, we’ve been doing it for many years. [Our presentation] was about how to open up conversations with our clients about those types of design features; how to work with our vendors and distributors on sourcing product that would be able to provide our clients with better options and alternatives when it came to investing on a remodeling project that would last them a lifetime; that would allow them to remodel once and be able to age in place or raise a family in place as the family goes from young children to college age; and then when the in-laws or the grandparents come to live, or stay, for an extended period of time at the home; and then when the original homeowners are looking to make that their forever home and not have to relocate; and all of the different aspects that are entailed in that process.

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We spoke with Danny Garcia, owner of Rhino Design Build, LLC, to ask him some questions about bathroom remodeling trends, home additions and how to design an energy-efficient home. Rhino Design Build, LLC is a contracting company in San Antonio, Texas made up of room addition and home remodeling experts. Rhino Design Build offers custom home building and more.

Rhino Design Build

You can read our interview with Danny below:

Steam Showers Inc: What sets your company apart from other contractors?

Danny: I’d say customer service. We’re a lot more presentable than the competition. There are a lot of guys that work out of the back of their truck, and we’re professional. We pride ourselves on doing what we say and saying what we do.


Steam Showers Inc: How many years have you been in business?

Danny: This will be my 10th year in October.


Steam Showers Inc: What is the biggest bathroom trend people ask you to put in their homes?

Danny: A lot of people are going with the glass accent tile, the larger tile on the shower, frameless glass doors…Everybody’s going for a modern, cleaner look, as far as the cabinets go, and a lot of LED lighting.


Steam Showers Inc: How many clients ask for steam showers?

Danny: I’d say about twenty percent.


Steam Showers Inc: Why do you recommend installing a tankless water heater?

Danny: It’s for energy efficiency. A lot of our clients are trying to maximize on the amount of storage space in their homes, and the old tank was taking up a little bit more room, so we install a lot of tankless water heaters.


Steam Showers Inc: Can you go more detail on into energy efficient remodeling and what your company offers to make a home more energy efficient?

Danny: A tankless water heater is a lot more energy efficient than a standard tank. We also beef up the insulation in the attics. We recommend doing two by six walls, as opposed to two by four, so we can get more insulation in there. We also try to utilize the low flow toilets to minimize the amount of water the household uses.


Steam Showers Inc: What are the services your company offers?

Danny: General construction; we do everything as far as construction goes. We build custom homes; we do commercial construction; and we build second story additions, mother in law suites and kitchen and bathroom renovations. We also build garages and do some federal work.


Steam Showers Inc: Can you define a mother in law suite?

Danny: It’s either an attached or detached apartment for a mother or father, or both, who move back in with their family due to old age, an injury or a job loss. We’re building a lot of those because a lot of families, particularly when the economy changed, had to move in with each other again due to whether they lost their job. For a lot of families, there just wasn’t enough room in the house, so we started adding square footage via mother in law suite or father in law suite. That way the families can live independent but together.


Steam Showers Inc: What is your favorite part about what you do, or why do you love what you do?

Danny: I like taking an idea and actually making it come to fruition. It’s exciting to get the thought and input of our clients. Tthere’s the little stuff too; we’ve done additions for clients who have a wheelchair or a handicap, and we actually make the house more functional, so that way their quality of life improves. These projects are very rewarding to us.


Steam Showers Inc: What advice would you give readers who are taking on a bathroom remodel?

Danny: I would say do their research ahead of time, because a lot of clients have absolutely zero idea of what they want to do. This prolongs the design process. So if they do their research ahead of time, and know questions to ask, different materials they want to use, etc. it makes the process run more smoothly.

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