Home renovations are fun projects, but they’re also a fairly daunting process, with a high likelihood of going over budget or proceeding past schedule. A new startup is looking to change all of that, however.
Block, an all-in-one renovation startup, aims to make the whole process more transparent and easier. Through the company’s website, renovation packages are available for customers, whichthe include design, fixtures, and materials, as well other necessary bits for a renovation, like permitting and labour, with the minimum pricesitting at $15,000, with a three-week work period.
Co-founded by Koda Wang, who used to be the Chief Customer Officer at Rent the Runway, as well as the Chief Operating Officer at Huffpo, alongside former Casper Creative Director Luke Sherwin. Block brings the ideas of direct-to-consumer operations the home renovation field. This aims to streamline the experience of the customer simplify choice, as well as make pricing transparent.
Wang says that the home renovation market is a $400 billion dollar market, yet a lot of customers turn to people that they discovered Angie’s List or because of a neighbour that just pointed them to someone they know. People, he says, deserve a more modern method of getting their bathroom tiles installed, their kitchen furbished, their home renovated.
Renovating a bathroom usually involves the hiring of an architect or a designer, followed by the acquisition of parts and materials, then bringing in a general contract contractor for the project. That contractor will then hire other people, plumbers, tilers and painters, to handle the work, while the homeowner is forced to play project manager and handle any issues, like missing parts.
In the US, most common reason for delays in the schedule as well as budgets inflating is due to the acquisition of materials, parts and services, which is why Wang and Sherwin created Block, a one-stop renovation shop, in order to help with that issue. Block’s launch will focus on bathrooms, one of the most commonly renovated spaces in the house and among the easiest to systematize, offering its services to homeowners residing in the NY-NJ area.
Customers pick a package, answer questions about their homes, then give a photo of the space in order to get an estimate. When a design has been selected then Block will get the necessary permits for the work, and, if customers need approval or permits, the startup will create the package which also has with the, necessary insurance documents and statements of intent of work in order to help out. Then, Block will send a fully-licensed contractor they themselves have vetted to handle the job.