Designer Christine Jurs and her husband, Todd, a general contractor were set up on a blind date, and the two ended up getting together in more ways than one. Now married with children, in 2002 they relaunched Todd’s original company, Advance Design Studio, Ltd., a soup-to-nuts residential renovation company that simplifies the renovation process for homeowners.
Homeowners are often put in the position of having to manage multiple professionals— brought together independently— to get that new kitchen or bath, including architects, designers, suppliers, and contractors. Advance Design Studio’s business model retains all of those roles in-house, and the client interacts with one designer and project manager team throughout the duration of a project. The model also allows the company to provide amazingly accurate cost analysis’ up front.
“We don’t believe having to get three bids for a project and then choosing the middle bid serves the homeowner well,” Christine Jurs says. “They will often find out after spending time and money developing plans that the project is way too expensive.”
Instead, Jurs refers to Advance Design Studio’s approach as “Common Sense Remodeling,” in which the client has a clear idea of a solid design direction and real projected costs of a project—far before any work starts.
“Our designers can look at a project and give the client a range of options, so they’re not making decisions in a vacuum,” Jurs says. “They have a realistic cost range based on concrete designs and options right up front.”
Jurs says the company’s process starts with a complimentary consultation with potential clients so designers can get a clear idea of the client’s priorities and the client can experience firsthand what it feels like to work with the team. A custom-developed analysis of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and love-to-haves with the associated costs are line-itemed for reference.
“The key to getting rolling is targeting a budget range and choosing options together that fit that budget,” says Jurs. “Our designers are gatekeepers for what goes into the shopping cart and help keep the client on track while still exploring and developing the creative design side of the project.”
Jurs emphasizes the importance of project team continuity even before plans are drawn up, products are selected, or construction begins.
“Early in the project development we bring everyone to the project, including the tradesmen,” says Jurs. “Because we have 100 percent control from start to finish, everything we show is real, and we are able to manage the process creating predictability throughout the experience for the client.”
The company has always been committed to safety and isolating construction areas. As an essential business, its staff has created remote meeting options and is currently completing projects under construction in according with all safety measures during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Given its 28-year history, it’s likely the pandemic represents a bump in the road for Advance Design Studio and the many current clients that are having new kitchens, baths, and additions completed. Jurs reports the company is actually quite busy now with the summer just getting underway and a busy fall season ahead.
Todd and Christine like to refer to their company as the “big little company,” a family run business that does about 100 projects a year. The magic formula for Advance Design is and always has been having everything under one roof. “Our industry tends to piecemeal the process and it’s rather like herding cats in a sandbox,” Jurs says. “Having done what we do well for nearly 30 years, it just makes sense and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
Advance Design Studio, Ltd. is located at 30 Railroad Street in Gilberts, Illinois, 847-836-2600, advancedesignstudio.com.