OakWood opens high-tech, high touch design centre with dignitaries, industry leaders

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Liptak family invited dignitaries, vendors and construction industry leaders to the grand opening of the new OakWood design centre on Taylor Creek Dr. in Orleans on Sept. 15.

The design centre, part of the company’s $10 million LEED Platinum headquarters complex, has 10,000 sq. ft. of showroom space, with 7,500 products on display. The company is marking its sixtieth anniversary.

Architect Barry Hobin designed the headquarters’ exterior, while OakWood staff designed the interior, including the design centre. It features live demonstration areas where renovation clients can turn on the water and see in action a $68,000 La Cornue stove.

HGTV star Mike Holmes (with his children) attended the event, as did Mayor Jim Watson and several city councillors, among 289 guests.

OakWood’s headquarters and design centre embrace new technologies. President John Liptak says the company employs dozens of computer programmers from around the world to work on its CRM and backend databases. The system documents everything, allowing clients to receive clear estimates and project schedules, and compare, view and price different design options online, as well as with the live design centre examples by use of QR codes. The cloud-based software also contains a client portal which allows live access to the client and their project information at all times.

Chief operating officer Patricia Liptak-Satov says, with the help of an OakWood designer, clients can make decisions about countertops, flooring, faucets and other details, and have everything assembled into a 3D drawing. There is no need to travel to various supplier showrooms, or guess about what things will look like, and she says the entire process can be completed in as little as an hour (but clients aren’t rushed to move so fast.)

OakWood has captured a leading position in Ottawa’s highly fragmented renovation market, with extensive marketing backed by systems and processes. The company, under John Liptak’s leadership, is “revolutionizing the industry, taking a businesslike approach to renovation,” Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) president Bob Ridley told the Ottawa Citizen.

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