Tips for Putting Together a Great Entry

February 02, 2018

Photography

1. Invest in a professional to photograph the completed project. The PR Design Awards are not a beauty contest, but judges often rely on photographs to quickly decide whether or not to examine project materials more closely. Professional-quality photographs can make the difference between early elimination and being considered for an award. Make sure the house is clean and uncluttered, and that the photographs highlight the most significant elements of the design.

2. Include “Before,”“During,” and “After” images in series to illustrate how problems were solved. Ideally the camera vantage point for each series would be similar so judges can compare images side-by-side. This is often the easiest way for judges to see and understand the changes made by the remodeling work. Include both exterior and interior photographs where appropriate for the category (additions, for example).

3. Include enough pictures to show all the significant parts of the project. Don’t just say your company does highquality work and pays attention to detail — prove it with images. Include some close-up, medium-range, and distance shots as necessary to show how rooms relate to each other or how the exterior relates to the lot or the neighborhood. Use photos to illustrate visually the unique elements in your project.

4. Bigger is better. Photos should be 8”x10” (preferable); minimum size is 5”x7”. It is difficult to view architectural details in 3”x4” or 4”x5” formats. 5. Use captions. Judges will appreciate captions that explain what they are looking at and keep them oriented to the floor plan and various perspectives in the photos.

Written Explanation

1. Make every word count—don’t editorialize. You don’t have much space, so don’t waste words describing the project as “stunning” or “the most beautiful.” Instead, provide the judges with sufficient information – scope of work, materials, space arrangement – to help them reach those conclusions on their own.

2. Focus on the project’s unique challenges and solutions. When the judges are scoring two equally attractive, wellbuilt designs, the project that demonstrates greater creativity and problem solving will often score higher. Clearly outline any construction, budgetary, site, customer, climate, code, or other problems you faced and briefly explain how they were overcome.

3. Don’t mention names on the Project Information form. To eliminate bias from the judging, Professional Remodeler assigns each entry an Entry Number, which is the only way the project is identified to the judges. However, Professional Remodeler does not read every word of every entry to ensure that they do not contain any material that could identify the company submitting the entry. Please ensure that your Project Information form does not include the names of your company, subcontractor companies, any individuals working on the project, geographical landmarks, and the homeowner, and that photos , illustrations, and drawings are free of these names and any other markings that could identify the project or the company submitting the entry.

Floor Plans

1. Make sure they are legible. Hand-drawn, hand-written floor plans can be hard to read. So can large plans reduced to a very small size. If the judges can’t read them, the plans can’t help you.

2. Block out the company name. To eliminate bias, the award entries must be anonymous.

Marketing/Networking

1. Market your award. Display awards in your office and include them in your marketing materials. Send press releases to the local paper. Mention the awards when applying for a bank loan.

2. Use awards to build team morale. Display awards in the office and recognize everybody in the company who participated. Bring your staff as well as third-party partners (architects, designers, trade contractors).

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