The process of renovating a home, depending on the size of the project, can be an intimidating project. Even small repairs sometimes can lead to big stress if we’re not comfortable having strangers in our home. It’s important to ensure a comfort level with your builder that reduces the worry and stress during your renovations so that not only is the completed project beautiful, but the actual process of construction is a pleasure as well.
Likewise, for the small business owner taking on increasingly larger budget projects, there are easily as many areas of stress and pitfalls that can overwhelm and damage projects. The homeowner can relax once the dust has settled, but the owner of a construction business can face a few more projects knowing the profits will go to repair the mistakes of that last disaster.
The result of this cocktail mix of potentialities is that renovations are often approached with dread and uncertainty on the one side and bravado and a thin veil of strength on the other. Having heard all the stories of great projects gone terribly wrong, the fear that things can go bad will invite the reality that they just might again.
The solution is communication
Talking to each other is absolutely the best way to avoid problems in any situation. A renovation is no different. In some ways it resembles a marriage (albeit short) and a blending of families and requires all the skills, patience, finesse and forgiveness.
For a renovation project to be successful, all tools must be laid on the table. The builder presents a portfolio and the homeowners must open the doors to their intimate closets. Fears and insecurities must be made as evident as the dreams and desires. Beyond the fancy pick-up and the big front door, the people should meet as partners, joined together to create something wonderful.
Being open and honest from the beginning, having a realistic conception of amount of dust that is generated goes a long way to easing through difficulties when the roof is torn off or the owner runs late on a decision. In any good relationship, talking through the problems, ensures that problems can be removed and not grown to inoperable tumors.
Money is the root of all good
People are often uncomfortable talking about money, but in a large renovation, a lot of the green stuff must change hands and it is not always easy. The grease to get the project complete must be applied efficiently or the engine comes to a grinding stop.
Ego and power must be left at the door as much as it is possible to leave the muddy boots. Certainly if “X” is not accomplished, “Y” dollars should not be paid, but often in the shadows lurks an insidious creature exerting control or undermining a sense of worthiness that can easily foul things up.
Money should be treated with the same care, respect and ultimate neutrality as the lumber for which it is exchanged. It is the commodity that builds the structure, no more or less than the nails that hold it together. One cannot be done without the other and so it is best considered with emotional neutrality as any other item negotiated and executed in the contract.
Playing in the Sandbox
Staying relaxed and focused on the end result keeps homeowners and builders on the same team. The project is the uniting factor and it should always be remembered that it is in the best interests of each party to get it done in the best way possible.
No one really wants a problem, but some are inclined by nature or experience to look for them and in projects of this size and complication, there is no shortage of possibility. A better understanding of what it takes from both sides will more often create a meeting in the middle that results in an addition or renovation in which all can take pride.
This is a site about finding and nurturing that sweet spot for both the homeowner and the small business owner. Like marriage counseling, it shines a light on various aspects of each individual, sometimes in celebration and sometimes with discomfort. The purpose is to make the union stronger.