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The Right State of Mind

Psychology you say?

  1. Setting the proper expectation at the start of the project is a two way street.  Once you have set your scope of work you have set the expectation for the details of the job and what the final product should look like and how it should function.  However, you have to get there, and depending on the size of the project that can be no simple task. Setting your expectations on how the job will start and the different stages and challenges and stresses that are associated with each stage is critical.  It is critical to you ending the project well.  If you as a client are not ready for the strain of the process, when it ends your memories will only be of the nightmare you just survived and will greatly affect rhe enjoyment of your space. Renovating and building are tough, they are messy, they are noisy, they are invasive, and they are disruptive.  But, recognizing all this beforehand and working with your team to understand what it is they do and how this will go will help you deal with each challenge and stage along the way.
  2. Learn to expect anything.  Things you thought could not go wrong will go wrong.  Expect the unexpected each day.  There are many numerous moving parts and people that are required to accomplish even the simplest of remodels. This statistically opens up a high possibilities of things going wrong. However, remember your team is there to solve the problems, get things back on track and explain things to you so you are confident in the projects’ progress and finish.
  3. Up to now you have had the vision of the final look and product you wish your team to achieve for you. However, do you know what it will look like to get there?  Do you know what each stage will bring and look like?  Your project at each stage from demolition, to rough, to initial finish to final finish will look different each day and week. As it becomes more three dimensional it will also start to possibly look differently than you had envisioned it. It may need tweaks, changes, overhauls, and remodels of the remodel to get it right.  This is normal, but can add one more layer of stress and anxiety.
  4. 95% of the work done is preparing for the last 5% that is the final finish.  This waiting can become tedious and laborious.  Along your project you will have to exercise those patience muscles often and with vigor. 75% of what the contractor will do gets covered up, you will never see it.  But, this is where the value in construction and doing things right come in.  If this part is done wrong the final finishes and selections will not perform well.
  5. Remember your team is not your enemy. The amount of anxiety and stress that a renovation can cause is very easily taken out on those that are causing it, right?  Wrong. This simply is construction and remember there are way too many possibilities of things going wrong to be able to control them. Construction is a matter of planning, having the plan get sidetracked, derailed, and then putting it back on track.  A well-chosen team will do this and help you understand what is going on and how it all will finish well. Taking out frustrations and anger on your team will create a divide and futher stress the process and situation. Your team is there to listen and counsel, but listeneing to them is critical to moving past each challenge and bump in the road.
  6. Respect boundaries and treat how you would like to be treated. Resist the urge to call late at night and on the weekends.  Resist the urge to text each moment you have a question.  Establish lines of communication and how meetings will be done, how questions will be answered, and set the boundaries.  Remember when you are looking at your project it is normally in afterhours times when the team is at their personal time. Set the tone as any other business would and establish how communication will happen and when it should happen. Treat it like a business and set-up regular meetings or lines of communication, progress reports, schedules, etc. as it was any other project in the business world to help all involved.
  7. Question to learn and not to second guess. Each team member, inculding yourself, will have a different manner of approaching your project, they all ahve their precialized ttraining and part to play in the greater role of the project.  Construction and remodeling is an opportunity to learn something you probably don't have a lot of knolwedge about, your home's physical structure. Remember again, there are many moving parts and you will see things your team may not, bringing it to their attention does not constitute or indicate that everything is wrong with the project.  None of us like to be placed in a defensive posture, and questioning someone's competency does just that. It certainly is a normal human reaction when finding something that you perceive as wrong, however, approaching it as the more eyes on the project the better, and approaching it as we are all working as a team to accomplish a goal, helps move things forward in a positive fashion versus brining in a negative atmosphere that can permeate the project.

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