Obviously this statement doesn’t apply to everyone, but I’ve heard it a few times lately from clients.
And I’ve been thinking about why.
And since that’s what I do best – figure out the answer to the question why – I’ve come up with a theory. Here it is:
Since I’m a decorator and not a renovator, I’m not consistently managing trades.
My experience in managing trades happened when I partnered up with an interior designer a few years ago. We managed our clients’ renovations together and at the start of every day she would talk to each trade and let them know exactly what she expected them to accomplish that day. She would also tell them how she wanted the job done and, if necessary, she would draw them a picture. No matter how small the job was, she made sure the trades knew exactly how the finished job should look.
As you know, I managed my renovation last spring and certainly went through my fair share of telling someone to install or paint or build or dig, etc, etc, and having them doing it differently to the way I wanted it done. Just because I had not covered every possible permutation of how to do a task, I ended up having jobs done differently than I intended.
Here’s a great example: during our landscape renovation project this past summer, (see all the before’s and after’s here) I had a handyman in the backyard working on our fence. I was going out, so I told him that a truckload of topsoil was arriving and could he please ask the driver to dump it beside the driveway. Our front yard at the time was just plain dirt because it had been completely torn out.
When I got back home, where do you suppose the load of topsoil was?
In the front yard, beside the driveway like I asked?
No, it was on the ROAD beside the driveway, now in the way of our neighbours’ cars.
Suddenly, this made moving the soil from the road an emergency instead of something that was to happen the following week.
If you have ever managed a renovation, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So back to you, the homeowner, who is not a designer. You have a plan and lots of great ideas. But because there are so many different ways of doing anything, if you don’t have the exact, detailed plan with every nut and bolt laid out as it should be and your contractor is (probably) not a designer either, then you end up with a case of the blind leading the blind.
The contractor builds something a particular way and you look at it to see if it’s what you wanted. He may have done a beautiful job, but because it wasn’t designed properly, you look at it certain it’s wrong but because you don’t know what to say to make it right, you let it go. But if you continue to do that throughout the whole renovation, you might end up with a house that isn’t as beautiful as it could have been.
Even designers who manage projects constantly and who know exactly what they are doing, have to fix stuff and get stuff re-done. It happens all the time.
Last week I spoke to a high-end interior designer who told me about a million dollar project she had completed where she spent $40,000 fixing things. It goes that way sometimes.
So many things can go sideways. The junior designer makes a mistake ordering the lighting, or the tile gets installed wrong and you didn’t see it until too late, or some material gets shipped but wasn’t received until it was too late to return it. . .
Not to mention we are all dealing with human beings, so it’s simply not reality to expect that everything on a renovation is going to go smoothly, without any delays, problems, errors, etc.
A good designer has to be able to imagine every detail of the end result as well as design and order all kinds of custom millwork and furniture to get a beautiful finished project.
So if you don’t have a designer and you hate the tile floor that’s just been installed, do yourself a favour and just take it out.
And know you aren’t the only one in the world who’s just made a mistake.
What’s the worst mistake your contractor ever made (to your eye)?
Danger: Free Advice will Sabotage Your Expensive Renovation
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk up to the front door, become a client. On-line or In-person.
Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones to get my complete step-by-step system on how to get colour to do what you want.
To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!
If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert.