Building and renovating without the drama? Is it even possible?
Don’t let what you see online and on TV fool you that your project has to be the same. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic, stress-filled ride. Read more …
In my university days, my closest friend was a guy who really didn’t mince words. And one day (after listening to me rant about something), he said to me “Yes, but Amelia, you know you thrive on drama, don’t you?”
At the time, I remember being really offended! And also, at the time, it was definitely true. And him saying that to me, certainly created space for a lot of self awareness around that whole idea.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, in the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about it a lot in relation to how information is shared about home building and renovating.
There’s been a recent series on social media, of someone in the industry sharing their own home build journey. A very experienced industry professional is taking us on the journey of creating their own home.
And each episode is packed full of drama.
Mistakes made on site that require demolition, reworking, re-ordering of materials, and extra expense.
Changes of mind with material choices, window locations, and other items, that mean more time and more money on site.
And with that, a lot of stress.
There’s also a lot of conversation about how important the quality and detail of the work is – and that specific things are having to be completely redone because they’re not up to scratch.
These situations seem to be put down to communication issues, the industry professional (whose home it is) not being on site, and their team not knowing how this person wanted specific things done.
We’re talking about set out issues, and positions of things in rooms, plus the general execution of the work.
And it’s making for great viewing.
Which of course, when it’s being done via brand partnerships, which is all about eyeballs and clicks, then that means it’s a success, isn’t it?
Yet … I have a lot of questions.
>> Why does the project need this person on site to ensure everything is being done exactly right?
>> Why haven’t many of these issues been resolved at design stage?
>> Why isn’t this information on the drawings?
>> And why is quality an issue when this person has done so many projects for their clients?
>> Why is their project not built properly the first time?
>> And who is paying for these stuff-ups and changes-of-mind? Are those trades working at discounted or free rates ‘for the exposure’ and have to lump the costs to their business even though they’re not always responsible? Or is that cost shouldered by the owner?
Oh, I could keep going on and on about this, because there’s so many examples in these videos of a project not done well.
And this isn’t the only version around of this type.
Over and over again, I see online media and TV sharing the project journeys of those who are doing this over and over professionally, and yet the projects are so full on, with lots of on-the-fly changes and problems to resolve.
Of course, every project is different, and mistakes do get made. Unknowns come up, and hiccups and hurdles have to be tackled.
My greatest fear is this: you, the non-industry homeowner, watches and thinks: “Well, wow, if this is going on in an expert’s own home, then I simply have to expect my project will be a dramatic, stress-filled ride too”.
And that’s simply not the case.
A builder recently told me they were rejected from a reality TV program because they run their jobs with a schedule, don’t make a lot of mistakes, and hence there wouldn’t be sufficient drama for television.
And, there are so many programs out there that are pitched as representing the best houses in their location, but to have your project included, you personally have to come up with thousands of dollars in production costs.
And then, I’ve been told on more than one occasion, that particular situations are manufactured to ensure they make for interesting television.
So, when it comes to watching others renovate and build, are we all thriving on the drama?
One of my main goals in all my work (through Undercover Architect and Live Life Build) is to help everyone enjoy the process of designing, building and renovating.
And it’s possible – I see it happening time and time again, and I get a front row seat to how incredible it can be for those involved.
- understand the steps to take in your project
- know the questions to ask
- can select the right team to support you
- bring forward your decision-making so your wishes and wants are properly incorporated, drawn and specified
- get input on cost and buildability during the design phase so you know you’re tracking on budget
- get your project properly documented so you have control on site (without always having to physically explain what you want, in-person)
- used trusted and quality partners who know how to get things right the first time
- choose a builder that isn’t celebrating re-doing of work to uphold their quality expectations
- know what to expect at each stage of your project
- stay informed, educated and empowered to run your project well, and hold your team accountable
… then it’s amazing how smoothly things can go.
As I said – there may be challenges and hiccups along the way.
However, when you’re running your project well, these are far more likely to get fleshed out in the pre-construction work.
Construction is not the time to be figuring things out, or changing your mind.
Construction can be a well-managed execution of great preparation and planning.
And if there are stuff-ups, and your design and documentation has been done thoroughly to set the expectations, then it’s not going to be you paying for it.
I think of this current set of videos being shared, and I really believe that the person sharing them means well. I think they feel they’re showing what a great operator they are, with massive attention to detail and extremely high standards, whatever the cost or time implications.
And yet, I see a project that wasn’t sufficiently resolved at design stage, and didn’t get properly documented. And a build process that isn’t set up to ensure the whole team is always delivering quality the first time.
So, which would you rather?
A project full of drama to ensure you get what you want, and what you’re paying for?
Or getting what you want and what you’re paying for in your project, without the drama?
When you’re watching renovations and new build projects … thrive on the drama if you wish.
But don’t fall into the trap of believing your project has to go that way too.
Goodness knows, we all have enough drama in our lives right now.
If you’d like to get started on your renovation or new build project, my Get Started Guide is a fantastic resource to help you do just that.
It will teach you the first steps any project needs to take, whatever your dreams, location or budget, and whoever you’re working with. Learn more about it here >>> GET STARTED GUIDE
And, if you’d especially like to get started on your home design, then the mini-course ‘Happy Home Design’ will help you.
You’ll learn more about what decisions really matter in happy home design, and how you can design a home that is functional, fantastic and feel-good >>> HAPPY HOME DESIGN
If you’d like to learn how to choose the right builder, and learn how the specific checks to do, and questions to ask, when interviewing builders for your project >>> CHOOSE YOUR BUILDER