Updated: Jan 3, 2019
When you make the decision to have work done in your home, whether it be painting a room, tearing out and retiling a backsplash, refinishing cabinets, having a mural done, or any number of other small and large home improvement projects, it is important that you understand the process.
Much like the old “How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich” process essay most of us had to write in elementary school, which made it clear you cannot simply open a bread bag and ‘POOF’ have a PB & J, you also cannot ask a contractor to undertake a project or multiple projects believing that ‘POOF’ it should only take a few days- especially if there are multiple things to be completed.
Every project also has its own issues, issues which can include difficult demo, previously done shoddy work, requiring the new contractor to rework their process, awkward angles, bad weather that affects work days or the drying time of certain materials (grouts, glues, paints, etc), persnickety materials, locating and ordering specialty materials, needing to redo some aspect(s) of a project, or illnesses (yours or the contractors or his/ her crew members). Once work begins, there are any number of unexpected things that can arise affecting the date of completion, most of which you just can’t anticipate.
Living in a space under construction can be terribly stressful- and gross. If you like sausage, well, watching projects in the middle stages is rather like watching sausage being made- it isn’t pretty and you aren’t sure if the meat market really meant to do “that,” and you’re just not certain that it’s what you really expected in the first place. But, you love sausage, and you know you just have to wait for it to be ready. Similarly, fretting over the finished product in a project that has 15 steps to completion (with every step taking a different time) is like questioning the butcher about the taste of your sausage before he’s even started grinding the meat. All good things take time…and patience…for all involved.
If you have any trust at all in the person you hired, please, give him or her the benefit of the doubt while projects are incomplete. Remember the sausage making analogy. Certainly, if you see something going wildly outside of your expectations, speak up, but otherwise, have faith that the finished product will be what you’d hoped it would be. Only weird contractors get excited about having to come back for “do-overs.”
Good contractors live and die by your satisfaction and your referrals; we aren’t charlatans out to steal your money, or wasting your time and ours by doing garbage work. Some of us have larger teams that have been together forever and can complete jobs in record time. Others of us a sole proprietors working solo or with smaller crews; we’re going to take a little longer, but it doesn’t mean our quality is any less. We want you to be happy with our work, and we will do all within our abilities to make you so. Thanks in advance for your patience with the process.