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Dealing with challenges during a project.

February 29, 2024

Its easy to look at the photo like this and imagine how amazing it must feel to have this done to your home and how lucky you are. But it doesn't always come challenge free. I will briefly talk about a handful of issues I have come across during my time as a remodeler.

First and most importantly I like to tell homeowners that are considering taking on a larger project that its going to have its up and downs much like any relationship and oh boy are there some real highs and real lows that can take place.

The beginning of any project is much like the honeymoon phase of a relationship where everything is just starting to take off. However, what typically follows this phase are some problems we have to address. These issues can vary job to job from budget, scheduling issues, material delays, Some being in your control and others that will not. The best thing to do when challenges arise is to stay calm and think it through and I know its always easier to say then do when you are in the moment.

I will provide a few examples of challenges and problems I have encountered and how I view the best way to handle them.

One project I used a drywall subcontractor that I had not worked with the project manager before and was thrown into a whirlwind of terrible communication which quickly translated to work being done incorrectly. I received a call from the homeowner when I was out of town (of course) and was told that the person had shown up alone to load the sheetrock into the home and the homeowner was helping.... I was obviously shellshocked that my homeowner was put in that position and it would ever be a thing that was acceptable but I wish that was the least of my problems moving forward. We were overlaying on top of existing popcorn texture and refinishing to match an existing brocade texture. I walked in home the day the texture was being applied and quickly realized that they had used the wrong compound that would cure to a tan instead of a white which is what matched the existing.... so that needed to get scrapped and redone which obviously is more time and mess for the project and homeowner. I was not happy to say the least but yelling accomplishes nothing so we communicated the issue and made the correction and moved forward. At the end of the day I was left unhappy with the overall process but the end results was what the homeowner was looking for so we will call it a win. But to avoid such issues again I am more vigilant in communication upfront and either personally on site at the beginning of such tasks being done or have a trusted person on site to confirm things are getting done right from the start. I would strongly remind you to do your best to stay calm and work through problems without escalation because then things begin to unravel even more and can quickly turn into tit for tat ego driven confrontations that very often do nothing to get the results the homeowner is looking for which is always the most important thing to strive for.

This next issue was not from my personal collection but something to think about when getting ready to take on a larger project such as a kitchen or large bathroom remodel. The project was going smoothly and time was coming up for the cabinets to be installed soon and a week or so prior to that happening they realized the cabinets didn't show up on time so calls were made and promises where said but at the end of the day the cabinets didn't make it on time and in turn pushed the project out much further than anticipated which as usual makes no one happy, the contractor and the homeowner had a similar frustration on their hands and in situations like that if not handled with grace and turn sour very quickly even though the cabinets not being on time was no fault of the contractor it can be heart breaking to a homeowner to hear that things have been pushed back past their expected finish date because as anyone can expect they want their kitchen back. In these moments communication is key because bad news delivered with haste and taste can help soften the blow of bad news and being left in the dark can make people very uncomfortable and uneasy about where things are going. Moral of the story - communicate communicate communicate! It always makes things better.

In the end all I can leave you with is no matter how untimely or frustrating the circumstances may be and feel at the time it is always better to address them head on and with clear and crisp communication with all involved. As someone more wise then me once said "Be like the buffalo" they are the only animal to head directly into the storm because its the quickest way the get through it.