Home build

We take on a wide variety of contracting projects so for us every job is different but somehow the same. We have to balance carefully between relying on our past experience and remaining open to learning new things. Having been in the construction trades for many years I have learned it’s best to keep myself humble and know that I have something new to learn from every individual or situation while at the same time know that I am hired for my experience and expertise. This balance is tricky but crucial. I find that the art of communicating this is the most challenging.


Home build


As a contractor with home remodel expertise we may have some useful insights that can benefit the way you think about a project. Since our clients come with many different experiences and personalities this adds to the adventure. With this in mind I will address here some strategic thinking to consider. These may seem obvious but in the middle of the chaos this simplicity can provide anchorage.

1. Define your Goals

In any home building project there are certain; “must haves”, “it would be nice to have”, “what if we…?” or “I changed my mind”. Of these, the “must haves” typically end up on an agreement first. There is a whole process in construction dedicated to nailing down the “must haves”, typically referred to as the Planning phase of the project. This can be further broken down into steps; Design, Planning, Pre-Construction, etc. We will get into the formal breakdown in later posts. For now, it’s best to be clear about exactly what you want. It is important to collaborate with any other partners you have in the project. Collect photos, visit home improvement stores, browse the internet at sites like; Pinterest, Houzz, Home magazine sites, etc. The more detail and specifics you have the better. Later, I will counter this point in discussing flexibility. Meanwhile, as the project progresses, invariably there are changes that will occur, so…


2. Define your Limits

Now that you have a dreamy idea. It’s time for some reality. There are different types of limits we all have. The most obvious is money. Working with your Designer and home Contractor to establish a budget is fundamental. Convenience and Time may be the next two limitations. Convenience is the hassle or toll the construction process will take on you, your partners and/or your family. The noise, the dust, the plastic partitions, the interruption to your routine, the congestion or just having to meet new people, strangers in your home, all add to the stress. It is important that all these types of issues are addressed prior to construction commencing. The limitation of Time needs consideration as well. You should have an idea of when you want the construction to begin and when you want it to be complete. You will want to nail this down as close as possible with your contractor. Nothing can drain resources, energy and excitement as a “never ending project”. Other limitations that need attention are; governmental regulations, aesthetic sensitivity, means of communication, means of payment, etc. Next, we will ask you to expand your limits and…


3. Identify your Flexibilities

During early conversations with your design team and general contractor you will begin to learn what will work and won’t work for your project. This can be difficult but necessary. It is best to come to terms with these issues sooner than later. Some clients are more flexible than others. If you tend to be less flexible, prepare by clarifying what you “must have”. At the same time find areas you can yield to your team so that not every issue is a battle. This flexibility goes a long way to improve the overall experience for all. This dance of desires is best managed proactively when we…


4. Manage Expectations

Every person comes into a new build or remodel with some level of expectation. The more expectations we have the more clarity we must bring to the table. If we have very little expectations, then we will likely roll with whatever happens. But this may not end in total satisfaction. It’s best to strike a balance between clear direction for the “must haves” and “flexibility” for the rest. Along the way more clarity can be established but this gets trickier as the project progresses because as the investment grows the expectations grow as well both for the owner and the contractor. The best way to mitigate out-of-control expectations from either party is clear, continual communication. There should be a mechanism agreed to by all on how best to do this. However, if this does not smooth out all the obstacles you may need…


5. Contingency Awareness

What is your escape plan? If everything falls apart, how will you manage? What is the worst-case scenario? Working backwards from the worst-case scenario try to define the deal breakers for you. When will the other parties have crossed a line for you? If you know this in advance and can let them know then this awareness will fruitfully guide the process. Have a financial plan for how to cope with disaster. It may not be perfect but preparing ourselves mentally for the worst-case scenario can actually give us some peace because rarely does this happen and if it did, we would have something to hold on to. Now that you’ve come this far (without having to use your escape plan), it’s time to…


6. Celebrate your Achievement

Even prior to completion it’s good to celebrate milestones along the way. At some brief intervals pause to enjoy the process. Construction has been around for a very long time. It’s amazing what people can do these days. Having a little awe in the multitude of moving parts to create your vision is a good thing. The leap you took to get here was not without risk and it is exactly because of the risk that we should all be grateful and celebrate. In the end, it’s a good thing that we can and do improve our surroundings and enhance our lives.

Hopefully these insights shed a brighter light into the murky future of your next home project. If you need professional, strategic help on your home build or remodel, contact Rich at Inclign today.

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