Why I Should Never Visit My Own Renovation Projects…

Written by Jeff Gunther

On November 25, 2018

One weekend early on, I thought I’d give my contractor a hand, so I offered to drop by on a Saturday afternoon and do just that – hold stuff for him while he measured and cut and glued and attached. Jim didn’t ask for my help. I just offered it.

Why was that a mistake? Well, for all the things in which I may consider myself competent, construction really isn’t one of them. In less than an hour, Jim and I came across two unexpected problems. In both cases my reaction was some sort of cocktail of alarm, frustration, and despair: Can we fix that?! Is it going to be expensive?!

…And, of course, Jim already had an elegant solution in mind — in less time than it took to explain the problem to me.

Invest all the time you need in selecting skilled tradespeople with the required attitude, commitment and integrity – then trust them to act in your best interest.

I’m best when I set high expectations at the beginning of a project, get firm quotes – both on time and expense – and then stay out of the way until the job is complete. I’m always available for occasional consultation and regular progress visits, but when it comes to actual work, I should leave that to the experts.

The Lesson: Invest all the time you need in selecting skilled tradespeople with the required attitude, commitment and integrity – then trust them to act in your best interest.

PS: Jim’s solutions cost only $80 more than originally budgeted, and they look even better than we had first planned!

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