Falling Apart

Falling Apart

I’m a detail person. It’s my job. My clients entrust their renovations to me because they know I will leave no stone unturned and no corner unnoticed. Can I spy shoddy construction at a hundred yards? Maybe. That’s my superpower. That’s my job.

I mention this because I know how you feel. You, person out there, deep in a renovation or rehab project. You, my micro-manager. You, my friend with control issues. I know you. I have been you. I know you are a freaking out right now. I think you haven’t slept a full night since the contractor first set foot in your house because all you can seem to think about is everything that could possibly go wrong.

You, my friend, must chill out.

Renovations are messy and complicated by nature. When things get a little chaotic, emotions can run high. Look for ways to minimize problems and manage your frustrations as they come. It’s okay that you’re stressed–I’ve been there—but sometimes a yoga class can be more effective than dressing down your general contractor.

Following the electrician around the kitchen with a list of “Are you sure?” questions will neither expedite the renovation process nor endear you to the professionals. Your crew knows what they’re doing. I know it can be tough, but you have to take a step back and let them do their job. Deal with mistakes that have been made instead of mistakes that haven’t been made yet.

Finally, a not insignificant piece of being a project manager is helping my clients let go and let it be. If your peace of mind is being compromise by your inability to step away, I strongly recommend finding a professional project manager to take the reins for a while. If just walking past your dining room triggers an anxiety attack, let someone else manage for a while and get out of town for a few days. If there’s a part of the renovation you’re particularly dreading? That might be an excellent time to schedule a vacation.

You have to accept (and I know it’s hard) that some things are out of your control.
There are usually small issues and unexpected problems that pop up along the way. Someone on the team (the architect, the construction manager, the contractor, the perfectionist carpenter doing custom trim work in the dining room) may worry that the project won’t come together. But most renovations? They end well. And I have a feeling that yours will be no exception.

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