Monday, December 18, 2006

The balancing act

My mom posted a comment below about my grandfathers experience with difficult clients. They are both right on the money (as usual...). There seems to be a fine balance between understanding what is going on with your construction project and being a flat-out pest. I don't want to be a two-year old asking questions at every step, but then again, I think it's important that to understand how a house is constructed and what elements are going into it.

Early on in the process, our builder was choosing the A/C units, utilities, etc. for us. We had no interaction with the sub-trades or any idea about the decisions that were being made. At one point, Mr. Big and I decided that we wanted to understand a bit more. So we went trudging around town speaking to A/C guys, gas guys, plumbers (who were guys too...), etc. Yes, imagine dorky accountants (x2) trying to keep up with rough-and-tumble construction types. It was a comical sight, I'm sure.

But the most amazing thing happened...everyone spent ages with us sharing their tips! And these weren't expensive tips, these were the "tips reserved for my best bud". Yes, Mr. Big is a pretty likable guy so I shouldn't have been surprised, but honestly, it was like a treasure chest was opened up for us. Was it ever fabulous to meet these guys and finally understand how everything came together. The beauty is that we can now actually understand what everyone is talking about...or so we think we can. (Our builder grimmaces in pain behind us...)

So last Sunday we were sharing a relaxing morning coffee with our builder. Everything is going fab and we're all buddies. I mentioned that I was pleased that a late change to the plans didn't affect the footing of the house. He gave me an perplexed look, gave the site an even more perplexed look, and then dashed off to the construction hut.

Okay, honestly, think Reggie Bush dash. Fast ...around workers ...over mounds of dirt ...and then into the endzone. Score!

Actually, it turns out that there was a penalty on the play and the footing (as in footing ball...haha) was 2 yards short (even worse). The photo below shows the original location and the updated location, which fortunately they were able to accomodate.

Obviously there is a fine balance to be struck between observing and participating. I doubt that I will be keeping that balance...but I'll try my hardest to listen to my wise grandfather's advice. Here's to trying...

No comments: