* Schedule * Budget * Design *
...pick two, the industry has taught us....
Yet as two architects, specialized in high end residential renovations and additions, with over 60 years of combined experience between us and over 450 built projects, we believe we are in control! And, like our clients, we are determined to beat the odds and have it all!
We are living in our house while construction is taking place, and our trusted and experienced contractor will not give us a schedule other than "Don't worry...I will go fast." While we would never recommend this approach to our clients, and scoff at the idea of no schedule, because of our ten-year history of working with this contractor, we know he is very fast, as well as a man of his word.
In an effort to keep our lives as normal as possible, the contractor has not had us pack up the kitchen yet. We offered to do a partial clearing of the back area right away, as there was a way to put up a temporary partition that would have given him more room to work and still leave us with a usable kitchen. He insisted it was not necessary and he would let us know when.
This contractor moves fast. His experience, based on our collegial working relationship and our attentiveness to our clients' needs, is that we are responsive and that we move fast, too.
Tuesday morning the contractor flagged us down as we were leaving for work in the morning. The day ahead for Marvin and me was scheduled full of meetings and commitments. Then I heard the words "tomorrow...it needs to be emptied out by tomorrow."
Now, slightly overwhelmed with a task we had not scheduled for that day, Marvin and I told each other it would be fine. I offered to skip a board meeting but Marvin reminded me that a commitment is a commitment and we would divide and conquer—a bottle of wine at the ready and the task before us beginning when I returned from the board meeting after 10 pm.
Together we took turns stepping up on the chair and handing down each finding. From the kids' elementary school pottery projects, to Grandma's cream and sugar set, to the wedding gifts created by artist friends. The bulletin board with the stacked certificates, graduation tassels and tickets as memorabilia, friends' well-crafted party invitations and baby announcements we couldn't bear to part with...it has all been taken down.
The memories from 20 years of living in our first house have been sweet. Sharing wine, memories and laughter as we patted each other on the back for what we have built together and what we are building now, we paused... and joked.... and reminded each other that our life has never been...on our schedule, our budget or completely by our design!
And we reflected on how it's all worked out beautifully.