Client Empathy Blog #7—Onto every job, a little rain must fall

This past month the weather has been a little less than perfect.

Southwest elevation as of 11/17/17

Southwest elevation as of 11/17/17

We experienced a Nor‘easter over one weekend. And it poured into the wee hours on another day.

The good news is:

The new roof is on, the windows are in and nothing leaked.

However, some things just don’t change, and fixing an unfinished basement will never be a glamorous way to spend your renovation money and yet, neither is moving things to higher ground, mopping up water, setting up towel dams and sucking up the water with a wet vac late into the night and first thing at the crack of dawn. Perhaps it is time to consider some long term solutions down there too. 

As the construction team works to “button up” the outside before winter sets in, we had a week of dreary drizzle and rain.  I felt bad for the workers when they showed up and began to get out their tools. They are intrepid and very creative. They soldiered on in the rain with a very ingenious set up.  In what will be the family room they set up a “paint priming studio” and under a tarped scaffolding they continued to work completing the west side of the house.

Then there is the proverbial rain that is falling:

The mechanical space for HVAC

The mechanical space for HVAC

HVAC Contractor: First they announced that they could not start until the middle of November. Then the call came 4 weeks early—they were ready to start. The walk-through started with the typical complaining about not giving them enough room and why didn’t they get to run the ducts before the electrician did his work. Really? I love these guys. We recommend them all the time. And in the true spirit of Clawson Collaboration, we were able to get everyone the space they needed for their stuff and it all got worked out. We didn’t even lose any closet space…or should I say Marvin didn’t lose any closet space.

Delay at the cabinet factory: It is a busy time of the year there with orders rushing in. The turnaround time on my questions for a few custom pieces seemed to be taking longer than usual. And the longer it took them to get back to me, the more I was overthinking the details and I would change something else. The ladies in Customer Service have been very patient with me. I will certainly have to buy them a round next time I visit the factory.

Deliveries: Word is that the vanities are in the warehouse here in Jersey. They can be delivered anytime—but we are not ready for them.

The very fast schedule is fast but for some reason, the cabinets are still at the end of even a fast schedule.

Rough plumbing for master shower is complete...but not quite ready for a vanity

Rough plumbing for master shower is complete...but not quite ready for a vanity

The kitchen cabinets will be available to be delivered the second week of December…just to taunt me. I am certain that they will not be able to install and template the counters and get them in before the holidays….but just maybe they will …it would be truly magical if Santa could deliver a finished project with everything back in its place.

For now I am reminded of the advice I always give.  Do NOT plan to host any parties until you have been moved in back in for a year.  Trying to finish in time to host the holidays or family accomplishment is way too much pressure on something that really is quite organic.

I remind myself that for 20 years I have waited for this…one more year is fine.

My kids reminded me of our friends' kitchen project that I designed over 17 years ago. Big on holidays and celebrations, they were determined to celebrate in the same fashion that they always had. We were long-time members of their “friendsgiving” celebration every year. My kids reminded me of the “toaster oven turkey”.  We had converted what was a very gracious butler’s pantry into a kitchen while the construction was going on. Our friends actually had a small stove and counter top oven from Sears scratch and dent to outfit the makeshift kitchen. No matter how many times I offered to bake the turkey, our friends were determined to do it all.  Dinner was amazing as usual with the hostess no more stressed than normal and proving that it is the cook not the equipment that makes the meal.

With Thanksgiving just a week away, we are truly grateful!

Grateful that:

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  • Neighbors have answered my on line request for doors that they may have removed in their homes when they did renovations.
  • Trader Joes, a Rice cooker and a working stove top --we are still eating good healthy meals .
  • Friends that are traveling this holiday and have traded pet care for use of their oven. 

Truth be told, no one likes turkey in our house.  We will be grilling and just happy to have all of our grown and growing children home for the holidays.