Client Empathy Blog #11 What do the last quarter, the last inning and the last weeks of construction have in common?

What do the last quarter of a football game, the last inning of a baseball game and the last few weeks of construction have in common? They seem to go on forever!!!! And you are hanging on with baited breath on the edge of the chair, hoping you win in the next minute and 30 seconds… then there is a penalty, an injury or “the missing part” all stopping the clock.

That is the stage of construction we are in right now.  The plumbing fixtures have been on site for months, the roughs have been approved and that final special extra tile you were waiting came and it is in and grouted. The plumbers are on site and what?!?!….the faucet is missing a part?  So, we call Waterworks, and they are going to overnight it but the plumber is booked for the next few days…they will get back to us when they can….UGH! I have Vicky at ANEW on speed dial and she is terrific--talking plumbing valves with plumbers and dropping of parts as needed.

 Waterworks Highgate three hole wall mounted lavatory faucet with metal cross handles

Waterworks Highgate three hole wall mounted lavatory faucet with metal cross handles

The little things like the powder room faucet is installed and it is HOT, HOT (hot)! For real, the “buttons” indicating the hot and cold both read “H” if anything I think Marvin and I would have let it go if it had been two “C”s. Our friends at Waterworks of course are making it right.

Again, what is another week in the scheme of things…it is just that we are spent in more ways than one.  Emotionally, physically and financially.  After 6 months of being displaced in our own home, we just need this to be over.

You may remember the schedule…it was “Fast”, the actual time line in our contract was to be in the month of February; we will be done….and we are so close and today is March 1st and I would grade the completion 95%. 

 A few of the options being considered. Amerock Hardware Available at Clawson Cabinets

A few of the options being considered. Amerock Hardware Available at Clawson Cabinets

 Hardware that arrived damaged

Hardware that arrived damaged

We are waiting for the balance of the cabinetry hardware….It was selected and ordered, but the finish on some pieces were not the same as the samples, so we are waiting for replacements. 

overall splash.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, the Contractors got to work installing the backsplash tiles that I spied the very first day I started looking at Short Hills Marble and Tile. It is a hand painted Esher-Esque pattern. I worked with the contractor to painstakingly lay it out to make sure the corner looked right and that the pattern worked out around the windows and such.

 There was a problem...it became all I could see when I looked at the splash.

There was a problem...it became all I could see when I looked at the splash.

When I got home, all I could see was this one tile that the artist had messed up and it was right in the middle over the stove. I lost an entire night’s sleep over it, stupid as it sounds.  If it had been a client’s house I would have notified the contractor immediately that it had to be taken out. I just could not understand why they would not have used that tile as one they cut for around an outlet or switch plate.

 Like a bulls-eye it is all I could see when I looked at the backsplash.

Like a bulls-eye it is all I could see when I looked at the backsplash.

I dreamed that I was told that "every box had one of these 'opps' tiles" and it was the artists "signature tile" that let everyone know that they were hand painted. I called my colleague, Adrianne at Short Hills Marble and Tile to talk it over. I sent the images above and she encouraged me to have it changed out. The problem was there were no extras. We used every tile we had. Adrianne said she could order me one but it would be 8 weeks. Then my husband revealed that he had given my sample tile to a client. I made the call and was able to retrieve the original sample tile and by Monday they replaced the tile and now my splash is everything I wanted and more.

"Happy Happy Sad Sad Happy Happy Sad" was the response I used to give my husband when he asked how the kids were doing today. And now that is what we say when we talk about how it is going up at the house when one of us drops by to see what is going on at lunch time. Just when you think it is almost done and when you leave in the morning for work you see them working hard in a particular room and you are so hopeful that you will be able to use it that night because...

Our dear friends that hosted us in the Berkshires over President’s Day weekend while the floors were being finished, had a must attend business event in NYC last night and needed a place to crash before they got up to rush back home this morning for work. Eager to return the favor and host them last night, I was like ‘wow by the time they get here tonight I will have a completed Hall Bathroom to offer them.’

Not so fast…I was notified that without the faucet part, and the straight valve for the toilet and the missing shower arm, we could not offer them a working bathroom on the second floor. The Master is close to being complete-- it has a working toilet and sink or so we thought and we offered that to them.  This morning, after my guests had left, I walked into the Master Bath and my foot got wet….water was pouring out of the new vanity cabinet.

The emotional rollercoaster can be too much at times. Last week I teared up every time I walked into the almost done kitchen. Part of me questions why did we decide to do this? Was the 95 year old kitchen and bath really that bad?  

 Yes it needed to be renovated.  The only bathroom in the house was repaired one to many times and was beyond repair. There were not enough cabinets and no exhaust fan or dishwasher...it was time to renovate.

Yes it needed to be renovated.  The only bathroom in the house was repaired one to many times and was beyond repair. There were not enough cabinets and no exhaust fan or dishwasher...it was time to renovate.

 

And like during child birth when I thought I could opt out right when it got really painful, I am realizing that I just need to do the same-- BREATHE and push through...As the smell of fresh paint (even low voc paint has a smell) fills the air, and we learn to load a dishwasher, we are overcome with joy when we walk into the light filled spaces. As I reflect on the game in these last moments I believe that we are definitely WINNING!

enlarged tile problem.jpg