Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aren't You Finished Yet?

Now that all the up-front work is done, let's move on to how do we prevent the “aren't you finished yet?” part.

The larger the project the longer it’s going to take.  At some point during the project everyone realizes the honeymoon is over and you wish “they’d get out!”  At the beginning of a remodel things seem to go rather quickly, then a feeling of loss sets in.  Loss of control, loss of your home and loss of being able to continue your routine(s) as usual.  The invasion of your private space and the dirt are sometimes unbearable.

The best way to prevent this is to be prepared. 
  • Get set and psyched up for the inconvenience this will cause.  A remodeling project turns your home, and sometimes your life, upside down.  Depending on the project be prepared to set your kitchen up in the laundry room or plan on the whole family using one bathroom for the duration.
  • Make sure you’ve “secured” a safe space in your home where you can escape.
  • Make sure either you or the remodeler guards against dust as much as dust can be guarded against:    
  1. Seal off doorways.  
  2. Turn off central air and heat while sanding is happening and keep extra filters on-hand.
  3. Designate one entrance where deliveries can be made.
  4. Make sure all bare floors and carpets are “draped” out thoroughly and completely.  Covering all flooring and pathways can prevent the tracking of dirt throughout the home.
  5. Have an upfront conversation about cleaning – when will it happen, how thoroughly and how often?  Will the contractor or one of their crew do it or should you get your cleaning service to handle it.
  • Try to keep your sense of humor.  Remember that many parts of a remodel are out of your control and laughing can keep you from blowing up or losing it as can having honest conversation.  It’s all about clarity.
  • Work at seeing this as an adventure.  Celebrate each finished stage of the project.  In the long run you can control how you feel about things.  This will translate to a happier family and better working conditions as well. 

Remember, it takes how long it takes and if you’ve had that conversation prior to starting the job that will make a huge difference when you want to know, “Aren’t you finished yet?”

 It’s like taking the kids on vacation and hearing continually “Aren’t we there yet?”  You must exercise patience with the kids just like you must exercise patience during your home improvement project.

Reva Kussmaul
CEO – Eye For Detail Inc.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reva's 7 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

COMMUNICATION: The Way to Avoid a Remodeling Nightmare

Are any of you considering a remodel in the future?

Are you not quite sure how to hire a contractor or specialist to meet your needs?

Or, have you been involved in a remodel in the past?

Do you wish you had known then what you know now?

We hear a lot of stories these days about remodeling nightmares, or as they are sometimes called CONTRACTOR NIGHTMARES. There are ways to avoid these disasters. The most important way is with clear, open and honest communication. The responsibility rests equally with both the contractor and the homeowner.

The homeowner must be clear about what they want and the contractor must respond in kind as to whether or not the stated desires can be met and, most importantly, how much it will cost. The homeowner must be able to do a complete bid analysis of each bid received. In other words, compare apples to apples and not simply look at the bottom line.

A remodeling coach helps create a win-win situation for everyone and ensures that the desired end result is achieved. The homeowner will be pleased with the final outcome and the contractor will walk away with a completed contract and referrals. When good communication comes first, everybody wins.


  1. Did the contractor return your phone call quickly?
  2. Did the contractor arrive at the scheduled time?
  3. Did the contractor walk through your home with you?
  4. Did the contractor ask pertinent questions?
  5. Did the contractor respect you and your home?
  6. Was the estimate on your project returned quickly?
  7. Did the estimate compare favorably to others?

Reva Kussmaul
CEO – Eye For Detail Inc.