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Word of the Year: Patience

So this year started with a bang: lots of phone calls, lots of homeowners excited to get started. I was greeted right after New Year’s with a flurry of client emails that basically said, ‘It’s been a month since we talked last. What’s happening?” (Of course, totally forgetting that we had time off between Xmas and New Years that took about 10 days off that calendar.) To be fair, this is a continuation of the end of 2015.

To give you a bit of background, kitchens aren’t my only area that I design. This year sees more than my share of whole house (or almost whole houses) remodels. That means I’m working with not only the boss and our crew, but also with subcontractors, everyone from fireplace insert specialists to window and door folks.

Here’s what I learned very quickly: the sub-contractors are swamped. I believe our days of getting a quick turnaround for bids and quotes is over. And let’s face it, we were spoiled. I’m having a hard time adjusting. I can’t fault them: I ended up talking to our exhausted painting contractor at 9:30 at night, just to discuss one of my projects. I’m falling a bit behind after telling homeowners, “Oh, yes, I should have a proposal for this week!”

This is a lie. That list is way longer than that and the clock in the background is going too fast, I’m sure of it.

By the way, these are sub-contractors we work with on a regular basis. I couldn’t imagine working with too many new trades. My rule-of-thumb based on the days when I worked as a sub-contractor is that until the sub-contractors know you and can judge how you are to work with, you go at the bottom of the pile behind everyone else. (Or, if they know you and you have a good reputation, you may move up to the middle of the pile because they want to work with you.)

Depending on where you live and the how busy your area is, I might suggest you fast forward your plans if you want to remodel this year, or at least check to see how busy everyone is. The subs aren’t the only ones who are busy. I can’t even talk to new clients for at least 2 months. Well, that’s not true. I can talk to them, I just can’t do anything about their projects, which is a hard thing to face after the emptiness of the recession.

Time to take vitamins, heh.

Until next time,




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