Have you ever seen The Bachelor or The Bachelorette? If not, here's an overview: It's a dating show where the the entire season leads up to the star of the show, an attractive single person who just hasn't found love yet, proposing to another attractive single person who just hasn't found love yet. What's interesting about it, other than the drama created when a bunch of strangers are cut off from the world and offered free booze, is that we've seen a lot of marriage proposals. And almost all are pretty much what you'd expect them to be - "I've loved going on this adventure with you. I'm so happy when we're together. I love how smart and funny you are. I can't imagine my life without you. Will you marry me?"
Before popping the question, a list is given. The star of the show tells their soon-to-be fiancee all the reasons why they've fallen for them, and then asks the question we've been waiting 11 episodes to hear.
Wouldn't it be weird to just start with the proposal? "Hey thanks for coming, wanna get hitched?" In remodeling though, this is kind of the way most people do it.
Let's say you want to build an addition. So you call me up and say, "TJ, I want to build an addition. I took my tape measure in my yard, and I think it should be 18' by 18'. I also want to open my kitchen up, add a powder room, get some more storage space, redo the hall bathroom upstairs, paint the outside of the house, finish the basement, and take care of some other odds and ends. Can you do that?"
The answer is always yes, of course - we can do that. However, I wouldn't really be providing you with the best service or experience I could by just giving you a quote for the work you proposed and then moving on. What's more important for me to figure out is why did you call in the first place? Why do you want an addition? Why do you need a powder room or more storage space?
In any remodeling project, whether it be a large scope like I listed above, or only one room, the most important thing I need to understand is what is driving this decision for you. Understanding why is the only way I can help you prioritize what is important and make all of decisions that are going to be coming.
In my addition example above, let's say that after chatting for a bit I learn that the reason you want the new space and to open the kitchen is so that you can talk to your family or guests while you're cooking. It's been bugging you for years that you feel isolated while preparing meals. You know the addition is a big project, but it will be worth it because you'll finally be connected with everyone else.
Now what if we could solve that problem without building new space?
You also told me that you only use your dining room twice a year and most meals happen in the adjacent breakfast nook. Because I now understand why you're doing the project, I can propose a second solution where we open the kitchen to the dining room and breakfast nook. Because the kitchen is now open to two eating areas, we can take the former breakfast area and turn it into an informal lounge. Now you can be at the center of all the action - cooking while hanging out with your family or guests and you'll be on the inside of all of those inside jokes (and bonus, you didn't have to spend money on new space you actually didn't need).
So before we talk about what you want to do (the addition, the bathroom, etc), or how we can go about doing it (phasing the projects, fixed price, guaranteed completion dates, etc), we need to spend some time talking about why.
Bye for now,
If you liked this post, SUBSCRIBE to the free newsletter - it's a
weekly dose of :Designed Happy delivered right to your inbox
This post was inspired by the excellent book, Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. If you haven't read or listened to it, it's worth your time.