Oh, Those Contractors...

I want to give a some recognition to General Contractors for the amazing talents they have. I know, they can frustrate all of us. But, let's take a minute to really think about what these guys and gals do on a day to day basis. 

Before knowing exactly what is involved in a project (believe it or not, they don't have x-ray vision, and the finishes and fixtures you choose will GREATLY vary the cost of your project), they are expected to give numbers. We want numbers from them the minute they walk on a job site. Sure, there are some rule-of-thumb numbers they use after years and years of practice, but what do we pay them to share that information? Not a penny. We want a free estimate, and their time to come look at our spaces. No wonder they show up half the time slightly disinterested. They are LOADED with work, and someone they know nothing about wants free time and expertise. 

But, they are so crude! Sometimes.. yup, they can be. They work long hours, putting in HARD physical labor. One of the contractors I work with regular has had regular surgeries to deal with back and hip problems. When he's told to take 3 weeks for recovery, on week 2, his clients are rolling their eyes and insisting that he's causing quite the hold up. So, yes... I've heard their obscenties on the job-site. I have seen contractors leave for the day, with some garbage left on-site. While it's not okay to leave someone's home a mess with cigarette butts on the gound and spend the day cursing loudly around children... sometimes I leave work without rinsing my coffee cup. Sometimes I forget that I have co-tenants and drop a few choice obscenities in my office... and I'm not lifting heavy objects with old injuries. So, maybe that fast-food soda cup isn't such a big deal after all.

Okay, okay, what about the come and go mentality? Well, this is actually where I become incredibly impressed with contractors. To the homeowner, it appears as though they show up on a whim, and leave when they get bored of the work. However, contractors have multiple jobs that are balanced at once. Each of these jobs have unexpected issues that arise and need to be dealt with. Despite those unexpected issues on job #1, job #2 still has a deadline, and job #3 is completely unresponsive. Meanwhile, they schedule subs that rely on one another, and that also have multiple jobs to juggle. One little surprise puts sub #1 behind schedule, which means sub #2 is no longer available because other than the one week they had dedicated to this project, they are booked out for the next year. Sub #3 can't come back for 3 weeks. But, the GC will scramble to find everyone needed to pull that job together... 2 days late, and we're furious because we had said we needed it two days ago.

So, the next time we start tapping our feet when the GC isn't super motivated to rush out to give an estimate, or the next time our job site is empty for 2 hours/day for a week straight, or the sub drops an F-bomb after dropping a 2x4 on his toe... let's remember that these are people who do a difficult job with incredible skill. These are artists, and the coordination they manage (all in their heads, by the way!) is simply magic.

All that said, the people I have chosen to work with are generally considerate, communicative, clean, and have a positive attitude. I promise.. they do exist!

I love the GC's I work with!

What's happening at Waldron Designs?

 Hydroplane hangar demolition for a new home conversion!

Hydroplane hangar demolition for a new home conversion!

On another note, we are SLAMMED over at Waldron Designs! I have never seen a busier fall and we are scrambling to stay on top of it. We are 100% on top of our existing projects, but I will not lie that remembering new potential projects, and managing all the phone calls, marketing, this newsletter (who me, writing late at night the day before this is supposed to publish?) has been challenging. I'm not complaining at all- just adapting to a new reality of our growing business!

We have a few projects finishing up that I imagine we will have photos of in the spring. One is a hydroplane hangar that is being converted into a home. The hangar belongs to an absolutely wonderful woman with great spunk and a tendency to underspoil herself. We started out by hearing all the things she doesn't need, and reminded her a few times that it's okay to treat herself to some beauty in her home. We are so excited to see how this industrial space can take a soft approach to industrial design.

 We enlarged the existing bathroom in this farmhouse to allow a more functional use for the family of four with frequent guests.

We enlarged the existing bathroom in this farmhouse to allow a more functional use for the family of four with frequent guests.

The other project I imagine we'll be seeing this spring is a farmhouse complete renovation. This home had a kitchen entirely relocated and a bathroom enlarged on the main floor. Upstairs, we completely reconfigured the spaces to add a bathroom while maintaining three bedrooms. It is coming together quite beautifully, and we are really looking forward to the professional photographs!

We also have quite a few new projects that we've begun, to include a kitchen reface, a bathroom remodel, a kitchen concept for a remodel, a new construction residence, and a remodeled vacant space to become a healing movement and art studio space. We have had the odd consultation here and there between all these as well as our continuing education courses to keep us on the up and up. Last week, we had a phone call from a new interest every day of the week. Needless to say, we're keeping busy!

I'll bet you all were expecting some holiday newsletter about how to set your table or create a DIY wreath, weren't you? Ha ha, hopefully this one was more practical and applicable! But, hey... just for the heck of it- here are some great holiday shopping goodies:


And, don't forget that Waldron Designs can help you with your seasonal decor!

Happy Holidays, and thank you for keeping up with us! You may or may not have a holiday card in the mail from us shortly... it appears my holiday cards have been delivered elsehwere... and signed for! Our thoughts are most definitely with you, and we are ever so gratful for your support, referrals, and for being our cheering squad!

Rachel WaldronComment