I remember as a kid hearing that story about the tortoise and the hare. I never liked that story at all because I always wanted to be the Hare. I still distinctly remember that story upsetting me, even at ten years old.
I wanted to be the Hare. I wanted to be fast! And I wanted to be the winner! So that story just seemed stupid to me, and I bet I wasn’t alone.
But I’m starting to wonder. Maybe there is something to it all….
One thing I know for sure is that the “slow and steady” theory applies to remodeling without a doubt. That’s especially true if you’re doing the work yourself. But it applies to those jobs done by professionals as well.
The most common complaint I used to hear was “why does this take so long?” and that was with ME…the Hare…as the contractor. These folks would have had a conniption fit if they hired Mr. Tortoise.
What’s the hurry?
Don’t rob yourself of the enjoyment of your project by constantly being dissatisfied because you’re in a hurry. It won’t ever be fast enough! Fast enough would be “snap, it’s done.” But that just ain’t gonna happen!
My advice is to love every minute of it! If the contractor you hire is the guy who’s truck breaks down every day for a week, don’t worry about it. Not only will you have extra time to decide what paint color you really want to use, but you’ll have a funny story to tell when everyone starts exchanging contractor stories. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that would you?
Take the time to explain the process to the kids. Let them get engaged in the work, talk to the workers, and learn about what’s happening. This may sound really, super, WAY, crazy…but enjoy the smell of the sawdust.
(I know I’m a nutcase, because that actually brought tears to my eyes!)
For The DIY Crew
If you’re doing the work yourself this is even more true. Remodeling your home can be torture, or it can be pure bliss. I say the biggest tilting point between the two is simple..TIME.
Four good reasons to take it slow:
- It’s cheaper – money is the other misery generator for DIY’ers. But if you’re going slow, then you ‘ve got plenty of time to save-up and time to look for deals. I bought all the wood I needed to build a garden structure at our house (it was a hen house, but it wasn’t an average hen house) for less than $100.00… it would have cost ten times that if I had bought it on-demand. Deals like that can be found if you’re patient.
- It’s more fun – If you’re willing to only get one-fourth of the work done in a day that a “pro” might do, then you can take some time to enjoy it. Put on some good music, grab a cold drink, throw nails at your kids. You know, play!
- You can do a better job – I used to work with a carpenter that I wish I could talk to today. I wonder where he is. He wasn’t fast at all, but man was he good! Every single thing he did came out right and he really enjoyed the work too! (as long as my youthful push for better profits didn’t drive him nuts) By taking his time, he did an excellent job.
- You can learn and teach at the same time – One of the things I hope it’s not too late to do is to spend more time building things with my sons. I’ve been busy working, and when not working, traveling. But we’re getting tired of all the travel and we have a whole house to remodel completely. I want to use that process to teach them my skills. You can’t do that if the goal is to hurry-up and finish.
So I think I’m going to slow down. (or at least try) Maybe I’ll even go slow enough to take some pictures of my own work to show you. Or make a video… can you hear the voice of Ed McMahon? Heeeeeeeeeerrre’s ReeeeeeModeling Guy!
Hopefully you haven’t slowed down so much you’re sleeping now! 🙂
Now hurry-up and leave a comment!