Understanding Remodeling Fever

 

            "Remodeling Fever" is the term that has been coined to describe the natural pattern of client emotions during a typical remodeling project.  It is very helpful to understand the emotional side of remodeling which is very real for both the client and the contractor.

 

THE KEY TO THE FEVER

 

The contract is signed...

The client feels a dream is about to be realized.  This is the highest degree of happiness, optimism, and satisfaction.

 

Production begins...

Demolition, storage of materials in the client's living space, the need for a telephone, keys, and bathroom bring the realization to the clients that they will be under siege for a period of time.  Their satisfaction level begins to slide.

Watching rough carpentry shape the space so quickly raises the client's expectations; the job seems to be going so well that undoubtedly it will be finished before the completion date.

The natural slow pace of mechanical rough-in, inspections, insulation and drywall, with numerous workers of various levels of thoughtfulness roaming the home, unexplained delays, work done and redone, begin to take their toll. 

 

Drywall and Trim-out...

At drywall the clients hit bottom.  The space makes almost no visible progress over a week, the drywallers may arrive at odd hours to do what appears to be invisible work, and then the ultimate blow of drywall sanding assures the most even tempered of homeowners that they have made a terrible mistake in undertaking remodeling.

The trim-out stage, which appears so simple to the layperson's eye, moves ever so slowly.  A day's work makes almost no visible difference to the client.  At this stage, many clients feel the job will never finish. However, they do begin to have a good overall view of what the space will look like and the enthusiasm increases with the anticipation of this wonderful added living space.

 

Completion...

The completion stage marks an improved outlook and a relief that the space will be the client's to use and live in.  In some jobs, goodwill is lost and replaced with anticipation.  Workers come and go without much visible change.  This last phase which usually takes approximately one to two weeks seems much longer to the client.

The clients’ life returns to normal.  They furnish and begin to enjoy the new space.  Their appreciation of the contractor returns and grows as time goes on.  However, there is a downslide during production, and it is not until the client can actually experience the new space that their level of satisfaction returns.

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