Last time I opened a page to share my thoughts, it was cold outside and John Snow knew nothing. 🙂
So it’s been three months since my last post and in the meanwhile I was totally and unequivocally involved in the I-got-a-house-and-was-making-it-liveable-again topic.
Long story short, I’m not even done with the house (and I’m living in a suitcase) but along this journey I made some mistakes, good decisions, but most important I learnt a couple of things that might be worth sharing and for others worth reading and taking into consideration when redoing an apartment.
I don’t really know how it is in other countries, but i’m sure I’m not the only one facing challenges.
Challenge no 1. Time.
Things will not go as planned just because you’ve highlighted a timeline. Someone or something will go not-necessarily-wrong-but-different than planned and this will have a domino effect. We were certain this will not happen to us – and go figure, it happened! A lot of things that you might think you are able to influence you actually can’t; so, if you are like me and consume yourself with resolving a problem, please just accept the fact that things will get delayed. And yes, you can email, text, call and make sure everyone knows the timeline and their influence but, that is about it, you can’t really do much else. Accept. That’s the most difficult part (or at least it was and is for me).
Challenge no 2. Money.
The only reason money was not the no 1 challenge is because money can’t buy everything – and time is one of those things. Yes, money will get you better furniture, decorations and generally, great service. But since the people factor is involved in personalising in-house-things, expect for .. delays. Again. For custom made furniture for example, upon checking the quality & craftsmanship, you may see defects in execution or montage and things will need replacement. And that takes time; time to check, communicate, wait and check again. Maybe if you are a billionaire this won’t be an issue, then again I guess you won’t be reading this. So for the rest of the mortals out there this is something to mind.
Challenge no 3. People.
Or communicating with them. Paying in advance, paying a little or a lot, communication should be the same. If something is delayed, if there’s a difference in terms and conditions, in deliveries or any other fact that is unknown, it should be said. Suppliers are still unaware that communication is 90% of their job and will disappear in the mist. They are adverse to accepting responsibility, especially if you question them. And again, money can’t necessarily buy great service. Not even collaborating with reputable suppliers based on people’s reviews. It’s a lottery, really. Of course we had great experiences, when people were professional in their walk, talk, writing, dress code and overall attitude. But some people will talk to you like you are their 2nd degree little cousin and play jokes on you. Sometimes I’m so amazed and I wonder how aren’t they ashamed cause I would be acting like them.
Yes, these three challenges are not rocket-science-never-seen-never-heard-of. However, one would consider that with sufficient planning and research on what it means to redo and refurbish an entire apartment that things should go smooth. And it may work great for some of us. And it might go like it did for us, which is less than great and it’s an immense resource draining activity. Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Or just get a place totally made up by the time you actually buy it and skip the whole I-can-do-this situation.
I am planning to write another article with recommendations and what to avoid, with specific names for suppliers, for reference. It would probably be of use only locally or nationally and not so much internationally. Just keep an eye on the page.