When Patience Is A Must

By Dave McKenna
Wednesday - March 08, 2006
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Graham Builders employees (from left): Evan Fujimoto, Jenny Park, Keith Kilburn, Faith Baba and Dave McKenna
Graham Builders employees (from left): Evan
Fujimoto, Jenny Park, Keith Kilburn, Faith Baba
and Dave McKenna

When building or renovating a home, we all hear good and bad stories from friends and family. We watch the “Home Improvement” shows on HGTV and TLC, and we read articles in newspapers or in industry magazines. We learn about contractors, carpenters, masons, where to buy materials, what’s the best carpet or tile. But no person, article or TV show talks about the most important aspect of the process - patience.

It is said that patience is a virtue. If you don’t have it, you are in for a rough time. Why would I say that? Isn’t the entire process of building or renovating a home structured with a carefully drawn plan and a detailed construction schedule? Yes it is, but ...

It’s the “but” part that requires the patience. “But” it might rain. “But” the concrete suppliers might go on strike. “But” the homeowners might change their minds on their counter tops. “But” the cabinet supplier might ship late. ““But”” the local material supplier might run out of doors. “But” the custom windows that were ordered might not fit. I could go on with a list two or three pages long of “buts.”

The roughest job of having patience falls on the homeowner. God bless ‘em. They have a tough job. They have worked hard for months to get the home they wanted designed, have paid thousands of dollars, looked at tile, carpet, faucets, window styles and as soon as they decide on one, the supplier says it’s out of stock or is a very long lead item.

No matter how hard everybody works, there will always be some area of disappointment.

Most of the time delays are not any one person or company’s fault, it is just the way the animal is. The homeowner drives by the work site and sees nobody there. Why?! Maybe the container didn’t arrive, maybe there was a problem with the work and the previous sub has been called back. Who knows? “But” patience is the only recourse everyone has.

Life doesn’t conform to a schedule and, as hard as we may try, life is life. Delays of one sort or another will happen. Some will have no effect on the completion of the job while others may stop it in its tracks. If you work with a reputable builder, the work will be completed. You will pay more for a good builder, but you are assured that the job will be completed with satisfaction. Reputable builders use reputable subcon-tractors and quality materials. Be patient. A good home, built well, will last you a lifetime. A cheap home, poorly built by inexpensive, unlicensed “builders” will require constant maintenance for a lifetime. Which would you prefer? Be patient. You are spending an lot of hard-earned money, prices on everything seem to be constantly rising. Get the best value you can for every cent you spend.

Getting the best value for your investment is not done by painting the bedrooms by yourself, or having your friend who is a roofer do the work. Remember that the work of a good builder comes with a warranty.

Although you may save a few thousand dollars by doing it yourself, in the long term experienced professionals will give you quality results. Added to that is the probable delay you will cause the contractor in finishing the job while you set up your ladder and grab that bucket of paint. Be patient.

Next Week: Carl Vogel, Cancer Research Center of Hawaii

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