Thursday, August 8, 2013

Learning to Cope with Construction

Construction ain't easy.

Yes, I understand that construction is financial and physically taxing - but let's discuss how emotionally traumatizing it has been.  Okay, maybe "traumatizing" is being a smidge dramatic, but really... let's talk about our feelings.

If Dr. Phil were to ask me how I was coping today, I would say terribly.  The closer we get to the end of our build, the more irritable and bipolar I become.  Early in the process, I was fine when an electrical pipe was put in the wrong place and I was pretty okay when a window wasn't properly framed out.  But now... if things are off, my mood instantly plummets and I am a raging monster!

I call this "Finish-Line Emotional Fiasco Disorder".

The blend of anticipation and entitlement are creating an emotional hurricane inside of my head that causes me to flip out {quietly... internally... I'm not a yell and scream type of person.... about this stuff at least}.  We have lived through over five months of construction highs and lows and the irrational side of my brain thinks that this close - three weeks from the finish line - everything should start coming together.... flawlessly.  I'm not usually an entitled person but I have caught myself thinking, "We're paying a lot of money for this... it should be perfect."

For instance, look at these stairs.  LOOK AT THEM!  The wood board (the "stair") has been severely chipped since framing was done and they carpeted over them.  Seriously?  What the crap is that?!
And oh, what's this... the cabinets were installed and already one door panel is cracking... and are you kidding me?  A knob has been totally roughed up.  How did that happen?
And what's with the two-toned design here?!  The molding should match the cabinets - duh.
Don't even get me started on the baseboards.  How is it that every time someone comes through another baseboard gets dented....
And... the PAINT JOB!  How about we under spray on the bottom of the window, but we'll compensate by painting over the top of the frame.
Heartbeat quickening... anger rising... confusion cloud rolling it.  Is this really as good as it's going to be?!  Seriously?!  It should be perfect - damnit!

Hold up..... hit the brakes.... rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
What was that, crazy pants?

The rational side of me wants to get a few things straight.  First, nothing in construction is perfect.  There will be dents, some things will not precisely line up and everything will not be exactly as you envisioned it.  Second, this is construction in process - bumps and bruises will happen along the way, but it's not like these errors and missteps haven't happened before.  The builder will fix them.  Additionally, this is what a final walk-thru is for - if items really are unacceptable, there are standards, policies and contracts in place to make sure they are fixed before closing.  Finally, you are entitled to nothing.  So cool your jets.

Rational me is really so much better than crazy pants me... but with all the anticipation and excitement it is sometimes hard to remember that nothing about construction is perfect.  We have been diligent about watching for dangerous or hazardous flaws in construction but have found very little to be worried about.  Really, at this point, I'm just being picky.... particular... a liiiiittle snobbish.  At the end of the process we will have a big, beautiful, brand-new home - a pretty solid roof over our heads.  I need to remember that.

If you are going into the new-build process, my one piece of advice is this...
Remember that you are never looking at a finished product until you are told it's the finished product.

Here's to hoping I keep my wits about me for the next 2.5 weeks.  
Wish me luck!


  1. Nothing wrong with wanting brand new, to look brand new! I don't think you are asking too much. Not in the slightest. I would notice all those things too. You'll have plenty of time to add wear and tear of your won, I'm sure you don't want to start off out of the gate with it. We bought brand new once, in a track, and getting the details fixed afterwards was a nightmare. The level of work is just substandard and the people they sent out to do could have cared less. Wishing you much luck and a flawless final walk-through. My heart goes out to ya!

    1. Thank you so much, Shannon! It's been such a process - good and bad at the same time. Glad to know I'm not as crazy as I thought {ha! right?}. Thankfully, some of the things I mentioned above are already getting fixed, so keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to go smoothly! :)

  2. Hi Jen! I stumbled accross your blog by way of a # search on twitter... We too are building in that same neighborhood and while we aren't quite as far along as you in the process, we are finding ourselves frustrated by all of the little bumps, bruises, and mistakes along the way so it was nice to see that we aren't alone!! Thanks for sharing! Sending lots of good luck and happy thoughts your way as you come into the final home stretch! Hopefully we will be joining you out there as neighbors before too long... :-)

    1. Hi Ashlie! I'm happy you've found me. :) It's been frustrating at times, but overall, our experience has been very positive. Thankfully, the superintendent has been very responsive to our requests and quite a few of the items listed above are being fixed before our final walk-thru (thank goodness). Thank you for the well wishes! Wishing you all the same! Hope to see you soon. :)


Blogging tips