Thursday, 27 February 2014

Post Remodeling Stress Disorder

Everyone knows what PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is - in the simplest terms it is the mental, physical and emotional after effects of a traumatic incident or experience. What is not so well known is PRSD (Post Remodeling Stress Disorder). This may sound like a joke, but it is not. What it refers to is the period just after a home remodel has been complete. No matter how much planning and thought has gone into the project, at the end there will always be things that were left out, things that are not as they were supposed to be and things that have just plain gone wrong. And fretting over these minor irritants to the extent of not being able to enjoy the newly remodeled home is PRSD.

20-20 Hindsight

A home is a family's most valuable possession and its equity. Obviously a home remodel, whether a whole house remodel or a smaller kitchen or bathroom renovation is given a lot of thought. Everyone wants the end result to be perfect as the budget permits. Days, weeks and often even months are spent considering options and planning everything down to the smallest detail. Words of caution from the contractor are often ignored or forgotten. Expectations are high and everyone looks forward to a perfect conclusion to the project. Then reality hits. The remodeling may be fantastic, but what about the switch - should it have been move a couple of inches to the right? And why do we have to bend so much to access the dishwasher? Is this shade of paint really what we had seen online? And so on.

Then comes the Monday Morning Quarterback. Someone says I knew it would not come out as we planned. And then everyone develops a case of 20-20 hindsight.  Regret and recrimination spreads. Arguments ensue as to whose idea it was to have the refrigerator in that awkward corner. In the end all these issues are forgotten and the family lives happily in a remodeled home that is far nicer and more comfortable to live in than it was before. But during that period of PRSD, some of the sheen of the new home has been lost.

Get Real

Hoping for and dreaming of the prefect home remodel is natural. But it is important to accept the fact that the search for perfection would defeat even Indiana Jones. Small errors and miscalculations will seep into the planning process. Different people in the home may agree on the same concept and plans, but the picture that each has in his or her mind of the end result could be very different. A window of a certain size may seem perfect for a room when seen on a computer screen but reality maybe a little different.

It is easy to blame the contractor when things go bad, but in many cases that could be unfair. He will do what the family tells him to - he does not know what kind of picture of the end result they have in their minds. What the contractor thinks is right may not seem so to the family and the other way around.
This does not mean the detailed thinking; conceptualizing and planning should not go into a home remodel. It must or the project will end in complete failure. Plan and hope for perfection - that is the only way to get as close to it as humanly possible. But at the end, if there are small irritants, don't sweat it.  If the home was really prefect, you would have wings on your shoulders and a halo over your head.

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