November 11, 2008

About Renovating

The good thing about renovating a house or part of a house is that you can make it to your taste and at your options.

The bad thing is that you need to make compromises. Sometimes it just can't be done as you like and unexpected situations come up and you need to rethink your ideas.

Here are some of my latest observations:

Even if you are visiting your construction site on a daily basis you will find surprises (like my sister who is renovating a house here in Stuttgart).

And even when you have agreed on something and approved it, it might not look good when it is finalized (like some parts of our terrace in Italy):

A small construction site (like one room) or a large construction (like one entire house) only means you might have more time for details when having a small project. But this can drive you crazy nevertheless (like my bathroom renovation in Germany):

You need a long breath and iron nerves for renovation projects. From what I see, men tend to rush and make quick decisions and then can live with their decision while women tend to weigh all options in sleepless nights to finally come to the 'perfect' decision. The result - of course - is not the same because the quick decision maker has overseen at least one important detail (e.g. the space for the towel rail needed some more inches...). However, as said before, men can live with this.

My advise: If you spent a lot of money on renovating be sure not to rush. Better to find a lot of inspirations first, draw layouts and different perspectives to find the best solution and maybe even get some advise from an interior designer. Even the craftsmen might have good ideas as they have seen many solutions.

The iron nerves are also important when dealing with craftsmen (at least here in Germany). Instead of thanking you for the assignment you have to thank them for having time for you. The crisis seems not have touched them so far.

But this morning I was lucky. My German plumber has offered me a cup of coffee and a Brezel when I came to sign the contract.

Do YOU have any advise or experience to share about renovation ?

photo sources: the pics from our Italian palazzo were taken by our architect - the first one was sent yesterday. Grazie!

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog & what you have done (are doing) to your house. We have our own project in Toscana, see
    not as grand as you, but still a challenge. I want to take you to task on your assertion that 'all men rush in', as this one doesn't. I have done so many drawings, in 2D & 3D, many re-writes of a full specification (in English & Italian), and spend a long time talking to my Geometra about options, and many 'why not's?' I'm sure he thinks I'm nuts. Anyway continued good luck, and I'll add you to my blogroll (if you don't mind)