Monday, October 12, 2009

Keep Your Eye on The Prize

I spend a lot of time talking with people about the tangled web that is Renovation, building, design, investing, real estate and business. Usually, especially with homeowners, I take the conservative road and discuss wants versus needs, resale value versus lifestyle, even master plan versus piecemeal.

Today though, the thing that I chose to take from a somewhat painful conversation was the reminder to keep your eye on the prize. Be uncompromising in the achievement of your goals. Now I’m not advocating the reckless pursuit of senseless waste or the wanton abandonment of common sense. Instead, I’m referring specifically to your project objectives.

Why did you start the project in the first place? When you first sat down with your Architect to talk about what you wanted to achieve through this project and why, what were your goals? Before you started talking with your Architect and Builder about real costs and maybe budget versus reality, what was the end game?

In many cases, our budgets don’t quite align with the reality of what our dreams really cost. Often we make design changes and reductions; we talk about “big ticket items” and “bang for your buck.” At some point in time some spinster erroneously dubbed this activity “value engineering.” It’s all part of the design and building process.

As you enter this phase of the process though, remember the key things that made this project worth it to you. Hold onto the essence that first excited you … and don’t let that go. On the flip side, consciously decide what you are willing to compromise on. It may mean that you have to increase your budget. It may even mean that you have to delay the project until next year. You may have to give some things up. But in the end, keep your eye on the prize and don’t give that up.

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