Balancing Emotions And Decisions in the Home Design/Remodeling Process
Building or remodeling a home is one of the most decision-intensive activities you can undertake. So if you’re thinking about building or remodeling in the Durham, Newington, North Branford or Northford area, be prepared to make lots of decisions. But there’s something else you should be prepared for.
We often think of decision-making as a completely logical, rational process. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for emotions. But I can promise you that emotions play a big role in the homebuilding and remodeling process. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
After all, building a new home (or turning your existing home into a virtually new home) should be an exciting adventure. If there’s no emotion involved, there’s probably something wrong with the project. As a builder, I can tell you that we love to see positive emotions when we’re working on a job. We love being involved in a project that makes people happy.
Emotions, however, can sometimes get in the way of the decision-making process. Emotions and decisions intersect in the building process all the time, but where they clash most often is in the area of unmet expectations. And there are two main culprits here: Expectations that aren’t communicated and unrealistic expectations (usually having to do with budget).
Sometimes a homeowner has great ideas and expectations for how the home is going to look. But if what you see in your head doesn’t show up on paper (in the plans the builder uses to build your home) you’re going to be disappointed. That’s why it’s so important to clearly communicate what you want to your builder before the plans are finalized. Of course it’s also one reason to make sure you select a builder that will listen carefully to what you want. As the homeowner you have to decide what you want and communicate it clearly to the builder. There may be more than one way to accomplish what you want, so let the builder find the best way to do it.
Probably the biggest challenge for homeowners and builders is when a decision runs smack-dab into the budget. It happens all the time. Homeowners see something online, on television, or at someone else’s home. They want it. They get excited about it. And they want a builder to build it into their home. The only problem is that it wasn’t in the original plan—or the original budget. The homeowner then has to decide if they are willing to spend the extra money (and possibly take extra time) to add the new feature.
It’s not wrong to want beauty and quality and innovation in your home. Where you can get in trouble as a homeowner is when your expectations (and emotions) are out of sync with the reality of your budget. That’s why it’s so important to establish a realistic budget with your builder. You don’t want to make it more than is reasonable (who wants to be stuck in a house they can’t afford?). But it also shouldn’t be less than reasonable (you can’t build a 6,000-square-foot house on a budget for a 3,000-square-foot house). And if you want to make changes—talk to your builder and discuss how those decisions you’re making will affect the schedule and the budget.
Emotions are part of the building process. We want you to be excited about your new home. But we don’t want unrealistic expectations to end up causing you disappointment—or worse.
Clearly communicating with your builder can help you keep that balance.