In our modern world with the advent of technology, people want things yesterday. There is a growing expectation for immediacy across the board. The more technology advances, the less patient we become. This creates a whole other set of issues and potentially lethal narratives.
Working across both commercial and residential sectors within construction, I can safely say that the same pitfalls and issues arise across the board. Taking on board learnings and common issues faced during commercial and residential construction, I want to highlight where it is worth slowing down and taking your time to avoid the long-term impact of poor, rushed decisions that will haunt you for years to come in this fast paced industry.
1. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
Layout and configuration are arguably the most important aspect of the interior of any building. It stands to reason that taking time to critically assess the requirements, wants and needs to ensure the layout best reflects them is extremely beneficial. Often this process can be rushed in order to get works started on the ground. However, it is worth spending an additional month or two analysing and tweaking this with the design team prior to detailing or beginning any construction works.
2. “The details are not the details, they make the design” – Charles Eames
A lot of the beauty of a finished space is in the selection of materials, finishes and fittings. Depending on how long a construction stage is, this can be over looked and rushed, with seemingly endless decisions needing to be made. No one wants to be responsible for delaying a project and with so many decisions need to be made along the way, it can be daunting. My advice would be to take the time to decide what you want and request a timeline from the contractor setting out when decisions need to be made.
3. “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”
Even with the best design team and architectural drawings, any build is heavily reliant on the skilled contractors and trades implementing them. It is crucial to get this right and to appoint the right team for your project. Make sure to get recommendations from experienced experts, as well as seeing completed works and speaking to previous clients before appointing trades to carry out your work.
4. “We live in a culture full of hares; but the tortoise always wins”
Skill and craftmanship is slow and steady, much like the tortoise. Quality takes time. Shortcuts are shortcuts. If you want the best result, it is worth waiting for. Countless times, this is ignored, and a high-end design is put at risk and often accidentally sabotaged by overpromising teams that have overlooked the detail involved.
5. “Buy less, choose well and make it last” – Vivienne Westwood
When planning the key items for your home or commercial project, try to have a reason for every single thing. In the words of William Morris “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
Less is more and sometimes investing in one item that you will love for years to come is more worthwhile than cluttering up your space with fleeting trends.
6. “Keep calm, Christmas is around the corner”
Construction has many pressures, but Christmas looming is one of the biggest.
If you are not in by the end of October, accept that being in for Christmas may not be an option. It is an extremely emotionally charged time for people, adding a construction project to the mix only increases tensions and stress levels.
In general, for your own sanity and peace of mind, add in a couple of weeks to your estimated timeline to avoid starting off on a negative footing in your new space. After investing your hard-earned time and money into a construction project, the end goal should always be excitement and happiness!
To sum up, it is undoubtedly worth the time and effort to slow down and take your time with your construction project. As with most things in life, to achieve the best result takes careful consideration, planning and strategic implementation. Try not to lose sight of the overall vision along the way and it will all pay off!
This blog post is an edited version of an article first written by Róisín for The Sunday Business Post on 17 March 2019. Click here to view the full article in its entirety.