It’s finally the right time to do a massive renovation of your house, to turn it into the home you’ve always dreamed of. You’ve always wanted to do it—had the perfect piece of property staked out to build on, known exactly the way you wanted it to look: two stories, a spacious and finished basement, nice attic, enough bedrooms for the kids and any guests, a lofted living room attached to the kitchen, and a wrap-around porch. It’s just what you’ve wanted since you were a kid. But how do you make it happen? Who to hire, and from where, and for what? Exactly how much is it going to cost, and exactly how is this all going to come together? These are very real questions and to be expected with any major architectural planning. To avoid becoming overwhelmed with the weight of the project, remember that when you hire a contractor all those questions and concerns are left to the professional.
There are countless people that will be involved with your renovation, everyone from architects to landscapers to plumbers to electricians to a myriad of other professionals working toward building the home you want. It’s predictably not always easy to have all these people on the same page, however, which is exactly what a contractor is for. Think of their job as that of the orchestra conductor’s. In an orchestra, of course, you have your strings and your woodwinds, your brass and your keyboards, and finally your percussion. Now, within each of these sections there are obviously numerous different instruments, each of which has a different role both within their section and within the orchestra as a whole. But what would happen to an orchestra in which the violinist had no idea what the tuba player was doing? Or what if the pianist was simply playing an entirely different song than the rest of the group, and the gong player was indiscriminately smashing at his gong while the flautist was supposed to be playing a soft and melodic melody? Well, it would be a disaster. Everyone in the orchestra needs to know what everyone else is doing, which is why there must be a conductor, and why that conductor must prepare detailed sheet music and hold rehearsals to ensure that everyone is literally on the same page.
When it comes to major home renovations, the contractor is no different—in fact, perhaps more important. After all, if an orchestra performs poorly, the worst consequence is that they have a bad show; but they will get another shot the following night to a fresh audience. This isn’t the case with home renovations: you get one chance, and if it’s botched it can cost you in many, many ways. The contractor’s job is to prevent that from happening. They are the ones who digest and synthesize all the information into one composite plan, orchestrating how the plumber can work with the sheetrock guy, the electrician with the landscaper, coordinating everything with the grace and efficiency and poise of a Beethoven.