What we can learn about Renovations from…PINGU??

February 21, 2015

Have you ever seen the childrens show “Pingu?” My kids are 17years old, and we still watch it.

Although the “language” in this hilarious work of Claymation is basically gibberish, the overt actions of the little flightless aquatic thespian from the Southern Hemisphere are absolutely and unquestionably, clear.

It got me to thinking, in our “Hemisphere of Renovation”, how often are our ACTIONS unquestionably clear? I mean, recently we had our crews to our own home as part of a renovation experience, laughing and chatting nonchalantly as they systematically demolished the main floor of our beloved home, reducing it to dust and debris and depositing most of it in a huge green dumpster that had been plunked in our driveway! They worked with complete competence and I left the house with complete confidence. Now, given, there had been some loose discussion of what they were going to do as a next step and some loose rumors of a “plan” somewhere amongst the coffee cups on the floor of my truck….but….to the “un-initiated” what does a renovation process really look like?

My guess is something between confusion and terror with a pang of regret here and there, similar to waking up DURING an operation and witnessing the event in the first person!

Keeping in mind that as Renovators, I strongly believe we are Educators as well. We have policies and procedures in place to combat “Reno-Terror” at JWS that we regularly review, and I am more than happy to outline three of the main principles here but basically we spend a lot of time discussing what a professional renovation “looks like.”

The “REAL” Plan: When the plan is well outlined and understood by all, you have a better chance, than most, of hitting the end result with a bulls-eye. You can get people to “sign off” all you like in this renovation world and then stick to your guns and point to the contract when it doesn’t look “quite right” to the customer and feel good that you are right. That is what “good contractors” do. Unfortunately, being right, doesn’t always equate with happy clients, ( or a happy renovator for that matter) so do yourself a favor and ask the hard questions at the start of your planning. Agree on what your “new plan” will be if there are issues such as the “White” in Mr. Jones kitchen not being the “white” he thought he was getting. To people – that action speaks volumes and is the action of a Great contractor.

The LOOK: Contractors as a group aren’t known for their fashion conscience. Some famous ones even seem to wear the SAME get up all the time? The point here is that rarely do you “see” a good painter that is wearing clothes that are COVERED in paint. Similarily, it certainly would be disconcerting to have your dentist or your surgeon bust into your examination room with blood and bodily fluids of various viscosities and origins slopped all over them, not to mention a “well used” set of rubber gloves still on wouldn’t it? Certainly at JWS, we are not suggesting that carpentry is a “black tie” affair, none-the-less, we do encourage our team members to look the part. Looking like a professional shows our clients we have pride and integrity in what we do, another action that speaks clearly.

The SITE: To use the same analogy, imagine your Dentist rummaging through his or her “tools” clanging and banging things as they searched, muttering things about “get this fixed one day…” or “can never find that damned thing…” And that is suggesting a relatively well organized tooth renovator. What if the “tools” were ALL over the floor of the site!! Suffice to say, a busy work place is, admittedly a busy work place and it certainly can become hectic at times. However, that is never an excuse for poor housekeeping or mess or worse still, breaches in safety procedures. If a contractor “looks” organized, he or she likely is well prepared and more likely, safe as well.

At the proverbial end of the day, great renovations involve volumes of written documentations and hours of verbal exchange. Certainly, keeping in mind that our actions however, as well as all of the other mediums of information exchange that we employ, are an aspect of our “performance” that simply, cannot be overlooked.

Have a happy renovation, and if you get a chance, catch the episode where Pingu renovates his igloo!