I am definitely a big picture person. I know to surround myself with people who can focus on the details. Detail itself stresses me out. My concentration and attention span is something that is short but perfectly formed, but short.
And so I had no idea that a building project, especially one you are project managing yourself, is a snowstorm of a thousand tiny little details.
And details isn’t decisions. I can make a decision. And I can make it quickly, it’s the bit before the decision that I struggle with because it takes time…
Luckily Chris and I sit at opposite ends of the detail rainbow. I have inherited my mum’s “just slap it on” mentality, Chris has the “God knows it’s there” one. That means that everything under the surface, behind the walls, in the cracks (if there are cracks) should be good, if not perfect (and I’m sure even God knows that perfect on a building site is nigh on impossible). So we’re lucky that Chris is project managing. Those thousand tiny details will be covered.
So, as I have learnt, it’s all about the prep. That’s important. I hear this a lot but I’m still not 100% convinced, but anyway, if so many people say it it must be true. But that doesn’t make me like it any more.
Prep was clearing out the rat mess before laying the concrete floor.
Prep was picking out small fragments of plaster from the gaps down where the floor meets the walls (despite skirting covering it up).
Prep is painting and sanding and painting and sanding, after every base coat and top coat.
Prep is taping up all the windows and doors.
Prep is scouring the internet for hours, sourcing high spec white goods at bargain prices.
Prep is sweeping and hoovering the dust up every 5 minutes.
Prep is cleaning the underfloor heating manifold with a toothbrush (to get the plaster off).
Prep is hours of conversations with our kitchen maker, cabinet widths, finishes, closing mechanisms, mantel heights…
Prep is doing it and doing it right.
Prep is those thousands of details, all getting ticked off. A house covered in lists. And at the end of it all I can sweep up all those inpatient moments and times I’ve stamped my feet and just wanted to scream “let’s JUST get on with it” and look at the smooth walls and the detail on our kitchen design and appreciate that good things really do take time and effort.
We’ll have a incredible house. And, of course, God will know.