How to Convert Your Construction Project from Unrealistic to Wow

The Importance of Having Realistic Expectations Before the Project Ever Starts


One of the most consistent issues that I hear from people who have been involved in construction projects, is disappointment. These displeasures show up in a variety of ways and most often it comes down to unrealistic expectations and less than desired results. This discontentment can come from either customers or contractors and usually the responsibility lies with both.

The solution to this problem also belongs to both.

As a customer you aren’t continuously involved in construction projects. You don’t have the experience and knowledge that construction professionals do. This is not to say that every person or company that claims to be a professional is. It’s important for you to know what you need in a contractor and take the time to find the right one for you and your project.

The excitement that comes with the beginning of a project starts to wain after a while. You just want to have your project, whether it is a big renovation or a small repair, done. You want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. Regular life is disrupting enough without a construction project, but to have trades people coming in and out of your home or business periodically and/or unexpectedly wasn’t a part of that initial excitement.

The best way for you to prepare for a construction project is to learn all you can about what is involved, before you start. Even small projects have several pieces that need to be fit together to achieve the desired outcome. This takes knowledge and experience to get these pieces to fit together at the right time and in the right way.

Watching home remodeling programs on television isn’t the best place to learn realistic expectations. Often these programs are more of a problem than a solution. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of valuable information that can be gleaned from these shows. The thing you need to realize is that the purpose of these programs is largely to generate viewers not create realistic expectations for your construction project.

This is why it is important to get the right contractor. If a contractor does their job well, all the various pieces will fit together in the way that you wanted. This doesn’t mean that it will be what you initially expected, but rather an informed realistic expectation. What is important for you as the customer to do is to know how to determine if a contractor is the best one for you.

There are several things to consider when looking for a contractor.

  • First and foremost is compatibility. Are they going to be someone that you can work with day in and day out for the duration of the project? This is critical to the outcome.
  • Second is honesty and integrity. Often you can tell this with a few conversations and can confirm it with references.
  • Third is the experience and skill level. How long have they been doing construction and what types of projects have they done previously?

Projects rarely go the way the customer or the contractor think they should or would like, but this doesn’t mean that they need to be disappointing for either. The key is to plan and learn all that you can before you get too far into the process. If you will do this, you will decrease your chances of unrealistic and increase your chances of a wow project in the end.