Manager, Micromanager, or a Hands-Off Remodeler? Part 2 of 2

By Julie Feinstein


Manager, Micromanager, or a Hands-Off Remodeler? Part 2

(Continued from previous post:


Photo Credit: Dimitri Otis/Getty Images


Adapted from an article by Laura Gaskill via Houzz

2. The Micromanager

Why being a micromanager can be a good thing: Micromanagers get a bad rap, but there is an upside to this management style: Micromanagers tend to be detail-oriented, proactive and good on a deadline. This can be a real help when it comes to those hundreds (maybe thousands?) of decisions that must be made during a remodel. Where others may collapse from the pressure, a micromanager will likely thrive.

Drawbacks of micromanaging: Becoming overly involved in your home project — to the point that you are trying to control every tiny detail — can slow down or stall work, create frustration on the part of the pros you have hired and ultimately make for a not-very-pleasant working experience. Are there times when it pays to micromanage? Certainly, and we’ll look at those next. But keep it up and you will exhaust everyone… including yourself!

Takeaway: Name your top priorities and let the rest go. It’s easy in the middle of a big project to become so focused on details that every single thing seems to have equal weight. As much as we would all (your pros included) love for every single tiny detail of a project to turn out perfect, the reality is that’s not very likely. Some things won’t be possible, mistakes will be made, pieces will go out of stock, problems will arise. That’s the nature of the beast.

So what can you do? Figure out what is really important to you (hint: The answer can’t be “everything”) and keep a list of these top priorities with you. Where those specific things are involved, feel free to be a little more hands-on. Need to make sure the contractor doesn’t forget you specified dark grout around the kitchen tiles? Go ahead and call with a reminder. But if the issue at hand hasn’t made your top-priority list, take some deep breaths and let it go.

3. The Hands-Off Remodeler

Why being hands-off during your remodel can be a good thing: What pro wouldn’t want to work with a laid-back remodeling client? When you take a hands-off approach, you are putting your faith in your team members to do their best work. Hands-off remodelers exude patience and calm, both key qualities in any successful remodel. You may even be physically removed from the site, which can potentially help speed things along, if workers don’t need to work around your schedule or worry about kids and pets underfoot.

Drawbacks of being hands-off: Being a completely hands-off remodeling client sounds good on paper, and it can work out well. But as the homeowner, you know your home, neighbors, property and (most important) what you want to get out of this project — and to that extent, it makes a lot of sense for you to be involved in some capacity. At its worst, “hands-off” can translate into “indecisive” or “apathetic.” If you’re not able to decide promptly about things, or your pro has trouble reaching you, that can spell delays for your project.

Takeaway: Make your voice heard during the planning stage. The planning stage is when it’s the most helpful to really pay attention, ask lots of questions and be an active participant in the process. If, for instance, you know you’re planning to live off-site while the work is being done, and won’t be as available for day-to-day decision-making, it’s extra important to get your voice heard early on. And of course, this is solid advice for anyone, not just hands-off remodelers!


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