Every Little Detail Counts

By: Lisa Marie Vasquez

As you know, we are slowly working on our house and in November we started out redoing our garage. Chad and I made a deal that any work that we could do ourselves, we would. It wasn’t about the money, it was about the quality - and the memories. Building and creating together is fun. When we first moved in, we hired a bunch of people to help us get the house “livable”. We learned a lot from the experience. The biggest takeaway? If you piss off a client - they will nitpick your work and question your abilities! We hired A LOT of great contractors - mainly because we know what the vetting process looks like. A few seemingly promising contractors inevitably slipped through and dropped the ball.

  • The handyman who was supposed to help with our outdoor doors, removed all the baby gate springs putting not only our daughter, but other kids who come over in real danger with our pool.
  • The painters missed a bunch of things, broke our chandelier, and never closed out our final list.
  • Our landscaper killed our entire yard. These were ALL supposedly “quality contractors”.

Was it us? Are we hard to work with? No. Could we not pick good people? No. We had a lot of great workers. But we do have expectations and when you hire a professional, you should get what you pay for. After these couple mishaps, we started our garage. We ripped out cabinets. We repaired holes. We made holes and repaired those. We re-ran the wire from the doors to the attic. We drywalled… a lot. We painted…a lot. We added baseboard. We got to a place where we felt like the groundwork had been laid. Before we could start building shelves and desks, we had to do our floor. Chad’s vision was a clean, white, badass garage - and we needed the professionals to come in to deal with the concrete. We were confident…how could that go wrong. We picked the company, he said it would look like a million bucks. When they left, Chad and I were actually furious. There were cracks everywhere, black expansion tape was showing - it looked very unfinished.

What the hell happened?! The workers explained that they did what they were told, and they could have done better but the owner had never offered us the options to “fill in cracks” or “make it seamless”. Needless to say, there was some discussion and they came back and fixed what the job - leaving us both feeling like we would have been better off doing it by ourselves. Not only that, but as we were debriefing some of the dud contractors, we realized - the ones that lacked quality workmanship left us feeling like we needed to criticize every. little. thing.

Not all the work we have done has gone wrong. The guy who did our electrical - he was phenomenal. He followed our drawings to a T and always cleaned up after himself and was polite and respectable. His work was 95% amazing - but because he EXCEEDED our expectations - we never felt the need to nitpick or focus on minor things that were missed.

As an integrator - you or your team are in and out of people’s homes all day long. Are you confident the quality is there? Are you aware of the repercussions when it is not? I would love to hear back from you about what you have in place to make sure basic standards are met and clients stay happy.