When you select a contractor or trades person to improve your home or work space, you’re inviting someone into your world for a period of time. They need to be cognizant of all your goals and needs for the space as well as of parameters of how you would like the work to be done.
It’s also helpful if you have a little insight into their universe. Most of those in the construction business for a length of time are in it because they love what they do and they enjoy leaving spaces better and different than they found them. They are usually craftspeople at heart who found a way to make a living utilizing innate talents. The good ones are also extraordinary mathematicians, visualizers, problem solvers, people pleasers, and even artists. They take great pride in their work and in leaving you with an improved space.
They’re also often juggling an unpredictable supply chain, ever-increasing costs of materials, evolving technology in the building trades, zoning and inspection requirements, a shortage of apprentices, health concerns for their team, the weather, and the purely physical demands of the job. If they’re business owners too, then they’re navigating taxes, insurance, liabilities, budgets, personnel, and forecasting. And then there’s that job they’re starting after yours…
It all looks straightforward and easy on television, but the reality of construction is more like fits and starts of expertise with a good contractor keeping everything on the rails and balancing it out when it starts to tilt. Just like so many things in our world today, a little grace and respect go a long way on both sides of the construction equation.
So, as we enter Construction Appreciation month, we salute those who have the delicate touch to finish large sheets of sheetrock so that every joint is smooth and doesn’t reveal seams; the carpenters who craft deck railings for precision spacing, strength and mitered corners; the tile installers who line up joints, flatten floors, and think through all the cuts before they start. When you hire the right craftspeople, their eye for detail, spatial acuity, numerical accuracy, and creative solutions can be pretty remarkable.
We give thanks for the trades whose nuances and precision make sure pipes fit tightly and keep everything flowing and functioning correctly; who align shingles and make sure valleys drain properly; whose painting hides brush strokes but keeps crisp corners; who hide seams and make sure doorways align ; and who pull the right wire for size, safety, and efficiency.