Spaces for Life

The ReTouch Home Improvement blog



The Point of No Return

Have you ever gone past the point of no return with something?  In movies, this is the point in the plot where the character does something that changes everything, and will be very difficult to undo.

Neo eating the red pill.  George McFly punching Biff.  Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff.  Walter White…well…really everything he did in every episode of Breaking Bad.

Remodeling projects can be like that.  Homeowners know that the process is important, and will usually change their lives.  They also know there are “points of no return” in the process–places where a step forward will be difficult to reverse.  The problem is that most people don’t have any experience with construction projects, and don’t know where those points are.  Many times the points that seem the most important aren’t, and points that seem trivial are very important.  It’s almost like there is a FAKE PONR (that’s Point Of No Return for all you people who aren’t good with acronyms) for every REAL PONR.

Today, I want to give you four Fake and Real PONR’s in a remodeling project.

1. Fake PONR–Receiving the initial bid.  This feels like a really important step, but it is (or should be) just the start of a longer conversation about what things cost and what you want.

Real PONR–Choosing the contractor.  This is the one that is hard to undo.  You will invest a lot of time, money and emotion into a relationship, and it is important that you choose someone who will be a good fit.  And in case that line feels like a sales pitch, that isn’t always us.

2. Fake PONR–The first day of construction.  This feels really important, but with the possible exception of tearing off the roof on the wrong house by accident, it isn’t a biggie.

Real PONR–Right before the concrete is poured.  Concrete is, well, permanent.  If it is slightly out of level, or there isn’t enough rebar, or the mix isn’t right, a correction usually means a complete re-do.

3. Fake PONR–The first day of framing.  Firsts always feel important, but framing (like many stages in a remodeling project) is more like well orchestrated jazz than it is like a marching band performance.  The crew is working to reconcile the plans with the reality of an imperfect building.  Mistakes are made, but then they are just corrected.

Real PONR–The start of drywall.  Drywall installers aren’t framers or electricians, but many times they are forced to deal with mistakes from the other workers.  Discover an outlet two inches off center?  Big problem.  Plumbing pipe not glued properly?  Big

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