Way back in 2009, when I mentioned to Friends & Family about the purchase of il Poggiolo, many pleaded with me not to go & write a tiresome book on renovating the house. Please, no Under the Tuscan Sun!!! I promised not to. But, does a blog count? Hopefully not. And, I pray it hasn’t been too tedious an exercise to read. Blogging about il Poggiolo has certainly been fun to write.
Had I ripped to shreds My Promise and written a book, one idea was to organize it around rules…. The Rules of Renovation. Two were nominated in a previous blog posting of May 29th. There are many others. Let me list the Four Main ones for you. These need to be fresh in one’s mind, if hankering to renovate, ’cause the Construction Folk will get you every time. I know from the Mother of all Mothers… First-hand Experience!!! Here goes…
Rule Numero Uno… They do not listen to you. While you are blabbing away to a Construction Folk on how you envision, say, the flooring tiles laid in a certain pattern, The Construction Folk’s Internal Mental Mechanism is furiously employed to alter Your Vision into the easiest, fastest and thus, most profitable one for him/her/it.
Rule Numero Due… They do what they want to do. This Rule is tightly connected to Rule Numero Uno. Beyond that, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the Construction Folk Phrase… But, we’ve always done it this way. The 2nd Phrase follows… All Our Clients want it done like this. All these statements do is re-affirm the Construction Folk’s ingrained habit… one, rock hard… to do any requested Task in the easiest, fastest and thus, the most profitable manner to him/her/it. Consider yourself very lucky, if their Rule Numero Due happens to correspond to Your Vision. A rare event but, it has been known to occur.
Yes, it’s a vicious cycle.
Rule Numero Tre… They do not bother to communicate with you… unless they want money. That’s guaranteed. I have sometimes felt over the course of Our Renovation that after I have explained EXACTLY what I want, even drawn up a plan… a mistaken notion that Everyone can read an architectural plan… the Construction Folk, encountering a problem, go into Automatic & head IMMEDIATELY to Rule Numero Due rather than calling you to say… There’s a problem, Sir. Being on site can help but, does not insure catching unwanted expressions of a Construction Folk’s rote imagination.
and, Rule Numero Quatro… which, probably, ought to be Rule Numero Uno… You don’t count. You just get to pay up. That’s The Crux of Renovation. You discover, too late to do anything about it, since you’ve already signed The Contract, that you exist ONLY to put Euro-Euro-Euros in the pockets of Construction Folk… from the big-fellow Work-guy, who wields a wheelbarrow full of cement up & down ramps, the little fellow Work-guy putting in the terra-cotta flooring, to the Builder, who has to maintain an enterprise which consumes money at an alarming rate… from taxes to equipment to pay-checks. This may not be a bad thing. Good to spread the cheer, so to speak.
Know this… The Moral of the Story… you’re just a cog in the machinery and not the Supreme Capo. Letting go of any presumption to the contrary… though you may not feel all that better… you WILL HAVE LIGHTENED Your Load of Frustration/Dismay/Anger, etc. Gads.