Chicago Based Architect Juliette On Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail!


March 18, 2018

James talks to Juliette, A Chicago based architect of over 10 years experience. Juliette speaks about the importance of planning and of the implications if you don’t plan.

Show Notes:

James: Okay, so welcome to the next episode of the Property Renovation podcast. This one is slightly different. On this occasion, we are going over to the other side of the water to the U.S., and the reason behind that is because we’ve got 35% of our listeners that are from the U.S., and I thought that it’s been a long time coming. And I wanted to get someone that was from the U.S. to come on and discuss renovation, and the topics around renovation because, let’s just face it, the rules are different, the regulations are different, the terminology and the procedures are different. So without further ado, I just want to invite Juliette. Juliette is an architect, and I will let her introduce herself. So Juliette, why don’t you tell us a little bit about you.

Juliette: Hi James. Thank you so much for having me on this podcast. It’s going to be fun.

I am an architect living and working in Chicago. I have been in the architecture industry for just over a decade now, and from the very beginning my focus has always been residential architecture. This goes way, way back to when I was a completely inexperienced intern. The first time anyone paid me to do anything with architecture, it was actually a gut reno job in this beautiful historic building on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. If you know anything, you know that, that’s the street, the avenue. It’s right on the lake. It’s gorgeous.

James: Nice.

Juliette: It was just this gorgeous gut renovation, and I just fell in love with the process because you get to take this sort of neglected … it needed a lot of love. But then, you work with the clients and you basically get to create the home of their dreams. And there’s just so much love, and heart, and sweat, and tears that goes into these projects. But it just makes it much more fulfilling than any other project type that I’ve experienced. You know, doctor’s offices, restaurants, it’s just not quite the same, it’s not as fulfilling or as fun.

James: Yeah, yeah. No, I totally agree with you. I think you actually just go through that journey with someone that owns a home.

Juliette: Uh-mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely.

James: And renovating it from the beginning, seeing their change in themselves, because they completely live in the property in a completely different way.

Juliette: Right.

James: And yet, you’re right, it can be quite stressful, as well, and you’re dependent a lot on everyone coming together.

Juliette: Exactly. It really is a team effort. That saying, you know, it takes a village, oh my gosh, it takes a village. We need the builders, obviously. We need the contractors. We need the building engineer, the people onsite managing the property. We need the city, you know, things gotta be up to code, they’ve got to be safe, they’ve got to be healthy. You need the owners, because it’s their home, it’s their show. We’re here for them 100%. And so, it’s all about getting everyone on the same train, going in the same direction.

James: Absolutely. Well, I’ve got to say, I was really pleased. I’ve been talking to you for a while and I’m very, very pleased that we’ve finally got you on. And today’s episode, actually, we’re going to talk about fail to plan, and plan to fail. And I’m literally just going to switch the tables. I’m going to leave this to you because I’m pretty sure you know a lot about it.

Juliette: Well, actually, yeah, this topic was inspired by one of your earlier podcasts when you mentioned this saying, how you loved it. You know, fail to plan, plan to fail, and I was just in the middle of working, and I just stopped, because I was just like, absolutely. I think architects, a lot of what we do, on TV it seems very glamorous, but the everyday nitty-gritty, like what do we actually do, very few people actually know what that’s like. And we get to design, we get to do a lot of exciting things, but that really is anywhere between 10% to 20% of what we do.

The rest of what we do is project management, and project management means a lot of planning. Design is basically planning ahead of time for all the things that may or may not happen and, obviously, for the things that you want to happen. I think that, and actually, it’s a common thing when you watch HGTV, here in the U.S., I’m not sure what the British equivalent is. But all those home shows where owners renovate the big property, and at the end of it, especially when it’s more of a do-it-yourself situation, it’s a documentary, and they just follow along the home owners.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: At the end of it every single home owner is always like, “Oh, my god. This has been so much work. This was exhausting. There’s so many decisions to make. This was so much management. If I knew it was this much work, I would never have done it, and I’m not sure I’ll do it again.” And it’s true. That’s why there’s an entire industry built around this because it’s a huge job.

James: Absolutely. Yeah.

Juliette: Yeah. But it is definitely possible to do it yourself, would you want to set yourself up for success and not failure?

James: I think you’re absolutely right there with the project management side of things. Besides all of the design, and trying to bring everything together, and manage all of that, there’s meetings upon meetings, upon meetings.

Juliette: Yes.

James: There are risk assessments all the time, quality checking, and being answerable and accountable.

Juliette: Definitely.

James: This is the whole thing. It’s a big job, and someone does it.

Juliette: Exactly.

James: But before they do it, they go and study for a very long time.

Juliette: Yeah.

James: In the U.K. there is something called PRINCE2 qualification for project management.

Juliette: Okay.

James: It talks about … it just takes you through scenarios, and how to deal with the processes right the way through. And, if you just think about a homeowner that decides not to take project management …

Juliette: Right.

James: and says, “I can handle this myself.”

Juliette: Right.

James: I hope they can, because it’s like saying that you can drive a car but you’ve never driven a car before.

Juliette: Exactly. Exactly. And your car, by the way, is worth a lot of money and you just hope you don’t crash it.

James: Yeah. Exactly, exactly.

Juliette: I actually do think it’s interesting because, and especially in the whole DIY arena, and I’m always … I’m constantly amazed by this profession because, on the one hand, I’m extremely humbled by it because I’ve been doing this every single day for ten years, and almost every single day I come up across something and I’m like, “Huh. I don’t know how to handle that.” Or, “That’s new. That’s a new condition I’ve never seen. What do we do about this?” So then I get to apply my ten years of experience into solving that problem. But, at the same time, when you go out on site, this is not rocket science. There’s concrete, there’s rocks, there’s wood, there’s some glass. You put it together, it stands up, it keeps the rain and the wind out.

James: Right.

Juliette: It’s not rocket science. It is completely doable but it’s just a lot.

James: Yeah. That’s a very good way of putting it.

Juliette: It’s not rocket science but it’s just a big bite to bite off and start chewing.

James: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Cool.

Juliette: Right. So, in terms of helping people try to set themselves up for success and not failure, I think the first thing is to realize that everything in your home has probably four to five, seven decisions behind it. You’ve got to choose what it is? Where’s it going? What kind of a thing is it? How many of those things are you going to have? How tall, how big, how wide? Which way, what direction does everything go? And, of course, the big question, how much? How much do you want to spend? How much are you willing to spend? And how, especially in that budget, prioritizing certain items over others. And so, if you go into this large project of a remodel understanding the framework around all of these micro decisions that you make, is going to be a huge, huge help.

James: Okay.

Juliette: So I think the first question is really, where, which is what I think everyone talks about and thinks about initially. Oh, where do I want my windows? Where do I want the doors? A lot of times you get into trouble when you don’t think through all the small details around those things. So even a door. You kind of know you want the door, maybe not in the center because a piece of furniture’s going to go there or the TV’s going to be there. So you want it off to the side.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: So I’m not sure how detailed, it depends on person to person and how detailed they want to be, and their ability to work with the software that’s available to them to sort of dimension out plans. But, if you just say, “Let’s just have this over here, push that over to the side.” You know, if they push it over too far to the side, that door, which you imagine has a beautiful casing or trim around it, suddenly there’s no room for that casing or the trim, and it gets chopped off awkwardly.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: So it’s like, “Oops.”

James: I’ve seen that happen.

Juliette: Exactly. Like pretty much every home, every old home that I’ve lived in, it’s happened several times.

James: Yeah, yeah.

Juliette: And so, there’s the wear, and the how many. Like lights, recess lights, how many holes are you going to put in your ceiling? Where do you want them? Before I used to not see a lot of recess lights in say bedrooms, but I feel like nowadays a lot owners are wanting recess lights in their bedrooms. But just follow that logic all the way through. So you know where your bed is. You know where you want your bed to go. You’re lying in bed, you’re reading a book. You look up. What if there’s a can, a recessed light staring straight down at you?

James: Yeah.

Juliette: It’s going to be a little uncomfortable. So think about how many do you want, how much do you actually need, and then, back to the first question, where do you want that? Think about the everyday flow of how are you going to be using this space? Where in that room are you exactly going to be sitting? Or, how are you going to be occupying that? Are you going to be moving around a lot? Is that a room where you are stationary? It’s just all these sort of, again, a larger framework of the entire home and how you’re going to use it.

James: Mmm.

Juliette: The other question is, how tall, how big, how wide, et cetera? So, obviously, with doors, big doors, wide doors, skinny doors, you have to decide all of that for the doors. The same with the windows. But what I would like to encourage homeowners to do is, again, step back, think about it, larger framework. So imagine yourself sitting in a room, and there’s the ceiling height, which is normally a single height, unless it’s cathedral, or maybe someone is doing something architecturally interesting, or maybe someone botched up a little bit.

James: Architecturally interesting. I love that.

Juliette: People like different things. You’ve got to allow for that.

James: Okay.

Juliette: But imagine a standard room with what’s a consistent ceiling height, and then there’s a door. And then you have windows also. It’s probably going to look really nice if the door height is the same as the windows, and so they’re consistent all the way around. It just sort of brings everything together, it adds a consistency or stability to the design.

I’ve had the privilege of working on some very high end homes. And every single architect I’ve known who’s worked at that level, we’re always, always sticklers about get that head height right, have it consistent. And, if you look old historic homes, all across the world, I don’t care if you’re talking about Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, London, New York, all the classic beautiful architecture, they got their windows right. They got their doors right. They were all consistent.

James: Absolutely.

Juliette: So the next thing we want to talk about is, which way and, which direction? Actually, the last time I was at my brother-in-law’s house, I was standing in his kitchen. And so his kitchen and his dining room sort of flow together in this space, sort of open to each other, and there’s a big deck off the back that runs the entire width of that kitchen/dining room area. When he put in the door to go out to the deck, the builder actually ended up making the decision for this, and it’s a bit unfortunate because the way the door swings … the door swings in, like it traditionally does for residential homes, at least here in the U.S.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: And so, if there’s the hinge side, the opposite side of the door, the strike side is right up next to a countertop that ends. So every time you open that door and you’re trying to come out and you go out to the deck, you’re pinched between where the door is swinging open and that corner of the counter that you’re trying to get around. And it’s every day not that big of a deal, but over and over in the summer you carrying big platters of food that you’re going to grill out there, it’s a little annoying.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: And so you’ve got to think about, how are things functioning? Which way are the doors swinging? And, even again with your windows, you want your windows to open but you have to make decisions about how they’re going to open. Do you want double hung windows? Do you want casement windows? Do you want awning windows? All these different options. And every single option, again, is a decision you’re going to have to make.

And then how the door swings, what window type, you should, again, step back, think about it. What is this home? Is there a specific style that this home is in that you want to respect or continue on into your renovation? So maybe you be consistent about double hungs everywhere, casement windows everywhere.

But also, of course, that question goes right into the other, this last question of how much? Because, for example, casement windows are, at least here in the U.S., they’re almost twice as expensive as a double hung window. I’m not sure why. I would like to talk to a window manufacturer and know why they’re so much more expensive. But say you have an older home and it has casement windows everywhere, and you really want to respect the style of that home and continue that around. But then you go get your [inaudible 00:14:39], you know, sticker shock. These windows are way more expensive than I thought they would be. So then you have to make the decision, do you really need casement windows? Maybe not. But, if you have a beautiful historic home, is it worth prioritizing having casement windows? I mean, maybe. Of course, it depends case-by-case and on the homeowner, but yeah.

James: I think from my point of view, your point of view being in this industry, if you walk into an older house, automatically you are making sure that you don’t see any other vision than what it’s suppose be in respecting the home.

Juliette: Right.

James: And I think, I’ve probably seen both sides of this where the homeowners that have purchased an Edwardian or Victorian house and they’ve really respected it, brought it back to life and replaced the windows. Casement windows are sash windows, that’s what we call them in the U.K.

Juliette:  Oh, sash windows. Okay.

James:  Sash windows. And they are, you’re right, they are expensive. And it’s all to do with the weights inside and the way that they’re made. You cannot change this. And I think they look absolutely amazing. If they’re restored right, if they’re done well, and there’s very few companies that do them anymore.

Juliette: Yes.

James: Right? But, again, I’ve also seen the other side where people have just taken them out and put in, I don’t know, standard windows don’t even look right.

Juliette: Yeah.

James: They don’t look right. So when they’re up against really nice architecture around the door, and it doesn’t match, it’s just upsetting.

Juliette: Right. I mean, I respect that a lot of times they’re just, “Look, these are old windows. We’re leaking cold air. In the winter my heating bill is so high. Just get me new windows period.” That’s definitely understandable but especially when dealing with historic homes, I personally always encourage homeowners to respect the fact that, look this home has been here since before you were born. It’ll be here long after you’re gone. This is, in a very small way, it’s a cultural artifact.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: Architecture is public. It faces a street. Everyone sees it. So whatever decision you make about those front windows, you are kind of inflicting that decision onto everyone who passes by your house.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: I mean, this is why I don’t think architecture … it’s not a fine art. I think it’s properly understood as a civic art because we’re in the business of building cities and neighborhoods. I mean, every single home is a contribution to that larger public space. And so, talking about stepping back, even greater if you can get the client to step back and sort of see their home in a relationship to the street, to the block, to the neighborhood. And so, it’s really about sort of systems thinking, and then you just take that system thinking, and you take it one layer down, and one layer down, back to the block, to the street, to the home, and right down into the room.

James: Yeah. Okay, where are we next?

Juliette: Oh, how about … I thought it was an interesting intellectual exercise to take say, flooring, and go through. All right. Every single room’s going to need a floor. So what kind of … let’s quickly go through the where, how many, how tall, which direction …

James: Okay.

Juliette: of all those decisions that apply to the floor. So flooring seems obvious where it is, it’s on the floor. But a lot of times I feel like, it’s just in big picture discussions. Inclined to be like, you enter here at the entryway, I want to have this flooring and over here I want this flooring, which is fine but then the real decision is, how do those two materials meet and where? Then how many, that’s less applicable to this one, how tall, how wide? The decision about the floor boards, are you going to go for like wood floors? Are you going to go with the really wide, beautiful wide plane flooring?

James: Yeah.

Juliette: Or tile. Are we going to do a small mosaic here? Are going to do big 24 x 24 inch tiles? And then, which way? Are they going to fun straight, are we going to do herringbone? Are you going to do a diagonal pattern? How much? Again, how much can you spend on this item? How much of a priority is this particular item for you?

James: I think, in talking about where, absolutely, it’s very important. I think, the direction, I don’t think people really see that sometimes. There are definitely inspiration images, you can go on Pinterest, you can go everywhere. But this is your home and you need to see how it will work in your home in terms of which direction and pattern you want.

Juliette: Right.

James: Mosaic tiles. They can look very, very busy …

Juliette: Yes.

James: if you’ve got too many of them. And, I think also, having larger format tiles, or wood flooring doesn’t look right in a smaller place. So it’s the same way and, I think, this is where architecture comes into place, having a professional talking about it, going for it. What would you recommend in what to do about that, like how to vision it?

Juliette:How to vision it. I do think that Pinterest and other inspiration images are a great place to start because the first thing you have to do is figure out what you actually like. Sometimes it seems like a very simple question but a lot of times, when we’re working with clients, they’ll be like, “Oh, here’s my Pinterest, and you can kind of get an idea of what my style is.” And then we open up their Pinterest and we realize, I see every single style here under the sun. It’s like I’m seeing Victorian, I’m seeing modern, I’m seeing Edwardian. I’m just seeing everything. And so, we go back to the client, “So, can you point out, what’s your top five, what are your favorite images here?” And then you slowly start to walk them … it’s almost like a process of like self-discovery, like what do you actually like? What is that hidden, unconscious picture in your brain? And so, let’s just keep running with flooring.

James: Sure.

Juliette: Say, they want really dark floors. And then you learn a little bit more about them and their particular situation. Say they have kids. Say they have cats or a dog. If you want that really beautiful espresso stain, dark wood floor, I just want you to know that you’re going to see every single speck of dust and hair that crosses that floor. Anything that walks by will leave a trail. It photographs beautifully, you can’t argue with that. But it can be high maintenance in terms of having it always look that good. So maybe we can steer you to a slightly different finish that still has a rich feel.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: Like there’s even great tile or porcelain flooring that sort of looks like wood but the sheen on it is different, the texture’s different, so it’s a bit more forgiving in terms of, I can walk into a room and see all my cat hair on the floor.

James: Yeah. And it’s low maintenance as well.

Juliette: Exactly. Again, so taking into account what’s the client’s lifestyle. Like maybe, they’re by the beach and they’re always tracking in sand and water, and so all those … just think about how … cause we constantly ask ourselves the question, how can we make you as comfortable as you can be in your home? How can your home work for you? Instead of you working to upkeep your home?

James: Yeah.

Juliette: Because, I mean, it is work. Homes are a lot of upkeep.

James: It is. It is a lot of work. Okay.

Juliette: Then, I think, one other example that we touched on earlier that I would like clients to think about is because, lighting is always a hard thing for clients.

James: Yeah. It’s really tough.

Juliette: It is tough and lighting especially in terms of the question of how much? It really runs the gamut. Like you can go to Home Depot, or whatever the equivalent is in the U.K., and buy some really expensive and affordable fixtures. Or you can go to the showroom downtown and pay an arm and a leg. I mean, it’s gorgeous, but whatever you want to pay, you can find something.

James: Oh, my gosh. Yeah. I mean, there are lighting’s that cost what, like a few dollars …

Juliette: Exactly.

James: to a few thousand dollars.

Juliette: A few thousand.

James: And it’s incredible. You’ll be like, “What? That cost that much?” It’s amazing.

Juliette: It’s basically, sometimes you walk into showrooms and you see a small mid-size car or like hanging from the ceiling because it’s like a custom made, whatever it is, $20,000. That’s, of course, the Rolls Royce version of it.

But lighting can be tricky and so, I think again, you go to Pinterest, you try and figure out what you like. But then you do have to go back to your space and study it. Because the conditions that made whatever design or fixture that was so great in that photo, you may not have. Like sometimes you’ll have a tall built-in bookcase and you see those beautiful book lights above, sort of shining down back on the books, or on artwork. It looks gorgeous and I love designing that, but it’s really hard to do if you have say a standard eight-foot ceiling height. Because, if you take into account the trims, you’re going to lose a few inches there. And you take into account another six inches for a flat surface to have the light mount to, you’re visually cutting down the height of your room. And so, even though it’s a gorgeous feature, it might not be right for your specific home.

James: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Agreed.

Juliette: So anyway, I think we’ve all come to this conclusion that there is a ton of decisions …

James: Yeah.

Juliette: that’s made in all projects. No matter how small your project is, there’s a ton of decisions. And you just want to be out in front of it because, if you’re not making that decision, the contractor or sub will make that decision for you. And probably, a lot of times because time is money, they might make it without even consulting you. So you’ll come back one day and be like, “Oh, I didn’t want that there.” But since you never had the discussion, you weren’t there, it just happened.

James: Well, it’s more to that. I think, you may have had the discussion but you weren’t specific.

Juliette: Mmm.

James: And that’s it. Usually, the builder would come on site first thing Monday morning, ready to start, and you need to be out the door in ten minutes cause you’re in a rush to get to work.

Juliette: Right.

James: So in ten minutes you need to give instruction to the contractor that’s doing the work, and that’s when you’re not specific because you’re rushing.

Juliette: Right.

James: And then it can get into a whole heap of trouble because the contractor is, time’s money …

Juliette: Exactly.

James: and he needs or she needs to move on, and they’ll end up making decisions what they think from experience. But that might not match your style.

Juliette: Exactly.

James: So you end up in a battle in the end. And, if the work has to be repeated, then that can be quite complicated and cost more money.

Juliette: Exactly.

James: So, yeah, exactly. It’s interesting.

Juliette: So decision fatigue. How to avoid it. I think kind of like we said in the beginning, you plan. If you don’t plan, you can plan to fail. So, I think, in a lot of … not a lot, in a full architectural set of drawings you will always find schedules. And so these schedules are sort of a template, a really helpful template for a lot of decisions that you’ll have to make. And we’re talking about all the really micro decisions that you’re not thinking about but that have to be made. And, if you don’t make them, someone else will make them.

And so I think, James, you spoke earlier on this and for all the listeners we’re going to have these downloadable templates to help you think about all the decisions, and then you can sort of sit back, see all the different templates. And think, for all of these items, what’s the cohesive look we’re going for? What’s the framework? What are my priorities? How do we get the most for our money? And how do we create as close as possible to this home that you’re envisioning, that you’re dreaming of?

And so, there’s room schedule and that has a schedule of what’s the material on all the different walls? If it’s paint, it lists the paint colors. It lists the trim, the crown molding and the base molding. There’s probably a few different ones you’re going to use in your home, depending on how high, how small? Bathroom, living room, et cetera. Then, there’s window schedules. All of your windows, how big they are. What type?

There’s a plumbing fixture schedule. So you say, what kind of sink you have? What kind of faucet do you have? What kind of, if there’s a soap dispenser? Then, also, it helps you plan for, because every single plumbing fixture, there’s also the rough plumbing that you don’t see. Like you get to pick the pretty part, the thing that you see. But then every once in a while you might pick something more unusual that has a specific spec of what goes into the wall. And the, I’ve come across cases where you don’t plan for what happens in the wall and then suddenly this thing that you have your heart set on installing, you can’t install it cause you don’t have room, or for whatever reason.

James: This is what we call the first fix plumbing.

Juliette: Okay.

James: First fix and second fix. And second fix is always the beautiful bit.

Juliette: Exactly.

James: And no one really wants to know. No homeowner wants to know how it works.

Juliette: Right.

James: How it got to that position.

Juliette: I don’t need to know what’s going on behind the curtain.

James: Exactly, exactly.

Juliette: It’s exactly the same thing about lighting fixtures because you know they say, “Oh, I want LED lights. I want low voltage.” That takes extra work. You know, you’ve got to put a transformer in your house. You got to figure out where that’s going. You got to make sure it’s not in a dangerous location, like right in your closet where your clothes are  right up against it, which everyone wants to put it there because, “Oh, there’s space right here.” So, again, for lighting there’s also stuff that goes in the walls. And so the more you can plan for all of those things, the better your project will be, the smoother construction will go, the faster it’ll go. Everyone will be happier. Your budget will be happier. It’s a good thing to do.

James: Definitely.

Juliette: And the last thing I think it’s helpful to think about is, when you pick out your tile, you’ve got to also pick out the grout, because that really changes the look of it. And that’s not a snap judgment. I would recommend it not being a snap judgment because it has such an impact on the overall look, that you really want to control that. And then, if you don’t specify it, your contractor will just use their typical or what they’ve done on previous projects that clients have liked. And a number of times that’s happened and usually when the client was not specific about it, they come back and they were disappointed. They’re like, “Oh, I thought it would be this picture.” Because when you say I want a white subway tile, a white subway tile with white grout looks very different than a white subway tile with dark grout. And so, you think you’re saying your vision but you’re saying half of it.

James: Just in case there’s any listeners out there first time doing anything like this, grout is the product that goes in between the tiles.

Juliette:  Yes.

James: And you’re right. The color really, really is important because it stands out. And there are tons of colors. I don’t know what products you work with in America, but we work with a company called [inaudible 00:31:07] or BAL, and they’ve got a huge amount of colors that you can have. Like five different shades of gray, you’ve got so much choice. And it’s good to have the selection, cause it has to work.

Juliette: It has to work. It’s like paint really.

James: It is.

Juliette: It is like paint.

James: Yeah.

Juliette: So I think that’s sort of a quick overview.

James: Fantastic. Good.

Juliette: Yeah.

James: Do you want to just run through the bullet points just to summarize?

Juliette: Yes, to summarize. Plan, plan, plan. What are we planning? We’re planning where things go. We’re planning how many of them we’re getting. We’re planning on how big, how tall, how wide they are. We’re planning on which way, what direction we’re installing them. And we’re planning on how much they are. We’re planning on how important they are to your overall project. So you can prioritize windows over flooring, et cetera.

James: Yes.

Juliette: The other thing you might plan for is hiring a professional, because we are here to help you with all of that decision fatigue. So you can plan, plan, plan or you can plan with a professional to help coach you through all of those decisions.

James: Yeah. We do keep on saying this about professionals, high professionals and everything else. You know, I always refer to a car. At the same time, you’re going to drive that car every day. You want to make sure it’s safe, you want to make sure it’s done right, fixed right. And you’re not going to do it yourself.

Juliette: Right.

James: You’re going to take it to a professional.

Juliette: Right.

James: And that professional is a mechanic that’s been doing it for years. And the result you get back is a good working car.

Juliette: Exactly.

James: It’s a shame that … I know budget is a real big player in it, but it is a real shame when you hear the story. I mean, I hear the story and I see … you can see it all over the Internet. It’s not really hard to find. But where a homeowner  says no to professionals, and goes down the route of alone, and the mistakes happen, it costs you much. They’re bitter, they don’t ever want to do it again.

Juliette: Right.

James: And that’s the shame for us to see and watch that happen.

Juliette: It is.

James: So, yeah.

Juliette: It is a shame because it doesn’t have to happen, and there usually is a way of bringing on board professional help in an affordable, scalable way.

James: Absolutely.

Juliette: I mean, our industry is huge and there’s all sorts of companies, all sorts of businesses, and we all have a different sort of … I mean, a crude way of putting it, we all have a different slice of the pie, so we all sort of cater to a different price point project type, et cetera. So help really is out there for you to find it. And hopefully this podcast is also one of your resources to do it once and do it right, and love the result.

James: That’s what I hope. I hope we do that. You know, continuously educating homeowners. That’s the whole point. Yeah, and I think one more final point to make is that, homeowners might think that if they’ve already begun their renovation that it’s too late to get a professional. And it’s never too late. If you are stuck, if you need advice, you can always call someone, and they will come over and they’ll talk it through with you. But do it earlier rather than later.

Juliette: Exactly. Earlier will … it’s like the boy scouts, always be prepared.

James: Always be prepared. Yeah.

Juliette: Always be prepared. It really is better but late is better than never.

James: Exactly. Exactly. I think that’s it.

Juliette: I think we’re there.

James: Juliette, it was a fantastic episode. I’m really, really happy about that and I can’t wait for it to go live. So thank you very much and I hope to see you on here again.

Juliette: Definitely. Thank you so much for having me James.

James: No problem.

Juliette: All right. Take care.

Abi Bacon