I’ve Seen It All

I can’t stress safety in the workplace enough, having experienced the positives and negatives of construction industry practices. I like to think of this blog as a voice of reason that can be heard over the din. I also can’t stress quality building materials and techniques enough that will ensure a good result without a glitch. Today, I address the bedroom as my focal point. It epitomes some general ideas about decision making for practical purposes and better design. It alerts the reader to the need for a broader vision that otherwise might not take place.

When you isolate one area of a project, you can hone in on the essentials. Your designer has given you the blueprints, let’s say, but things can be certainly be adjusted. A good construction worker or manager knows this to be true. Does the client want the power outlets in certain places to avoid the hazard of long power cords? Does the client have specific ideas about the placement of the bed and night stands? Is the room big enough for the amazing bed frame that the client wants to support the best mattress for back pain? Everything has to work together to produce a quality outcome. You don’t just jump in, nail up the lumber, and slap up sheet rock to construct arbitrary walls. A real live person is going to live in the space and wants ease of usage. You can make it happen.

Window placement is strategic. Sometimes it is for the view, and oftentimes for safety and egress. The size matters as it can be too big or too small. If an art collector wants a big picture over the bed, you don’t want the window to interfere. If a person is sensitive to light, you might want to go small on the windows and eliminate some of the natural light. While it may seem desirable, too much can be harsh.

There are, in short, a myriad of decisions to make in a simple bedroom to make it inhabitable and work. I have seen my share of failures, leading me to offer this blog. It is an example of how construction requires advance planning that address lifestyle needs. Buildings should exist in a vacuum. Even spec homes presuppose a certain kind of user. When little forethought has been given, you get cookie cutter results that are too generic to really work for individuals.

Yes, I have seen it all. I have seen builders cut corners and materials that don’t fit or wear out. I have seen inappropriate finish work and chintzy details. I have, on the other hand, also seen fine execution done with care and conviction. I particularly admire projects where safety reigns supreme. It is not always a matter of a tight budget as you can do a lot with little funds. It has to do with good decisions that make the best of what is available and that seek to please the new residents and owners. It is all about the right mindset that I believe a good builder should maintain. Having someone living well in your construction is a great reward.