Tsawwassen Kitchen Remodeling Design Project – Part 3

To accommodate the number of remodeled plans we’ve received, John and Matthew spend today looking at more ways viewers have redesigned Roy and Tina’s home.

Use the resources below to try your own remodel of Roy and Tina’s kitchen:

Tsawassen – As Built – Whole (JPG)
Tsawassen – As Built – Partial (JPG)
Tsawassen – As Built (DWG)

  • Brad W

    Interesting how Roy and Tina’s wish list for their remodel continues to grow. Nothing wrong with that at this stage. I wonder if there comes a time where, as a client, you can let the project go and trust the professionals you hire to create a great result.

    What is the right amount of client involvement in a project?

  • Roy and Tina

    Hi Brad,

    Great points…

    I imagine there’s a good helping of tact and diplomacy, like any of our interactions…

    I’ve seen (and I’m sure you have as well) plenty of professionals and trades that use subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) cues to engage and “disengage” their coworkers and clients when trying to actually get to use their abilities of their chosen profession.

    Think of bedside manner, or politics…

    Patience, humour, empathy, “reframing” requests, documenting, and a great memory go a long way…

    Best Regards,

    and Tina

  • Terri

    I think it’s hard for a client to just trust the professionals unless they’ve had a longstanding working relationship.

    In my experience, renovation is always firstly about communication. Without it, a project will be difficult for all involved. This means continuous communication, not just at the beginning. The biggest obstacle to good communication is unspoken expectation (perhaps this goes for all relationships, actually!). If both sides enter into the project with a sense of collaboration to arrive at a mutually determined goal (ie, well-detailed plans), there is a better chance that the actual work will proceed more smoothly. Collaboration has its limits, because time is money, so constantly changing design can be costly.

    As any professional knows, the person who lives in the home is the one who needs to be satisfied, so sometimes a brilliant idea ends up being shelved (for now!).

  • Terri

    Okay, in the spirit of collaboration, I’ve revised my earlier plan to make the
    work area less visible to those seated nearby. There are two options: one has a breakfast bar
    and computer table, which I think may look best at the same table
    height; and two is my old favourite–the banquette.

  • Terri

    Sorry, looks like I didn’t get those plans on. Trying again…

  • Brad W

    There really is no right amount of client involvement in a project. It depends on the people and the work.

    I have preferred to be closely involved in all project phases but lately I have tried very hard to create a very detailed plan and let others implement it. Difficult for me. I monitor the progress, quality of work and attention to plan. To some extent, I will tolerate a lack of progress but not a lack of quality or attention to plan. At the first sign of trouble, like a plumber who has to borrow your tools, there is no tact or diplomacy, it is simply good bye. There are plenty of good contractors out there and I do not suffer fools easily anymore.

    Anyway, I look forward to seeing the SlowHome plan. I think the compromise in this house is the kitchen table. I would maximize the size of the existing kitchen at the expense of the kitchen table. If that means losing the formal dining room then so be it. I think all the plans suffered when modified to include the kitchen table.

  • http://slowhomestudio.com Matthew North

    Brad W – Interesting question with no right answer! Having worked on renovation projects over the past dozen or so years I can tell you that the amount of client involvement in a project comes down to the personalities of the individual clients themselves. I have experienced the whole gamut on involvement from clients who basically demand all of your attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the other end of the spectrum where I am more or less handed keys and told they will come back to the house when the project is finished!  Upon reflection, I think one thing that I have learned is that as long as the project has a forward momentum – by that I mean that decisions are being made and choices are being narrowed down – then I think things are OK . Some people are inherently cautious, take longer to make decisions and like to weigh all the options, but as long as the project is moving along – even if at a slow pace, I think its OK. Some projects are quick and efficient while others require more deliberation and discussion – but somehow it all seems to even out and make sense in the end. When the process is time consuming and there are no visible results (either in design or construction) it is usually a sign of trouble. Either the client is not comfortable with the designer or vice versa. That’s my two bits on a Thursday night! And by the way, I have to congratulate everyone for all their hard work and great discussion on this project!

  • http://slowhomestudio.com Matthew North

    Terri – great comments (and plans I must say!). Communication is so essential and as a designer you have to brush up on your communication skills every day! In residential design, I am humbled on a daily basis of how easy it is to miscommunicate things – a detail, a dimension, an idea etc. It takes a lot of discipline to be consistent and tie up all the loose ends, speak and draw clearly, provide clear instruction to contractors and to manage expectations about quality of finish and tolerances. Because home design most often involves creating a one-of-a-kind, three dimensional spatial object, there are so many areas that there can be differences of interpretation between the designer and client! A good working relationship between client and designer founded on trust and a shared pursuit of a common goal is the essential foundation for any successful project.

  • http://slowhomestudio.com Matthew North

    Brad W…….I also place all the blame on the kitchen table! I think you’ll like tomorrow’s episode!