Perhaps the biggest challenge of being my own architect and being my own client (aside from just finishing the damn drawings!) has been figuring out who I am now that the construction started. Some days I get to be the client. Some days just the architect. Some days both.
Client or architect or confused?
And then some days, I just end up confused because one of the personalities surprises me.
A few weeks ago, we went by the house to take some pics to send to my in-laws (Stop rolling your eyes! We were really there for that purpose. I wasn’t being “that client.”) Without warning, the client side of me came right to the surface. And not in the prettiest of ways.
In my own defense, let me just say that I had finished a very rough week at the office, working a little late on previous nights to be sure I was prepared for 8 a.m. meetings. By 2 PM on Friday I was tired, my brain was in shutdown mode, and I still did not leave the office until 5 PM.
Getting “hangry” over trucks on MY lawn!
So when we finally make it to the house at 6:45 PM, I’m that much more tired, and I’m getting “hangry” – angry because I’m now also hungry. And as we pull up in front of the house next door (because of the trucks parked in front of ours), I said:
To which James simply replied:
Somehow my simple statement had him concerned that the afternoon was not going to end well for the owner of the truck and trailer that were parked on our front lawn.
Can’t contact the architect (That’s me!)
Had I been just the client, the immediate response would have been a text/email/phone call (possibly all three) to my architect making him aware of the situation. What my architect did after that was up to them as long as the situation was resolved and did not happen again. Unfortunately, my architect was me, and he was nowhere to be found.
Rest assured, no one was yelled at. No egos bruised. No blood spilled. I simply added that to my list of items to discuss with the contractor the following Monday morning when I was in a better frame of mind and could approach the situation from a more practical standpoint: 1) We were re-landscaping that part of the yard anyway; and 2) They only did that to unload materials more easily.
Except none of these perspectives really mattered that afternoon because the tired and hangry client in me was yelling: “THERE’S A TRUCK AND A TRAILER ON MY LAWN!!!”
Cooler heads prevailed
Monday morning came. The matter was discussed. The subcontractors were made aware of what not to do when unloading materials. Issue resolved. Kind of.
As I pulled up to the house Tuesday afternoon, I discovered that the information didn’t trickle down to quite everyone.
As I parked my car, I watched one of the subs back his pickup onto the lawn again to unload materials that resulted in a passive-aggressive text from me to the contractor with a photo of the truck and the message: “Trying to keep this in perspective.”
Client: 1 Architect: 0 Larry: Very confused.
As I mentioned, figuring out who I am at any given moment has been a big challenge. Even more so, since I’ve developed a very collaborative relationship with my contractor. As we’ve been working together, reviewing progress and talking about process, I’ve had to really think about whether I’m the architect, the client or both.
Did this “issue” get resolved quickly? Of course, and I had no doubt it would.
“Keep Off the Grass”
Although I had to laugh the next day when I received the picture of the sawhorse on my lawn with a “Keep Off the Grass” sign. Because what you don’t see, just out of frame, is the porta potty that’s been parked on the other side of my lawn since construction started.
And yes, the architect in me would tell the client, “It has to go somewhere!”
Main image courtesy of Filip Mróz.