I want to tell you about one of the most exciting projects that I’ve ever had the chance to work on!
It was for a family who was moving into a large and beautiful lake home. Before they moved in, they were gutting and renovating the entire home first. I scheduled an estimate in their Brookfield home to discuss the project.
The husband did all the talking while his wife kept track of their three small children. They were a great couple, and very detailed oriented. Perfect clients for me. After we discussed the project, he handed me a list of contractors that I would be working with and their contact information. He hadn’t even asked me how much I would charge for the job! I blurted out “don’t you even want to know what LifeMoves charges?!” He answered “no, I am far more valuable being at work and it’s more important that my wife is here taking good care of the children; plus, you come highly recommended.”
In my hand I had the contractor list, which included 2 interior designers and 3 moving companies. I told him that I was going to have to see the property first. When I got there, I realized how big this project was going to be. It was a huge home with three floors, two kitchens and workmen everywhere...and it needed to all be done in 6 weeks!
I had my own past experience with home construction and I knew I would have to stay on these people in order to be able to stay on my own schedule. But I was excited to be working on a project where I could put my talents and special skills to use. I got right to work.
For the next 6 weeks, I was at the home every day! I met with the contractors, designers (plus new ones who were added in along the way) and made notes of the progress. I kept in constant contact with my client about the progress. I even helped him negotiate some of the costs down at one point! In the last few days of the project I went to the home in the morning, and at the end of the day to make sure that the day’s projects were completed.
I was at their Brookfield home, preparing for the movers. No move is ever completely problem-free and this one was no exception! One of the moving trucks was too large to make it up the narrow, winding driveway. Everything had to be shuttled from the property to the truck that was parked, blocks away! Not a good way to start a move!
This move started on a Friday and we were scheduled to have it all done by Sunday night, a two and a half day move. I got home that Friday night and was drinking wine and watching Netflix when I got a frantic call from the client. She was in tears. She needed to change the schedule and wanted to know if we could get the whole move done by SATURDAY night instead of Sunday!
“Of course we can do that for you!” I answered. I got off the phone and had to sort out how we were going to make this happen. I decided not to call my crew that night, they needed a good night’s sleep. I would talk to them in the morning.
The next morning we arrived and got right to work, working double speed to get everything done. It wasn’t easy and we ran into several problems. The painter wasn’t done with the laundry room, beds were missing pieces, the designers left early, leaving their own mess everywhere. But we were determined to have it all finished by evening.
The owner showed up at one point and was very happy with the progress we made, but I knew there was lots more to be done. He stayed for a bit and helped me with some design questions that I had for him, picking out pillows, etc. He then said that he and his family were going out to dinner and would be back by 7 p.m. When I heard that I was determined to have it all finished by the time they returned!
We worked right up until 6:55. We finished with some last touches, champagne in the fridge, a stuffed animal on the kid’s beds, two vases of flowers, etc. We made it all happen, and they could now enjoy a nice, quiet evening with their family in their new home. We left before they arrived and I sent him a text saying “welcome to your new home and enjoy it!”
After they had a night of peace, I returned the next morning with my crew to pick up some supplies and check in with the family. I knocked and they told us to come in. What I saw brought a tear to my eye! The family was relaxing and hanging out in the playroom, enjoying time with their children.
Our number one goal is getting people settled into their new homes quickly and comfortably! It also really demonstrates the power of having someone onsite who can prioritize and make quick decisions! I am very proud of the work we did on this home. Not only did we finish it in half the amount of time, we were able to overcome a lot of obstacles along the way!
Even to this day, I don’t think the family ever knew about the various problems we had during the move (the moving truck not getting up the driveway, or the painter issues, or that beds needed repairing). It was a challenging job for sure, but we pulled through and were able to make a stress-free move for them. It was a real privilege to work on their home, they were a great family to work for!