As a home builder, it is easy to get caught up in schedules, timelines and deadlines. But there are times when it’s important to step back and make sure we are doing what the homeowner has envisioned.
This recently happened while staining stair treads to match a somewhat difficult shade of greyish brown. Wood being brown to begin with is difficult to make grey – at least in the field. And while painting contractors are really good at getting the colors close, there are times when it’s not clear that they have it right. Which part of the sample are we matching? Will the sample match the existing?
The construction manager brought to our attention that the stain wasn’t coming out quite like we had thought and wanted to know how to proceed.
It’s difficult when you have a crew with brushes in hand ready to get the work done to ask them to wait while you confer with the homeowner. Fears of worst case scenarios being to swirl. Are we creating a challenge where non exists? Regardless, that’s what we decided to do; to have the painters stop what they were doing to make sure that the homeowner was happy with the direction of the stain before it was all done.
We talked it over internally to gauge the risk in moving forward without consultation versus halting the process to get confirmation. It became clear that it was best to make the client aware of our concern and to have them come look at how it was coming out. And that was the right decision. The client was pleased with us taking the time to report the concern and talk it over and in the end liked the way it was coming out. But because of the wide variation of color between each tread, we decided we meet a second time to set the treads in a specific order so it looked as natural as possible. We review all of stained treads, moved them around a few times, and after settling on the order, numbered the back of each one so that the installers would put them in order we had decided on.
Our willingness to step back to make sure things are correct and thoughtful execution
A big part of Sterling Homes as a company is keeping customer service at the forefront in all that we do. We have learned over the last 40 years that everyone needs to understand the same information in the same way, otherwise expectations can become skewed. Our goal is to make building a home with us a fun and exciting process and our customers appreciate the time we dedicate to making it just right.