-By Tammy

Starting a practice from scratch is like baking a cake. There is an enormous list of specific ingredients that go precisely together in an exact order for the perfect creation. Getting it all to work is more like a symphony. Each piece is vital to the whole. Without one, the whole lacks. Order and timing are crucial.
I was quite impressed when Randy, our project manager, presented me with a schedule. It was a two page bar chart listing every single requirement spanning two months. A/C ducts take about a week to fabricate and install. A few days for demo. We need some walls. Lots of wall. And ceiling. Then add plumbing- sprinklers, waterlines and wastewater. And so on. What impresses me even more is that we are on schedule. What impresses me most is the flexibility of each subcontractor. These professionals seem to be ready exactly when we need them. What surprises me is their willingness to work after hours. I must have glossed over that part of our lengthy contract. Evidently we are to make no noise during construction that could disrupt current tenants. Try breaking through concrete in silence. So they work after hours and on weekends when necessary.

In the meantime Maestro Randy coordinates the next step or two, while also anticipating delays and options. He is the expert and knows the timing. We’d rather have cabinetry, flooring, plumbing fixtures and granite wait for us than us wait for them. He is one cool cucumber. He said that we would get it done even if he had to paint walls himself at night. I had this vision of the two of us painting into the wee hours. But as of today, right now, this very moment, I just might get out of it!

Thus far the snags have been minor. This week I discovered that my lovely rustic plank wood flooring will take longer than anticipated (it has to float from even further away) and will cost $1 more/sf because of this. But keeping an open mind, I went back to the store and found something even better. It is the same quality, same price, AND here on island! I took pictures of my three contenders in natural light and with flash. The middle one is wonderful. Its clean lines look beautiful with the grain of bamboo. But it looks too dark in natural light and we have few windows. It is also almost as dark as the granite countertops, which I fear will then compete. The one that looks best in natural light and with flash is the African Walnut. It is the sample on the left. It amuses me that keeping an open mind allowed me to find an even better selection!

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