Milton Gregory "Greg" Grew, AIA is CEO of Grew Design, Inc and Grew Construction, LLC in Woodbury, CT. Greg is a licensed architect, building official, and contractor with over 20 years designing/building residential, commercial and institutional building projects. www.GrewDesign.com
CLIENT SATISFACTION EQUALS ARCHITECT ACHIEVEMENT
August 24th, 2009 by Milton Grew
I get a great feeling when I run into a former client and find out how they continue to be happy with the work I have done for them.
Just yesterday I was across the street from my office in the local supermarket when I ran into a client. She and her husband live in a neighboring town and hired me to design substantial renovations to their house including a family room and screen porch additions, new entry, new kitchen, new master bath and closet, and other upgrades. In addition, they hired us to build it as general contractor. They were very pleasant people to work with. They appreciated my designs and also gave us some good ideas of their own. The construction went reasonably well but did take longer than I planned so we had our touchy moments to work through. However, it was so satisfying yesterday to hear her say “We love the house and how it come out!”. She told me how pleased they are with the finished project and they are working on an album of before, during and after pictures. You can see our photos of the project here:
A few weeks ago I was in a local coffee shop standing in line for the cashier when I realize another client was in line ahead of me who lives here in Woodbury. I had designed an expansion of their second floor to make room for a larger and new master bedroom suite, additional bedroom, new kitchen, and new larger decks. He and his wife were also very enjoyable to work with and we had a good collaborative relationship. They hired their own builder and we heard very little from them during construction. I think the builder called once with a question. I can get a little uneasy when I don’t hear from builders. It can either mean our drawings were very clear and they just breezed through construction or it can mean they are too proud to ask for direction, have messed it all up, but have also blamed the architect so that the owner doesn’t want to call either. So with a little anxiety I asked my client while standing in line, “So, how did the project come out?” You can imagine my relief when he said “Great! We love it! The builder did a great job and everything came out as planned. You should come over and see it.” That I will do. It is one of the projects we do not have in our photo gallery yet, but when I have some time I will visit them and then post the pics.
I have a real feeling of achievement when I am able to see residential or commercial clients enjoy occupying the spaces I design and build. When you get bogged down with the paperwork and the non-design part of owning a practice it is moments like these above the bring you back to why you chose this profession in the first place.