Famous Last Words


Famous Last Words Uttered Before Construction Disasters.

Building or renovating an outstanding luxury property is challenging because most people don’t have systems and strategies in place to tackle projects of such magnitude.  Here are common mistakes and the rules to avoid them.

  1. It’s taken too long and cost too much to buy this apartment. Who has time to find and hire an architect? I’ll just hire my college buddy.

Rule 1: Hire outstanding design professionals

  1. Wait, I’m paying for an architect, a designer, and now an engineer? The air conditioning guy can do that.

Rule 2: Invest in meticulous engineering.

  1. I am sure my budget is less than what this will cost…I won’t divulge my budget and have them overcharge me.

Rule 3: Develop your budget and schedule with the team.

  1. No building inspector is going to notice if we’re three feet over the line.

Rule 4: Abide by building code and regulations.

  1. This contractor is a third less than the other bidders because he’s hungry for the work.

Rule 5: Choose your contractor for their experience and process for quality.

  1. We just need to get started…we’ll work out the details once we’re going and we have time

Rule 6: Design thoroughly, then build efficiently.

  1. I’ll just buy the plumbing fixtures, appliances and AV system on my own and avoid the contractor’s mark-up. What can go wrong?

Rule 7: Buy everything through your contractor for single point service and warranty.

  1. I asked our attorney and it turns out he has negotiated a couple of contractors’ contracts—and he’s a pit bull.

Rule 8: Employ expert and fair legal counsel.

  1. The contractor showed me his insurance certificate…I’m covered.

Rule 9: Manage risk effectively.

  1. I’ll take care of the bill once I’m back in town, people can wait.

Rule 10: Meet deadlines for decisions and payment.

  1. I know I told them I wanted the cabinets in mahogany, not painted.

Rule 11: Expect only what is written to be done.

  1. I don’t see why I should replace an air-conditioning system that’s working perfectly well just because it’s ten years old.

Rule 12:  You must trust your team to give expert advice; if they advise you to replace your HVAC system (or appliances, or floor…), then you must.

© Rusk Renovations, LLC

To see Rusk’s work and philosophy, please visit our website at www.ruskinc.com

For New York City project inquiries, contact John Rusk at +1 (212) 544.0986 or info@ruskinc.com


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