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The Homeowner’s Emotional Roller Coaster


Go to almost any builder’s conference and your likely to see this chart or something like it.  Builders love to share it because it is a fairly accurate depiction of the highs and lows the client experiences in the custom home building process. 

At the beginning of the design phase most people are very excited.  They are scouring home renderings and pictures to discover the style elements they really like.  There is not much hard work involved and the emotional satisfaction of envisioning the new home is palpable. 

After working drawings are complete everything seems to come to a halt as the builder gathers bids and works on a final estimate.  A low point is reached when the client has been forced to make a seemingly unending stream of design decisions while final bids often add up to more than the client had hoped for. 

Once the contract is signed and work begins the mood generally soars.  Most people are very pleased to see the home take shape and usually surprised by how quickly things are moving!  “Wow, we’re already under roof after just six weeks! Surely, we can go ahead and plan our housewarming party for, say, four months from now, right?”  Um, not so fast.

As mechanical system installation begins it appears that progress has come to a grinding halt.  Also, the builder is pushing hard for those final selection decisions.  The realization that the remaining choices will be impossible (or at least very expensive) to reverse creates added pressure.

By the time the drywall is going up fatigue is starting to set in.  The client has been at this for over a year since they first met the builder and the love affair has cooled as the builder has had to say “no” or “yes, but it will cost you” many times.  This is usually the bottom of the emotional roller coaster.

As the finish work begins in earnest the mood begins to pick up.  The decisions have all been made.  Now it is time to sit back and see how the elements are all coming together into a cohesive whole.  Sure, we’ll have to reschedule the party, but at least we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The final stage of punch out seems to take way too long but the mood is still rising as attention is refocused on furnishings and housewares.  The rescheduled party RSVPs are coming in every day.

At Turnstone we are very aware that most clients will go through some version of the emotional roller coaster.  Our construction management portal is designed to keep clients informed with daily schedule updates, job logs and photos.  An informed client knows exactly what is coming and is less susceptible to emotional highs and lows!


* To view a larger version of the Homeowner's Emotional Roller Coaster, click here.