1 Mar 2010
‘Pride’ as define by Merriam-Webster is:
a) the quality or state of being proud: as a : inordinate self-esteem : conceit
b) a reasonable or justifiable self-respect
c) delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship
One of the modern day 7 deadly sins – pride, or hubris, is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and is considered the source from which all the others arise. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self.
It is also what separates a good contractor from a great contractor.
I doth not beleiveith that the pride from whichith I speaketh is the same as the one identified by the Catholic Church. This is more about craftsmanship, and ownership of that craftsmanship. When a contractor shows attention to detail and wants to be part of the design process, it is an indication that they have ownership in the work they produce. Seven deadly sins or not, I want that on my projects – particularly the modern projects.
The downside to this level of craftsmanship, if your looking, is that it is always expensive and slow. We have all heard the expression – better, faster and cheaper. When it comes to construction, you can only get two of the three and that is only when you are willing to pay for them. To the craftsman who build millwork or fabricate steel components, or any other artisans, their craft is art and they generally believe that anything worth doing is worth doing for the sake of creation. It is expensive because they self-police their work and deem things to be acceptable or unacceptable as part of the process and the cost to re-do the work is built into the cost. Rarely is it one and done. Sometimes these artisans can be difficult to work with but you know (unfortunately just as they do) that it is worth it in the end.
The picture above is a tiny example of craft – and this is an important level of craft when building modern residences. This is a shower niche in my own house (yes, I know it’s a crap photo) but the important thing to recognize here is that the niche is perfectly sized to the tile and grout joints – both left to right, top to bottom, front to rear, all while being perfectly centered on the shower head. I didn’t even have to tell this particular contractor that this would be important – he knew it was important.
A sometimes unexpected by-product of having something beautifully made by people who take great pride and ownership in the work is that if anything ever goes wrong, I mean even well beyond your standard warranty period, they will come and fix it for you.