The best research when building or renovating

What’s the best research to do when building or renovating your family home?

Learn the best way to simplify your research journey. Read more here.

I recently read something on social media where a person embarking on their new build project wrote this:

“I have realised that a lot of the research and advice is scattered. Some of it is hidden amongst hours of podcasts, and others across multiple web pages with supplier advertising scattered throughout.”

I thought it was an interesting statement … and it’s a very true reality for anyone who wants to go it alone in their design, building and renovation journey.

I have shared a lot about the information that is available ‘out there’ about creating your future home. About how often I see people disappear down a google rabbit hole, only to come up for air months later with little to show for their efforts (except a lot of overwhelm and unrealistic project goals). 

I contribute a lot to the information that’s out there too, with the podcast, blog posts, youtube videos and social media we are regularly sharing here at Undercover Architect. (And this podcast episode about how to not get lost down a google rabbit hole may be a great first step for you!)

Interestingly, the exercise of research actually involves two angles: one is information gathering, and the other is theory testing.

When you’re building or renovating your home, especially when it’s the first time, information gathering makes sense. You need to collect knowledge, data and ideas so you can understand more about the process, who it involves and what you can expect.

Interestingly though, you’re most likely also theory testing. 

Because with all the media around us feeding us a version of renovating and building on an-almost-nightly-basis, I would hazard a guess that you have some (conscious or unconscious) theories about the process of building and renovating. And so your research will test whether those theories are well-founded, or need redressing.

How quickly those theories get tested and revised will depend on how long you stick with going it alone.

And you going it alone will also impact the time and effort it takes to gather reliable and trustworthy information you can rely upon.

I’m going to be really frank with you here (well, when have you known me to be anything else, hey?)

The longer you persevere with going it alone, your research will be a process of gathering scattered information from varying sources, and patching it together into something that is hopefully of use to you. 

It can be hugely time consuming, misleading before it’s clear and quite draining of your energy and emotion too.

Many feel this is the best way to go, though. And that they’ll save money by navigating their research solo. 

But it costs them in so many other ways. In time, confusion, stress, mis-information. 

And it can cost financially too, as inevitably, they don’t get to make the right choice the first time they make it. 

Solo research means a lot more happens via trial and error – because there’s no guidance from an insider (who’s done this over and over for other people like you) to light the simplest and most suitable pathway for you.

There’s also something to know about ‘free’ information.

And, hilariously, it’s taken me 7 years of working with homeowners (and being aware of myself too) to really learn and see this.

For me, having had to learn how to run an online business from scratch has meant mastering web sites, online graphics, blogging, podcasting, social media, SEO, Facebook, advertising, and all the detailed nitty gritty that goes along with that. UA HQ has always had a very small team. 

I behave entirely differently when I’m paying for advice, knowledge and the research I do … vs the stuff I can access for free.

Even when the paid stuff is something I’ve learned for free already (that’s crazy!)

And for over 7 years now, I’ve been putting out weekly free content. For over 4.5 years now, I’ve been creating a free podcast. 

Every week, on average, I write (me personally – I do all my own content) 10,000 words on designing, building and renovating, and put it out into the world. 

This is the thing about free research vs paid research though: Those that pay, pay attention.

There’s something fascinating about human psychology. When we have to pay for something, we are more likely to:

Research the person or company we’re going to give money to, to see if they’re trustworthy and their advice has valueDecide how badly we need that help or advice (ie how serious we are about taking action on it)Work harder to inform the advice that’s being given (so we can see its applicability to us more readily)Listen more intently to the adviceValue the advice differently because we’ve paid for itAnd take action on the advice we’re given

I’m sure you can think of examples where this has happened for you.

And interestingly, sometimes the investment has to stretch us a little for it to actually compel us to take action.

I know I’ve deliberately invested in things beyond what initially seemed comfortable to me – purely because it was the motivation I really needed to get the results I was chasing. Having made that investment was a great push to keep me disciplined and following through.

What I’ve found personally too, is that I can know I want to make a change, or pursue an ambition … and that the investment in a particular person or process is the next best step. But I hesitate, and stay in my solo research efforts instead. 

I tell myself I don’t have enough time right now to make the most of the investment, or I can still get the results I want on my own.

In those instances, I know the pain of things staying the same isn’t big enough to compel me to act … not just yet, anyway.

But more often than not … the pain of staying the same starts to get bigger than the pain of making a change. Or life delivers me a big kick in the butt, and the investment becomes necessary to take proper action on it.

Getting closer to 50 now, I’ve learned to try and not let things get that bad (took almost half a century, but better late than never, hey? LOL)

​​Because #murphyslaw … usually the butt kick is more financially expensive, or costly in other significant ways, than the investment would have been in the first place.

I’ve learned, it’s actually far easier, and far kinder to yourself, to move towards pleasure … than to move away from pain.

So where are you holding back from making a necessary investment in your research journey? Not just in building and renovating your home – but anywhere in your life?

Where are you fumbling through the research, and juggling a multitude of resources, to guide you on your maiden voyage? 

Want to know the best way to simplify your research journey instead?

Ask yourself: Where can I invest instead to have someone else’s proven methods show me the best way to travel my journey, and achieve the goals I want for myself?

Because then, perhaps you can tailor your research to just finding out who the best person or company is to trust with your journey. That’s immediately a lot less research to do!

And then you can save your time, money and stress, as they guide you and help you get to where you want to go.

Chances are, you’ll enjoy the journey a lot more by having someone in your corner, helping you stay on track and motivated. 

And you’ll achieve that goal you have for yourself far more simply as well.

If you’d like to get started on your renovation or new build project, my Get Started Guide is a fantastic resource to help you do just that. 

It will teach you the first steps any project needs to take, whatever your dreams, location or budget, and whoever you’re working with. Learn more about it here >>> GET STARTED GUIDE

And, if you’d especially like to get started on your home design, then the mini-course ‘Happy Home Design’ will help you. 

You’ll learn more about what decisions really matter in happy home design, and how you can design a home that is functional, fantastic and feel-good >>> HAPPY HOME DESIGN

If you’d like to learn how to choose the right builder, and learn how the specific checks to do, and questions to ask, when interviewing builders for your project >>> CHOOSE YOUR BUILDER

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