Building Isn’t Easy…

Our construction project was a cliché.

Anna Burgess Yang
4 min readJul 26, 2019


We began talking to an architect in April of 2018 about putting an addition on our house: a project that we had been thinking about for more than three years. A contract was signed with the architect, with the comment that, at adding only a mudroom and a bedroom (to be used as my home office), we should be done with the entire construction project “by the end of summer, or early fall.”

The architect ended up being an absolute nightmare to work with, and it was late summer before we even had a completed drawing that we could submit for a permit. However, I found a great contractor and — even with more delays from a survey company — thought that we would be wrapped up by the end of February.

A hole went into the ground, walls went up, the architect had made an error in the roof drawing that required a correction, concrete was poured. Even with winter days that did not allow for any work done due to dangerously cold temps, we were cruising right along.

I had heard so many horror stories from people with their construction projects, but everything was going so well, I thought “Are we the exception?”

No. No we weren’t. Once the main bulk of the work was done, and a main portion of the contract paid based on percent complete, everything slooooowed to a snail’s pace. One or two workers would come out maybe once a week, twice at best, to do all of the interior finishing work. That was supposed to be the fun part! Instead, we watched as a wall would get painted one day… outlet covers put on the next day.

We weren’t given any advance notice when a crew showed up to knock through the wall from the addition into our existing kitchen. And given that this was a LOUD part of the project and I work from home, a head’s up would have been nice.

I complained to the contractor as the days moved into April, and ended up getting my kitchen painted for free, but the pace did not improve.

It was the end of June before final inspections were scheduled, and then inspections were failed and some more work had to be done and inspections rescheduled.

But finally everything was ready, with a final inspection of smoke detectors scheduled for July 3rd. I…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •