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Blog: The Homeowner Emotional Roller Coaster

Homeowners who pursue larger projects often go through a roller coaster of emotions. Every day can be different, with everything on schedule one day, and then delays or material mishaps the next. As a contractor, you understand because this is the world you work in every day. Your homeowner clients don’t live or work here, though, and they don’t understand this process. 

Let’s change this. Let’s give our homeowner clients some valuable information about this process, and review how this experience might go for them. I call this the “Homeowner Emotional Roller Coaster.” 

I actually created a PDF handout of the roller coaster that I share with clients before a project starts. I put the handout in my presentation materials for review at the end of the initial sales meeting. At the end of the meeting, most homeowners take a quick look at my handouts and that’s when they see the Homeowner Emotional Roller Coaster. It’s on a single sheet of paper and they ask, “What’s this?” That gives me my opening—I let them know that we have spent the last hour talking about their project, so now I want to spend some time on the process.

Homeowners are excited when they first start this process because their dreams are coming true. They are beginning the process to make their home improvement project a reality, but the design process can be challenging. When there are up to 100 different decisions to make regarding their plans, it can be overwhelming because every selection has a direct effect on their budget. 

Once we have these selections, the first big dip in the roller coaster comes when we give them a price for the project they want to build. There is always “sticker shock” because custom remodeling is expensive, but they recover when the project actually starts. You can feel their excitement. Laying the foundation and completing the close-in usually goes quickly, but then the parade of subcontractors start and everyone has their own schedule. 

Because momentum seems to slow down, excitement is now tempered for most homeowners. Then, due to unforeseen circumstances and change orders, there can be additional unexpected expenses. Now they are spending even more. They accept this, but their patience can start to wear thin. Usually, right around drywall sanding is when homeowners “bottom out.” You have all experienced this.

Homeowners need to understand this roller coaster of emotions. I use my emotional roller coaster to help them understand the process and then I guide them every step of the way.  If you would like a copy of the Homeowner Emotional Roller Coaster, send me an email at David@RemodelForce.com and let me know. 

I will send you a copy of the roller coaster along with a link to the book, “Managing the Emotional Homeowner.” There is no cost for these materials. I look forward to hearing from you!


David Lupberger has been in the remodeling industry for more than 20 years and is author of “Managing the Emotional Homeowner,” “The Remodelers Turnkey Program,” and “The Home Asset Management Plan.” He can be reached at david@davidlupberger.com or 303.442.3702.

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