Part 2: Lifestyle Management and dealing with disasters….

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If you have read Part 1 of this blog, you will remember Val and Bruce split their time fairly equally between their home in SW London and their home in  Texas.  Given the state of their SW London property (and it being completely uninhabitable), they realised that they would need to spend more time inTexas , whilst at the same time keeping a close eye on things in London.  They did this in two ways:

  • By staying in a local hotel when in London enabling them to easily oversee things whilst they were here.
  • Working with me, ensuring I was fully involved and acting as their eyes and ears when back in Texas .

How did that actually work?

Peta says “When Val and Bruce contacted me, we all thought the damage would be limited and that the small team of “tried tested and trusted suppliers” that I work with would be able to handle the job.  It quickly became clear that this was not going to be possible.  It soon became apparent, however, that I could help in other ways which included:

  • Holding keys and making sure I was available for any meetings with the team of people involved in this project (see Part 1). Particularly important when Val and Bruce were back in the US and needed to feel confident that their views were being considered in all discussions.
  • Keeping an eye on what everyone was doing and feeding back regularly to Val and Bruce, both when things were going well and not so well.
  • Helping them to decide on how to remodel their ruined kitchen and 2 ruined bathrooms. I am no interior designer, but though Partners in Time have become what I would call a  “well educated lay person” in terms of what might work and where to  go to get ideas and buy fixtures and fitting.  We even spent a morning shopping together for floors, tiles, fire places and kitchen appliances!
  • Researching options for finishes and getting a handle on costs. Particularly important for the areas where Val and Bruce decided to upgrade their bathrooms and kitchen, incurring costs over and above those covered by their insurance company.
  • Bringing in members of my supplier network when the contractor’s or insurance company’s suppliers failed to deliver. This included storage and removal teams to help with moving everything out of the flat; granite suppliers for kitchen surfaces; carpet suppliers for bedroom carpets and window cleaners and cleaners to make sure everything looked good once works were complete.

It’s now over a year since Val and Bruce’s disaster and the project is nearing completion.  It has not always been easy – these things never are, particularly if you are trying to manage them from a distance.  Someone like me can provide local support as well as a wealth of knowledge and practical know how.  But don’t just take my word for it….”

Val and Bruce say “We have no idea how we would have managed to get through this long ordeal without Peta’s help. Because we were rendered “homeless” in effect, and often away from London, we knew we would need someone on the ground to coordinate people and events. But we also needed her to be our representative when we couldn’t attend critical meetings between the contractor, surveyor and  insurance adjuster. It didn’t take us long to have full confidence in Peta’s ability to take care of our interests.  She exceeded our expectations almost immediately.  Her responses were always prompt and efficient.  We also valued her advice and observations when difficult situations arose during the refitting. It made a huge difference to us to know Peta “had our back” to use an Americanism.  We would recommend her services highly, and we intend to continue to use her company to help us in the future.”