Posted by: nedpelger | September 5, 2009

It’s Good Enough

My friend Randy Meyerhoffer just built some perfect Azak window boxes for a condo project we’re working on. Though a tad pricey, these window boxes set-off the entire facade. They are extraordinarily well made and beautiful. Randy lives his life dedicated to producing the highest quality possible. I don’t.

I appreciate high quality workmanship, I just think Owner’s should get to define the level of quality and cost they want, then obtain it. Randy sees this concept as the crappification of the world. Everything being done cheaper, not lasting as long, not as beautiful. I see it as a valid choice to save some cash and live with the results.

Wired magazine just did an excellent article The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple is Just Fine which I strongly encourage you to read. They trace the trend that moderns often prize simplicity and use over high quality features. Think about how this affects what you design and what you build.

Too many times we install systems for Owners that never really work the way they envisioned. Many times the details for these systems get worked out on the jobsite. Over the years, I’ve become a stronger advocate for simplicity, telling Owner’s that what they think they want probably isn’t what they really want. While it takes some gumption to do that, the results are often worth it.

In everything we do, let’s think about what we really value. That’s the best way to determine if simplification can work. Begin by understanding that just because we can do or measure something, doesn’t mean we should.

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