well actually later...lol. How time flies. It's been many months since I was doing major home improvements. I sitback to write with some 5 months hindsight. Home improvement has many different meanings or includes many different aspects of life and relationships and is a very interesting and fertile ground for studying and reflection.
The story of the monk whose duty it was to sweep the floors, comes to mind. It seems very glaringly obvious when you are cleaning a rental for sale just how the dirt seems to go everywhere no matter what you do. The dirt never goes away, but it is placed somewhere else. Maybe to the next room or to the garbage bag. If you wash the dirt down, then it changes, desolves and becomes a liquid, but it is still there. It does not cease to exist, it just changes. Any feelings I have about that dirt, whether I enjoy cleaning it, feel a sense of accomplishment or burden, or am completely apathetic; well, those are my choices and do not begin from the dirt itself but from me. And so cleaning is a great way to study self.
Dealing with contractors is another way. LOL! This one can be a big challenge. My how there is the struggle for dominance, and you have to fight your own pride when someone you are paying does not do that for which you paid handsomely. So many judgements in such a statement. And so much stubborn 'truth' as well. I know many people who have been disatisfied with work done for them to improve their homesteads. Including me! It is almost a cliche by now. There are many good people out there who will do a just and honest job for you; best to keep their names on a handy list! And to the others? Well, that's a wee bit difficult.
How to keep your sanity and peace of mind, communicate like civil people, and reach an agreement? Hmmm. Can be difficult. For the laws on customer rights, I'd suggest googling it and studying. Sum it up to say that sometimes you negotiate, sometimes you argue, sometimes you cut your loses, and sometimes you run! Every situation is different. And there is the potential for much bitterness and resentment, but who do those feelings serve, ultimately? You? Them? Just rememeber as Yogananda says, "Never let another steal your peace." No matter what. This is very good advice, I think and it helped me in hindsight, lol, perhaps not so much in the moment, but that is for another lesson for me, I think. But best to let bad karma stay where it originated. If someone is trying to give you the gift of the thief, you needn't accept it.
Lastly, with home improvement. Sometimes I find that the more I do what I think is cleaning and home improving, the more 'flaws' are revealed for me to see. No matter how much I clean and polish and scour it will never ever be perfect. That's the truth, improvement reveals more places to fix and a sort of mental balance takes hold in the mind, trying to find the 'just right' point. Sometimes it is best to just sit in the middle of a spacious sparce room, set aside the scrubber, and breathing in and out. Close the eyes. Open them and see all the judgments of dirt and broken corners, and spider webs and dust. Close eyes breathe in and out, then open and just see it as it is. Let it be as it is. Be as you are.