How to Remodel Your Home and Save Your Marriage Doing It
It’s never just happily ever after.
Anyone who has been in a real and successful marriage knows that it takes hard work, lots of patience, a healthy dose of compromise and a little bit of luck. For all the romance of a beautiful outcome, there is an element of down and dirty to test the very strongest bonds.
Embarking on a renovation of your home is no less of a marriage between client and contractor. Although rarely sleeping together, so many attributes are similar, it seems too easy to compare.
The courtship, the commitment and honeymoons are easily identifiable. The hard work and good times are clearly evident. Even the bedroom is sometimes shared (though at different times) and the toilet seat up or down must be adapted.
Depending on the strength of the relationship and the agreements made in the early stages, the outcome of renovations can be successful or disastrous. The parties can celebrate and remain close or separate with anxiety at best and a settlement in court at the worst of cases.
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Fortunately, most end in a tepid place of fizzle when the project is as complete as can be, the finances are stretched and other projects in both lives are urging closure. The holes and gaps and hard to fit pieces are installed. The special orders have all arrived. The punchlist dwindles to nothing, and each is ready to move on.
How clients and contractors communicate to each other plays a major role in the energy of the project and the final result. When all are happening, the job flows and the pieces fit right. If there is stress and upset, the shift in energy is immediately evident and everything becomes harder.
Too much dust left on the floor and tracked by workers, family and dogs to every corner of the house–even where no work is done–makes the client look at other details with a dissatisfied perspective. Waiting too long for a payment, bad cuts are made and deemed acceptable by the impatient and frustrated carpenters with their own bills to pay.
Tangentially, the bonds of a marriage can be tested when the residence is under construction. The dust, noise, financial stretch and aesthetic choices can unleash surprises in behavior and differing levels of tolerance. With the workers clomping insensitively into the normal realms of privacy, the balance is upset and tempers can flare. The partnership can be divided and the dreams fractured. Others are around to witness the disagreements.
Having been on both ends of the remodeling process–as a homeowner and contractor–I have seen the ugly sides and know it can be rough. I have wondered why there has been no sound of saws in a week and had to rip out and reinstall trim at a different angle.
This is a site to educate and inform, to teach and to learn about the processes of home renovations. Armed with proper tools, it is possible to transform the experience the successful outcome that first inspired the dreams. The dust can be contained, the rain kept out of gaping holes and tempers at bay.
Like a marriage, the successful renovation requires care and consideration, respect and romance, predictability and just the right amount of spice. It is important to dream big and lower expectations.
With honesty, forthright efforts and a ton of patience, the most decrepit of old and broken down homes can be remodeled and lived in ever after happily.
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