Renovation Procrastination: Getting Ready to Be Ready to Begin

I sometimes tease when someone I know is obviously procrastinating. I say they are “getting ready to be ready to begin.” But teasing aside, many of us can use a little help getting started from time to time, especially when it comes to planning a big remodeling project.

We all know a big renovation will be painful in many ways: cost, time, displacement, noise, disruption, commitment, change, anxiety, and dust all come to mind. I know because I have renovated my own house, and I have felt the same pain my clients have felt. I too have put off making necessary improvements because I wanted to avoid the pains of renovating. What helps to minimize these inconveniences is to actually begin the “getting ready to be ready” part. The following is a list of some things you might do to begin your own “get ready to be ready” to renovate process. And you can feel better knowing that since you are reading this, you are one step closer to BEING ready!

1. Put Your Thoughts on Paper — Write a simple description of the look, feel, and type of renovation you’re hoping to achieve. Divide your list into “wishes” and “must haves.” This helps you organize your goals for the project, and tells us a tremendous amount of important information as we begin designing your solutions.

2. Get on the Same Page With Your Partner — Quite simply, we don’t want to be the arbitrator of conflicts related to your renovation. Make sure you both agree on all major choices ahead of time.

3. Get Packing — Clearing out the space to be renovated is one of the biggest hurdles some folks have. None of us believes we have a lot of stuff until we have to deal with packing it up. You can never start too soon — even before calling us.

4. Manage the Money — Let’s not sugarcoat it: Spending money is an emotional decision. Some remodelers call it “investing,” which is an attempt at making a spend feel like it doesn’t hurt. Yes, you are investing in your family’s quality of life, and yes, your house will gain some measure of value and hopefully be easier to sell down the road. But you have to spend money to make it happen. Establish a reasonable budget and determine how you will pay for the renovation. Are you going to do a HELOC? Use some savings, a bonus, or a dividend? Did your Aunt Sue leave you a large inheritance? You may want to talk to your accountant about how to get your money ready, or the bank or relative who is going to be giving it to you. It often helps to start this process early to take advantage of tax or interest benefits.

5. Manage Your Stress — Is your dog or cat the type who will escape if the door is open? If so, you will want to arrange for pet day care or get him/her crate trained. Most pets hate the sound of construction and constant intruders into their domain, and they will act out with destructive behavior, urinating in the house or worse. And while we can’t blame these animals who are only trying to protect their territory and families, we do need them out of the way so we can be productive and safe while we work in your home. The humans in the house will also be stressed out. Consider booking a vacation or some spa time during the worst parts.

6. Take a Leap of Faith — A big renovation will demand a big investment of your precious time, money, commitment, and attention. Once the design is completed, you will have the necessary trust in both the design and us to move into construction.

7. Move out — If you can, and in some cases you really must, move into temporary housing. This takes time. Explore your options early so you can make the move before construction begins.

The time you spend managing these steps will help you feel ready to get to work with us, even if you’re still a little nervous about the process. It’s OK. We understand because we do this all the time — and we can help every step of the way.


 


Image: Nicolas Huk

Built-In Storage: A Place for Your Stuff

1509290611_bench_That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is — a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.” —George Carlin

This quote always makes us laugh, but let’s face it … George was right. Our houses are filled with “stuff”; some of us are just better at organizing it than others.

We often find that the houses we come across don’t have enough storage to accommodate the homeowners’ belongings. People need places to stow books, coats, off-season clothing, shoes, toys, cleaning supplies, camping and sports gear, and more. To combat potential clutter issues, we like to learn about how our clients need to live, and how their homes can better serve those needs. Designing and building custom built-ins allows us to match the house’s style and color, and make the unit fit into a particular space as if it was always there.

For example, we built the nice window seat with drawers shown here for a whole-home renovation we are working on in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood. We’ve built many window seats like this for both kids and adults, and we often incorporate other types of creative storage solutions in common rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms. If you need help organizing your “stuff,” don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Recycling Our Stuff

Here in metro Philadelphia there’s a great resource for all the recycling news from our pals at Recycle Now. You can find out what and where to take your hazardous waste, keep up with the latest legislation, and even catch some of the video clips from Free Range Studios on “The Story of Stuff”. Check it out at recyclenowphiladelphia.org/rnp_resources.html.

Well, out there, you will find dozens of Best Lawn Mower, however, only a few of these incredible machines will give your lawn the impeccable finish that you have always dreamed of.