How To Avoid Home Remodeling Anxiety

 Avoid Home Remodeling Anxiety: 4 Easy Steps

remodeling anxiety getting to you?

        Remodeling anxiety getting to you?

Remodeling anxiety? It’s a very real phenomenon for most homeowners. There have been very few homeowners in the past 33 years who didn’t feel anxious and overwhelmed about their project before we met.  Hundreds of homeowners, with different lifestyles, different needs, and different budgets. Pretty amazing.

During a meeting four months ago, I was reminded how overwhelming the remodeling process can be, even if someone has been through a renovation before. Five years ago, my client remodeled her kitchen. Her contractor did a wonderful job, but she didn’t have a designer. When she talked about choosing the material for her kitchen countertops, that long ago, it’s easy to see (and feel) the remodeling anxiety she’s reliving. Have you ever been through a remodeling project? A home addition? An updated bathroom? A new kitchen? (more…)

Warm Colors Impact You and Your Home

Warm Colors: Red, Orange, and Yellow

warm colors are at the outside upper edge of a rainbow

Warm colors at the outside edge of a rainbow

Warm colors and cool colors affect everything we do, because they’re part of light’s energy. We cannot see the colors of light rays, but we see colors because of light’s spectrum. When the atmosphere intervenes, becoming a prism, we can see light in the form of a rainbow. Rainbows are meaningful because they contain seven colors that evoke emotional responses: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. This article, Part 1 of 2, will discuss only the warm colors.

During a heavy spring shower, traffic slowed to a crawl. “Smart drivers” was my second thought, after the usual thought (you get the drift!). But people weren’t slowing down for just the raindrops. They were slowing down to look at a very bright double rainbow! The colors were glorious! How do you feel when you see a rainbow?We use colors to describe our moods, “In the pink,” or “Green with envy,” or “feeling blue.” We say, “I’m seeing red” when we’re angry, or “He/she is yellow-bellied” when we think someone is cowardly.

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Bathroom Remodeling Problems Can Be Avoided

Bathroom Remodeling Problems Do Happen — Unfortunately

Mike Holmes helps people recover from major bathroom remodeling problems

           Mike Holmes believes in Do It Right!

Bathroom remodeling problems make me sick when I hear about them. Most of the time, problems could have been easily avoided, if homeowners had asked lots of questions, gotten reliable (honest) information, thoroughly checked references and credentials, and trusted their gut feelings. Homeowners are not stupid. Many are very well-educated, but they lack the experience and knowledge to protect their investment. They also tend to be trusting, which makes them easy prey for charlatans.

Have you ever watched “Holmes on Homes”? The program is about a great contractor, Mike Holmes, and his crew, who finish botched home remodeling projects.. He really cares about homeowners, and cares about what he does. I applaud him for getting a great message to a large audience. It’s a message that needs attention, because sooner or later, 95{2f09113ecd7e766169d213037c53a47c47462b75a59f6c22c45b51e5db72dd50} of all homeowners embark on a major remodeling project.

Dream Project Turns Into A Nightmare

If Mike Holmes could read this, he’d be shaking his head and saying, “Why?” Why did a dream master bathroom renovation become a nightmare? Why, after six months, were the homeowners still  having to use the guest bathroom? Why were all of the plumbing fixtures and fittings — including a 36″ by 72″ whirlpool/air tub — taking up     an entire corner of the master bedroom? Because the homeowners trusted the designer that they hired.

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Communication Was Responsible For 1970s Ranch Remodeling Success

Communication: The Key That Unlocks The Door To Remodeling Success!

 

Communication helped transform the front of the 1970s ranch-style home

Communication helped everyone transform the 1970s ranch-style home: New dormers and new semi-circular wall surrounding the new private patio.

The return trip home, after leaving Mark and Anne’s yearly Thanksgiving open house, presented a wonderful opportunity to think about everything that made their major 1970s ranch home remodeling project special. Then, a familiar question, “How can more homeowners achieve the best results possible — with fewer anxieties, hassles, and regrets?” Here’s what made a big difference for Anne and Mark when they remodeled (and added onto) their home, and what can make a big difference for you:

Everyone took responsibility for communication, making this a successful remodeling project!

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A Microwave Oven (Or Two) Is A Necessity

Microwave Oven Concerns for Homeowners

microwave and hood combinations are an unsafe and poorly-working option

Microwave-Hood units are an unsafe and poorly-working option!

Microwave oven options was the topic of several discussions during our former internet radio program, “Today’s Home.” We expressed concern about microwave-hood combinations and drawer microwaves. Both appliances are potentially dangerous. You’ve got someone on your side, to help you make informed decisions about products that can affect your safety.

According to National Kitchen and Bath Association design guidelines, the best (and safest) location for a microwave oven is achieved when the bottom of the unit is 3″ below the main user’s shoulder, or a maximum of 54″ above the floor (whichever is lower). If a microwave oven is placed below a 36″ high countertop, the bottom of the unit must be a minimum of 15″ above the floor. There should be a 15” wide by 16″ deep landing area above, below, and/or adjacent to the handle side of a microwave oven, from the front edge of the adjacent countertop. (more…)

5 Ways To Avoid Remodeling Change Orders

Remodeling Change Orders — The LAST Thing You Want!

Remodeling change orders may be included automatically with low estimates.

Caution: The lowest estimate often comes with change orders.

Remodeling Change Orders. You’re surprised, and feel betrayed.  Just when everything seemed to be going well, your contractor says, “We’ve run into a problem,” or, “If you want it, you’re going to have to pay more.” There are (sometimes) valid reasons for Change Orders, but most of the time, they can be avoided. You do not want to feel like your home is being held hostage. Here are five ways to avoid Change Orders:

How to Avoid Remodeling Change Orders

Remodeling Change Orders during a building or remodeling project should be an exception, not the rule. Here are ways that you can avoid them: (more…)

Homeowner AND Contractor Advocate

Advocate for Homeowners?  Of Course!

homeowner advocate and contractor advocate

                  “Hello, I’m Diane Plesset.”

What is an Advocate? Many contractors conclude that an advocate always takes the homeowners’ side against them, which is not true. Remodeling is a team effort. If everyone remembers this, and takes their individual responsibility seriously.  There’s no need for anyone to take sides in most cases. There have been only five times in several hundred remodeling projects where a dispute arose. There was clear evidence that the contractor had done something very wrong:

  • Not providing products and services specified in their agreement without communication.
  • Changing the scope of the project without communication.
  • Not providing a written change order before extra work began.
  • Selling products at an inflated price because “warranty service” was provided, without specifying in writing exactly what is included and excluded.

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Building and Remodeling Changes Since 2008

Building-Remodeling Changes: Santa Claus or Grinch?

Building-remodeling changes began like Grinch in 2008

“How the Grinch Stole . . . Everything!

History Before 2008:

Building-remodeling professionals were busy, with seasonal ups and downs. Homeowners called design and construction professionals to renovate their home, or build a new home. They had high expectations and positive anticipation about finding someone to help them.They felt it was like  waiting for Santa Claus.

2008:

The Grinch (aka the economy) stole everything. Anticipation was replaced by anxiety and fear. Americans were just trying to keep their homes, trying to prevent the Grinch from stealing the roof over their heads. People lost jobs as companies downsized or closed their doors. Building and remodeling stopped. People who were thinking about trading up decided to hunker down and stay put. Recovery from such a devastating blow takes a long time. (more…)

A Traditional Multi-user Bathroom

Remodeling a Traditional Bathroom for Family and Guests

Large Subway Tile with Focal Point

Shower for family and guests: Neutral color scheme, easy-to-clean surfaces.

Are you planning to remodel a bathroom that’s used daily by your family and occasionally by guests? To achieve the multi-use function you need, and the traditional appearance you desire, plan carefully and choose durable products that are easy to clean. Daily maintenance will be easy, and you won’t have to toil for hours to make the bathroom guest-ready.

RESILIENT ELEMENTS OF TRADITIONAL DECOR

♦ COLOR SCHEME. Select a neutral color palette that complements the colors and textures used in the adjacent hallway. Consider how people feel as they move from one room to another; the transition, especially in a traditional home, should be smooth and non-jarring to the occupants. It’s best to err on the conservative side for permanent features like plumbing, tile, countertops, and cabinets. Conservative doesn’t have to be boring! Painted walls can be any color you choose, although it’s wise to stay away from jewel tones and highly-saturated colors like burnt orange, daffodil yellow, or kelly green. Consider how easy (or difficult) it will be to coordinate the paint color with decorative tiles and accessories. Paint can be easily changed, but tiles cannot. If you have a favorite painting or framed poster that you want to display in the bathroom, select colors from it to help you create the scheme. (more…)

The Kitchen Triangle: A Guideline

Other Guidelines, Other Choices for Your Kitchen

“Rules are not necessarily sacred. Principles are.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

“Form Follows Function.” (Louis Sullivan)

Image F-S-A

Function – Safety – Appearance

Information About The Kitchen Triangle

Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the first architects to use the work triangle in his kitchens? During a tour of the Gordon House (the only FLW-designed home in Oregon), I overheard the docent talking with visitors about many of Mr. Wright’s innovations in home design that we still use today, and had to add that tidbit of trivial information. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) describes a work triangle in their guidelines:

“The distances between the three primary work centers (cooking surface, cleanup/prep sink and refrigeration storage) form a work triangle. The sum of the three traveled distances should total no more than 26 feet with no single leg of the triangle measuring less than 4 feet nor more than 9 feet.”

The guidelines also state: “No major traffic patterns should cross through the basic work triangle.”

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