Recipe for D-I-Y Home Remodeling Success

The Key To D-I-Y Success: “Know Thyself”

Basement Rec Room

Found space in a basement is great for many purposes!

 How To Make A New Room Using Leftover Space

Classic, time-tested recipe to convert and remodel a leftover basement area, approximately 280 square feet, to be a multi-purpose bonus room for the entire family to enjoy.  One  corner of the area, approximately 24 square feet, can accommodate a powder room for occupants’ convenience.  An existing doorway accesses the rear garden for indoor-outdoor parties. Delicious possibilities for year-round entertaining!

The key to D-I-Y success is to be honest about what you can do yourself, and what you can’t do (i.e., hire others!)


Remodeling Treat -OR- Trick?

Achieving D-I-Y Treat Was Tricky

Trick or Treat Construction WitchThe title of this blog is seasonal, but unfortunately, “Trick or Treat” remodeling happens year ’round. The “treat” is homemade. If you follow the Recipe for DIY Home Remodeling Success,” you’ll end up with something very sweet. If you try to change the recipe, your treat may look like it’s sweet, but it  could be face-puckering bitter — the kind of bitter that you’ll never forget.  This is a true story about one family’s DIY Treat that turned into a Trick.

It Was Supposed To Be a Treat

Imagine how great it must  feel to discover that you have 280 square feet in your basement that you can convert to usable space. Wow! What a treat! Remodeling is going to be a lot of work, but there are many ways to use the space. Storage? Possibly. How about a bonus room? Yes! It will require at least two of the four structural posts to be removed, to open up the room, but it can be done. Using the exterior doorway that’s already there is an added bonus, because you can build a deck for summertime inside/outside parties. And, as long as you’re doing the work, how about adding a powder room, so family and friends don’t have to climb a flight of stairs to use the bathroom? Sure! Wonderful idea!

This is the shorthand version of what often happens during DIY  brainstorming, talking about all of the possibilities for a “found” space. Within a couple of weeks, you’ve purchased everything you need at the local Big Box Store, and  every available minute is spent to create your special haven. Friends and family get involved, to finish the job sooner. When  it’s done, there’s a big party to celebrate.


Home Remodeling: How to Cope With Change

ix Examples: What TO DO and What NOT TO DO to Cope with Home Remodeling

State of ConfusionWhy does change overcome many of us with anxiety?  Is it fear of the unknown, or fear of failure, or a combination of the two? Marilyn Ferguson describes the anxious feelings beautifully: It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.” Following are brief stories about six remodeling projects, for couples in different stages of life.  Three projects flowed smoothly, like chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream, and three of the projects were like curdled milk, filled with sour lumps.

Have you ever noticed that people who embrace change ultimately enjoy life more, and achieve more success personally and professionally? Relating this to building and remodeling, homeowners who enter into a project with an adventurous spirit and maintain a positive attitude throughout, achieve the best results.

If you’re thinking about building a new home, or remodeling your existing home, please take a few minutes to think about how you feel about change, and the period of transition that you’ll be going through. There are no absolute right or wrong answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you want to remodel (or build) your home? (more…)

No “Cookie-Cutter” Home Remodeling Solutions!

Invest in Home Remodeling Wisely, To Get the Best You Can Afford

Custom yellow and gray marble fireplaceExperience teaches us that if we treat everyone with the same levels of compassion and respect, we discover that they have real feelings, needs, and desires. Everyone wants the best of everything! Although there may be more money to invest in a remodeling project, there should always be a budget.

Everyone is special in their own way. It shouldn’t matter whether you have $500,000 or $5,000 to invest in your home. No matter what your remodeling budget is, follow this advice:

» Talk to at least three professionals before making a decision; get information about experience, check references, and trust your “gut feelings”

» Ask questions, and don’t accept pat answers about anything


Home Remodeling: Realistic Expectations

Home Remodeling: Invest Wisely, Get the Best You Can Afford

Home Remodeling: Realistic Expectations

Custom fireplace that fit the Homeowners needs, and their budget.

Home remodeling “cookie cutter” projects happen all the time. Most often, the reason is that Homeowners are naive. They buy products at the local Big Box stores. Or they hire remodeling professionals who don’t know (or care) about using new products and methods. Often, there aren’t honest discussions about Homeowners’ expectations.

Experience has taught me that Homeowners want the best that they can afford. Everyone is special in their own way. It shouldn’t matter whether you have $500,000 or $50,000 to invest in your home remodeling. It’s difficult, though, to figure out where your money should be invested to get the best value. You shouldn’t have to settle for home remodeling “cookie cutter” solutions, and you shouldn’t have to over-invest in your remodeling project.

 Money Matters To Homeowners

An expensive home remodeling is not a gigantic windfall for the remodeling team. It requires more time and energy to achieve customized, unique results. But it’s not


Are Detailed Plans REALLY Necessary?

Detailed Plans Are The GPS To Get You To Your Destination!

Kitchen PlanDetailed plans were mentioned in a previous blog. Projects that do not include changes to plumbing location, electrical wiring, or framing changes may not need plans for permits. But if you are installing new cabinets, you need to communicate your goals, and you may want to get comparative estimates. Simple detailed plans can definitely help you!

What exactly are detailed plans? How can they make your building or remodeling project better and smoother?

Imagine you’re going to an unfamiliar place, and you’re meeting other people who have never been there, either. How are all of you going to get there?  Detailed route instructions!  Plans are the GPS that everyone uses as a guide to lead them to the same goal: your satisfaction. Below is a list of everything needed for permits, details that the building-remodeling team needs to assure that what you want to do is possible, within your budget. If you’re a D-I-Yer, this list will help you understand what’s ahead, and possibly change your mind about tackling a major project alone.