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Is A House Modeled Before It's Remodeled?

Aug 18, 2007
Remodeling, unfortunately, doesn't mean Christie Brinkley and Cindy Crawford are going to start modeling again. What it means is something which started out as a "wouldn't-it-be-nice-to" turns into a "when-will-it-ever-be-done".

First, if you can, move out. If that's not possible, join the club. There are no dues to pay. By giving up your privacy, daily routines and all sense of order, you're already paying a high price for membership.

Second, plan on the remodeling taking forty percent more time than the contractor estimates and causing twice as many headaches. Why are contractors notorious for underestimating how long the work will take? I'm sure the problem can be traced back to when they were teenagers. They couldn't meet dates!

Third, plan on your neighbors wanting the job finished as much as you do. All they're getting out of your remodeling is noise, inconvenience and an appreciation of their life before you moved in.

Remodeling implies our house had been "modeled" before we bought it. No, it had been mangled. Unbeknown to us, the previous owners had done work with an unlicensed contractor and no building permits. His work had to be undone before ours could be done.

There's an expression, "Don't make any decisions until the dust settles". The only time the dust settled was when work stopped because our contractor had gotten the wrong permit.

Silly me. I suggested he send men to work on other parts of the house while we waited for the right permit. No, he said. That wouldn't be cost-effective for him. From my point of view, which was through heavy sheets of plastic, cost effective would have been his paying for his mistake. Contractors definitely march to a different drummer - and their timing is off.

According to my husband, the downtime gave me too much time to read decorating magazines and to get other ideas from going to open houses in the area. I wanted to change little things like light switches and bathroom hardware. They didn't need changing, but I told my husband they didn't say us. He told me not to listen.

Men don't understand that after remodeling comes redecorating. It's a natural by-product. The old furniture doesn't look good with the new look. It would be like wearing an old hat over a new hair style. Men don't understand that there are two things that are never finished - remodeling and dusting.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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