Top Ten Remodeling Tips

My husband and I just completed our first remodel. It was a period renovation of a Victorian Gingerbread Craftsman. (I’m so thrilled I can talk about it in the past tense). We haunted architectural salvage houses for just the right windows, bid on eBay for period-correct light fixtures, spent an entire afternoon driving all over L.A. for a screw that they stopped making in the thirties and generally worked to the point of insanity. Tiptoed up to the line but never crossed it.

So here, ripped from the headlines so to speak, are my
Top Ten Tips for Remodeling. Read ’em and weep.

1. There is a solution to every situation. But it’s
not necessarily yours. You go where the solution is – it
doesn’t come to you.

2. There is no medicine for whatever ails you quite like hard, exhausting, purposeful work.

3. Chew your own food. Don’t make your
problems other peoples. They’ve got their own.

4. I’m not psychic. Maybe you are.
Guesstimates of time and money are just that.
Reality has a way of intruding. When in doubt – go
with Reality. (I don’t know when I’m going to die
either).

5. Pain fades with time. Remodeling is like giving
birth. When you’re in the middle of delivery you
swear you’ll never do it again. But then the kid turns out to
be a looker, a few years go by…..Yadda yadda yadda – you’re in escrow.

6. There are no problems – only opportunities
for creativity, action and collaboration.

7. You’re born alone, you die alone – you don’t
have to win alone. Everyone can win. Some win more
than others but there’s enough in the pot to spread
around. If you squeeze a vendor to bid a job so
low that they can’t make money, harbor
resentment and cut corners – you both lose.

8. Nobody owes you anything. If they help you
it’s because they’re generous people. Acknowledge
them.

9. Everything comes to an end. And then it starts
up again.

10. Remodeling really is like Improv. You show up
without a script. You have no idea what’s going to
happen next ( except you can be sure that whatever
you think it’ll be – you’re wrong). You’re dependent
on others for their performances. So help them shine.
You make it work by paying attention to everything
and dealing with whatever Reality presents to you. Do
the best you can with the resources you have and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

11. Okay, I lied. There are more than Ten Tips to Remodeling. There are actually thousands. This last one, though, is the most important. Don’t forget to put yourself on your own Punch List. No pressure of work or money is reason enough not to eat right,sleep enough, monitor your health and appreciate your
family.