Re-Constructing Home-Part 15: End of 2016: State of the Reno Update

As 2016 draws to a close, a quick State of the Reno update seemed in order. The renovations continue to move along at a steady clip. In fact, the house is beginning to look rather like a house again. Derek & Bethany know that early 2017 will be filled with hectic last minute details, as renovations draw to a close (hopefully by late February). But right now, they are celebrating simply having come this far.

Re-Constructing Home-Part 14: Surprise!

Some folks love surprises: surprise parties, surprise engagements, surprise Disney vacations. But during a renovation, surprises are typically unwelcome—although they seem to crop up exponentially. The trouble is that neither contractors nor owners have x-ray vision (although it would be a cool superpower); until demolition begins, there’s no guarantee about what’s lurking behind the walls or under the flooring. Unfortunately, reno surprises often drive up the cost of the renovation. And even if they don’t incur additional expense, surprise obstacles may mean having to create workarounds that sacrifice a bit of the design in order to accommodate necessary functionality, like central heat and air.

Re-Constructing Home-Part 13: Reno Stress

On television reno shows, there’s a dramatic build-up to that moment where the host tells the hapless homeowners that their foundation has shifted, or the wall they wanted to remove (which the entire redesign hinges on) is load bearing, or that all the plumbing has to be replaced. Yes, it’s true that the climactic music and the intense facial expressions are fodder for high ratings, but each real life renovation has enough dramatic moments to frazzle even the calmest, most zen homeowner.

Re-Constructing Home-Part 12: From Concept to Reality (Choosing a Designer vs. an Architect)

There are as many ways to renovate a home as people who desire home renovations. Some folks choose to go it alone from concept to design to completion. Some choose to hire contractors, designers, and/or architects. Homeowners get involved in the actual renovations in varying degrees: some are constantly covered in sawdust and spackle; some eyeball the progress and make changes here and there, and some are content to write a check and let the architect/contractors/designers hash out the rest.