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Remodeling for others is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It is an amazingly complicated vocation that has come with a tremendous amount of responsibility. It requires great communication skills and a sharp mind to turn client’s dreams into reality, while making a living and a profit for the company.
What are the rewards?
Remodeling fulfills my need to be busy and do something worthwhile with my life, and it fosters creativity and problem-solving skills. It rewards me for taking the risk with a strong sense of satisfaction for a job well done.
When it goes well, we have a great plan, a willing client, and a group of very dedicated hard-working professionals that put the plan into action. When it is done well, it reminds me of a no hitter in baseball, when a pitcher pitches a perfect game, truly a thing of beauty.
I frequently get to see homes that were created for living in a different era. What pleases me the most is adapting these homes to the way we live now without ruining the charm of the original space.
What are the challenges?
No two projects are alike, so it is never boring. It always costs more than you wish but never more than it is worth. The short-term financial investment pales in comparison to the long-term benefits and the pleasure of having a home that works and the confidence that it was remodeled right.
I take on a huge responsibility when I tale somebody’s home apart and put it back together again. So many things can go wrong, and the client is depending upon me to figure it all out, make it work, and meet or exceed their expectations.
I have to think in worst-case-scenario terms to estimate a project correctly and trust that whoever built the home in the first place knew what they were doing. In many cases, I also have to realize that there is a fair likelihood that others have remodeled before me.
I keep thinking that I have come across every kind of problem that could happen but there seems to be a new one lurking around every corner.
Problem solvers we are all
In a recent project, we found evidence of an old fire, where the home had been rebuilt improperly. We have come across beams of bearing walls that have been cut, over spanned, or just plain removed. We have seen additions done wrong, and floors that have been overlaid so many times the transition was nearly a step. I’ve torn off layer upon layer of wallpaper. We recently saw paneling that had been textured, an abandoned can light used as a junction box, and 1 inch thick re-bar in a 6 inch patio slab, to name just a few goofy things.
At Levco our goal is to develop a design that makes sense. Then we dig into the project down to the studs in most cases, and then build it back all the way as quickly and as safely as possible.
If it means taking a few extra steps to get it right, then that is what we are spring loaded to do.
This is not the approach of all contractors. I admit that we are not the only ones that share my passion; I am just saying that, like pizzas, all contractors are not alike.
I wish we could say that remodeling is stress free, but it is not. Focusing on the end product, and trusting us to get it done will get you through the anxiety that naturally occurs when your house is torn apart.
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly.