July 31, 2014

TOP 10 REMODELING AFTERTHOUGHTS

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It seems that at the anniversary of every completed project, clients have found themselves in love with some unexpected piece of their home. Sure, they love the heated floors just like they knew they would. And there was never any doubt that adding a third car garage was going to pay dividends both to the value of the home and the ease of family logistics. Hello, my name is Kylie and we are addicted to children’s lawn toys. If you have an extra tricycle, forget the fact that we already own one we don’t use – yes, please bring it over. And the carriages you latch on to the back of your bike to cart around your kids are my favorite. We own two. We’ve used one. Once. Inside the house the day we got it. Two years ago. However, we’re happy to eat up an additional 14 square feet of garage space storing yet another. Point is, no one is surprised at how lovely adding an additional garage can be. But there always seems to slide into view an underdog. Some part of the house the owner wasn’t so sure they’d like, and now can’t live without.

So here’s a list of the top ten things that homeowners would do all over again. But that almost didn’t happen in the first place.

toptenafterthoughtsgraphic#10 A LOG LIGHTER. Unless you’re married to an eagle scout, good luck starting a fire. Heck, I basically am married to an eagle scout, and it’s still tough to start a fire. And my poor daughter’s art projects get used as tinder. So if you’re going to pay to have your chimney liner replaced or whatever it is that’ll make your fireplace operable, tack on a few extra bucks to get a gas line hardwired in. Then the extent of your fire-making skills can consist of rotating a metal key in the ground while you flick a lighter. I’ve never heard anyone say they regret it. Save the infuriating – and usually embarrassing – attempt to start a fire from scratch for when you’re out camping. And even then, buy some lighter fuel.

#9 BEVERAGE REFRIGERATOR. If you’re anything like us, you’re a beverage-heavy family. Two kinds of milk, orange juice, a box of Franzia, bottle of Silver Oak, iced tea, etc. People love their beverage refrigerators. Stick one in your kitchen island. Or in your wet bar. Or get crazy and pop one in your master suite. Wherever we install them, people come back and rave about how much they love ‘em.

#8 A SEAT IN THE SHOWER. I think we all like to pretend we’re so young and agile that we don’t need a seat in the shower. But no one can foresee that work-out injury at age 45 that lands you a spot…you guessed it…sitting in your shower. While you’re at it, throw a grab bar into your bathroom remodel, too.

#7. GRILL GAS LINE. Gone are the days when you need to leave five minutes into your 4th of July barbeque and haul a propane tank back from Hen House because you unexpectedly ran out of fuel. Hardwiring a gas line to a built-in grill means never saying sorry. Because you never run out of propane.

#6 SCREENED IN PORCH. The sheer number of screened in porches that Scovell Wolfe has built in the last ten years is evidence enough. They say you can use it for three seasons of the year. I got married on my parent’s screened-in porch in January with snow on the ground and a giant fire burning, so I reject the 3 season claim. It’s an everyday of the year room for me, folks.

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#5 A SECOND DISHWASHER. If you feel too guilty to implement this one, just remind yourself of the fact that hand washing dishes uses way more water and is thus way less efficient than a dishwasher. Plus if you cook, you know that even spaghetti uses an inordinate amount of large cookware. Giant pot for pasta, colander, saute pan for ground sausage, saucepan for…sauce (shock!) wooden spoons galore, plates, forks, SPOONS! Cookie sheet for garlic bread, cutting board for garlic, garlic press, bread knife. You feel me? It’s a lot. Having two dishwashers is glorious. Or so I’ve heard. I’m one of the unlucky ones limping along with just one. Pray for me.

#4 MASTER ANYTHING. Killer master bathroom. Master sitting room. Walk-in master closet. Master bedroom balcony. Anything related to the master bedroom people go nuts for. Even if you like your children, you like having a place away from them even more. You think, but it’s only for sleeping…I’d rather spend my money where I spend my time. Don’t fool yourself. You only don’t spend time in your master because you have yet to remodel it.

#3 NEW WINDOWS. Windows that open. Need I say more? Ok, I will. Windows that keep the cold out in the winter. What a novel idea. Windows that don’t produce a literal sheet of ice on the inside during cold blasts. Luxury. Windows that don’t require your old university text books to prop them open. Luxury at it’s finest.

#2 UPSTAIRS LAUNDRY. This may not fully qualify for the list. Because hardly anyone needs to be convinced of this incredible perk. But just in case you need convincing, the day we took our washer and dryer out of the unfinished basement and installed it on the main level was the last day I ever had to go out and buy new underwear for my family because none were clean. You heard it here first. Laundry actually gets done in a timely manner now! No more marathon washing days where you catch up on the past month. Because now you can throw in a load while your coffee brews. You can even stand and fold the clothes straight from the dryer without worrying about some spider crawling over your toes in the dark, dingy basement.

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#1. The most appreciated, least credited room of many remodels is the MUDROOM. I’m writing this as I sit in my living room, and there’s a backpack, two pairs of shoes, a briefcase and a shopping bag full of things to return sitting around various walls and corners that I can see just from where I’m sitting. We clearly didn’t get the memo in time about adding a mudroom. Mudrooms are an organized way to collect clutter. No more jackets on the floor, the stairs, the backs of every chair in your house. It’s revolutionary! I’ve never heard a wife, or husband for that matter, say, ‘Oh I miss the old days where I’d trip on shoes in the hallways and I’d have to push aside my kids’ backpacks from the kitchen countertop in order to make room for my coffee and toast. It’s just not the same now that I can actually see the upholstery of my breakfast room chairs. I miss those jackets.’ Not a chance. Allocate a chunk of your money to a room called Mud and Mud will treat you well, my friend.