This will get better….I promise

August 5th, 2015 by Mary Schmelzer

Carlone tear-out

I’m helping a family remodel an existing home. The home is on a beautiful lake and the location is ideal. Understandably, there were some areas of the house they wanted to update.

Upon making some changes in the lower level, they found signs of mice behind the drywall. Lots of them. And places with a lack of insulation. And smells of damp. And dangerous wiring situations.

Rather than do a “good enough” fix now then try again in a few years, the homeowners decided to pull down the drywall, rip up the carpet, tear out the old insulation, and expose the wiring. As you can see from the photo, it was a big undertaking and mess. (This is only a third of the lower level. The remainder was similarly torn apart.) It was disheartening to see energy, focus and funds go into the behind-the-walls improvements, but it is the right solution for the long-run. It can also be overwhelming to see your home torn down to the basics. But it will get better!

For these homeowners, it was the right thing to do. They feel this is their last home and they want it to be clean, efficient, warm and dry from the very beginning. Then they want to relax and enjoy it without worrying about which project they will need to tackle next.

Often, homeowners can’t tackle all the needed renovations at once. I help owners decide what makes the most sense and where their investment will be best used. I like to recommend upgrades that won’t later have to be removed as new improvements are made. Updates to a home are usually a balance of long-term payback, aesthetic upgrades (think no more yellow countertops!), efficiency, usability and cost.

At the end of this summer, these homeowners will be relaxing in their cozy, dry, critter-free family room, looking at the lake. What could be better than that?

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