From Dean Dowd on October 09, 2008 in General Remodel
If someone gave me $5,000 and said it was for remodeling projects, what would I do?
First of all, I would hire a contractor. I would hire a team of two who had experience and expertise in a wide range of home remodels and home improvements. I would hire contractors that I like and would feel comfortable having in my home and who would be totally integral, as far as meeting commitments to show up at agreed-upon times for the number of hours specified.
Then, I would divvy up the $5,000 into approximately half for labor and half for materials. Id be really up front with my contractor about this, and ask for help in keeping the overall project on track according to the numbers. Personally, I like contributing directly to the prosperity and well-being of people I work with, whose services I admire and whose professionalism I respect. If I were to change the ratio of half:half, it would sway towards more for labor, but I may hold that card to my chest until the projects were underway.
Okay, now for the project list!
Bedroom Wall Knock-out and Sliding Mirrored Doors. The way my bedroom closet is designed, the entry is through the master bathroom. I think this is dumb. Theres a perfectly good, blank wall in the bedroom that could easily be knocked out to create an entry into the walk-in closet. It could be 5-6 wide and accommodate sliding mirrored doors very well. Then Id have the door between bathroom and closet removed and finished into a smooth wall. Finally, Id have some custom work done in the closet. Think Overboard!
Build a Creative Add-on to Breakfast Bar Counter. My so-called breakfast bar is too narrow to be of much use. With the range built into the counter that faces the great room beyond, it only leaves a paltry foot or so of counter space at the back of the range. This makes cooking on the range too close to the dining area, for my taste. And its impractical for a real breakfast bar, too. So, for economy and interest, I wouldnt rip out whats in place; I would have an extension built that is of the exact height, but extends another couple of feet into the dining area plenty of room for bar stools and more easement beyond the range as well.
Paint the Exterior of Kitchen Cabinetry. Natural oak can be lovely, but it just doesnt ring my bell in this particular situation. The interiors of the cabinets are a laminate of faux bleached wood; theyre fine. But the exterior will be so much nicer if painted a semi-gloss white, to match the white of the great room beyond the kitchen. That will make the kitchen an all-white delight, and the uniform color will also make it blend seamlessly into the overall great white room.
Install Rheostats on Every Single Light Switch in the House. Its amazing what this one change can make in terms of flexibility for lighting throughout a house. As it is now, I dont take advantage of many ambience-producing effects because all I have is the on/off function. Boring! And such a simple change, by someone who knows how to install rheostats, would make a world of difference.
Now, with the money happily spent and the projects beautifully done, Id have a party. Id show off the new home improvements to all my friends, and give out contact info for my contractors with recommendations to give them a call.