As you write up your list of New Year’s resolutions this week, consider adding one that can make your home more comfortable all year long: Wrap up all of those unfinished projects you started last year—or the year before or the one before that—and vow to make all of those little home repairs you’ve been putting off for so long.
Your best bet: Hire someone to do it for you.
Seriously, if you were really going to finish painting your guest bathroom or converting the space above the garage into a man cave, you would have put it on your list of resolutions last year.
The fact is, the price you pay to hire a professional remodeling firm to help you design and finish the project that you started but never finished won’t be nearly as painful as the nagging guilt you feel (or perhaps hear from your significant other) every time you walk by the mess you created by starting a job you never found time to finish.
Perhaps your good intentions led you to start tearing up a bathroom so you could replace an worn-out old floor, upgrade the countertop and upgrade the shower with some extra side sprays and new tile. But the job turned out to be a bit trickier than you expected, especially once you realized that you needed to upgrade the plumbing and perhaps the subfloor before you could start putting the room back together.
There’s no shame in asking for help—even if you’re the handiest of homeowners—if it means your family will finally have access to that bathroom again, or if it means you can cross one more worry off of your overstuffed list of things to get around to on your already-overbooked weekends.
Similarly, resolve to repair. It’s so easy to let a drip keep dripping or a crack crawl across a floor or wall until it’s a bigger problem than it ever had to be.
A tip: Fix what’s broken as soon as it comes to your attention. No time to work on the house? Hire help. Spending a few dollars on simple repairs will save you a bundle on prematurely replacing household devices that died from neglect.
Still, if you have let those tiny troubles go for so long that they’ve escalated into bigger headaches, why not enlist the help of a professional who can take care of all of your jobs at once and take them off of your plate?
It’s easy to let little jobs pile up over the year if you don’t make them a priority. A few examples: How long has it been since you have painted your wood front door or the home’s wood exterior trim? If you can’t even remember, you’re running the risk of rot. Likewise, cracked window- panes, missing stakes in posts and fences, a stained patio floor and loose roof shingles might not cause problems right away, but left untended, they can lead to expensive repairs down the road.
While you’ve got a contractor or designer in your home, talk to him or her about how you can add some permanent storage space. Post-holidays—while you’re trying to find a place for all of the gifts you received—is a great time to reorganize your home so you can assign a neat, safe place for all of your expensive electronics, cherished keepsakes and collections of books and memorabilia. Talk to your contractor about building in shelving, cabinets and hiding places for the things your family wants to keep but doesn’t have room for.
From my team here at JEB Design/Build, we wish you a safe, happy and organized New Year!
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914 or by visiting www.Jeb.net.