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John R. King

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Remodeling - An Art Form by John King, Rampart Homes

We've all seen them.  They're as obvious as the nose on one's face. Neighborhoods are inundated with them all across this great country.  What I'm talking about is the remodeling job that looks like it was patched on to an existing building.  You know, the room addition that doesn't match the existing home. The garage that looks like it was just built.  Why would anyone choose to have it look that way?  Price? Cost savings?  To save time?  Lack of understanding or simply lack of talent on the part of the Remodeler? A bit of all of these reasons; but mainly the lack of talent on the part of the Remodeler is my best guess.

Consumers who select a Remodeler based solely on price will oftentimes (to their chagrin) get exactly what they pay for; less than artistic craftsmanship; less than a GOOD job.  Some consumers will choose to take the intended advice of some of the publications I discovered recently on the magazine and book shelves of the local home improvement store.  Books and magazine articles describing cost per square foot remodeling.  They're readily available.  The disservice this type of information provides a false sense of security for the consumer; things aren't that simple, especially in custom projects.  Per square foot cost remodeling completely ignores the artistic aspects of doing quality work, and solely implies a bottom line cost mentality.

Remodeling is no different than any other form of art.  Just because an expansion is planned doesn't mean that the planning should cease at that junction.  Planning to match the existing features of the main structure is part and parcel with the actual construction of the project.  Not noticing or worse yet, ignoring the particular features of the existing home is no excuse for what I'll call poor architectural planning and design.

One can certainly rationalize the lack of attention to detail, but no custom Remodeler can ever justify why details should NOT be part of the specifications of the project.  Matching the crown or base moldings; moving the new roof tiles to the back side of the house so the tiles in front all match (visual appeal); not just painting the newly created portion, replacing all of the windows to match the new ones and the like, but the entire exterior (or interior) and details such as these make a huge difference.  Attention to detail is what separates good projects from the best ones.  A Remodelers' reputation is built on detail attention and goal attainment.  The finished project should never appear as though it was just completed.  It's always been that way is the proper outcome to a successful, professional, artistic project.

Who would ever consider adding an addition or detached garage without matching the architectural detailing of the existing features?  Plenty of inexperienced or poorly informed consumers, I must say. Unfortunately there are plenty of "remodelers" in the industry that lack the professionalism and craftsman-like standards and take any job that comes along.  Cash flow dictates their particular level of artistic professionalism.  Don't get me wrong, I can rationalize that mentality, I simply cannot subscribe to it.  Nor do I think anyone else should either.  The reality is however, that we see these types of remodeling projects glaring at us throughout the country, in every sub-division.

Professional Remodelers have a responsibility to educate the consumer as the project is under review.  I can certainly understand a project ending up the way described as a result of severe budget constraints, but is should be made clear, and in writing, that performing below the established standards of doing a Professional job is NOT recommended.

I personally know of several Remodelers (myself being one of them) that turn away business for the simple reason that the budget does not allow the project to be completed in a truly professional manner.  And rightfully so.  It is this writer's opinion that any professional organization, from ice cream manufacturing to jet propulsion works within a particular market niche.  Remodeling is no different.  To take any project without regard for the final outcome not only performs a disservice to the consumer, but a disservice to one's own credibility and professionalism of the industry as well.

As this fine industry grows in professionalism and unified standards, is it the hope of a great many Remodelers that more and more projects will indeed reflect that creative, artistic appeal that they deserve.

Contact John to set up an appointment to talk about your remodeling needs.



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