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Article Title:
10 Ways to Survive Building or Remodeling Your Home

Article Description:
Building or remodeling a home is a stressful experience. Right up 
there with visiting in-laws and getting root canals. So here's 
some advice for finding the silver lining on this often difficult 

Additional Article Information:
1490 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Thu Mar  2 11:12:08 EST 2006

Written By:     Julie Lohmeier
Copyright:      2005-2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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10 Ways to Survive Building or Remodeling Your Home
Copyright © 2005-2006 Julie Lohmeier
My Home Redux

Building or remodeling a home is a stressful experience. Right up 
there with visiting in-laws and getting root canals. So here's 
some advice for finding the silver lining on this often difficult 

1. Think of the project as a new diet.

Who doesn't want to lose at least five pounds?  This is one way 
to do it.  Between running to stores all day and evening long, 
meeting with contractors, inspecting the work, searching the 
Western world for the perfect light fixture, who has time to eat? 
Provided you don't sabotage this new, unorthodox diet plan, with 
McDonalds drive through, you're good for losing five pounds. If 
you are a masochistic type who does some of the work yourself -
whether it be painting, laying tile, landscaping the yard - you 
can count on another five to ten pounds of weight loss.  Just 
think, you may be miserable, frustrated, exhausted, nd down right 
cynical about the good of the humankind, but your jeans will fit 

2. Write checks as aerobic exercise.

These workouts are great for toning the wrist and fingers. 
Usually done in hectic spurts as you race out the door in the 
morning while the contractors are breathing down your neck and 
your kids are beating each other with the lunch boxes you just 
prepared, the stress and frantic activity are sure to raise your 
heartbeat for a good hour.  Grumbling under your breath that the 
plumber, electrician, or you name it, isn't really worth this 
much money adds greater intensity and calorie burn to this little 
publicized exercise regime.

3. Save money through shopping burnout.

Yes, even the most die-hard shopper will come to dread setting 
foot in any store.  This affliction starts innocently enough as 
you go to look for light fixtures. How hard can it be?  Hard! 
Either the light you want is being shipped from Yugoslavia and 
won't arrive until your youngest child buys his own home, or you 
just can't find the one you want.  You'll shop every lighting and 
electrical store you know. You'll search Home Depot. You'll haunt 
hardware stores. And then there's plumbing fixtures. Sink 
centers, faucet handles, finishes, special orders. What's all 
that about?  And the cost. You'd think you were outfitting the 
palace for a former third world dictator.  Of course, there's 
carpet, tile, hardwood, stairs, siding, windows.  Enough already. 
And you thought it was a pain picking mints and sweet table 
treats for your wedding.

After your 1000th trip to Home Depot (or Lowes or Menards or 
whatever), in addition to all the other trips you've made for 
items that shouldn't count as shopping (toilet seats, for 
example), you've had it.  Your friends won't be able to bribe you 
to check out the latest sale at Bloomingdales.  You'll think it 
will be better when you can pick out "fun" things like paint, 
wall paper, drapes, fabric, furniture - but don't bet on it. At 
this point, the pressure to make your home look like something 
other than an empty rat maze will counteract any joy in shopping. 
Spending this much money has never been such a miserable 
experience.  As a result, when your home becomes half-way 
presentable, you'll refuse to shop again - even for groceries -
for at least six months.  The money you save during this shopping 
hiatus will be sufficient for you to resume this previously 
pleasurable past time once more without guilt.

4. Impress your friends with obscure facts.

Only someone that has built or remodeled their home can explain 
the fluid dynamics of a proper toilet water swirl.  Or cite the 
International Building Code that calls for no more than 6' 
between electrical outlets.  Or brag that triple glazed windows 
are really the wave of the future for light emitting device 
technology.  See what I mean?

5. Pride yourself on your new creative skills.

You'll discover a creative side that you never knew existed. 
Like how to wash dishes in the bath tub.  And how to make a full 
course meal for a family of four using nothing more than a 
toaster and hot plate.  Or how to fit an entire family in a house 
smaller than your first apartment.  They say that necessity is 
the mother of invention. That's probably true, but I also think 
that the only thing that separates modern and pioneer life is 
just one kitchen or bath remodeling project.

6. Yell at someone other than your kids - and not feel guilty.

Honestly, as a modern woman trying to juggle the running of our 
homes, possibly a job, and the future Olympic soccer aspirations 
of our children, you have the primal need to yell. At someone. 
Anyone. Often our spouse and children suffer from this need of 
ours to release pent up negative energy generated from nothing 
more than some miniature human leaving smelly gym shoes on the 
kitchen table. (Ok, that probably deserves a bit of yelling - we 
eat at this table!)  But when you remodel your house, you have a 
whole cast of characters - and believe me, they're characters -
that often deserve a good scream from time to time.  Like when 
they tell you that they tore out the fireplace because they 
didn't think it looked right.  Or when they show you a mistake 
made three weeks ago that now requires half the house to be torn 
down in order to fix.  Yelling isn't immature or a result of too 
much estrogen, it's therapy.

7. Throw out (finally) your significant other's treasured [fill 
in the blank] from his bachelor days.

You know what I mean. It could be the semi-nude poster he won't 
get rid of. Or his collection of exotic beer cans. Or all of his 
Sports Illustrated magazines since the Chicago Bears last won the 
Superbowl.  Now is the perfect time to get rid of it.  If you 
need to move out of your house while the remodeling is done, or 
you are moving to a new home, such an opportune time may never 
occur again. Say it won't fit in the rental house. It's either 
this or his golf clubs. Gently remind him that the sentimental 
item really serves as a reminder of his advancing years. 
Anything. Get rid of it.  It will be one positive you can remind 
yourself of when the stress of remodeling makes you feel that 
this project was the biggest mistake of your life.

8. Grow closer to your family through forced bathroom sharing.

The saying goes that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Perhaps 
that wise pundit had to share a closet sized bathroom with three 
kids and a spouse.  In reality, there's no greater way to create 
intimacy in a family than by all trying to get ready for the 
morning in the same 7'x 5' space.  You'll learn new exciting 
things about your children - like toilet paper is purely optional 
for little boys.  You'll discover that there is no bond quite 
like the one created when the entire family brushes their teeth 
together over the same sink.  You'll realize why the older 
generation of your relatives only washed their hair once a week 
instead of facing communal bathroom time.  But most importantly, 
you'll no longer need to yell at your kids to hurry up for school 
- they're standing right next to you.

9. Earn free flights from all of your purchases.

In what is admittedly (and somewhat sheepishly) the only 
practical survival tip on this list, get an airline mileage 
credit card. Charge everything on it - lights, plumbing fixtures, 
windows, doors, lumber, carpet.  The windows alone can get you 
close to one free trip.    Whether you decide to share your miles 
with anyone else in the family or to escape on your own to a 
world of quiet solitude and, preferably, an open bar, is entirely 
up to you.

10. Hire some good looking contractors and feel like you're 15 
years old again.

Hey, guys get a whole chain of restaurants and bars where the 
main attraction is busty waitresses in tight t-shirts (Hooters). 
Why can't us gals have some eye candy once in a while?  Besides, 
it's a productivity tool.  You'll be more likely to inspect the 
job or meet the architect if some young, fit, good-looking men 
are there - especially in the summer months when shirts tend to 
become optional.  For example, we once hired a roofing crew of 
male model wannabees for a house we built. My husband called them 
the "Beefcake Roofers."  They created quite a stir in the 
neighborhood that summer.  Let me tell you, it made rushing to 
stop by the house to go over notes with the trades first thing 
in the morning a bit more interesting … and much more fun!

Finally, remember, the end result of your new house will be 
worth the aggravation of the process. Plus, think of all the 
good stories you can tell! 

Along with her husband, Julie Lohmeier is the veteran of numerous 
home remodeling and building projects. From working hands on 
and doing much of the work herself to hiring contractors and 
construction managers, she has seen the entire spectrum of home 
improvement. She shares her remodeling tips, home decorating 
ideas, and other various rants at 
Or sign up for her free email newsletter at:

@copyright 2005-2006, Julie Lohmeier,



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