Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Can You Really See Your Home?

In school many of us came across a line from an old poem that said – “Give us the power to see ourselves as others see us.” It’s true that our perception of ourselves is often at variance with how other people perceive us. And we do make efforts to be objective about ourselves as a part of an effort of self-improvement. But where many of us fail is in being able to see our homes as others see them.

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Our homes are our most valuable possessions – not just in monetary terms but also in the security they provide us and the quality of life we are able to lead because of them. But it is all too easy to take our homes for granted. We see them every day, day in and day out. We like the little eccentricities that all homes develop over time. We revel in the familiarity that sameness and a lack of change cause. All in all, we begin to believe that comfort and security equals the need to keep things unchanged.

But that is not so. Familiarity can lead to a lack of appreciation of the true condition of a home. A broken tile or two may not be a major issue. But when they are coupled with many other small defects and problems around the house, the overall appearance of the home can be impacted.

Just as it is difficult for a person to see himself as others see him, so too it is often next to impossible for those living in a home to evaluate its true condition and how it looks. What may seem nice and comfortable to those who live in the house may appear to be defective and shabby to outsiders.

The Opinions of Others

It is easy to say that the opinions of those who do not live in the house are of little importance. But it is these opinions that provide the objective viewpoint upon which improvement efforts are based. If you have been living in a house for a length of time, it is a good idea to spend time making an inventory of the problem areas – thing that do not look nice, those that do not work and areas where change is required. Then ask a few close friends, those whose opinions you value, to go around your home and suggest areas of improvement.

You will be surprised at the number of things that are noted which you had overlooked because you are so familiar with them that they are no longer noticed.

With these suggestions, you now have a foundation upon which a remodeling plan can be developed. But do not think that you no longer need inputs on what needs to be done to your home. If you have a good and experienced remodeling contractor, he will be able to give you more ideas for improvements, based on his technical expertise. Add these concepts to your plan and you will now have a comprehensive list of things to do as part of your remodel.

Many of these may not be possible because of budgetary constraints or technical reasons, and compromise will be required. But at the end of the remodeling project, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that nothing was overlooked or not considered and that the best possible job, given the time and resources available, has been done. And that is the best result you can expect.

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