Over the last 20 years I have been a part of countless renovations and new builds from the ground up. If you are considering a remodel, there is so much to ponder, that I thought it would be fun and informative to interview a dear client, who took the plunge 2 years ago. Linda and Jim Maddux have called the Rogue Valley their home for 40 plus years and they have been in their current home for 20 years.
I had helped Linda over the years with their home regarding furnishing and styling, but it was always a design challenge…the rooms were a bit awkward, the ceilings were low, the most used room, the family room, was the smallest! But the view is breathtaking and after careful consideration, the Maddux’s decided to go for a large-scale remodel, so here goes:
For this project, we lifted a low ceiling in the kitchen and dining room to open the space to the magnificent view. We re-tiled the fireplace and added another fireplace in the living room. The windows all stayed the same. New paint, new floors, and new kitchen. The emphasis is now centered around a large island, perfect for entertaining, or just making dinner and gazing out on the sunset and gardens. The Maddux’s do entertain, so the home fits their lifestyle and yet remains intimate as well for just the two of them.
KM: Linda, why did you decide to remodel?
LM: Jim and I love our view! We also love our neighbors; we have a lovely community, and everyone is engaged and watches out for each other. The lot and the land are truly one of a kind. I would have considered a brand-new build, but Jim really, really loves the property as do I. I think considering your neighbors is important, because if you live in a bit more rural area, it is so enriching and integral to be connected.
KM: How did the remodel come about?
LM: I had been dreaming for years about a remodel, so I called our good friend who is a general contractor, and he threw out some ideas. Then I called you and we developed and changed the concept more. Having a designer was important because you keyed into allocating space in a way that was better for our lifestyle.
KM: How long was the process?
LM: Start to finish, it was about 1 year. The permits took quite a while, and we also had to wait for tradesman to finish other jobs before they could start ours. I remember the permit wait driving me crazy, I hadn’t expected that part!
KM: What was the hardest part?
LM: Well, you must expect the unexpected of course, and for me, I am very impatient and wanted it all done as soon as possible, and there’s just no way that will happen with a remodel. Jim is not nearly as impatient as I am, but at the end of every day, he really wanted everyone cleared out to have some quiet time. It was also hard to get up and be ready for the tradesman early every morning. You really must consider that you will be surrounded by people constantly as you try to drink your tea and wake up in the morning!
There were material delays and for a quite a while we had a makeshift kitchen in the garage. I think we both had a good attitude about the whole endeavor, but it was a long 12 months!
KM: Were there mistakes?
LM: Yes, we were out of town, and luckily, you did a site visit. The electrician was going to punch a big hole in the island countertop for electrical cords that would pop up when pushed. He thought it would be “neat “ and sort of “techie” or something…luckily, that visual got squashed! The island is seamless and beautiful.
KM: What else can you offer as advice to someone considering a remodel?
LM: Have a PLAN. Have your materials and specifications all sorted out before you begin. Working with a designer was the only way for us to get through the myriad of questions that sometimes seemed like they came at us every day! For example: where does the tile start? where does it stop? What is the thickness of the countertop? how is the edge styled? where do you want your drawer pulls placed? Etc., etc. The contractor and tradesman were all very, very skilled but they still had questions, so you always have to have someone keep the vision cohesive. We were out of town during the process and having another set of eyes on the project was priceless. You just can’t settle when things go south, you must have the grit to stick it out and get what you want. It’s our nature and tendency to do things the easiest or fastest, but you need to keep calm and carry on to your best ability throughout the process.
KM: How did the project work between you and Jim?
LM: Jim is very easy going, I had strong opinions, and so did you Krissy, so we all communicated very clearly on the project and things went well.
KM: Your last thoughts?
LM: I would absolutely do it again because I love my house now. We use every room now instead of walking past spaces that literally sat empty and unused for 20 years. The key is to have a plan, stay strong during the tough times, and have expert guidance to get you through the end!
KM: Thank you so much Linda! It is always a pleasure to be with you and Jim, and it’s always fun to visit your beautiful home!
Whether you are remodeling or building new, I hope this is helpful. I also feel that considering your neighborhood or location is a key element in the decision-making process. Having a plan is essential before anything can start. And lastly, we had one of my designers, Kelly, render the space in 3-D as well as assist in designing the kitchen. The result with so many expert eyes on the process was flawless!