Discretionary remodeling has been coming back in a big way as the U.S. economy has recovered and surged past pre-recession levels. As opposed to necessary or replacement-related projects, we define discretionary remodeling as throwing the budget out the window and going all in on the remodel of your dreams. While more of a luxury experience, discretionary remodels can pay huge dividends in you and your family’s enjoyment of where you spend the majority of your time.
A lot of construction projects are not that fun or enjoyable – actually they’re often stressful as you have to pay a large, unexpected expense to have something repaired or replaced. Not fun. They are typically a commodity item as well meaning no matter which local contractor you call about getting a new roof, they are all going to deliver roughly the same product at roughly the same price.
Discretionary projects break the mold of traditional construction jobs in a variety of ways. Read on to learn about when and why you should put budget on the back burner and learn how exciting and pleasant a high-end remodel can be.
Discretionary Remodeling: Construction for the Experience
The number one best reason for why someone should choose to remodel on a discretionary basis is to get enjoyment out of the process and result of the work! The homeowner who goes this route has been inspired and is looking for something different in their home. They understand that the vision they are looking for comes as part of an experience and is not a commodity that is the same from company to company no matter how many you call.
“Enjoyment” and “remodel” might sound like an oxymoron when heard together, but we promise if you have one or more of the desires below then you could be in for an enjoyable time before, during, and after your project.
Updated Technology and Functionality
As a general rule, consumer goods steadily improve over time or are replaced by newer, better technology. This means that the longer it has been since you have remodeled your home, the further behind you are in terms of the newest technology on the market. This comes into play frequently with appliances such as washers, dryers, stoves, coffee machines, etc.
Again, we are defining discretionary as going above and beyond the usual fix or replace construction project done out of necessity. The projects we are talking about in this article are for your enjoyment, and a lot of people’s experience around their home can be improved with newer technology advances that offer easier function.
Some of the modern advances that homes from 30, 20, and even 10 years ago are missing are items such as radiant in-floor heating, high-efficiency washers and dryers, security camera and access control systems, WiFi-connected, “smart” items like lights and thermostats, cooktops with better heat control, and tankless water heaters to name a few. Obviously even older homes would be lacking in these areas too, and the point is that the longer it as been since you’ve remodeled, the greater the jump in tech and function you can expect with a remodel.
Appreciation for History/Historic Preservation
One of the very best projects for a passionate remodeler is getting to work on a historic home or building with a client who appreciates the details. While they have certain quirks and limitations that need to be accounted for, there is nothing like restoring or repurposing a building to live and/or work in. You simply cannot recreate the patina, the style, or the personal story of a nice, old structure.
Clients usually fall into two categories when it comes to historic homes: love them or hate them. The ones who love them inherently have a true love of all the classic details and want to see them saved and restored to their former glory. While they would probably like to do the work themselves, we offer the next best thing: taking part in and observing the process as the finest craftsmen do their jobs in a way that will make the original builders proud.
Working Alongside the Best Professionals and Craftsmen
Discretionary remodeling implies a very high-quality job, and that demands that the best people work take part in every stage. This means that you the client get to work alongside every skilled team member as they guide you from the preconstruction process all the way through the warranty.
While an inexperienced designer can make a project drag and add unnecessary stress, a true pro will make you feel confident in your decisions and give you advice on what to do when you need it. A poor tradesman might accidentally tear out the crown moulding that you wanted to save, but a great carpenter will help protect it and put love into it like you would want. You have a right to expect the best from every member of the team making your project come alive and it honestly becomes a fun and exciting experience when working with high-level professionals instead of the alternative teams.
Modern, New Look Home Designs
Not loving the look of your home is a great reason to get started on a discretionary remodel. There are ways to update the look by improving some superficial details but that can only go so far. If you are looking to integrate the newest designs and trends it is a good idea to cast a wide net for your project scope. This allows the designer to come up with a cohesive vision for the whole property and for the tradesmen to perform the scope of work most efficiently.
If you do a small area at a time for each project and then wait in between the stages for any amount of time it can lead to a more mismatched home than before. As one area is updated and new, the older portions will stand out with their less modern finishes. While not necessarily a bad idea, this manner of working through a house also can be more expensive than doing everything at once as there is more time to setup/mobilize, pull multiple permits, smaller scopes of work while on site, etc.