UA-74193310-2Its Not My Forever Home | Michael Smith Architect - San Luis Obispo, California - Home Remodeling & New Constructio

Its Not My Forever Home

Home Remodeling Diary #2
March 5, 2018

Its Not My Forever Home

Is It TIme to Build Your Dream Home

Time to Build Your Forever HomeIs This Your My Forever Home?

Remodeling your home can be difficult and very stressful.  Having some priorities can help you immensely. The first thing you should ask yourself:  Is this home my forever home? I often ask my clients this question before we start.

It is a good question to ask yourself.  Costs will rise depending on what appliances, plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, faucets, etc..), windows, and finishes you pick.  I have some clients that want their forever home now. This can increase the cost of your remodeling project. Then they move within a couple of years and don’t recapture all the money they have spent on their remodel.  Of course, we want to improve our home to match the standard of the neighborhood so we are not over improving, but finishes, fixtures, and appliances can be a big part of that cost and can swing the price of your remodel tremendously.

No! This is Not My Forever Home

Ok, don’t you feel better already?  Now your choices can be based on what the market wants with your type of home.  The rooms you add and the finishes you pick for your home remodeling project should match the existing homes that have been or are being remodeled in your neighborhood.  Making this one decision will help you maintain control over the costs of your remodel. At the end of the project, you will have an upgraded home that fits the neighborhood and will return the money you have spent to improve your home when you sell it  Of course if you don’t care about that and want to design a dream home, call me. I would love to design that home with you.

Duplex Remodel

Let me share a story of one of my clients where we used this question to guide our decisions during her remodel.  My client is a savvy businesswoman with a great eye for design. She was moving from Southern California to the Central Coast.  She had purchased a vacant lot to build her dream home, however, she also purchased a duplex property as rental property that she would live in until her dream home was completed.  That could take about two years to design and build. The lot is stunning with ocean views and views of a vineyard in the valley below.

The rental property was in rough shape.  We started by gutting the upper unit of the duplex. Since my client would occupy the upper unit which had some great ocean views also, we were remodeling the kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and adding a deck to enjoy the ocean views.  My client had laid out what she wanted for the upper unit: remodel the kitchen with a new layout, new cabinets, and appliance; remodel and upgrade the bathroom; remodel the (2) bedrooms, new closet space, and lighting.  

There were lots of decisions to be made about the fixtures, appliance, cabinets, and finishes. My client’s design and ideas were great and her material selections were fantastic. But she would have decisions between types of finishes and cost.  When that happened, I would ask her; “Is this your forever home?: The answer was no. She had a beautiful lot for her dream home. So that would help her make the decision to go with a standard finish for cabinets, countertops, bathroom tile, etc.. She still made some great decision and probably pushed her budget more than expected, but in the end, she would have a fantastic place to stay for two years and a great rental property when she moves out.

Yes!  This is My Forever Home

This is the fun part.  We are designing a place where you will live and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  You don’t have to be constrained by what others want for your home. If you want a 4 bedroom home with an office and exercise area in a neighborhood that has only 3 bedrooms—that is your choice.  Of course, you will need to follow the planning requirements for the lot and the area, but that leaves a lot of room for dreaming.

Pick finishes you like, have the kitchen you’ve dreamed about.  The ideas for your forever home is built on what you have learned from all the other homes where you have limited yourself, improved the home within the confines of the existing neighborhood, and now you can express your desires for your dream home.  If it is the best house in the best neighborhood, that’s ok. You have earned it. You are never leaving this house if you can help it. When you are ready to design that house, I will be there to help.


So before you start thinking about remodeling your home, ask yourself:  Is This My Forever Home? It will help you make the tough decision and stay on budget.  Save your ideas and money for the home that will be your forever home. Knowing this before you start remodeling will decrease your stress level in addition to saving you money.

If you have any questions drop me an email at  I would love to help you.

Good Luck

Here are a couple of my blogs that might be helpful:

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