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December 2015

Naughty or Nice? Making a Holiday Wish List for Your Home

There's no time like the holidays for making lists! Guest lists, grocery lists, gift lists and even where-guests-will-sleep lists help make life easier during these super-busy weeks.

But there's one extra list that can make life easier for years to come: it's your home's "Naughty List." What goes on the "Naughty List"? All those things that, if changed, could make your home nicer!

While it's on your mind...

As you're preparing holiday meals, entertaining, and hosting family from out of town, it's the perfect time to think about what you wish you could change about the way your home looks, feels and works. Make notes now about big and small changes you'd like to make and they'll still be top of mind when you're ready to remodel in the New Year.

For example, wouldn't it be nice to have an extra bath or a real guest room? What about an entry area spacious enough to organize coats and scarves and leave wet boots to dry? Do you fantasize about actually having the space to seat the whole gang graciously for dinner?

Kitchen remodeling

Would having an extra dishwasher, sink or oven make it much easier to entertain? Would a new motion-activated "touchless" faucet be helpful when you're cooking and your hands are full – or covered in dough? What if you could access a particular pot, pan, or bag of sugar without having to remove the contents of an entire shelf or cabinet? What about the kitchen layout – wouldn't it be wonderful to have more windows, a better floor plan, and enough counter space to cool batches of cookies and still have room for the kids to sit and sip hot chocolate?

Apart from what would be nice to have, what about things that just plain need replacing – leaky toilets, creaky doors, cracked tiles, sagging shelves, and more?

Once you've made your list, check it twice

When the holidays are over, check your list. Check it once for the "nice to haves" and once for the "must haves," and then explore what you'd like to accomplish with some timely remodeling. You might be surprised at how much beauty and functionality can be built into even small remodeling projects. We can help you map out the design, space planning and product options so that they not only address the items on your "Naughty List", but make the smartest and most creative use of your budget.

If you do find yourself considering a remodeling project, don't wait to get started. Even simple updates can involve many "pieces." In fact, given the permitting process, product delivery timelines, and construction requirements, projects can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. If you'd like to enjoy a new sunroom, kitchen or home addition in 2016, planning can start in January. The sooner, the better!

So go ahead and make your home's "Naughty List" now. Then, after the holidays, why not give us a call and let's talk about how to make things nice?

Maintenance Tip: Don't Overload Electrical Circuits

If your holiday décor includes lots of lights (or other electronics), make sure you don't create a fire hazard by overloading your circuits or using too many extension cords or power strips. Also, make sure you have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible and never blocked by coats, boxes, or other objects. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when dealing with fire extinguishers.

South Dakota
Is that a bomb shelter?

What's the Story

Greetings! I hope that all of you are ready to enjoy the holidays. Naughty or nice reminds me of my brother-in-law, but that is a story for another time. We did a couple of projects this year that would be on the "maintenance" side of your home wish list and I bring this up because, as much as you don't like to admit it, homes do require routine maintenance. If you are making a list, make sure you are planning for some normal repairs that come with owning a home. I know I have said it before, but the saying "you can pay me now, or pay me later" clearly describes home ownership and maintenance. I would even go to the point of saying that you should budget at least 1% of your home's value each year for maintenance and repairs. If your home is worth $300,000 you should plan on spending (or setting aside) a minimum of $3,000/year. And the number will not go will compound if you don't spend it in one year. Think about water heaters, garage doors and exterior wood rot. Think about faucet replacement, disposals and toilets that need attention. Then think about roof replacement, a new furnace or water damage. These are all routine parts of a home that require attention. It is no wonder that the hardware store is so busy on a Saturday dispensing parts and advice!

This past summer, we had a $15,000 repair job that was due to a caulk failure. Caulk does have a maximum life and needs to be updated (the life depends on the type of caulk, location, typical use, temperature variables, materials it is connecting on, etc.). Long term leakage did a lot of damage because this maintenance item was overlooked and really did not come up on the maintenance radar. If you ever have any questions, or would like us to take a look at your home for possible maintenance issues, give us a call. We want to help you avoid large repairs so you have money to do the "nice things".

Things are hopping at Sylvestre Construction as we wind up projects before the holidays and get ready to start some new ones in early January. We recently won a local Contractor of the Year award for a remodeling we did for an accessible bathroom. (See the photos below.)

Award-winning accessible custom shower Award-winning accessible bath - wall-mounted toilet
Award-winning accessible bath: Custom shower and raised toilet with hidden tank.

I was able to spend a couple of days in South Dakota with some friends chasing the wily pheasant and enjoying the magnificent landscape. By the way, the pheasants won...and are still out there!

South Dakota
The South Dakota landscape

All of us at Sylvestre Construction want to wish you, your family and friends a great holiday season and a prosperous and healthy New Year. We appreciate your friendship.

John Sylvestre

Until next month,

John Sylvestre
Phone: 612-861-0188

Sylvestre Remodeling & Design