Age improves our vision of life. When we were young it seemed like we would never get old. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Where did that time go?

Before dad passed away at 93 in 2016 he often shared that same message. The quick passing of his life is even more apparent since I have been going through the paperwork he saved in a family heirloom trunk. It seems he continues to send messages….

The message is our days are penciled in. We can’t change time, but we can change how we live. Life is not a dress rehearsal; it’s what we make of it. In the end we should have no regrets. So, what can we do to make our lives better?

An important step is to accept that life goes by quickly and we are the only ones that can improve our current situations. Given that, why not make easy changes to fix every aspect of our lives? A good start is a remodel that will help us live in an even more comfortable home that is better organized.

Deb and I thought through these theories before doing an extensive remodel of our Haymarket condominium a few years ago. Part of our desire was also from getting the “remodel bug” from watching plenty of HGTV remodel shows. We decided to give our condo a warehouse look and make it more comfortable.

My pet peeve with remodel shows is when there are unrealistic deadlines, and everyone is stressed out. Can remodels really be done well if all trades are working in tight spaces and cutting corners to get done? Dad always said: "If you are going to do something, do it right.”

We moved completely out of our condo for four months to do the remodel right.

The need for quality products was also high on our list. In my plumbing world that means using quality plumbing faucets and porcelain fixtures. Those would be the types of faucets and fixtures that are still being used today in historical homes that proved their quality through a test of time.

Again, those are porcelain plumbing fixtures - not a thin shell over an existing bathtub or shower that can get mold behind them. Good plumbing companies replace those types on a regular basis.

During our remodel we installed “right height” elongated toilets. Those are so much easier to use. The slow closing toilet lids are a great feature.

My shower is also a steam shower with a seat. A steam shower is a great way to warm up on a cold day or after exercising. The hand-held Moen shower heads with tangle-free hoses speed up the showering process and do a better job.

A kitchen is an important room that gets used regularly so why not make it special? Quality countertops and cupboards made a difference. The hands-free Moen faucet works great. Our Bosch dishwasher and Insinkerator garbage disposal that properly grinds wastes are both quiet. We enjoy the kitchen more and eat out less. The project was a total success.

Another good reason to remodel is to have everything in order for your spouse or loved ones. Too many times I have heard grieving spouses explain “my spouse always took care of maintenance and repairs.” Sadly, they are often scared and confused. The best gift you can give your spouse is a well maintained and comfortable home, so they have fewer worries after you leave this world. It may also make it easier for them to sell it.

Deb and I learned a remodel makes life much better. We spend a lot more quality time at our condo and enjoy life even more. All it took was planning and then pulling the trigger to get things done. Is it time for you to do the same thing?

The HBAL Home Show is this weekend at the Lancaster Event Center. Feel free to stop by the John Henry’s booth to see how we can help make your kitchen and bathroom remodels successful.

On a personal note, I would like to recognize and thank Dennis Buckley for all his efforts that have made the Neighborhood Extra successful. Dennis contributed so much to our community.

Dennis helped guide me when I started writing articles in 2001 and continued to provide support through the years. He’s a true professional with a great sense of humor. I will miss our working relationship and wish him the best in his retirement years.

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