DC Rowhouse | Guest Blogger

By Todd Fratzel on Remodeling

Occasionally I read a home improvement related blog and want to share the site with my readers. So I’ve decided to start publishing a few guest blog posts. Most of these posts will likely be written as an introduction to the blog. If these are successful then I’ll make them a regular part of the site. So here is a short post from “Ben” over at DC Rowhouse. I hope you enjoy and decide to visit her site often.

DC Rowhouse

When we bought the rowhouse in December of 2007, I was bursting with energy and excitement. I couldn’t wait to make it my own, and according to me that meant smashing things and changing it all around.

The first thing we decided to do was rip up the carpet upstairs and put in wood floors. For some reason, I decided it would be a good idea to do it at the same time as I had people painting the house. Of course, it was a zoo. Oh, and my parents were visiting…and it was my birthday weekend. Yeah. Not good. It was a comedy of errors — though it was not so funny at the time.

It was a sign of what was to come and I quickly learned this whole renovating thing wasn’t exactly how it seems on HGTV. The do-it-yourselfer in me was always taking on too much of the project than I could reasonably handle with a full-time job and living in the property.

From tearing up the carpet, smashing walls and removing doors, to crushing the 100 feet of brick planters in the backyard I learned that the physical labor was sometimes over my head (and that of my husband) but the pay-off was rewarding. That feeling lasts just until you start your new project and think, “why am I doing this again?”. Then the glorious end product. It’s a roller-coaster. A longer and more expensive and scarier roller-coaster than you expected – but the rush is what it’s all about.

I should mention, if you are prone to injury (as I am) you will end up with some battle scars. To date, I’ve been electrocuted, had drywall in my eye, thorns in my back, cut by a rusty basket we unearthed, pooped on by a bird, splinters underneath my fingernails, bruises so deep they last for months, and a knowledge of first aid one can be proud off. But, hey, you can never have too many bandages and anti-inflammatories in the house.

We’re about halfway done, and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

You can visit DC Rowhouse and read all about their fun home improvement project and renovations.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Ben, I think this is precisely why I’ve decided to use my expertise in hiring people to do the jobs in my house!

  2. Ben:Many people don’t realize that there are professionals out there that can help you figure out what needs to be done and what order it needs to be done in. You can then do the work yourself, do part of the work yourself and hire the rest out, or hire that person or someone else to do all the work.

    For a low set fee (often under $500 depending upon the scope of the project) you can get a construction manager, construction savvy interior designer (not a decorator) or contractor to create an ordered to-do list, taking into account your desires and budget. If you need help with the finishes, paint color, tile, etc. you would hire an interior designer to help you. If you are confident in your finish choices then you would hire the construction manager or contractor.

    By hiring a professional for a consultation, you can save yourself stress and money. Construction mistakes can be very costly. Having to redo hardwood floors because you refinished them at the beginning of your project, not at the end, can cost thousands of dollars. A construction professional or a designer could have shown you how to schedule your project so you don’t blow a hole in your budget.

    I look forward to reading about your progress.

    BTW, happy birthday!

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