The Seven Deadly Sins of Remodeling
Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth – these are the “Seven Deadly Sins”. The church has its definitions and we do too.
Sometimes you will do the project yourself and other times you may hire someone to do it for you. In each of those instances you may eventually come up against one of the seven deadly sins of remodeling.
Is the excessive belief in one’s own abilities, which interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.
If you are consumed by Pride as you embark on a remodel you may overlook important basics that can cause your project to backfire. It could be later determined that you were guilty of the first deadly sin of remodeling – NOT planning. Never be so smug in yourself as to assume that you don’t need to thoroughly plan your project. Spend time researching what others have done and how they did it; as well as the costs, availability and disruptions that will result from each of your decisions and choices. Don’t let your belief that “it’s so easy” interfere with your ability to recognize that there is much to learn about and plan for on a given project – long before it begins.
Is the desire for, or to obtain, others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.
We all want what the Jones have – bigger, better – faster. Our envy can cloud our ability to make “common sense” remodeling decisions. Making your home the largest one on the block can prove to be exciting and satisfying. But it can backfire. If you are planning to enlarge your home keep in mind that you should not increase its size more than 20% greater than the largest home in the neighborhood. Doing so can result in a structure that will not give you a reasonable return on your investment. Remember: The value of your home is usually based on comparable values in the neighborhood. If your home is too large its value may be substantially deflated so that it will correspond with other values in the neighborhood.
Is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.
Our cousins Tommy and Albert were responsible for teaching us the trades. Their rule was, “Build the best you could, but don’t leave any money on the plate.” No, not a dinner plate! The word plate refers to the top-most and horizontal component of a framed wall. In other words — waste not, want not. Don’t leave anything that you don’t need to. You can do your best by getting several bids and interviewing each person that will work on your project to insure that you each understand the other’s expectations. Get what you want, but be sure you are paying a fair price. Get competitive bids and select the bidder whose price falls within plus or minus five percent of the average of all of the bids in that category. Remember, “If the price is too good to be true – it probably isn’t and by falling for such nonsense you will be allowing your gluttony to come back and haunt you.
Is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.
It makes good sense to go for personal comfort when it comes time to choose where to best spend your remodeling dollar. And although we can’t think of anything we would rather improve than our comfort, there are more important priorities. If you want to make the most sensible choice – go for safety repairs first. Always invest in eliminating safety hazards around your home first. And don’t forget our #2 choice — preventive maintenance. Spending a little now to save lots later is smart. Painting protects surfaces, catching a drip early can prevent rot, and so on. Also, spending a little now to save a lot later can result in enough savings to have the personal comfort you deserve.
Is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.
We all know about the infamous “remodeling horror story”. Like the one about the contractor who runs off with all the money. Or, the contractor who takes forever to complete the project – or both! Anger is what you sometimes feel when you are afraid that you will be taken advantage of. When hiring a contractor don’t put yourself in a position where you will be left with nothing but anger. You can prevent all of the bad feelings that arise out of such a relationship by doing your homework to insure that the relationship will work. Use a stand bank credit application to investigate each contractor applicant. Have them fill out the application and perform a credit check. And whatever you do, don’t use price to determine whether the contractor is reputable. A contractor’s integrity should be measured separately from his or her ability to calculate a proper bid. Integrity and price a completely separate issues.
Is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.
Don’t be greedy be competitive. Remember the rules of getting the best price without being taken advantage of by someone else:
- First, before speaking to bidders, select the product you want installed.
- Don’t ask the various bidders to choose the product for you. They will each choose differently and the confusion will never end.
- Having each bidder bid on the product you have chosen levels the bidders playing field.
- Give each bidder a photo or a drawing of what you want installed and specify clearly the brand, model, size, color, and any other specific that will help to insure that everyone quoting a price is using the same basic criteria.
When you follow this procedure, bidders realize that by getting greedy with their pricing they can lose the project. When they know that they are bidding the same product as everyone else they tend to be more competitive. The bidders will recognize that you are familiar with how professional bidders do it and you will more than likely get a professional response.
Is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.
This is the single most important rule of any home remodeling project. Don’t be a sloth and don’t be lazy. Do your homework. Understand as much about a simple faucet leak as you can – before you begin to do the project or to have someone do it for you. The anger that can often result is due to not following a few very simple rules.
If you are lazy and don’t learn a bit about the rules of the road then other peoples Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, and Greed may end up focused on you. Be a remodeling winner. Follow a few simple rules and be a saint instead of a sinner. And that’s all there is to it.
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