We’ve spent a lot of time of late talking about the outdoors. We’ve explored adding or renovating garages, sheds, and sunrooms. We’ve discussed gutters, roofs, and siding. We’ve drooled over garden spaces and outdoor kitchens. After all, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing (or banging into your clean windows—a problem you NEVER have if you have children or pets). The outdoors are wondrous. You can grill things (or burn things), grow things (so very many weeds), and generally enjoy all the things that don’t exist within the confines of your home.
But the indoors are pretty marvelous, too, particularly after a day spent out in the sun. After all, if you’re lucky, there’s water (we’re fans of indoor plumbing no matter the season). There’s cool air. And there are comfortable spaces to sit and unwind after a tiring stint of yard work, power washing, dog walking, or child herding.
Are your indoor spaces, in fact, comfortable ones? Are they working properly? Now is a great time to walk around the inside of your home with a keen eye for what might be in disrepair. Or what you might like to renovate or replace. After all, it’s far easier to have work done indoors while the outdoors are still a viable option to keep folks out from underfoot of the professionals.
Take a walk around your home. Pretend you’ve never seen it before (or borrow a friend or non-judgmental neighbor to walk around with you). We tend to become oblivious to signs of wear and tear in our homes, in part because if we don’t see it, then we think we don’t have to deal with it, and in part because we just don’t notice it (which, incidentally, happens to be the same phenomenon that seems to happen with the overflowing trash can that’s only apparent to you, despite living in a household with other people).
Bring a pen and paper or open the note-taking app on your smartphone (why, hello, 21st century) and be prepared to take copious notes. Work your way from top to bottom or bottom to top. Maybe left to right or right to left if you live in a ranch. No cheating and skipping those attics, basements, and crawl spaces if your home is multi-level!
Observe the ceilings, walls, and flooring. Are there missing tiles? Peeling paint? Shag carpeting that wasn’t shag when it was installed? Are there teeth marks in the molding (either dog or baby dental molds)? Any wet spaces that should be dry or dry spaces that should be wet? Leaking pipes? Water marks? Mold? Closet doors that don’t open or close (or closets missing doors)? Windows that don’t open or close (or that let it rain inside when it’s raining outside)?
As you walk through your home with a critical eye, make note of everything you see that could use some attention. When you’ve completed your tour (and compared observations if you’ve had company during your walk-through), you’ll want to organize your notes in a way that makes sense to you. You might categorize your list by room. Or sort by the kind of repair that’s required (plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc.). However you choose to organize your list, we strongly suggest that you prioritize that list as well. Just like the medical profession uses triage to assess how urgent a patient’s need is, you want to be clear about what’s most critical for you to attend to first.
Perhaps divide things into “must,” “should,” and “would love to” categories. Your “musts” are anything that’s potentially hazardous: bare wires, cracked and crumbling things, places growing mold, things that smell like gas but shouldn’t (and that aren’t spouses or dogs). “Shoulds” are things that impact ease of use, like the kitchen drawer that you can access even with the missing handles, but that involve a butter knife and a stream of cursing to open; or the broken shelves that mean your library consists of piles of books on the floor until that “one day” when you’re going to get around to fixing them. The “would love to” category might include any potential projects you see when you look at a space with fresh eyes. Like that living room window that would be amazing with a window seat. Or that space under the stairs that is just the right size for a reading nook. Or the unused bedroom that you’d love to convert into your future workout room, sewing room, man cave, or office space.
Here’s the best part of this list you’ve now created: HPI can take care of your entire list in one fell swoop or over time, as urgency and/or your budget requires. Your electrical work, plumbing, painting, tiling, installations, carpentry, repairs, renovations—all of it and more. So whether you’re ready to tackle some of those smaller issues before they become bigger and more costly repairs or you’ve got a big project in mind, the perfect time is now.