Establish the Remodeling Level that suits you

Do you know your remodeling level? It’s important to figure out how involved of a renovation you really want to take on long before you start! Consider your home’s condition, your lifestyle needs, your budget, and your willingness to deal with chaos.

Are you looking for a few bite-sized updates, a list of semi-involved DIY overhauls, or a gut remodel that changes the layout, reconfigures spaces and generally involves months of work by a general contractor and you evacuating the area for the duration?

As always, there’s a spectrum, and you’re on at somewhere.

Your preferred remodeling level is something you want to be aware of from a very early stage in your design thinking. Once you know how deep down the remodeling rabbit hole you plan to tunnel, you can start to tailor the kind of inspiration you’re looking for in the world and on the internet, the list of professionals you want to engage with, and the budget you’re keeping.

So let’s figure out where you fit!

In Today’s Episode you’ll hear …

  • Not all MCM updates work the same way. It depends on you and on your house. Being aware – right from the start – of how in depth you want to go with your mid-century house remodel will help you calibrate your whole design and remodel process! [1:09]
  • Get access to a special offer – the newly improved Mid-Century Solutions design package available at the old price. Only until the end of 2019 [2:57]
  • Level One remodels – what they are, why you might want to choose one and how to make this a strategic first step to later work! [4:07]
  • Sometimes that’s all you need to make a vintage MCM house into your modern home. Or sometimes you want to take on some Level One work while you plan and prepare for more dramatic changes in the future. In that case your remodeling level might be either a Level Two or a Level Three update. [7:42]
  • Get inspired by this great renovation documented by the instagram account @a_renovation_story! [12:10]

Listen now on:

Apple | Google |  Spotify | Stitcher

Resources mentioned in this episode

Knowing where you fall in the scheme will be essential to making realistic plans.

Remodeling Level One

An easy way to describe Remodeling Level One is that it’s very easily DIYed in an afternoon or a weekend. It often amounts to hunting down to cool product, purchasing it, and attaching it to your house.

The easiest way to explain a concept like this is always with an example. So let’s look at how to give your front door an MCM tune up at each remodeling level:

Sketch of Level 1: Buy in. To start off your mid-century front door, focus on things you can add to the area around the door. Colorful mail box, door paint, house numbers or a planter will help it really pop!

This includes projects like replacing the mailbox, lights or door numbers. You might paint your front door to match. You can look into adding a stylish MCM doorbell or planter. Read more about it in the blog post below!



A Level Two Remodel

Level Two is what I think of as a VERY involved DIY update, although it can also be farmed out to a competent handyman. You’re not going to be making dramatic transformative changes to the house. But, you may get pretty involved in specific areas. Let’s come back to that front door example.

Sketch of Level 2: Power up. For a medium sized Mid-century front door intervention improve the pathway, highlight the door area with fence or bench and make a more generous front stoop or portico!

In this case, I’ve sketched what I planned for my own home. I’ve enclosed the breezeway that used to separate the house from the garage. I constructed a matching cedar slat wall to conceal the front sidewalk to offset that new wall. I may replace the front stoop – currently concrete – with a larger cedar entry deck.

This is different from a more intense Level Three update because I’m working within the existing parameters of the house. I’m not tearing off the roof, making a significant addition, or excavating new foundations.

The Whole Thing: Remodeling Level Three

A Level Three example of my same front door would be to make a small but significant addition to the whole front of the house.

Sketch of Level 3: Call a Pro. Sometimes you want to think BIG. To get a dramatic mid-century front door transformation, call in a designer or GC to help you change the roof line or add some key square footage!

You can still see the framework of the existing modest ranch in the back ground. By adding just 4-6 feet along the front of the house I could:

  • increase the garage storage area
  • create a covered entry
  • add new larger windows to the living room
  • form an “air lock” entry at the front door so you don’t walk straight into the living room from the door

This would look sleek as all get out and take the whole house from a little bland to completely brilliant. It not even THAT crazy of an addition. But I know I want to do all the work myself where possible so this level of remodel just isn’t for me.

Do you see where I’m going here?

Don’t forget that in the midst of a big and crazy remodel you can still take on the odd Level One project to give yourself a boost of satisfaction. This great recent post by @a_renovation_story sums that idea up perfectly:

Find your own remodeling level

So these are the questions I want you to consider for yourself.

  • What level of update are you ready to take on?
  • How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?
  • Are you more interested in a series of DIY projects to take on one at a time through the next few years, or do you want to move into another space for a few months and have the entire house dramatically transformed in one fell swoop?

There isn’t a right answer to these questions, by the way, just YOUR answer. So … what’s your remodeling level?