Remodel Crazy!


Remodel crazy!

Remodel Crazy

Are you remodel crazy, or just crazy from remodeling?

Is there a difference?

When I first started in the remodeling business I was just another happy Hippie. It was the Summer of Love and I needed a job. The only people that would hire a longhair Hippie were the city garbage department people and a construction company. I applied to the construction company.

After the usual insults I got hired by Pat “the neck”, a burly and ill tempered man whose favorite expression was, “you better not screw that up or I’ll kill you”. I took it as a weird kind of nurturing. I had a job, my rent was paid and I was using dangerous tools while dodging insults and little pieces of dried mortar tossed at me by the odorous masons I kept supplied with fresh cement. Things were working out.

After a few months with Pat “the neck”, he was arrested for assault and I went looking for a new job. My first few attempts were met with scorn, so I got rid of my 2 tone platform boogie shoes and my bell bottom Caballero pants and got a haircut. Soon after I was hired by a residential remodeler. A man who would eventually blow himself up by pouring gasoline on a pile of branches and throw a match into the mixture, fortunately I was on the other side of the home when it blew. Have you ever seen someone walk out of a billowing cloud of black smoke. I had to bite my lip not to laugh. No one died and I would find out remodeling has its moments.

I loved remodeling and I became remodel crazy. Building out new kitchens and additions and watching projects go together was a great thing, and I got paid for doing it. Life was good.

In the years that followed I became aware of different types of people and how they responded to the noise and dust of having their homes torn up and redone. I started to notice things about the customers. Some had hired out many projects, and before we even finished the present work they were already talking about what they were going to do next. These were the crazy for remodeling customers. Their homes were filled with magazines, samples and photos they had cut out of books, resting alongside paint swatches and fabric pieces all getting ready for the next dream to be fulfilled. Remodel crazy meant you always had a stew of ideas for the next project.

Crazy for remodeling people live in a constant state of flux, just like their homes, always ready for the next little thing that would tie it all together. They were fun to work for, when they got home from work they were like kids running to see what Santa had left behind. There was joy and wonder in all the things we had gotten done while they were gone. Remodel crazy people ask questions and love to talk about the remodel process, they are remodel crazy.

Then there were the other folks, the Crazy from remodeling people. Oh, man! Dust and noise and trucks in the street make them nervous. Every blade of grass was counted and accounted for. Oil spots on the driveway from the delivery truck were immediately scrubbed clean. Grandmas china was hidden in the bomb shelter and the family pets were sent to the pet hotel. Crazy from remodeling people worried over every little decision and always came home from work wondering why the job wasn’t finished yet. Some of them went off the deep end with the stress and worry of what they had hired us to do. These were serious folks.

In the end, most people were happy, the remodel crazy folks were off planning their next blizzard of activity and the crazy from remodeling folks just rested up from the trauma of it all. But that’s home improvement. You can live it as you choose and it works out the majority of the time.

Now after 30 plus years of both kinds of crazy I have to say, I like working for most people. The remodeling industry has gotten aware of using different approaches and having better communication with the customers. This has been good for everyone and service has gotten better so that even the crazy from remodeling people are calmer. It all works out in the end. And me, I still love bang and buzz of making something people admire. I’m remodel crazy.

Remodel Crazy is for everyone, homeowners and professionals. Remodeling can be fun, exciting, and rewarding. We are here to promote and educate all people that make remodeling the rewarding profession that it is.

Paul Lesieur
A kitchen designer who really cooks!


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