A Housing Love Affair

Has your love affair gone bad – with your house, that is? It doesn’t have the same zing, the same fascination, the same comfort or security?

Maybe it’s time to leave it. Call up a realtor, list it, be done with it, and don’t look back. Move on. Find another house to love.

Or maybe not. Maybe your home just needs another chance. Maybe a bit of renovation therapy will warm the way you feel about it once again.

There are so many ways to look at your relationship, so many options, so many things to consider.

If you’re on the fence, have a serious talk with a professional architectural designer. At Lagois, we start by asking you a few questions. They might be tough questions, but you won’t be able to get to the bottom of the, ah, affair until you can answer them honestly.

What’s really bugging you? Are they big problems, or are you just dreaming of all the nice-to-haves in your home? With a bit of reflection and professional guidance, you might be surprised at some of the steps you can take. With the help of a professional designer, you might realize the issues that are bugging you aren’t insolvable; you might discover ways of doing things that you had never thought of. 

You and your designer will discuss your challenges and the challenges of the structure itself. You’ll take a good hard look at your budget. And you’ll talk about the actual investment you’ll be making as a result of an upgrade. You might bring in a realtor to help you understand what’s out there, what your house could be worth with a renovation, and then try to balance your decision.

You will probably want to consider more than financial investment, however, especially if you have been living in your home for awhile. Leaving your home could mean leaving a lifestyle behind. Do you like your neighbours? Do you know who they’d be if you move? Do you have children in local schools? What would be the impact if you uproot them? Would you miss all your familiar places to shop, walk, and visit?

It’s our job as designers to solve the challenges you’re having with your home. It can sometimes be a fine line between what you think you might want and what we think will work the best from a holistic point of view. We will help you to stand back and see it from a wider perspective. 

If you decide to renovate, to hang on to your home and love it again, you’ll need to be careful about who you choose to do the work. Make sure it’s someone who is the right fit for you (and the other way around). Another thing: hire a company that does it all: design and renovate or build. There’s a reason for this.

Years ago we used to do design for anyone; they would take the design and build it themselves or hire someone else who had no stake in the design. What came out of it was that we had these wonderful designs, but others would get hold of them and change them in ways we couldn’t foresee or halt. A builder might change the design because they have a specific way of doing things or to cut costs. And then very often nothing would work out the way we or the homeowner had envisioned. But then it would be too late to fix it. 

After a few experiences like that, we decided that we would only design what we build, with a distinct, time-proven process from start to finish. And now everyone is consistently happy with the result. 

Another thing: from the beginning, tell your designer who the decision makers will be for your project. You’ll all need to be on the same wavelength, to communicate openly, to figure out everything up front, so there are no unnecessary surprises and delays.

You might still decide it’s time for you and your home to go your separate ways. But at least you will know your options and be able to make a sound decision based on solid knowledge. 

If you stay, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’ll be getting into. Sometimes it’s better to live with what you know than what you don’t. 

It’s not always an easy decision, but at least it will be an informed one.