City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Your Nightmare Home

The Insanity of Underestimating Your Home's Wrath Against Repairs

It might start with someone showing up unannounced on your Ring doorbell.

“Hi! We’re installing some new windows on your neighbor’s house, and I saw that you had some older windows. Have you ever considered…”

A polite “no thank you” probably sends the intrepid salesperson on their way after he’s left his card and a promise of a free estimate if you give them a call. But as you head back inside, you glance toward your cracked, aging driveway, your roof that might be missing a shingle or two, or that stair on the front steps that really needs to be replaced. You go inside and look at the dated kitchen cabinets and begin to plan finishing the basement.

The home improvement idea cascade has begun again.

Let’s face it – as homeowners, we all have things that we’d improve in our house. And thanks to HGTV and YouTube, we might just think we’re capable. Or it’s easy. Or problem-free.

But video lies to us.

We hear about a local college kid looking to make some money over the summer who’s handy. Or your brother-in-law who was just laid off and worked for a contractor once – he can use the cash, right? Or, God Forbid – we decide that a simple trip to Home Depot and some elbow grease can redo that bathroom ourselves.

Then one day, months later, we woke up freezing in that spare bedroom because the furnace went out when the basement flooded after the genius working cutting through the sheetrock went two inches too far on the left and cut through the main water pipe to the upstairs bathroom. Maybe THIS contractor will call me back today – after all, he said he’d be back “Thursday” after I gave him that deposit. Two months ago.

Well, at least I got the driveway patched up yesterday.

Suddenly, your dog, Darwin, runs back into the house, paws covered in driveway patch residue that started washing away when the water poured out of that old basement window.

Well, at least you can wash him off in that indoor pool you used to call your Man Cave downstairs.

These sorts of nightmares are all too common. Luckily, they’re also avoidable.

The secret is finding companies to work with who have the homeowner in mind. Ones that aren’t predatory, nor flighty, nor ill-equipped, understaffed, or inexperienced.

To get you started on the right road to getting your home taken care of how it should be – and with peace of mind, we have stories about two home improvement companies that each pride themselves on how they take care of their clients. And each of them has been in business locally for decades.

Maybe the first lesson should be to check your Ring camera before you answer the door. Today’s nightmares don’t always have a clown holding a balloon – these days, it’s a guy in a polo shirt and khakis, a clipboard in his hand, ringing your doorbell.