From the Work Bench
by Sue Luft

"Putting You In Touch With the Experts"

Seeing The Potential

The vision to see potential and optimism are two of the most valuable character traits of a renovator. For the last three years of my life, I spent my free time with realtors searching for a new home. With great enthusiasm I’d peer into closets and wander through cellars of homes built over the last hundred years, in awe of elaborate woodwork (always in need of stripping), enamored of elegant light fixtures (rewiring a must), envious of that roomy, claw-footed tub (water stains on the ceiling below not withstanding). When I’d share house-hunting notes with my husband, the word "potential" would always enter into every conversation. It seemed that every address I visited held unlimited opportunity to re-create an architectural gem. It wasn’t that I was oblivious to a house’s particular problems; I simply had the ability to look beyond the problems and envision the beauty and charm that had eluded the current owner.

Fortunately, I’m more aware of what repairs cost and how long they’ll take. But I’m still occasionally blindsided by potential. That’s why I’m drawn to people in the remodeling industry. They see potential — and realize solutions. The homes I admired most during my house-hunting days had history and charm, and their potential seemed only a paintbrush away. It wasn’t until recently that I could see the gracious character that a modern house might adopt. If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that most every home has potential.

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