Jul 31, 2013

Is the "Fear Factor" Trapping You in a Home You Don't Love?

Monday morning a few weeks ago, an email appeared in my inbox. The author began with a few tentative questions about remodeling her house, then blurted out:

"I don't know anything...and have no idea where to begin to determine if the project is possible and/or remotely affordable...I'm so afraid of the building process".

Does that sound like you?

Although there’s a ton of information out there about designing, building, remodeling, and decorating, it doesn’t help much; every magazine you pick up, every blog post you read, every remodeling show you watch tells you something different – what to do, what not to do; styles that are in, styles that are out.

Information overload.

Maybe someone suggested that you ask around the neighborhood, so you did, but that didn’t help much either; one of your neighbors used this company, one used that company. One did the whole thing himself. One had a great experience; one not so great; and one will never, ever, EVER remodel a house again!

Almost everyone has serious concerns at the outset - should I remodel or add on? How much should I budget? Who should I hire (if anyone)? How do I avoid getting ripped off? What should I do first?

If you’ve been thinking about a new home or remodeling project, but just can’t seem to get started, you’re probably feeling the same fear as the writer of that email.

Here are 5 ways to "jump-start" your new home or remodeling project.

So what’s your biggest fear about building a new home? What scares you most and keeps you from “doing something” with your house?

For an expert Residential Architect to help with your new home or remodeling project contact Richard Taylor, AIA at RTA Studio.


  1. I think if this is the first project a homeowner has ever undertaken, I've been told there is fear in the process, that he/she is wasting their money and won't get what they expect, so the best word of mouth referral for me is from a homeowner that actually gets more than they could've ever imagined. People are used to the "norm", and builder's "cookie cutter" layouts and when professionals step in and give them something that far exceeds their expectations, they learn to believe in the system. I also believe another fear is in trusting a contractor to spend their money wisely and not take them for a ride. As a professional it's our job to help control this.

  2. Denise - maybe "fear of the unknown" is the scariest? Just ahead of "how do I wade through all this information?"

  3. Yes Richard I agree. That's why it's so important for a homeowner that has never done a project before should speak with one who has (ie a past client) to calm some fears... and explain in simple terms the process. There's also the need for the "right fit" between an architect and client. The client (and professional) need to have a comfort level with each other right from the start because designing a "home" is a very personal experience.

  4. Anonymous8:50 AM

    HGTV! When a client comes to me and say "I saw something neat this weekend...can we do this with my project". Chills go down my spine!

    Or Better yet, "The Committee"! A few years back I did a whole house renovation. Every other day the client would bring another friend or co-worker by to review the project. The next day the client would come back and redesign the space or intent of the space based on how the "friend" would see themselves living in the house. I finally ask if they are planning on living in the house or opening a Bed & Breakfast for their friends to enjoy!

  5. I've seen that happen - a little confidence in knowing what you want - and why - helps keep you on track with your dreams!