Nate and Laura Meyer
In his years of working in design, Nate says he has seen stress levels mount and relationships torn apart when people take on home renovations. "There are very few people I have ever met in my life that have had a successful renovation," he says. "They are happy now, but the process—you always look back and there are a million things they say they wish they could avoid." Nate talks with author Laura Meyer about her book, Remodel This! A Woman's Guide to Planning and Surviving the Madness of a Home Renovation about keeping your budget and marriage intact while remodeling your home.

Laura says she wrote Remodel This!—along with friend Robyn Roth—after surviving a two-year home renovation project. "I think that a woman reading the book will [learn] everything she needs to know going into this process, so that she will be in the driver's seat and stay there during the duration," Laura says.

Laura shares tips she says every women should take to heart before she starts a home renovation project:

  • Identify who's in charge of your project—you, your partner or an outside person, such as a designer. "Remodeling can really be a snapshot of a marriage," she says. If both you and your partner want to be involved in the project, Laura says there is a chance that tensions will arise. "You really want to have a solid foundation in your marriage before you get into a major remodel," she says.
  • Create a remodeling portfolio with inspiration from design magazines so that you know what you want your finished renovation to look like.
  • Write up a detailed list of items needed for a renovation before the work starts.
  • Hire a licensed inspector to go through your home before the renovation and pinpoint potential problem areas of your home.
  • Get a preliminary estimate for the renovation from a contractor.
  • Research the legalities of a contract before you sign with a contractor—that way, there area no surprises later on.
  • Budget for "oh nos"—things that will go wrong during the renovation.
When making design decisions, always exercise common sense and safe judgment. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.


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