Where’s Vern Yip When You Need Him?



Years ago, when I was obsessed preoccupied with updating our 1970’s semi-suburban, somewhat sad ranch style house, I watched a lot of HGTV. I mean a lot. I followed all of the designers on Trading Spaces. I loved how Hildi managed to piss off someone almost every episode. I can’t imagine why the woman didn’t want straw glued to her walls! Geeze, Lady, don’t you know that’s all the rage in Paris?

Straw To The Wall

Staws to the walls

Of all the designers, my favorite was Vern Yip. Vern represents everything a 70’s ranch house with wood paneling is not. Elegance, sophistication, optimism. His positive energy reached out from the screen and grabbed me. The crisp, clean, freshness of his rooms made me want to rip down all of that wall paper in the kitchen, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the hallway, the laundry roo…well, you get the picture.


I love you, man!

Anyway, my house needed everything. Kitchen rehab, bathroom  reno, and a serious paneling-ectomy. Yes, I know that’s not a word. But have you ever removed paneling? It takes a stick of dynamite to get rid of that stuff. We’ve lived in many houses over the years with Formica counter tops, linoleum flooring, and indestructible paneling. One thing those houses had that you often don’t find in new construction, under the million-dollar price point, today is what they call “good bones.” Sure, there are the oh-so-popular hand scraped hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite (of course) but can we be certain the foundation won’t buckle from the fracking going on down the street? How do we know the inspection of the plumbing and electrical behind the walls wasn’t pencil whipped for a couple of Benjamins? It has been known to happen.



Lipstick and mascara may create nice curb appeal, but does new construction have what it takes to weather the storms that are sure to come and go over the life of the mortgage? I don’t know. Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve looked at hundreds of homes and been involved in demo/reno from the rebar to the roof.


One thing about workmanship has stuck with me. If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?


Home inspection after home inspection has shown haste does indeed makes waste, usually in the form of cash, and lots of it. Poor quality has created money pits all over the country. Developers don’t hire craftsmen. They hire crews to throw together two by fours and particle board, slap on a coat of paint, and then play let’s make a deal with buyers who have the necessary credit score. There are corporations that own, OWN, I say, every piece of the housing industry. Need a house? A mortgage? An appraiser, inspector, repairman? One stop shopping is available on a street corner near you. Make no mistake, every player in the biz covers their ass with a Kevlar coating. It’s true. You don’t even have to read the fine print anymore. Nope, it’s right there in ALL CAPS.

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Okay, I went on a little tangent there. So, in case you can’t tell by now, we are moving to a new home. My task today? Paint selection. I know, what a problem to have. I’m very lucky to have such a problem. Only, I am finding there are too many choices. Do I play it safe with Restrained Gold and Caramel Latte? Colors anyone would like, you know, just in case we have to resell in eighteen months. Should I throw caution to the wind with Sapphire Sparkle? Decisions, decisions. Happy springtime, everyone. See you after the move.

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Ask Sherwin Williams

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