It is amazing how many people ask the question; Is this your first house to remodel? The expression on their face is even more enlightening when they hear that this is actually my 6th house. The first however within a National Historic District which in itself brings to the table extra challenges.
My first house was a 1956, 1104 square foot Ranch Style. I was 26 years old when I first bought that house. It was this house that continued to fuel the fire and desire that I had to make a difference.
Working in a law office, going to college part time, raising a family and putting the Ria's touch to things, what a hand full. The best part of it all was the life changing experiences and the knowledge that was learned and built upon not just for me but for everyone who participated.
Breaks from college proved to be the best because the frustrations from trying to maintain a 3.5 - 4.0 average was taken out in healthy productive ways such as walls coming down.
I got involved with the Neighborhood Housing Program to finish the project. This experience in itsself was indescribable. If you like filling out forms, you can go this route, just be prepared to have alot of unnecessary things happen and expenses that only benefit the City Government. In fairness, the experience taught me things to watch out for with Contractors, Inspector's, and the people who push the paper. Although I had experience within this area, the fine tuning was great.
I also learned just how much a General Contractor will take advantage of these types of projects, which for me was very devastating because I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately for the GC and fortunately for me, I also learned just how much if you are not careful a GC will take advantage of a woman. After a couple of "Come to Jesus" meetings and being very diligent, the General Contractor was convinced that I did have experience and made sure his sub's knew that as well. Which is truly why it is important to do your research.
I am not saying that all General Contractor's or Sub-Contractor's are this way. I will say however, before you hire one, do your homework on the Contractor's. Do not be afraid to get references and learn as much about what you are having done that way you are just a little dangerous. When in doubt however, ask a professional.