Personalize Your PlaceArticle was featured in Indy Star (Indianapolis, IN), Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), News-Leader (Springfield, MO), Clarion Ledger (Real Mississippi), Arizona Central (Arizona), The Spectrum (Utah) and the Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY).
by Missy Baxter
Inspired by the barrage of home-improvement television programs, many homeowners are breaking out their nail guns and dry-wall sanders to remodel kitchens, finish basements and build decks.
For many, the inspiration is cost savings. For other homeowners, such as Terry Ginkins, the main impetus is the ability to personalize the project.
During the past few years, Ginkins has completed several projects at his New Albany, Ind., home, including adding a large deck and remodeling his kitchen.
His most recent venture was to transform a small concrete patio into an area ideally suited for entertaining family and friends.
By incorporating an eclectic array of materials, including copper tubing, redwood railing and brick, Ginkins created a one-of-a-kind patio. The patio's unique railing system is an eye-catcher. The gleaming copper tubing sparkles in the sunlight and contrasts nicely with the deep, rich tones of the redwood frame.
"I wanted to do something different so that we'd have a patio that didn't look like anyone else's," Ginkins said. "It was a lot of work to do the railing, but I think it was worth it because I'm getting a lot of compliments on how well it turned out."
NOT YOUR EVERYDAY DIYER
Although Ginkins completed the work himself, he's not a typical do-it-yourself guy. He's a professional remodeler and former building commissioner for the city.
That's why he knows the proper steps to take to make sure his remodeling projects comply with local building codes.
For instance, he applied for electrical and plumbing permits for his kitchen remodel and a building permit for his deck. (His patio didn't require any permits because it wasn't a structural change.)
"I'm a strong advocate of abiding by building codes because I know why they are in place," Ginkins said. "I once had the unfortunate task of condemning a woman's brand new house because it wasn't built to code and it was unsafe to live in. Most people who are remodeling don't realize that permits are required for any structural changes."
FUELED BY TV
Charles Kavanaugh, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Louisville, Ky., said the remodeling industry has experienced a boom in the past decade.
"In 1996, the amount of money spent on home improvements and remodeling became larger than the new-home category," Kavanaugh said. "It's continued to grow every year since then."
Spending on home improvements in the United States rose 52 percent to $233 billion in 2003 from $153 billion in 1995, according to a 2005 report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. The most popular projects were kitchen and bath remodels or room additions.
Some building industry experts attribute the surge in remodeling to shows such as "Trading Spaces," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and "This Old House."
"People watch those shows and realize that remodeling their home is usually a lot cheaper than buying a new house," Ginkins said. "You can really change your home by remodeling a room or two, or by adding a new addition or an outside structure, such as a deck.
"The catch is to make sure it's done right, and a lot of times that means hiring professionals, instead of trying to do it all yourself," he said.
|T.A. GINKINS COMPANY, LLC - 2306 MORTON AVENUE - NEW ALBANY, IN 47150|