Weekend Warriors Conquer Home Jobs with Planning

By Bill Primavera

The Home Guru

Among the several definitions of the term weekend warrior, the one related to the focus of this column is a homeowner who is able to do projects only on weekends because of work or other commitments during the week.

Often, there is a rush to that two-day activity with little understanding of the scope of the work to be done, and a project can become overwhelming, rather than affording an opportunity to enjoy a couple of days off from the grind of work. Advance planning is the key for success.

At one time, I was the poster boy for weekend warriors. When I first bought my house, I was a very young man with only a moderately demanding job that didn’t pay the kind of money that could afford my hiring other people to do the work of restoring an old home. Except for the upgrading of the plumbing, electricity and a new roof, I did it all myself. And my work had to be restricted to the weekends because of a long commute time during the week.

Then for some years, I worked long and hard and, not having the time or energy on weekends to work on the house, I was happy to farm out most of the work to the experts.  Now that my home is in the final stages of improvement for sale, I had the experts come back, but there were just a couple of things I wanted to do myself, maybe for old times’ sake.

Just recently I had a number of my rooms refreshed with counsel from Joanne Palumbo of Homestyling 101 who contributes to this week’s column a “one weekend, one room” planning schedule, demonstrating that such weekend projects would best be planned and organized in advance.

Almost all of my recent work was done by my interior painter Joe Pascarelli, who removed wallpaper, prepped and painted walls and even removed carpeting for me. At the last minute, I decided not to remove the wallpaper from a bathroom in my tenant’s apartment because I thought it looked good. However, after Joe had finished his work and moved on, I changed my mind and decided at the last minute to take on the job myself as a weekend project.

My tenant Michael, who is also my friend, offered to help me.  I haphazardly gathered the tools without really planning who would do what. We simply went into the restricted space of only 10 ft. by 6 ft. and immediately faced the challenge of two big guys vying for elbow room for the wallpaper stripping process, but I loved every minute of it.

When the wallpaper wouldn’t cooperate (some are more difficult to detach than others), it threw a monkey wrench into the gears as far as timing, extending our planned weekend schedule to two weekends, but still I enjoyed the process. After stripping the wallpaper, we did the wall preparation and sanding.  I was pleased that I remembered to buy a paint with sealer included, a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms because it performs well and inhibits mold wherever there is a lot of moisture. 

The best part of weekend projects is visualizing in advance how the process will play out from gathering of all the right tools, to the actual work, to the finished product.  I might be busy and stressed out with work during the week, but all I have to do is picture in my mind how a certain home project will work out, and I’m immediately in a calmer state of mind. It extends the joy, the relaxation and the satisfaction of accomplishment.  

For those who want the fun and practicality of home improvement on weekends, Joanne Palumbo offers the accompanying project, one room in one weekend, to consider. 

So, what might you be doing on the house next weekend?

 Bill Primavera is a licensed Realtor® (PrimaveraHomes.com), affiliated with Coldwell Banker, and a marketing practitioner (PrimaveraPR.com). He can be emailed at bill@PrimaveraHomes.com or reached directly at 914-522-2076.  

Transform One Room in One Weekend

By Joanne Palumbo

 Here is a four step blueprint for weekend warriors looking to transform a room in two days:

Step One: Start by clearing the room. Think about the primary purpose of the room and only keep items that align with that purpose.

Step Two: Work from top to bottom. Revive a sad room quickly with fresh white paint in a satin or semi-gloss finish on moldings, trims and doors and use ceiling white for the ceiling. Repair the walls as needed. When choosing a color, draw inspiration from an item in the room that you love and push your comfort zone a little. Next, clean the base moldings, heaters and floors. Vacuum hardwood flooring and then mop with a solution of white vinegar and water. Spot treat any stains on carpets then mist them with water, sprinkle some baking soda and vacuum.

Step Three: Furnish and accessorize. Bring in the largest items first and work down to the smaller ones. Arrange the furniture to suit the function of that room. Go bold with accessories in different colors and patterns. Find the focal point of the room and trail an accent color around it. A yellow vase on the table, artwork with yellow accents and a throw pillow with hints of yellow will unify the room and force the eye around the space.

Step Four: Don’t neglect the items you removed from the room. Decide what items to donate, trash or put elsewhere so they don’t creep back into the transformed room.

 Joanne Palumbo is the owner of Homestyling101, a home staging and re-design business serving all of Westchester and Putnam. Visit www.Homestyling101.com for more information or call 914-420-6506.