We had a special visitor at the office this morning as Logan joined me for work today while his babysitter (aka Grandma) was busy doing other things. He was his usual, inquisitive self--playing with the rest of the staff, jabbering to his rattle, and playing with his toys on the floor. As I watched him, I realized how much he has changed since the first time I brought him when he was just a few days old. The changes I have seen in him are related closely to the evolution of a home as it grows, matures, and ages. You might not believe me, but a home is very similar to a living, breathing object in the way it changes constantly. From my perspective, a home goes through several stages that closely mimic the life cycle of a human being:
Stage One: Birth - When a home is first built, it has to go through a careful planning stage to ensure it has all of the right elements that it will need to withstand the test of time. In the early months and years of its life, the owner has to take care to nurture it and give it all of the personal touches that make it "grow" just right. With a new home, you are starting from scratch. Even after it is "born," it will take years of work to make it the home you want.
Stage Two: Toddler to Adolescent Years - Like a human, a home begins to develop its own personality, attitude and characteristics that give it its very own identity. Just as children require a considerable amount of time and attention, you start to find that your home will need the right tools, landscaping, and routine maintenance to keep it functioning properly and in good condition. If any of these components are lacking, we might as well skip to Stage 6.
Stage Three: Young Adult - As your home matures, it becomes a part of the community. The house finally finds its place in the neighborhood as the trees and landscaping become more established, playsets and yard sheds start to emerge and the interior gains more character with each color change to the walls. It becomes a haven for neighborhood children looking to play after school and for owners needing a place to relax and unwind.
Stage Four: Middle Age - As the old saying goes, "things start going downhill at middle age." Major updates to a home are often considered at this point (dare I say "plastic surgery?") It might need a facelift of sorts to smooth out some of those wrinkles and blemishes left by weather and time. The addition of some new siding, a roof, HVAC, windows, or kitchen and bathroom updates are common during this stage. Remember, even though it might be an empty nest, a house still has a lot of life to live at this point. The grandkids are coming over to visit!
Stage Five: Retirement - As a home enters its golden years, we all hope that the preparation stemming from the earlier stages are enough to keep it going like a well oiled machine well into its twilight. With routine maintenance and annual checkups to the major components, a home should be able to withstand even the most rigorous demands. That old house might even find that a new family is looking to call it home and breath some new life into it at this point.
Stage Six: Death - Well, we all know what this means. Let's hope we go before the house does.
No matter what stage your home is in, give me a call if you need advice on what to do to keep your home looking great and working well for your stage in life. I'm here to help if you need me. Welcome Home.