Coty 2007 Award
The Homeowner's Experience

Let's start from the beginning: I did not want to do this project. The idea to purchase and later remodel a 1911 fishing cottage was, well, not on my list of the top 1,000 things to do before I turned 50. Yet my husband, a won'y-take-no-for-an-answer salesman, met my every objection to what I considered a mid-life crisis. His crisis, not mine. I was happy with my current house, a stylish Victorian. I liked its dark walls and antique contents and its position close to work, PTA and the local grocery chain.

I had no desire to move. To remodel. To take on a double mortgage. Or, to fish. My husband, who I again must remind you is persuasive, had other ideas. And actions. He even enlisted the support of our 14-year-old daughter, who, with the bribe of a hot fudge sundae, accompanied him to a NARI home show. There, they both were charmed. With chocolate still on their breaths, they announced that they had found the perfect guy to remodel the "lake house," the term of endearment my husband used when referring to the 1,000 square foot of plywood that was his home away from home.

Now I have to admit that the idea of remodeling the "lake house" was not new to my ears. I heard of this whim before. Yet I pacified myself with the solace that this plan was in the future, say 7 years down the road when the aforementioned 14-year-old was off to college and the not-yet-mentioned 18 year-old was on his way to paying off student loans. 

But the daughter and the husband were dreamy eyed. "We really like this guy. He's perfect." For a moment, I wished that I had gone to the home show. But I didn't have to. My husband informed me that we were meeting with his "dream date" on the following Monday. Unfortunately, my calendar was clear. 

Determined to be polite, yet non-committal, I shook hands with Robert Cogdeill, from Robert's Remodeling & Construction. (Okay, he's kinda cute, but could he convince me to part with my money, my lifestyle and my senses?)


He was truly a nice guy. So was his partner Doug Fleming. They shared volumes of past projects with us, spent time listening to our husband-wife banter, and introduced us to the third party of their organization, their wonderful office manager Jeanne. 

I left feeling giddy. 

Over the next few months, we met regularly with them. We hammered out plans, listened to each other's ideas and started to see results. 

I appreciated Rob's flexibility in working with someone (me) who doesn't appreciate beige. As the process developed, he even made suggestions that he just knew would appeal to my desire for a full color palette. 

As the job moved from Doug's drawings to finish, the crew that Rob employed was equally cordial and competent. If something was missed, which was very rare, it was addressed in quick fashion and met our expectations 100 percent. 

Today, as I'm writing this, I have the privilege of looking out a window on a beautiful autumn day. My gaze includes the silhouette of my husband, crisis completed, who is down at the dock, fishing pole in hand. My daughter is upstairs in her huge room listening to music, and my son, although off to college, has a great space with a walk-in closet and a water view, for when he comes to visit.

 Although I readily admit that this whole thing was certainly not my idea, I'm glad that my husband and my contractor didn't let me get my way. Well, at least not about everything. 

This is truly my home. For the rest of my life.

~ Judi Christy / November 12, 2006