Dec 12, 2023
Episode: 35

Remodeling & Dribbling Are Exactly Alike!

In this episode, Geoff presents an intriguing analogy between basketball and home remodeling. Drawing a parallel between strategies used on the court and the reasons to undertake a home remodeling project, Geoff shares three main reasons for both activities: getting out of trouble, improving one’s current position, and aiming for a significant achievement. This perspective offers unique and engaging insight into remodeling with relatable examples and personal anecdotes.

The Analogy Of Dribbling A Basketball & Remodeling A Home

Anybody familiar with me knows that I’m a basketball fanatic. I live and breathe for my beloved Indiana Hoosiers at the college level, but my love for the game extends to all levels – from high school to the NBA – even the AAU summer recruiting circuit and G league games. I still play three times a week, trying to keep up with guys half my age. At 52, it’s more challenging every day, but it keeps me young and my mind clear enough to think about random topics like the one I’m about to share with you.

Today, I’m drawing parallels between remodeling a home and dribbling a basketball. Trust me; there are striking similarities. Just like there are only three reasons to dribble in basketball, there are three reasons to remodel your home. Let me break it down for you.

Reason #1: Getting Out of Trouble

In basketball, if you catch a pass and find yourself trapped, you use your dribble to get out of trouble and get away from defenders. Similarly, in home remodeling, you might need to remodel to get out of trouble. It could be a malfunctioning HVAC system, a leaky faucet, or more significant issues like shower tile that has seen its better days, drywall damage that needs to be dealt with or doors that won’t stay closed. Remodeling in these cases becomes a necessary project to solve a problem and get yourself out of a tricky situation. Getting out of trouble with your dribble or with your home generally means doing something you “have to do”. These aren’t the fun money projects!

Reason #2: Getting To A Better Spot To Help Your Team

The second reason you use your dribble in basketball is to move to a better spot to make a pass to a teammate. Often, it isn’t to make the BIG play, but it to put yourself in position to make the RIGHT play. In remodeling, you might want to enhance a space without going all-in. If it’s not your forever home, you can take a few “remodeling dribbles” – small projects like new countertops, new sink, new sink faucet, and maybe backsplash tile to improve your space for the few years you might be here. This is often the RIGHT play to make to enjoy your home without overinvesting in a space you don’t intend on staying in forever. It’s always okay to put yourself in a better position to enjoy your space, just like it is always okay to use your dribble to get a better angle to make a better pass. One last comment… if you make a good pass in basketball and your teammate makes a shot, they give you an assist. In your home, if you make good decisions with the projects you choose to take on, they can give you an “assist” by increasing your home value while improving the functional use of your space. These are often the “smart money” projects.

Reason #3: Dribbling To Score – The Big Project

In basketball, the ultimate goal is to score – to get the ball in the basket and make a shot. Not every made shot is as exciting as a game winner, an athletic dunk or a long three pointer, but all made baskets are important. Any chance to score is exciting.

Dribbling with a purpose to get a better shot is always an acceptable reason to dribble. It might be the best reason to dribble. Similarly, in home remodeling, doing the slightly bigger projects that add function and enjoyment to your home, while adding to your home’s value… these are the equivalent of dribbling to score and they are the best reasons to remodel. The dream renovation that adds significant value and enjoyment to your home might feel like the game winner, of course, but whether it is a bathroom renovation, a kitchen remodel, or a whole-house renovation in your forever home, these “scoring” moments in remodeling are the things that help you to love your space for years to come. These may be the “big money” projects, but they are also the big bang projects that change how you enjoy your home. To play along with the analogy, these projects are the game changers!

In both basketball and remodeling, scoring or achieving a significant project is the ultimate reward, but it doesn’t just happen without preparation. Just as basketball players have coaches to teach them how and when to dribble and shoot, in remodeling, you have designers and remodeling partners as your coaches, while talented carpenters and skilled craftsmen are your teammates helping you prepare for the big score. It’s all about enjoying the game, whether on the court or in your home.

So, next time you’re watching a basketball game and see someone dribbling seemingly aimlessly and going absolutely nowhere with the basketball, remember – just like in remodeling, there only 3 reasons to dribble or 3 reasons to remodel. Each of them requires you to have a purpose. Understand what you’re trying to achieve with your project, invest wisely, and choose to play with the right team!

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Remodeling Unscripted Podcast

Have you checked out our Remodeling Unscripted community?

Remodeling Unscripted Podcast

A podcast for remodeling industry owners and homeowners. Geoff Horen, a home renovation expert, hosts the podcast, which includes real remodels, challenges, and talk. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and YouTube.