Friday, September 17, 2010

Bases Loaded

Apart from taking my son to a baseball game, and evidenced by letting him watch obscene amounts of tv and play appalling quantities of video games, I've been a terrible parent lately. He is 9, and I've basically missed his first two weeks of fourth grade while struggling to contain a to-do list that seems to be breeding like mutant aliens.

Some good has come out of the franticness, however -- and not just that my son really doesn't object, one bit, to watching TV, playing video games and going to friends' houses.

eletter sneak peek, sorta
For one, daily5Remodel goes live on Monday. In a week of friend-to-friend, viral promoting, several hundred remodeling professionals have registered to subscribe, and advertisers are showing a real interest. The overall reception, from folks who have toured the site and/or grilled me on it, has been affirming.

Big, big, big thanks to my development team in Oregon for putting all hands on deck to make this happen.

Second, the remodeling market seems to be cueing up for a comeback. I've seen "we're hiring" notices from at least three companies in the past several days. Several remodelers tell me they're suddenly so busy they can hardly think. Financial uncertainty and price objections continue to keep many homeowners on the fence -- remodeling sales have become a courting process, steady and patient -- but Monday I learned of a local favorite who just signed a new project worth $2.4 million.

Three: I'm so happy to be back among remodelers. About that baseball game Wednesday night: my son and I fled DC, and then Baltimore's steaming, belching, traffic-jammed concrete downtown, for the tall glass of water that is Camden Yards: the first (and some say the best) of professional ballparks designed to harken back to an earlier period in baseball history.

Once in our seats, we caught up with many of the remodeling pros I would have most wanted to see at the Remodeling Show, which was in progress across the street: consultant extraordinaire/keynote speaker Shawn McCadden (whom I edited for several years, and who invited us to the game), remodelers Greg Antonioli and Michael Anschel (both of whom I also edited), green remodeling guru Carl Seville, contractor coach Mark Paskell.

I cornered Greg for a minute with my flip camera. 

Amid beer, baseball and my godawful videography skills, which can only get better, this microcosm of the industry -- which also included manufacturers, trainers and more -- revealed a collective power that never lost hope. And then, the Orioles won the game.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday at daily5Remodel.

Leah Thayer

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