finishes tom
Image: Thomas Cobb

Dreaming of granite countertops, sparkling hardwood floors, or a new attic bedroom? Not so fast.

Long before you can apply that final, gleaming coat of paint, you’ll have to fix problems you never knew you had, from inadequate foundations to faulty wiring to decrepit plumbing. But don’t abandon your dreams. Instead, bolster them with a little reality and a lot of good ideas from Spaces’ panel of remodeling specialists.

Tom Kelly

Neil Kelly

A second-generation remodeler, Tom Kelly worked on his first project at the age of 12 and has received much of his training on the job. After studying business at the University of Oregon, he took over as president of Neil Kelly in 1979 and has since worked to incorporate the company’s founding principles with sustainable business practices.

What, to you, is the most coveted aspect of your home? When I’m sitting in the living room reading, I just think about what a wonderful place it is. We have a great view of Mount Hood, and it’s a great place for relatives and friends. The sense of place that it provides is what’s most important.

TIP Make sure that your home’s traffic patterns are appropriate and thoughtful. “If you design an office that your children are going to be running through during working hours, it’s not going to be a very effective space.”