Kathy Kristof's article "Remodeling Blues" (Dec. 12), although narrowly accurate in its premise that many remodeling projects don't immediately increase the resale value of a home, failed by its narrow focus to account for the reasons homeowners spent more than $100 billion last year on home improvements.
This huge sum spent on the American home underlines the fact that there are many more definitions of profit and value when it comes to home ownership than mere resale considerations. In fact, treating the home solely as an investment vehicle is an idea that came and went with the '80s. Today there are broader definitions of value.
As past president of the National Assn. of Home Builders Remodelors Council of Southern California and the contractor pictured in the article, I have watched trends shifting in the statistics as well as in the needs and desires of those whom I have the pleasure of calling my customers.
Value to homeowners today has more to do with lifestyle, sense of self, increased enjoyment of the home, pride of ownership and necessity than with the principles of accounting. A new kitchen may have been someone's lifelong dream, and with the kids gone they finally have the financial ability to achieve it.
There are as many ways to define value when improving a home as there are reasons for doing it. The bottom line is a combination of costs, needs and desires.
Only when these are put together in proper perspective is it possible to determine whether remodeling is right for you.
GARY C. MILICI