building for resale


We watch a lot of “home shows” on TV.

Shows about fixing up an existing house….shows about flipping houses….shows about building new houses…..shows about making your house nicer.

It’s inspiring and irritating.

“Irritating” because it gives us ideas that might be hard to carry out.

What is good that doesn’t take some effort, though?

One of the things that I’ve noticed about most of these shows….especially the shows about “flipping” houses….is that you really need to build with some other “end-user” in mind.

You build in a way that the people who come after you find your work appealing and want to buy the house.

Even if you’re going to live in the house…even if you’re building it for your own family….you have to keep the people who come after you in mind.

You can’t build something that’s unique and special to your own family’s needs and expect to be able to profit from it when you eventually sell your house.

You “build for resale”.


That kind of runs counterintuitive to any artistic impulse I’ve ever felt.

(Of course, you can do “artwork” with sales in mind. You can paint pictures of ducks or barns or pretty scenes only because you understand the “market”….but, in the end, that’s not (at least in my opinion) “art”. It might be craftmanship….but it’s not art. You may as well be working in a factory making really nice shoes. Which is not to say that a painting of a duck can’t be art….it’s really all about the motivation. Commerce and art are hard to merge, though….usually.)

I like houses that have some personality.

house of windows rustic cabin in the woods

Functionality is important….it’s got to function and make sense…but funky and personal is the way to go.

Who’s going to want to buy “funky and personal”, though?

Maybe a house shouldn’t be “artistically” made?

Maybe a house is just a shell that you personalize (a little) in ways that can be stripped away when you move?

Maybe it’s just a box?

Maybe “build for resale” is just another metaphor for the way we live our lives?

We live for some other place….some other time….and live in a way that all we’re really doing is preparing?

Maybe all we’re doing is trying to set ourselves up for something that we think is going to be better “on down the line”?

You need to build YOUR HOUSE.

You need to LIVE YOUR LIFE.


That’s something that I don’t really have completely figured out….how to do that.

I don’t have it figured out.

I worry about planning….but I’m not completely up to speed about executing.

I wonder if it’s possible to live in the moment….every moment….and never give yourself over to letting the future cloud the present?

I guess I’d be a grasshopper….fiddling away in a field if I lived like that.

The music might be worth playing….for a while, at least.

The music might be good.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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