On America's Best Remodels: You're Committed. As In, Kinda Insane
Editor Scott Omelianuk on America's Best Remodel
The editor mulls the merits of some of the 2,418 entries sent in by readers like you to help us make this issue.
Sometimes I think about you all, and it makes me wonder about the readers of other magazines. I wonder if the reader of Vogue designs and sews her own couture. I ask myself, do the people who read Bon Appétit don a toque and clogs and cook a hundred meals a night and yell like Gordon Ramsay? Does the reader of Popular Science slip into crazy-inventor mode, put on those dark goggles and stare at glowing beakers, trying to perform cold fusion experiments in his or her basement?
In the main, I'm gonna say no to all of the above. And that, I think, is what makes all of you special. Because you, in fact, do the home-improvement equivalent of those things. You engage with the subject matter of This Old House in a way that readers of any other magazine—and especially other home magazines—would never do. It's amazing. Or, to put it another way, insane.
And we love you for it.
The editors here at TOH see the passionate hands-on, hire-it-out, do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-a-house-a-home spirit that our six-and-a-half-million readers have, and we are awed by it. Happens every year at this time, when we pore over your letters to pull all your work together for your reader-created issue. It's on every page, with people like Sheryl Kindle Fullner and David Lebel, who would just not let illness or injury stop them in their quest to make a better place to live. Or Darleen Young, who wouldn't let a power outage keep her from making Christmas dinner: She used a cordless drill to whip up her mashed sweet potatoes. And it's certainly there in the story about Tom Peterson, the winner of this year's Search for America's Best Remodel, who not only quit his day job to overhaul his New Jersey farmhouse but also bought the equipment and taught himself to make miles of molding for the place. He deserves the $5,000 grand prize for that. Elsewhere, there's Brett Youmans, who finds time to be a flight attendant and weed 17 backyard garden beds and has also put in the work to win remodeling awards through the years for virtually every room in his house, including the bath we're featuring. I couldn't compete with that record. Oh, but there is one record my wife is worried I will be able to compete with: Joe Landsberger's. His remodel has lasted for 35 years—and counting.