15 Home Improvement Myths—Busted
Are you considering a home remodeling project or renovation? Before you get started, check out these 15 home improvement myths. It may not be as bad as you feared.
Always go big on renovations and improvements
Instead of thinking big, think realistic. You may want a giant bump-out addition, but will the cost of that addition or remodel pay off in the long run? Plus, would the improvement make your home look ridiculous compared to other homes on your block? That is a potential problem when it’s time to sell. (Watch out for these sneaky ways your home is draining your bank account.)
Cracks can cost you thousands in repairs
Cracks in the wall aren’t always that big of an issue. Most are just the result of small seasonal expansion and contractions, it doesn’t mean there’s a structural failure. To be safe, call a structural engineer to check it out.
Wallpaper works anywhere
No, wallpaper does not work anywhere. If not hung properly, wallpaper will look horrible. Also, depending on the room, it may be prone to fading or condensation. Before choosing to wallpaper, you should consider how it will look three, five and ten years from now. Once you put it up, you are not going to want to go through the process of removing it any time soon. (These home improvement fails will make you cringe.)
DIY always saves money
Just because you’re handy, doesn’t mean you should always do a home improvement project yourself. Things like major roofing projects, some electrical repairs and upgrades, and structural work may need the expertise of a professional. It’s always best to know and admit your limits. These are the home improvement projects you should never, ever DIY.
Green means expensive
It’s true that some “green” home improvement products can be more expensive than their traditional counterparts, but it’s not always true. Going green—whether it’s converting to solar or using green building practices—may save you money in the long run. (Try these inexpensive and fast tricks to erase the wear and tear on your home.)
Pools add value
If you think adding a pool will boost the value of your home, consider the location. If you live in a warm part of the country, pools may in fact add value. But if you live in the Midwest or on the East Coast, pools can be a more of a liability as they cost a lot to maintain in the winter and some home buyers just don’t want one.
White walls will help you sell
If you’re planning to sell your home, a common myth is that you need to paint all the rooms white or beige so potential buyers can visualize themselves in the home. Instead, splashes of color done tastefully throughout the home can help sell a home. White can make the home look painfully bland. (Try these easy things you can do on the weekend to increase the value of your home.)
An added bedroom is better than a bathroom
First, consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you already have. If you only have one bedroom to start, adding a second bedroom is probably the smartest home improvement choice. If you have three bedrooms and only one bathroom, you might want to add another bathroom before adding a fourth bedroom.
Hot water tanks are maintenance-free
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The truth is, your hot water tank should be drained once a year. Gunk in the water can clog the system, plus, you’ll want to check regularly for any minor leaks or signs of corrosion.
You can flush all flushable products
Just because a product says it’s flushable, doesn’t mean it’s safe for your home’s toilet or pipes. To be safe, stick to toilet paper and human waste only.
There’s nothing behind the refrigerator
If you think the area behind your refrigerator is clean, you may be in for a big surprise. You should vacuum your refrigerator’s coils regularly to increase its efficiency. (All smart homeowners do these things once a year.)
Go with trends
Just because Pantone named ultra violet the color of the year, doesn’t mean you should paint every room in your home purple. If you want to try trends, stick with one room or try making small changes, like adding accessories or creating an accent wall.
You can use cheap products and fixtures
Sometimes this is true. Perhaps you can get away with a cheaper countertop in your basement bar area. However, just because two products look the same, it doesn’t mean they are. A $30 bathroom faucet may look just like the $150 version, but the $30 version may be made with plastic instead of stainless steel and you may end up replacing it sooner. (These are secrets contractors wish first time home buyers knew.)
Paint hides everything
If your walls have some damage, you can’t just slap some paint on them and call it good. Whether you have a ding in the drywall, some mold or damage from termites, you need to eliminate the source of the problem, and fix the damage before you paint over it.
You don’t need an exhaust fan
Just because you have a window in your bathroom, that doesn’t mean you can forgo an exhaust fan. If a bathroom isn’t properly ventilated, moisture can build up and you’ll end up with mold. Learn more surprising costs every homebuyer should know about.