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Home Improvement 101: Debunking myths & misconceptions

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Peeling away popular misinformation and busting home living’s biggest fallacies…

Myths and misconceptions are almost always present in all aspects of our daily lives – whether it is cultural, communal or even national. Home owners and residential dwellers are also unexceptional. Different people too have differing perspectives with respect to home improvement. Popular beliefs and dogmatic conjectures are aplenty as well when it comes to interior decorating and home renovation. One thing is certain though, a home is probably the single biggest piece of investment one will ever make during one’s lifetime. The following are common misperception and misrepresentation on home improvement in general.

Adding value with pricey items

Expensive materials may add tons of value but may not always attractive audience. It all depends on the niche market they are catered to. Demographics and target market certainly play an important role in marketing pricey stuff. Some of these so-called “luxury” items do appeal to the masses but do not necessarily add value to homes. It all boils down to one’s needs and requirements. Buying products that one does not need is obviously a waste of money. Then again, if these are truly premium merchandise, the rich or wealthy can most certainly afford them. Costly bathroom fixtures and furniture fittings may also add the additional ‘wow’ factor. For the discerning homebuyer, affordable homes are the way to go. Always consider your available options prior to embarking on any big-time renovations.

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Trendsetting is truly the best

Altering your home design specification according to current (or seasonal) trends as they appear in apparel design and on fashion runways is also another smart move to keep up with the changing times. Contemporary design concepts are only as “fashionable” as next season’s home trendsetter. What is considered a trend (or in-season) today might be regarded as outdated by tomorrow. Choosing the correct and appropriate design that fits your taste as well as complementing your home will go the distance to preserve and prolong your home’s “evergreen” status. They are also a myriad of home designs which suit one’s lifestyle and personality. And with unlimited resources available online, one is definitely spoilt for choice!

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Infrastructural imperfections

Sometimes minor cracks randomly appear on the walls and to the building’s foundation. These are often loading and stress related fissures resulting in thin hairline cracks along wall surfaces. Most of these cracks are not serious and do not jeopardize or compromise the integrity of the building itself. So there is no need to hit the panic button just yet. However, for precautionary purposes, engage in professional home contractors to inspect the severity of those cracks to determine their severity, and to provide a detailed diagnosis and comprehensive remedy.

Since a majority of cracks and deformities are a direct consequence of the physical effects of expansion and contraction due to the environment or the inclement weather. To be absolutely certain or positive about the actual situation and condition of the cracks, seek the services of qualified professionals such as structural engineer, design architect or building surveyor to perform the necessary scientific tests and technical analyses to ascertain the underlying cause or the root of the problem. A handyman is also probably up to the task of repairing such cracks.

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DIY dilemma or conundrum
More often than not, your personal knowledge and experience alone might not be quite sufficient or adequate to undertake an entire remodeling project on your own accord or initiative. You yearn to save money by doing everything yourself yet your handyman skills are not quite up to par. Sometimes getting help from others will not hurt you except for your ego. There is good reason why some DIY is called ‘do-it-yourself’. After all, DIY projects are supposed to be user-friendly and almost anyone is able to handle them, with or without a special skillset.
Seeking professional advice or help also saves you time and cuts down on unnecessary drudgery on yourself to tackle the various technicalities (or technical issues) involved. Always make sure to hire a suitable or appropriate contractor that can deliver the job that commensurate with his consultancy fee and workmanship wages. You definitely do not want shoddy work or cutting corners, do you? And also insist on a finalized contract agreement beforehand (i.e. prior to commencing work) to avoid potential disputes at a later juncture.
For many home enthusiasts as well as handymen, stocking up on raw material for some future home improvement project is a common practice. It is often advisable to purchase the specified amount of material for the project, although you may never know if the specific material you require runs out of stock when you need them the most. So as a precautionary measure, always buy them in bulk to stock them for future upcoming projects. This is especially valid or true if you should embark on a renovation spree anytime soon in the foreseeable future.

Remodeling adds value to homes
Remodeling does not always add value to the home overall. In a typical case-study involving bedroom: Two small bedrooms are integrated into a single large bedroom to increase living space obviously, but this action might not augur well with a prospective buyer since the home in question has just “lost” a potential “extra” room due to remodeling, apart from affecting the overall value of the home itself. In addition, try to put greater emphasis on both internal and external home improvement – an ideal two-prong strategy that adds value to one’s home.
It also serves as a great first impression for a home buyer. From the perspective of the purchaser, it is often much easier to impress someone from the outside initially. First impressions are always skin-deep. If you cannot satisfy them with the desired exterior design, it is much more difficult to impress them with interior design alone. A good rule of thumb is always to get your priority right or straight prior to any remodeling or remedial work.

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Painting away flaws and defects

Hiding structural defects and construction flaws with paint alone is an impractical answer and will not always solve the underlying problem. It is somewhat akin to hiding one’s facial blemishes with cosmetic enhancements. Sprucing up the physical appearance of homes via painting only goes so far to improve the overall infrastructure of the house itself. The long term solution is to renovate the home from within, with emphasis on the living room. Hiding major imperfections to one’s property, especially when it is put up for sale (e.g. auctions and foreclosures), will inadvertently expose home owners to legal implications and other liabilities.

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