The verdict is in, and we’ve got the lowdown on the biggest home improvement misconceptions.
The overlying theme? Less is more and simplicity is usually the way to go. Do your homework and make responsible decisions for your home.
1. Costly Contractors Are the ONLY Way to Go
Not necessarily. Do your homework and conduct thorough research before settling on a professional contractor. Check out their site: what are customers saying?
Are there any success stories or photos available? Consult friends and family for potential recommendations. Just because the sticker price is high, doesn’t guarantee top quality or service.
2. Remodeling Always Adds Value
Think again. What is aesthetically pleasing to you, may deter future buyers. Especially if you know you have plans to sell your home down the road, stick to timeless designs and avoid an exaggerated color palette.
You can always spruce up the place with less permanent (and costly) additions, such as artwork, furniture, rugs, etc.
3. DIY Always Saves You Money
Unless you’re a skilled professional or really know what you’re doing, step away from the sledgehammer and reconsider your DIY “demo day.”
You might have a zest for home improvement, but rushing into a project, without proper preparation, planning or skill could cost you more in the long-run. In fact, it usually costs contractors more to fix a problem, than if they’d been hired in the first place.
4. Energy Efficiency Is Expensive and Complicated
Not true! You don’t need to install high-tech solar panels on your roof or start a compost pit in your backyard to be energy efficient. There are super simple solutions to everyday energy efficiency to save you massive dollars in the long run:
- Limit your showers to 5 minutes
- Turn off lights and unplug electronics when not in use
- Opt for LED or CFL lighting, rather than traditional incandescents
- Utilize natural light during the daytime
5. Pools Increase Home Value
Pools are also a huge liability and require extensive upkeep. Not to mention the cost of building and installation.
For many home buyers, pools are simply “too good to be true” — the extra responsibility and maintenance is simply not worth the minor convenience on a hot summer day.
6. Replace Your HVAC Filter Monthly
In fact, the Department of Energy recommends homeowners check their filters every month with the understanding most people will replace them every 3-4 months.
You could be tossing out perfectly good filters and wasting a whole ton of money — if it looks dirty, replace it. Otherwise, every three months is a good rule of thumb.
7. Lemons Are Good for Your Garbage Disposal
The smell might seem nice, but citric acid can corrode metal blades, and tough peel can damage grinding gears and clog pipes.
Instead, opt for a tray of ice cubes, which helps clean the blades and buildup. Vinegar is an excellent, safe alternative for eliminating unpleasant odors.
Were you fooled by any of these home improvement myths? Are we missing any? Let us know!