When it comes to taking care of a home or remodeling, home owners can make some unwise decisions. ServiceMagic, a Web site that features a network of nationwide service professionals–including in home improvement–has an article “8 Things You Should Never Do to Your Home.” Here are a few common home owner mistakes that made its list:
1. Going overboard with remodeling. It’s easy to quickly let a budget go out the window when remodeling. For example, the ServiceMagic article calls “bump-outs” a waste of money; these are when you extend a wall by a few feet, such as to accommodate a bay window. However, the cost per square foot is so high that you might as well opt for a more sizable addition that can be done at a lower cost per square foot. Bottom-line: If you want to make a return on your investment, you want to keep your remodeling updates within the costs of your neighborhood and compared to similarly sized homes. (Also, see Cost vs. Value reportto gauge average returns on investment on remodeling projects.)
2. Being in denial about your pet’s odor. Big or small, your pets smell and they probably shed too. Pets attach their smell to everything and guests who enter your home will immediately pick up on it. Experts recommend to have your carpets and furniture professionally cleaned every six months, and open the windows and vacuum frequently to help rid your home of any lingering pet odors.
3. Removing walls between rooms. Removing walls quickly can become disastrous if you don’t know if it’s a load-bearing wall. A qualified contractor should know which walls can be removed and which can’t.
4. Becoming the messy neighbor. Curb appeal goes a long way in separating the nice neighborhoods from the bad. After all, bad yards can even bring property values down in an entire neighborhood. Don’t be “that” person with the weeds and uncared for lawn, or that person who parks their car in the yard, the article notes.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine