They did WHAT to that house?

This bathroom has so many questionable “improvements” that the current owner of the property is in the process of tearing the entire room apart and replacing everything. Colored fixtures, three different tile patterns, poorly done tile work all combine to demonstrate a remodeling project gone horribly wrong.



3.2.11 HIRE did what bath

This bathroom has so many questionable “improvements” that the current owner of the property is in the process of tearing the entire room apart and replacing everything. Colored fixtures, three different tile patterns, poorly done tile work all combine to demonstrate a remodeling project gone horribly wrong.

When choosing carpet colors, homeowners don’t have to stick to a hundred shades of beige, but going out on a limb with fuschia might turn away some buyers.



3.2.11 HIRE did what carpet

When choosing carpet colors, homeowners don’t have to stick to a hundred shades of beige, but going out on a limb with fuschia might turn away some buyers.

A previous homeowner enclosed the wrap-around front porch on this downtown home. Unfortunately, the indoor/outdoor carpeting doesn’t match the flooring in the rest of the home, the window has a big gap that lets in the cold air and the doorway separating the porch from the living room (not pictured) is missing. A very energy inefficient home project. The enclosed porch area is dark, narrow and cold in the winter and hot in the summer, which makes visitors wonder why the “improvement” was done in the first place.



3.2.11 HIRE did what porch

A previous homeowner enclosed the wrap-around front porch on this downtown home. Unfortunately, the indoor/outdoor carpeting doesn’t match the flooring in the rest of the home, the window has a big gap that lets in the cold air and the doorway separating the porch from the living room (not pictured) is missing. A very energy inefficient home project. The enclosed porch area is dark, narrow and cold in the winter and hot in the summer, which makes visitors wonder why the “improvement” was done in the first place.

This kitchen has several traffic flow and functionality issues, including two bathrooms off the kitchen, the staircase and an incredibly tiny workspace.



3.2.11 HIRE did what traffi

This kitchen has several traffic flow and functionality issues, including two bathrooms off the kitchen, the staircase and an incredibly tiny workspace.

Bold, red walls can be delightful to some people and jarring to others.  When opting to go for a bold color, it may be better to paint one accent wall rather than the entire room in the bright color.



3.2.11 HIRE did what paint

Bold, red walls can be delightful to some people and jarring to others.  When opting to go for a bold color, it may be better to paint one accent wall rather than the entire room in the bright color.

While it’s true that a homeowner can make any kind of improvement or remodel he or she wants to as long as he’s not violating any covenant rules or city building codes, some choices are better than others.

A stunning home is desirable; a home that leaves guests feeling stunned, confused or violated isn’t usually the goal of home improvement projects.

It’s easy to get carried away with ideas at the Home Improvement and Remodeling Expo, but before you take a jackhammer to that living room wall or purchase pink paint for the kitchen, consider carefully what you want to do and how it may affect the resale value of your home.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s your home. If you really want a lime green dining room, then paint away and enjoy tropical dining even in February.

Here are a few thoughts and tips to bear in mind when considering a home improvement project:

Paint:
Bright accent walls are fun, interesting and lively. An entire room painted in a bright, bold color may be overwhelming. Luckily, the fix is simple, although it may take a coat of primer and at least two coats to cover some particularly dark color choices.

Floor plan:
Bedrooms and bathrooms are destinations, not hallways. When considering a remodel or addition that leaves the home with a floorplan that doesn’t work, get some outside help to create one that will. It’s never a good idea to go through the bathroom to get to the family room.

Colored bathroom fixtures:
What can we say? It was once a hot trend to have toilets in every color of the rainbow. When you want to replace the sink, don’t try and find a pink one that matches the 30-year old pink toilet. Consider replacing both the sink and the toilet with white or beige. Ditto for harvest gold, avocado and baby blue fixtures.

Unusual heights in cabinets and countertops:
This one isn’t black and white. If you’re extremely short or exceptionally tall, it probably makes sense for you to consider replacing standard-height countertops with something that suits your needs. Just remember that when it comes time to sell your house, most buyers come in standard-height variations. They’ll need to replace your customization with something that works for them and may want to take the cost to replace off the purchase price.

Inadequate bathrooms:
You’ve got seven kids and need three more bedrooms, but you don’t want to pay for additional plumbing and electricity to build another bathroom when you add those bedrooms. Think twice. Homes with a large number of bedrooms work when there’s an equally large number of bathrooms. Most buyers aren’t interested in a six-bedroom home with one bathroom.

Garage conversions:
  This one needed more than a paragraph – check out the feature story about garage conversions on page 8 for more information.

Flooring: Outdoor carpet works on a patio, not in a dining room. Carpets and bathrooms may not mix, especially around the toilet. Although you love the teal carpet and want it in every room in your house, prospective buyers may find it a real turn-off.

Outdoor nightmares: Before you plant the tree five feet from the house, think what it will look like in five years. Trees get big, so give them plenty of room away from the house. Likewise for shrubs that will eventually cover windows and walkways. If you choose to build a do-it-yourself sunshade or awning, use materials that will hold up well in the blistering sun.

Do-it-yourself projects:
If you know what you’re doing and feel confident that you will do it well, then doing it yourself can save money and time. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t have the expertise and can’t tell a paintbrush from a hairbrush, then it might be best to hire out specific home improvement jobs.

When safety is at stake, always bring in an expert.

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