We wrote recently of common mistakes people make during home renovations. But you can avoid all of those mistakes during the project and still end up with something that doesn’t make you happy.
So how do we avoid home improvements that simply don’t live up to our expectations?
The “home value increase” mistake
One of the most common reasons that people give for going through a home improvement project is the increase in home value. Of course, you have to be extremely careful about such an endeavour. There are many home improvements you could make that will indeed increase the value of a home. But what exactly these are isn’t always so clear-cut.
You may have heard that some nice decking in the garden will do the trick. And, indeed, it may do, in certain homes. But what if your garden isn’t really big enough for one? You could build one, but then you’d barely have any green space left.
The fact is that home improvement projects rarely pay for themselves. The added value to the property probably won’t cover the cost of actually building that extra feature or fixing a particular problem. That’s why it’s important that you pursue this project with your own happiness in mind.
Additions that are beautiful and practical
Many home improvement projects look new and beautiful. Something new and beautiful in your home is likely to give you some pleasure, for sure. But you really need these things to be practical.
Let’s say you have an amazing annex appended to your property. Maybe it’s accessible through another room in your home proper. Maybe it’s something that you need to cross the garden to get inside. It may look great, and it may even be more comfortable inside than the sitting areas of your home. But how often are you actually going to use it? The parents of a friend of mine had one built in their garden a few years ago. It’s great, but they rarely ever use it. So was it really worth the time and money?
Focus on quality over saving time and money
Many people would agree that happiness doesn’t always come cheap. But heck, some people are going to try to get a bargain on happiness anyway! When it comes to home improvements, people will try to accomplish this by cutting on costs and putting less of a focus on quality. But believe me: if you want a home improvement project to make you happy, it needs to be of the highest quality you can achieve.
Let’s say you’ve got yourself some of that gorgeous garden decking that I referred to earlier. Because you wanted the whole thing done quickly and cheaply, you skimped a little on the materials. You didn’t keep that close an eye on the people supplying you with, say, the timber. The problem, of course, is that you end up with low-quality decking. And even that wasn’t going to have been cheap. And it’s not exactly easy to turn back the clock and do it properly, is it? That’s why you need to focus on real quality from the outset. In this scenario, for example, you should have considered a quality-focused material seller. Quality timber can be supplied by the likes of George Hill timber merchants.
Are you just putting lipstick on a pig?
Putting lipstick on a pig is a popular saying in the car sales industry. It refers to the “art” of taking an awful, dilapidated vehicle and giving it a fresh coat of paint. It looks new, possibly even pretty, but it’s still the same old piece of junk that it was before the new paint job. I, for one, find the phrase a little odd – I happen to think pigs can be pretty cute, and putting lipstick on them will just make them look terrifying. Still, the phrase holds relevance to home renovations.
You may have heard some variants on this idea – the idea of covering up the actual problem that’s making you unhappy. People aren’t always unhappy with their home just because it doesn’t look that great to them. The fact that a house doesn’t look great is often because the house isn’t great, at much more than an apparent surface level. If you’ve got cracks running up the walls, or if the wooden items in your home are wearing away very quickly? Then you’re not just dealing with “visual” problems that can be “prettied” back to health. It means you probably have problems with the foundation of your home.
Find inspiration – but make it personal
Finally, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek inspiration for your home improvement project. But don’t copy things outright. If you don’t make it personal, you may come to regret it.