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12 Myths About Home Improvement You Need To Get Rid Of

12 Myths About Home Improvement You Need To Get Rid Of

Myths and misconceptions are common in different aspects of daily life. Obviously, home improvement is no exception. Different people have different perspectives regarding home improvement. Don’t believe all of them. Not all of them may be true.

Remember, your house is probably one of the biggest investments you will ever make in your whole lifetime and it should be treated as such.  So, here are the most common myths about home improvement that you need to get rid of.

1. Expensive materials will add value to your home

Many materials that are very expensive will be attractive to your visitors, but may not add value to your home. Adding expensive materials that few people will appreciate can make it harder to sell later.

For instance, you may use most expensive bathroom accessories and get ‘wow’ from your relatives, but value conscious buyer may opt for a more affordable home. So, always consider the net value improvement of the home before you add any expensive materials.

2. ‘Trendy’ is always best

It’s obvious that design trends change frequently. What you call ‘trendy’ today may not be viewed as ‘trendy’ tomorrow. So, always select design that best suits your personality and lifestyle. You can do a bit research on internet, magazines etc. to figure out what suits you best.

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Also, don’t hesitate to get expert suggestions for the best choice that suits your home environment and that will also be long-lasting.

3. Cracks in the walls are always a big issue

Don’t panic if you see minor cracks in your home structure. Most cracks are just the result of minor expansion and contraction, not a structural failure.

In major cases, you can call structural engineer to confirm. Experienced professionals can give you an accurate analysis of your home and design a foundation repair solution.

4. I can do it by myself

Your knowledge may not be sufficient to design a whole remodeling project yourself. Your appetite to save money by doing everything yourself can sometimes have the opposite result if you don’t have enough skills, experience or time.

Don’t be afraid to seek help from an expert! You may have heard stories of people being ripped off by dodgy tradesmen however you can easily get an idea of how much you should be spending to make sure you don’t get ripped off and potentially negotiate a better deal. A good contractor can always do home improvement faster, and often cheaper as well. They generally know more about the correct remodeling of goods and stuffs, priorities and correct timing.  Also, you can get good discounts on supplies purchased via contractor.

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Moreover, if you sign a well-thought-out contract before the job begins, you are protected in case of mistakes, which is definitely not the case when you try to do it yourself.

5. Adding a pool always adds value

A lot of people think adding a swimming pool and/or a hot tub is a sure selling point, but this may not be true. The value of a pool is largely determined by the location and the climate of the region.

Adding a pool can be reasonable in a place with hot climate but it is generally useless in a place with the cold one. Adding a pool can also be a big liability and be difficult to maintain in the off-season. Certainly, it increases expenses, which most buyers dislike.

6. It’s expensive to go green

Some “green” products may be more expensive, but not all of them. Moreover, the government and manufacturer may consider heavy discount to promote green building practices. Also, energy saving systems may appear more expensive at the beginning, but can save a lot of money in the long run.

Going green always isn’t about buying stuff. There are many cost-free techniques to go green as well. It may cost nothing to start living green by making smart choices in everyday activities, such as by turning out the lights when you leave a room, unplugging your electronics when not in use, using less water by turning off the faucet when brushing those pearly whites or scrubbing dishes, and reusing rather than throwing away to reduce waste.

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7. I can always buy more later

As soon as you start a home improvement project, buy all the materials needed for it. Who knows – the items may go out of stock or have different batch or version than required for your home improvement.  Moreover, the price may increase later.

8. I can hang any wallpaper anywhere

Wallpaper can look disgusting and ugly if not hung in the properly. You should always be about where and how you choose to hang proper wallpaper. Also, think before putting permanent wallpaper up, as it may go out of style later.

9. Adding a bedroom is better than adding a bathroom

Again, it all depends on the conditions and requirements. If you only have one or two bedrooms to start with, adding a bedroom before adding a second bath is probably a wise choice since most buyers are more attracted to a three-bedroom home.

On the other hand, if you already have three bedrooms and only one bath, your next investment should probably be in a new bathroom.

10. Any remodeling will add value to your home

Remodeling may not always add value to your home. For instance, combining two smaller bedrooms to create one larger bedroom may better fit your lifestyle today, but it may cause the home to lose value in the eyes of a future buyer who needs the two separate rooms.

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11. Inside improvements are better than outside ones

Try to give priority to both inside and outside home improvements. For a home buyer, the first impression of your home is outside design. If you can’t please them with the exterior design, it will be difficult to impress them based on interior design alone.

12. Paint hides all the defects

Don’t try to hide structural cracks and other defects with paint. This may violate the disclosure laws in most of places, and it may set you up for huge liabilities after you sell your home. Instead, get proper advice from a structural engineer as to the correct solution.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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