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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 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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