Home Improvements: Know When to Stop

By on 6 June, 2018 in Sandra Nickel with 0 Comments

If you’re like a lot of folks in Midtown Montgomery, you spent last weekend—or plan to spend this weekend—visiting all the lovely properties open during the Greater Montgomery Homebuilders 2018 Showcase of Homes. And to do so may see you looking at your current home through slightly different eyes, eyes that focus on improvements you think are needed.

Just remember: It’s so darned easy, once you’re in the clutches of home improvement, to just keep on improving!

The new paint makes the cabinets look bad. The new cabinets make the appliances look bad. The new appliances make the floor look bad. The new kitchen makes the bathrooms look bad.

And so it goes. Before you know it you’ve gone off the remodeling deep end.

Home improvement is like plastic surgery: a slippery slope. Not enough can backfire. And so can too much. So I thought it would be timely to share with you my list of home improvement “dont’s.”

  • Don’t over improve for your neighborhood. If everyone else on your block has a gourmet kitchen and a Jacuzzi, you may need to step up in those areas. But if most don’t, choose upgrades in keeping with your home’s roots…modest and practical.
  • Don’t replace what doesn’t matter. Focus on your entry and main areas and don’t fret about secondary areas like garages and laundry rooms. If the entry flooring looks bad, refinish or replace it. Ditto the floors in the main living areas. But save your money and don’t invest in fancy organizing systems for the garage or high end upgrades in the laundry room.
  • Don’t replace what can be cleaned and/or painted. When I say clean, I mean squeaky, squeaky clean! And paint can work wonders like things like a dingy or just plain ugly fireplace for a mere fraction of the cost of replacement.
  • Don’t replace what can be embellished. Rather than tear out old baseboards or crown molding, beef them up. You’ll get the look you’re wanting for a whole lot less!

Finally, don’t replace what can be repaired. Because the original materials in your old house are far superior to what you can buy today. Happy renovating!

Sandra Nickel has been listing and selling residential real estate for over 30 years, most with an intense focus on Montgomery’s Midtown neighborhoods. Sandra serves on the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless, the Cloverdale Business Coalition, Historic Southview, the Volunteer and Information Center, Landmarks Foundation and her own neighborhood Garden District Preservation Association.






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