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Old 03-09-2018, 12:32 PM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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Are americans too obsessed with home renovations?

I found this interesting article which states for many homes going thru remodeling, nothing really is wrong. BUT, people are convinced that they MUST do some big (and expensive) upgrades.

What do you all think?

Last edited by Asimovian; 03-09-2018 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:41 PM
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IMHO we should spend more attention to grammar and less to remodeling.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:41 PM
JcWoman JcWoman is offline
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I love McMansionHell!

However, I disagree with her that it's an obsession. I think most people are just updating their homes to work better for them in the current day. For example, in the USA lots of homes build in the 50's and 60's had one tiny bathroom. Or perhaps they had a guest bathroom also, but the bathroom in the master bedroom was tiny. The assumption seemed to be that only one person at a time ever used the bathroom - likely the man of the house before he went to work and then the mom had all the rest of the day to use it. These days everybody works, so everybody has to squash into the bathroom together to do their morning hygiene before work. So those bathrooms need to be bigger.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:46 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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My parents got their basement finished to be living space. That paid massive dividends over the subsequent thirty years, since it increased the usable floor space by around 80%.

I have a friend who bought a fixer-upper and then proceeded to start fixing it up.

Myself, if I ever scrape up enough money to get a house, I'll probably install shutters.

So that's 3/3 (or 2/2 if you don't count fantasies). Obsession confirmed.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:49 PM
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I can tell you that given a chance, I'm happy to sit and watch home renovation shows for hours on end. My husband is too! But it hasn't actually translated into us doing anything (yet). Our house definitely has some "quirks" but nothing I couldn't live with for the rest of my life.

I've noticed that on some shows, people will walk into a perfectly fine room and immediately complain that it's dated and talk about what "has" to be done to it...whereas on a different type of show (say Beachfront Bargain Hunt) people would walk into the same sort of room and be enthused about the size and the natural light.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:52 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Most of the time, this statement is true (especially if one lives in a house constructed relatively recently).
Most people do not live in The Perfect House. Your house is where you spend most of your time. It's your 'castle'. There's nothing wrong with remodelling a house to the way you like it.

Our house was built in 1934. (Well, the core of it was.) Knob-and-tube wiring. Last Summer we needed to replace the fuze box with a circuit breaker panel. Eventually I'd like to re-wire the whole place. Our old deck was small, and only accessible from inside from the rear bedrooms. There was a six-foot corrugated plastic roof over the living room doors that opened onto a cracked concrete patio. Now we have a large deck with a large roof over almost half of it so that we can spend time outside. Since I like to cook, the kitchen can seriously use a remodel. It's all about making the place more comfortable, more usable, and more efficient.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:53 PM
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I love McMansionHell!
Well, I wish you'd told me about it sooner.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:57 PM
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I love McMansionHell!

However, I disagree with her that it's an obsession. I think most people are just updating their homes to work better for them in the current day. For example, in the USA lots of homes build in the 50's and 60's had one tiny bathroom. Or perhaps they had a guest bathroom also, but the bathroom in the master bedroom was tiny. The assumption seemed to be that only one person at a time ever used the bathroom - likely the man of the house before he went to work and then the mom had all the rest of the day to use it. These days everybody works, so everybody has to squash into the bathroom together to do their morning hygiene before work. So those bathrooms need to be bigger.
Also, a lot of what we built post-WWII was ugly as hell. It probably ought to all just be razed and rebuilt with a little care and design, but since we're already facing a housing shortage in much of the country, people are making an attempt to make these homes feel good. I don't know if that's 'obsession' or not, but it's completely justifiable.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:19 PM
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We bought a house in 2004 that had been built in 1949 and not touched since, except for the illegal renovations in the lower level. The kitchen was tiny and awful, there was a lot of space wasted due to a thick interior wall that housed a no-longer-used chimney thing. The only bathroom was serviceable but funky. So we spend a lot of my inheritance from my parents to remodel the upstairs kitchen and bath, and to bring the downstairs everything up to code and to make it more useful.

I confess to watching a lot of home improvement shows, including those awful ones where they remodel something in three days, and that this had some effect on my desire to remodel and even more on my sense of what the end product should be. But mostly, we got a much more livable, safer and more valuable home out of it.

As to questions in the OP, I don't find it particularly useful to think about "are most Americans" anything in particular. In my experience, more people laugh at McMansions than want to own one. You see a lot of silly people on television, I don't see so many of them in real life.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:24 PM
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Honestly, I think we reached Peak Remodelling Obsession about twelve years ago. House flipping became the dream job of a tenth of the population of the USA, Canada, and the UK about then.

As it's become apparent it's not a great reason to quit your day job, it's declined in popularity. It's still something people do, of course, as they should. Nothing wrong with making your house nicer.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:25 PM
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Most people do not live in The Perfect House. Your house is where you spend most of your time. It's your 'castle'. There's nothing wrong with remodelling a house to the way you like it.
This. While I'm sure there's a lot of superfluous remodeling going on, in most cases it's to improve infrastructure and functionality.

We've replaced all of our major appliances and HVAC not because we didn't like the way they looked (even though we didn't), but because we wanted to be able to live in our own home comfortably and have modern, well functioning, energy efficient appliances.

We are eventually going to update the kitchen cabinets because right now it's like walking back into 1975; we've got those classic off-white oak strip cabinets. This is not my kitchen but it's got the same look. Not that I personally give a shit what they look like, but we are planning to move on in a few years and that look is going to be a very hard sell for this house in this area.



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Last edited by DCnDC; 03-09-2018 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:45 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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We are eventually going to update the kitchen cabinets because right now it's like walking back into 1975... This is not my kitchen but it's got the same look.
I'd love to have such a modern kitchen! Our cupboards are not a standard size, and I suspect they're homemade. The drawers are also homemade-ish. They lack any bearings or smooth sliding devices. The other side of the kitchen had no cabinets; just a wall. I had a couple of tables, and stored stuff under them. And on top of them (along with the microwave oven and toaster oven). I went to Home Depot or Lowe's and bought four, two-foot cabinets, each with an internally-hinged door and a nice smooth drawer, and an eight-foot countertop with a marble pattern. They're not installed, but just sitting on the carpet. (My friend carpeted part of the kitchen when he owned the house.) They're temporary until we can to an actual kitchen remodel. We can't do new cabinets until we get a new floor, and we can't get a new floor until we address the unevenness of part of the existing floor. At least the stove and the fridge are only a few years old.

Oh, and we hate the sink. But given the DIY nature of the installations by someone many decades ago, we can't find a new sink that isn't too large for the space.
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Old 03-09-2018, 02:12 PM
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I can tell you that given a chance, I'm happy to sit and watch home renovation shows for hours on end. My husband is too! But it hasn't actually translated into us doing anything (yet).
My wife watches far too much House Porn TV. That is, when she's not watching Food Porn TV.
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Old 03-09-2018, 02:57 PM
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Americans are too obsessed with critiquing how other people spend their money and live their lives.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:59 PM
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Americans are too obsessed with critiquing how other people spend their money and live their lives.
Absolutely. Although it goes somewhat hand in hand with so much more information (social media, 'reality' TV, etc) about what 'other people' are doing.

Hard to imagine caring if people upgrade their houses 'too much' as a thing in itself. I worry about the debt load and lack of savings of other Americans in general on a macro level, because it tends to form public policy (to make it up by taking money from those who have saved it, one way or another). Not that it helps if I worry about it, so I don't too much.

Our house was built in 1901. The kitchen we replaced a couple of years ago seemed like 1970's maybe for the most part, although one wall was pantry closets which seemed could be original. We gutted the 70's stuff, just refinished the possible 1900's stuff.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:58 PM
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The whole "I want something better" runs through our lives. Houses are just one thing. If we bought cars using the principles of the article in the OP, we would all buy 15 year old low mileage, mid range cars and love them. And some do just that.

It's just natural to want a bit more. Homes can be upgraded one room at a time. Many people can do a lot of it themselves and save money.

And - how else are we going to justify all those giant pickup trucks?


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Old 03-09-2018, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
I found this interesting article which states for many homes going thru remodeling, nothing really is wrong. BUT, people are convinced that they MUST do some big (and expensive) upgrades.

What do you all think?
The fact that somebody got paid money to come up with an article doesn't mean that it's actually a thing. Same holds for reality TV shows. Do you really believe everything you read online?
  #18  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:32 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
I found this interesting article which states for many homes going thru remodeling, nothing really is wrong. BUT, people are convinced that they MUST do some big (and expensive) upgrades.

What do you all think?
yes. it's stupid. it actually was brought up a bit ago in another thread. I picked out a particularly grating section of the linked NPR article:

Quote:
Today, though, May is back in business in a big way. On a recent morning he stopped by a home where his company, Aurora Custom Builders, is finishing up a $140,000 kitchen renovation. The homeowner, Teri Larson, is beaming over her new stone backsplash and countertops. "I think it looks spectacular," she says.

Larson says after the housing crash she was feeling the pain in her own way. She didn't have enough equity in her house to get a loan to pay for a renovation. So for years her family was knocking into each other in a very tiny and badly designed kitchen with fake wood plastic countertops.

"It was horrible," she says. "We had refrigerator doors banging into dishwasher doors and two people couldn't move around in here. It was hideous."
oh yes, what a fucking hardship it is to have fake wood countertops and refrigerator doors which touch the dishwasher. truly, these people are suffering as horribly as people living in bedbug-infested tenements w/o functioning utilities. Truly, one is impoverished if one has to wait in order to pay for a $140,000 kitchen renovation.

Last edited by jz78817; 03-09-2018 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:06 PM
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I am not. Mr.Wrekker is always looking for a reason to hit Home Depot. We built this house and I chose what I wanted then. We have had plenty of worn and broken things over the 20 years we've had to replace. We took all the carpet up downstairs and replaced it with bamboo flooring. We had to renovate the kids bath upstairs cause kids are nasty and don't dry up after themselves. I have redecorated a certain bedroom twice ( yes that would be the lil'wrekkers room). But, otherwise the basic house has stayed the same. I will never live anywhere else, I don't need more room. So we are happy, so far.

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:20 AM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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I can definitely see upgrading electrical and plumbing.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:21 AM
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I think it has to do with a lot of the post-war boom housing coming of age (hitting or exceeding 50 years old) and that these homes tend to be smaller than more modern homes, which folks want to make bigger.

Following WW2, I guess there was a bit of the housing boom with all of the baby-boomer's fathers coming back from the war, getting married, and settling down. I live in an urban neighborhood where this particular addition was built in '56-'57. All houses relatively small - 3 BR ramblers with about 1,000 square feet. The baby boomers have all moved out, died off, or whatever. Lots of young couples/families are buying these smaller, more affordable older homes and then upgrading/updating as more funds become available.

And with the current market, it can be cheaper to upgrade your current home than shopping for something larger. There are all kinds of extra editions, extra stories, etc. being built on everywhere around us.

At least, that's what is going on in my area.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:22 AM
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I absolutely think many Americans are obsessed with home renovations. If you look at listings, even homes built only 10 to 15 years ago brag about being renovated, with granite countertops, hardwood floors, stainless appliances, white cabinets. I have friends who are looking to relocate, and they talk about ten year old homes needing "updated".

What is most astounding is that young people looking to buy their first home want granite, hardwood floors, etc.. I don't know if HGTV makes money as a TV cable channel, but they sure have a huge influence on the housing market.

I realize I'm a frugal old geezer, but kitchens and bathrooms last a LOT longer than 15 years. And it's possible to live in a home that doesn't have every item on the checklist of HGTV approved features.

Last edited by Orwell; 03-10-2018 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:25 AM
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I think it has to do with a lot of the post-war boom housing coming of age (hitting or exceeding 50 years old) and that these homes tend to be smaller than more modern homes, which folks want to make bigger.

Following WW2, I guess there was a bit of the housing boom with all of the baby-boomer's fathers coming back from the war, getting married, and settling down. I live in an urban neighborhood where this particular addition was built in '56-'57. All houses relatively small - 3 BR ramblers with about 1,000 square feet. The baby boomers have all moved out, died off, or whatever. Lots of young couples/families are buying these smaller, more affordable older homes and then upgrading/updating as more funds become available.

And with the current market, it can be cheaper to upgrade your current home than shopping for something larger. There are all kinds of extra editions, extra stories, etc. being built on everywhere around us.

At least, that's what is going on in my area.
it's sort of the same in my area; the bulk of the inner suburbs was built in the early-to-mid '50s. So tons of 2-br bungalows with some ranch-style houses mixed in, and towards the '60s colonial-style where they could fit.

I don't really see the "remodeling boom" here so much. What I do see more of is people with the means to spend that much simply move out to the edges of the suburbs (to get further away from the city of Detroit, you see) and buy a McMansion in a new subdivision in a semi-rural area.

and then complain about how long it takes them to get to work.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:34 AM
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I'm always amazed how many durable and quality finishes get torn out by obsessed remodelers.

Brick offers a low maintenance exterior that will last for a century. Power wash it once every ten years. Done.

Until some foolish new homeowner paints the brick. Now, every 5 to 8 years expect to pay $4,000 or more to repaint the house.

You have a beautiful ceramic tile floor in the bathroom. That will last 50 years. Until some new home buyer rips it out and installs cheap, snap together hardwood flooring. It'll warp and buckle in 5 years.

First time home buyers think they have to change everything. Just because, uh, they bought a house.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-10-2018 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:42 AM
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My favorite LOL moment is the geniuses that paint Vinyl Siding. I spent 10k getting a durable finish with no maintenance. Best quality siding on the market and I used a top rated company to install it. I power washed it two years ago and it looks new.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next owner paints it to change the color.

Then they get to paint it every 5 to 7 years for the rest of their lives.

People really need to use their head for something besides a hat rack.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-10-2018 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:55 AM
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Renovating and upgrading are fine as long as you're not over-improving your home. There is a return for a good improvement in the ultimate sale price, but if you over-improve, you'll never get that money back. We recently looked at doing a reno for our bathroom: replacing the tub with a shower, replacing the subway tile and floor tile. The quote was $14K, which in the first place is ridiculous for the amount of work to be done, and secondly is money that would never be recouped. On the other hand, we completely renovated our kitchen in Anchorage, and the sale price and short time on the market reflected the wisdom of doing that.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:38 AM
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I don't know why, but carpeting has lost favor. I always liked the look of a nice carpeted room. My pets made me think different about our house. We ripped all ours up. Now I have steps to go through to clean the floor. Where with carpet all I had to do was vac. I had ours steamed cleaned periodically and it came out looking new for the first few years.

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Old 03-10-2018, 12:38 PM
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We are eventually going to update the kitchen cabinets because right now it's like walking back into 1975; we've got those classic off-white oak strip cabinets. This is not my kitchen but it's got the same look. Not that I personally give a shit what they look like, but we are planning to move on in a few years and that look is going to be a very hard sell for this house in this area.
Who took a picture of my kitchen and posted it on the internet? Mine looks exactly like that except for the position of the refrigerator and I had the floors redone a few months ago. I don't especially care but it does need to be updated. Houses need to be maintained. I am not willing to spend big time and money doing it but my girlfriend is helping me pick out some simple renovations that will update the look. For example, she suggested that I just replace the cabinet doors rather than stripping it all down and starting over from scratch. That is the type of thing I am aiming to do and it should be cost effective. The bathroom can be remodeled in a couple of weekends with basic replacement parts, a few hundred dollars and lots of sweat equity.

A lot of people go overboard in time and money with their house renovations but there is nothing wrong with keeping one in top shape and ready to sell if you are sensible about it. Even simple things like paint and curtains can make a huge difference. The floors were a nightmare to get done but they had to be and everything else is just trivial now.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 03-10-2018 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:48 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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That article is dead-on. It's one thing when you want to change your house for your own purposes. These flippers have gone and ruined countless homes. Or at least they ruined them for me. when I was house shopping 10 years ago I looked at dozens of nice little '50s ranch houses that had been overwhelmed with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. I do not want granite countertops. I wanted a house with flow, and I like that mid-century modern look, and I eventually found an untouched, one-owner ranch, bought it, and haven't done much to it because it works. I almost went with a '50s-look refrigerator when I had to buy one, but I have sadly become accustomed to having an ice and water dispenser on the front, so that didn't happen.

But it was the first house I owned in Denver where I did not have to take out gold shag carpet. And the first two were old, old houses. 1889, bought in 1974, and 1901, bought in 1990. So this urge to update is not new. And carpeting is nasty. Shag carpeting is particularly nasty, no offense to the poster above me.

Oh, and my real estate gal said, when I was looking at this place, "Oh, look, you could put double sinks in this bathroom and this one." Okay, why would I do that? There is one bathroom per person in this house, plus a powder room. There are never going to be two people in any one bathroom.* I frankly cannot imagine putting on my makeup at one sink while my spouse is brushing his teeth at the other one. Yuck.

*Except when there is a very young child who needs help, i.e., one of my grandkids.

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 03-10-2018 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:02 PM
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I love watching HGTV and DIY channels. They are fun to watch. I realize they create a huge boast to HD and Lowes' sales. We see all these remodels and then think of changing our home.

Quote:
But the desire to remake our homes often doesn’t come from us. Paint commercials make it seem like a fresh coat of paint will cure all household ills, from depression to marital troubles; hardware store ads imply that building a deck will bring father and son together at last. And then there’s Pinterest and the world it has wrought.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-10-2018 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:09 PM
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Heh excerpt a guy named Holmes....... I remember him saying that Lowe's and home Depot were two of the biggest liars in the construction industry by talking people into doing home renovations that they didn't have the skill or the money to accomplish

oh he had some choice thoughts for Sears too ..........
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:39 PM
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I see Trading Spaces is coming back on, sometime it March. Oh great!
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:46 PM
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I see Trading Spaces is coming back on, sometime it March. Oh great!
honestly I thought the older Trading Spaces (and the original BBC show Changing Rooms) were entertaining. mostly because how different the reactions were. on trading spaces, if someone didn't like the renovation they were presented with, it was all typical American mealy-mouth, wishy-washy "oh, uh. er, this is ok. um, I'm going over here (*sob*)." on Changing Rooms, if someone didn't like the results they'd just say "oh, this is total crap."
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:53 PM
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Yea, I remember that on the BBC show. There was a show about re-doing people backyards. There was a particular episodes a wife called up the crew to do her yard as a treat for her husband while he was out of town. That guy got seriously miffed, he ran in the house. The host was stumbling trying to talk to the crying wife, the guy stuck his head out and yelled at his wife to come in. He was just screaming at her when the show was over. That was enough to turn me off watching those shows.

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Old 03-11-2018, 01:02 AM
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I see Trading Spaces is coming back on, sometime it March. Oh great!
Oh, man. Crazy feathers-on-the-wall Hildi's going to be back.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:27 AM
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Looks like most of the main people will be back, from the ad. I liked Frank??, older fat guy. He was plain and simple, sometimes a bit too country.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:31 AM
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I've noticed that on some shows, people will walk into a perfectly fine room and immediately complain that it's dated and talk about what "has" to be done to it...whereas on a different type of show (say Beachfront Bargain Hunt) people would walk into the same sort of room and be enthused about the size and the natural light.
Main things I loved about Grandma's flat:
* location
* high ceilings
* sunroom
* floors of hydraulic tile.

Guess four features my aunt absolutely hated.
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  #38  
Old 03-11-2018, 01:48 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I don't know why, but carpeting has lost favor. I always liked the look of a nice carpeted room. My pets made me think different about our house. We ripped all ours up. Now I have steps to go through to clean the floor. Where with carpet all I had to do was vac. I had ours steamed cleaned periodically and it came out looking new for the first few years.
Our living room had carpet which hid a lovely high quality hardwood floor. Ripping out the carpet was a really good thing. Ditto the hallway, which was carpeted to hide the crappy floor in the part that was added later. We found a specialist who matched new hardwood there and it looks great.
Carpet is good for bedrooms, but I prefer hardwood in public areas.
When I was a kid getting carpet was considered a way of showing you made it in the world, which is maybe why so many nice floors got hidden by it.
  #39  
Old 03-11-2018, 03:13 AM
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Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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I knew what was under our carpet. We built the house. I have beautiful bamboo floors now, which I do love. I guess it's a carry over from childhood. I remember the first carpeting that was in my childhood home. It was harvest gold sculpted shag. We had to rake it as well as vac. I do concede that wood floors are smarter, with my lifestyle. Harder to keep up with the sweeping and mopping though More work.
  #40  
Old 03-11-2018, 04:21 AM
RobDog RobDog is offline
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IMHO we should spend more attention to grammar and less to remodeling.
Spend on. Pay to.
  #41  
Old 03-11-2018, 07:20 AM
kiz kiz is offline
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The couple-with-toddler who bought my MIL's historic register farmhouse wanted to knock out the original stairs because they're much too narrow and steep. The historical society wouldn't let them. They then wanted to close them off and build a second, safer flight. The historical society said OK, but with a laundry list of stipulations because the stairs would have to bypass the oldest (aka the "historical") part of the house without disturbing the integrity.

My in-laws had to jump through a thousand hoops to have an addition and a pool built before they moved in with the last of my husband's siblings. I always wondered maybe they should've just bought a more kid-friendly house, but MIL loves *country antique* and dammit, you're going to, too, whether you like it or not.
  #42  
Old 03-11-2018, 07:28 AM
anomalous1 anomalous1 is offline
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The couple-with-toddler who bought my MIL's historic register farmhouse wanted to knock out the original stairs because they're much too narrow and steep. The historical society wouldn't let them. They then wanted to close them off and build a second, safer flight. The historical society said OK, but with a laundry list of stipulations because the stairs would have to bypass the oldest (aka the "historical") part of the house without disturbing the integrity.

My in-laws had to jump through a thousand hoops to have an addition and a pool built before they moved in with the last of my husband's siblings. I always wondered maybe they should've just bought a more kid-friendly house, but MIL loves *country antique* and dammit, you're going to, too, whether you like it or not.
I see this in older homes a lot, I think it's because people were shorter and had smaller feet back when they were built (the houses).
  #43  
Old 03-11-2018, 07:45 AM
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JackieLikesVariety JackieLikesVariety is offline
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Americans are too obsessed with critiquing how other people spend their money and live their lives.
and post online
  #44  
Old 03-11-2018, 11:32 AM
pdhenry pdhenry is offline
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We've been in our circa-1970 house over (oh my god) 30 years now, and the best remodel we did was about four years ago when we repurposed a small bedroom (usable only as a nursery or toddler's room) into a laundry room adjacent to the master bedroom. Technically we've downgraded to a 3 BR house from a 4 BR but in terms of practicality we're ahead, I think.

Eventually we'll want to downsize and there are certain things I'm sure a buyer would want to do. Everything I've read says that with most home renovation the most you can hope for is to recoup most - but not all - of the money you put into it. So remodel to meet your needs but don't remodel expecting to make money on the back end. This leads me to conclude that rather than pour a lot of money into presale renovation one should adjust the selling price downward to allow the buyer to pour his/her money into renovating as they like. True?

Last edited by pdhenry; 03-11-2018 at 11:32 AM.
  #45  
Old 03-11-2018, 11:54 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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It's fine if the remodeling is for some practical purpose, to solve a problem. But the vast majority of remodeling I see on television consists of "updating the kitchen." If the kitchen has a standard set of working appliances, then stupid stuff like replacing all the counters with granite slabs is just cosmetic bullshit.
  #46  
Old 03-11-2018, 01:57 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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It's fine if the remodeling is for some practical purpose, to solve a problem. But the vast majority of remodeling I see on television consists of "updating the kitchen." If the kitchen has a standard set of working appliances, then stupid stuff like replacing all the counters with granite slabs is just cosmetic bullshit.
So what if it's cosmetic bullshit if the people who are getting it like that?

I don't cook very often, so I don't spend that much time in my kitchen. But I know people who spend several hours/day in theirs. Why shouldn't they make it look "pretty" to them, even if their definition of "pretty" is influenced by what's popular (to some extent, aren't most people's opinions on aesthetics based on popularity)? Staying in a functional, but ugly room when you have the means and ability to change it doesn't make sense.

Also, I know from personal experience is how bad I am at understanding functionality (I'm guessing the same is true for a lot of people). I had to redo my kitchen after it was damaged, and I made choices based on the recommendations from the company that did the work. Now, my countertops are the wrong height and the drawers and shelving are not at good depths to make good use of space for the way I cook. (I didn't really realize this until a few months after it was finished). With unlimited money, I'd rip it out and resize everything after consulting with some ergonomics experts and a better space designer. The way it is now doesn't stop me from making delicious meals there (and it actually might be perfect for someone who is a different height and uses different appliances than I do), but that doesn't mean there aren't problems with functionality. I'm perfectly willing to believe someone who says their kitchen isn't functional, even though it looks fine. Mine looks great; it doesn't work.
  #47  
Old 03-11-2018, 02:26 PM
Nava Nava is offline
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The granite countertops are half the budget I got last month.

I asked my brother (who used to work in that sector) what, if any, are the advantages of granite, and he wrote back such an enthusiastic ode it's almost a sonnet. But none of the things he lists are a real advantage to someone who cooks... well, who treats their tools the way I was taught to use them before I was old enough to be given a knife capable of cutting. And it's half the budget for a camo surface. First thing I plan on asking the remodeler when I meet with him again is what other materials does he offer. In flat, light colors.

The other tops won't be for free either, but the difference is enough to cover the work I'm doing in the rest of the house at the same time (the biggest drive for the work is actually this part, which needs doing; I'm doing the kitchen at the same time because hey, in for a penny...).

Last edited by Nava; 03-11-2018 at 02:28 PM.
  #48  
Old 03-11-2018, 03:30 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Modern Formica has some wonderful granite patterns without the upkeep. Formica lasts decades and wipes clean with a sponge.

I bought Wilsonart for my kitchen. Similar product and I preferred their patterns. I ordered several samples from the web site before choosing. I use the samples as coasters under plates in the living room.

These days, you order the top piece and the precut border pieces. The carpenter applies the contact cement and installs. Then uses a trimming bit on a router. Beautiful countertop in an hour.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-11-2018 at 03:33 PM.
  #49  
Old 03-11-2018, 04:06 PM
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We had renovations done on our current home before we moved in. Due to some weather related issues out here (yeah, disaster recovery takes longer than it shows on TV), we had to buy a 11 year old, pre-owned home that matched some but not all of our requirements. Many of the things we did improved the home's value, some not so much. This made our home functional and comfortable for us, which is really all we cared about.

I wouldn't say that we really obsessed over the process, but waiting to move in while we were in a rental did make us fret every time there was a delay.
  #50  
Old 03-11-2018, 04:15 PM
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I have finished concrete counters. It is the best. We had it sealed because of grease and splattering. I had it installed 20 years ago before the current trend started. My contractor thought we were insane. I have never be disappointed with it. It is durable , easy to clean and a great gray color, that I still love.
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