Are Your Home Improvements Sexy or Practical?

Your home is a very complex structure. There are many different systems running your home including plumbing, electrical, structural, heating, and ventilation. Each of these systems has many pieces, some visible to us every day, some not so much. In addition to the systems of the home, you also have decorations, electronics, windows dressings, and many other items contributing to what is called “your home.” As your home ages, it becomes necessary to improve some of these systems and items. This is where we begin today&;s blog topic…

There are three fundamental types of home improvements: 100% sexy with little practicality, 100% practicality with no sexiness, 50% Sexy – 50% Practical.

100% Sexy with Little Practicality

Bathroom ChandelierSome home improvement projects are installed with the knowledge that they will never be practical. These projects are pushed forward because they are sexy and will bring the homeowner enjoyment. A great example of this is the addition of a luxurious master bedroom, which became popular during the most recent housing boom. It was not uncommon for homeowners to pull $100,000 of equity out of their home to build out the luxury suite of their dreams. These often included double plush king size beds, (ultra chic) sinks, Jacuzzi tubs, rare marble floors (heated of course), high-end brand name toilets and faucets, and sometimes even chandeliers. These improvements don&;t usually hold their value during resale of the home but they do look good. Once installed, the homeowner could enjoy this room as a personal retreat every day as well as provide tours for family and friends giving the ‘wow&; factor.

100% Practicality with No Sexiness

Well that doesn&;t sound like much fun does it? Sometimes we need to invest in home improvements that aren&;t very enjoyable at first glance. A good example of this is adding insulation.  What could possibly be more boring? You are spraying fiberglass or cellulose into the attic and walls of your home. You won&;t get any enjoyment from looking at it, can&;t brag about it to your friends, and no one on your Facebook page will be asking to swing by and see it. BUT (there is always a but) don&;t sell insulating your home short. Insulating your home can bring you enjoyment in other ways. Adequate insulation can save you money every month on your heating and cooling bills. Additionally, by keeping your home warmer, your family will be more comfortable. You can also feel good that you are helping the environment and this home improvement pays itself off in a mater of a few years. Not sexy but worth every penny….

50% Sexy – 50% Practical

So what falls into this quadrant? Almost everything. With
consumers being more conscious of saving energy, many home improvement companies are now producing products that are sexy and energy-efficient. A great example of this is Kohler. This company is known for its amazing styling on bathroom fixtures as well as technological breakthroughs with their toilets. Did you know the average toilet flush uses 3.5 gallons of water? With Kohler&;s new high efficiency toilets, 1.28 gallons or less are used. You can install and ultra sleek looking throne and save water at the same time.

Another great example of a home improvement that is 50-50 is my new wood insert stove that I wrote about in a previous blog post. While insert stove is saving me money with every passing day, it is also sexy. My family loves to stay in on the cold winter nights and read by the fire. It adds a nice ambiance while providing its functional purpose, heating my home in conjunction with my furnace.

So are we saying you should only push forward with a home improvement if it is practical? ABSOLUTLY NOT! We have a single take away for you: Set your goals for the home improvement project before you start it and understand what you are looking for. If you want the extravagant master suite, go for it, just don&;t trick yourself into thinking it is practical, a necessity, or that you will get all your money back when you sell it. Also realize that sometimes it is necessary to put some money aside for improvements that aren&;t very sexy but will add value and comfort to your home. With each passing day, sexy products are also becoming more practical.

photo credits: bathroom , Kohler

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