8 home improvement opinions that should really be ignored

When it comes to home improvements, there is plenty of advice to go around. Unfortunately, much of it comes from well-meaning family members and friends who are not exactly experts on the subject. And some of it comes from shady contractors who are experts but are trying to steer homeowners in the direction of higher profits – for them!
Although no one is suggesting that people should mistrust everyone who claims to have their best interests in mind, it doesn’t hurt to add a layer of protection with a little knowledge. Trends come and go, so what made sense in the past might be a waste of money in 2019.
Here are a few renovation ideas that have cooled off lately. Remember, any home improvement is going to involve some bucks. Be sure to get the biggest bang for them.
1. Always choose granite countertops
Granite has been the touchstone for countertops for many years, but it’s starting to get the reputation of being old school. Quartz has edged it out of its top position because people are looking for a counter that doesn’t need to be sealed regularly. Quartz is nonporous and harder, which makes it last longer.
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2. Kitchens bring the highest return on investment
This was sound advice some years ago, but today the kitchen is no longer the room to be directing the majority of time and money. It’s not that kitchens aren’t important, but homeowners can get a higher return on investment by concentrating on improving curb appeal on outside areas.
 Artazum / Shutterstock
3. It’s always a good idea to add on
Before jumping right into a major construction project, homeowners should be aware that today many consumers are looking to reduce their carbon footprints, which means unneeded living space is viewed negatively. In other words, confine any renovations to areas that already exist.
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4. Tear it out and start over
Despite what everyone sees on HGTV, demolishing the interior with a sledgehammer is not the only answer. In the bathroom, for instance, dull fixtures can be replaced, and attractive wallpaper and a fresh coat of ceiling paint can complement a pink tub and toilet for a vintage look.
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5. Finish the basement as a play area for children
Homebuyers still want a finished basement, but more and more they are looking for areas made for adults. Sports bars and man caves are popular, along with basements that have kitchens and baths to provide living space for aging parents.
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6. Use white everywhere
All-white spaces are going out and colors are returning. Even though white is a classic color that will never totally go out of style, most designers are recommending it be less prevalent. Brighter colors are back in vogue, but keep in mind that colors come and go as styles and tastes change.
7. Replace an unsightly hardwood floor
Although it’s true that some hardwood floors are damaged beyond repair, in most cases they can be refinished. A quality hardwood floor can be sanded and refinished at least six times, which provides the opportunity to change its color for a fresh look.
8. Borrow money to pay for the improvements
Since the financial crisis of 2008, many consumers are questioning the wisdom of going into debt to pay for home improvements. They have come to realize that saving for projects is preferable to taking on the risk and burden of long-term debt.