Learn the Truth Behind These 5 Home Improvement Myths

Andy Lindus
Written by Andy Lindus
Updated July 11, 2014
Home improvement items that add value include high quality, maintenance-free features such as roofing, siding, windows and gutters, says Lindus. (Photo courtesy of Lindus Construction)

Don't believe everything you hear about every home improvement project. One highly rated provider clears the air on five common home improvement myths.

Do you remember playing the game telephone when you were a kid and how the original message rarely found its way to the end of the line? It was comical then, but it’s less humorous when homeowners pick up tips that they think are correct, only later to find out that they didn’t have the full story. 

One thing we’ve learned from 35 years in the home improvement business is that the majority of homeowners really do want to be educated when it comes to home upkeep but they aren’t always getting information from knowledgeable sources. 

Here are five home improvement myths that we’d like to clear up.

1. The lowest bidder wins.

Rarely is the lowest bid your best option. Lower quality materials have a much shorter shelf life and may lack the warranty that its competitor of superior quality has. 

Contractors can also save big bucks by not carrying adequate insurance, which means if there’s an accident on the property during construction, you’re the one liable. 

2. Any upgrade will add value to the home.

In order to add value, the enhancement has to be something that another homebuyer will see as an asset. Things like outdoor tennis or basketball courts can be appealing to the right buyer, but may not cause your home to sell at a higher price tag because they aren’t an improvement everyone wants. Items that add value include high quality, maintenance-free features such as roofing, siding, windows and gutters.

3. Bath fans are optional.

Oftentimes, bath fans are not required by building codes, especially if there’s already a window in the bathroom. (Friendly reminder: building codes are to enforce the bare minimum.) 

The intent of a bath fan is to prevent moisture problems, such as mold. While windows can be a beneficial tool for this as well, we can safely say that there are easily six months in numerous states that a home’s windows are never open.

4. You don’t need a permit for a DIY remodel.

The need for a permit depends on the municipality that you live in, not on who is performing the work. Failure to get a permit on work that needs to be performed can result in fines and even having to remove the improvement and start over. 

5. You need to have a complete vision prior to hiring a contractor.

False! While it’s good to be in touch with personal preferences and tastes, it’s the responsibility of the contractor to put together a realistic plan that encompasses your needs. This can be done after meeting with you to learn more about the project. 

Working with a contractor from the beginning is a big time and money saver; they have access to pricing the general public does not and also aren’t starting from ground zero because they’ve overseen many similar projects.