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Six Common Repair Mistakes You Maybe Making and How to Avoid Them

Are you planning on renovating your home?

Does a part of your home require urgent care possibly due to seepage?

I see a home as a living being that is more than a part of our lives. You neglect it and it comes back to haunt you in ways you least imagine. Just as people age or come down with ailments, every home needs care and attention when the situation arises.

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Being acquainted with some of the common mistakes people make when tending to repairs will help you plan your time and money better:

1. Do your homework and draft a plan:
My parents were refurbishing the utility of their 3-BHK apartment. As part of the project, they planned to replace the single sink with drain board with two sinks. Incorrect measurements and existing plumbing led to a large gap in the middle between the two sinks. The resultant arrangement of two sinks is functional, but is an eyesore as the plumbing lines are open as is the concrete support. Often, contractors jump into a project without due attention to design or detail.
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Do your homework. Speak to two or three contractors. Compare prices and materials. Draw a budget and timeline and monitor it just like any other project at work.

2. Know your paint:
Painting is one of the most common and easiest ways to give that new look to a home on a budget. But, it can be an expensive and time-consuming affair with a wide array of paints available now. And this is one project that goes haywire for many.I have an interesting story on this one: a friend had the accent wall in a bed room painted in Mango Mood shade and one wall in lemon yellow in another room of a popular paint brand. She mixed the remainder of the two paints to paint the dining room accent wall. This mixture was such a hit that she loved the color, vibrancy, warmth and sheen; so, did every one that dropped into their home. A few years passed, she was itching to try new shades of blue, and has not been happy ever since. The home is back in shades of yellow now but not like the previous ones and the sheen is long gone.

Stick to what you love when it comes to paint.There are no shortcuts when it comes to seepage:

Choose the right materials and don’t be frugal.

3. When changing appliances, get the measurements right: 
Measure the space you have before buying an appliance. For instance, if your current 290-litre fridge snugly fits into the kitchen, going in for a 500-litre plus refrigerator would spell disaster. Another friend with limited utility space had a top loading washing machine. She replaced it with a front-loading machine only to realize the front load ones are not as compact and did not fit as well. Now, it occupies precious square footage in the bathroom.

4. Don’t cut costs where it is necessary: 
Seepage is prevalent in most apartments and high rises these days which when unattended to over a period weakens the structure causing the building to collapse at its worst. I dreaded the monsoons and every time the flat upstairs got their bathrooms cleaned because that meant a wet patch on the ceiling of our bathroom. One of the mistakes we did initially was to just peel the paint off and paint a fresh coat on top of it only for the nightmare to return in a few months. This was when there weren’t adequate waterproofing solutions. The market has evolved since; it would be wise to attend to the root cause, invest in a good waterproofing product that will not only secure your home but also minimize further spending in the future.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to seepage:

5. Wooden cabinets in the bathroom: 
Most bathrooms have vanity cabinets for two reasons: one it conceals the pipes underneath a sink and two, it is precious real estate that can be used to store supplies. But, do wood and water go hand in hand? No, of course not. Water from the wash basin drips down or kids spray the health faucet for faucet for fun all over the bathroom (oh! haven’t we all seen those days). If the dampness is not wiped off immediately and the water is let to sit, the life of the wood decreases gradually and you can see either the laminate peeling off or hinges rusting. Often, homeowners to cut costs go with MDF in the bathrooms as it is not primary or is offered as a complimentary part by designers. The market in this area has also since evolved. It would be wise to invest in a plastic-like material but with the look and feel of wood that is available nowadays. Even though it is slightly expensive compared to ply, it would be worth the investment.

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Image Source: http://www.bhg.com

6. Prepare your environment: 
This is by far the most important one. A friend redid her 10-year old kitchen by changing the layout, fixing new appliances, tiles, cabinetry, and extending the kitchen to utility to make it one large space. She had a harrowing experience with neighbors who objected to the drilling and resultant noise. The project initially estimated to take a month dragged for over three months. She endured a tremendous amount of mental stress during this period, which could have been avoided had they prepared their neighbors and worked on what hours suit them best.
Talk to your neighbors and involve them in your plans.

About Lakshmi Nagarajan

lakshmi@happyhomes.in'

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