The Seven Deadly Sins Every Homeowner Commits and How to Avoid Them
The New Year may have you setting resolutions for self-improvement, but it’s also a great time to reflect on your faults as well.
Every homeowner approaches situations differently, but eventually, every homeowner will catch themselves committing at least one of these seven deadly sins. Luckily, there are ways you can change these behaviors. We’re not promising it’ll be easy, but it will make for a more pleasant homeownership experience.
Have you ever gone down an aisle at Home Depot and stop dead in your tracks at an end cap featuring the “next big thing”? Suddenly, the super expensive kitchen backsplash is the only backsplash you’ll settle for. Or, you “have to have” that state of the art washer and dryer set…that’s going to cost a full month’s worth of wages.
But will these items continue to give you a sense of satisfaction? What happens when a brand new, shiny toy comes out next year, or when home design trends suddenly deem your backsplash out of vogue? Will you abandon these expensive things you once “loved”?
The Solution: Many homeowners (especially first timers) get wrapped up in the excitement of decorating their own space for the first time. And rightfully so! You should certainly take pride in your investment, but remember to be realistic as well. Remain practical in your decisions, like choosing timeless colors and designs. Choose materials that will last a lifetime, not ones that will eventually leave you in a pinch because of a malfunction.
You see a sale on tools and decide to grab a few “essentials” — you already have a corded drill, but never know when a battery operated drill will come in handy, right? You’re not sure where that extra screw came from, but you keep it around because you might need it down the road. Pretty soon, you’re surrounded by stuff, and you find yourself running out of room to store everything. It’s borderline hoarding behavior.
The Solution: Regularly evaluate how you use these types of tools and miscellaneous parts. Go through your stockpile once every six months and purge the unnecessary clutter. Focus less on materialistic things, and concentrate on optimizing your time and space.
With the rising cost of living, it is commonplace to negotiate service fees to make home improvement more affordable. However, some homeowners take it to the extreme, often forgetting that the contactor relies on customer payments to cover the overhead of their business. You may feel good about bartering down to practically nothing, but you’re forgetting about the needs of the other side of the transaction.
Additionally, contactors that accept such low-paying jobs may not have the qualifications you need to get the work done to your satisfaction (and it might not even be safe!). As they say, you get what you pay for.
The Solution: Do your homework. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask for appropriate discounts, but you’ll need to know what, exactly, those are. Research the cost of materials and the average cost of labor in your area. This information is useful when bargaining, as you can get the best bang for your buck without seeming greedy or feeling like you got duped.
Envy is perhaps the most common of the seven deadly sins. Think about it. Have you ever turned green with envy upon seeing our neighbor’s brand new white picket fence? You know the old saying about “keeping up with the Joneses”? This sort of competitive attitude is just another form of envy.
The Solution: Practice gratitude. Be thankful for what you have and realize what a huge feat it is just to keep a roof over your head. Congratulate yourself for accomplishing this monumental task.
Instead of copying your neighbor’s every move, set goals to tackle improvements that will help you optimize your own life. You don’t have a dog, so why do you need a white picket fence? Save your money and put your energy into re-siding your faded house instead.
Learn to give your neighbor compliments instead of glares of envy.
Are you a devoted DIY’er? Are you known for tackling everything from climbing a ladder to patch your roof to rewiring your entire house single-handedly? This may fill you with pride, but it’s not always a good thing. Without professional qualifications, you may be putting your health and safety at risk. There is also a higher chance for costly mistakes.
The Solution: Know your limits…and accept them! It’s okay if you don’t know how to fix the plumbing in your bathroom. Don’t fret over calling in the professionals — it’s their job! Enjoy the time it would have taken you to troubleshoot your mistakes, and just relax a little. And remember, you can still DIY other home improvements, like painting your bedroom.
Ever put off a routine maintenance task only to have it turn into a major issue down the road? You’re not alone. The thought of putting in hard labor (like cleaning out gutters) or writing out a check to have a professional take care of it can be seriously unappealing (and maybe even downright painful) to most homeowners. So, they procrastinate.
The Solution: This kind of behavior usually means you’re a little overwhelmed. There’s no need to spend a full day checking everything off your list of things to do. Tackle tasks one step at a time. Even if it takes you longer to complete all the routine maintenance and improvements you’d like to, it’s better than putting it off for eternity because you just don’t think it’s even possible to finish everything.
So, your project didn’t turn out quite like you had hoped. In fact, it’s all wrong. Every. Single. Detail. You’re on the verge of losing it.
When you become angry, or bark at the person at fault (because of course it’s not you, right?) so viciously that you can practically see the fury foaming at your mouth, this is wrath.
The Solution: Start to pay attention to your triggers — what, exactly makes you angry? How does it feel when your anger begins to bubble under the surface? What is the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Once you figure these things out, you can begin to deescalate the situation as you feel it coming on. You can take deep, steady breaths, count backwards from ten, formulate a calm, coherent argument instead of blindly yelling — everyone’s different, find what works for you.
Home improvement is one of the most rewarding, yet stressful, parts of homeownership. It is extremely important to know how to constructively deal with any roadblocks that come your way.
Do you have other ways to get past these seven deadly sins? Keep the conversation going in the comments below or find us on social media!