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Jul 7, 2012 9:33AM

Don't fall for someone's idea of what your house should look like. It's no shame to live in a cottage versus a mansion.  Clean, clutter free and repaired within your means works too.

Jul 7, 2012 7:32AM

reading all the comments; I agree; clean, comfy and functional;

Jun 25, 2012 9:45AM
Who in their right mind would have aluminum or steel siding torn off?  Who says it's out of style?  It is popular because you don't have to repaint every few years.  This article is totally ridiculous.
May 4, 2012 10:18PM
The 'expert' in this article is someone who makes a living replacing and remodeling things.  Of course they are going to tell people to replace and remodel.  As for the brass light fixture, things will turn around and in ten years brass will be in, again.  If you want to update the look, get some bronze spray paint and have at it.  Better than spending hundreds and paying through the nose for installation.
Apr 17, 2012 11:09AM

Iinre': underemployed colleege grad...

Your exactly right. the old plywood would be there another forty years. !! The education system is upside down. "Tenure" is the culprit !  The teaching proffession is lost in pursuit  of progressing in the system. Every body wants to advance in the bureaucracy. Every body wants to be an administrator. A Principal, or an assistant to the Principal, Running a school like any business is a science of getting proper "Quid pro quo". For the available money. The product of the teachers education  is a TEACHER ! .A TEACHER struggling to advance in a world of business with a Union that can't even drop an incompetent teacher,  and saddled with the notion, to get ahead you have to get the hell out of the classroom!!  The ones who do actually porogress, Are woefully over their heads,  (Peter principal ) (ie: "advance to the level of their incompetence") about, containing costs. Mostly aren't aware of it. Dedicated teachers, are lost in the rat race..  In about 25 years the teachers union has taken us from 1st in the world to about 26th. The plywood cabinets did not make that happen!!!

Apr 17, 2012 10:21AM
What's wrong with being in a time warp?  I get sick of seeing all of the modern garbage advertisers are always trying to convince people they need.

I work part time for a major school district.  Many of the classrooms have very strong sturdy plywood utilitarian cabinets installed in the classrooms that are 40+ years old and still in very good shape.  They are not finely finished things of beauty but they are quality and they get the job done.  Well the idiots at the school district make a deal to "update" the classrooms and they rip out all of the old cabinets, install new laminated particle board and formica cabinets  and guess what...less than 1.5 years later the screws that held the hinges on the cabinet doors were stripping out of the particle board and the formica was de-laminating.  

 Every time new computer technology comes out the district makes a deal and buys a bunch of lap top computers to have the latest technology.  Then a couple of years later the lap tops are obsolete and they invest in a whole new fleet of lap tops.  

Oh yeah, the chalk board, worked great for well over 100 years.  Then it was replaced with white boards and dry erase markers.  Now the white boards have been replaced with promethian projectors.  You write on these with no-ink electronic pens and you have to program the projector for each pen color.  It then reads your hand movements as you write on the board and projects the colors you have programmed it to write on the board.  It has only one electronic pen that goes with it so every time you want to change colors you have to tap a box and re-program it.    

Teachers quickly discover that it takes them longer to turn on the promethian projector and program it for each color they want to write than it takes to simply change markers and write with a different colors.  I've watched teachers are advised by administrators that they have to use the promethian projector and they want to keep their jobs so they grudgingly obey.  They go to training workshops to learn how to operate them.   In spite of this training I've watched teachers who are trained and experienced spend the first 15 minutes of and hour long class trying to get the promethian projector turned on and working right. 

 Yes technology is real  productive.  Do you really want to take your home and life out of a time warp and equip it with the latest fashions and technology????

Apr 17, 2012 9:25AM

Everybody just wants to rip out the old and replace with the mundane granite and stainless steel. The older styles were timeless and the appliances still work today because when you bought a refrigerator it was to last for ever. People are turning the housing market into a dying style. If everyone has granite and stainless steel.... Who is going to stand out and make a statement. What will all of you do when the granite and stainless steel era moves on to pink, turquoise, and rust colored appliances and boomerang countertops again. Every style comes and goes with the times and the 50's 60's retro look will come back with one downside. People have already thrown out all the durable items from the past, and now will have to pay 3000 for a vintage-looking refrigerator or stoven and a fortune for the formica countertop. Also if you tear out appliances, tiles, tubs, cabinets and countertops, use ebay and other services because there are people who will pay good money for the unwanted.

Apr 17, 2012 9:23AM

Please don't listen to advice from experts like this. For anyone out there who thinks that remodeling something outdated will add value, let me say this...I've been looking for a house for a year and will not buy an old house with an "updated" kitchen and/or bath unless expertly planned by an educated designer where style and quality were as important as the context of the rest of the house. Making your house look like everyone else's will not add value, it just means that when you sell you now have a whole bunch of other houses to compete with.

Granite is not always an upgrade to plastic laminate (Formica is a brand name, not the product) when it does not fit the style and character of the house overall. In those situations, you'll lower the quality of the house.

Apr 17, 2012 9:21AM
Gee whiz, replace all the old stuff to bring your home into the future - who would've thought of that?  Why not try printing relevant articles that actually help people instead of this crap?
Apr 17, 2012 9:10AM

WHAT DOES IT FREAKIN' MATTER?! As long as its clean, comfortable, and functional, what does it matter!  Who are you trying to impress with your bathroom!  And with prices the way they are, it matters even less as long as its clean, comfortable, and functional.

What is wrong with people!!

Apr 17, 2012 8:41AM
Be careful when you "shop around" for appliances, nothing is free. The cheapie prices often don't include installation and removal of the old ones, that all costs extra. I learned the hard way that you buy supposedly cheaper from the "big box" and when you need service it ain't happening. I pay a little more from my Mom & Pop local appliance guy and he stands behind them even when the manufacturer does not. Doing upgrades are fine but some of us old folks who are no longer physically able to climb ladders have to hire it done just can't pay the prices, that is if you can find someone who wants to work........ around here the contractors and remodelers unless you have a $30K+ job they won't even call you back. Far too risky to hire yea-ole uninsured unlicensed neighborhood handyman. I don't have $10K for granite counters that I don't even like. So, in this dreadful market we sellers pay one way or the other or usually both. Paint, light neutral colors, shampoo the carpets, soap and water scrub scrub scrub, puff and fluff, maybe make a $$ allowance to the buyer, no matter what you put in they want something different, you're lucky to re-coop half of what you spend to remodel.
Apr 17, 2012 8:00AM

I love a nice bathroom, the tub is horrible. SmileBaring teeth

Apr 17, 2012 7:41AM
It would be a cold day in hell before I paid $500 for 15 drawer knobs.  I just bought 10 for $3.00 at Walmart.  My knobs were brass and the towel rack and lights above the mirror were brushed silver?  I just redid my half bath for about $100.  New paint job, bought a framed mirror at home depot for $70 (used my military discount and looked for item on sale) painted the trim stark white and BAM fresh new bathroom.  Paint is relatively cheap and can change the look of a room in a matter of hours.Rustoleum makes 2 different countertop refurbishing kits.  They are really cool.  They also make a cabinet paint that does not require you to strip and sand the cabinets.  I suggest going to your local Home Depot or Loews and taking some DIY classes.  I had laminate floors and new carpet installed for $3500.  4 years ago.  Pay attention to sales.  And hire a contractor for the big things.
Apr 17, 2012 7:39AM

My husband and I have an old 2BR+1BTH house with galvanized pipes. A few months ago, we called a plumber to fix a leak. He said that because all of our plumbing is located in one spot (bathroom next to the kitchen, laundry in basement directly below kitchen sink) and is exposed and easily accessible in the basement, he could easily replace all the galvanized pipes with pex tubing. He said that with labor and parts, it'd only cost us about $500, and he could do the entire house in just half a day. That's far less than what this article quoted.


And, who honestly calls professionals to come in and replace doorknobs and light fixtures? I first started doing those things myself when I was in my teens and I wanted to redecorate my bedroom. If a totally inexperienced teen can do it, then just about anyone can!

Apr 17, 2012 7:38AM
"Buying and installing 15 doorknobs can cost $500-$600"? Where is this data?? A quick check on Lowe's website shows them from $7-$20!
Apr 17, 2012 7:29AM

Depending on what you want, there are simple, inexpensive, creative ways to "fix up" an outdated room. I have, not even nice paneling in my dining room - cheap wallboard! I filled the cracks with spackeling, smoothed it out, painted over the paneling in two colors (one top and one bottom) with a wallpaper border separating the two at the level you would put a chair rail. Stick on tiles rejeuvenated the floor and the furnishings I already had made the room beautiful.


For a bath like above, paint, curtains and new linoleum would do wonders. White would lighten the room and a hanging plant near the window would bring the outdoors in and make the room appear larger. Not to mention mirrors.

Apr 17, 2012 7:24AM
Some people think new is best.  Just try refurbishing the old, it always last's longer and looks better.
Apr 17, 2012 7:22AM
I love Retro!   Sometimes just changing the hardware on your cabinets can give the area a fresh new look!  As when doing any project do your homework and stay with in your budget.
Apr 17, 2012 7:17AM
All of these ideas were obvious and costly.  I was very disappointed :(  I thought it would have more ideas for creative, less expensive ideas.  I think most people know what is popular right now and that ripping out the old and installing all new is ideal.  How about less expensive ideas that make people say "wow" or even simply "I like it" without thousands of dollars!  This was just a big advertisement for that contractor!!!!
Apr 17, 2012 7:17AM

michiganapple, You are working with the wrong contractors. First of all a 15 year warranty is bogus. With in a 15 year time, your contractor can sell his company to a cousin and void your warranty. Second, $3500 is a bit much unless you are living New York. What I am trying to say is your being robbed.


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