Friday Facts: 8 Bad Home Improvement Habits


March 11, 2016


Excerpts from an article by This Old House in NAR’s Daily Real Estate News


  1. Having light bulbs that are too bright. You want a well-lit home, but exceeding a lamp or light fixture’s recommended wattage. The fixture and wiring could overheat and lead to a house fire.
  2. Planting trees near driveways or walkways. A line of trees to the house may up its curb appeal but adding young trees near driveways or walkways could eventually cause buckling and cracking of pavement as the trees grow. Small trees that won’t exceed 20 feet at maturity should be at least 10 feet away, 20 feet for larger trees.

  1. Over scrubbing a sink. Don’t overdo it with abrasive cleaners; they can scratch the sink. Try a liquid cleanser like vinegar or lemon juice on the sink and avoid scrubbing it every day.

  1. Overdoing it with can lights. Excessive recessed lighting in a home can cause a lot of air leaks. Airtight recessed lighting fixtures are available that are rated for insulation contact (IC).

  1. Spreading too much mulch outside.“Over-mulching will suffocate plants, confuse their root systems, and prevent water from percolating into the soil,” notes the article at This Old House. Have mulch no thicker than 3 inches.

  1. Using glass cleaner on mirrors. Watch out for store-bought sprays that promise to make your glass sparkle. “A drop of liquid running around the mirror’s edge can cause the reflective backing to lift or craze,” This Old House notes.

  1. Repainting too much.“Excessive paint is detrimental – especially on an older house, which may have layers of thicker oil-based paint, which becomes brittle with age,” notes This Old House. To avoid thick, cracked, or peeling paint, be sure to carefully power-wash prior to painting, sand areas that need it, and then use 100 percent acrylic-resin exterior paint.

  1. Fertilizing too much.Fertilizing too often can spur more weeds to grow. Some lawn experts recommend only fertilizing twice a year, late summer and fall only.
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