Where your house is letting you down

It’s often much easier to say what we like and dislike about other people’s houses than our own. This becomes even truer the longer we have lived in our own house. We become so familiar with its quirks and so used to the décor and fixtures that we’re not sure if we haven’t changed them due to esthetic reasons or if we’ve just become sentimentally attached to them out of familiarity.

Unfortunately, your guests probably won’t be honest with you if you ask for their advice on what you should change about your house. Rather than telling you to remove the ghastly gnome garden in your yard which has been giving the neighbors’ kids nightmares since you built it, they’ll mention something of little consequence, along the lines of “you could plant some azaleas around the back, maybe”, or “you could perhaps take down one of the portraits of Napoleon and put up a new portrait of your family”. They are not going to tell you straight up what you need to do for fear of upsetting you.

Some aspects of your house are easily overlooked in this respect, anyway. A perfect example of this is the noisy garage door opener. You’ve maybe given the garage door a new lick of paint and rearranged the contents of the garage to make it tidier and more organized, but you didn’t even notice the panic-inducing scraping noise made by the garage opener. Anyone passing by may have been forgiven for thinking that they were hearing the tormented cries of the undead coming from your garage, but you, being used to it all these years, don’t give it a second thought. And so perhaps you should. Time to go inside and check out an informative website from where you can get all the info you need to choose and install a new automatic garage door opener.

Another area where you might consider making some changes is with the fence that hasn’t changed since you bought the place, expect for a lick of paint every five years or so. If it’s been there a while, there’s a good chance that the posts and the concrete aren’t in all that good condition any more. You might be tempted to leave the concrete where it is, so that you don’t have to dig it all up only to re-set it later. You could plant the new posts at half-way intervals from the old posts, so that you can retain the basic structure of the old fence when you build the new one. However, this might mean that you have to have your house surveyed again before selling it, due to having tampered so much with the ground and filling it with concrete everywhere. Instead, dig up the old concrete and then set about laying new concrete, fixing posts and building a new fence in the normal way.

Apart from the negatively affecting the esthetic value of your property, you house could be letting you down in other ways. Do you spend a lot of money living in it? Is it expensive to heat or to keep cool? Does the heat escape easily? How much are you spending heating water? Would an alternative energy source be a viable option?

Plenty of people take this into consideration and end up putting huge solar panels on their roofs. Whether or not this is of much economic benefit becomes a moot point when they realize they have driven away potential buyers from the street with their new, ugly, reflective roof. The neighbors probably won’t talk to them anymore, they don’t get invited to barbecues as their friends assume they’ve turned vegan, and people are afraid to visit for being vilified for driving their gas-guzzling pickup trucks.

A good way to find out what you really like and dislike about your own home is to leave it for a while. Take an extended break from work and go to live in a five-star hotel for six weeks, and then follow it up by living in a cave in the mountains for a further six weeks. That will give you plenty of time to reflect on the things you missed about your home and the things which disappoint you when you return home.