The Real Cost of Home Improvement
News from Bloomberg:

For a few years, carpets have been allowed to fray, faucets to drip and paint to peel. Now, home improvement spending may be rebounding. Harvard University’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity suggests spending will rise 12.2 percent by early 2012.

To see what projects homeowners are likely to pursue and what they’ll spend, used survey data from home improvement website and app Houzz. Estimates on potential payoffs from projects come from Remodeling Magazine, which asks appraisers and others how much hypothetical projects recoup costs in the form of increased home values. Projects are ranked from most to least expensive. More detail on the data is on the last slide.

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Home Improvement Painting Mistakes
News from LifeGoesStrong:

We were so proud of ourselves, picking up a set of shelves for $ 10 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a home improvement thrift store, if you will, that supports that good cause. We knew these shelves would go perfectly in my home office, after a fresh coat of paint. Currently, they were a dingy yellow paint color. I wanted them to be a crisp white.

That weekend I spread out tarps, put the shelves on sawhorses, and started painting them white. I used one coat, two coats, and because the paint seemed to be going on wrong, a third coat. Then I let it dry.

My first hint that something was terribly wrong in how I’d painted these shelves should have been when it took two days to dry—and it wasn’t even humid out. Once the paint was dry, I figured we were all systems go to put the shelves up on my home office wall, which we did.

Then the paint started peeling off in big chunks (see the photo for proof of that peeling).

Turns out, we think that the shelves had previously been painted with an oil-based paint. When I used a latex-based paint, the oil-based paint simply “repelled” it.

In hindsight I should have sanded down the shelves or found some sort of oil-to-latex primer that would have allowed me to put a new coat of paint on the shelves.

Not using the right kind of paint isn’t the only painting mistake that people make when worki…………… continues on LifeGoesStrong

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