Among the biggest winners of the 2012 stock market was Home Depot – up just a tad over 47%. This reflects renewed confidence in the housing recovery and the willingness of home owners to once again sink some money back into their properties in the form of home improvements.Many of these projects are of the DIY variety such as decks, patios, or bath and kitchen upgrades.Although most of these do it yourself projects have happy endings, many languish in a half finished state for months or are never completed. Worse yet, some end up looking like, well, I don’t want to be unkind, but we’ve all seen examples of what I’m referring to.
But who can blame a guy or gal for trying? If these do it yourself projects were so easy there wouldn’t be a need for trade schools or apprenticeships.There is, however, one DIY home improvement that guarantees a 100% success rate no matter how skillful you are (or not) as a home handyman/woman. The foolproof home improvement I’m alluding to here is the electric fireplace.Now I know some of you reading this probably wouldn’t put an electric fireplace in the same category of home improvement as a bathroom vanity or kitchen cabinets, but before you pass judgement, consider these criteria for what qualifies as a home improvement.A home improvement should:1. Provide a tangible benefit: An electric fireplace provides supplemental zone heating to any room in your house for as little as 15¢ an hour. Many models are also capable of operating with the fan only for year round use and include a washable air filter.2. Beautify your home: An electric fireplace is sure to become the focal point of any room where it is installed.3. Retain as much value as possible: According to a recent article in Bloomberg.com titled “The Real cost of Home Improvement” the most popular upgrades recoup between 51% and 72% of their cost when the house is subsequently resold.
Since an electric fireplace is not a permanent fixture, it can be moved from home to home without incurring any additional costs and loses not of its value.Now for the “Foolproof DIY Home Improvement” claim. Electric fireplaces do require assembly which is the DIY part. But if you can follow simple directions, and have mastered the art of the screwdriver, you’ll not only do it right the first time, your finished mantlepiece will look like you spent years studying the fine art of cabinet making.
Saying that our homes are extensions of ourselves is actually saying less. When you think of it, our homes are actually who we are. That maxim “tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are” does not even come close. I mean, we do and we have most of our secrets inside our homes. It is the most private, personal place we can ever think of. And here we are, carefully dressing ourselves to be as pleasant to others as possible but leaving our homes slowly rotting away. Okay, That might be a real exaggeration. But, seriously, can’t you perform even a slight home improvement project?Yes, your house may not be rotting away (at least not for now). But, how can you bear looking at yourself all dressed and dolled up when your house is as plain and boring as a shop assistant dressed in baggy clothes? Remember that people will always talk. No matter how we tell ourselves that what other people think is not important, appearances do matter. If that one prominent fact is not enough to drive you to perform home improvement now, I do not know what else.
How hard can it be to change the dull white tiles in your kitchen and bathroom to the bright or funky or dark personality that you are? After all, your home is who you are, right? You give such careful attention to your clothes and makeup. Why not try that faithful sense of duty to a home improvement project? Your home improvement project. Think about it. You will have nothing to lose here. Come on, who does not want a beautiful home? You will be a hypocrite if you say you do not. Either that, or you are just completely dull and dense.Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to insult anyone. I’m just stating realities. The sooner we face things, the sooner we can go on with things and start our home improvement projects. Taking good care of your home is also one way of packaging yourself. An additional deck or a front porch won’t be that bad either. You have always wanted fresh air, haven’t you? And I bet that additional back porch will be perfect for your kid’s playhouse. A few paintings in your living room is also great. Or if you are not into painting, you can always choose from tapestry to figurines to vases. It is all up to you, really.
What I am trying to say is that we can’t just leave our homes feel neglected and lonely. They are like our best friends-when we talk about houses and buildings not people. Why not give them the love and care they deserve. Come on. Splurge a little for your home. It is yours anyways, not just anybody else’s. Home improvement does not come easy, of course. But the fulfillment and satisfaction you will feel in the end will be incomparable. Trust that all this will be worth that happiness.