14 Things You Shouldn’t Buy in Home-Improvement Stores

Find out which items you’re better off leaving on the shelves the next time you’re at a hardware megastore.


Large stack of wood planksKwangmoozaa/Shutterstock

Americans spent an estimated $16.16 billion on home renovations in the past year, according to Finder.com research. And many of them borrowed the funds from friends and family or paid with credit cards and loans, so it goes without saying that it’s important that they save wherever they can, says Jennifer McDermott, consumer advocate for Finder.com. “Wood is one item that comes in at a much cheaper price from a local lumber yard than at the hardware. If you are buying big quantities the savings here can be quite significant.” For example, a white pine timber beam could run you about $30 at Home Depot, while at your local lumber store, you may be able to find it as low as $12. Check out these 31 home improvement projects that will double the value of your home.


close up on stacking fluffy carpetND700/Shutterstock

Many local home-improvement stores have some area rugs tucked away in their decor sections and also offer carpeting services. However, Debbie Gartner at The Flooring Girl suggests alternative online sources for purchasing your decorative carpet pieces because it’s likely these stores don’t dedicate too much space and financial resources to keep rugs on display or in their inventory. You may have more luck finding the piece of your dreams in the color, shape, and size you want by looking on Amazon, Overstock, or Wayfair.

Household batteries

Rows of batteries stacked on top of each other. Up close macro shot.Alexander Oganezov/Shutterstock

If you’re buying your standard everyday AA, D, and other size batteries, chances are you would pay less for them at Walmart or Costco than at the hardware store. For example, for about $14, you could get an 18-count pack of Duracell AA Batteries at Home Depot or a 40-count pack at Costco. On the other hand, find out the things you should never buy at Costco.

Tradesmen/installation services

Close up man hand installing vent cover from ceiling Mounted Air Conditioner.ungvar/Shutterstock

Some home-improvement stores offer trained workers to install appliances or even renovate for you. However, you might get more bang for your buck by sub-contracting directly versus having your hardware superstore manage the service. When you pay for a project installation through a store, they usually take a cut of your money and sub-contract to other businesses and tradesmen who do the work. Even those who are sub-contracted may sub-contract yet another person to do the work, and by then, the quality of the service may not be as high as what you’re paying.

Tools you don’t know how to use

building, working tools close-up, architectureShotPrime Studio/Shutterstock

It feels great to decorate your kitchen, build a veggie garden, or complete a home project, but there is hardly anything more wasteful and dangerous than taking on a task you’re not qualified to complete—especially if it requires you buy tools you don’t know how to use. To avoid forking over money for hardware that will collect dust in a corner or, worse, injure you and damage your home, ensure that you know the ins and outs of your tools before you buy them. These are the 12 home improvement projects you should never, ever DIY.

Kitchen or grill accessories

Grill utensils tools fork tongs close up grilling barbecue summer dirty clean steel metalWilliam Hager/Shutterstock

Sometimes, when you buy a grill or other major kitchen appliance, though, stores try to throw in a few spatulas, pans, and accessories as part of the sale. These megastores might have high-quality heavy-duty devices, but it’s not likely they invest as much in getting the best quality accessories to go with them. Next time you buy yourself a sleek stove or barbecue, stop by JCPenney, Walmart, or another home goods store to grab the smaller accompanying gadgets.

Home decorations

wooden hanger on white wallkikujungboy/Shutterstock

Looking for an affordable piece of art to hang on your walls or a nice adornment for your balcony? While hardware stores are great for buying tools and other supplies for your home, you can find something more aesthetic and at a better price for your home at a retailer like HomeGoods, Pottery Barn, or your local flea market, says Jill Caponera, consumer savings expert at Promocodes.com. Decorating your home soon? Find out 10 budget-friendly decorating tricks that will make your house look way more expensive.

Major appliances

close up of open dishwasher with clean utensils in kitchenDi Studio/Shutterstock

Cyber Monday isn’t the only time you can score mega-deals online. In fact, there are hundreds of discounts, coupons, and deals happening online every day. Home-improvement stores are no different. Shoppers who see a product they want in store first might be tempted to buy it on the spot, but that same product might be discounted on the store’s website with free delivery or pick-up in store options. It’s always worth taking a look online, especially for the more expensive appliances before making a final purchase in-stor


smartwatchTwin Design/Shutterstock

Even though some home-improvement giants sell smartwatches and other wearable tech, you’ll likely find better prices, greater variety, and higher quality products at an appropriate tech-based store. Before heading to the store, find out the truth behind these 15 home improvement myths.

Smoke or carbon monoxide detectors

Close-up Of White Smoke Detector On A CeilingAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

“Store-bought smoke detectors are generally inexpensive because they use a technology called ‘Ionization’ smoke detection,” says Maxwell (who goes by the single name), co-founder of TrueSecurity. “This form of smoke detection causes many false alarms, and, more importantly, can miss fires entirely.” Also, smoke or carbon monoxide detectors from a hardware store typically don’t alert authorities in times of crisis, an especially important function if you ever have a carbon monoxide leak, as these can quickly incapacitate you. Opt for monitored detectors and carbon monoxide communicators instead.

Lawn fertilizer

Granular lawn fertilizer on the fresh lawn in the autumn gardenphotowind/Shutterstock

A big box home-improvement store might steer you wrong and sell you a fertilizer that you don’t understand or that won’t get the job done, says Zach Hendrix, co-founder of GreenPal. An established lawn, a new lawn, new sod, and a winterized lawn all benefit from different levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in fertilizer. Your local nursery or lawn care service is likely a better bet. Check out 13 things you should never do to your lawn.

Shipping products

Old corrugated cardboard boxes stacked close to new brown carton boxes stackedsamritk/Shutterstock

Packaging and materials for shipping freight are often more expensive and may be a lower quality at home-improvement stores, says Therese Kerrigan, director of marketing communications at FreightCenter. “Lesser quality boxes may break during freight transportation, and subsequent damage claims may be denied because of the packaging.” Look online for better quality materials and pricing or, at the least, check that the boxes at the hardware store are up to standard.

Cleaning products

Many colorful sponges and brushes for houseworkAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Though grabbing those Clorox wipes as you’re picking up the gardening tools you need may seem convenient, you may not want to make it a habit. Consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says you could end up paying 5 to 10 percent more for cleaning supplies at home-improvement stores versus grabbing them at Walmart or bulk store. Check out 35 ways to save money around your home.

More than what you need

A lot of nails close upB.Zhorov/Shutterstock

It is tempting to buy everything in bulk at home-improvement stores, however, how likely are you to use 500 nails when you simply want to hang up a few picture frames? “If you want to buy smaller amounts of any home-improvement item, talk to customer service before lugging a big box to the register,” says Nelson Garcia from Student Loan Hero. “They might point you in the direction of one-off purchases or, especially in smaller hardware stores, give you a deal on a smaller amount of what you need.” Next, find out the 40 home repairs anyone can do.

Original Source: https://www.rd.com/home/improvement/things-you-not-to-buy-in-home-improvement-stores/

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Using Smart Technology in Age in Place Renovations

You do not need to be old or in poor health before you begin doing a little age in place remodeling, and in fact, you are quite intelligent if you choose to do it prior to the time you will need it.  While you have plenty of options available to you for age in place remodeling, one stands out more than the rest.  That option is using smart technology, and most of it will make your life super easy, both now and in the future.

Here are 5 types of smart technology that you should include in your age in place renovations:

  • Personal Assistance Devices

There are a couple different personal assistance devices available on the market, and you can choose whether you prefer Google’s Home, Amazon’s Alexa, or one of the others.  This device can remind you to take your medications, that your doctor’s appointment is coming up, or even to call your doctor.  You can even ask these devices a question that you do not know the answer to and it will give you the answer.

  • Smart Lights

You will not need to worry about walking around in the dark as you search for a light switch after you include smart lights in your age in place remodeling plan.  Smart lights can be turned on and off from an app on a smartphone or tablet and they can keep you from falling unnecessarily.

  • Video Doorbells

Older people are often targets for criminals and other unsavory people, but you can install a video doorbell during an age in place remodel to prevent a disaster from happening.  You can see who is on your front step, as well as carry on a conversation with them, all without opening the door or moving from where you are.

  • CookStop Devices

Leaving a stove on can be quite dangerous for anyone, which is why the CookStop devices were created.  You can install the CookStop and it will automatically turn your stove off after it has been on for a predetermined amount of time.  You can adjust the settings to meet your needs, and an alarm will always alert you right before it turns the stove off, so that you can turn it back on if necessary.

  • Keyless Door Locks

Fumbling with keys can be a thing of the past once you install a keyless door lock during your age in place remodel.  You can purchase one that needs to be opened via an app on your smartphone or you can choose one that you push the buttons and enter a code to get the lock to flip open.

All this smart technology will be of great assistance to you and it can all be installed during an age in place remodeling project.  You could wait to do an age in place remodel, but then you wouldn’t be able to use all this wonderful technology now.

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.


Remodeling to age in place? Make changes where it matters most

American household demographics constantly change. With kids grown and moved out, many adults are considering remodeling to meet their future needs. This has inspired the idea of aging in place, meaning the desire to have a high quality of life in your home as you get older.

Multigenerational households are also changing for older family members. Sometimes it’s necessary to have elderly relatives move in to your home for them to thrive. Adult children will opt to make remodeling updates so spaces are safe, comfortable and accessible for all.

Making changes where it matters most will help transform the household into a secure space for aging adults.

Single-story living

Having all rooms on a single story is the ideal layout for senior living. That means the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen can be accessed without having to travel to different levels of the home. Keep in mind, open-concept designs can be beneficial for seniors, but if you are updating hallways, make sure they are at least 36 inches wide for easy maneuverability.

Bathroom additions

Adding a bathroom to facilitate single-story living might seem impossible if you don’t have existing drainage. However, it is feasible and doesn’t require costly demolition.

Bathroom safety

Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous rooms in a home, particularly for those age 65 and older who are more prone to falls. When remodeling, add wall supports such as grab bars in the bath, shower and by the toilet. For showers, a fold-down seat and handheld showerhead can add comfort. A wall-hung sink adds space below and can make it easier to clean and move around. Avoid using rugs and instead install slip-resistant flooring.

Kitchen additions

Redesigning your home with a mother-in-law suite for aging relatives can be a nice way to provide them with everything they need. It will also ensure that everyone has their desired privacy in the home.

Ramps and stairs

There may be spaces in a home where you can’t avoid installing a ramp or stairs. The entryway is one such area. For stairways, install handrails on both sides and add contrast strips to prevent tripping and stumbling hazards. For ramps, the National Association of Home Builders recommends slopes no greater than 1-inch rise for each 12 inches in length, a 2-inch curb for safety and a 5-foot landing at the entrance. All ramps or stairs should have adequate lighting for easy visibility.

Ample lighting

As vision decreases with age, lighting becomes a critical element throughout a home. Consider adding windows and skylights for plenty of natural light. Swap in brighter bulbs and add adjustable features that allow you to customize settings for frequently used spaces. Finally, add motion lights to hallways and bathrooms for easy evening use. Hard-wired lights are preferred to plug-in options, but if you must have cords, make sure they are hidden or secured to the ground. (BPT)

Original Source: http://www.lillienews.com/articles/2018/08/07/remodeling-age-place-make-changes-where-it-matters-most