Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We-Design-Day: Home Evaluation - General and Interior Fittings

Thanks for sticking with me during the recent two week hiatus! It's been a little frantic professionally speaking and it's left me exhausted in the evenings when I usually do my writing and research but I'm getting back into the groove. With home renovation season approaching, I want to make sure I've got the bulk of the information shared so we can all work on completing our home evaluation in time for summer!

Having covered all the “big” things that keep our homes up and running we get to look at the “fun” stuff – the things that make our houses our homes. This week we are going to look at the importance the interior fixtures play in our home and how they belong in our home evaluation.

The interior finishes sometimes get overlooked (as being included in a home study) because we do tend to maintain the interiors of our homes more so than the exteriors. It's common for people to paint and upgrade kitchens and bathrooms once they become dated or worn. Innovations in interior design progress frequently and the introduction of new and improved materials to improve the function, increase the energy value or improve the environmental impact are a multimillion dollar industry.
So where does this leave us?

Behind, mostly... But with efficient planning, attention to detail and making informed choices and not always following trends we can steer through the sea of information.

Let's start with the general considerations. Included here are the things “inside” the exterior walls; if you think back to week four the detail showed how our walls look like sandwiches. The batt insulation is the filling, the vapour barrier is our mayonnaise and the gypsum board is our top slice of bread.

Our walls, once installed, are usually mudded and taped. This is to say that a special compound and “tape” is applied to cover the joints, fasteners and corners. It is sanded and a primer is applied to seal the wall board. It is on top of this that we can apply our paint, wall paper or other interior decorative wall finishes. Typically, these interior surfaces are updated frequently, but have you ever not painted for a long time? Paint wears out, just like anything else. All the elements (sun, wind, wet) plus the human factor all abuse and wear the surfaces down exposing the joint compound and allowing the imperfections to show through. It takes longer (as I can attest – seven years in our home and all the screws and joints are starting to show through) but it does happen and like leaving an exposed roof, damage occurs and increases the cost of repair.
Another important aspect to our homes is the floor coverings. They provide comfort, enhance aesthetics and provide sound dampening. Age, flooding and general wear and tear all work to erode the floor surfaces. 

When replacing, cost, allergy factors, environmental concerns and installer ability need to be factored in. Fortunately, these are likely one of the less expensive endeavours you may undertake in your home.
In addition to paint and flooring, the millwork and fixtures in your home will also likely need renewing at some point during your residency. At what point is somewhat subjective. The basic functionality of any kitchen likely won't change but the style of cabinetry, colour of appliances and types of lighting may. This applies to bathroom millwork too.

Sinks, cabinets, appliances – oh my!

Now that we've touched on all the things that we should be looking it, we're going to start pulling it all together over the coming weeks. Thanks for reading this week and please feel free to ask any questions you may have about the topics we've covered this far.

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