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3 Things Contractors Would Never Have in Their Own Homes

For most Millenials, The Sims acted as a gateway drug to our dream home obsession. From Malibu-inspired mansions to timeless colonial estates, we couldn’t wait to bring our childhood floorplans into reality. Yet, as adults, we’ve come to understand that *actually building* a home is far more stress-inducing than the game led on. Not to mention the amount of time (and money) it takes to pull off a successful remodel. As a result, we called on the experts—from remodeling specialists to general contractors—to see which home features you should definitely leave out of your design plans. Read on for everything you need to know. 

Meet the Experts

  • Mike Foti: Bathroom remodeling expert and president of Innovate Building Solutions
  • Giuseppe Castrucci: Kitchen remodeling expert and vice president of marketing at Laurysen Kitchens Ltd
  • Jeff Hosking: Licensed contractor and president of Hosking Hardwood Flooring

10 Red Flags to Look for When Buying a New Home


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1. An In-Swing Shower Door

“In-swing doors are the ‘evil stepsister’ of small bathroom remodels,” explains Mike Foti, President of Innovate Building Solutions. “You already lack space and to make matters worse you’re having to play ‘keep away’ with doors which bang into you!” As a result, Foti recommends that you remove the pivoting door and replace it with a bypass or sliding glass shower door. “This improvement is smart for an ‘alcove style’ (with 3 walls) showers or [for] corner showers with a curved sliding glass [design].”

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2. A Sink, Stove and Refrigerator That Are Too Close Together

“Your kitchen layout is fundamental, particularly ensuring that there’s enough room between three points: the sink, stove and refrigerator. (AKA the working triangle),” explains Giuseppe Castrucci, kitchen remodeling expert and vice president of marketing at Laurysen Kitchens Ltd. “For example, think about this common task: vegetables are rinsed at the sink, chopped, and then moved over to the stove to be cooked. If there’s no counter space between the sink and the stove, you need to go out of your way to find a chopping area,” Castrucci continues. “The fridge needs some breathing room as well. Remember that people often open the door and spend a few moments looking at the contents if they’re trying to decide what they want. This can get in the way of someone who’s in the middle of cooking a meal…In general, if the three main appliances are too close together, you’re going to feel crowded.”

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3. Hardwood Floors in the Basement

According to Jeff Hosking, contractor and president of Hosking Hardwood Flooring, “Basements are known to have higher relative humidity due to being under the ground, [so] a solid hardwood flooring [option] can absorb excess moisture and expand causing the floorboard edges to cup or buckle.” As a result, Hosking recommends using engineered wood or floating engineered flooring in the basement because “they’re manufactured to be more stable.” He also notes: “[I wouldn’t] recommend using a 3/4 solid hardwood floor in any damp areas or any areas where there is a higher relative humidity than 55 percent.”

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