3 remodelling tips to cut your home maintenance costs

November 6, 2014

Remodelling your home for easier maintenance means you'll spend less time cleaning and more time with your family instead.

3 remodelling tips to cut your home maintenance costs

Remodelling is a strategy that allows you to renovate for increased space and better functionality. Focusing on the appropriate areas of your home helps you create a low-maintenance environment.

1. Start underfoot

Your floor is easily the dirtiest place of your home because, as the surface you walk on, it's the landing spot for all dust and dirt. At first it might look attractive to use different kinds of surfaces underfoot. For example, you may opt for marble tile in the entry, wood flooring in the dining room, carpeting in the living room and ceramic tile in the kitchen. However, keep in mind that each different material will require a different cleaning method and chemical cleaner, such as vacuuming for the carpet or sweeping and wax for wood floors. Each change of material multiplies your maintenance chores.

Stick with one flooring material, and you only have to deal with one cleaning method. Wood, for example, adds warmth, does not harbour the dust and mites like carpet does, and requires only sweeping and an occasional waxing. If you want the feel of carpeting during cold weather, you can always add area rugs that you take away during the summer.

If you're starting with new floors, have visitors remove their shoes before entering the home. This minimizes the exterior dirt brought inside. Be sure to include a small bench near the entry and a rack to store shoes.

2. Simplify the walls

The thing to remember about paint is that the shinier it is, the easier it is to clean. Use high-gloss colours in kitchens, baths, kids rooms and hallways. All you have to do is wipe off fingerprints, stains, dirt and crayons. For more formal spaces, consider semi-gloss. Reserve satin and flat paints for areas that do not get dirty easily.

Every surface that you decide to add to your walls including molding, open shelving, and electrical plates attracts dirt and requires cleaning. To minimize your efforts, reduce the number of surfaces. If you must have molding, stick with a simple, modern design instead of one with ornate details. Attach electrical plates that are nearly flat and have no grooves. Do not use open shelves to display books or accessories. Rely on cabinets with glass doors for easy cleaning.

3. Use the right bath and kitchen surfaces

Dark surfaces may be dramatic and modern, but they also show water spots and light-coloured dirt. White surfaces can show stains and dark smudges. Use a medium tone for bathroom and kitchen surfaces, preferably with a pattern to hide dirt.

Grout is one of the hardest things to clean and requires constant scrubbing. Using larger tiles instead of small ones minimizes the grooves. Consider using trendy black grout to hide the dark spots that stain white grout.

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