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5 Most Popular Home Improvement Reddit Questions

Written by Gianna Cappuccio

Published on September 29, 2023


5 Most Popular Home Improvement Reddit Questions

The experts at Fixr are here to answer the top 5 most popular home improvement questions.

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The experts at Fixr are here to answer the top 5 most popular home improvement questions. Let's take a look at what they have to say!

What’s the easiest way to compare quotes for remodel on an apples-to-apples basis?

This Reddit user wants to know the easiest way to compare quotes

Remodeling Content Expert Adam Graham says….

Ask contractors for a breakdown of the costs of everything that will be included. Does it include the cost of labor, for example?

It’s good to know exactly which products and materials will be used as this can significantly affect the cost. For example, the cost of a granite kitchen countertop will vary considerably from a butcher block countertop.

Research ballpark figures in trustworthy cost guides to understand roughly how much you should pay for your project.

Check contractor's licenses, insurance, warranties, and get references. If a quote seems too good to be true, it might very well be.

Get a reliable quote from a bathroom remodeling expert

How do I weatherize my single-family home against wildfire smoke?

This Reddit user’s home was affected by wildfire smoke. Here are some ways you can weatherize your home against harmful smoke.

Remodeling Content Expert Adam Graham says….

  • Carry out a blower door test to detect where there are gaps and air leaks. This can determine where you need to focus your efforts to stop any smoke entering the home. 
  • Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to help clean any air that isn’t clean that may have entered the home. 
  • Your HVAC system can help clean the air by capturing smoke particles so long as the filters are clean and working properly. 
  • Weatherstripping is used to seal up any gaps around windows and doors and can help combat any unwanted wildfire smoke coming inside. 
  • Use spray foam installation. While primarily used for energy efficiency, good insulation can protect against smoke infiltration, yet it is not guaranteed. 
  • Fireproof your home. If you live in an area prone to wildfire smoke, you may be likely to be in danger of wildfire damage as well. Take precautionary measures, such as installing a fire-resistant door or a sprinkler system.

Can I replace my roof myself?

This Reddit user wants to replace their roof themselves. 

Remodeling Content Expert Joe Roberts says….

As long as you get all the permits required in your area, there’s no law against replacing your roof yourself. However, to fully restore this historic slate roof, you’d need to reframe it, replace the decking, put down new underlayment and flashing, and then install new slate tiles. To pull all of this off, you’d need exceptional knowledge of multiple different trades. 

Additionally, the risks of doing this project wrong are immense. For one thing, slate is among the heaviest roofing materials, so a slate roof that isn’t properly reinforced will sag and collapse prematurely. For another, slate tiles will leak if they aren’t installed with sufficient overlap between them.

If everything is done correctly, though, a slate roof like this can easily last over 100 years as long as it’s properly maintained. All things considered, this isn’t a good project for even a seasoned DIYer. For a project of this scale, you should really shell out for professional roof replacement.

Find a local roofer today

What’s the difference between a heat pump vs. traditional AC?

This Reddit user is weighing the options of a heat pump or a traditional AC unit.

Remodeling Content Expert Joe Roberts says….

The differences between a heat pump system and a central air conditioner are a little confusing because, when they’re used to cool a home, the two are pretty much identical mechanically. They both function by pulling heat out of your home’s air using refrigerant, releasing that heat outside your home—thereby cooling the refrigerant—and then circulating the refrigerant back into your home to further cool the air.

The primary benefit of a heat pump over a traditional AC system is that it can be used to warm your home in winter. It does this by running in reverse, pulling ambient warmth from outside your home using refrigerant, and then circulating the warmed refrigerant into your home to heat your inside air. This heating method is highly efficient, and it can be much cheaper to warm your home with a heat pump instead of a traditional furnace if electricity is cheaper than fuel in your region.

That said, if winter is especially cold where you live, a heat pump will need the help of a furnace to warm your home sufficiently. This means that if you live in a chilly northern state, the savings you stand to reap by installing a heat pump may not be as impressive as those of someone who got one for their home in a southern state.

What can I do with this useless closet?

Remodeling Content Specialist Carol Alexander says…

Turn it into storage space!

This Reddit user, a mom of three, found stuff dumped in front of the entryway coat closet rather than being hung inside. “So,” she says, “I … put in these cabinets and shoe shelves.”

Well, that isn’t all she did. She turned a black hole, a jumbled mess of hats, coats, shoes, outdoor gear, and board games into an organized space to welcome folks into her 1,000-square-foot home.

Challenges? “I had some serious doubts when I was trying to cut the crown molding,” she says. But she did it. And you can, too!

If this mom has inspired you to transform an impractical closet into something that meets the needs of your family, follow these eight easy steps to get it done.

  • Step 1: Make sure there are no utilities in the walls you want to remove. Walls adjacent to or below a bathroom or kitchen may have plumbing lines. Also, look for outlets or switches that indicate wiring within or vents that mean there is ductwork behind the drywall. If any of these situations apply to your walls, hire a professional.
  • Step 2: If you're certain no utilities live inside the walls you want to remove, use a screwdriver and hammer to remove the hinge pins on the door hinges so you can remove the door. Donate it or repurpose it for another project.
  • Step 3: Use a pry bar to remove baseboards and other trim.
  • Step 4: You can remove the drywall by bashing it in with the claw side of a hammer, but that makes a really big mess. To avoid that, use a drywall saw to cut the drywall out in pieces. 
  • Step 5: Use a reciprocating saw to remove the studs. To avoid having to patch the ceiling, don't remove the top plate of the wall. If you have crown molding or baseboards that will butt up against the new opening, use an oscillating saw to cut it at the exact location. Don't freak if it's a tad short; caulk hides a lot.
  • Step 6: Patch the floor or lay new flooring throughout. The homeowner coupled this project with new flooring, so patching wasn't necessary.
  • Step 7: Finish the space by installing new trim around the opening, painting, and installing new cabinetry.
  • Step 8: Watch how the area magically cleans itself.

Don’t think your DIY skills are up to this level yet? Let us match you with a local pro who can do it for you.

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Our experts know their stuff

Whether you have questions about a prospective DIY project or something better suited to a professional, the experts at Fixr are here to help. If you’re searching for a local expert to tackle your home remodeling project, find a Fixr in your area.