Monday, August 22, 2016

"Sometimes Just Covering Something Up Is The Best Policy"

Cover-ups can get us into trouble - especially when we are covering up a mistake or a lie. How many times have the cover-ups for an illicit act been far worse than the original transgression itself? Think Richard Nixon, for example.

Now, there are cover-ups and there are cover-ups. Mistakes happen. That's why they invented paint (one of the reasons) because it covers up blemishes, marks, and other imperfections on a surface - not to hide them altogether but to make them blend in more.

We wear long pants or long-sleeve shirts to cover-up a bandage from a cut or a bruise when we don't want it to show. We sometimes wear a hat or scarf to cover our hair when we're having a "bad-hair-day."

That's why they created white-out (for those unfamiliar with this product, it's a type of paint that covers type, pen marks, and other unwanted material on a document).

One of the reasons there are floor-to-ceiling drapes and curtains - in addition to creating a fabulous look and anchoring the space - is so that the blank wall space over and to the sides of a smaller window can be covered up or camouflaged.

Think of all of the older (1940s and 1950s vintage, for instance) homes with beautiful hardwood floors that were simply covered in carpeting when that became popular and hardwood was no longer as desirable. Had the hardwood flooring been removed, there would not be so many wonderful discoveries of beautiful flooring hidden and relatively well preserved underneath years of being covered over by carpeting. It wasn't necessary to remove the hardwood before putting down the carpeting, and now so many owners are glad that this wasn't the case as they are in the process of restoring these beautiful floors.

The same is true for bathroom and kitchen areas where linoleum was put down over hardwood.

If there is a brick or stone (actual or veneer) accent wall or fireplace in a room that is no longer desired - or it doesn't fit in with the current remodeling or decor plans - it's not necessary to undertake the cost and mess of demolishing it before going ahead. Simply frame it out and cover it up. Sure the floor space will be reduced a little, but if that current owner or a future owner ever wants to return to the feature that is already built-in, they can by simply removing the cover-up facade.

When there is a knock-down or popcorn ceiling texture that is no longer desired - because it appears dated, doesn't appeal to the current owners, or there is a concern about the possible presence of asbestos - it doesn't have to be removed. A drop ceiling below it or a plank ceiling applied right over it with cover it up just fine and great a great new look.

When the budget won't allow for a full kitchen makeover, sometimes the cabinet doors can just be painted or refaced, using the existing boxes as they are. This is another type of cover-up that is used quite well.

For concrete floors, laminate, tile, or other products can go right over the top and create a fresh, modern look. It may be a little tricky to remove it later on, but it can be done.

The point is that remodeling can utilize a variety of cover-ups to accomplish our purposes rather than demolition first before the new construction. Just be aware of the possibilities and flexibility.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.