New Home Blues

Written by Milan Jara on 19th Aug 2011

Whenever you buy a new home, it’s pretty rare that everything is exactly as you wish — unless of course it was custom-built to your specifications, but how often does that happen? You might like the size and layout of the kitchen, but not be particularly fond of the finish on the cabinets or you can’t wait to use the wood burning fireplace in the family room, but wonder what previous owner had the great idea to install bright red shag carpeting throughout the room.

Most families choose a home because of its location, the overall design, and its future potential, but the only problem is buying a house can make you cash poor for a while — especially these days with the substantial down payments now required. Upgrades and improvements that you’d like to make in a few months or least within a year might more realistically be three or five years away — even if they’re DIY projects.

Old Acoustical Tiles

I am reminded of this by an article I recently read about a woman who bought a bungalow and is now wondering what she can do about the old acoustical tile ceiling in her bedroom. She’s looking for a temporary solution such as hanging fabric or installing paneling because funds are tight and doesn’t want to lay in bed at night looking up at the uninspiring ceiling.

I know to people who follow this blog on a regular basis the solution to this woman’s problem seems simple — install decorative ceiling tiles. If the existing ceiling is in good shape and the tiles are secure, styrofoam, faux-tin, or tin decorative ceiling tiles could be glued right over the existing tiles or the acoustical tiles could be removed and the new tiles glued to the ceiling sub-surface.

Decorative Ceiling Tiles

If she’s handy at all, the project could be completed over a weekend and could cost less than $500 depending on what style of tiles were chosen and the size of the room. If she doesn’t want to remove the acoustical tiles and would prefer not to glue over them, a drop-in ceiling using decorative tiles could be installed just below the existing ceiling height — allowing just enough room to pop in the new tiles.

Unfortunately, what might appear to be a simple and inexpensive solution to some people might be totally unknown to others. If she had been familiar with decorative ceiling tiles and their ease of installation, the question would probably have never been posted. You may not be able to do anything about the kitchen cabinets or shag carpeting in your new home for a while, but you can certainly improve the ceilings in the near future.

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