Have you ever had an idea that seemed great at the time and backfired later? Whether you're a new homeowner or simply looking to remodel, we'd like to help you avoid some of these pitfalls. Here's our top 5 tidbits of how to steer clear of common missteps homeowners make: 

#1 Unless It's Already Painted, Leave Exterior Brick Alone

According to Mike Palmer, president of a chapter of Mason Contractors Association of America, "Once you put a membrane [like paint] over the brick, it can no longer breathe." Essentially, painting brick is like enveloping your home in plastic. In order for brick to properly protect your home from the elements, it needs to be able to adjust itself and coating it in paint prevents this.

Now if it's already painted or severely damaged, it becomes the lesser of two evils to repaint it and prevent further damage. And there are some types of brick that need to painted, but those are rare. If you absolutely must have a new color to your brick home, find a brick stain instead as it allows for breathing. 

#2 Start a Compost, Save the Disposal

As October and November start rolling around, plumbers receive more calls with sink issues because people try running pumpkin guts through their garbage disposals. Modern units can handle tougher foods than their predecessors, but starchy edibles like oatmeal, potatoes, and rice still trip them up.

These foods cause clogs in pipes and disposals when water is introduced. So skip the headache, save a pretty penny and choose the garbage can. Or better yet, add other food scraps and compost! 

#3 Change Up the Bathroom, Leave One Tub

Believe it or not, having no tub in a home actually can hurt your resale value. So if this isn't your forever home and you think you may sell at some point in the future, resist the urge to rid your home of the only tub. If you have two tubs, well...go bananas!

#4 Water Grass During Daylight Hours

Yes, you read that right: water grass during the day, not at night. The myth says to wait until after the sun sets is more efficient since plants are resting instead of photosynthesizing. In actuality, more damage is caused by allowing water to sit on the blades and cause fungus. Experts recommend watering in the morning when air is cool and the sun is just coming up. There will be less wind than at midday and your lawn will get the moisture it needs with plenty of time for the sun to dry off any excess. 

#5 Swap Out the Antique Thermostat

You could go old-school and remember to switch the thermostat every time you come and go from your home. Let's be real, is that really going to be a priority when it's 7:58am and you're 15 minutes away from your 8:00am job? Or you finally herd the kids into the van for school and run some errands (or grab a spa day)? By spending around $200 for a smart thermostat, what may seem like a large expense ends up as savings in the long run. Set it for waking up, while the house is empty, coming home, bedtime, and then forget about it.