6 wrong-headed ideas about remodeling

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After 30 years in architecture, I still hear the same tired old wives' tales circulated about remodeling. It's amazing how long it can take to stamp out a wrong-headed concept. Here are some of my unfavorites: 1. Bathrooms should be planned back to back to save cost. Rubbish. This chestnut goes way back, and probably stems from the practice of placing apartment house bathrooms back to back. You're not building apartments, however, so the meager savings in plumbing cost -- something on the order of a few hundred dollars -- doesn't justify straitjacketing your floor plan with a bathroom arrangement you don't like. 2. The best way to improve your home's energy efficiency is by installing new double-glazed windows. Poppycock. In most houses, windows represent a very small fraction of the total heat loss. By far the most heat is lost through ceilings, so attic insulation is the best place to put your energy-efficiency dollars. Once that's done, consider installing a higher-effi...