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The Home Depot

10 Old & Outdated Home Improvements

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Handyman > 10 Old & Outdated Home Improvements
10 Old & Outdated Home Improvements

One very easy way to track the progression of time is by noticing the way people live and the things they use. Remember those giant cell phones Zack Morris used on Saved by the Bell? Or, have you ever heard someone reference an “icebox” in an old movie?


You don’t want people who come to visit your home to feel as though they stepped into a time machine. Keep your home looking fresh and up-to-date. Not only will it look better, it will help improve your home’s property value should you ever wish to sell.


Are you wondering whether or not your home looks like something straight out of 1955? Look for ways to update by reading this list of 10 old and outdated home improvements.

  1. 1. Land lines

    More and more, homeowners are beginning to eschew land line telephones for cell phones. You don’t have to shut off your cell phone and get a new number when you move, and your cell phone goes everywhere with you so you never miss a call.

  2. 2. Carpet

    Back in the day, wall-to-wall carpet was a given in most households. Wood floors have always been considered beautiful, but they can be pricy to install and maintain. Marble is even more expensive and tile is often relegated to the bathroom. However, these days it’s easier than ever to kick carpet to the curb. That’s because there are so many inexpensive wood floor options thanks to engineered hardwood. With it, you can achieve durable, attractive floors that look just like wood.

  3. 3. Large entertainment center

    You know the kind. The huge entertainment center that was large enough to house your big old TV, a VCR and maybe even a CD player. Now, flat screen television sets are the norm in many homes. And since flat screens take up a lot less room that old-style television sets and are so easy to mount on a wall, the large entertainment center that your parents may have had is not obsolete.

  4. 4. Storm windows

    Storm windows used to be a must for every home. They were (and often still are) well regarded for their ability to withstand more and keep homes sealed than other windows could. However, nowadays, windows now are better equipped to insulate and withstand impact.

  5. 5. Shutters

    When was the last time you had to pull the shutters closed when a big storm rolls through? The answer to this probably depends on what part of the country you live in. However, even in places that hardly ever see high winds and rain, homes might be built with decorative shutters. In those places, the shutters have gone way past their usefulness and are now there only for decorative reasons.

  6. 6. Wood paneling

    Wood paneling was awesome in the Brady Bunch, but not so awesome over 30 years later. There is nothing really wrong with wood paneling – it just screams 70’s. If you have wood paneling in your own home, you can rip it out. If that doesn’t sound like something you want to do, you can give it new life by painting over it with another color.

  8. 7. Wallpaper

    Wallpaper: Similar to wood paneling, there is nothing really wrong with wallpaper – it just makes your home look dated. Wall paper can fade and curl, which makes the entire room look stale and neglected. Instead of opting for some of grandma’s favorite flowered wallpaper for your guest room renovation, consider another way of decorating your wall. Try painting a mural or just using wallpaper boarders. There are also decals that you can put on your wall that match a variety of decorating styles.

  9. 8. Top loading washing machines

    It seems like front-loading washers are all the rage these days. They are more energy-efficient than traditional models and have the spin power to get clothes even cleaner than their top-loading cousins. However, they do have one drawback. Many consumers note that front-loading machines can produce smelly mold because water gets trapped in the rubbery trim that lines the door. Manufacturers suggest consumers leave the doors to their machines open for a little while after use so that they can properly dry out.

  10. 9. Overloaded surge protector

    It’s almost 2013 – your home doesn’t have to be a tangled mess or cords and cables. That’s because there are now lots of ways to hide messy cords. There are covers that appear to blend into the wall to hide cables from mounted flat screen television sets. This product from neatly tucks away messy unsightly outlets and plugs.

  11. 10. Rethink your dining room

    Over the years, Americans have become a lot more casual – and so have their living spaces. If you have a formal dining room, chances are you only use it for special occasions just a few times a year. Nowadays, homes are more flexible. Fancy tables, hidden storage and multi-use furniture means that a room can be a fancy dining room on Sunday, and a study room for the kids on Monday.

  12. Bring your home up-to-date by rethinking some of the things you use every day. We’re not living like the Jetsons just yet – but we’re not living like the Flintstones, either!

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