Most writers have very good imaginations.
But let's face it, most writers write what they know. If all you know is the inside of your house, your story will show it.
Stephan King argues that every writer needs to be a reader. I totally agree.
I'm adding that writer's can't live in a box, or a study, or a lap top.
Let's say that you have a great idea for a mystery, and your super-sleuth finds a body at a construction site. Do you have any real knowledge what a construction site looks like? Time to grab a cup of Caribou Coffee and take some notes. Has it rained lately or is every everything very dry and dusty? What machine might have been used to bury the body?
How about pit mining? I'm sure if you called a local company, they would find the time to give you a tour. (I do not recommend this if your intent is to bad-mouth this process.)
Here's another one for you. Let's say your heroine must escape by climbing up a very steep embankment. If you've never done this, you can imagine what it'd be like: loosing your footing, looking down and being afraid of the height, etc.
To take your story to the next level! Visit a local climbing walls place and you'll know that your arm muscles being to burn (very quickly) from holding your weight. Moreover, the muscles actually being to contract, making you unable to extend your arm fully.
You never know what will happen when you're out doing research. You just might be inspired in a way you never thought possible.