home repair

4 Key Home Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

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Homeownership is one of life’s great milestones, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities that many people overlook. Poor home maintenance can cost you a lot of money. Proper maintenance and inspections can help you prevent a disaster and protect your investment.

Roofing and Gutters

It is a sensible idea to inspect your roof once or twice a year, before and after fall and winter. If you have missing roof tiles or shingles, these could cause massive damage to your home in a short amount of time. Missing shingles equal leaks in your roof.  Pay close attention to areas like chimneys and skylights, as these are the areas most prone to damage. 

When inspecting the Roof

Look for damaged roofing and nails popped up or tar that has separated or torn loose. When you can see nails uncovered in the shingles this is a sign that sealants are failing. A simple fix is to recoat visible nails with roofing tar.

bird's eye view of assorted-color roof tiles

Look for damaged or cracked roof vents. This is a common problem with plastic roof vents. Cracked roof vents can turn into a source of water penetration. A temporary fix would be to caulk the cracks until you could get them replaced. If replacing I would only recommend going with a metal roof vent. 

Drainage from the roof is important, and blocked gutters can cause water damage to your home’s sidings or brickwork. Leaves from the fall and even children’s toys like rubber balls and frisbees can block guttering and cause water to overflow and cause costly damage.

Plumbing and Toilets

Water damage can be incredibly expensive to repair, so every homeowner should be proactive and take steps to check for leaks in their home as well as preventative steps to protect their plumbing system.

grayscale photography of metal pipes

Clear your sinks and drains of cooking fat and hair using appropriate chemicals, and check pipes for signs of leakage such as rust or limescale build-up and damp patches. Leaking toilets can cost a lot of money in utility bills. Check if your toilet is leaking internally by adding some food coloring to the tank. Leave it for an hour or so, without flushing, and check the toilet bowl for signs of the food coloring. If there is some coloring in the bowl, then you have a small leak that could be costing you money.

Be sure to check valves and hoses. Burst water hoses cause millions of dollars in damage to homes every year. Valves and hoses should be assessed for damage and wear or simply replaced due to age.

Toilets Failure

Over time some of the components on your toilet will fail, this includes, wax ring, handle, assembly, and base seal.

“One of the most common plumbing calls we get are from people with running toilets. Often either the flapper has worn out or the toilet assembly needs to be completely replaced,” explains Stuart McHenry who is the Co-founder of Office Gator a phone service for plumbers.

Over time wax rings fail. Look for signs of leakage all around the toilet. The floor may be raised from absorption of the leak. Make sure that the silicone seal has a gap near the back and does not completely seal. Plumbers due this to give a leak a place to go. If you do a full silicone seal around the base of the toilet a leak has not where to go but down. In addition it will most likely cause flooring damage before you notice it. 

Air Conditioning and Air Filters

Your home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will require some regular maintenance too.

white and gray box fan

Poor maintenance of your HVAC can prevent it from working effectively, cost you extra money in running costs, and also be a hazard to your health. Air filters should be replaced regularly, so look for replacements for your system. HEPA filters help remove particles in the air that can aggravate asthma and other breathing conditions and have been shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses including COVID-19.

Some air filters can be used for long periods of time, up to 6-12 months, depending on your system. Most use a standard size filter and are required to be changed anywhere from 30-90 days depending on the area you live in. In my dusty area we have to change our air filters every two months or the air filter will become overloaded and block the air flow. 

Home Appliance Maintenance

Washing machines require plumbing to work, and poorly installed or maintained water hoses can cause small leaks that grow quickly, and damage your home. Make annual checks to your washing machine to make sure it is connected properly and that the supply hose is in good working order. When it comes to washing machine hoses I only used braided stainless steel. In addition, I replace them every 10 years no matter what. This is a great example of how $30 in maintenance can save you thousands in damage.

Some refrigerators also have a water supply for making ice or supplying chilled water, so you should check their water supply hose regularly too. Also, check the seals around the chilled and frozen sections of your refrigerator to ensure they are in good condition and form a complete seal between the doors and the body of the appliance. Poor sealing is incredibly energy inefficient and will cost you money. Fridges also have a section of water line that needs to be checked and replaced just like a washing machine hose.

Maintaining a home can prevent major expensive failures. This doesn’t mean you won’t have to eventually replace items, it’s still a good idea to set money aside for when a major improvement does need to be done such as heating system replacement or re-roofing your house. 

With these tips, you should be able to protect your home and prevent damage that can cost thousands to repair, as well as being disruptive to you and your family’s daily life.

Curb Appeal Upgrades for 2020 Sellers

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Are you looking at selling your home? Or are you simply wanting to do renovations? Whatever the case, we all like to have an attractive curb appeal. Everybody likes to have a nice front yard. Having an attractive curb appeal and a nice front yard are what will help homeowners to attract potential buyers. It will also help real estate agents to sell your home for you.

white and black house near to pond

Improving the curb appeal of your home is not as hard as you might think. In this article, we will have a look at how to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home, whether you are selling your home in New York or in Canadian regions like luxury North Vancouver homes. We hope these ideas will inspire you to give them a go.

Give The Front Porch a Fresh Coat of Paint

Giving the front porch a fresh coat of paint will hide any noticeable wear and tare that may be lurking on your house. It will also make it look as though you care about the appearance of your house rather than let it age and look run down. Why not get creative with whatever design you decide to use. You could even get adventurous with the color of paint that you select as well. If you are not sure on what paint color to use, you can call in a professional to help you with this. Don’t be afraid to get second opinions before going ahead with painting.

Front Yard

The front yard is one of the first things that people see when they drive or walk past our homes. It can leave a good impression or it can leave a bad impression of your home and property. Giving your front yard a makeover is well worth the effort. From plants, to landscape lighting, to perfect symmetry, these can all drastically improve your front yard.

Planting Bed, Plants, Potted Plants and Flowers

Consider planting a variety of plants, potted plants, flowers and perhaps even a planting bed in your front yard. There are so many options that you can choose from so why not get creative in this. Again, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from someone professional if you don’t know much about gardening. Whether you have a small yard or a large yard, you can be sure that there will be something suitable to plant in them. You never know, you may soon fall in love with your new gardens and find yourself out in them every day.

Bird Feeders

Bird feeders make for fantastic decorations. From small bird feeders to large bird feeders, you can place them anywhere in any yard. If you have a love for birds and they do not come to your home, then this could be one way to attract them. Bird feeders can also come with water fountains that can be filled with water. The rain can also fill these feeders up. This will allow the birds to come and drink from your bird feeder and enjoy the yard that you have created.

Front Porch and Front Door

The front porch and front door are just as important as the front yard. This is the first place that people step on to before coming into your home. If you want to attract people in to your home, then the front porch should be designed to be attractive. It should also be kept neat, clean and tidy. Choose an attractive paint color and design for the front porch and front door. They should blend in well with each other. The door itself can also have its own special and unique design.

Install Window Boxes

If suitable, window boxes can also be installed on to the front porch of your home. These will allow you to have even more room for plants, flowers or herbs in them giving you more space to bring nature into you front porch. It is not as hard as you might think to install window boxes on to the front porch of your home.

Outdoor Lighting

We all need to see where we are going if outside after dark. Outdoor lighting also needs to be considered. Not only for the front yard also for the backyard. The lighting could simply be under your porches, or it could also be included in other areas of the yard. From large lights, to small lights, to lanterns and fairy lights. There is a wide range of outdoor lighting that you can choose from to help make your yards and porches attractive. As Garage is important too, you can also buy Garage doors online to enhance the beauty of the backyard.

Home Buyers

If you are going to be selling your home, you want to be sure to attract home buyers. You will not attract home buyers if you do not make the necessary home improvements to your home. You can be sure that real estate agents will know what they are looking for if you want them to sell your home for you. They will also be able to tell you what you need to do to make your home look appealing. The home’s curb appeal really has to be attractive enough for potential buyers.

Preparing your home for sale, requires time and effort. Don’t be afraid to start as early as possible. Do as much research as you can for design ideas. Don’t be afraid to go to professionals for help. They will be able to give you the best advice possible as to how you can Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home.

You can be sure that by doing all of the above will help you to boost your home’s curb appeal. You might even find yourself pleasantly surprised as to just how quickly you will be able to sell your home by making the necessary home improvements. Preparing your home in this way will be well worth the time and effort that you put into it.

pipes and plumbing

Should A Landlord Take Care Of Pipes And Plumbing?

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Say you’ve invested in real estate and rented out your property to a tenant and one day you get a message that there are a broken pipe and plumbing issues in your renter’s home. If you’re new to being a landlord, you might be wondering to yourself if that responsibility falls under you, or if your tenant has to maintain upkeep.

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

Being a landlord is no easy feat as there are a plethora of property management responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. To help, this guide will provide you with some insight into what you should do if a situation like the above were to occur. That way, you’d be more prepared to handle various circumstances and avoid unnecessary issues with your tenants. 

What does the law say?  

While this can vary in different countries and states, it’s generally dictated that it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair both the pipes and the plumbing in a rental unit, while providing proper maintenance to ensure that they’re in tip-top shape. This obligation falls under two theories of the lease requiring it, and something is known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” 

selective focus photography of three books beside opened notebook

What happens if it has been violated?  

With a lease, it’s usually either a written or verbal agreement where the renter agrees to pay a stipulated amount of money for the rent to obtain the premise in a habitable condition. In the UK this is referred to as a tenancy agreement. In the US, many call it a lease agreement. 

red and blue love neon light signage

If the home that they’re renting is not maintained in the condition which is agreed upon – such as clogged waste disposal or improper plumbing, then this is considered a violation of the lease. With that, the occupant can choose to enforce it against you, as they’re not getting what they paid for. 

As for the second theory, it essentially refers to the rental unit needing to be safely habitable. This includes not having mold in the home to having working plumbing. For this particular theory, however, you don’t have to fix anything minor such as a drip. However, if there are larger plumbing issues that are affecting both the habitability and health of the occupant, then it must be addressed immediately. 

If not, the individual renting the unit can choose to pay rent into escrow until repairs have been completed. This not only pertains to plumbing, but also other issues like spaces within the property – such as the kitchen and bathroom not being properly maintained. In this instance, you should help in remodeling the space and convert it into something that’s aesthetically-pleasing and most importantly, safe. 

What if something serious happens? 

While one can hope it never happens, sometimes a massive leak can occur – resulting in the damage of belongings. In such a scenario, you would have violated a duty in maintenance which can be considered as legally negligent. When this occurs, you would need to pay for any losses which could encapsulate property damage, and any additional costs and expenses incurred. 

water coming out from gray pipe

It doesn’t just all fall on you though, the tenant also has to act responsibly and notify you early to alleviate the condition. If the water leak or plumbing issue occurred even with proper maintenance, or the occupant did something to cause the problem, then you’d be able to avoid responsibility altogether.  

Summing up

The best thing to do is to avoid such a situation from happening at all. While accidents do happen sometimes, it’s your obligation as a landlord to minimize such incidents. Before renting out your property, check that there are no maintenance issues and that all repairs have been made. After the property has been rented out, the tenant should also be made aware that if anything urgent were to happen such as a burst pipe or electrical problems, the occupant needs to alert you immediately.  

It’s a two-way relationship between you and whoever you’re renting to. Just as you’re making an effort to provide them with a comfortable living space, they should also help with maintaining the premise and common areas. With proper communication and both parties doing their part, it can reduce confusion and prevent any misunderstandings down the line.

What To Consider When You Are Undertaking A Home Renovation 

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If you have decided to renovate your home, but your head is spinning what you need to do to get everything underway, the key is planning. By creating a plan for your renovation you can ensure the process is as smooth and easy as possible, without the unexpected issues that often pop up when you least expect it. 

brown wooden stairs

Whether you are planning to do some of the renovations yourself or you are calling in the experts, be sure to sit down and map out a plan so you have a stage by stage outline of what you can expect to pay and how long the process will take. 

Steps for your home renovation 

Here are some basic steps to consider when undertaking a renovation, the key to a great renovation is planning and preparation – that way you have the peace of mind that your project will run smoothly and there won’t be huge surprises. 

gray concrete walls with broken floor

Plan and design the renovation

This is important as you will need a draftsman to plan your design or at least have a rough idea of what you will be updating or renovating. Whether it is a small project or a large one, you will need to check with your local council what is allowed and what projects require a DA. 

person writing bucket list on book

Research builders and trades

Now is a good time to ask for recommendations for trades and builders that can help carry out the work. Word of mouth recommendations are always best, however, a quick online search can also find some great options. 

black and white box on brown wooden table

Order your materials, fixtures, and fittings

You will need to plan ahead and order in any materials, appliances, or specific items required for the build. A builder or your trades will be able to help source these items and can help with this stage.

turned-on pendant lamps

Don’t leave it too late, otherwise, you might wind up blowing out the timing of the project waiting for materials to arrive. 

Create a plan for the renovation

man climbing on ladder inside room

Now you should work out who is doing what and what days, there will be a range of stages including demolition, framing, walls, and ceilings, installing appliances and cabinetry, adding in flooring, lighting, and painting, and each process should be done in a specific order. You can’t paint the house, for example, until everything has been installed otherwise you will wind up needing to do this again. 

Once you have completed your renovation you might need your local council to do an inspection and sign off the work, so be sure to keep them up to date if you have deadlines for the project, so they are aware of each stage of completion. 

No matter the size of the renovation project, it is always important to have a plan in place and work closely with your trades to ensure the work is carried out on time and one budget. Whether you are spending a few thousand or a hundred thousand, work to a plan and you will wind up having a smoother renovation with fewer hassles guaranteed.

Steps for Protecting Your Home from a Termite Infestation 

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Many homeowners often wonder how they can prevent termites from destroying their homes. There are two primary methods for preventing termite damage to your home. Those methods include preventing termites from gaining access to your home and treating termites if they do gain access. Hiring an expert termite control company can help with both of those goals.

brown leaves

One of the best ways to prevent termite access to your home is to schedule regular termite inspections. A qualified expert should perform these inspections on an annual basis. During these inspections, your pest control expert can address any conditions in and around your home that might lead to termite access. Such everyday situations include contact between wood and the ground as well as the presence of excessive moisture.

An expert termite control company can also provide recommendations regarding preventative termite treatments. These treatments may include bait and monitoring systems or even direct wood treatment. By working with a pest control professional, you can determine which treatment is most useful for your home’s situation.

Removal of access is another crucial step in preventing termites from gaining access to your home. Homeowners can accomplish this by sealing any gaps around gas and water lines that might provide entry to the house. Pest control experts also recommend reducing wood-to-ground contact when possible. Depending on your situation, your pest control expert may recommend treating wood in your home with termiticide.

brown wooden surface

By working with an experienced pest control company, you will also learn how to reduce food sources that might make your home more attractive to termites. It would help if you disposed of any cellulose materials that might be present in your home, particularly in crawl spaces. Additionally, it would be best if you relocated landscaping mulch, so it is a minimum of six inches away from your home’s foundation.

It is also essential to reduce as much excess moisture as possible. Homeowners should ensure there is no opportunity for water to accumulate around their home’s foundation. It would be best if you also took care of faulty gutters, leaky plumbing, or any moisture problems that might be present in crawl spaces or the basement of your home. The same approach applies to air conditioner condensation lines.

grey and brown house

Homeowners may also find it beneficial to seal all the crevices and cracks in their homes to prevent termites from gaining access to their homes. An easy way to accomplish this is by giving your home a fresh coat of paint. The installation of foundation vents and bug screens over windows is also vital for keeping termites out of your home.

Your pest management professional can also provide recommendations regarding prevention techniques. A monitoring station can give warning of termite activity in your home. The earlier you are notified of the presence of termites in your home, the more opportunity you will have to address the situation early on. Homeowners should keep in mind that monitoring stations do not provide termite infestation protection. It is still important to discuss proactive treatment with your termite control company.

new home furnishings

Furnishing Your New Home: 5 Things You Absolutely Need

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You’ve moved into your new home, and then you take a look around.

The older furnishings aren’t suiting the new room sizes and existing décor. They either don’t fill the space well, there’s too little of them (and replacements won’t match the existing pieces), or it’s just time to be out with the old and in with the new. 

To help you along, here are 5 things that you’ll want to get for your new home. 

A New Bed

If you’ve been dissatisfied with your existing mattress, then it might be time for a new one. 

The signs that you need a replacement include when it’s sagging in the middle, one side is lower, or it just doesn’t provide the level of support necessary for you. 

Also, if you’ve changed your sleeping posture previously – e.g. from a back sleeper to a side sleeper – then the current mattress might now be uncomfortable. 

In either case, getting a new mattress will do wonders for your sleep pattern. Be sure to search for the best online mattresses for your style of sleeping to be satisfied with the purchase. 

Desk Lamps and Standing Lamps

You may have decided to keep the existing lighting arrangements as they are. Perhaps they’re a little on the old side, but changing the lighting is not in the budget for now; other priorities are more important. In which case, what can you do to brighten up the darker rooms?

Changing to brighter bulbs is one option, but the bulb sockets will only accept up to a certain wattage. So, even with LEDs, there’s a limit to what you can do here. 

Another option is to furnish the darker rooms with standing lamps with an upplight design that projects light to the ceiling where it can spread across the ceiling. Desk lamps are also useful to illuminate common seating areas and other places where people like to relax. 

Bookcases

Add a bookcase to store your books and other items in an organized manner. 

If you’re moved into a larger home, perhaps these were previously put into storage or situated in the garage because the room sizes were restrictive. That’s no longer the case if the rooms are larger or there’s more of them. So, take advantage of the extra space to make your favorite books more accessible. 

Drawings or Paintings

If you dislike bare painted walls, then you’ll need some artistic drawings, paintings, or photography that’s framed to add some much-needed color and/or creativity to living spaces. If paintings are beyond your budget, then look at framed photographs – you can use some of your own – which is an inexpensive way to personalize. 

It stands to reason that before you do this, you might also wish to change the color scheme in the home first to avoid trying to cover up an ugly color with the artwork. 

Floor Rugs

If the new home has more hardwood flooring than you’re used to, then you may be facing cold floors in the morning in your bare feet. That will get old fast!

While going back to carpeting is probably not what you’re looking for, a solution must be found.

We’d suggest looking into getting a few carefully chosen floor rugs for a certain room. Make sure these aren’t areas where people will be rushing around unless you plan to stick the rugs to the floor to prevent them from slipping around. 

When you’re furnishing your home, be sure not to do too much. Overstuffing each room will make them feel smaller than they are, and that’s not your intended goal. 

garage safety tips

5 Garage Safety Tips to Safeguard Your Possessions

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It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of ways to protect your home and family, but your garage truly is the first line of defense against home invaders.

What’s more, many new homeowners tend to forget that the garage can be quite a dangerous place if you have small children who don’t understand the hazards of rummaging around the garage when you’re not looking. For these and many other reasons, improving the safety and security of your garage should be one of your top priorities.

By opting for some budget-friendly upgrades and improvements in your garage (and the rest of the house), you can easily make your entire property more secure, while elevating the aesthetic appeal of the garage in the process. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best garage safety tips that will safeguard your home, family, and possessions.

Install interior and exterior lighting

First things first, understand that a poorly-lit property is a home invader’s primary target, simply because it’s easy to approach without being seen, and because it gives out the impression that nobody is home. More often than not, homeowners will invest in interior lighting for the rest of the house, leaving the stock lightbulbs for the garage while the exterior is often left in the dark. This will often invite unwanted visitors to enter a home through the garage. 

woman sitting on orange vehicle

So, your first order of business should be to illuminate the perimeter around the garage with motion-sensor lighting, which will make it easier for you to navigate the property while deterring any intruders. You also have to make sure that the interior of the garage is well-lit as well to improve safety and minimize hazards for yourself and your kids if they’re playing in the garage. 

Pay special attention to the doors and windows

Of course, the primary way home invaders enter a property is either through the door or an unlatched window, especially the garage window that homeowners tend to leave cracked open to air out the garage. It should go without saying that you need to improve the security of your doors and windows, which is also one of the best home improvement ideas, to prevent any unlawful entry, and of course, to prevent your kids and other family members from getting injured.

Start with the main garage door, and opt for a reliable model like galvanized steel – one that can be remotely operated but has manual control features as well. Don’t forget about the service door, and opt for a deadbolt lock. You can keep the windows open, but be sure to put up bars to prevent anyone from venturing inside. That said, it’s always better to keep the windows locked as well.

Don’t skimp on the insurance

While it is imperative that you secure the perimeter and the interior of the garage, it’s also important to note that there is always a possibility that someone will manage to break inside and steal the most valuable possession in it – your car. This is why having comprehensive insurance of your vehicle is so important nowadays, because, as a homeowner, you need to have the right insurance policy at your side to protect you from every eventuality.

After all, just because you parked your car in your garage doesn’t mean that someone won’t try to claim it for themselves.

Keep the garage clean and organized

When you’re working in your garage, perhaps sprucing up your car or doing some DIY work, or when your kids are exploring and playing, you want to make sure that all hazards are brought down to a minimum.

white vehicle near tree

This means that you need to keep the space tidy and organized, and that you should keep all dangerous tools under lock and key. Cleaning the place regularly is a great way to maintain hygiene and the aesthetic appeal of the garage, and it will help you keep the interior as safe to dwell in as possible. 

Invest in an alarm system 

Choosing a home security system can be a complex and cumbersome task, however, it is necessary if you want to keep your property safe at all times. Of course, you can call in a professional to install a garage security system, or you can do it yourself by installing the aforementioned motion-sensor lighting, mounting motion-sensor cameras, and connecting the alarm system to your smartphone so that you can phone the authorities on a moment’s notice should the need arise.

Wrapping up

The garage is a common target for home invaders and thieves nowadays, simply because homeowners tend to prioritize other parts of their home when it comes to safety and security. With these tips in mind, though, you will have no problem keeping your garage safe and your home secure on all fronts.

Simple and Budget-Friendly Ways to Upgrade Your Home

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How many times have you visited friends and family members only to look around their house in envy and wish you had that same decorating flair? How many times have you also found yourself flipping through home design and décor magazines wishing that you could transform your own space into something more luxurious and stylish? 

If the budget and your lack of DIY experience have been holding you back from making these upgrades in your home, it’s time to think again. In reality, there are a number of easy and cost-effective upgrades you can make that will provide some really incredible results.

Paint Always Gives the Most Bang for Your Buck

When it comes to the ultimate simple and budget-friendly way to upgrade your home, fresh paint will always give you the most bang for your buck. By changing the colors on your walls, the entire house will take on a new feel and look. If you’re on a tight budget, just stick to the common rooms – the ones that get used the most. This could include the kitchen, family room, dining room, and living room.

Change Up Your Décor and Decorative Items

If you’re not willing to put the time and money into a full renovation project, then you can get some pretty impactful results with some simple changes. Why not switch out all those old décor pieces that have been hanging around way past their best before style date?

Things such as throw pillows, vases, decorative bowls, and even old photo frames can be taken away and replaced with new fresh pieces. What’s great about changing the décor is that you can change the atmosphere, look, and feel of the room in a very simple way.

Slipcovers Inject New Life and Style into Pieces

Part of what can make a home feel tired and less than modern is furniture that has dated fabric coverings. It doesn’t even have to be dated; it may just be worn down so it no longer looks its best. There is a very simple and budget-friendly way to get that couch, loveseat, and armchair back to “like new” condition; slipcovers

Slipcovers are meant to fit right over the existing cushions and give a whole new look to the furniture. You can instantly change up the style, fabric, color, texture, and print by using slipcovers. And what’s handy about these is that you can keep them clean by throwing them in the washing machine, or sending them off to the cleaners. Just be sure to read the label on the washing instructions.

Invest in a New Mattress

When you think of “upgrading” your home, your mattress may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but in reality, this can change your entire sleep experience. There is no work, DIY, or construction involved in this project, making it extremely simple. All it takes is some research on your part to figure out what would be the best mattress for your sleep style, budget, and bedframe. For example, if you sleep on your side, you want to use a good mattress for side sleepers that offers the perfect amount of support, alignment, and firmness.

You can take this upgrade one step further and also invest in some brand new high-quality sheets that are soft to the touch, lightweight, and are breathable. These will be the most comfortable option all year-round. 

Time to Start Your Upgrades

This is just a small look at the many upgrades you can make in your home regardless of a tight budget and very little home décor and DIY experience.

remodel tips

Remodel Tips Contractors Don’t Want You to Know About

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Your home may need to be remodeled, but maybe you are holding off. The high cost of contractors, because of these major trends in the industry, can make a lot of people put off remodeling their homes. However, remodeling raises the resale value of your home and makes it more comfortable for you to live in. It is fair to say that remodeling is an important part of homeownership. 

Don’t let the high cost of contractors deter you. In this article, we provide the top remodeling tips that contractors don’t want you to know. If you want a beautifully renovated home that still fits into your budget, read on. 

grey stove range oven

Hire Your Own Sub Contractors

Before we jump into the tips below let’s talk about one of the biggest ways to save a bundle. Mike Epson at the TheSmartConsumer.com says that “it’s easier than you think to be your own contractor. All you need is general knowledge of how something needs to be done.

You don’t even need to know how to do it.” Many contractors do not do hands-on work, many of them just take on the planning, inspection, and organizing of subcontractors. For taking on all the hassles their fees can increase a project anywhere from 10%-30%.

If you need to hire help, consider hiring subcontractors, or working with a staffing agency instead of one general to manage it all.

Remodeling tips

There are many ways that you can cut down on the costs of home remodeling. Below we’ve included the top four tips. Some are tips about DIY work you can perform, and some are ways to cut down on extra contractor costs. Each will save you money and make your remodeling plan much easier. 

Exterior painting is easy

Painting the exterior of your home is very easy. You don’t have to be a handyman to do it well. According to rl-remodeling “as long as you prepare the outside of your home to paint properly, the actual painting process is quite easy, it’s all in the prep work.” Most importantly, you will need to wash, seal cracks, and patch your home’s exterior. It takes time to tape and cover all the surfaces you don’t want the paint to get on. Preparation is often the most time-consuming step, but the effort will be worthwhile when you actually begin painting.  

While you can choose to use a paintbrush to paint the entire exterior of your home, that can get very time-consuming. I have actually seen people do this.

Instead, consider renting a paint sprayer. Anyone can use to learn these machines in about ten minutes. Plus, they are easy to rent at any equipment rental place, which saves you the cost of purchasing your own. 

If you use a sprayer to paint your home’s exterior, make sure it gets back rolled. Someone will also need to check for drips. You don’t want to have to deal with paint drips all over your lawn and patio. If you are not experienced in or intimidated by spray guns, you can also choose to rent a powered roller. These work off of a spray pump and will likely be easier for the beginner to control. 

Tiling Backsplashes and Countertops

Just as painting the exterior of your home is quite easy, so is tiling backsplashes and countertops. Many manufacturers now make a special glue that makes putting the tile in place much easier. You just glue the tile directly to drywall or the counter. It removes the need for extra backer board. This saves you time, effort, and money.

Just like painting, all of the expensive tools that are needed to install tile can be rented. You do not need to spend a lot of money purchasing them. Plus, now you can find pre-made tile backsplashes and countertops that are even easier to install. Just glue them where they need to go and you are done. There isn’t even any need for grout with some of the products out there. Tiling yourself does not cost much and will cut down on a lot of contractor costs. 

If your laying backer board on a wood subfloor one trick that the experts use is to use a roofing nailer to place short nails with big heads in place of some of the tile screws. Some installers will only use roofing nails. It definitely speeds things up, but I would recommend still using some screws with this method, probably somewhere in the 50% range, just because screws hold better and get the board tighter to the subfloor.

Even novices can do plumbing and electrical

Plumbing and electrical work can seem a little bit more intimidating than painting or tiling. And, you definitely want to do your research and make sure you are confident before you attempt any major repairs. However, there are now products, especially plumbing products, that make these tasks much easier for the novice. Let me be clear on this, do not do electrical work if you have no idea what you are doing.

Pex pipe can make any novice a plumbing expert in no time. Additionally, shark bite fittings are just pushed onto the pipe, which means you don’t need dedicated tools. Finally, as long as you have a PVC cutter and push-on fittings, you can perform almost any plumbing refit without expert-level knowledge. Plumbers literally hate that any average Joe can now attach pipes together without the use of a torch.

Just because you can easily do large plumbing and electrical remodels doesn’t mean you have to. If you choose to use a contractor, there are a few ways to cut down on costs. The biggest way to save on costs for both electrical and plumbing jobs is to do the trim work yourself. These are small jobs that plumbers and electricians can use to jack up their prices, but that you can easily learn to do on your own. 

DIY Examples of Outsourced Tasks

Plumbing trim includes

  • Connecting faucets 
  • Setting toilets 
  • Attaching shower heads

Faucets are a simple task anyone should be able to install

Macro Photography of a Stainless Steel Faucet

Electrical trim includes

  • Installing outlets and their covers 
  • Installing switches 
  • Installing indoor and outdoor lights 
  • Connecting a water heater

Electrical Covers are another simple DIY task

Remodels of HVAC systems are some of the most popular out of necessity and the most expensive. Although it is not recommended that novices install HVAC systems themselves, there are some cost-saving options. 

Ideally, you would buy the HVAC system online. This could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. As long as you still find a licensed contractor to install it for you, your warranty would remain valid. Legally, you might not have to use an installer. Instead, you would just have to meet your city code. 

Wrapping It Up

Clearly, there are many ways to remodel your home. The ones you choose will depend on your own experience level and the type of remodel job. You can even choose to work with a contractor to make your home improvements, you just need to approach the relationship in the correct way. If you just need it done and don’t want the here a good place to start, remodeling contractors. 

As an end to this article, here are two ways to lower the cost of working with a contractor. 

Supply your own materials 

Contractors mark up the materials they use when remodeling your home. Often, contractors will claim that they can purchase the materials at a wholesale price, which theoretically would save you money. However, if they pocket the difference, then you haven’t really saved anything at all. It may be a better idea to purchase the materials yourself and provide them for your contractor. Do the math on both options before choosing the best route.  

Create a bidding war

Contractors need work. They want your business. So, if you get a few estimates, you can use the lowest to bring down the price of the contractor you really prefer. Creating a bidding war may take a little skill, but it can save you lots of money in the long run. 

The next time you remodel your home, use the tips and tricks discussed in this article. They will save you money. All that’s left will be for you to enjoy your updated home. 

home improvement ideas

7 Home Improvement Ideas for Modern Homeowners

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Our homes are our places of rest and happiness, and they deserve to be properly maintained. This means they need to be protected from leaks, pests, structural damage, natural disasters and a lot more. There are many things homeowners need to do to keep their properties whole, but are they affordable and can we DIY all of them during remodeling

Being a homeowner is not an easy task, you have to take care of the overall condition of the property, and there are tons of tasks associated with that. Doing repairs and home improvements is not a favorite task, but it’s necessary if you want to keep the quality of your investment. If you’re determined to participate in these projects actively, here are some tips to keep in mind during renovations. They will help you create a modern, safe home for your family.

THE SURPRISING WAYS YOUR HOUSE COSTS YOU MONEY (READ HERE)

Plan Carefully

Regardless if it is a bunch of small touch-ups or a major spring/summer renovation, you should start with a plan. 

The first thing you need to take into account is that the best and most affordable contractors will be booked first and probably won’t have a suitable slot for a home visit for months ahead. 

In this case, planning ahead and looking for the best price and most reliable handyman specialist seems more than relevant, advised Australian Fantastic Handyman Company. Start by making a list of all the closest contractors, then start checking them one by one and writing down their price estimates. This will help you compare the competition and make an informed decision. 

Invest In Energy-Saving

To save more energy, you need to think and live green. There are lots of ways to upgrade your household appliances, if you haven’t done it until now, that is. 

Buying a new fridge, air conditioning or other household devices with a class A+ or A++ will significantly decrease your energy bills. 

Home insulation and noise-cancelling materials are other property enhancements you could take advantage of and stop the large percentage of heat loss during the colder months. Consider this a reasonable investment that will define your future expenses on energy. 

When insulating your property, however, don’t forget the parts attached to the property like the garage, basement, or conservatory. If you don’t cold-proof them, your place will lose more heat than the air conditioning generates, and this will result in huge energy bills and great heat loss. 

What you should also consider is that energy upgrades cost less during the home renovation than when adding them post-refurbishment.

Consider Alternative Energy Sources

If you’ve already upgraded your household appliances but would like to cut the costs, even more, adding a few renewable energy sources to your home is the next step to take. 

Solar panels are a classic eco-friendly home enhancement. So, let’s talk about the different spots you can place the photovoltaic energy sources for your home: 

  • Solar Awnings. This is a very practical combination, preventing heat from squeezing in your home. They keep different percentages of solar heat off your property’s interior- 77 % for windows situated on the west side of your home and 65% from windows facing south.
  • Interior Blinds. These, especially the slat-consistent shades, offer very good protection for your place. The slat type of blinds doesn’t look very dependable, but their flat slats offer flexibility. As opposed to ordinary shades, these can be adjusted in order to let a little natural light in without letting the devastating summer heat in the premises.
  • Exterior Blinds. These are generally made of wood, aluminum or vinyl and are, respectively, more resistant to the changing weather conditions outside. When rolled down their slats meet edge by edge and provide a thick shade. If you wish to let a little bit of sunlight in, you can raise them partially. This will leave a slight distance between the slats creating a dappled shade pattern.
  • Solar Power. Also, don’t forget about your backyard and patio. You can install solar panels on the ground of any home to run electric lawnmower and other tools. Solar power could also be used to water and light your garden. For a comprehensive view read the full post about solar lights and garden wind spinners.

Easily Avoid Common Mistakes

When you plan small repairs or bigger refurbishments, you should hire a professional, especially if you don’t have the experience and equipment to cope with the task. If not, then afterward you’ll most probably not like the outcome or worse – injure yourself and damage your property. This will automatically increase the budget planned for your home improvements and decrease its market value. 

In case you’re hesitant, many handyman service providers will advise you what materials to buy.. What is more, many of these companies offer reasonable prices and a considerable decrease in final payment, if you book more than one service for a visit.

Tackle Small Doable Projects

There are small improvements you could do yourself if you’re more experienced in DIY. And this is, undoubtedly, the best way to save money for other expenses. If you have no idea how to install your new shelves, tiles or how to repaint the walls at home, you can shop for materials.

Whatever you decide, it would be better to talk to the contractors first and schedule the tasks accordingly. This way the home repair, maintenance, or renovation projects happen faster.

Buy Materials Personally

There are thousands of websites for supplies and materials for practically every type of home improvement. 

But when you order them over the Internet, there are at least two problems that will definitely occur at some point. 

  1. First, you won’t have the chance to personally check any of the products you’re buying for defects. If you wish to buy furniture or anything of the sort, it would be better to go to the store yourself and take a look at it. This way you’ll be able to see the item and make a reasonable decision on whether it will be suitable for your home. 
  2. Second, ordering household items or maintenance and renovation supplies via website services, often carries the risk you won’t get the right color, size or type of the supplies you ordered. In this case, returning the order seems the only reasonable thing to do. 

However, there will definitely be a delay with your home improvement project.

Major Home Improvements

There are a few types of home repair and maintenance tasks you should not even think of tackling, and namely – structural, plumbing, and electrical. 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A HOUSE (READ HERE)

Don’t take this the wrong way- you should have these features of the household regularly inspected in order to prevent major household disasters like a burst pipe. Unless you have the experience and equipment of a dependable trade, you shouldn’t even think of this. 

Changing the pipes or an electric circuit often requires more than cutting here and there and fixing this and that. Major plumbing projects include breaking into walls and can cost you thousands when done wrong. Imagine what a tiny mistake might lead to. Moreover, in many countries, there are certain certificates which are required in order for you to cope with this time and effort consuming tasks.

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