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Renovation Contractor

Maintenance of a Home

Many homeowners understand that regular home maintenance is necessary for the appearance of a home, as well as serving to catch minor problems before they become major expenditures. However, what homeowners may not realize is that regular home maintenance also serves to help maintain the value of the home itself. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a home’s value can decrease as much as 10 percent when not properly maintained, which is reason enough to focus on curb appeal.
For people fortunate enough to be financially secure, home maintenance only means a call to a gardener, handyman, painter, etc., in order to repair a problem or improve on something that has become less-than-attractive to the homeowner. For the other homeowners, regular home maintenance can mean many hours every weekend, which is one reason some people choose to throw their hands up and say forget it. Individually, each task on a homeowners to-do list isn’t really that daunting; however, when taken as a whole, can be very overwhelming for both men and women – whether they are handy or not around the house and yard.
One way to avoid a sense of a-task-too-big-to-ever-get-finished is to make a list of the things that need to be done, and then prioritize the list. For example, if fines can be incurred for overgrown grass or an abundance of visible trash, be sure to put items like these at the top of the list, above less-visible tasks such as interior painting. Also, another way to ease the burden is to assign a task to each family member, so they all feel as if they’re a part of the overall beautification process of their home as well. By having teens rake leaves while smaller children gather them not only helps with chores needing to be done, but also promotes sibling bonding by having them work together.
Perhaps the best way to maintain your home’s appearance and value is to be proactive with regular maintenance. By separating maintenance chores by what is required from each season, homeowner’s will find that their to-do list becomes smaller every few months, instead of huge once a year. The benefits of staying on top of small projects can be seen by homeowners in not only comments from neighbors, but also in the bottom line of less home expenses, which may have you taking a second look at the lawn mower.…

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Remodeling Contractors

Budgeting for a Home Renovation

Budgeting for home renovations is always tough. Even when you plan for everything and even a few glitches along the way budgets often find a way to be busted. In order to keep your progress from ending in a budget stale mate here are a few things to keep in mind when renovations are planned for your home.
First decide why you are renovating your home. What do you hope to accomplish with the renovation? Are you adding space for a new addition? Are you adding space for a kids play room or do you hope that with your renovation you increase the value of your home. Knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish with your home renovations will make it easier to create a budget and stick to it. It is often when a plan is not created that we go overboard with spending. So the more you can think out ahead of time before renovations on your home begin the better your finances will look in the end.
Speaking of a budget determine how much you can afford to spend on this home renovation. If you realize that what you hope to accomplish is not possible within the funds you have allotted for the project than you can easily put it on hold at this stage of the process. Determine the cost of all materials, tools and furnishings that will be needed to complete the renovation. If you are doing a kitchen renovation make sure to take into account large items like stoves and refrigerators. If you are doing a bathroom remodel take into account a new tub, sink and vanity. A toilet and new fixtures should also be added to the budget.
Next ask yourself are you up to taking on the challenge of a remodel or is it better for you to hire a contractor to ensure a smooth renovation. If you are the handyman type simple renovations can easily be done on your own and can save your contractor fees. If you are going to hire out a residential contractor make sure to look at examples of their previous work. Ask for references and check out their website. The detail put into their work, references and website will give you a good idea of their work and work ethic. It is also important to make sure your gut tells you that the contractor you have chosen is right for you and your home renovation.
A timeline is also important in home renovations. It is important to go over this with your contractor and get in writing a plan of attack. It is important that each step is broke down into a time frame so that you and the contractor can work together to make sure progress stays on track.
Making sure that the contractor you hire is on the same page as you is one of the most important steps in home renovation. You can have this by opening the lines of communication from the start. Know that sometimes things can take an unexpected turn but that you are interested in keeping up to date with the progress and would like updates even when something goes haywire
Once you have agreed upon a plan do not keep changing things. Nothing makes a contractor bitter more than an indecisive customer. They to have a time frame to stay within so that they can continue work with other clients. Every change adds time and money to the budget so stick to the original plan of attack. It will ease the schedule and budget if you stick to the initial renovation plan.
The last thing you will need to decide is if you plan on living in your dwelling during the construction or if you plan on finding a place that is more conducive to your life. If you decide to live in your home during the renovation make sure that you do not interrupt the progress. A happy contractor makes for a happy homeowner.…

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Remodeling

Maintaining A Wooden Floor

Solid wood floors are in general very hard wearing and they do not mark easily, however you still do need to take care of them to avoid unnecessary damage.
Firstly a wooden floor is best suited to a room that does not get very hot or it may expand and begin to buckle and push up against itself, resulting in ridges arising in the floor, which can result in the floor having to be taken up and re-laid. To prevent this happening you can use cork expansion strips around the edge of the floor and a thin strip in between boards (Approximately every 4-5 metres) for large areas.
If your flooring is going to be placed in a high traffic area then it is a very good idea to apply at least one more coat of varnish or oil than the manufacturer recommends to give it that little bit more protection.
Place a dirt barrier mat down inside your front door to stop people walking grit on to the wooden floor. Little bits of grit and stone are one of the major causes of damage as they scratch the flooring badly. Ideally get people to take their shoes off. This last point most definitely applies to high heels, as high heels and wooden floors do not mix, as they can cause irreparable damage to the flooring.
If you are going to place plants on the floor then ensure that they have a suitable tray underneath them to collect any excess water that might seep through when they are watered, as if not over a period of time you will get watermarks appearing that will be very hard to even sand out of the wood.
If you have dogs or cats ensure that their nails are kept short, as pets scratching at the floor by a doorway are one of the other main causes of damage.
Weekly maintenance should consist of vacuuming the floor, followed by a light mop over with water, avoiding using excess water otherwise this will result in smears showing up on the floor.
Whilst your wooden flooring will not need sanding down and re-varnishing for many years, you may occasionally need to put another layer of varnish down, however you will not always need to sand the floor. To check if it needs varnish, drip water on the floor, if it stays as beads then it does not need varnishing. If it soaks in slowly it may need varnishing, but not sanding, but if it soaks straight in then it will need sanding and varnishing.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Home Maintenance As a Consideration in Homeownership Cost

When looking for a home to buy, one of the main questions is “What can I afford?” This is different than the question of “What size of loan do I qualify for?” Let’s say that after reviewing your finances you find that you can afford to spend $1200 a month on housing. It is not just the loan payment that is important to consider, but also the property tax, insurance, maintenance, and home improvements.
Maintenance: Some of the items that you need to be aware of will include the HVAC system and all of the associated parts including the inside and outside components. This would also include the cooling in the summer and then the switchover of the system to heating in the winter. Other items would include the plumbing and all of the pipes, those that you can see and those that are hidden within the walls. Many buyers also discount the amount for painting the property, especially any exterior surfaces in year 2 and beyond of ownership.
Improvements: Such as additions of improvements based upon your specific wants and needs. Items in the house do wear out of just go out of style and it will be your responsibility as a home owner to replace items like the appliances or even the roof.
What home maintenance duties do homeowners most often ignore?
Homeowners don’t clean drain traps. They don’t clean out the lint from the dryer vent. That is the No. 1 cause of house fires. They do seem to always change their air filters – but they don’t vacuum out the duct system when they do. They also don’t clean refrigerator coils. That’s where everything in the house collects.
What is the most important thing homeowners should do with their homes?
Homeowners should continually check for water intrusion around windows and doors. Look for hairline cracks. If the exterior is stucco, look for hairline cracks and repair them because they could get worse and that could result in major repairs. Stop water from coming into the house. Caulk around doors, windows and in wet areas like showers and tubs. People tend to neglect that and it causes major problems when water gets behind walls.
What do you look for in new homes as opposed to old homes?
We look for the same things. People think that if they have a new home, they don’t need maintenance, but a new home is settling. It will have more cracking in stucco and exterior finishing. An older home has pretty much settled.
A rule of thumb for the annual cost of maintenance and improvements is 1% of the purchase price.
This is a brief look at home maintenance issues and what homeowners should consider when making a home purchase. If you fail to plan for these expenses, you may just find that you can’t afford the home after all.…

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Room Additions

How Often Should I Inspect My New Home?

Lets start from scratch here, you just purchased a brand-new home and everything works fine in the house, but you’re wondering when or how often you will need to inspect your home as part of your home maintenance program.
For a brand-new home, I would recommend inspecting your house on an annual basis or at least once a year, for the first five years of home ownership. Then I would recommend inspecting the home every six months, for the next 10 years, after that I would recommend inspecting the home at the least once every three months.
There’s a good chance that you won’t have any problems with your home, if everything is working properly and you haven’t had any problems within the first months occupancy. If however, you have had problems within the first few months, there’s a good chance that you will have more problems and these could be caused by product failures or improperly installed products.
Make sure that you check your new home warranties to make sure, what you will be responsible for and what the home builder will be responsible for and exactly how long these products will be warranted for.
If you inspect your home after five years and you haven’t had any problems with the house, there’s a good chance that you could continue inspecting your home on an annual basis. However, what would it hurt to inspect your home once every six months or twice a year?
If you can get your hands on a good home inspection checklist, you can make some extra copies and save them for future home inspections. Home inspection is part of home maintenance and if you’re not interested in taking care of your home, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find a handyman or contractor in your area that could provide you with a basic home inspection, on a regular basis.…

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Home Repair

Four Tips For Keeping Pests at Bay

As a homeowner, you certainly want to do everything possible to keep your home looking its best while also preventing damage. As such, it is essential that you take steps to prevent pest damage from occurring. Not only can pest damage be costly to you as a homeowner, it can also make it difficult to sell your home in the future. After all, a potential buyer is going to be less than impressed if he or she sees damage that was caused by termites, squirrels or other pests. In addition to causing the potential buyer to wonder about how extensive the damage may be, it may also raise questions about the overall condition of the home. Therefore, in order to prevent your home from being damaged by pests, it is a good idea to implement these simple measures.
Tip #1: Remove Excess Water
All pests need water to survive, so one way to control pests is to get rid of unnecessary or excess water. Some key trouble areas you should address include:
* Leaky plumbing
* Remove items that have been water damaged
* Get rid of standing water, such as water that has pooled inside buckets or overturned garbage can lids
* Use gutters to prevent water from accumulating around your home
* Repair cracks in the foundation so water and moisture does not accumulate in your basement
Tip #2: Remove Hiding Places
Pests need hiding places to stay safe and secure – and to escape from you. Therefore, you should block off and remove any hiding places that those pests may use. Some steps you can take to remove and block off hiding places include:
* Caulk any cracks or crevices that you find in the exterior of your home
* Avoid storing items such as paper bags, newspapers and boxes for extended periods of time in your home
* Check boxes or packages that you are bringing in from the outside before you put them in your house
Tip #3: Remove Potential Entryways
Pests will find a way into your home in any way possible. Some ways to block off entryways include:
* Place screens on windows, floor drains and doors
* Block any passageways that may be available through your floor
* Install weather striping on windows and doors
* Seal and caulk any openings in your walls
* Keep doors shut whenever they are not being used
Tip #4: Remove Food
Finally, removing food is an essential step toward keeping pests at bay. Remember, will eat more than just human food wastes. Therefore, be sure to seal your pet food, bird seeds and other foods in containers that cannot be chewed through by pests.
Simply put, you need to make the environment as uncomfortable for pests as possible. Let’s face it – the inside of your home is a nice place to be. Not only is the temperature comfortable, but the indoors is also free from rain, snow and sleet. By keeping food and water put away while also removing easy entry points, you will make it far less likely for your home to be invaded by pests.…

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Kitchen Remodel

5 Things to Consider When Renovating a Bathroom

New furniture and a fresh coat of paint is all it takes to give many rooms in the house a totally new look. Yet, bathrooms are usually a completely different story. If you have plans to renovate a bathroom at home, read through this article to learn about some of the important factors of a bathroom remodel.
1. How Far do You Want to Go?: When you decide to renovate a bathroom, you will be faced with an array of choices. One of the first and most important things to consider when deciding to renovate a bathroom is how big of a change you want to make. Do you wish to scrap the entire space and start from the beginning? Possibly you love the look of the bathroom, but just want a new bath or shower system. Or you could simply want to freshen things up with a new colour of paint and updated fixtures. Whichever route you choose to take, until you know how far you want to take this renovation, you cannot move ahead with your plans.
2. Contracting the Job to a Professional: Once you know how big the renovation project is going to be, you will have to decide whether you will be taking on this project yourself or hiring a professional bathroom remodelling company. For simple things like changing hardware and re-painting, you can most likely do that yourself. However, if you are starting from scratch and install all new flooring and a new bath and shower system, you will want to hire a professional. Professionals will be able to deal with any plumbing or electrical issues that could arise in a renovation.
3. Function of the Space: Now that you know how big of a renovation you want and whether or not you are hiring a team of professionals, it is time to think about the overall function of your soon-to-be new bathroom. Now there are obvious uses that don’t need to be mentioned, but aside from those, what else do you want this space to offer? Will this be a smaller powder room for guests? Is this a larger, common bathroom that the whole family uses, therefore it needs to be more durable? Or perhaps it is your private ensuite that you wish to turn into your own personal spa-like space. Knowing what you want from your new bathroom will help you know which direction to go in terms of budget, layout and design.
4. Budgeting for Your Project: With the technical aspects out of the way, you can start to organize your budget for the renovation. If you are hiring a professional contractor and doing a full renovation, your budget will obviously be much higher. You should also be setting aside an emergency fund in the case that something should happen during the process if this is what you are planning to do. You are dealing with much more in a bathroom renovation as opposed to a bedroom or living room because plumbing gets thrown into the mix.
5. Budget Your Time: One more important thing to do when planning a bathroom renovation is to set a timeframe for the actual process. Whether it will be a long or short process, be sure to allow for some flexibility. By allowing for flexibility, you will be prepared in case there is unexpected structural or plumbing problems, delivery or manufacturing delays or other outside issues.…