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Basement Renovations

Essentials to Know About Home Maintenance and Its Cost

Aside from being one of life’s essentials, your home can be an investment of a lifetime. Though this structure can bring everyday life of the family the needed protection and comfort that even extends to other great benefits such as entertainment, relaxation and even luxury; many still overlook the importance of home maintenance. Keep in mind that homeownership does not end at purchasing a New York house but extends to caring for and managing the property to enjoy maximized beauty, functionality, coziness, as well as great return by resale time. So whether you are in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Manhattan know and implement the fundamentals of home maintenance and its cost and reap the rewards.

There can never be two houses that are entirely the same-considering not only construction and design but also the requirements and preferences of different homeowners and families. Thus, there are various ways to go about home repair and maintenance and there would always be a difference in costs from one house to another.

Home Maintenance… Why?

Though the answer is obvious, many still do not understand the full extent of the risks that they are exposing their homes and families to by not sticking religiously to home maintenance. Other than helping the fast deterioration of the house and its components, thus decreasing the possible life that your house will last and its livability, not keeping homes in good working condition also poses emergency repairs that are often costly and huge, as well as health and safety hazards to the household.

Home Maintenance Checklist

To keep your homes in good working condition all throughout the year, here is list of crucial areas that should become a part of your bi-annual property evaluation and home maintenance:

Roofing and gutters

Attic

Chimneys and fireplaces

HVAC systems – Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning

Filters

Plumbing fixtures

Windows, doors and sidings

Basement

Foundation and walls

Safety equipment – fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, etc.

Home Maintenance Cost

Home maintenance cost, each year, for average homes range from 1% to 3% of the overall value of the house and still changes depending on the age of the house. As the age of the structure increases, so does the home maintenance cost.

Having a good idea on how much to budget for maintenance is important. Aside from scheduled cleaning, replacements and tune-ups; it is also important to leave an allowance for unexpected repairs. Unexpected repairs are inevitable and getting caught off-hand can get you into financial trouble.

How to Save on Home Maintenance Cost

As they all would say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and this is what home maintenance is all about. To avoid an overstated expense, creating a checklist and religiously sticking to it is important. This schedule should include weekly, monthly, bi-annual and yearly chores and tasks. Aside from lined-up tasks, make a regular evaluation of the property and house to know if any area is needing attention. The best way to save on home repair and maintenance cost is to avoid the aggravation of whatever damage.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Tips About Common Minor Home Repairs

Most homeowners have some basic ability to perform home repairs on their own. Simple repairs that can be done in an afternoon require only time and the cost of the materials needed. Even some major house repairs don’t require you to wait until the weekdays in order to get a hold of someone who can come in to fix something. There is not only money saved, but there is the sense of satisfaction in knowing that you can maintain your home without professional help.
Owning a house means that there will always be home repairs that need to be done. Some can be left for years, but others need to be done on a regular basis in order to maintain the beauty of the place of residence. One of the more minor repairs that can be done in a day is painting. Hallways get a great deal of traffic, and often scuff marks and scratches are seen on the walls from the kids, animals or things being bumped into the walls. All that is needed is a simple cleaning, patching and then painting of the area. While painting an entire room or a place of residence is a bigger job, it is still considered minor work. It is unlikely a homeowner would contract home maintenance services for simple painting jobs.
Repairs on the house are often needed for small things like broken handles, knobs or levers. These items that stick out get a lot of use and are prone to a lot of wear and tear and so breaks are common. A quick fix with glue is often an easy solution, or a simple installation of a new part. Most people would avoid calling a handyman for hire for such a fix, and if they are not confident of their own abilities to fix the damage, they are likely to call on a friend or family member.
Window repair is another concern that every homeowner has to face once in a while. Removing a pane of glass and installing a new one is the kind of job that takes very little time. A lot will depend on the type of window that is damaged, however. Certain windows may be very attractive, but extremely difficult to fix. A large window especially can be quite challenging in order to install properly. Generally speaking, however, window repair is not a major undertaking.
There will always be home repairs that need to be done if you own a house. Some of these repairs are major home repairs and can be quite costly. Having a list of what needs to be done and keeping up with minor jobs is important. Some jobs can wait until you have more time and money, but some jobs are simple to do and aren’t very costly. Being aware of the cost of repair work, and learning as much as you can about repair work will save you money.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Top 3 Myths About Solar Panels For the Home

Want to build solar panels for your own home? So did I – before I went 100% green, 2 years ago.
Before I share the story of how I built my own solar panels for my house, I want to address a few of the common myths that you might believe about using solar power for your electricity at home.
Myth #1: Solar panels are extremely expensive – to buy, or to build.
This is 100% false. Let me explain…
If you hire a large company like Evergreen Solar or a professional solar installation company to install your panels, then yes – they will be quite expensive. In fact, they can often cost you over $20,000 to install your own solar power system if you go that route! But you don’t have to do that.
There are 2 approaches I’d recommend if you want to install your own solar panels and go green today:
1) Buy “broken” or “chipped” solar panels from the manufacturer, or from other sources that want to sell them.
Even large companies don’t always manufacture solar cells “the right way” – it takes a lot of finesse to get it right, and no one’s perfect. You can take advantage of their imperfections, contact them about getting entire solar panels on the cheap, and then install them directly in your house.
Another tip: call highway patrol! You might have seen solar panels along highways, especially if you’re in California or another state that uses them. Their panels break all the time, and they’re always looking to sell or otherwise get rid of them. Even if the panel doesn’t operate 100%, it could still supply a lot of power to your house for almost no money.
2) Build your own panels by buying individual solar cells – either on eBay or from your local hardware store.
There are a ton of people selling broken or “chipped” solar cells on eBay – just do a search for either of them on eBay. These solar cells are very cheap, and you can assemble them into a working solar panel for no more than the cost of some wood and supplies from your local hardware store.
If you want to use this method, it will take some time (at least a day or two) to assemble your entire panel – but it can work very well and be quite cost-effective if you do it properly.
Myth #2: Solar power can completely eliminate my electric bill, all the time.
There are a couple problems with this one. First off, you may not be in an area that gets a lot of sunlight – solar power doesn’t work so well if you’re in Minnesota, for example!
Also, even if you are in an area with plenty of sunlight, your house itself may not receive a lot of light – especially if, for example, it’s covered with trees or the roofs and yard are otherwise obstructed.
The good news is that you don’t need sunlight for 12 hours each day to save a ton of money and slash your electric bill with solar power – just 5 or 6 hours is usually enough.
However, don’t go into this expecting to instantly reduce your utility bill to $0 with only one solar panel – because it usually takes a lot more than that!
What should you expect?
Well, the first thing you need to do is figure out how much power your house actually needs… one way to do that is to look at your power bills from the past few months and see how many kilowatt hours you use each month.
I’ll go into more detail on this calculation in future articles, but for now a general rule of thumb is that most homes will require solar panels with the capacity for several thousand Watts of power (at least 2,000) to significantly cut your electric bill.
This means that you’ll need at least a couple hundred to 1,000 individual solar cells and several solar panels to do this – which may sound like a lot, but if you go through eBay this can be quite cheap.
Myth #3: DIY solar panels won’t last a long time, or fall apart easily.
This is another myth that people like to spread about solar panels. The fact is, nothing lasts forever – whether it’s your car, your home itself, or even “professionally-made” solar panels.
However, you can greatly extend the life of your solar panels with proper care and maintenance. What do I mean by “proper care and maintenance?” Good question.
First off, you need to prevent water from getting inside your panels – especially if you live in a moist region. The best way to do this: after you’ve assembled your solar cells onto one piece …

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Home Remodeling

Easy To Understand Tips And Advice About Hvac

Heating and cooling units can be a great thing, but what do you do when they start to fail? Learning about them may keep a small annoyance from becoming a huge disaster. The following article is designed for homeowners who need quick insight into HVAC.

If you struggle with your HVAC, try touring your home before calling a professional. Figure out which rooms are too cool or warm. Give this information to your contractor when they arrive.

Clean your condenser’s fan blades and coil in the spring. For safety, always turn the power off first. Next, pop off the grill, pull out the blades and start cleaning them and the unit itself off gently.

The operation of your HVAC system can be in danger when the tree leaves begin to fall. Cleaning your unit is very important for its effectiveness. The fan needs to be able to get proper air inside without any blockages, and extra blockage can later develop into more serious problems.

A shady spot is always a good choice for the placement of your outdoor compressor. The cooler air that the unit can suck in, the less work it will need to do to further cool the air.

Make sure your HVAC unit is in the shade. You save money this way because the air conditioner is now pulling in cooler air, which is easier to cool further.

Make sure you have your HVAC system checked at least twice a year. Most homeowners choose to have their unit inspected during the spring and the fall months. This helps prepare for the coming weather changes of summer and winter. Even if nothing seems wrong, checking it out can help you find and fix potential issues.

Turn off any outdoor condensers you have when the weather gets cold. Avoid damaging the unit by turning it off when the outdoor temperature drops below 60 degrees. You will save in repair bills and increase the efficiency of your system.

It is always a good idea to swap out single pane windows for double pane ones. Double pane windows will allow you to use less air during the summer because cooler air will stay in your house. It keeps heat in during the winter, too.

Consider getting a programmable thermostat for your AC. It changes the temperature so the system isn’t in use when it’s cooler outside or no one is home. Some programmable thermostats can even be controlled from a PC or other device.

Air conditioners tend to ice up at times. There are sometimes also freezes that happen in a drain line, and this can be confused for a plumbing leak. Use the fan-only setting to allow the system time to thaw. The fan setting can help melt some of the ice, but you should still call a professional to check your unit out.

During extreme temperatures of the summer and winter, it can be incredibly frustrating to have your unit go out. But, if they get the right kind of information before they get started with this, it won’t be so bad. These tips are very simple, but they can help you avoid expensive fees by teaching you to handle the maintenance yourself.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Important Pest Control Tips You Should Know About

Many people understand the pains of dealing with pests. They are generally an annoyance, and they can cause health problems as well. Use these tips to rid your home of pests.

Use steel wool to plug up holes that mice can use to enter your house. The metal in this is too tough for the teeth of the rodents. All openings greater than a 1/2 inch must be stuffed. Rodents can fit through incredibly small openings.

One way to kill hornets or bees is to spray the insect with hairspray. In addition to killing existing bugs, it also repels future ones.

Remember that bed bugs are a tricky pest to treat. Bedbugs can lay dormant for a year without food. So it is important to close all points of entry. By doing this, it will be impossible for bedbugs to hide.

Are you dealing with an ant infestation? Use a mix of borax and sugar to eradicate them. They will be attracted to the sugar, but the borax will be deadly. Mix equal parts sugar and borax in a small, lidded jar. Poke holes in the jar lid, and sprinkle the content along your house’s basboards and foundation.

Crevices and cracks inside your home are perfect places for bugs. A lot of the time these places are seen as an entrance to pests that are looking for a new place to live. Getting them sealed will block pests from getting inside.

Use mint to keep mice away from your home. Line the perimeter of your home with mint plants. This will keep mice from wanting to live there. If mice are already a problem, you may want to place mint leaves in the areas that are affected. Usually, this keeps mice away. But, be sure the mint you use is fresh.

For those who have pest problems, you may be close to getting rid of the issue. Sales associates in the home improvement store can show you the best products to eliminate your problem. They know what pesticides work on whatever pest you have in your home.

Plug in pest repellents are effective tools for eliminating bugs. Simply put one in an electric outlet in every room. It makes a soft buzzing noise that keeps rodents away. Humans and pets are able to hear the sound, but it is in no way harmful. Rodents will steer clear of the area where you plug in this device.

If you find yourself facing a bee or wasp, use hairspray! Hairspray is a great weapon to use because it harms flying insects without harming people or pets. Hairspray sticks to bugs and disables them. This works well on bees, especially when you don’t want to approach them.

Be sure to use your new knowledge of pest eradication. Pests can not only be annoying, they can also pose a serious problem for your home. Therefore, you need to eliminate them immediately. Use the tips you just read, and your pest problem will soon be a memory.…

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Basement Renovations

Not Every Contractor Is Knowledgeable About Every Home Improvement Job

You will be able to do it all with the right knowledge. This is as true of home improvement as any other subject. Continue reading to learn helpful advice and get started easily with projects to improve your home.

Watch for offers from flooring stores and home improvement stores that will save you money on installation fees. Often, they will reduce the cost of installation to extremely low levels to help sell the actual carpet. When you see this type of sale, it’s time to move as often full-priced installation can cost more than the carpet itself.

When trying to keep your home cool in the summer time, employ the use of lots of fans. Ceiling fans are particularly helpful to circulate air. They keep your home much cooler. Saving money on your bills is paramount, as it can add up over time.

If you must patch small cracks on your roof, using aluminum tape could do the job. Simply separate the tape from its backing and adhere the tape to a well cleaned roof, free from any dirt or debris. This creates a waterproof barrier over these cracks.

It can be very expensive to purchase new furniture. Add some spice to your home by buying vintage furniture. It is possible to find some wonderful furniture treasures in a second-hand or consignment shop. They may need a little fixing up, but they can be delightful to behold.

Stained wood is almost always more appealing than painted wood on baseboards. This gives your baseboards that look of real wood that blends very well with a modern or classic home. Stained backboards also serve the benefit of defending against stains and marks, which can increase its longevity. Stain is also very affordable and you can find it in a wide range of colors.

When you have to do a home improvement you have to pay a lot of attention to the visible parts of the home. Potential buyers base their judgment on things they see, and having unsightly things such as cracked and peeling paint or a yard overgrown with weeds can be a cause for them to walk from a good deal. Even though cosmetic improvements are not usually the most vital improvements, when the goal is the sale of your house, they are!

Do you need to work with PVC pipe? These exact items must be used, as other types of adhesives are likely to leak. The surfaces of the pipes should also be water-free.

Remember that you’re responsible for keeping records of your home improvement project, even if you have a professional doing the actual work. Do not assume that the contractor will take care of this for you. Save any invoices and contracts that have to do with the project. Then you and the contractor can just focus on completing the project.

The information that you have been provided is likely to help you complete the projects around your home that you have thought about doing for some time. By taking the time to learn exactly what you need to do prior to picking up that first nail, you will be able to undertake just about any home improvement project you are interested in.…

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Home Renovation

Excellent Advice About Hvac That You Will Want To Read

A bad HVAC is a real nightmare. You may be looking for tips on how to make your HVAC system last for years to come. What follows is some great information to help you begin.

Before choosing an HVAC contractor, think of what you wish to have done. You might not be able to get a price quote unless you let the contractor see your current system first. In addition, you need to be able to tell the contractor what you have already tried. Know the right information ahead of time.

Clean your outdoor condensers often. Your HVAC system may run into problems after storms if it is surrounded by debris. This can lead to overheating.

The HVAC unit in your home can become damaged from falling leaves. When you see nearby trees shedding their leaves, clean the fan grill on your unit constantly. The fan needs unobstructed air flow, and if debris is blocking this air flow, then your system could suffer.

Lubricate your fan condenser at least once a year. You can find these ports covered with rubber or metal caps. Put about ten drops or less of a good non-detergent SAE 20 oil into each port.

During cold weather , be sure to turn off outdoor condenser units. If the temperature drops to under 60 degrees, you risk damage to the unit if you leave it on. You’ll pay less for repairs which you follow this tip.

A programmable thermostat is a simple way to help save money on air conditioning costs. These convenient thermostats may shave ten percent or more off of your bills, because they significantly cut energy use when you’re not around. Additionally, these items can be controlled remotely through your computer.

Never allow your home to get dangerously hot inside. An AC unit will reduce the internal temperature of your home approximately twenty degrees in a fair time. So, if you house heats up to about 95, you won’t see the temperature go below 75 for a while. Depending on how humid the environment is, that is not a healthy temperature for the human body when it rests during sleep.

Go to people that you know and ask for recommendations when it is time for you to hire an HVAC contractor. People who’ve had great service are usually willing to tell of it. You can also get company names that you should stay away from.

Use online reviews to help you find a source for HVAC maintenance. Lots of sites exist where customers can leave feedback and reviews. This is useful for finding people that you wish to work with and those that you don’t.

A radiant barrier improves the efficiency of your HVAC. It blocks heat from the inside out, lowering the amount of energy needed to cool your home in the summer. If you do things right your attic can be used as a living space too.

Your HVAC system is an important unit. Having an HVAC system repair from serious damage can cost serious cash. Keep this from happening to you by following the advice provided here.…