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Tag Archive | "home improvement"

Five essential spring home improvement projects


(BPT) – The arrival of spring means new beginnings and a fresh chance to tackle those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off for the last several months. Get your home ready for summer and make it more beautiful, efficient and functional than ever with these five seasonal projects.

  1. Keep, donate or trash. Your first step is to declutter the home. Separate items into three categories: keep, donate or trash. Here’s a tip: if you haven’t used something in the last year, chances are you can get rid of it. Items such as unwanted electronics, housewares and gently used clothing can be donated to charity. For everything else, check with your local recycling program before putting anything in the garbage.
  2. Get serious about spring cleaning. Give your home a fresh start by wiping down windows, countertops, electronics, appliances, doorknobs, furniture, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Also, be sure to mop floors and vacuum carpet. Never cleaned windows before? Find out how with our free guide.
  3. Bring your deck back to life. We think winter is hard on us, but just imagine how hard it is on our decks, which weather the bitter cold temperatures, snow and ice all season long. Take a close look at your deck and check for warped, loose or splintered boards. Sweep away anything that may have fallen between the cracks, make any needed repairs, scrub or power wash, and restain if necessary.
  4. Do a color refresh. Whether you’re adding a fresh coat of paint to your interior or exterior walls, or completely changing the colors of your home, spring is the perfect time to renew your home’s look. One 2016 color trend: bold entry doors like those from Pella. And pick out your new, colorful front door.
  5. Bloom where you are planted. Whether you are a homeowner, renter or sublessee, celebrate the end of winter by creating spaces for bright flowers and making the most of your garden. Apartment dwellers, bring the outdoors in with hanging baskets, potted plants or herbs.

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Save time and energy with tips for smart home improvement

(ARA) – The weather is warm and the sun is shining, making it the perfect time to start your home improvement projects. Whether it’s a little tidying up, or a full-on home repair, some tips will help you complete your projects without a lot of headaches.

Winning the battle against rust

As the sun begins to shine brighter, imperfections around the house begin to appear. Metal products that haven’t been properly winterized or have simply been out in the elements too long can begin to show signs of wear and tear, and worst of all, rust. Combating rust can be a real challenge, and too often, people would rather toss out the rusty bench, garden tools or even the lawn mower and simply buy something new.
Protecting your items from rust is easy with a little help from the new Rust Protector spray paint from Krylon. It dries in just eight minutes, so you don’t have to worry about grass, leaves or other particles getting stuck in the fresh coat of paint. Plus, it provides the ultimate protection against rust, keeping your outdoor items looking like new, regardless of the elements they face.

Continue cleaning up outside

Give the outside of your house a little TLC. Start with the roof and gutters, since they’ve collected a lot of buildup and have experienced their share of wear and tear throughout the colder months. No one wants to spend hours dealing with inside water damage or worse—mold. Stop the drama before it starts by inspecting the roof and gutters and looking for damage such as holes, loose shingles or leaks.

And while you’re outside, give your siding a glance, too. While you were warm and toasty inside this past winter, the exterior of your house was getting a beating. Cold weather, snow, ice and even wind can cause problems to the siding, so be sure to address any issues quickly.

Check for a cool breeze

It’s probably been a few months since the air conditioner was turned on, making now the perfect time to check that it’s still running smoothly. Your air conditioner is important because it not only keeps your home cool during the hot summer; it also dehumidifies your house and keeps mold from developing inside the walls.

First, check the AC filters and replace them if they appear dirty, since a dirty filter can cause strain and damage to your air conditioner by making it work harder than necessary. Turn your air conditioner on for a test run; once it has been running for a while, check the refrigerant levels by feeling the pipe connected to your AC unit. It should feel cool to the touch; if it doesn’t, you may be low on refrigerant and will want to refill before the long, hot days of summer.

Make the inside sparkle

Outside projects shouldn’t get all your attention. As you move inside, start off with small cleaning projects so you don’t get overwhelmed. Scrubbing your bathroom, vacuuming your carpets and dusting every inch of the house can take some time, which most of us don’t have. Simple tasks such as cleaning one room a day, clearing off cluttered countertops as you walk into the kitchen, creating an organization system and donating unused products to charity can get your house clean in no time.

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Cold weather offers perfect opportunity to work on these projects

(ARA) – Although spring and summer are typically the seasons we focus on home improvement projects, there’s no reason to put off projects or planning throughout colder months. If anything, it’s the perfect way to spend time while hibernating indoors. From winterizing windows to laying new flooring, there are plenty of ways to keep improving your home year round.
When the seasons change, one of the best things a homeowner can do is an energy audit. Though it’s nice to keep the windows open all summer, drafty doors and windows can amount to hundreds of dollars wasted on home heating costs during winter. An energy audit will help you find and fix problem areas, letting you save money for other projects.
During an energy audit, a contractor may use blower door tests to measure the air tightness of your home, infrared scanners to pinpoint heat leaks or even a simple walk-through to find places to improve your home’s efficiency. Once problem spots have been identified, hanging plastic sheeting, caulking gaps and further insulating areas will translate to big savings on home heating costs.
While auditing the heat efficiency of each room of your house, keep an eye out for the quick fixes and small projects often put aside during the summer months. Though it is great to get outside and build a deck or retaining wall, big projects often overshadow simple tasks such as fixing outlets and sealing cracks. Use winter as time to knock the little things off the list.
For those who can’t wait to get started, there are plenty of projects that can completely change your home without removing walls or installing an addition.
Introducing new color to a space will help fine-tune an interior’s design or even completely reinvent a room. Winter is the perfect time to modernize your home’s feel with new window treatments, lighting or flooring. New flooring will add both color and character to a room, and is easy to install during any season. Lumber Liquidators offers contemporary and timeless patterns for hardwood floors like Dream Home Plymouth Plank or Bellawood Brazilian Redwood, which can be installed year round.
Because winter may limit a homeowner’s ability to complete some projects, it’s a great time to plan for spring and summer home improvement projects. There are online tools such as the Home Renovator Suite from BobVila.com and Lumber Liquidators’ Room Designer that allow homeowners to easily pull together their dream homes.
After all your projects, big or small, are completed, use the colder months to set a schedule for spring cleaning and home improvement. Setting an agenda will help you avoid having to rush through the summer to get projects done, and ensure you have the time to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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