Tag Archives: repairs

Choose Contractors The Smart Way

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Choose Contractors The Smart Way

Sometimes your DIY skills are up there and able to patch up those little problems around your home. But, there are times when even your enthusiastic amateur skills are not going to do it, and that’s the time you need to call the experts in. But how do you know when you’re getting ripped off when that job you could almost do is escalating in cost and not going the way you think it should? Here are our top tips on how to find and choose a reliable contractor and how to avoid the great rip off:

Word of mouth:

By far, the best indicator of a reliable contractor is a recommendation or two from friends or family. Your loved ones don’t want to see you paying over the odds, so ask around if you need a chimney repair recommendation or that plumbing finally sorted out.

Online review:

If you are lacking in real life reviews, then turn to an online version for more recommendations. There are sites that will rate traders in your area but, if you’re still not sure, have a look at their website and take note of the reviews left by previous customers. You then have the option of calling them up to see if the review is legitimate and why they would recommend them.

Get quotes:

If you want to see if your preferred contractor is in line with others in the area, then invite more than one over to give you a quote on the work. Three is often a good number as it gives you a middle figure to work with and lets you know if the other two are way out either way.

Trust your gut:

You might not know much about electrical systems but you do know how to read people, so if you’re talking to a contractor and you get a bad feeling, go with it. You don’t have to have anyone in your home that makes you feel uncomfortable, even if they offer a competitive rate.

Don’t scrimp the details:

Be sure to look for more than just the cost when it comes to hiring a contractor. You’re going to want to know their start and completion dates, how early they start, how late they finish, and if they’ll be working alone or with a colleague. Will your WiFi connection be affected (important if you’re working from home) and how much overall disruption are you likely to face?

Don’t be afraid to ask the obvious and get your questions taken seriously. Rope in family and friends for help and suggestions and find a contractor who can deliver your project on time and to your budget.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Important Decisions When Upgrading Your Home’s Exterior

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Important Decisions When Upgrading Your Home’s Exterior

If you’re planning to improve your home over the festive period or in the new year, the best solution is to start from the outside. Internal changes will count for very little if the outside aspects fail to offer the protection and foundations of success. Knowing that you wish to upgrade external parts of the home is one thing, but doing it in a productive manner is another thing altogether. Making the right decisions requires careful planning and preparation. Here are the issues that you need to consider:

The Color Of Brickwork:

Your emotional reaction to the property begins as soon as it comes into sight, and the color of the walls will have a telling impact. Some people prefer to leave the brickwork as it is, but others like to paint it to bring a fresh energy to the home. With so many colors to choose from, you need to think about how it will look alongside any other cladding materials that may be used. This is a job that can be completed on a DIY basis, although you may still wish to hire a professional, too.

The Style Of Roofing:

The roof is one of the most important elements of any property. It influences the appearance, protection, and the insulation all at once. First and foremost, any roof should be kept in perfect health. Nonetheless, it’s important to make the right decision on style. There are many contributing factors to consider including your location and the overall style of the property. Metal is an increasingly common option, and you can visit https://roofingwarnerrobinsga.com to learn more. A great roof will enhance the entire home.

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Very cool!

The Quality Of Windows:

New windows are an upgrade that we made not too long ago, and can confirm that it was worth every penny. Alongside the roofing, they have an integral role to play in the overall insulation. Moreover, their influence on the look of the home is noticed from both inside and out.

There are many shapes and styles to choose from, but the key is to opt for thickness. Depending on how close your home is to the public pathways, you may wish to consider using window films. These items provide the additional privacy to help you relax while you’re enjoying the home.

The Type Of Security:

No home feels 100% right until the security is under control. You can have a positive impact by ensuring that doors and windows are blessed with the right locks. In truth, though, adding external security should be on the agenda, too. The right facilities should deter any wannabe thieves.

In addition to the latest monitored security cameras, you can use automated gates and voice access systems. This will promote even greater safety. It should prevent burglaries while it also collects evidence should the worst occur. Best of all, it’ll give your family added peace of mind.

The Function Of Your Garden:

If your home has a backyard, you should make the most of it. The right choices will add a whole new dimension to the property while also adding esthetic beauty and added value. When done well, the transformation can turn this into your favorite part of the home.

There are many options at your disposal, such as building a deck or using a shipping container to create a pool. Sheds, summer houses, and other structures can all be built too – and usually without planning permission. A beautiful garden will go a long way to making the house a home.

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 Lovely!

The Selection Of Plants:

Some homeowners will opt for a vegetable patch or want to grow trees in the garden. However, the flowerbeds aren’t your only option. Hanging baskets can be added to brighten up the decks and porch areas. Likewise, potted plants are ideal for making a big statement. When choosing flowers and plants for the external areas of the home, it’s important that you consider which seasons they will bloom. Moreover, the colors should complement the overall vibe of the external spaces.

The Driveway Materials:

It’s very easy to overlook the importance of your driveway. In truth, though, it’s one of the first parts that you interact with. As such, it’ll have a huge influence on your impressions of the home as well as the views of others. The quality of materials could impact your car tires, too. The choice of material will largely be determined by the dimensions of the driveway and your personal tastes. Whichever you choose, visit https://drivewaysealcoatingusa.com to seal the driveway. This will ensure that it continues to sparkle for years to come.

The Choice Of Furnishings:

Small details hold such significance when designing a home. You can give the outside of your property a serious boost in style and grandeur with the most basic upgrades. Investing in a better mailbox is just one example of what can be achieved. Upgrading the door numbers, nameplate, knocker, or bell can have a similar impact. If nothing else, going the extra mile in this field will establish a sense of ownership. You cannot underestimate its influence for a second.

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Upgrade, perhaps?

The Source Of Lighting:

Lighting is a central focus when building the atmosphere inside a room. However, it can be equally useful for the external parts of the home. External lights can add beauty, extend your time in the garden, and be used as another security feature. Spotlights, floodlights, and solar panel garden post lights are all great options. When choosing LED solutions, you can also create different color patterns to give the home an entirely new esthetic. Overlook this aspect, and you’ll never unlock the full potential.

Give everyone the best first impression of your home by using the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Borrow Money For Home Improvements

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How To Borrow Money For Home Improvements

Giving your home a makeover can be incredibly expensive and, if you don’t have the cash in the bank, you might have to make do with it as it is. But, making improvements to your home is an investment, because it increases the value of the house and you’ll get that money back if you eventually decide to sell it. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to borrow money to make those changes around the house. However, you’ve got to be careful, because if you don’t borrow sensibly, you could end up in serious financial trouble. If you want to invest in your home and make some improvements, here’s how to safely borrow the money to do it:

Sort Your Credit:

Your credit score tells lenders how sensible you are with your money and they’ll use it to decide on the interest rate that they’re willing to offer you on a loan, if they’re willing to give you one at all. If you’ve got a poor credit score, you’re going to be paying a lot more to borrow money. That’s why you need to sort out your credit score before you try to find a loan to make home improvements.

Request a credit report and look over it carefully. Often, there are mistakes on there and you’ll be unfairly penalized. If you think that might be the case, you can dispute credit report mistakes and have them changed. Once you’ve got an accurate credit score, you can start taking steps to change it. Cut back on your spending and clear any debts that you’ve got. Then, you need to get a credit card and start making purchases, while making sure to pay it off immediately. This will show that you’re trustworthy and help you to start building your credit score again.

Personal Loans:

Getting a personal loan is one avenue for borrowing money. You can go to the bank and borrow the money from them. The amount that you’ll get and the interest rate will depend on your credit score so the first step is important. You’re not likely to get as much as if you borrow through other avenues, so you’ll have to make those improvements on a budget. Before you sign anything, shop around a bit and find the best deals. You should also be careful about the amount that you’re borrowing. Only agree to borrow an amount that you can comfortably pay back so that you don’t get into financial trouble.

Borrow Against The House:

Personal loans are fine, but you might be better off borrowing money against the house itself. The benefit of doing it that way, is that you’ll probably get more money and, because you’ve put the house up as collateral, the interest rate isn’t going to be as high as a personal loan. However, there is an element of risk involved. If you’re increasing your mortgage, then you’re more likely to default on the payments and risk losing your house. Just like with personal loans, make sure that you’re only borrowing what you can afford.

Follow these rules and you’ll be able to borrow the money to get all of the home improvements that you need done!

Featured Image By: Pxhere

Interior Disasters

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Interior Disasters

Home interiors should never be a disaster, but they often can be a disaster. More often than not things go wrong, when they do we panic, spend a lot of money, and maybe even shed a tear or two. It’s just one of the many things about owning a home that can quickly become expensive. Right from the get go you’re spending money on furnishing, decorating, improvements, etc. So, rather than letting all of this money go down the drain, we’ve got some common interior disasters and how you can try and fix them as quickly and as cheaply as possible:

Plumbing Disasters:

Plumbing disasters are the worst. From something so simple as the water not draining as fast as you would like to in the bathroom sink, to a full on blockage in one of the main drains that could cause havoc in your home. Sometimes it can even lead to a flood, and that really is the last thing that you want. If you’re struggling with a major blockage and you’re not sure of the exact location or cause, get in touch with professionals such as Drain Boss. They’re the people you need for the job.

If you attempt to try this yourself you could cause further damage, move the blockage deeper down the drain, or cause the full on flood disaster. If it’s something little, like the bathroom sink not draining quick enough, you might just need to use a bag of limescale cleaner. If that doesn’t work, cover the overflow hole, grab a plumber, run the tap, and push hard down on the plug hole. You should hear a few gurgling sounds and the blockage will come free.

Pest Disasters:

This can be one of the scariest problems for a lot of people. There are a few types of pests that we can get in our homes, the first being one of the biggest bugaboos for many. Spiders. Spiders are going to be in your home no matter what, but if you’ve got a nest in your home, you’re in big trouble. A nest is usually found in the loft, and it will look like a big cobweb with black dots in it. Whatever you do, don’t touch it. Whilst they won’t be poisonous, there will potentially be hundreds of them. Call in an exterminator ASAP to deal with your problem!

Decor Disasters:

This is probably the most frustrating for a lot of people due to how noticeable it is. Decor disasters, however, are a lot easier to fix. Maybe the last time you wallpapered you did a rubbish job and it has started to peel away, then all you need to do is give it another go! Steam the walls to get the paper off, and follow a detailed tutorial on how to do it perfectly. If you’re worried it’ll go wrong again, all you need to do is get in a professional for the day to do it for you.

All of the problems above can cause a lot of stress for homeowners. And, if there is any shadow of doubt, always call in a professional before you do anything!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Jazz Up Your Garage And Make It A Creative Space

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Jazz Up Your Garage And Make It A Creative Space

The garage is often known as being that space where you dump absolutely everything. It is also the place where you can’t find anything, and it often gets neglected over time. This can cause real problems for your home and it also shuts it off as being an accessible room, as well. This doesn’t have to be the case, and if you want to jazz up your garage, then there are things that you can do to make this happen:

Folding Desk:

If you have a small garage, then this can make it very hard for you to have a desk or anything else that you need to really harness your creativity. One way for you to get around this would be for you to have a folding desk. This can come out from the wall and when you are finished, it isn’t hard for you to just lift it up and have your space back. This is one of the best things that you can do if you don’t want to move your car, and it also frees up a lot more room should you need to convert the space again for something else.

Storage Jars:

If you want to store a lot of things at once, like pens, pencils, sharpeners, and more, why not put them into jars? When you have things stored in jars, it doesn’t matter if they get knocked over because there is a lid. On top of this, you can see instantly what items you have in each one. When you have these on an overhanging shelf that is higher up, you can save a ton of desk space and this is ideal if you want to go for the folding desk idea above.

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 Pexels Image

Your Garage Door:

If your garage door is full of grime or if you know that it is not functioning properly then maybe it’s time to consider getting sectional garage doors installed. This is a great way for you to turn your space into a multi-functional room. You could even try and paint the garage door, as well, so that you can easily add some color to the space. If you want to be super creative, add in some artwork. This could be of anything, and if you don’t want to get it ruined in a dusty atmosphere, just opt for canvas. This is ideal because it’s cheap and it can easily be wiped down.

Bookcase:

Do you need shelf space but you know that you can’t have a full set installed? One thing that you can do here is have a bookcase. Bookcases are much thinner when compared to shelving units and they are much taller. This is ideal if you actually need space and if you have a lot of items with nowhere to put them. Bookcases can also be fixed to the wall, so that there is absolutely no danger of them falling over.

Turning your garage into an actual room can really increase the value of your home on top of having your own workshop!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Spring Renovations: Are These Projects Worth The Money?

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Spring Renovations: Are These Projects Worth The Money?

When spring arrives, it can feel only natural to want to get outdoors and start tending to your yard or garden. After a long and cold winter, it could really need it! Surely, you’ll want to make everything look as good as new.

That can all seem very well, especially if you are thinking of selling the home soon or just want to make it look a little different. But are some of the home projects or renovations that you have planned in your mind going to be worth it? Here are some suggestions for you, to make sure that you’d be getting your money’s worth for each project:

Yard/Garden Landscaping

If the sun shines and the flowers are blossoming, then who wouldn’t want to be outdoors? But if you want a super-styled outdoor space, rather than just a rose bush by the picket fence, then it can cost you quite a bit to get it done. It can mean some major changes to the yard, with some digging up, possibly concrete being added, and things like ponds being made. It can really change the look of the space, so you need to decide if it is going to be worth it for you.

If you are planning a move sooner rather than later, then in reality, there are plenty of other things that you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home, rather than getting the yard landscaped. Getting new plants and generally tidying up the outside space could be a much better use of your cash. If you’re not planning to move, then you just need to weigh up the pros and the cons. If you do want to landscape, then to make it cheaper, get bulbs to plant, rather than planting established trees or plants, as they can be expensive to buy.

Driveway Repairs:

If you have a driveway, then over the winter it can take a beating with the ice, snow, rain, and salt being added to it on a daily basis. The thing is, just putting a new layer of concrete or asphalt over the top isn’t always going to be that simple. You have to think about the foundations and any cracks, as they could lead to problems if they’re not dealt with. So it can involve some heavy machinery to get it looked at and repaired.

The thing is, though, is that a driveway is something that a potential buyer would be looking at right away. So if you are looking to move, it could be the thing that tips the scales for a buyer. On the flipside, if you’re planning to move, then you may not be bothered about the driveway and leave it for the new owner. So it comes down to how long you’ve got left living there and if you’ve got it in the budget.

Repainting:

Winter brings with it lots of shades of gray, and can often leave you feeling that you need some color in your life. Many experts agree that painting can change the look of a home, both interior and exterior, for a pretty low cost. So it can be worth doing, as if you do it yourself, all you are paying for are tins of paint. Professionals like Textbook Painting would be able to provide the right equipment, if you were painting the outside of the house, for example, but can still keep costs down. So if you want to freshen things up, then repainting is an easy win, and would be worth doing, moving home or not.

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A bright colored accent wall always goes down well!

Repairing/Replacing Siding:

The siding on your home is what takes the brute force from bad weather. A particularly harsh winter could have wreaked havoc on the condition of it. So if yours is looking a little worse for wear, then right about now could be a good time to repair or replace it. But it is going to be worth it? In short, yes, it is going to be worth it. But the actual process can be long and quite costly.

First of all, this isn’t something that you can do easily by yourself. So really, you will be paying the cost of labor for contractors to do it for you. And that can reach into the region of around $10,000. So to justify the cost, then you probably need to ‘wait’ until the siding is looking in particularly bad repair. If it is not peeling, coming away, or there are no loose parts, then it could be worth leaving for a little longer, simply to get more bang for your buck.

If only some of it is looking bad, then you could replace just those panels rather than the whole lot. That would be a good way to save money but still improve the look and condition of things. You could also consider simply repainting your siding, if there are just a few parts that are peeling off. Get them sanded down, ready to paint, and it can look like new afterwards.

While spring is a great time of year to be making changes, think carefully and plan out any projects or renovations before you get started on them!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

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A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

Homeowners need to get to grips with home maintenance if they’re going to keep their home running well and comfortable enough to live in. This quick home maintenance guide can give you a few useful tips that will help you to keep on top of things now and in the future:

Keep Your Furnace And HVAC Filters In Working Order:

If you don’t stay on top of your furnace and HVAC filters, dust and grime will accumulate and this will mean they run less efficiently, costing you more money. Allergens and pollutants can also get trapped, and you don’t want those being spread around your home. All you have to do is turn off the system and look at the filters to see if they are grimy. Check these over every year.

Recaulk Your Windows:

Heat loss in the winter happens due to cracks in the windows 80% of the time. Sealing the space around them will help you to solve this issue quickly, so you can keep your home warm and save money. Make sure that you choose the right caulk by speaking to a professional so that you can get it right the first time. If you book in a professional home inspection, they’ll look for this and give you tips on maintaining your home to help protect your investment.

Check Wooden Decks For Moisture:

Wooden decks must be sealed and stained to stop rot and permanent water damage. A splash test will give you a good idea if the sealant is still doing its job. You’ll see droplets on the deck if it’s working. If not, then you need to take the time to reseal your deck, doing this every 2-3 years in total.

Check For Water In The Crawl Space:

You want to avoid mold and water damage to your house as much as possible, so just grab a flashlight and take a look. Have a look for changes in color, the corners, and the edges. You can also use your fingers to see if you feel any dampness. You need to make sure this is fixed before rainy weather comes, as you don’t want to let any more moisture in.

Touching Up Your Exterior Paint:

Your paint greatly contributes to your curb appeal, and staining will help to protect your home from rusting and rotting. Take your time and look for chipping, peeling, blistering, or cracking on every part, every summer. You may, then, need to take your time sanding, scraping, patching, priming, and re-painting small areas.

Maintain Your Fireplace:

If your fire isn’t running the way it should, it could go as far as killing you with toxic gases. At the very least, it’ll take up a lot of energy. It’s always better to build a relationship with a professional that you trust to help you with this. If you have a wood burning fireplace, then it’s especially important to stay on top of maintenance. Creosote is a by-product of burning wood and this can build up in your chimney and create a fire hazard.

Keeping up with simple maintenance will keep your home running smoothly and will save you money in the long run.

Featured Image By: Pixabay