Home Improvement Projects That Will Increase Your Homes Value

As a homeowner who might want to sell your home one day, there is a good chance you’ll want to know how you can increase your home’s value by completing affordable home improvement projects.  With more and more people feeling like they have to stay in their home longer due to sluggish real estate activity, there is an increased desire for home improvements that give owners the biggest bang for their buck.

When it comes to home improvement projects, it is a good idea to know what is actually worth the investment, because truth be told some projects don’t really add much, if any value to your home.

Here are some helpful home improvement projects that will certainly increase the value of your home.

Give the paint an overhaul

One of the best ways to get a nice return is to give your home a fresh coat of paint. This goes for inside as well as outside.  Inside, turn boring, dull colors into exciting, bright colors to get the attention of potential home buyers.  Of course you can use natural tones like shades of beige, grey, and white, but don’t forget that a splash of radiant color here and there goes a long way.  Use a low-VOC paint, as it is environmentally friendly and better for your indoor air quality.

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Five Money-Saving Tips for a Cheap Kitchen Remodel

Your kitchen is, by far, the most expensive room in the house unless you happen to have a state-of-the-art home theater to rival the effect of a typical IMAX theater experience.  Since most of us do not have the room or the money to invest in such extravagance, let’s be practical and consider the kitchen as the room of greatest cost to build and outfit with the conveniences of twenty-first century living.

We may spend more of our waking hours in the kitchen, so its use sees more wear and tear than other rooms.  The necessity to remodel and upgrade our kitchen will occur before any other room with the possible exception of a bathroom.  This will always mean an expense, but we should be able to achieve a cheap kitchen remodel with some money-saving tips that will be an envious experience.

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10 Ways To Reduce Your Energy Bill

No one likes to get a high power bill in the mail, so if you are looking for ways to reduce your energy bill, there are plenty of easy things you can do in order to do so.  Here are 10:

Adjust your thermostat

If you adjust your thermostat in the winter and summer by just a couple of degrees, you will be using less energy to heat and cool your home.  In the winter, turn the dial to 68 and in the summer, turn the dial to 72.  This may save you up to about $100 per year!

Adjust the blinds and curtains

For sunny, hot days, close your blinds and curtains to keep the sun’s rays out of your home. On cold, sunny days, go ahead and leave them open to allow for some of the sun’s rays to come in. For the winter, you could also put plastic up over the windows to keep some of the cold out.

Have your HVAC checked each year

Every year have an HVAC professional come and check out your air conditioner and heater to be sure they are running efficiently. If you skip this, they could be costing you extra money if they are in need of some TLC.

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The Best Time of the Year To Buy Large Appliances

Did you know that there are certain times of the year that are better to buy large appliances?  Of course, if your appliance goes out, you most likely need one right away, but should you have the option of waiting for a certain time of the year, it’s best if you know when that might be.

Most people run their appliances all the way until they die, but if you happen to know that your appliance is on the fritz, you could go ahead and make the purchase when you know the price of the appliance will be at their lowest. This also goes for appliances that are struggling to do the necessary work, like the dishwasher or refrigerator. If your fridge is working extra hard to keep the inside at 42 degrees, your electric bill might run higher.

Most major appliances

For most major appliances, it is best to purchase them in September and October, as this is the time when the latest models are put out on the floor and the later models are usually discounted a good bit.  You can call around at appliance stores and ask them if this is the case, so that you don’t waste a lot of time going from store to store.

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How to Get Rid of Mold In Your House

Molds are a natural part of the world, serving the important function of helping to breakdown dead organic matter.  However, that process can produce toxic elements that, when outdoors, are perfectly natural and appropriate.  But indoors, that toxicity can be dangerous and life-threatening and needs to be eradicated whenever encountered.

Molds are living organisms that reproduce by tiny spores, virtually invisible, that can travel airborne from their origin and thrive in any relatively moist environment.  They will not survive in an environment void of water or moisture.

How and why does mold grow in a home? 

Mold does not typically present a problem indoors unless exterior mold spores drift inside through open doors or even between the mesh of a window screen and happen to land on a wet or damp spot to thrive and grow and spread.  One distinction of mold is that it does not necessarily require the presence of light in order to thrive.

Mold can present health risks to anyone exposed to them.  Not all molds are toxic, but virtually all are allergenic, causing reactions of sniffles, sneezing and coughing or rash in a variety of degrees in individuals depending on their sensitivity.

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Should I Do It Myself Or Hire A Contractor?

Home improvement projects can be rewarding and fun, but sometimes you might wonder if going the “do it yourself” route or hiring a contractor route is the best way to go.  Maybe you want to build a deck or remodel your kitchen and just can’t decide whether to tackle the project yourself or not.  There are pros and cons to both, especially when it comes to time and money, so the answer will really depend on the ratio of pros vs. cons.

Pros of hiring a contractor

Time

Your time is valuable and chances are you are pretty busy.  If you barely have the time to keep up with your normal daily routines and tasks, then hiring a contractor to complete your project will most likely suit you well. If you have children, chances are you’re really strapped for free time, so in this case hiring a contractor suits both you and your family, as it gives you more time with them.

Quality

Chances are you are not a professional carpenter, so when it comes to quality, a contractor will be able to provide better quality and probably do it in considerably less time than you.

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Easy Home Improvements For Winter

Easy Home Improvements

The winter months can get long and sometimes you probably get bored, so why not spice things up with some easy home improvements? There are all sorts of projects to take on in the winter. Here are a few easy ones that will get you off the couch and into motion.

Paint

The winter is a great time to paint a room or two.  It’s fairly inexpensive and you can complete a painting job in a day or two.

Put in a programmable thermostat

If you still have the old fashioned thermostats, go get yourself a programmable one and install it. This way you can set the thermostat during the winter for your time schedule. When you go to sleep at night or leave for work, program it a couple degrees lower so that you are optimizing your energy usage. Programmable thermostats are inexpensive and not difficult to install.

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Home Improvement Scams to Watch Out For

Our homes typically represent the largest investment most of us will engage in our lifetime.  Home improvement may potentially reach the cost of a new car, typically our second largest single lifetime investment.  Usually, such an endeavor is met with satisfaction once completed, but it can have ups and down during the process and can be challenging in the planning stages.

However, no one, in planning a home improvement project, plans to be taken by a scam.  Or do we, even unwittingly?  They say that a failure to plan is a plan to fail.  With regard to the potential to be scammed in home improvement, planning for it is the best defense against it.  If we know what home improvement scams to watch for, we should then be able to plan for them and prevent them from spoiling our satisfaction.

There are a few major types of scams we should be wise to recognize and avoid:

  • Grammar scams
  • Here today, gone tomorrow scams
  • Workmanship scams

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Bathroom Remodel Ideas on a Budget

Time after time you use the same toilet, same sink, same shower, and same bathtub, while staring at the same wall color, cabinets and tiles. Do you ever feel “over” your bathroom and want to make an attempt to change it? Update it? Make it unique? If so, remodeling is a great option for you. After spending years in the same house, many people want to make a change and remodel. However, most people who desire to remodel their home do not consider the costs. There are plenty of updates you can make to your bathroom that are not only affordable, but will also provide you with that change you have been longing for.

Here are some great tips on how you can remodel your bathroom on a budget:

Shop in the wholesale section

The best way to drastically cut costs of remodeling your bathroom on a budget is to shop in the wholesale sections of furniture and appliance stores. Wholesale items are cheaper because there is something wrong with them. If there is a small chip in the paint, it will be wholesale. If there is a small crack, it will be wholesale. The best way you can save money when remodeling your bathroom is to be fine with buying an item that may have a little flaw.

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How to Find a Good Contractor for Home Improvement Repairs

You may need to make home improvement repairs for any number of reasons, not the least of which may be to prepare your home for sale.  You need to be certain before hiring just any contractor that you know how to find a good contractor for your repairs.  Not every contractor in your immediate area is going to be equipped to provide the services you need.

The last thing you want is to hire the wrong contractor only to find they do not have the skills or experience you need.  Your budget is not going to be the only thing that suffers from a rash decision to hire a contractor just because he is your brother-in-law.  Here are five suggestions to determine what factors are necessary to consider.

Determine the scope

Your first factor  is to establish the scope of work needed.  If it is a kitchen renovation, for example, you might want to consider the condition of your master bathroom, at least, and add it to the work needed.  Kitchens and bathrooms are a linked set in the eyes of most home buyers.  They are looking for updated fixtures, appliances and materials.

On the other hand, don’t let the scope grow excessively from the original plan unless you have a liberal budget.  What starts as a kitchen and bath proposition can easily extend to other rooms if you allow it.

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