Category Archives: Home Improvement

Home Improvements Are Being Affected By Angst Toward The New Administration

The state of the current government has some people very anxious about spending money. Even when there is a valid reason to part with funds, like for home improvements, many are opting to save their dough for a rainy day. Are the threats of a major war and health care issues hitting too close to home? Some banks say that the lack of home improvement projects could cause major issues down the road.


Call it political anxiety or terror, but since the new administration has been in office over 100 days, the angst against spending is getting worse. A recent poll showed that 35 percent feels that their financial outlook is improving under the current president. However, that leaves more than 65 percent are uneasy about their future. What happens if the real estate market crashes again? There will be a lot of homes with maintenance issues left for banks to contend with.


For some, it is simple math. Why spend money on that new carpet or a new HVAC system, when the bottom might fall out of the economy? What if a person loses their job? Though most people will try to hold on to their home as long as possible, it is often the first major purchase that is let go. It is easy to find another place to live as most cities have ample rentals.


Brad Hunter, Home Advisor Board’s Chief Economist, stated that home improvement activity is presenting with some resilience due to the political shifts. The future is bleak in many people’s view, and it could shake the very foundation they live on.

How to Deal with a Flood in the Home

Whether you’re living in a high flood zone or have dealt with problems associated with your plumbing, floods can be problematic even for the most disaster-ready homeowners. Flooding can cause thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of damage and having a repair company come in to do the work can be even more costly. To start, it’s important that you have good flood insurance on your property if you live in a flood zone. If you don’t currently have this type of coverage, there are tons of companies you can get it from for a reasonable fee.


Once you have the insurance put onto your home, flood damage will be fully covered if it should ever happen to you. You will not be able to call the remediation company until the flood waters recede and subside. Once the water is gone, be sure to get the pros in there quickly to begin the cleanup and damage repair. This is because it is very unsafe to live in a home with massive water damage. Excessive water can rot out beams and wood while also attracting harmful mold spores to the area which can lead to even more problems.


There are lots of companies that do flood cleanup in homes around the country, so it’s important to contact a few of them to ensure that you’re working with a professional who knows what they’re doing and can take on the project for you. If you don’t have insurance, you can call a few agencies for bids on the work.

How to Repair Your Home’s Cracked Driveway and Sidewalk

Once the winter ends and the snow and ice begin to thaw in your area, you might want to take a walk around your property to look for damage. This is crucial because you might come upon issues you wouldn’t otherwise be alerted to. Two of the most common problems that homeowners face after a harsh and bitter winter are cracked driveways and cracking cement. The cold weather causes both cement and asphalt to contract, which can lead to cracking. Left alone, the cracks will allow water to get into the pavement or sidewalk that can then go underneath and cause more cracks because of shifting earth.


In order for you to fix the issue, you’re going to need to buy liquid cement or asphalt that can be poured directly into the cracks. If you get putty materials, these only go on the surface of the crack and will not actually fill them and repair the problem. You need to read all of the instructions on the label to ensure that you’re using the product properly. You will want to start with a clean and dry surface and to do the project on a day when it’s guaranteed not to rain. In fact, you might also want to make sure that it won’t rain for a day or two after you do the work just to be sure that the new asphalt or cement has set properly. You also need to use these products when it’s warm outside and when there won’t be a freeze overnight.


Simple Home Improvement Ways

Regardless of what is driving you into selling your home, you need first to convince customers to purchase it. Potential buyers will only consider your property if you boost its value.


Here’s how to raise your home resale value.


  1. Do a floor refinishing


Consider replacing your current floor with a classic choice of wood such as oak. Rusty floors with signs of termite or rot infestation are a turnoff to potential clients.


  1. Consider changing your energy systems to be more technology-oriented


The current generation of homebuyers is looking for technology upgrades for energy security and efficiency. Use the recently innovated smart thermostats, energy saving lighting, and door locks that can be operated by Smartphone apps. These gadgets have been found to save up to 10% of annual energy costs.


  1. Redo the kitchen surfaces


A kitchen is the heart of a home and will be either the selling point of your home or the cause of its rejection in the market. Kitchen remodeling costs approximately $20,000, which you can sacrifice for the greater good. Also, you can redo just the neediest parts such as cabinets, rusted steel appliances, floors, discolored sinks, and countertops.


  1. The front door appearance


The landscaping in your front door makes the face of your home. If it is haphazardly done, the customers will turn back at the gate before checking out your property. Use modern, materials and a fresh color theme to replace outdated entry ways.


Other key areas that may need retouch include the bathrooms and their drainages, bedroom wardrobes, door knobs, and vanities. Re-caulk your tub before reselling the home for more customer appeal.



Are Wasps Becoming a Problem for Most American Homes?

The springtime is a beautiful season to welcome the birds, flowers and blossoming trees. Unfortunately, it’s also the time in which wasps and yellow jackets make their nests and go on the hunt for food. This is problematic for a lot of homeowners who are trying to do yard work and are constantly being attacked by these pesky pests. Wasps and yellow jackets sting their prey and this can be pretty painful to the victim. If you’re allergic to the sting, it can even land you in the hospital in more severe cases.


In order for you to get rid of wasps on your property, there are a couple of things you can do. First, wasps tend to like bodies of water like pools and stagnant ponds. If you have an area of water that generally isn’t being used, make sure that you cover it up or drain it out. Next, you’ll want to invest in some high quality traps that can be placed around the property to attract the wasps. These traps will need to be filled with a sweet liquid like fruit juice or sugary soda and the wasps will go into the trap but not be able to come back out.


If you’re finding that you’re having an especially difficult time with wasps on the property despite using traps, it might be time to consider a professional pest control company. There could be a paper nest somewhere on your land that you’re not aware of and the company can get rid of it for you.


Use Tax Refunds To Make Necessary Home Improvements

Financial analysts say that taking your tax refunds and investing them into home improvements is wise. Anyone with dependents has the ability to get a nice size refund. Many people struggle with the decision on what to do with those funds. Some take a nice vacation, others pay their bills, but what about taking the money to do long overdue home repairs?


Home improvements boost the value of the property. It is one way that your money can work for you. Depending on the size of the refund, it can accomplish things big and small. If you are having trouble deciding what repairs to tackle first, you need to work on the kitchen. You can make big changes by painting cabinets, adding new lighting and flooring, and doing some cosmetic upgrades. If your kitchen needs an overhaul, then you can get back 100 percent of your repairs if you decide to sell. The bathroom is another area that needs to be boosted. Adding some new fixtures and a fresh coast of paint can really brighten up any room.


If you have major repairs, like the HVAC unit or windows that need to be repaired, using tax funds can be a great way to accomplish household repairs without dipping into the operating expenses. Many people spend all of their tax returns on frivolous purchases and don’t have anything to show for them. At least by putting some of that money back into the home, it is adding to the home’s equity.

Simple Ways to Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

Whether you’re planning to put your home on the market or want to give it a makeover for your own enjoyment, we’ve got three good strategies for you to consider.


  1. Update the kitchen


The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. Potential buyers will focus more on the kitchen, so if yours is stuck in a time warp, buyers may walk away. For $10,000 to $15,000, you can paint walls, reface cabinets, replace the kitchen faucet set, update old lighting fixtures and upgrade the sink.


But if you have a slightly larger budget ($30,000+), you can install custom cabinets, granite counters, hardwood floors and high-end appliances.


  1. Buff up the bathroom


Just like the kitchen, the bathroom is also an important room in the home. You can update your bathroom without having to spend a lot of cash. Even doing simple things like installing a new toilet seat, re-caulking the tub, cleaning grout, and replacing an old-fashioned vanity for a granite version can make a big difference in the look of the bathroom.


  1. Refresh your entry


If you attracted potential home buyers with your wonderful landscaping, the next place their eye will reach is the entryway. In case you have a defective little knob on your main entry door, it is time to consider replacing it with a substantial-looking handle and lock set.


According to this report by Remodel, updating the front entrance can have one of the biggest returns of any home improvement homeowners can do themselves.


So, that’s it. These are just three of the numerous ways to add value to a property.

Problems Homeowners Face with Their Air Duct Systems

The air duct system in your home is crucial for bringing either cool or warm air to each and every room. Unfortunately, too many homeowners don’t have the duct work cleaned on a regular basis and run into problems. At worst, a dirty system can cause a fire or smoke hazard. At best, not cleaning your duct work can cause it to not work properly and you’ll find that the forced air in the home isn’t functioning the way that it should. This is why it is important that you call in the professionals to have these lines cleaned.


When you call in a professional air duct system company, they will bring all of their own tools to get the job done. They will do a great job of cleaning out the entire system and making sure that the lines are free of dust and debris. Also, they will be able to check for mold within the duct work to ensure that you and your family aren’t breathing this in. If it is found, they can work to get rid of it so that you and your loved ones can breathe easier while in the home.


It is important that you have your duct work cleaned every spring and before winter. This guarantees that the lines will be free and clear of any dirt before you get the system started for the new season. There are lots of companies that provide this service and can be contacted immediately to have the work done.


Does Going Tiny Have Big Perks?

Many people are trading in their sprawling 2,000-3,000 homes for an abode quite a bit smaller. A tiny home is a dwelling that has less than 550 square feet. Television has made this movement popular, but is the real estate market in trouble because people are tired of “big living?”


It seems that living for experiences rather than material possessions is the way of the millennial crowd. They are selling their big homes and opting for a smaller space. This eclectic group of people doesn’t focus a great deal of their energy on things. They need a place to cook, lay their head, and call home. Many of them like the fact that a tiny home can be towed back and forth. With the job market being so poor in many parts of the country, they can pick up their home and take it with them.


Several states have joined in the movement and have created tiny home parks. Think of it as an RV park or trailer park from the 1970’s with little houses. More than anything, it seems that people just don’t want the burden of being tied down. They can customize these tiny homes to fit their needs and character.


The best thing about going tiny is the price. The average tiny home costs just $40,000. The median home price in this country is a whopping $188,900. It is easy to see that going small has some big perks. Still, there are some who are not sold on this new type of dwelling. It’s an acquired taste for sure.


Granite: A 2017 Trend to Watch in Michigan

At the Novi Home and Garden Show near Detroit this year, vendors are hoping that the recovering housing market will mean increased business for 2017. Representatives from the regional Home Builders Association proudly announced that the number of exhibitors participating this year had climbed to 270, a figure that had not been reached since 2004.


According to a late April article published by The Detroit News, one of the exhibitors getting significant attention was the Eco Granite Group, a company that specializes in recycled granite solutions that can be used for interior and exterior purposes. Recycled granite tends to be slightly uneven, and thus many homeowners choose it for summer kitchens and fire pits. This year, however, the Eco Granite Group introduced a novel back splash for kitchens or wet bars. What makes this back splash unique is that it incorporates decorative LED lighting with color changing options that can be selected via remote control.


The granite vendors reminded visitors that once professional installers complete a project involving natural stone materials, they will immediately proceed to clean, seal and polish the surfaces. Once this initial treatment is completed, homeowners should focus on cleaning frequently; this is what will help keep the sealing and polished finish for as long as possible.


The idea of cleaning granite surfaces is to avoid leaving particles and spilled substances from breaking down the sealant. Cleaning should take place immediately in case of spills. A granite kitchen counter, for example, should be immediately wiped down if a soft drink spills onto the surface. Dust, dirt and food particles left on the surface of tiles could eventually wear down the seal and create a permanent stain.


In general, clean tap water and a mild detergent applied with a non-abrasive sponge will be sufficient for periodic maintenance. For heavier spills and stubborn stains, you may want to add baking soda.