Your home is many things — a sanctuary, a lifestyle, a place of comfort. It’s also an investment. Keeping up with common home maintenance tasks does two things: it keeps your home comfortable and maintains a high-quality investment. Homeowners who don’t see themselves as DIY weekend warriors might think fixing a leaky faucet or patching up a hole in the wall is simply too complex. Well, it’s time to think again! With the right tools and tutorials, you can tackle easy fixes for common home maintenance problems. Here are a few of the basics, as well as some online tutorials you can use to feel more confident when you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work. 1) Recaulking the bathroom: Updating the caulk around your tub or shower requires no expensive tools — simply caulk and a caulk gun will do the trick. Make sure the area is clean and dry and then run the caulk gun along the perimeter. Wipe off any excess so you have a fine and flexible line. Caulk helps seal in your tile to reduce the amount of mildew and mold that can grow in and around wet areas. 2) Unclogging sinks, drains and toilets: All bathrooms should have a plunger on hand to handle messy incidents, but you can keep your sinks, toilets and drains moving smoother by making unclogging part of your regular cleaning routine. You can accomplish this by using two common pantry items: vinegar and baking soda. Instead of using harsh chemicals, you can keep things moving with all-natural options. 3) Fixing a squeaky floorboard: The easiest way to fix a wood floor squeak is to adhere the the board back against the floor joist. You’ll need to access the subfloor so you can use wood to fill larger gaps and adhesive for smaller ones. If the cause of the squeak is separation — the floor from the subfloor — then a short screw might be all you need to save the day. 4) Painting a room: Start a painting project off with clean walls. Keep the messiness to a minimum by taping off all the trim, window sills, outlets and other areas in the room you do not want painted. Use a primer to ensure the paint has a more vibrant sheen and is smooth and even. Paint large areas with a roller and more narrow areas with a brush. Protect your floors by laying down a tarp, an old sheet or other protective covering. 5) Changing an outlet: Changing an outlet is a little more complex, but can it be done. You will need more tools, like replacement 15-amp or 20-amp receptacle, screwdrivers, a non-contact voltage tester, needle nose pliers and wire strippers. It’s crucial that you make sure the power is turned off before working on replacing an outlet. You also need to understand the current wire configuration before you can replace the receptacle. 6) Repairing a broken handle: It’s always annoying to pull on a handle and, instead of a drawer or cabinet opening, the handle just pops right off. Fixing a loose or broken handle can be taken on in several simple ways: you can replace the handle with one that fits better, use a newer screw to secure a stripped knob, or use wood toothpicks and adhesive to help a handle fit more snugly into a hole that is too big. Being a homeowner comes with many responsibilities, some big and some small, but they are all important. Knowing what you can and can’t do on your own truly influences the success of your DIY activities. From simple fixes to more in-depth projects, you can take control of easy home maintenance tasks to help you smoothly navigate your home's seasonal upkeep.
- Apr 24, 2019
- 2 min read
Adding elements to your home is a big step for anyone, and with the garden being one of the main features of your property, there is much evidence to suggest that adding decking to your home will help to increase its value. Here we are going to look at how adding decking to your home can benefit you should you come to sell it in the future.
Inexpensive To Install
The main benefit of adding decking to your home is that it can be installed without spending a small fortune. This is great for your home as you can have a custom built decking without spending too much money. This can be added to an area in the back garden with a swimming pool or hot tub to make a welcoming atmosphere for when people visit your home, and to make hosting much easier. One of the reasons that decking is so cheap to install is because of the commercial grade WPC decking boards that are much cheaper to manufacture and maintain. Although the decking does need caring for once it is installed, this is an investment that will last you a number of years before it needs to be completely replaced.
Utilizing The Outside Space
One of the main reasons that adding decking can boost the property value when you come to sell is because of the use of the outside area of your home. Whether the decking is on the front or the back of your home, this will help to appeal to potential buyers as the space is ideal for those looking to relax after a long day at work. This is also beneficial for houses that are slightly smaller as it provides additional space outside for the owner to enjoy.
Appeals To Younger Families
A decking also appeals to younger families that are looking to make the most of the outside as this is the perfect place for them to host barbecues with family and friends, and enjoy the garden with the children. If the decking is large enough, it can also house a swimming pool to provide hours of fun for the family all in one place. This is also ideal for a young family as it is easy to replace and can be extended with ease should you find your decking is not long enough. This can also be cleaned with ease with the use of a jet wash without worrying about damaging the surface of the wood.
Appeals To Estate Agents
When it comes to selling your home, it is important to ensure that your house is in order and by adding a decking, you can ensure that you make space that is highly appealing to both the estate agent and potential buyers. With the estate agents representing the house, it will need to be valued and the more potential and space that your home has, the more likely you are to sell it quickly. This is ideal for those that are looking to move quickly as it will make your home more desirable to a larger group of people.
So whether you have just installed a new decking or are looking to do so in the future, you can be sure to find the perfect one for you with a number of design options.
- Apr 11, 2019
- 4 min read
Buying your first home can be a daunting prospect for young people. As the biggest investment you’ve ever made, it represents considerable financial risk. Many first-time homebuyers looking for ways to soften the financial blow opt for a fixer upper, a house that needs some work to make it livable. Of course, the trade-off is that you’re committing to hours of renovations and upgrades. Ultimately, the objective is to create your ideal living environment from a house you purchase at a cost that fits your budget.
Going the fixer-upper route adds another degree of risk to an already risky proposition. That’s why it’s so important to understand exactly what you’re getting into, including the exact condition of the house you intend to rehab as well as the level of financial commitment you’re making. If you get it right, it can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Seeking the right property
The first step in purchasing any home is finding out how much of a mortgage you qualify for. The mortgage rate that lenders are willing to offer home buyers is based on factors such as income, credit score and the size of the down payment they’re able to make. However, even if you don’t meet the requirements for a standard mortgage, if you’re an active military member or a veteran, you may qualify for a VA loan if you have served for 181 days during peacetime, 90 days during wartime, or six years in the Army Reserves or National Guard. Be sure to know what you qualify for before you start looking for homes.
Whatever your budget, you’re not restricted to prowling the streets and alleys looking for decaying properties and jotting down addresses. There are many resources that can help you find just the right house. Do diligent research on the internet, checking local tax records, home sale prices and insurance information to get an idea of the kind of deal you can expect and what buying a fixer upper in your area may cost. Consult lists of local foreclosures, which usually can be found through your County Clerk of Courts office. If you’re comfortable with the auction format, you can also find great deals by bidding. Before you pursue a home in earnest, consult a realtor who has experience dealing with compromised properties.
Getting a professional inspection is essential if you’re considering purchasing a house that will need a lot of work. Listen carefully to what the inspector has to say about your property. Being objective and honest with yourself at this stage can mean the difference between a house that can be a home and a money pit. The structure, foundation, roof, HVAC system, electrical and plumbing systems should be carefully scrutinized. If the inspector does raise red flags, take your concerns to the seller to see if they’re willing to make concessions on the asking price.
If the inspection reveals that the roof is in dire need of repair, you may be able to negotiate a lower price for the home. Roofing isn’t a DIY job, however. You’ll need to work with a reputable roofing repair company with the experience to get the job done right at a price you can afford. It’s a worthwhile investment: a new roof can increase the value of your home by as much as 40 percent.
Flooring is often one of the first tasks to be tackled in a fixer upper. You have a couple of options: you can try to repair the existing floor or, if it’s a total loss, you have an opportunity to start over and go with the flooring you’ve always wanted. Hardwood is an attractive option, and can be rehabilitated by sanding and restaining. If you know what you’re doing, you can end up with a hardwood floor that looks as good as new. Tile is another attractive flooring option, though installing tile can be more difficult than dealing with hardwood. It requires mortar or thinset, which attaches the tile to the sub-floor and grout to fill in the spaces between tiles.
Flooding is often a problem in old homes with a basement. If your new home doesn’t have a sump pump, you’ll need to have one put in, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or has a high water table. If you’re unable to connect to sewer lines, you’ll need to have a septic system that processes wastewater.
Whether you decide to stay or sell once your home has been repaired is dependent on several factors, including the neighborhood, the size of your mortgage, the ability of the owners to maintain the property, and the cost of your renovation versus the cost of purchasing a new home. Be sure to add up the total cost of fixing a house and compare that total to the price of buying a new home.
If you’ve decided to purchase a home that needs a lot of work, seek out the advice of your realtor and your home inspector. They can help you determine whether you’re equipped to handle the work.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.