Fall Maintenance Tips for Home Sellers

With spring cleaning far behind, and summer fun all but over, it is time to start fall home maintenance, especially if you are thinking about selling. Consider making these home improvements to boost your chance of a sale. Ensure you have adequate outdoor lighting. It won’t be long, and the days will be considerably shorter, which means buyers will need a well-lit path to your front door.If you install the seasonal storm doors and windows make sure they are in good working condition. If they need repair or should be replaced, now is the time to take that step.Pressure wash the exterior of your home – including the windows. As the leaves fall from the trees, your home will become more exposed to the scrutinizing eyes of potential buyers; so, make sure it’s appealing from the curb.Clean out the gutters and downspouts keeping them clear of debris. This will also show that you care for your home.Add weather stripping to doors and windows if needed; the time to address a cold draft or air leak is before the bitter cold sets in.Walk around the exterior of your home paying close attention to areas that may need to be caulked (places like windows, doors, joints, corners or anywhere something protrudes from the wall/roof). Caulking is best done before the temperatures get too cool.Check your HVAC system. Also make sure your furnace has a new filter and have the system checked out by a professional. A buyer will be asking for this to be done during a home inspection anyhow, so it is best to discover any problems early on.A roof inspection may seem overkill, but harsh winter winds and heavy snow can take a toll on your home. It is important to take care of any damage now to avoid repairs during the cold winter months. These fall home maintenance tips are quick, easy, and affordable. Do not have the time or you are unsure how to maintain and perform the proper repairs and/or maintenance? Call ANDY ONCALL®! ANDY’s Helpful Tips! Home Safety Home safety is an important part of preventative home maintenance. In case of an emergency, all adults in your household should know where the following controls are located and how to turn them off: Heating fuel (gas) main shutoffMain electrical fuse/breaker boxMain water shutoffWater shutoff valve for each toilet and sink in your home and your washing...

Organizing Room-by-Room

Spring fever has arrived! Spring brings warmer weather, longer daylight hours, and a need for Spring cleaning. After being cooped up all Winter we have a desire for openness and air. One of the easiest ways to obtain this in our home is through organization. Kitchen: Countertops; they should only hold things that are used on a daily basis. Create a permenant spot for everything else, including appliances.Personal Items; to prevent the room from becoming a dumping ground try this rule: By dinnertime, the kitchen must be clear of all personal items. Mudroom: Create an Outbox; locate by the door so you can easily grab library books, DVDs, or outgoing mail on your way out.A Place for Everything; whether it’s a dedicated room or a stretch of wall inside the door, create a place for all the things that need to go no further into the house (i.e., coats, boots, mail, keys, etc.). Family Room: Control the Extras; limit yourself to no more than two issues of a magazine and keep only movies, games, music and books that you use and that realistically fit on your shelves. Bedroom: Look Below the Bed; clear plastic containers are great for seasonal clothing, linens, and shoes. Also keeping them dust free while allowing you to see what’s in them.Final Resting Place; dresser tops, bedside tables, and chairs can quickly become towers of stuff in need of a home. Track the things that stack up over a week and create permenant places to keep them in the room. Bathroom: Let It Go; scan your linen closet and medicine cabinet at least once a month and toss expired or unused products. Andy’s Helpful Tips Spring Home Maintenance Reminders: It is not recommended to delay or ignore regular home maintenance. Keeping your house well maintained can affect the overall value of your home. Check cement for cracks. Temperature changes can implement cracks. Simple cement caulk can mend smaller cracks.Use sealants to protect decks, porches, railings and fences from the blistering sun and heat. This also improves their appearance.Clear outdoor drains of debris.Inspect roof for wear and tear.Inspect basement and crawlspaces for water damage.Check and maintain indoor/outdoor plumbing. Extreme temperatures can cause leaks.Install ceiling fans to circulate cooler air and help reduce AC costs.Service AC unitCoolant levels should be checked.Evaluate insulation within your home and replace if necessary.Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under...

Winter Maintenance Reminders

Home maintenance can be a real chore for anyone, but there is no avoiding the fact; what you don’t maintain now, can drain your wallet later. During the winter months especially, there are numerous items in your home that need to be maintained. Below is a list of the most common winter maintenance items which should be checked each season. Clean out gutters and downspouts Change furnace filters Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors Reverse your ceiling fans so that they are rotating in a clockwise direction once you have turned on your heat Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles Clean kitchen exhaust hoods and filters Check the attic for adequate ventilation Check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles; as well as, breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys Have your fireplace professionally cleaned, check your chimney for loose or missing mortar, and make sure your damper closes tightly Winterize outside sprinklers, hoses and faucets Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained Store firewood at least 30 feet away from your home Check outdoor lighting fixtures, replace bulbs Install storm doors and windows Maintain your heating unit/furnace and seal your ducts Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections These are just a few of the items that most homeowners should maintain during the winter months. If you need assistance or just don’t have the time to get the job done, contact ANDY ONCALL®! Andy’s Helpful Tips! Uses for everyday home items: Coffee Filter Clean windows and mirrors using a filter including your car windows. Coffee Grounds “Fridge freshener”: Put dry grounds into an old margarine tub with holes poked in the lid. Place the tub in the refrigerator to absorb odors. Odor-eliminator: Keep grounds in a can near the sink. Rub a small amount over your hands after peeling onions, chopping garlic or handling fish to get rid of the odor. Powdered Lemon or Orange Drink Try using it as a dishwasher stain remover: To remove rust from the inside walls, pour 1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink (which contains citric acid or citric acid crystals) into the detergent cup and then run a regular cycle. Repeat as necessary. Toothpaste (regular white paste) Clean chrome: Shine sink fixtures (rub over faucets with...

Fall Home Improvement Projects and their ROI

Fall is the season for spending your weekends enjoying the autumn air and scenery whether it be — apple-picking, hayrides, or pumpkin patches. While beautiful, fall is also the perfect time to tackle those home improvement projects and to-do lists we put off during the summer. So what’s on your list? Below is a list of home improvement projects that give you more bang for your buck. Paint the front door (ROI: 80% – 140%) A freshly painted front door helps your home stand out from the block, and it can be finished in less than an afternoon. Exterior painting should be done at a time when the temps are at least 50 degrees or so and aren’t dipping below the 40s at night. Refresh (or repair) the deck (ROI: 80% – 120%) A deck is only as good as its condition. If the wood is splintering, the finish faded, or the rails shaky, call in the experts. Enhance the exterior (ROI: 60% – 100%) If your exterior paint job is in decent shape, a few touch-ups could suffice. But for those with chipping paint or a 1970s color scheme? Call the pros immediately. Replace or repair your roof (ROI: 50% – 110%) A new roof can be basic or with details that enhance curb appeal, but its main value comes from instilling confidence that it is functionally sound. And that is invaluable. Power-wash the exterior (ROI: 40% – 110%) The ROI for this project can vary based on just how dirty your home was  before the wash. If the home was merely a little dirty, the ROI may not be as great as it is for one that will look almost new after the wash. If your home falls into the latter category, it can be worth it to hire a pro. Window Replacement (ROI: 50% – 80%) Windows can be hit-or-miss investments, mainly because they are expensive to replace and almost invisible to buyers. Clean the gutters (ROI: Priceless) Here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A mere 30 minutes of routine rain gutter maintenance could prevent thousands of dollars in damage to the foundation of a home. Andy’s Helpful Fall Fire Safety Tips! As summer turns to fall, it’s a good idea to refresh your memory on fall fire safety tips. Some safety tips are the same regardless of the time of year,...

7 Summer Home Projects You Should Be Doing Now

It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost here. There are plenty of easy home improvement projects you can take on that will increase your home’s value, make it look better, and get things ready for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Summer is a great time to work on your home because the weather is warm, which makes doing most of these chores a breeze. You can finish some of these projects in less than an hour, while others will require a bigger time commitment, depending on your home’s features. Start at the top of the list for the easier, quicker fixes and work your way down. Clean the Gutters – If your home sits under a pollinating tree, then your gutters might have brown or yellow stains dripping down the sides from the spring’s pollination cycle. But even if it doesn’t, leaves may have accumulated, which not only clog gutters, but can cause stains as well. Now is a great time to scrub your gutters down because the weather is warm and they’ll stay relatively clean until the fall. Clean Exterior Lights – Have you ever cleaned out the dead bugs from your home’s exterior lights? Many people don’t think to do this, but those bugs add up. They not only look gross, but they also dim the quality of the light. This is an easy chore that will give your home a bright, clean look. Fix Concrete Cracks – If you have a concrete driveway, patio, or path, you know that the winter months can be brutal on these areas. The constant freezing and melting, as well as the salt you throw down, all contribute to cracks. If left unattended, these cracks will get wider with each successive winter season. If the crack is small, buy concrete caulk. Simply clean out the crack (a pressure washer works great for this) and apply the caulk. If the crack is large, then you’ll need to apply concrete patch. Caulk the Exterior – Caulk not only helps protect the exterior of your home from the elements, but it also helps keep it air-tight, which means lower monthly utility bills for you. Exterior caulking should be done once per year. And you sure don’t want to do this outdoor project during the dead of winter or during a wet fall or spring. Start caulking around windows and doors first. If...

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