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,...
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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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Spring Organizing

Organizing Room-by-Room Spring fever has arrived! Spring brings warmer weather, longer daylight hours, and a need for Spring cleaing. After being cooped up all Winter we have a desire for openness and air. One of the easiet 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 permanent 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 unit – Coolant levels should be checked. Evaluate insulation...
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Winter Tips and Tricks!

Safety Tips for Portable Electric Heaters As the cold air begins to set in, many will pull out the handy space heater. Maybe you work in a chilly office, your furnace or HVAC is out, or want to keep the thermostat turned down while warming the room you occupy. For these and other scenarios, a portable electric-powered space heater sure comes in handy. One of the most important things to remember is that electric-powered portables are the only unvented space heater safe to use indoors. This is because they do not fill your living space with undesirable combustion products like carbon monoxide, which can be generated by liquid-fueled heaters. However, their compact size and convenience come with a tradeoff: Extra diligence and careful operation are required to prevent fires, injuries and property damage. Three feet from the heat – The most significant risk is placing heaters too close to combustible materials like bedding, furniture, drapes, carpets or clothing. Blocking the release of heat could overheat the motor, switch or wires and cause a fire. Likewise, be aware of what is above and around the heater. You don’t want something to fall on it. Be the adult in the room – Kids and pets are particularly vulnerable to injuries or damage caused by a portable heater. Because they are unpredictable, you want to keep a kid-free and pet-free zone around the space heater. For these and other reasons, never leave a working portable heater unattended. It is also advised that you turn off a portable heater before going to sleep or leaving the room or house. Plug into safety – Electrical fires can be avoided with the right precautions. NEVER plug heaters into extension cords or power strips! This puts too much resistance on the power draw, raising the temperature at the plug. Use with caution and confidence – It is important to remember a space heater’s limitations. Nevertheless, when operated properly, a plug-in portable heater can be a prized appliance in a pinch. It is also important to note they should never be used as a primary or permanent source of heat. Winter Home Maintenance Reminders: 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. Winterize outside sprinklers, hoses and faucets Clean out gutters...
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The Most Rewarding Fall Home Improvement Projects!

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. Don’t have the time or you are unsure how to maintain and/or make the proper repairs? Call ANDY ONCALL©! Fall Fire Safety Tips As summer turns to fall, it’s a good idea to refresh your...
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