Home Improvement: Cheap And Easy Fixes That Will Add Value

You have to make changes if you want to sell your home. It is the first rule of selling a property. The issue that you will have is your budget. To get a house ready to sell, you have to spend quite a bit of money. Renovations don’t come cheap, and they are hard to compromise on unless you have the right knowledge. After all, you can’t fake a conservatory or a spare bedroom.But, you don’t have to have a spare bedroom or a conservatory to add value to your house. Houses are more than a collection of features, or at least that is what people like to think. As long as the house represents the buyer’s preferences, the value of the property will increase. And, not everyone wants a grandiose feature to spark their curiosity. In fact, it only takes a few basic methods to spark a browser’s curiosity, and you can find them below.

# Make The Kitchen Cook

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Even by today’s standards, families will sit down in the kitchen and eat. Most families will also bond and socialize in the kitchen. Plus, it is the place where people congregate when you have them round for dinner or a party. There isn’t a room that is as important barring the bathroom. People can be particular about the bathroom! Obviously, you don’t want to buy a new kitchen to make it look nice. But, you also shouldn’t rule it out because there are cheap kitchens that look modern and stylish. If you can’t find them, however, you should concentrate on cleaning up any mess. Also, put a lot of emphasis on the fittings and fixtures. Cabinet doors, for example, only need a lick of paint to look new and fresher than before.

# Match The Appliances

Kitchens tend to look unruly if you have a mixture of different materials all in one place. A contemporary kitchen can have everything from carpet to stainless steel masquerading together. The lack of a color scheme isn’t something that buyers like because it looks mismatched. On the whole, mismatched means that the kitchen needs work. With that in mind, try and match the appliances with the rest of the room. If you have steel or silver fittings, then you should buy steel appliances. It is much cheaper to replace the appliances than it is the oven.

# Give The Bath A Makeover

It was mentioned before, but it is worth saying again: bathrooms are an important room in the house. For whatever reason, buyers don’t want a bathroom that is nothing less than perfect. That means you will need to get it into shape before you try and sell your house for good. Instead of ripping the entire room, concentrate on the basics. The flooring is a good start. Tile and vinyl floors not only look modern, but they are also easy to clean. Then there is the bath and shower. A bath will start to look mangy after a while as the water and dirt build. A regular clean won’t do much, but an old-fashioned scrub will lift a lot of the grime. As long as you use a strong cleaner, the bath will sparkle afterward. Finally, don’t forget about the toilet seat. Toilets are expensive, which means you don’t want to replace one. The seats are quite cheap in contrast. It is only a small change, but it makes a big difference to the overall style.

# Repair Anything That Is Broken

You would think that this tip goes without saying, but you underestimate the persistence of property buyers. What you think looks fine, they can see through like they have x-ray vision. They will find things that you don’t even know are broken, and that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. To combat them, you have to think like them. Turn over every stone and look for any repairs that need fixing. Once you have them, perform emergency DIY. You might want to call a professional, yet that will cost. As long as the job isn’t major, you should be able to fix it alone.

# Give The Walls A Lick Of Paint

There is nothing more useful to the frugal renovator than a tin of paint. Why? Paint is useful because it adds gloss and shine to the house. As a result, the property begins to look fresh and vivid instead of tired and old. The great thing about paint is that it doesn’t cost much to buy. Yes, a few tins will set you back a little bit of cash. However, the cost is minimal compared to hiring a painter and decorator. All you have to do is find the right paint, and you can transform your home. It is a good idea to try a new color to give the property an edge. Bright, vivid colors often work best, especially as summer is only a few weeks away. Don’t just put it on the walls either as paint works on almost anything that looks worn. From cabinet doors to the railings on the stairs, there isn’t much paint won’t fix.

# Varnish The Wood

With that in mind, it isn’t a very good idea to paint wood. For wood, you need to use a varnish to make it gleam. Varnishes are especially good with regards to wood as they soak into the material. Once fully soaked, they give off deep, dark warmth that makes wood so popular in houses. Even in modern houses, there are plenty of beams and floors that implement dead trees. It is also pertinent to chink the wood if you know how to chink. Chink is a sealant that stops any outside elements eroding the material. Ultimately, all you need is the right kind of chink to secure and clean the wood.

# Set Up Extra Storage

Old houses and new houses are notorious for a lack of storage space. And, you can bet that it is one the first questions a viewer asks when they walk through the door. No one wants to cram their valuables into small spaces, which is why you need more room. To start with, organize your current storage space. You will find that space will appear out of nowhere when you throw unnecessary items in the garbage. It is possible to hire storage space, but that is costly. Plus, what will you do with your items if they don’t fit in your new home? Seriously, hoarders need to think twice before they put their property on the market! If nothing turns up, you can create storage space. ‘Do-it-yourself’ wire is all you need to make space in any room in the house.

# Add A Room

Forget about adding a basement because that will cost you anywhere up to $50,000. What you want to add is a new bedroom or a study. In fact, a bedroom is the best bet because they add the most value. So, if you have a study, take the computer and leather bound books to the storage unit and replace them with a mattress. You might have another option even if you don’t have a study. Do you have a garage? Well, that is a good a space as any to makeover. Garages tend to have large open spaces that make them perfect for big bedrooms. And, it is all the rage at the minute to sleep downstairs for some strange reason. All you have to worry about is a parking space for the car. But, even that isn’t much of a hassle if you live in a safe neighborhood. As long as it has an alarm, you will hear it from your property.

# Curb Appeal

So far, every tip is looking at the interior of your house. While the interior is important, it isn’t the only important aspect. The exterior of your home is just as important if you want to make a good impression. The exterior is the first thing buyers see when they get out of the car, and that first impression will affect their judgment. If they don’t like it for whatever reason, they won’t make a bid. For that reason, you need to get your garden or yard in order. Make sure that it is clean and in an orderly manner. Otherwise, it will draw curious glances from the viewers. There is no excuse for a garden to look untidy because you only need to cut the grass. As long as the lawn is trim, the entire garden looks neat and tidy. You can add a few accessories like a flower bed or a shed to enhance the look. Also, you might want to consider a fence. Not only does a fence add contrast, but it also adds security. Plus, it plays on the cliché of a house with the white picket fence.

As you can see, you don’t need to spend a fortune to add value. All you need to know are the tricks of the trade. And, now that you do, you should make a tidy profit.

Airing Out Ice Dams? – Proper Ventilation for Better Winter Protection

If there’s one thing that you wouldn’t want on your roof during winter season, it’s ice dams. Ice dams are basically small pools of water from melted snow, trapped by frozen snow. Here’s a quick explanation of how these form on your roof.

  1. Snow accumulates on your roof
  2. The surface of the roof, which is warmer than the snow itself, melts the ice directly over it
  3. Snow that isn’t partially melted by the roof’s warmth prevents the water from flowing to the gutter
  4. The trapped water has no choice but to seep through small gaps between shingles or panels

Most home owners focus on stopping ice dam formation right at the first step of the process. Unfortunately, this approach can be a very tedious and an ineffective process. Sure, you can always push snow off your roof, but ice dams can form as fast as a single evening. You could be spending an hour shoveling in the afternoon and wake up with ice dams the next morning. Some suggest using cable heaters, but these aren’t always effective and raise your monthly electric bill.

If you look at the ice dam process I listed earlier, you’ll notice that the main problem about ice dams – the melting snow – forms because of the warm roof surface. Preventing the roof surface from getting too warm is the key to keeping ice dams from developing, even if there’s a lot of snow on the roof. But how do you keep your roof from being too warm without you and your family freezing during the winter season?

You don’t have to give up comfort just to keep your roof free from ice dams. Keeping yourself warm is fine; the real problem starts when the warm air from your living room warms air trapped in the attic. This usually happens if your attic does not have a proper ventilation system. Imperial Building & Roofing Co recommends having a team come inspect your attic and the ventilation system to ensure everything is in order.

A proper ventilation system works in a few simple steps. Intake vents from lower parts of the roof let cold air inside the attic. Next, the cold air pushes the warm air out of the attic through a vent at the upper part of the roof. The warm air doesn’t stay long enough to warm up the roof, and the cold air also helps maintain the roof’s temperature. Because the roof stays cool enough, the snow directly in contact with the roof surface doesn’t melt, and ice dams won’t form.

The type of vent would depend on what kind of roof you have on your home. Most sloped roof designs usually do well with ridge vents, but gabled roofs also have the extra option of having gable vents. Low sloped and flat roof designs have a less distinct “top” area, and the warm air tends to spread more evenly, so you may have to get powered ventilation fans if you have that kind of roof.

Having proper ventilation plays a big role in preventing ice dam formation, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore other parts of the roof. As always, watch out for signs of roof problems on a regular basis, so you can prevent other winter roof problems and stay hassle free throughout the cold season.

About the Author:
John Zatwarnytsky is the Vice President of Homecraft, Inc. As one of the heads of the leading home contractors and roofers in Delaware, he sees to it that everything is in a smooth flow. He’s passionate about giving the best quality of service to his clients through the comfortable, energy efficient and beautifully done works. He reaches out to more people by trying to address common roofing and home improvement concerns through his blog.

The Importance of Keeping Your Gutters Clean and Clear

Your gutters form part of your home’s first line of defense against water damage. They work with the entire roof system to protect your home from being flooded, along with other destructive issues. In this post, I will share with you the reasons why you should strive to keep your gutters clean and clear of debris, and how you can best do that.

The Importance of Gutters

Even if water is an element necessary in our lives, it can also wreak havoc on your property if it is not directed away properly. This is where your gutter system comes in. Aside from proper installation, cleaning and maintenance are huge factors that determine how well can a gutter perform its role.

Here are some of the reasons why gutters are so important:

  • They help stabilize the soil and ground around the house.
  • They help prevent foundation problems caused by water damage.
  • They help preserve landscaping by minimizing soil erosion.
  • They help prevent flooding in and around the home.
  • They help reduce settling and cracking on sidewalks, driveways, and patios.
  • They help protect siding, doors, and walls from water-related issues.

By knowing how important gutters are, homeowners like you can start paying more attention to them and hopefully make time to check if they need to be cleaned.

Problems You Can Avoid by Keeping Your Gutters Clean and Clear

Cleaning gutters is definitely not the most exciting activity that you can do during your spare time, which is the reason why many homeowners tend to forget about it. Chances are, you might only think about doing so after you’ve noticed that your gutters are already overflowing and spilling water, leaves, and other debris. If you need more motivation, here’s a list of the problems that you can avoid by simply keeping your gutters clean:

  • Water pooling resulting in roof damage.
  • Water leaking into the house, damaging the roof, ceiling, walls and floors.
  • Breeding of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Fire hazards, in the form of accumulated leaves and other debris.
  • Gutter system deterioration and damage.

Scheduling and performing gutter cleaning at least every quarter or whenever the season changes can help you keep your entire home in a good condition.

What You Can Do

Let’s face it. Cleaning gutters is not exactly a fun task. Fortunately, you can hire professionals to take care of the job for you. But you know what’s even better? Doing away with cleaning while keeping your gutters free from debris! With gutter protection, leaves, twigs and other debris are effectively kept out of your gutter system. Debris on top of a gutter protection system just falls on the ground so you don’t have to worry about regularly cleaning your gutters. Gutter protection can also include heating cables. Aside from helping prevent ice dams from forming, gutter heating cables are also convenient; install them with new or existing gutter systems. For more on how you can make the most out of your gutters, don’t hesitate to give your local contractor a call.

Author Bio:
Eric Minkiewicz is the president of Huff N’ Puff. The son of Ed and Ruth, who started the company in 1973, he rejoined the family business from a career in finance and technology in 2001, helping it grow further with his sound business principles and knowledge. To help customers achieve their home improvement goals, Eric shares what he knows by writing for the company blog.

Siding Options – New Paint vs New Panels?

Siding Options – New Paint vs New Panels?

Your siding doesn’t just play an important role in your home’s overall energy efficiency; it also has a huge impact on what your home will look like. Unfortunately, because siding is constantly exposed to the elements, even the toughest siding materials eventually wear down, often causing ugly and potentially dangerous siding problems.

Some homeowners argue that the best way to restore your home’s siding is by applying a fresh layer of paint. Paint not only conceals damage caused by the weather, but also adds a protective layer to prevent moisture and ultraviolet light from damaging the siding material. On the other hand, you can always have your siding panels torn down and replaced with newer ones. This gives your home a brand new layer of weather protection, but the cost will likely be many times that of choosing to reapply paint.

Both options have their advantages, so how can you tell if you should go for new paint or panels? The best way to find out is to have your siding’s condition assessed. Here’s a quick rundown of the things you should look out for:

Material – Siding panels can be made of wood, concrete, PVC or composite material. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but some are simply more durable than others. If you think your current siding is already too weak to function properly, it’s much better to have it replaced with a more durable siding material. On the other hand, if the siding panels are still in good shape, you can save a lot of cash by painting over them instead.

Severity of damage – Siding damage comes in many forms, ranging from rust spots to cracks and splinters and even missing panels. Minor signs of damage can be painted over without too much problem, but severe cracks and missing panels warrant a total replacement.

Color and texture – Because paint is one of your options, you have to keep your current siding’s color in mind. Is your siding painted over in the first place, or did it have its color applied to it during the manufacturing process (like in composite and vinyl panels)? The former can simply be sanded off and covered with a new layer of paint, but the “built-in” color of a vinyl or composite panel is pretty much set and will require extra effort to paint over.

Age – How old are your siding panels? Most siding options are designed to last for years. It would be a waste to have fairly new panels replaced if you can simply restore their original look with paint. On the other hand, no paintjob can make aging panels look good or perform adequately longer if there are unresolved underlying problems.

Budget aside, both options are viable; it really just boils down to what condition your current siding is in. If you want to make sure you choose the option which is better for your home, get in touch with a reputable siding company. Good luck with your new siding!

About Author:
Terry Stamman is the Chief Executive Officer of Twin Cities Siding Professionals, a company specializing in roof, window and siding-related services. Terry values good customer experience, which he provides by offering high-quality materials and sharing his insights through online articles.

Don’t Make These Silly Mistakes When Protecting Your Home

Whether you’ve lived in a property for 20 minutes or 20 years, it won’t feel like home until it’s safe. Quite frankly, you can never be too protective when your family are at risk. Meanwhile, the house is your most prized financial asset also.

In truth, all homeowners will be eager to protect their properties. However, the problems don’t arise from a lack of trying. They suffer from making very simple errors of judgement. Going the extra mile to avoid those issues will keep your home safe. Moreover, it will give your family the peace of mind you deserve. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

# CCTV Monitoring

Adding CCTV has become commonplace in the modern homeowner’s protection plan. When combined with the more traditional alarm systems, it should go a long way to keeping intruders at bay. But you can, and should, take it one step further.

Wireless cameras can be monitored from anywhere in the world, meaning you can even keep your mind at ease on holiday. Another fantastic trick is to position motion-sensor cameras inside the home too. By sending notifications directly to your phone, you’ll always be ahead of the game. Hopefully, those systems won’t ever be used. But if they are, it’s good to know you have them in place.

# Protecting Openings

If burglars are going to enter your home, they’re going to get through an opening. After all, they can’t just walk through brick walls. Therefore, windows and doors should be considered a priority. If you have just moved in, calling a locksmith is advised. It’s not that the previous owners are a danger, but you’ll never know whether they lost keys during their time as owners. For peace of mind, it’s worth the small investment.

Windows are probably the more common worry. Let’s face it; paying for a window lock to be fixed can feel like a major hassle. But take a second to consider the damage that could occur. You’ll soon make the right decision.

# Building Security

It’s only natural to worry about the danger of outside intruders. In truth, though, you are far more likely to suffer damage to the building. And the probability of this occurring will shoot through the roof if you overlook the importance of general maintenance.

The key focus is to spot problems early and act accordingly. Roofing problems are a common issue that could lead to major hassle while leaks and other household problems should be fixed ASAP. This guide on common DIY tasks should come in handy. But even if you call an expert, a stitch in time saves nine.

# Garden Safety

Protecting your property is the priority, but you can’t afford to forget the external areas either. For starters, it’s easier for thieves to target this location. Perhaps more significantly, the space could come under threat from various bugs and critters. Take the necessary precautions to prevent these issues, and you will not regret it.

Once the weather changes, you need to ensure that gutters are kept clear of falling leaves too. If you’re going to protect the property, then you need to protect all of it. And that includes the garden. It really is that simple.

3 Parts Of Your Home That Might Need Fixing Up


When you are a homeowner, it can be all too easy to let small things fall into disrepair. The truth is, often you do not know how bad it is until it desperately needs fixing. There are many parts of the home which we hardly ever see. It goes without saying that those are often the parts that need the most work. Part of the difficulty here lies in being able to spot the signs. As long as you know what to watch out for, you can be relatively sure that everything is okay in your home. In this post, we will look at three of the main common problem areas for many homes. We will see what the common signs are, and also look into how to fix those problems. If you are keen to know more about how to properly look after your home, then read on.

#1. Foundation

The foundations is, it goes without saying, one of the most important parts of the home. It is the foundation which the entire structure sits upon, after all. If it is weak or damaged, then you will experience further problems down the line. But how can you know whether a foundation is damaged or not? There are some clear signs you can look out for. One of the most obvious is that you might have baying or warped walls and doors. If this is the case in your home, then seek help immediately. Alternatively, you might notice that the doors no longer easily fit in their frames. If you notice any of the signs of foundation damage, it is important that you have it looked at as soon as possible. This is the kind of job you really want to leave to the professionals.

#2. Masonry

It can be very easy and quick for masonry to fall apart. A little bit of damage here won’t necessarily be a huge issue. However, if the problems develop, then you will want to get it looked at. The signs you are watching out for here are exactly what you would think. If you notice any significant crumbling mortar in the bricks and walls, then you have a problem. The only solution here is to cut out and replace the joints. This process, known as tuckpointing, can be done by an amateur at home. However, you will probably want to get the professionals to do it for you. That way, you can be sure that it is done properly.

#3. Roof

Leaking roofs can be a nightmare for anyone who experiences them. It goes without saying that a roof which doesn’t work properly only leads to a house which can’t be properly lived in. That’s why it is so important that you look after the roof. You should be on guard for any early signs of roof damage. The quicker you get in there to fix the problem, the better. Sometimes, the problem will be something you can easily fix yourself. Let’s take a broken tile as an example of this. This is one of the most common problems that people experience with their roofs. If you have a broken tile, you shouldn’t have too much problem replacing it yourself. Just be sure to prioritise safety when you are up on the roof.

Why Do You Need to Install the Gas Log Fireplace in Your Home?

In the coolest temperature, you need a perfect fireplace in your home, which provides you warm atmosphere inside your home. Earlier the wood fire place was installed in all homes and hotels, because there were no such alternatives which were innovated. But now the wood fireplace is prohibited in some states because of its harmful elements and huge level of gas emission. Instead of wood fireplace, now you can easily install the gas log fireplace in your home and commercial area because, it is totally safe and it does not generate any types of harmful gas in the weather.

What are the features of a gas log fireplace?

  • Gas log fireplace looks like the same wood fireplace and it does not have any types of burning elements. This fireplace is attached with a gas source, and when you switch on this fireplace, it will create a fire frame. That will generate heat inside the room within a short time, and your rooms become hot within few minutes only.
  • Gas log fireplace is very easy to clean and maintain. You need not spend any additional cost for installation and maintenance of gas log fireplace. There are no external sediments left in the fireplace area which need to be cleaned, and you can easily maintain this fireplace in a natural manner.
  • Gas log fireplace has an esthetic look, and it is designed with a fire chamber and it looks like a normal fireplace only. You can choose the different stylish gas log fireplace chambers, which suit your interior perfectly.
  • There are many types of burners for the gas log fireplace available in the market, and you need to choose the fireplace and gas burner according to your room size. If your room size is large then you need to place a big fire burner, which can generate huge level of heat. Else you can install small gas log fireplace in your room which can easily heat your room within a short time.
  • You can easily control the temperature of the gas log fireplace by its regulating system. If you need maximum heat then you just increase the flame, and when you need less heat, you just control the flame in a low capacity. That will create a moderate temperature in your rooms.
  • Most of the gas log fireplace is crafted from ceramic and they look great. Apart from that, the ceramic materials are totally heat resistant and they absorb heat at the highest level, and help to generate the heat throughout the area.

How to choose and install the gas log fireplace?

Now there are many manufacturers and suppliers available in the market, which offer different types of fireplace under one roof, and you can easily order the fireplace on their websites. It is suggested that before placing your order, you must check their features, longevity and designs. For installation of the gas log fireplace, it is a very easy process and you can do it by yourself only. But if you do not know the process, then you can hire some professionals in this field, and they will assist you regarding these things. Apart from that you can also consult with the manufacturer’s customer care and they will give your proper guidance for installation and maintenance.

Fireplace is necessary for every home and it must be incorporated with the safety and security features of the homeowners. Before installing the gas log fireplace, you must identify the exact location, because it requires an exhaust system, and you need to design the room decoration accordingly. If you want to install the best gas log fireplace, then let’s have look here and get more beneficial info.