Home Improvement Advice

Home Improvement Advice, is an article that I decided to write so people could get a little insight into my world. I have been in the restoration business for over 30 years and I may have literally, seen it all.

From water coming out the second floor doors and walls because of frozen pipes, to roofs that have landed in the bathtub. If it has to do with a residential property then I've most likely tackled the job more then once.

This extensive experience has allowed me the knowledge to accomplish home improvement tasks in an expedited and efficient manner. Hopefully this article will pass a little bit of that insight along to my readers.

I've broken this one down to some basic areas of work, that often come up for the average homeowner. Each section will let you know if there are areas that money can be saved by taking on some of the jobs yourself.

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When thinking of home improvement jobs your mechanical and physical capabilities will make a lot of the decisions for you. If you are a fit individual then lawn work and outside landscaping is a great area to save money.

If however you are better tuned to turning nuts and bolts then the utilities in your home may be your forte for saving money. Artistic individuals do well on interior decorating projects, such as window treatments and interior painting.

Wherever you find yourself handy, can be a good place to start saving money on home improvement. Always remember safety first. Saving money is not worth personal injury. The right tools and precautions should be used and taken on every job.

Never work on electrical items or wiring unless you are familiar with the system and know how to make sure the power is off. Use care when working around boilers and other heating apparatus, as these types of appliances use fuel and burn extremely hot.

Once safety elements have been observed and the proper tools acquired, almost any home improvement job can be tackled. 

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Where To Put Your Money To Increase Value

What To Replace

Kitchen RenovationsKitchens and Baths are a surefire way to increase your property value. Any remodeled kitchen or bath can add 100% or more of the cost to install to the net worth of your property. Add in the benefit of having new facilities to use and it's a win win.

Replacing outdated appliances is a great place to start. This can almost always be accomplished by the homeowner and suppliers of these types of items are usually offering installation as an incentive to purchase from them.

Updating wiring and plumbing within your kitchen or bath also increase the value of a home. Use a licensed electrician and plumber when local codes call for this and always make sure that your contractors supply you with a certificate of insurance when they are hired. Make sure you contact the company on the certificate to be sure the insurance is legitimate. Too many homeowners have fallen for copied documents that have no value because they are fakes.

Cosmetic repairs such as painting and refacing cabinets can be done by the homeowner to greatly enhance the look of a room. Colors can be changed and updated and even the outlet covers being replaced adds a fresh look. Covers for plugs and switches are under a dollar each and can add that brand new look to a room.

Hardwood floors are a great addition to any home and some can now be installed right over whats there. Carpeting often covers existing hardwood floors and taking it out is an easy way to update your look. Some floors can be sanded and new poly laid down to freshen the look. Some will have to be completely refinished but even this is worth the effort to obtain nice hardwood floors.

Replacing linoleums or other types of vinyl floors with actual structural tile, be it marble, ceramic, or any other masonry tile it looks better and wares a lot longer then cheap vinyl floors. This is another great place for a homeowner to build some sweat equity into their home. Tiling is a very easy job to master.

Broken Sheetrock or old plaster which has loosened and pulled away from the wall can first be tightened up with plaster washers and then skim coated with sheet rock compound to make walls new again. Be sure to prime all new walls before attempting to apply finish paint.

Draft proofing a home is another great way to make it more comfortable and save energy cost at the same time. Take on this task in the warm months of summer instead of waiting until the dead of winter. No one wants to be out in 10 degree weather filling cracks around the windows.

Replacing any old doors and leaky window sashes with new energy rated glass is worth the effort. This can take a big chunk from the heating budget allowing more home improvements to be tackled with the savings.

Heating systems are another place the homeowner can save some money. This type of mechanical system needs annual maintenance and if you learn the basics of the system you have this can be done by the homeowner and a good chunk of money can be saved each year. Maintaining heating systems is a lot cheaper then fixing them.


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How Big Is This Project Anyway?

Biting Off More Then You Can Chew

When contemplating any home improvement job, the best thing you could do for yourself is to take the time to evaluate your capabilities to complete the job. Every homeowner eventually finds themselves with a bunch of projects that are unfinished. Some will go years with a new bathtub in the garage and never get it installed because the scope of the work exceeds their capabilities. Know your limitations and tackle only the jobs you know you can finish. I also recommend that one job be attempted at a time, as doing too many things will compromise the quality you end up with.

Concentrating on one area and prioritizing the jobs you need to get done is important. Start with anything that is going to get worse if neglected. Then move on to cosmetic issues. It's no good to paint the wall if the roof still leaks above it. You will be painting it again.

Again I can not emphasize enough the importance of safety. The construction field, which does include home improvement, is a dangerous occupation. Professionals are injured all the time and they know what they're doing. Make sure you have the right safety equipment and the right tools for the job before you begin.

Safety First Always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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