Real Estate and Home Improvement

The dos and don'ts of basement finishing

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Written by Staff Reports Saturday, April 12, 2014 05:20 am

 An unfinished basement allows homeowners to transform the room into anything they desire. But there are some dos and don'ts to finishing a basement, including ensuring the project adheres to local building codes. An unfinished basement allows homeowners to transform the room into anything they desire. But there are some dos and don'ts to finishing a basement, including ensuring the project adheres to local building codes.  Remodeling a basement is a popular home improvement project. A finished basement makes the space more functional and, when done correctly, can add a considerable amount of living space to a home.

Finishing a basement pays dividends in additional space in a home that doesn't require the same level of investment as putting an addition on the house. Also, the groundwork for a finished room is already there, as most basements are already set up with a poured concrete floor and some walls, usually cinder blocks. Some electrical components, plumbing and the creature comforts of drywall and a more inviting floor might be all that's necessary to finish a basement.

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Walk-in closets are in demand among home buyers this year.

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Written by Staff Reports Saturday, April 12, 2014 12:00 am

 Walk-in closets are in demand among home buyers this year. Walk-in closets are in demand among home buyers this year.   During New Homes Month in April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is sharing with home buyers the most popular features in new single-family homes in 2014.

Builders from across the country were surveyed on what features they were most likely to include in a typical single-family home this year, revealing that convenience, livability and energy efficiency are top priorities.

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Leave cutting damaged trees to the professionals

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, April 11, 2014 12:00 am

When yet another storm brings distress into your yard in the form of large branches and even entire trees that have broken and fallen into your world view, it’s best to think before your dig out your brother's old chain saw.

The first question should be, "Am I capable of removing this large tree/limb myself or should I seek professional help?"

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Home improvement tips learned the hard way

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, April 11, 2014 12:00 am

 HI-tips-664-0410 HI-tips-664-0410 'Tis the season for home improvement projects, and weekend warriors will soon be visiting home supply retailers to buy everything from paint to plywood. There are many advantages to making home improvements on your own, including the opportunity to test your mettle at projects big and small.

Many a novice DIYer has learned the ups and downs of home improvement through trial and error. But the following are a handful of lessons first-timers can heed before beginning their maiden voyages into the world of DIY home improvements.

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How to inspect for roof damage

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, April 11, 2014 12:00 am

  Spring is a good time to inspect roofs, which are often at the mercy of harsh conditions throughout the winter. Spring is a good time to inspect roofs, which are often at the mercy of harsh conditions throughout the winter.

Many homeowners do not think twice about their roofs. But when leaks develop, roof repairs and the subsequent costs of such work shed light on how important it is for homeowners to pay closer attention to the roofs over their heads.

Though certain roof issues, like shingles lost to inclement weather, are unforeseeable, many problems can be avoided with routine roof inspection. Checking roof conditions twice a year can help homeowners avoid potentially costly repair work or even more expensive roof replacement projects.

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EPA offers cooling tips for every budget this summer

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, April 11, 2014 12:00 am

 Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in. If every American household did so, Americans would collectively save more than $1.8 billion in yearly energy costs.

Add insulation to your attic to keep cool air in. If every American household did so, Americans would collectively save more than $1.8 billion in yearly energy costs.

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Recognizing termite damage

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:52 pm

 Recognizing termite damage   Home ownership can be an unending series of adventures, especially for those homeowners who love good home improvement projects. Some projects are fun and improve the value of a home instantly, while others are undertaken to address a potentially serious issue.

Discovering that termites are taking up residence where you live can be disconcerting, but termites are a very common occurrence. Understanding termites and recognizing the signs of termite damage early on can help homeowners reduce the havoc that such critters can wreak on their homes.

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The basics of cleaning windows

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:00 am

  Following some time-saving tips can cut the work of washing windows considerably. Following some time-saving tips can cut the work of washing windows considerably.  After a long winter of snow and ice, many people are ready for the warmth and sunshine synonymous with spring. But dirty windows can block that sunshine from finding its way into a home.

Washing windows can be quite an undertaking, particularly in those homes with many windows on multiple levels. However, there are several time-saving tips available that can cut the work considerably.

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Honda and Toro top Consumer Reports lawn mower ratings

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:00 am

 mower In the self-propelled, gas-powered mower category, the Honda HRR2169VKA (pictured), $400, and the Toro 20381, $520, were both CR Best Buys.  In Consumer Reports’ tests of nearly 40 lawn mowers, models from Honda and Toro led the pack for getting most lawns back into shape after a brutal winter. The full report on lawn mowers and lawn care, which also includes Ratings of tractors and riders, string trimmers, and the best leaf blowers, plus ways to save money on lawn care, and more is featured in the May 2014 issue of Consumer Reports and at www.ConsumerReports.org .

“A great-looking lawn is easy if you have the right tools,” said Peter Sawchuk, test program leader for home improvement at Consumer Reports. “The best mowers and riding machines can help get a lawn back into shape in time for summer.”

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The basics of spring lawn seeding

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, April 09, 2014 05:09 pm

 Spring is the season to assess lawn health and reseed as necessary to ensure a healthy lawn. Spring is the season to assess lawn health and reseed as necessary to ensure a healthy lawn.

Spring has sprung, and there are many activities to enjoy now that the warmer weather has arrived. Many homeowners make the most of warmer weather by tackling projects around their properties.

While autumn is a better time to overseed a lawn for new growth, satisfactory results still can be had if seeding is done early enough in the spring. Grass needs ample time to establish roots and grow strong before the summer heat takes its toll. Many types of grass need six to 12 weeks of ideal temperatures and growing conditions to germinate and produce a sturdy grass that will grow and endure.

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Home and Garden - Spring 2014

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, April 09, 2014 12:00 am

Home and Garden Spring 2014

 

Sealing a driveway can extend its life

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, April 09, 2014 12:00 am

  Driveway sealants preserve the look of the driveway and can make the surface durable and impervious to stains. Driveway sealants preserve the look of the driveway and can make the surface durable and impervious to stains.  Installing an asphalt or a concrete driveway can be an expensive undertaking. To preserve the fresh, new look of the driveway, have the driveway sealed and then routinely seal it to keep it looking pristine.

A good sealant can keep a driveway looking new longer and also can rejuvenate the appearance of an older driveway. Sealant can be compared to car wax. It provides an outer coating that will repel stains, stop UV rays from fading the driveway and help to protect against cracks and driveway degradation.

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Sellers should be prepared for a home inspection

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, April 09, 2014 12:00 am

People who are in the process of selling a home should be prepared for a thorough home inspection, according to RealtyPin.com, a listing and search service for real estate buyers and sellers.

Smart buyers will make their offer contingent on the home passing an inspection, the site says. Sure, a home may look fine to the casual observer, but do you know what could be lurking underneath that fresh coat of paint or those new roof tiles?

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Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers spring lawn and garden tips

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Written by Staff Reports Tuesday, April 08, 2014 08:05 pm

 Start planting summer bulbs such as gladiolus in May Start planting summer bulbs such as gladiolus in May  The Rutgers Cooperative Extension offers the following tips for people doing work on their lawn and garden this spring.

Bulbs

Start planting summer bulbs in May. Some favorites are gladiolus, dahlias, calla lilies, caladiums, alstroemeria, lilies, crocosmia and tuberous begonias.

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Make a plan for garage organization

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Written by Staff Reports Tuesday, April 08, 2014 07:12 pm

  Tools and items that are used more often should be stored within reach or where easily visible. Tools and items that are used more often should be stored within reach or where easily visible.  Spring cleaning plans are on the minds of many once the weather warms up. Many homeowners feel a sense of renewal in the spring, when the desire to clean house and get organized becomes a priority.

Garages are often targets for homeowners hoping to target clutter. Once a space reserved for cars, garages are no longer strictly for vehicles, used instead to store items that simply do not fit inside the home or a backyard shed. Organizing the garage is typically a weekend or several-day project. Here's how to turn a garage from a cluttered mess into a space suited for storing items of all shapes and sizes.

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Be careful when choosing a contractor

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Written by Staff Reports Tuesday, April 08, 2014 05:10 pm

Spring is almost here and many consumers are getting ready to remodel, repair, or just spruce up their home as part of spring cleaning. Some tasks can be accomplished with simple elbow grease, but other more difficult or complex chores may require home owners to engage the services of a contractor.

The Better Business Bureau advises consumers to take the time to choose a contractor they can trust and offers the following tips:

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Realtors rate most valuable home improvements

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Written by Staff Reports Tuesday, April 08, 2014 05:07 pm

A home’s curb appeal is crucial because it can be the first thing buyers notice about a home. That’s why Realtors rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects in the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. Projects such as entry door, siding and window replacements can recoup homeowners more than 78 percent of costs upon resale.

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Home Sweet Home - Fall 2013

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, October 16, 2013 10:26 am

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Home Improvement & Decor Magazine, Fall 2013

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Home & Garden Spring 2013

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, April 10, 2013 11:00 am

Home Garden

Home & Garden
Home Improvement & Decor Magazine, Spring 2013 

 

Home Sweet Home - Spring 2012

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, April 11, 2012 09:09 am

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
Home Improvement & Decor Magazine, Spring 2012

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