Nine ways to improve curb appeal
Homeowners who want their homes to make strong first impressions must prioritize curb appeal. Homes with strong curb appeal sell well and can impart a welcoming feel to all visitors. Improving curb appeal need not be expensive, and the following are a handful of ways to improve the appearance of your home.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Start planting summer bulbs in May. Some favorites are gladiolus, dahlias, calla lilies, caladiums, alstroemeria, lilies, crocosmia and tuberous begonias.
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:
Home Sweet Home
Home Improvement & Decor Magazine, Fall 2013
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.”
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?
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.
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.
Home & Garden
Home Improvement & Decor Magazine, Spring 2013