Owning your own home is a great experience, but it is not without its responsibilities. Every house requires maintenance and beyond that, every house can benefit from self sustaining home improvements. You need not be afraid of doing your own work on your home. With a few quick hints like the ones below, you can attack home improvement work with confidence.
It is wise to trim any branches that are overhanging your roof. In a storm they may break off, fall and spear your roof. In a snowstorm they will dump their load of snow, which may accumulate as ice. Also, falling leaves from these branches may accumulate and cause dampness on the roof, and clog the gutters.
Always insist on references before hiring a contractor to work on your home improvement project. Make sure your potential contractor is properly licensed to perform the work in question. Hiring a professional is worth the money to give you peace of mind that the job is done right the first time.
If every method you’ve used to fix your squeaky door has failed, you may need to replace your door’s hinge. Your local hardware store will carry what you need. Removing the old hinge and installing the new one is an easy project. Line up all the parts and put in new pins.
During summertime, go outside and pick some wildflowers. Place the wildflowers between the pages of an old and unwanted phonebook. Pile about 50 to 60 pounds of books on top of the phonebook to press the flowers dry. After about a week or two of pressing, adhere your flowers to a piece of cardstock and hang them in your room. They create a great focal point as well as a nature friendly approach to home decorating.
Organize your closet by purchasing some designer paper boxes. You can usually find paper boxes with a nice patterned design at your local store. Use these boxes to organize your seasonal clothing, hide winter accessories, purses you aren’t using or shoes you won’t need for a while. Using patterned paper boxes makes the layout of your closet appear more organized and provide a hiding spot for things you’re not using.
Things like the downspouts, gutters and chimneys are often forgotten around the home. However, without regular inspections, you may not discover if there is an issue with how these items function. Maintenance such as chimney sweeping, gutter cleaning and checking downspouts will prevent costly damage from leaks or water damage that you may not notice until it is too late.
Linoleum is a great alternative to tiling, as it is much more wallet friendly. However, it can get scuffed quite easily with use. You can quickly get rid of linoleum scuffing by rubbing white toothpaste on it with a cloth. Another quick fix is spraying WD-40 on the affected spot and making sure to degrease the area when you’re finished, with soapy water.
Be mindful of which product you choose to help clean a nasty clog. Many of these products are very harsh. Don’t use drain cleaners that are crystallized because they will stick to the inside of the pipes and damage them. Be sure to select drain cleaners that work well with the type of septic tank you have.
Never install non-operable windows during a home improvement effort. Except for picture windows or large, exotic glazing, every standard-sized window should be capable of opening. Regardless of climate, for every home there will be times of the year and times of the day when cracking the window open is the best form of air conditioning.
Surprisingly, home lose as much as one fifth of the energy through their windows. With a simple, second glaze application to larger windows, your monthly energy cost will be reduced. You will also enjoy a more temperate environment during weather extremes.
Before removing wallpaper from a room as part of a home improvement project, be sure to determine what type of wallboard is underneath the paper. Generally, you will find either plaster or drywall. Drywall requires much more care when removing wallpaper, as it can be damaged by over-wetting or scraping.
When doing extensive and complicated work, it is a good idea to hire someone who has experience with the job. Architects, designers, and contractors earned their titles. They have been trained to do the difficult work associated with major home improvements. As tempting as it may be to do these repairs on your own, professionals will make sure the job is done right.
In order to keep your drains unclogged you need to regularly clear them every month. You can take boiling water and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Slowly pour the mixture down the drain to keep your drains clear and free. It is a great and simple way to handle clogged drains.
Improving your home’s energy efficiency is a type of home improvement that could deliver significant returns in both the short and long term. Possible improvements to consider are: installing solar panels on your roof, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and replacing any single-glazed windows with double-glazed or even triple-glazed windows. All of these items are typically found in survival type homes.
If you have high electric bills each month, consider installing solar panels on your roof. While they may be expensive and labor intensive in the short run, in the long term you’ll cut down on your electric bill and contribute to helping the Earth through utilizing greener energy sources. There are also tax credits for those who install solar panels.
Look into solar panels for your home. Although they can cost a lot upfront, they may very well be worth it considering how much electricity keeps going up. This will save on your monthly electric bills, because the most of your energy will come from the energy you are storing. This is an excellent, green way to power your home.
Even if you aren’t prepared to install solar panels, you can still harness the power of the sun to your advantage by installing a solar-powered fan in your attic. This requires installation of a single solar cell, which is affixed to your roof and will effectively draw heat from your home, keeping you cool at no additional cost.
Save energy and money by using passive solar heating. Use thermal drapes on your windows and keep them open during the sunny part of the day in winter and closed during the sunny part of the day in summer. Be sure to seal out drafts around windows and doors to prevent unwanted hot or cold air from entering.
If you would like to enjoy your deck in the night time hours, there are different types of lighting you can take a look at. Recessed lights, post lights and solar lights, are all alternatives when shopping. Find out what will work best for you and what will last in your climate.
A green home improvement is to go solar with the power in your home. In many areas of the country people are living completely off the grid by installing solar panels on their roofs. If you do not want to use it for power, you can use it for your hot water heater and save up to 80 percent on your water heating costs.
Invest in solar panels to fuel parts of your home’s energy. These panels not only reduce your carbon footprint, but they translate into lower energy bills because they reduce the amount of energy you use overall. These panels collect and store power naturally, so you can power, light or heat your home in an environmentally friendly way.
For a unique alternative to solar or electrical lights, line pathways and drives with smooth stones (such as river or beach rocks) that have been painted with glow-in-the-dark paint. The rocks will provide a subtle, earthy glow at night so that you or your guests can see the way to your door. However, it is important to choose a paint that won’t look ridiculous in the daytime!
Solar panels are a fantastic way to reduce your energy costs. By placing panels strategically on your roof, you can turn the power of the sun into a regular source of free energy. If you create more power than you need, your local electric company will buy the excess energy from you.
Little tips like these can keep the home improvement process painless and keep homeowners from getting frustrated. Working on your house should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience; educating yourself on the subject will ensure that this is the case. When you have the proper information ahead of time, even the most complex home improvement project can be a snap.