Sometimes it’s easy to know which home renovations to do. If your roof is leaking or the ice dams are building up every winter, deciding to address these issues is a no-brainer. Sometimes, though, there are competing priorities that aren’t urgent but will nonetheless help your home function better, look better, or sell better when the time comes.
When your budget is limited, it pays to be smart about the home renovations you choose to do, and to carefully consider all your options before choosing. Here are some ways to decide which renovations are the best choices for your home and family.
Setting Home Improvement Goals
The first step in the home improvement process is to decide what you want most out of the renovations you decide to do. Maybe you want improved functionality of your home’s layout, updated technology that will make your home . . .
Dave Notte is the managing director a Shack Shine, a house detailing services specializing in everything from window and house washing to gutter cleaning. We recently asked Dave for tips on keeping your home’s exterior sparkling. Here’s what he had to say:
When and how often should we be washing our homes’ exteriors?
This varies on multiple factors such as the terrain and climate you live in, the age of your home, and the materials it’s made out of. Many of our customers choose to get their siding washed in the spring so the exterior of their home is nice and shiny for the summer.
What is the correct way to wash a house? What are the dos and don’ts of cleaning a home’s exterior?
Each type of exterior will require its own unique method for proper cleaning. The most important thing to note in this . . .
Reward programs are typically structured to provide some kind of savings to participants. The program may be a point system where each purchase earns points that can be redeemed for something of value like merchandise, a special deal or a discount on future services. Other reward programs offer deals to repeat customers or customers who make certain purchases in a given time frame.
Saving money with reward programs for services like home renovations can happen in several ways. When considering what home renovations to have done, many homeowners think about the return on investment — how much that renovation will increase the value of their home. Using discounts from a reward program, homeowners can recoup more of their investment, even all of it in some cases. It may be possible to do renovations when the cost is less that you weren’t . . .
People typically think of Gutter Helmet© as being most beneficial in the fall, since its patented design keeps all those pesky autumn leaves from clogging up your gutter. Gutter Helmet© protection extends far beyond fall, however; some of the best benefits are found in the summertime.
Gutter Obstructions in the Summer Months
Although fall is a likelier time for gutters to become clogged, summer presents its fair share of gutter problems that can lead to backups, especially during heavy thunderstorms and other severe weather. Animals and birds often choose the relative protection of gutters to build their nests, which may not get noticed until a heavy rainstorm.
Gutters can also be obstructed by debris that is blown into the gutter by heavy winds, and trees that overhang the house can drop leaves even in summer, especially when it’s windy. With Gutter Helmet©, you . . .
A water leak could signify roof problems, but there are other causes for leaks as well. Here are the main sources of water leaks around your home and some steps to take if you do have a leak.
1. A Spilled Drink.
If a family member spills a drink on your hardwood floor, water can leak through the cracks onto the ceiling below. This is simple to fix, but can cause staining on the ceiling depending on the type of drink and how long it is left there without being cleaned up. Since the leak is short term, it is not likely to cause any mold problems and if staining does occur, it can be primed and repainted when dry.
2. Leaky Pipes.
A sudden leak or a very slow leak over time can lead to damage in your home. When you discover the leak, it’s . . .
Home improvements aren’t free, are they? As much as we all wish you could get a new roof or replace your windows for nothing, it just doesn’t work that way. So when you can save money on home improvements you need to make anyway, you might as well do so. Choosing a contractor with one or more rewards programs can help you minimize the cost of maintaining your property and keeping it in tip-top shape.
All About Rewards Programs
A rewards program gives you discounts or credit toward future repairs when you purchase a renovation. Some rewards programs work on a points system, such as one point for every dollar you spend, while others offer a flat discount percentage or make customers eligible for certain special offers.
While some rewards programs may be more worthwhile than others, you shouldn’t pay a membership fee or deal . . .
Renovating your home can be a major stressor on a marriage and family, according to marriage counselor Dr. Don Gilbert as cited in Houselogic. “It has all the components that couples stress over — money, multiple decisions, and different preferences,” Gilbert said, adding that renovating can bring out communication and conflict management weaknesses that may already exist.
Here are some things you can do during a home renovation to make it as stress-free as possible for everyone.
1. Keep it simple.
If your kitchen will be a construction zone for a week or two, move the microwave and coffeemaker into the dining room, and invest in paper plates, napkins and cups. That way, you can heat up easy food or takeout leftovers without dealing with dust, wet paint, or electricity being turned off. Keeping things as simple as possible will dial down the hassle factor . . .
Summer can be a time for severe weather, with risks of thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes being higher than at other times of the year. While it may be impossible to prevent severe weather from ever threatening your home or causing damage, there are some things you can do to prepare — and plan for after the storm has passed.
Preparation for Severe Weather
Well in advance of severe weather, you can prepare by making sure your homeowner’s insurance covers damage from storms. Not all standard policies cover flooding or “acts of God,” as storms are sometimes called, so you may need to purchase additional coverage to adequately meet your needs.
If you live in an area that is especially prone to storms, it may be worthwhile to take steps to make your home more resistant to damage. Replacing your windows with storm resistant glass and . . .
For the Northeast region of the country, summertime is when residents can get the most benefit from a solar roof. If your roof is south-facing and is at a favorable angle, you could get 30 to 60 percent of your energy needs from solar roofing, according to Dow Powerhouse.
Is Solar Roofing Really Worthwhile?
Sure, residents of California or Hawaii can reap the benefits of solar roofing, but is it really cost-effective for the Northeast region of the country, where the sun’s rays are much weaker? Although it may take a little bit longer for the investment to pay off, solar roofing can still be advantageous for residents of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
The federal government is giving a 30% tax credit for solar installations until 2019, and a graduated smaller credit until 2022. This significant tax credit brings down the cost of getting . . .
The materials you select for your roof replacement can determine whether the roof will pay for itself with a combination of lower energy costs and increased home value. If you are interested in replacing your roof, the following information will help you choose the right materials and get the best value from your investment over time.
Benefits of a Cool Roof
There are several different ways to get a cool roof. If you are replacing your roof, you can choose light colored or white shingles, or shingles with a reflective paint coating that reflects heat and sunlight during warm weather months. You can even get the reflective coating painted onto your existing roof if you don’t need roof replacement but want to have the benefits of a cool roof.
Cool roof materials can keep a roof up to 60 degrees cooler than traditional materials, which . . .