Moonworks' Home Improvement Blog

4 Tips for Coping During a Home Renovation

Home renovation
Home renovations can come with a good amount of stress.

It can be stressful to have your home renovated – even if you’re not doing the work yourself. Between the mess of having furniture moved around, dust from demolition and construction, and the inconvenience of having part of your house ripped apart or power and water turned off, there are plenty of reasons a home renovation can lead to stress.

Here are some tips for how to cope with a home renovation and try to ratchet down the stress level as much as possible.

1. Follow your contractor’s recommendations.

If your contractor recommends leaving the premises during the renovation, they probably have a good reason for doing so. For major renovations, it just may not be feasible to stay on the premises, breathing in dust and trying to keep your takeout clean long enough to . . .

[Read More...]

Routine Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners

Homeowners need to handle routine maintenance on their homes by doing it themselves or by getting professional help.

When you buy a house, there are a number of things you need to do on a routine basis to maintain the property and keep it in good condition. Some things should be done each year, while others can be done every few years.

Many homeowners neglect home maintenance, and the effects of neglect may not be not apparent right away. Over time, though, such neglect will become obvious and many items may fail or break, costing more to repair or replace than they would have to maintain.

Owning a home is a privilege and a responsibility. For many people, their home is one of the biggest investments they will ever make. How a home is maintained will determine the value of the investment, so it is . . .

[Read More...]

Can You Use Solar Power in Winter?

Solar power

Snow tends to slide easily off tilted solar panels.

Solar power is being used more commonly by homeowners across the country. Tax credits and other incentives as well as advances in technology have helped bring the cost of going solar down to a level that allows this home improvement to pay off within a few years’ time for many homeowners. Solar panels also increase a home’s value, which helps to further offset their cost.

In the Northeast, however, some homeowners fear that cold weather and snow will keep solar panels from being effective at capturing energy to power their homes. While there are some weather conditions that may impact effectiveness to some extent, solar panels can still be a viable energy solution for winter months in the Northeast.

Solar Panel Performance in Winter

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels can function even better in the . . .

[Read More...]

Converting to Solar: What Homeowners Need to Know

Solar energy
New solar roof shingles blend with your existing roof to minimize the appearance of solar panels.

Solar energy was once considered a rare and expensive way to power homes, businesses and other buildings. Most homeowners couldn’t afford to install solar panels, and they were considered cumbersome and unattractive.

The Growing Popularity of Solar Power

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, residential solar installations increased 51% from 2013 to 2014. As of last year, 645,000 U.S. homes and businesses have gone solar, and there is enough solar electric capacity operating in the U.S. to power more than 4 million average-sized American homes.

Since 2010, changes in the way solar panels are made and installed have helped drop the price of solar installations, which has made them more affordable for many homeowners. Not only that but having a solar energy system has begun to . . .

[Read More...]

6 Fun Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement
Letting the kids help you paint can make a boring job into a fun family activity.

Home improvement doesn’t have to be done by gritting your teeth and giving up your Saturday to working on the house when all you want to do is relax. Have a little fun this weekend with projects that will improve your home and be fun, too.

1. Let the kids help you paint.

Painting a room or a wall can seem like a lot of work, so let the kids get in on the action by helping you give their room a brand new look (or just covering up all their 3-year-old scribbles). The trick to painting with kids is to cover the floor and all furniture with tarps and to smooth out their mistakes before the paint dries. Watching them paint their heart out is worth a . . .

[Read More...]

Expert Interview Series: Tyler Sinclair About Trends in the Roofing and Exterior Renovation Industries

Trends in roofing
In the realm of home improvement projects, a roof replacement is one of the most important and expensive projects you’ll undertake. So you want to make sure to do plenty of research before laying a single shingle. To help you get started, we checked in with Tyler Sinclair, editorial manager at General Roofing Systems Canada.

Tyler offered his insight on trends in roofing materials, and shared tips for picking the right roof for your home and hiring a qualified contractor. Here’s what he had to say:

What do you specialize in?

General Roofing Systems specializes in accredited roofing. Our company services all roofing systems for commercial and residential sloped or flat roofing. We are a quality provider with Red Seal Journeymen that services customers from Vancouver, B.C., to Toronto, Ontario and everywhere in between. We expect to be in the U.S. in mid-2016.

What are . . .

[Read More...]

Top 7 Reasons to Renovate Your Home

Renovate your home

Let a professional handle your home renovations.

Home renovations are costly, time-consuming and messy. Still, many people choose to renovate their homes for a variety of reasons. There are almost as many reasons to fix up your home as there are projects to choose from. Here are the top reasons for renovating your home.

1. To increase your comfort or enjoyment of the home.

This one comes first for a reason. Although there are many good reasons to renovate your home, your own comfort and enjoyment are important factors that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you renovate solely based on how it will impact the future sales price down the line, you may end up living in a showplace that doesn’t feel like a home. Your comfort and enjoyment are more important than what improvements will make the most money when you eventually . . .

[Read More...]

You Had an Energy Audit: Now What? First Steps . . .

Energy audit

Various improvements can lower your utility bills and save you money.

Recently, you may have had an energy audit or energy review done on your home. Energy audits include a series of tests and calculations that can determine how your home uses energy, and whether there are actions you can take as a homeowner to reduce your energy usage to save money.

After an energy audit is performed, a list of recommended improvements will be provided by the professionals that conducted the energy audit. The auditors should be able to give information such as how much money you can save by doing each improvement, how long improvements will take to pay for themselves, and how much each improvement will add to the value of your home.

Of course, most homeowners would like to make all of the suggested improvements in order to make their . . .

[Read More...]

Thought Leader Series: Pointers for Effectively Organizing Your Home with Labels

Organizing with labels
Michael Worth is the Founder of Crew Tags Int’l, LLC. He is an entrepreneur and a pilot, and he is currently pursuing all things UAV.

Everyone knows how important it is to label your luggage when traveling, but did you know that there are myriad great ways to use labels at home? Read on for some tips on how to get your house into tip-top shape by organizing with labels.
Organizing with labels
1. Get the Shed in Order

Have you ever put the weed-eater gas in the lawnmower? If you have, you already know how difficult it is to clean it out and get your mower running smoothly again. In fact, you might even have to pay someone to service the mower for you to get it operational. It’s much easier – and money-saving – . . .

[Read More...]

Keeping Gutters Clear While Leaves are Falling


Clogged gutters can prevent water from draining as it should.

If you live in a location where tall trees drop their leaves into your gutters, you know that it doesn’t take long for the gutters to get clogged with leaves, which then get soaked by fall rains, and pretty soon you might as well not have gutters at all. Rain cascades down your exterior walls and can pool around the foundation and cause major problems over time.

Some of the damage that clogged gutters can cause includes roof damage from water forcing its way in from an overflowing gutter, paint or siding damage from water running over the gutters and down the house, and wood rot from water entering the walls. Water in the basement and foundation problems can also occur when gutters are clogged since water bypasses the drainage intended to funnel water away . . .

[Read More...]