Home Improvement Projects You Shouldn’t Do Yourself

Everyone loves DIY, sometimes it’s in an effort to save money, sometimes it’s to add a personal touch to home improvement projects. As great as DIYs are, there are some projects you just shouldn’t do yourself. It might cost a bit more to hire a contractor but entrusting your project to professional is a good idea for these projects.

Plumbing Work

Small leaks can turn into big problems when it comes to plumbing. Unless you have the skill set to do it yourself, don’t DIY plumbing projects. Play it on the safe side and hire a professional. The financial risk is not worth it.

Replacing Your Roof

It might be tempting to want to install your new roof yourself but it’s harder than it looks. There are a lot of things that could go wrong. There is a potential for damage to the roof, your home, or even yourself as working on roofs can be dangerous. Attempting patchwork repairs can also lead to bigger problems down the way. To avoid having to spend more money, later on, hire a professional the first time around to make sure everything is done the right way.  DIY roof replacement or repair can also potentially void any warranties you have on your roof.

Knocking Down a Wall

If you’re a fan of home improvement shows it might seem really easy to just knock a wall down to expand a room. However, taking a sledgehammer to your wall may have unforeseen consequences. The wall you plan on taking down maybe a load bearing wall. You risk causing structural damage to your home. It is important that you leave this to a professional who knows what to look for before knocking down any walls.

Replacing your Windows

As tempting as it may be, this is one project you don’t want to DIY. Installing a window requires specialized knowledge, skills, and tools. Unless you’re trained in window installation, attempting to do it yourself might just cost you more in the long run. Doing it wrong means spending more than you initially would have in order to fix your mistakes.

At the end of the day, if it requires a permit, you should probably hire a professional. If you have a project you are thinking of doing such as replacing your windows or roof, click to schedule a consultation here.

10 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

  1. Paint

    – Improve your home’s value by painting the rooms in your house. It is cost efficient and a great DIY project for the whole family. Fresh paint helps your home look fresh and updated. Remember, neutral colors are typically more appealing.

  2. Make your home energy efficient

    – An energy efficient home is desirable to potential buyers. Improving your home’s energy efficiency also helps you save money.  It also helps make your home more comfortable for you and your family no matter what the weather is like outside.

  3. Plant a Tree

    – It might take a while to reach maturity but once fully grown a tree can help cut down your cooling costs in the summer[1]. When planted in the right place, a tree can also add to your home’s curb appeal.

  4. Improve air quality

    – Quality air in your home is great for your family’s health. You should update old carpets and other items that may be home to allergens and air contaminants. Not sure of your home’s air quality? Hire an inspector to test your home’s air quality and give you tips on how to improve it. Proper ventilation is also important for improving air quality.

  5. Landscape your yard

    – Adding shrubs and plants can improve your home’s curb appeal significantly. Green plants that require very little water and maintenance add more value. Keeping bushes trimmed and filing in patchy lawns are a good way to give your home a maintained look.

  6. Clean or replace siding

    – If you’re siding is looking old and dingy it’s time to clean them up. If your siding is broken or dented it might be time to replace. Give your home an updated look by cleaning or replacing your siding.

  7. Update kitchen appliances

    – Updated kitchen appliances add value to your home in the long run. Simple things like swapping out old microwaves and fridge for newer more efficient ones add big value to a home.

  8. Improve entrance

    – Your home’s entrance plays a big role in its curb appeal. It is one of the first things visitors see which is more the reason to give it a makeover. Update your front door to compliment your home’s exterior colors and architecture. Invest in an energy efficient front door to help with your energy savings.

  9. Replace windows

    – Replacing windows in your home increases your home’s comfort and value[2]. Getting rid of old windows will help reduce drafts in your house. It certainly contributes to your home’s curb appeal.

  10. Bathroom remodel

    – Simple to complete overhaul bathroom remodeling is a great investment for your home’s value. A refreshed look in the bathroom adds to the overall feel of your home. Simple things like updating wallpaper and old lighting fixtures can help brighten up your bathroom.

[1] https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/repairing/30-tips-for-increasing-your-homes-value

[2] https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/repairing/30-tips-for-increasing-your-homes-value

Picking the right color for your home

The color of your home’s exterior adds to your home’s personality and helps add to its curb appeal. When it comes to choosing the color for the exterior of your home there are three visual points to consider. The colors for the siding, door, and trim should complement each other. Before you choose which colors to paint, here are some things to consider.

Home Style

Choosing the right color for your home can depend on the style of your home. Your house’s style determines which parts of the house to accent. You can also get ideas for color schemes.  Your choice of colors can either highlight your home’s style or mute it.

Light vs. Dark color

There are advantages and disadvantages to picking certain colors for your home. Certain colors affect your home in ways that you might not necessarily think about so make sure to put a lot of time thinking of your color choice. Darker colors tend to make a house look smaller while lighter colors can give the illusion of a larger house. But if you are looking for a more dramatic look, you could use a darker color to accentuate the shadows.

Climate

The climate you live in plays a major role in which colors you choose to paint your home. Colors fade faster with intense sunlight. Brighter colors tend to work better than dark colors in sunny regions because it is more noticeable when the dark colors start to fade. On the other hand, darker color homes work well in colder regions.

Neighboring houses

When picking the color for your home, it is a good idea to take your neighbor’s homes into consideration.  You don’t want to pick a color that clashes with your neighbors. You want to stand out but at the same time, you don’t want to be an eyesore. You have to remember that the colors you choose for your home’s exterior have a visual impact on the surrounding landscape.

 

At the end of the day, you want your house to look welcoming. Pick the best colors to showcase your personality without clashing with the rest of the neighborhood.

Enhancing your Bay Windows

Bay windows look great both on the outside and on the inside. They add curb appeal to your home while letting in a lot of natural light. Bay windows help make a room look bigger, making cramped spaces feel less stifling. Depending on the style installed, your bay window might also provide a cozy nook where you can watch the world go by.

Once you have them installed, or if you already have some, here are some ways you can enhance the look of your bay windows.

Curtains and Blinds

Because bay windows are designed to be large and to let in a lot of light, they leave very little for privacy.  Installing curtains or blinds allows you to control how much light comes in and when. You can open them up during the day and close them at night, or close them during the day if it’s too bright. Curtains and blinds provide a great styling option to enhance the indoor and outdoor look of your bay window.

You can buy ready-made curtains specifically made for bay windows, or you can also get customized curtain poles for your bay windows to ensure the perfect fit. If you opt to go with blinds, use vertical blinds. These allow you to angle them for privacy. You can pair your blinds with curtains for a stylish look.

Window Seat

If your bay window has a big enough of a ledge it can be turned into a cozy nook. Add in some seat cushions, colorful fabric and you have yourself a stylish cozy nook. It creates an extra relaxation space in your home.  The perfect place to cuddle up with a book and hot chocolate on a snow day.

Other Décor Items

Bay window ledge not big enough for a relaxation nook? No worries. You can still decorate it so space doesn’t look empty. You can place indoor plants or even decorative vases on the ledge. If you have a cat who likes to curl up on the ledge, avoid putting any breakable items up there.

What are some ways you enhance the looks of your bay window?  Let us know in the comments below.

5 Home Prep Tips for the Fall

Chilly days and falling leaves are right around the corner. The last few weeks of summer are the perfect time to get your home ready for fall.

Here are some ways to get your home ready for the fall.

Furnace and Boiler Prep

Colder days means a need for warmer temps indoors. The weeks leading up to fall are a perfect time to make sure your furnace or boiler are ready to go. To be on the safe side, have your furnace inspected professionally for peace of mind. Replace the filters so your furnace runs efficiently. An efficient furnace during the fall and winter save you money on heating costs.

Fireplace & Chimney Prep

If you have a fireplace now is the time to clean it out. A clean and prepped fireplace and chimney helps to avoid chimney fires. Preparing your fireplace ensures that it runs effectively and works well throughout the fall and winter. There are professionals available for chimney cleaning. Get a professional so you can ensure it is done right. Enjoy family time around the fireplace with peace of mind.

Clean Gutters

Before the leaves start falling, clean out what debris you currently have in your gutters. This will help minimize gutter clogging. Be sure to keep up a regular gutter cleaning schedule during the fall. Don’t feel like cleaning your gutter all the time during the fall? Invest in a gutter guard. This will keep debris and leaves out of your gutter, reducing how much cleaning you actually have to do.

Rearrange tool-shed

Put away the lawn mower, hedge trimmers, and other summer tools. Set out the necessary tools and equipment for fall. Set out your leaf blower, rake, broom, etc. Having these things out and arranged for easy access makes your life easier in the fall. You won’t have to go digging and searching when it’s time to rake the leaves or sweep the yard.

Get a Home Energy Inspection

Finally, get a home energy inspection to make sure you’re not losing energy. Leaks and drafts make it hard to efficiently heat your home. To keep your home comfortable without draining your wallet, get an inspection. A home energy inspector usually checks the attic insulation, windows, doors and more to make sure your home is as efficient as possible.

Check these off your list and you’re closer to having your home ready for the fall season. Are there other things you do to get your home ready each fall? Let us know in the comments.

Signs it is Time for a New Front Door

Your front door is not only there to look good but to also provide safety for your family. Unfortunately, doors don’t last forever. After a while, they need to be replaced in order to keep providing security and curb appeal. How can you tell when it’s time to replace your main entry door?

Here are some indications that it’s time for a new door.

Hard to close and open

If you have to apply elbow grease in order to open or close your front door, it’s time for a replacement. Your home’s main entry door should open easily and close just as easily. Difficulty opening or closing might result in the expansion of the door material. This is more likely to happen if the door is made of wood or metal. With humidity, wood absorbs moisture and then expands. Difficulty opening might also be because of a problem with the hinges or the door frame.

Worse for Wear

Has your door lost its curb appeal? Doors play an important role in adding to your home’s curb appeal. Dents, scratches, rotting frames and chipped edges lose that curb appeal. An ugly door affects your home’s look. Chips and scratches also leave room for the door to absorb moisture which can lead to rotting.

Drafts

A good door is properly sealed to avoid drafts and leaks that can cost you in energy savings. Do you have to stuff a rag or towel under your door to keep the cold out in the winter? Then it’s time for a new door. If sunlight is streaming in under, over or on the sides of your front door, it might be time for a replacement. Bad seals cause drafts. Drafty doors make it harder to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Does your front door check all three of the boxes? We can help with a quality and elegant door. Get a free estimate on our Stylelite Main Entry Doors. Secure, beautiful and quality doors.

How to Clean Your Windows

No one likes looking at or through a dirty window. Sometimes cleaning your windows can be a hassle. Either the windows are too hard to open and it’s hard to reach places or they just streak with every attempt to clean them. Here are some helpful tips to make cleaning your windows easier.

Using right Tools

Using the right cleaning tools can be essential to properly clean your windows and avoiding streaks. Some people prefer to use a paper towel, others prefer to use a microfiber cloth.  Different things work for different people, whatever you use just make sure it doesn’t leave lint behind on the glass.

The most common tools used are a strip applicator to scrub the windows with cleaning solution. Follow up with a squeegee to wipe the window clean. Finish up with a damp cloth to wipe off excess water and drips to avoid streaks.

Using the right cleaning products

If you’re cleaning your window and it never seems to get clean, you might be using the wrong products. Vinegar has been praised for being good at cleaning windows without streaks[1]. A mixture of warm water and dish soap has been known to work as well. Sometimes Windex works just as well but you have to make sure you’re using the right tool as to not leave any streaks.

Clean on the Right day

Most people make the mistake of cleaning on a sunny day. We get it, the nicer the day the easier it is to get the motivation to clean. However, when you clean on a sunny day, the water and cleaner dry faster on your windows before you can wipe them away. Your windows will streak easier when cleaned on a hot sunny day. The best day to clean your windows is a cloudy day. Cloudy but not raining.

Clean everything

Sometime when cleaning we make the mistake of cleaning just the glass while ignoring the other parts of the window like the sills and sashes. Make sure to dust and vacuum the frame and sash if needed before you start washing.

Have some window tricks that have helped you clean your windows streak free? Share them with us in the comments!

[1] https://www.greatdayimprovements.com/cleaning-windows-with-vinegar.aspx

Home Improvement for Renters

Home improvement projects for a rental home can be tricky. Especially if you want your security deposit back. However homeowners aren’t just the only ones who can enjoy home improvement projects. Renters can get in on the fun too! These DIY home improvement projects are perfect for the renter looking to personalize their space.

Utilize furniture

Furniture and décor can give character to any space. Take a day or even a weekend to reorganize or replace your furniture. Use furniture that represents your personal style to add color to your space. The right furniture placed properly can give your apartment a professional interior design look on a DIY budget.  If your space is limited you can also use furniture for multiple uses. For example, some ottomans provide great storage space while at the same time being comfortable seating.

Short term wall design

For most renters that can’t paint on the walls, this limits how much you can do to personalize your space. You can overcome this with renter friendly wallpaper. They come in many different colors and styles to decorate your walls to reflect your style. They’re a great way to not have to live with 4 bare walls. When you decide to move, you can just peel it all off and get your deposit back.

Stylish Separators

Need to divide a room for privacy but can’t really build a wall? Invest in a stylish divider. You can separate the living room from the kitchen or even split a bedroom it two. Create two bedrooms from one. Dividers come in various colors and patterns or you can buy a plain black or white one and decorate it yourself.

Mirror Trick

Need a little bit more room but can’t knock down any walls?  Adding a large mirror to a room can help make a room feel bigger. It’s a neat visual trick that helps brighten up a room and make it feel more spacious.

These are just a few of many ways you can make your rented space your own. No nails and hammers needed to revamp your space.

Outdoor Home Improvement Projects

As we approach warmer days, we’ll be spending more time outdoors. The snow has finally melted and it’s time to get your yard and the outside of your home looking fantastic. Springtime calls for outdoor home improvement projects for gorgeous curb appeal and a wonderful view for lounging in the sun.

There are many things you can do outside your home to improve how it looks and get it ready for summer barbeques and hangouts. Here are a few outdoor projects for the DIY home improvement guru and the weekend home improvement warriors. You can also always pay someone to do some of these for you if you don’t have the time or would rather leave it to a professional.

Clean out the yard

Now that the snow has melted off, it’s the perfect time to rake up leftover leaves from the fall, replant grass seeds in anticipation for a rainy spring, and get your yard in shape for the warmer days.

Clean siding

Once the yard is clean of debris, cleaning the walls of your home can help give it a vibrant look. Scrub and hose down the siding to get rid of any build up over the fall and winter. Fix cracks and broken pieces to give the outside of your house a good as the new look.

Plant wall

Liven up the walls of your backyard with a living fence. Create an espalier tree around your backyard fence or even against the house. It can add it some beautiful visual effects to your house, make a flower espalier for more color pop. You can also opt for a vertical garden, grow vegetables or succulents and hang them off the walls instead. Simple wooden box gardens that you can hang off your walls or fence with hooks or lean against the wall.

Outdoor string light

Liven up the backyard for evening hangouts and marshmallow roasts with outdoor lighting. They come in a varying range of colors, shapes, and lengths.  String them overhead in a pattern, wrap them around a tree or even wrap them around outdoor furniture.

Backyard accents

You can create your own accents for your backyard with concrete or clay. Add in beautiful colorful flower pots, or mold your own accents in the shape of flowers, circles or whatever you desire and lay them strategically around the garden or backyard for an artistic and manicured look.

These are just a few of many outdoor home improvement projects for your home this spring. Leave your comments with any other home improvement projects you love to add to your home.

For window replacement, reach out for a free no-obligation estimate on the energy efficient HR40 replacement windows.

Spring Home Prep

Plant buds peak from the ground as we near the end of winter and the start of spring showers is near. Spring will be in full bloom in a few weeks and it’s time to prep for the summer with spring cleaning. Here are a few spring home maintenance tips to help keep your home freshened up and maintained.

Clean gutters

During the fall and winter months, your gutters have collected everything from bird nests to debris and other things that might have clogged them up, making it difficult for melted snow and rain to drain properly. Now that the weather is breaking, spring is the perfect time to clean out your gutters and free them up for the upcoming spring showers. Clean gutters contribute to a healthier home and cleaner-looking curb appeal.

Window Cleaningspring window cleaning

It might have been easier to clean the inside of the windows during the freezing winter months but the spring gives an opportunity to clean the outside as well to improve the overall look of your windows and house. Drafty windows in the winter? for better efficiency, consider replacing your windows.  if you find broken latches, or glass as you clean the windows, it might be time for a replacement.  The HR40 windows come with rain wash clean glass for easier maintenance, so the rain does the outside cleaning for you! All you have to do is keep up with the inside window cleaning.

Clean yard

Curb appeal isn’t just influenced by how the house looks but the look of the yard as well. Snow has melted away it’s time to clean up the rest of the leaves and debris that got caught up in the snow. Rake up leaves and debris, and start caring for your lawn for an overall clean look.

Replace filters and clean vents

Your heater, vents, and filters have worked hard all winter long, time to give them a maintenance cleaning. Vents work best when they’re clean of gunk and dust. Take a day or a weekend and give your vents a thorough clean. Your furnace worked hard all winter and will most likely keep working until it gets much warmer out. Give it a good clean so it runs much more efficiently saving you on energy. You can also use this time to clean out your air conditioners to prep them for the upcoming summer months.

These are just a few of many things you can do to keep improve and freshen up your home for the spring. For more advice on home improvement projects like replacement windows, attic insulation, roofing and more, get a free no-obligation estimate here!