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Posts Tagged Home improvement

6 Plumbing Maintenance Checks

Routine maintenance can save homeowners thousands in potential repairs, especially when it comes to plumbing.

shutterstock_93440857There are several steps homeowners can take to check for red flags in their plumbing systems, says Patricia Bonacorda of Spartan Plumbing. She recommends these conducting these six maintenance checks at least once a year.

Lint Trap

It may seem unrelated to the plumbing system, but lint buildup can block the drain of your washing machine if left unattended. Clear your lint trap (typically found on the internal recess of the unit) or hire a plumber to install a wire trap filter to improve drainage.

Supply Hoses

Inspect hoses that connect to appliances, such as your dishwasher, icemaker and washing machine. Look for bulging or other signs of leakage. If you spot a leak, make repairs or replace with a stainless steel hose immediately.

Sinks

Hard water deposits can clog the faucets in your kitchen and bathrooms, reducing energy-efficiency. If you notice mineral buildup, unscrew the screen at the tip of the faucet (the aerator) and soak it in vinegar overnight.

Toilets

Conduct a DIY litmus test by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tanks of toilets in your home. If the water in the bowl changes colors after a half an hour, call a plumber to assess the problem.

Water Heater

Check the thermometer to make sure the temperature is lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Increase the longevity of your unit by draining a few gallons of water from the tank to eliminate corrosion-causing sediment.

Sump Pump

If your home’s basement is protected from flooding by a sump pump, test the unit by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. It should activate automatically and shut off when the job’s done. For an added layer of protection, install a flood alarm.

Source: RISMedia’s Housecall

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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10 Easiest Home Upgrades to Increase House Value

By David Glenn

Whether planning to sell the house, have it rented out, or simply for personal satisfaction, a little renovation and upgrade is always necessary to help increase its market value. In order to boost a house’s value in the market, it is first important to learn what prospective buyers or tenants are searching for in a house. For most homeowners, the biggest concern is usually the budget required for upgrade, renovation and home maintenance.

The great news is that there’s no need to spend thousands of dollars for home improvements. Just follow these 10 tips for the best home upgrades to add value.

1. Knock down a wall and go for open concept.

Not only will it create an illusion of a bigger space, but it is a home design trend that is very much in demand today. Just make sure to have the wall assessed for possible electrical wires housed behind it before hitting it with a sledge hammer.

homedit.com

homedit.com

2. Make the kitchen area workable.

This means making the kitchen area a functional place where you can actually cook a decent meal. Update faucets, fix leaking pipes, buff the counters and repaint cupboards and cabinets. It is not necessary to replace everything with a new kitchen system. Simply repaint worn out furniture and replace outdated knobs with modern handles to make it look more expensive.

shutterstock_254969464

3. Brighten up the bath.

Bathrooms are among the most important considerations for many tenants and prospective home buyers so it is pertinent to get this area of the house right. Buff up the tiles and replace the faucets, shower heads and toilet seats. There’s no need to replace all the tiles, just those that are cracked and chipped. The trick is to find the right cleaning agent that can help whiten the tiles to make it look good as new.

centsationalgirl.com

centsationalgirl.com


4. Add more storage.

If there’s an extra wall or area of the house that does not seem to have any function, add in a laminate closet system or have a carpenter install small built-in cabinets, racks or pantries. Making every extra space of the house functional will help make it look more livable.

cotedetexas.blogspot.com

cotedetexas.blogspot.com

5. Turn that extra space into an extra room.

A house with a lot of rooms will always look impressive when advertised in the market. If the house has a huge attic, a den, or extra space that can be turned into another room then by all means, fix it up to look like an additional room. Simply add in a built-in closet and a window and it should be good to accommodate.

apartmenttherapy.com

apartmenttherapy.com


6. Update the lighting system.

Still using an old chandelier or unflattering fluorescent lamps? Hire an electrician to place some decorative lighting fixtures or dimmers that will give the house a more modern feel and mask any unflattering curves on the walls and ceilings.

cedarhillfarmhouse.com

cedarhillfarmhouse.com


7. Buff the floors.

The moment a buyer or tenant steps inside the front door the first thing they will notice are the floors. Tiled or hardwood floors need to be buffed till it sparkles. Carpeted floors need a touch of professional carpet cleaning to make it look, smell and feel brand new. Hiring professional cleaners is a small investment compared to the big impact it will make.

ehow.com

ehow.com

8. Apply a fresh coat of paint.

Paint the walls or replace an uncharacteristic door with a rustic barn door. Choose modern color palettes to give the house a fresh new look.

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9. Add outdoor dining furniture in the front lawn or backyard.

These areas can become extended living and dining areas.

hayneedle.com

hayneedle.com

10. Hire an electrical and plumbing service to look at the overall state of the house.

It is much better to catch the problems early on than find out much later when the problem has already worsened such as replacing the entire plumbing system or rewiring the entire house.

qlook.bz

qlook.bz

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and tricks for you and your clients.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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Paint Like a Pro in 5 Steps

shutterstock_58664035Nothing transforms the look of a home as simply and inexpensively as paint. Whether you’d like to liven up a dated design or refresh your entire home to sell, paint like a pro with these tips.

 

1. Look for high-quality products.

When it comes to paint, quality matters. Search for a combination paint-and-primer to save a few steps and ensure complete coverage and deep color saturation. The paint should have high hiding ability and resist dirt and scuffs.

2. Get inspired online.

Color selection can seem intimidating, but it’s a chance to infuse your personality into your home. Many online resources are available for homeowners to explore, coordinate and experiment with different looks. Pinterest and Apartment Therapy are great websites for browsing images, finding home décor inspiration and colors that speak to you.

3. Use paint samples, rather than chips.

The most realistic way to envision the color in your home is to see it in action. Many paint retailers offer small sample cans for just a few dollars. Use these to paint a few stripes of each color option in the room you’ll be painting. Note how color changes in different lighting conditions.

“Sunlight, shadows and furniture can all alter the appearance of paint in your space,” says BEHR Vice President of Color Marketing Erika Woelfel. “Before fully committing to a hue, make sure it’s one you’ll love morning, noon and night.”

4. Use the right painting supplies.

High-quality painting tools save you time over the course of your project and produce the most beautiful finish. For best results, use a lint-free roller cover. Select brushes made of nylon and polyester. For flawless edges, use a painter’s tape specifically designed for your surface type.

5. Prep before painting.

Begin by removing all wall fixtures, such as pictures, doors and light switches. If you have small cracks or holes in your walls, remove any dust and apply a patching material. Make sure to allow this to dry completely before sanding the finished area. Wash away oil, grease or wax stains by dampening the surface, applying mild detergent with a sponge, and then rinsing the wall clean. Once dried, you’ll be ready for smooth application and beautiful color.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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