Top Renovations to Complete Before You Sell Your House

Some Highlights: 

  • If you are planning on listing your house for sale this year, here are the top four home improvement projects that will net you the most Return on Investment (ROI).
  • Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
  • Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door. These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th best renovations for returns on investment.

Keeping Current Matters

Get Your Home Ready for Fall!

Have you noticed the shorter days and the chillier mornings? Now that Fall is slipping in, it’s the perfect time to get your home in shape before Winter is upon us.

Sealing Gaps:  Caulk and seal around exterior doors, window frames and siding.
Roof:  Check the roof for missing or damaged shingles to prevent water damage. Although you should always have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof, you can do a preliminary survey safely from the ground using binoculars or use an extending pole with mirror.
Gutters:  Clean out gutters and eaves disposing of leaves, sticks, and other debris. If you have leaf guards, you’re ahead of the game. Check your gutter and downspouts for damage or wear, and make any needed repairs so water flows away from your home.
Hose:
  In climates with freezing weather, shut off outdoor faucets and make sure exterior pipes are drained of water. cover the faucet with a foam cup to protect it from cold air.  Faucets and pipes can freeze and burst, causing leaks and potentially serious water damage.
Crawl Space Vents: These vents allow outside air to circulate under the floor in summer to prevent the moisture buildup that encourages mildew and rot. In winter, when the air is drier, the vents are closed to reduce the chance that the pipes in the crawl space might freeze or keep out unwanted critters looking for a cozy place to nest.
Furnace:  Have the furnace inspected to ensure it’s safe and in good working order. Most utility companies will provide basic inspections at no charge, but there can often be a long waiting list come fall and winter. Changing your filter regularly will help the furnace run more efficiently, saving you money and energy.
Fireplace:  If you enjoy the crackle of a wood-burning fireplace on a chilly fall evening, have the firebox and chimney professionally cleaned before lighting a fire this season. Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning, can build up to dangerous levels and cause a serious chimney fire if not removed. For gas fireplaces, follow manufacturer instructions for maintenance.

Here’s to another delightful season!

5 Secret Weapons for Your DIY Projects

Is there a home maintenance project that’s been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store? There are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home.

1. Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. You can soak items in vinegar to remove mineral deposits (like in a clogged showerhead), and you can boil vinegar in your microwave to remove odors and make it easier to clean.

2. Cola: A can of Coke or Pepsi can be used to clean many surfaces, including your glass windows, porcelain toilet, or chrome fixtures. Just do some research before using it on metal surfaces, as it can be corrosive.

3. Baking soda: This item may actually be more useful for applications other than baking. A baking soda-vinegar paste is great for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors.

4. Butter knife: Screwdrivers are easy to misplace. If can’t find a screwdriver when you need one, a butter knife—preferably an older one that you no longer need for table setting—is pretty effective for both Phillips- and flat-head screws.

5. Toothpaste: Is there an unsightly scratch on your car or bike? The grit in tarter-control toothpastes makes for an effective scratch remover. Clean the scratch, apply some toothpaste, let it sit for a few minutes, and then buff it out with paper towel.