The Three Money-Saving Home Improvements You Should Tackle Right Now

May cost a lot but it will cost you more if you take this Home improvements. Better make these your priority.. Thank you for this article.

If you own a home, chances are you’ve got a long list of renovations and upgrades you’d like to do on it. (From painting to refinishing floors, it never ends!) When it comes to saving money and preserving the value of your home, however, some home improvements are more urgent than others. Here are three high-priority improvements you should consider doing as soon as possible.

First, let’s get this out of the way: these projects aren’t sexy or even fun. After you do them, you probably won’t be inviting friends over to marvel at the upgrades. They are, however, improvements that will save you the most money in the long run, just in terms of resale value and keeping your home from falling apart. (Because what’s the point of new granite countertops if your roof is leaking over them?) Once you’ve tackled these basic improvements, you can focus on the more fun kinds of upgrades like redoing the kitchen or adding on a bathroom.

Project 1: Get Rid of Drafts

Usually experts recommend insulating your home and sealing windows and doors as preparation for winter, but no matter when you take on these tasks, they’ll always pay off. By getting a good seal on your windows and doors (or replacing them with more insulated ones) and adding insulation in key areas like your attic, you’ll not only keep heat in when it’s cold out, but also keep your house cool during the other seasons. You’ll want to seal all the air leaks, both obvious and less obvious (like outlets and switches) for both a money-saving and a comfort upgrade.

Cost: Caulking and weatherstripping are two of the easiest projects, taking just 1-2 hours of your time and costing between $3 and $30 per window or door, according to Energy.gov. Plus, they also say that these improvements could save you 30% on your energy bill. (Americans, on average, spend about $2,000 a year on home energy costs.) Adding insulation is a project you can either do yourself or hire someone else to do (the average cost for insulation projects is $1,571, according to Home Advisor), but either way, the upgrade will pay for itself in just a few years.

If you change the entry door and replace windows, you’ll not only likely see energy improvements, you’ll also improve the look of your home and recoup much of the cost when it comes time to sell the house. Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 report says that changing the entry door has an 86% return on investment and replacing vinyl windows has a 71% return on investment. Not bad for both a cosmetic and energy-efficiency upgrade.

Keep in mind also many utilities will offer a free energy audit to help you identify where you can save money, and Energy Star also offers personalized energy-saving recommendations. You can even get tax credits for upgrading your insulation, windows and doors, air conditioning, and more.

Project 2: Update Your High-Energy Appliances

In a similar vein, you’ll get the most bang for your home improvement buck if you upgrade inefficient appliances in your home. The top energy suckers in the home are: heating systems, air conditioning, hot water heaters, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators, according to Energy.gov.

There are easy ways to adjust the energy usage of these appliances, such as installing a programmable thermostat and running appliances at night. At some point, though, you’ll have to decide between repairing (or hacking) your home appliance or replacing it. Here’s our guide on which appliances are worth upgrading and when.

Cost: Varies, depending on which appliances you need to replace.

Project 3: Clean Your Gutters and Look for Structural Problems

Water is often the cause of the most expensive home repairs, so while the snow is melting and the rainy season is approaching, it’s time to stop the leaks and control the water around our homes.

A few leaves and twigs in your gutter don’t sound that dangerous, but gutters are the first line of defense against: water problems in your basement, cracked foundations, rotten wood fascia, leaking roofs, wood-destroying insects, and other serious problems. So, first, clear the gutters or have a handyperson do it for you, and install gutter guards to prevent future water damage.

Now’s the time to also take a walk around your home and look for any foundation cracks, mold or mildew in the basement or other areas, loose shingles or other roof issues (a binocular helps), any other signs of water damage, and pest issues (like termites).

Cost: Professional gutter cleaning costs $182, on average, while repairing gutters and downspouts is $396. If you need your foundation repaired, the average national cost is $4,337. Repairing a roof costs $828 on average, but installing a roof is $6,774. (All figures from Home Advisor.)

Water-based problems are often costly to repair, but maintenance/prevention can be do-it-yourself cheap. DIY gutter cleaning, for example, costs only your time and comfort getting on a ladder.

These projects are mostly about regular inspections and upkeep—the stuff of homeownership. If your home doesn’t have drafts, your appliances are in tip-top shape, and you don’t have to worry about water issues or pests, you can next focus on other home improvement projects that will make your home more enjoyable to live in and/or sell. Going by Remodeling’s 2013 report, that includes a wood deck addition, minor kitchen remodel, attic bedroom addition, and basement remodel…but that’s up to you.

How to Repair a Cracked Drywall Ceiling

Shopping List for Repairing a Cracked Drywall Ceiling:
– 5/8-inch plywood
– 2×4
– construction adhesive
– wood shims
– 2-inch-wide painter’s tape
– fiberglass mesh tape
– joint compound
– 1 1/4-inch drywall screws

Tools for Repairing a Cracked Drywall Ceiling:
– drill/driver, fitted with 3/16-inch-diameter drill bit and 1-inch diameter spade bit
– drywall tip, for driving drywall screws to precisely the right depth
– hammer
– caulk gun
– utility knife
– flat trowel and plaster hawk

Guest Room in a Snap: Turn a Home Office into a Spare Bedroom

 

Not every home has enough space to feature a dedicated guest room. And, let’s face it, not many people have house guests often enough to justify this luxury. So many people are turning their extra rooms into something they use frequently, like a home office, a crafting room, or a kid’s playroom and then performing a bit of magic before their guests arrive and…Voila! A Guest Room!

If you’re interested in reclaiming your guest room and performing a little transformation magic then the following tips can help you increase the function of your home while still making guests feel welcome.

Get That Convertible. Not the car, obviously, but a convertible sofa, armchair or even footstool. Believe it or not these items all come with a little bed hidden inside and they range in price from easily affordable to very expensive.

Extra Sleeping. If you’d rather not add the furniture or you have more than one guest at a time, purchase a good memory foam mattress topper which can be rolled up and stored when not in use.

Bedding Nearby. Purchase a storage chest or dresser or some other large storage that can double as a table, or seating, or even a room divider. Then not only do you have a piece of furniture that serves double duty but you also have bedding and other guest supplies at hand.

Windows for All. Window treatments in a home office don’t need to block a lot of prying eyes, in fact you may want to enjoy the view as much as possible, but your overnight guests will probably not feel the same. To accommodate both you should think about adding light limiting blinds that can be opened to take advantage of the view.

That Extra Touch. You’re not going to fool anyone, they know they’re staying in a spare room, but you can make them feel more at home and more welcome by adding that little extra something. Keep a basket of guest toiletries close at hand so guests don’t have to scrounge or use your private stash. Keep a couple magazines handy to give them something to read before bed. Remember they are your guests.

With these tips, you can transform your home office into a guest room at a moments notice. And remember, well rested guest is a good guest, so try to give them all the comfort you can while still keeping every room in your home as functional as possible.

 

old house restoration

Dynamic Restoration Techniques for Old Buildings

Restoring an Old House to Its Original Form, Function and Design

There are three broad categories of historic building sites that are restored to its original form, function and design: documentary, representative or aesthetic.

  • The purpose of the documentary site is to document an important event of the life or lives of a person or family. The structure does not necessarily need to be restored to its exact conditions at a specific point in time nor is it important that every facet of the restoration is justifiable.
  • The purpose of the representative site is to help the visitor understand a period in history or a way of life. A representative site does not have to be associated with a historic event or person(s) but rather, is symbolic of many other structures of its period.
  • The purpose of the aesthetic site is to achieve something pleasing to the eye. An adaptive re-use building e.g museum displaying period room settings or furnishings is an example of an aesthetic site. It is not recreating a setting that actually existed or even one that would be typical of what once existed.

When most of the original elements of an old building are still intact or parts of it are salvageable, a dynamic restoration technique is ideal.

restoring old house

Dynamic Restoration Technique

Dynamic restoration is one of three restoration techniques. Dynamic restoration utilises the techniques of reconstruction by re-assembling or refurbishment.

While a static restoration focuses on repair and protection of the materials and structural components, a dynamic restoration focuses on restoring the building to its original form, function and design.

Some examples of dynamic restoration techniques are anastylosis, reprogrammed building and land uses, substitution, relocation and enclosing the structure.

Anastylosis

Anastylosis utilises the techniques of reconstruction, re-assembling and refurbishing. Reconstruction is done by re-uniting some of the fallen fragments with the remaining portions still in their original places while other scattered fragments are left as is but already with preservative treatment.

Reprogrammed Building and Land Uses

Reprogramming buildings and land uses involve restoring the structure to its original form with its character remaining as is. The technique aims to recapture the ambiance and character of the past that the building and land uses are reprogrammed to fit these sites to modern times.

The designs and forms of the building are guided and controlled; some non-existing structures and features are reconstructed either partially or wholly to more clearly project the original characteristics of the structure.

Substitution

Substitution is often necessary when the structural components are beyond repair. Although duplication is against the principles of restoration, it can be an exception in cases where an element of the original structure needs to be replaced to protect the structure from further deterioration.

The preservation action i.e replacement, is intended to halt deterioration and maintain the original structure’s existence, a compromise which is valid and justifiable. When replacement of some elements for the structure is unavoidable, the replacement should closely resemble the material being replaced.

Relocation

In certain situations and as long as the structure is movable, relocation can be an alternative. Relocation is recommended when the structure is threatened with the danger of damage e.g. construction activity, vehicular traffic, floods or atmospheric pollution and there is no other way to protect it.

Enclosing the Structure

Enclosing the structure e.g. glass container, shade structure, fencing, to protect the structure from damage e.g weather conditions, is another dynamic restoration example.