Maintenance means everything: Ideally, you should clean your gutters twice per year. Maintaining clean gutters will help you to avoid drainage problems that could potentially lead to more costly repairs. Climb on up: Borrowing (or investing in) a good, sturdy ladder is the key to ensuring your personal safety and to making the task as hassle-free as possible. Make sure that the ladder is placed on a flat, steady surface, and follow the rule of two: never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder, as it becomes very difficult to maintain your balance. Protect yourself: Thick, heavy gloves are a must when performing this kind of task. Gutters may have sharp or jagged metal pieces as well as screws or nails that may pose a danger to your hands and fingers. Want additional protection? Safety glasses are also a good idea! Up on the roof: Santa might find rooftops to be a walk in the park, but for the rest of us, they aren’t generally ideal perches. However, if you have a flat roof or a roof with a low slope, you may find it easier to accomplish the cleaning by situating yourself up top. Always use extreme caution, wear non-slip shoes, […]
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Dance while you dust: This is the perfect time to fully indulge your musical interests; break out the iPod or turn up the CD player, and you’ll be singing along to your favorite tunes and won’t find cleaning to be a chore at all! Clear out the clutter: Take the opportunity to dig into the closets, storage spaces, and of course, the garage. You’ve probably got a veritable treasure trove of old clutter that’s just taking up space—now’s the time for a yard sale! Turn that clutter into cash. Room by room: Try to focus on just one room at a time, and try to complete one room each day. This will make the whole job seem more manageable, and you’ll probably get things cleaned more thoroughly than if you tried to tackle the whole house at once! Just a little more laundry: One of the things that we rarely attend to is the state of our draperies, shower curtains, and rugs. Now is your chance: gather up every spare bit of linen in the house and have it laundered; you’ll be surprised at how much brighter your home will look! A room with a view: It’s time to tackle those windows! Set aside a […]
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Go green: A few changes to the landscaping of your home can make a world of difference! You might want to consider planting some fruit trees in the backyard, adding a touch of color with some bright and unusual flowers, or perhaps finally starting the vegetable garden you’ve always dreamed about. Add a touch of color: Feeling creative? Why not give the family room, bedroom or bathroom a whole new look? By focusing on the improvement of one room at a time, you’ll find that what can seem like an overwhelming job becomes fun and simple. Repainting a single room can be inexpensively completed over a single weekend. Bright and beautiful: Replacing the light fixtures in your house with personally selected pieces can drastically increase your home’s beauty and value. Choose a cohesive look for the entire house, or decorate room by room! The installation of new fixtures is generally a quick do-it-yourself task. Tile it up: While it might seem like a daunting task, installing new tile in a kitchen or bathroom can be easily accomplished with a little know-how and the right supplies. Your local home improvement warehouse will have everything you need to revamp and personalize the flooring of your choice! […]
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Make a list: Spend some time taking stock of the kinds of maintenance and improvement projects you’d like to begin. A well-considered list will help you to set reachable goals. Assess your skills: Make sure that you carefully consider which projects you are fully capable of completing. For example, unless you have sufficient experience with electrical, plumbing or construction work, you should probably leave those tasks to the professionals. Establish priorities: Which projects are most important to you? Which projects will be the most costly? Which is more important: timeliness, quality or cost? Before beginning any do-it-yourself project, it is always wise to determine specific goals and priorities so that you are fully prepared when it comes time to begin. Create a budget: For each project that you want to complete, make certain that you have a firm budget in place. Allowing for unexpected circumstances (such as errors or the need for additional materials) in your budget will keep you from overspending. One step at a time: When it’s time to begin, remember to pace yourself! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your new garden terrace will take time as well. Complete one task at a time, and soon you’ll feel the wonderful sense […]
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Have you ever noticed how some people seem to have a knack for creating inviting rooms? One of the joys of owning your own home is having the freedom to decorate a room to please yourself. The only problem is, most of us don’t even know where to start! Today I am sharing with you some simple tips on re-arranging a room that can make the difference between “okay” and “wow!” Before you start your room re-arrangement, first empty the room completely. Take down all the wall décor and remove any rugs. Now, look at the room as if you are seeing it for the first time. Consider what activities you want to take place in the room. Let form follow function. The number one mistake people make is to push all the furniture back against the walls of a den or living room. This makes conversation difficult and creates a walkway through the middle of the conversation area. Try pulling your furniture out into the room into a cozy grouping for conversation. Experiment with placing the seating group at an angle instead of neatly lined up with the walls. A rug and a coffee table can anchor the seating […]
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One of the easiest ways to cut your heating and cooling bill is to make sure that your attic has seven inches (R-22) or more (up to R-49) of fiberglass or rock wool insulation. A simple step we often ignore—replace or clean your AC vents once a month. Don’t leave your bathroom ventilator running longer than necessary, as it can drain your entire house of cooled or heated air in about an hour! During the summer keep your drapes closed in the heat of the day. In the winter keep the south facing window drapes open. Make sure all windows are caulked and weather-stripped to save 10% on your H/AC bill. White window shades or blinds will deflect the heat away from your house. Lower hot water costs by installing low-flow showerheads and faucets. Insulate your water heater and set its thermostat at 115° F. You can cut up to 50% on your lighting costs by replacing 25% of the bulbs in your main-use areas with fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lights are more expensive but also last six to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. Plant trees ASAP. Well-placed trees will not only lower your energy costs but will increase the […]
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