Tag Archives: home improvement

9 things to fix around the house before they get worse!

Old Hammer from ToolboxHere at All Islands Home Inspections, one of our continuing themes is “fix small problems before they become big ones.” While this is hardly an original idea, it is a proven and important principle. Popular Mechanics says: “No matter how much time you spend safeguarding your home and performing routine maintenance to keep everything in tip-top condition, you’ll still be blindsided by unexpected breakdowns. But often you can eliminate potential problems before they arise, saving yourself a lot of money and hassle.” See their list of nine things to fix around the house before they get worse.

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6 worst home fixes for the money

While it’s crucial to tackle certain household fixes quickly, it’s also a good idea to do a little research before undertaking major, costly fixes or improvements. Many owners trying to make their home into a more ideal setting for their own use, as well as those trying to make their home more marketable, spend a lot of money expecting to “get it back when we sell.” As always, good information can prevent bad decisions and save money. You might wish to begin your research with Bankrate.com’s list of the worst fixes for the money and Remodeling Magazine’s comparison by geographic region of the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects, with the value those projects retain at resale.

10 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

There are many tasks in and around your home that you can and should do for yourself, but there are some that should really be left to professionals. If you haven’t learned by now which tasks these are, you are in for a lot of trouble and expense. (Most of us know, we just don’t want to admit it.) When you have figured it out, or if you are not handy and just want to go straight to a professional, Popular Mechanics’ Brett Martin says, “Sometimes it makes sense to hire a pro rather than take on a job yourself. But choosing the wrong contractor can lead to delays, subpar work, and even legal problems,” See his guidelines to help you choose a professional contractor and ensure a good working relationship.

10 Rental Tools for DIY Home Projects

If you don’t own the right tools for tackling a remodeling or maintenance project, you have the option of renting them or buying them outright. The decision is usually based on how often the tool will be used and its cost. If you need something like a drill, it makes more sense to buy one because it is a good basic tool that will be used over and over. If the project is a one-time occurrence, such as installing large porcelain tiles, you may want to rent a large tile saw instead of buying one. Here are some other projects for when rental tools can help make the job a success. Continue reading

Prepare your home for winter

Associated Content says, “The proper preparation of your home for the cold winter months [that] lie ahead can ensure that your heating bills will be lowered, your home will be protected from storm damage and potential worries will be dispatched. Preparing your home for the winter months should only take a day or two at most of your time, and the associated costs should be minimal if issues are addressed personally. While some preparatory [measures] do have a cost attached that cannot be avoided, it is foolish to overstep the boundaries of skill and common sense in the futile attempt to save a few bucks. If certain tasks require a licensed professional or are dangerous in any manner, pay a qualified individual to perform them and go have a cup of coffee while experiencing that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you made the right call.” See the full article here.

Mastering Home Repairs

To fix myself OR hire a contractor?  This question occurs often in my household.  Below is a great article with some helpful tips for DIYs and for finding contractors.

Thinking of trying some Do-it-Yourself (DIY) work around your home? There’s a lot you can do to save time and aggravation, not to mention money, by doing the job yourself. If you are a seasoned DIYer, you will know the basics of what to do, how to do it and what you will need to get it done. But if you are a beginner, how will you know what to do and how to do it? What tools will you need? Which projects should you attempt first? Yahoo Real Estate has a useful article to help answer these and many more questions, as well as some suggestions for finding a contractor if the DIY approach is not for you.

Paint Your Home!

Thinking it’s time to repaint your home?  Home Inspectors call it out all the time, and many homeowners like to do the job themselves.  Here are some great tips and advice from my latest eNewsLetter.

Seven Smart Tips for Painting Your House

You should repair and repaint as soon as you notice paint starting to crack, blister and peel. Ignoring these problems will lead to a much more extensive-and expensive-job. Exterior paint and caulking form the first line of defense against rain, snow and ice. Here are seven exterior painting tips from Popular Mechanics to get a nice even look, whether you’re planning to paint the house yourself or hire a pro.

Lumber Grade Stamps

A grade stamp is printed on lumber produced in North America, but what does it mean?
Since lumber comes from a natural source, much of it has naturally occurring defects, such as large knots or splits, and these can reduce its strength. Because of these and less obvious defects, lumber that leaves a sawmill must be appraised by trained inspectors and assigned a grading stamp. (read full article on InterNACHI)

Factory-Built Fireplaces

There’s nothing like coming home and warming up next to a roaring fire during the long, cold months of winter, or even chilly evenings in any season.  Long commutes to work in the cold and the increasingly short hours of daylight in the fall and winter are made more bearable by the comfort and familiarity of family gatherings by the fire.  It may be for this reason that some type of wood-burning enclosure has remained a staple of many households, even though open fire is no longer a necessity for cooking and heating.  With this in mind, let’s take a look at one of the more modern options available, the factory-built fireplace.

(read full article on InterNACHI)