TIP OF THE WEEK
Before embarking on a home improvement project, there are several steps a homeowner can take to manage the time and expense while making the effort run more smoothly:
1.Regardless of the type of project you’re planning, research the possibilities before you get started. From comparing prices to evaluating styles and features, knowing all your available options will help ensure you make right choices for your needs.
2. When evaluating appliances or equipment, pay attention to variables that may affect the overall project cost. For example, installing a generator with a power management system like Symphony® II from Briggs & Stratton, can help meet your home’s backup power requirements with a smaller, more affordable generator. This can potentially knock hundreds if not thousands of dollars off a generator purchase with a little research ahead of time to find the right-size generator needed for a home. An online calculator tool at powernow.com can help match homeowners with the best generator for their individual needs.
3. Determine a budget, and stick to it. Be realistic and remember that a little more investment upfront may buy quality that will save money on repairs and replacements down the road. Another good rule of thumb: add at least 10 percent buffer to help cover unexpected expenses.
4. Assess whether the project is something you can tackle on your own, and whether time or ability may impede your progress. If you need to enlist help, gather estimates and check references for at least three contractors.
Set expectations for yourself and your family about how long the project will take. If you’re working with a contractor, get a time projection in writing, as well as a written agreement about what happens if the project runs past deadline.
— Family Features
Take good photos to attract home buyers
A National Association of Realtors survey found that 83 percent of buyers found photos very useful when using online tools to look for houses. If you’re selling your own home, try to have an experienced home photographer take the pictures for the listing. Angles make a difference and if you’re in the process of packing and moving, store your boxes and clutter in one less photogenic corner of the room and take photos facing out from that location. — More Content Now
Be merry with metallics
To create a show-stopping visual effect, use metallics in details throughout your home. Chrome and nickel are hot, and there’s a current resurgence of brass and gold. If you have metal in your backsplash tiles, add a centerpiece in the same metal to tie the entire room together. Keep in mind that less is more
Plant a cover crop now to improve your soil
Tilling, weeding, harvesting and foot traffic can destroy the nutrients and soil structure in home garden beds. Cover crops include several varieties of grasses and legumes that are grown in the off-season then tilled under in the to add organic matter back to the soil. They also prevent prevent erosion, suppress weeds while creating and cycling nutrients such as nitrogen. Their root system also keep the soil airy and from being compacted. It’s not too late, even in cold weather areas, to plant quick-growing grasses such as winter wheat and rye to give your garden a boost for next year.
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Home Help: Plan ahead to save on a home improvement project
TIP OF THE WEEK