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6 Simple Renovations to Boost Your Curb Appeal

6 Simple Renovations to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Not everyone wants to boost their curb appeal so they can sell their house rather they want a home that they love coming home to everyday. They want to create a space that is warm and welcoming when friends and family come to visit.  Creating curb appeal doesn’t have to take a lot of time nor a great deal of money.  Here are 6 simple renovations you can do to boost your curb appeal.

1. Get a New Front Door

A new front door not only looks good but it adds an incredible amount of value for such a small investment.  If you are selling then a new front door makes your home look safe and well maintained.  Fiberglass doors are energy efficient, they look fabulous and they handle even the worst weather well with getting dented and rusty.

2. A New Steel Door for the Garage

Like your front door a new garage door can make your home look better, improve the security and be more energy efficient.  Again, you will get a great ROI if you plan to sell.  Garage doors are usually made from steel or you can have them made from wood, steel doors mean low maintenance.  Wood doors require you to stain and maintain them each year.  Make sure that your garage doors are insulated to save you on energy costs.

3. A Composite Deck

Cedar decks look amazing but you will be sanding and staining them every spring.  Choose composite decks instead, they are a little more expensive than a wooden deck but far less work.  You never have to worry about termites, broken boards or sealing.  A PVC deck will last forever, you can spend the summers enjoying your backyard with family and friends.  Decks also add great value to your home.

4. A Fresh Coat of Paint

Nothing brightens up a home like a fresh coat of paint and while you can do this project yourself you are better off bringing in a painting contractor who can get the project done in a few days.  You have a choice between oil and latex paint, ideally you want to use latex, it handles the weather and settling of your home better than oil. Latex can also be used to paint over almost any kind of exterior finish that you may have.

5. Use Brick or Concrete Edging

Using edging not only looks good but it defines your space.  Edging can keep the mulch from around your trees and flower beds from spreading everywhere, it makes your lawn easier to mow and trim.  If you decide to use bricks then you have options on the color and look you choose.  Don’t get too carried away, brick and stone can get expensive.  Talk with a landscape designer to get some help choosing the best option for your yard.

6. Local Plants and Shrubs

If you want landscaping that is low maintenance then use plants that are native to the area.  They thrive in the local conditions so you don’t have to spend everyday out there watering them or worry about them getting frostbitten in the spring and fall.  You don’t need to use fertilizers or pesticides to keep them healthy and your home will blend with the local landscaping.

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6 Signs You Have a Drainage Problem

6 Signs You Have a Drainage Problem

Finding a lake on your front lawn that wasn’t there yesterday is a pretty good indication that you have a drainage problem.  Most of the time the issue won’t be anywhere near that obvious, drainage problems don’t just leaf a pond in your yard they can actually damage the foundation of your house.  Here are 6 signs you have a drainage problem.

1. Overflowing Gutters

When leaves or other debris are clogging your gutters, instead of the water flowing through the gutters to the downspouts it overflows and you have waterfalls all around your house. You will see streaks of dirt running down the side of your home and if it has been going on long enough then the paint may even start to peel.  You need to get this fixed before there is real damage done, fortunately it is as simple as cleaning out your gutters.

2. Misplaced Downspouts

Downspouts are supposed to take the rain from your roof and gutters and dump it into the ground away from your house.  If they aren’t installed properly you can have all that rain dumping against your foundation and then it will end up in your basement.  Flooded basements are huge problems, that can cause you thousands in damage.

3. Water Stains Along Basement Walls

There are two possibilities for why you have water stains on the basement walls.  The first is caused by rainwater coming in through the foundation and believe it or not that is the better of the two.  If the problem is cause by underground water then you have much bigger and more expensive problem. If the stains are higher on the wall then it is a good sign that it has been caused by rain.

4. Cracks in Your Foundation

It is normal for cracks to appear over time as your house settles, most won’t cause you any problems at all then don’t reach the inside of your home.  You need to keep an eye out for bigger cracks, anything that is more than a ¼ inch wide.  Check the width from time to time and check and see if it is growing.  The small cracks that happen as the house settle can easily be fixed with some caulking or hydraulic cement.  Widening cracks mean a drainage problem that is ruining your foundation.

5. Must and Mildew in Your Attic

Most homeowners look for drainage problems in their basement and not the attic but the attic can be a problem area too.  If rain is pooling on your roof it can start affecting your attic.  You will start seeing mildew on the underside of the roof and it will smell musty up there.  It can also be caused by your bathroom venting hot moist air into the attic and causing condensation.  On the other hand you could have a leak in the roof and may need a roofing contractor to come have a look.

6. Mineral Deposits on the Basement Walls

If you notice a white or grayish film on the walls of your basement, that is an indicator that there was water there.  It is the mineral deposits left behind after the water has dried.  It can indicate that water is getting in through the foundation, usually because your downspouts are sending water away from your home.  It can lead to bigger problems if it hasn’t been treated.

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