Top Five Home Improvement Considerations

Before you start your next home improvement project, there are five major considerations you must take into account. These include budget, skills, labor, foundations, and design. So, prior to your first trip to the hardware store and long before you even pick up a hammer, go over in detail each of these five considerations one-by-one. Keep reading to learn how to evaluate the five critical home improvement project factors.

Budget

Before you begin planning, set out a budget for yourself. Once you have a set amount in your mind, then start generating ideas and getting price quotes. When you’re drawing up your final budget and cost estimates, always add at least 10-20%. This “slush” will cover most of your unexpected expenses including extra labor, weather delays and additional materials. Almost every project goes over budget, so it’s best to accept and plan for it from the start.

Skills

If you’re planning a do-it-yourself home improvement venture, take an honest inventory of your skills ahead of time. Make sure you understand what you’re doing and know the work involved. Little is worse on a home project than wasted materials and a job that has to be redone by a professional because a do-it-yourselfer got in over his head.

Labor

If you think the project is more involved than your level of competence, give serious consideration to hiring labor. Before bringing on a contractor or even a day laborer who is simply there to help you paint or pour concrete, check the person’s references. Also, conduct a brief interview to make sure you’re working with someone you can trust. When hiring labor, try to be on-site as much as possible. It keeps the work moving forward and makes you accessible to answer questions or solve problems. Your presence also provides additional motivation and accountability for the worker you hire.

Foundation

There is the actual foundation of your house, which for most homes is the underground, concrete foundation that holds your home in place. However, there are also foundational, or core, functions that go into a house – structural, plumbing, electrical and ventilation. When starting a major home renovation, that is a good time to look into revamping or updating those four areas. For example, while you’re ripping down walls anyway, consider this an opportunity to install better insulation and tight-seal windows.

Design

Before you begin a home improvement project, especially one that’s going to be done in stages, verify that all your pieces fit together. If you’re updating the kitchen in a modern and contemporary style, for example, check whether it will fit with your country barn plans for the living room. If you’re stuck for ideas, one option is to hire an interior designer for a consulting session and ask that individual to come in for an hour or two to provide ideas about the best way to use your space. Interior designers are not normally cheap, but in the end their expertise is well worth the cost.

Top Fall Home Improvement Projects

As the seasons come and go, it should not only be fun activities that we should be thinking of and be busy with but also tasks to maintain, if not improve, the comfort and functionality in our New York homes. The warm and sunny days will soon be over and putting off important fall home improvement projects until the months get chilly can prove to be costly and so inconvenient. So if you do not want to go through all the headaches, it’s time to plan your fall home improvement projects whether you are in Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Homes, indeed, are one of the greatest investments anybody can have in a lifetime and allotting time and money to take care of it will provide safety, security, and comfort as well as a boost in property value and enhanced quality of everyday living. To make them last throughout the harsh winter chill and beyond many years to come, here are the top fall home improvement projects to undertake:

1. Property and Home Inspection

The best start to your line of fall home improvement projects this year is a thorough evaluation done by a qualified professional. Though this can initially cost you some, this step will prove to be worth more than your money’s value. By discovering damages early on, you will save yourself from grave surprises instead of them finding their way to you and your house from silently deteriorating.

2. Roofing

Being among the areas most exposed to damaging elements, natural and not, your roofing should be the first area to look into when considering fall home improvements. Especially with the snow on the way, patching whatever roofing problems would be crucial. Things to look for include:

· missing or damaged shingles,

· slits between flashes where the siding and roof joins with flues and vents,

· damp and moldy spots,

· and broken mortar surrounding the chimney especially at caps joints, and washes.

3. Clean and Tune Up

Simply cleaning your surroundings and tuning up important systems can take your efforts for fall home improvements a long, long way. The seemingly harmless accumulation of dead leaves and branches on your gutters can easily bleed you financially. If your gutters got clogged and standing water freezes, this could not only impair the existing gutter system but could also affect efficiency and condition of basement, foundation, walls, crawl spaces and even landscaping. Consider the installation of gutter guards that prevents debris from getting into your gutter system. Also make sure that your drain and gutter system efficiently draws water away from your house.

Other fall home improvements that fall under this category include:

  • Sweeping chimneys
  • Mowing and removing leaves and dead branches on your lawn to avoid snowmolds
  • Checking and maintaining furnace
  • Winterizing lawn by nitrogen fertilizing
  • Avoid freezing by adding insulation to pipes
  • Checking thermostats and considering a programmable one to replace your old thermostat
  • Making sure that no pests can sneak into your home, or worse, have already made a home of house.

Deck Railings Guide: The Best Home Improvement Solution

Deck railings have been attracting a massive fan base these days, merely because of the benefits acquired. Regardless of the top priority home-improvement ambitions underway, it is prospective to develop the best techniques and deck railing systems to achieve quality outcomes. This rail systems are practically used to enhance the interior and exterior home decks. The primary functions of the rails are to prevent unauthorized entry by intruders or prevent accidental falls. Therefore, electing the choice of a reinforced, metal railing design is acceptable. The fundamental aspect in determining the quality is the material(s) exploited to develop the rail system. The objective involves selecting a deck railing design that features creative ornamental crafts. Furthermore, many alternatives are available in the marketplace. The ideal decorative this railings are the derivatives of aluminum or poly materials, particularly crafted to complement the architectural aspects of the home environment. However, the top-quality deck railing should specifically enterprise one’s budget, preference in design and measurements.

In earlier years, wooden rails of the same materialistic origin as the deck was the ideal method individuals used in home improvement projects. However, in present-day, the improved ornamental railings are growing increasingly popular to replace the standard wooden options. The manufacturers in the marketplace are many and present ranges of different weight, size, colors, materials and designs. The aluminum and wrought iron materials are durable, in contrast to the other methods.

The aspects to contemplate when buying railings possibly involve additional prerequisites. This is specific to constructing deck rail depending if pets or minors are at home; therefore, having a preference for restrictive deck rails, featuring confinement with limited accessibility is the perfect product to prevent falls. For deck areas that serve as a source entertainment avenue for adults to enjoy, think over picking a deck rail design that accommodates top-quality furnishings. Outdoor deck railings often leading to the lake or a boat dock and light-fitted railing systems are perfect for such endeavors. The impression a homeowner desire has much to do with the choice of railings preferred.

Nevertheless, the best railings to pick depend on the preferred manufacturer, quality of the rails and the materials used. Primarily, the home’s architectural refinement also determines the best solutions for the home or outdoor environment. The methods are quite impressive, and many prefer the innovative solutions over the traditional ones; since these require limited expertise for installation. Some manufacturers even present preassembled railings to allow instant installation and reduce the overall investment a home decorator needs, given that all the accessories and tools are complete.