Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate



Posted by Titine Joyce on 9/12/2019

Doing a home improvement or renovation is a great way to add value to your home while learning something new. If you decide to DIY, you can enlist the help of your family and learn together.

But, when youíre taking on a task youíve never done before, thereís a lot that can go wrong. You might go over budget, or the project might take significantly longer than expected. Sometimes we start jobs that we donít have the expertise (or permits) to finish and have to call in a professional sinking more time and money into what was supposed to be an inexpensive renovation.

To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, weíve provided these tips for running a successful home improvement project so you can focus on your renovation and not on the headaches that come with it.

1. Know when to call the experts

Undertaking a do-it-yourself project can be fun and rewarding. However, some tasks are better left to the professionals. Plumbing and electrical mistakes, in particular, can be dangerous and costly if you get it wrong. You donít want to disregard the safety of you, your family, and your belongings just to save money on hiring a professional.

2. Call the best expert for the job

Call multiple professionals for a quote before accepting an offer.

If you received what seems a very low quote for a job, make sure to call other experts in the industry to see how much they would charge for the job. Getting an unusually low offer could be a sign that the contractor will rush the project or use cheap materials.

Alternatively, if you receive a quote that seems too high, the contractor may have a busy schedule or might not really want the job, so theyíve offered you a price they donít expect you to take.

Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure youíve selected a contractor who is professional and has good customer feedback.

3. Aim high with your budget

When homeowners take on a renovation, they tend to underestimate the costs. To avoid being shocked by going over budget, estimate what you think the total costs would be and then at another twenty percent. That twenty percent could account for damaged building materials, mistakes, or last-minute changes and customizations--all are frequent on DIY projects.

4. Donít work without a design or blueprint

Even for simple home improvement projects, itís best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. Weíve all felt the temptation to ďeyeball itĒ when working on a project--taking the extra few minutes to measure and refer to your plan will save you time in the long run.

5. Relax and focus on the results

Home improvement projects can be a source of frustration for many families. If you arenít an expert, itís easy to get angry when things arenít going as you planned. If you find yourself frequently hitting a wall-literally or figuratively--step back from the project and refocus on the end goal, improving your home for years to come.




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Posted by Titine Joyce on 6/6/2019

If you've ever traveled through the United Kingdom, the phrase "mind the gap" conjured up trips across London's Underground or disembodied voices calling out the warning as your elevator doors open or close. It's wise to heed those voices since gaps between an elevator, and the floor of an older building could be wider than you expect, and trains don't touch the sides of the platforms, so you could step off into thin air if you lead with your heel.

Other gaps need mending as well. When it comes to your home, gaps can cause the most lost to energy efficiency.

Common gaps

  • Door gaps. If your exterior doors do not line up in the frame, youíll have gaps around the door and jamb that allow cold air to leak in during the winter, raising your heating bills, and warm air to radiate in during the summer, jacking up your air conditioning bills. Adjust your door so that it fits snugly in the frame. Most modern thresholds and door shoes (the rubber or vinyl cushion on the bottom of the exterior door) can adjust to fill the gaps. If space remains, use weather stripping to fill it in. If the gap is in the jamb or frame, caulk should do the trick.
  • Window spaces. Energy efficient windows should not have gaps, so if yours do, contact the manufacturer to see if they are reparable under warranty. Older windows, just like doors, may have crevices due to poor installation, shrinkage, or age-related misalignment. Where gaps are not correctable with weather strip or caulk, consider budgeting to replace them. NOTE: do not seal a bedroom window shut. Bedroom windows must offer egress in case of a fire or other emergency.
  • Roof gaps. As the roof gets older, spaces may form from movement in the home's walls and foundation. If your roof leaks, there is a gap someplace, and a professional roofer should be your first call. Leaving a roof leak can damage your entire home and weaken its structure.
  • Indoor gaps. One of the most frustrating gaps appearing in the kitchen is one between the stove and the countertop next to it. These gaps become filled with gunk and debris. If yours is a built-in range, close the gap with caulk. If, however, you have a freestanding range, look for countertop extenders or gap-fillers at your local hardware or DIY store or search online for silicone counter gap guards or spill guards.
  • Backsplash gaps. If your kitchen or bath backsplash has separated from the countertop, fill the gap with a waterproof caulk immediately. Water running between the counter and the backsplash can cause considerable damage to counters, walls, cabinets, and even subflooring if the water finds its way down the pipes.

If you think you may have energy-leaking gaps in your home, check with your local utility to see if they provide a free energy assessment. Repairing gaps protects your home and maintains your homeís value.




Tags: weather   DIY   homeowner  
Categories: Uncategorized