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DIY Projects You Don’t Need a Pro For

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If you’re itching to fix up your home, but don’t have the cash to pay a professional to do the work for you, fortunately, there are many projects homeowners can do themselves to improve their home’s value, look, and functionality. Don’t be afraid to get creative and get your hands dirty – these DIY projects really don’t need a pro, just a little time and effort.

Backsplash

Professionals typically charge around $60 per hour for labor costs to install a new backsplash. Although they make look very difficult to install, any homeowner can do it themselves with a little research and a few tutorial videos. The only tools and materials you need are a level, tile cutter, spacers, adhesive, grout, and of course, the tile. Intricate tiling or mosaics come with a mesh backing for easy installation, so don’t let the beautiful detailing scare you.

Outdoor Fire Pit

 If you own Raleigh real estate, you might want to enjoy some evenings outdoors in the warm summer season. An outdoor fire pit is one of the easiest projects to do yourself and a fairly inexpensive way to add a spot for outdoor entertainment.

You can purchase cement pavers from any major home improvement store, such as Home Depot or Lowes. Before you buy spend some time thinking about how large and how tall you want your fire pit to be. You might even try playing around with them at the store to get a better idea of how it might look. Once you’re home, you can wrap them around an old barbeque ring or place them freestanding. Small square pavers can be used for the bottom or flooring of the pit or you can use gravel or rock. Sand, cement, or mortar can help to fill in any gaps.

Refinish Wood Floors

If you have nice wood floors under those dirty carpets, it’s time to rip those old carpets out and refinish the beautiful wood underneath. While carpeting is preferred by most homeowners in the bedrooms, the look of wood floors in common areas is a popular trend. It’s rather simple to refinish them, too. Start by renting a walk-behind sander from your hardware or home improvement store – the type of sandpaper depends on the finish you currently have. Thick finishes or painted floors initially require coarse sandpaper. Every floor should be followed with a medium and fine paper to achieve a smooth finish; be sure to thoroughly clean up the dust with a vacuum and tack cloth. Next, choose between three finishes: polyurethane, varnish, or a penetrating sealer. Each has its own distinct look and various durability. Follow the instructions closely on the finish you choose.

 

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Everything You Need To Know Before You Switch To Solar

 

There is a definite drive from homeowners to integrate more efficient upgrades into their homes. One of the most popular home additions has been to mount solar panel arrays on the roof to help owners go off the grid.

The trend toward a more sustainable and environmentally responsible lifestyle has pushed the popularity behind making your home solar sufficient. Not only can you save a bunch of money on your energy bills, but you can also drastically reduce your carbon footprint when you decide to go solar.

Before you make the switch, there are a few things that you should consider, including getting a new Allstate Home Insurance quote to accommodate your updates. Switching over to solar is not as simple as just mounting some solar panels. Here’s what you will need to know before making the decision to run your home using solar power.

Incentives

One of the largest driving forces behind the solar trend is money savings. Once you get past the initial investment, which can be large, you can enjoy lifelong savings and even make some money back. The great thing about this initiative is that you could even get help footing the installation bill for your solar system.

Check with your municipality and talk to your accountant about available grants or tax breaks for adding solar that you can take advantage of. Making updates to your home to convert it into a more eco-friendly dwelling can actually make you money in incentives.

Warranties

Each solar dealer will have their own guarantees to cover the installation process, but it’s important to understand exactly what their warranties will cover. You don’t want to get stuck with panels that are only warrantied by the manufacturer. Standard warranties should cover your panels for up to 25 years and your inverter for up to 10 years.

Property Value Boost

If you still need more convincing that going solar is right for you, you should know that converting and adding a solar array can increase the market value of your home. Projects like adding solar, a kitchen remodel or developing a home heat recovery system are among the most popular home updates.

Along with saving money on your energy bills, you can expect an increase of up to 4% on your home’s value. This can make for an impressive return on your investment.

Inverters

When you are shopping for the elements of your solar power system you will need to choose an inverter that is best for your array. There are two different kinds of inverters; central or micro. A central inverter will be wired to draw in power from all of your panels at the same time. Microinverters are attached to each individual solar panel.

Size

The most common question that dealers get from homeowners is, “How many panels will I need to run my whole house?”. There are too many variables to answer this question to suit everyone. The number of panels that you will need will depend on the square footage of your home, how solar reliant you want to be and the wattage of your panels.

Any easy way to estimate how many solar panels you will need for your home is to follow this formula. Take your hourly household energy needs and multiply it by the number of hours of prime sunlight that you will get. Then take that number and divide it by the panel wattage.

 

# hourly energy needs  X  Peak sunlight hours

Panel Wattage

  

Conclusion

If you are interested in creating a more self-sufficient and greener home by adding solar, make sure to do your homework before you invest. Get help with funding, learn about the equipment and increase the value of your home with a solar power renovation.

 

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5 Home Improvements for Families with Children

 

When you have children, change is to be expected. Not only do you have to adjust your life so it works around your children, but you will also have to adjust your home. When you make changes to your home, you need to make sure you choose wisely. Wrong decisions can reduce the value of your property and can end up costing you a lot more money than the improvement was worth, but when something is done right, not only will your property go up in value, but your family will be happier for it. To help you make the right decision, here are five home improvements you should consider if you have children.

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Convert Rooms

Reinventing a room can increase the value of your home as well as make your life easier. You can convert spaces that aren’t being used, such as a garage, basement or attic space, into something that could be used. You could change them into an extra bedroom, a second living room, a games room or a room that can be used by your child if they have a particular hobby they want to excel in, such as music, craft or exercise.

Consider a Playroom

A playroom is another good idea if you have the space and they have many benefits. This can keep the rest of your house tidy and in good condition because your children will have their own area where they can play and make a mess. If you decide to move home, this feature would appeal to buyers who have or plan to start a family.

Add an Outdoor Play Area

Exercise and fresh air are essential for child development. If you have a good-sized back or front yard, then installing an outdoor play area for your children is a great way to ensure they get outside, and it will be a safe area for them to do so. If you don’t have the time or skill to create your own outdoor play area, you should contact KG Landscape to help you create a safe, fenced play area.

Increase Storage

Nowadays, people like a minimalist look when it comes to their homes. This can be a hard thing to achieve when you have children, but it isn’t impossible. Making alterations that increase the amount of storage your home has will increase the value of your property and will make it look neat, tidy, and modern while you live there. It can also make your home safer, especially if you have young, curious toddlers walking about.

Improve Your Home’s Efficiency

There is no denying that children are expensive, so making changes that help to save you money as well as increase the value of your property whilst helping the environment are always great ideas. One of these changes would be to improve how energy efficient your home is. You can do this by adding installation, adding renewable energy sources, and installing double glazed windows. These are just a handful of things you can do.

To summarize, when you decide to make changes to your family home, space, efficiency, and usefulness are the key things you need to consider. If the alterations will help you, then there is a high chance it would help someone else, which leads to a rise in property price.

 

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5 Tips to a Greener Home

Every homeowner wants the best for their family. From cozy living rooms to serene bathrooms, we all want to improve the way we live by considering home improvement projects that help us achieve a more appealing home.

But when it comes to making a home that’s safe and healthy, we will have to look for green solutions. After all, this is the first step to achieving a healthier home.

Let’s check out a few important tips to a greener home.

  1. Ditch commercial materials

Whether you’re mopping up the living room floor or repainting the exterior walls of your home, the materials you use may contain chemicals that not only pollute the air but also cause a wide range of health conditions on your family. You may need to update your shopping list and get rid of brands that are known to contain high traces of cancer-causing chemicals such as glycol and benzene.

If you’re making a change for the better, you might as well look online for shops selling organic materials for your next home improvement project.

  1. Think of a redesign

Often the best way to build a green home is to start from scratch. Fortunately, if you’re planning to settle in a home that’s both functional and eco-friendly, there are local builders who can help you along those lines.

If you live in Baltimore, you’ll find Maryland home builders who can provide custom designs that help reduce your carbon footprint. But if you already have a home, you can always opt for a redesign by using proper insulation, as well as materials and concepts that allow for better cooling and heating.

  1. Upgrade your lighting

If there’s anything that passes as an eco-friendly solution, changing your light bulbs will do the trick. Especially if it has been a while since you last upgraded your lighting, swapping your bulbs with LEDs will really keep your energy consumption low along with your power bills.

  1. Prepare a compost pit

Managing a garden is tough work, but choosing a safe alternative to commercial fertilizers has to be tougher. Sure enough, familiar fertilizer brands could be more acidic and, in effect, harmful to your plants.

Commercial fertilizer might give your garden the lushness it needs, but when it comes to keeping the soil healthy, preparing your own compost using kitchen scraps has to be the better option. It’s organic and it won’t pollute the ground much as synthetic fertilizers do.

  1. Improve your insulation

Whether there’s a blizzard or a heatwave, the thermostat has to be your best bet in keeping your home’s temperature well-regulated. Then again, you will have to pay a price for keeping your home well heated or cooled during extreme weather. By keeping your home well-insulated, you won’t have to set the thermostat high or low.

 

A greener home is possible, so long as you use the right approach. That way, you won’t have to worry about putting your family’s health and safety at risk.

 

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Mortgage Insurance: What You Are Paying For

 

As contract attorneys who provide a range of realty and mortgage associated legal services, including genuine estate closings and dealing with estate conflicts, we at Mcgrath Spielberger, PLLC know that most customers actually don’t comprehend private mortgage insurance. Referred to as PMI, private mortgage insurance is to benefit the lending institution, not the debtor.

PMI is generally required if the circumstances consist of a private mortgage loan in which less than 20% of the list prices/ appraised worth is put down in advance. From the lender viewpoint, PMI is an extremely good thing as the debtor needs to pay for an insurance coverage which names the lending institution as the recipient, with the lending institution (or whomever winds up owning the loan) possibly having the ability to make a claim on the policy if the debtor defaults on the loan as default leads to the loan provider not being paid back completely.

In many situations, according to the professional advise of https://mcgrathspielberger.com,  the premium payments the borrower needs to produce personal mortgage insurance are rolled into the debtor’s regular monthly “mortgage payment”. The details regarding the original PMI arrangement, including the payment amount, are understood in advance of the realty closing. Borrowers/purchasers ought to be asking concerns about PMI prior to closing as compared to after (although much better to ask later on and know than to not ask at all).

It’s likewise very crucial to understand when you may be able to cancel your PMI– and the associated payments, thus reducing your month-to-month payment. Make sure to get into the details of your contract with a local real estate contract attorney in charlotte nc areas to learn more about your specific situation.

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