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Home Improvement

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Before doing a major home improvement, be sure to check
  • Your City Building Codes
  • Your Local Home Owner's Association
  • Your Home Owner's Insurance (roof damage, water damage, window damage, etc...)
  • Check each contractor's status with the Better Business Bureau and see these Tips.
  • Check that each builder has active general contractor liability insurance covering: workman's compensation, any injury or property damage caused to you or your property, and accidents involving the contractor's own injuries or equipment.
For smart shopping, check
  • Consumer Reports has reviews and comparisons of hundreds of products and is available in print and online at your local library or bookstore.
  • Oftentimes, when deciding on colors or type, it is easier to simply purchase both items and try them in your house to see what looks best rather than racking your brain trying to guess.
Appliances Bathrooms
Building Supply and Hardware Stores Carpeting Contractors / Handyman Carpet Cleaning Ceilings
  • After you have fixed the leak in your roof, Kilz Upshot can remove water stains from your ceiling.
Decks Doors Drywall
Equipment Rental Exterminators
Flooring Furniture Repair
  • Ethan Allen
Foundation Repair
Garage Door
Heating and Cooling Home Repairs
Kitchen cabinetry Landscaping Lawn Care Lighting
LED Bulb
25 Watts200 Lumens
35 Watts325 Lumens
40 Watts450 Lumens
60 Watts800 Lumens
75 Watts1100 Lumens
100 Watts1600 Lumens
150 Watts2600 Lumens
200 Watts3000 Lumens
Replace all bulbs with LED bulbs.   LED bulbs are about 7 times more energy efficient and can last 48 times longer than incandescent bulbs.   Since LED bulbs use very little power and generate little heat, you can increase the light in certain areas if needed.   For MOST lights, I recommend "soft white" as this provides a MUCH more relaxing and natural light than crystal white.   The one exception is under a white lamp shade, where I recommend a PURE white frosted bulb.
  • sharperimpressionspainting
  • Many paint and hardware stores have color matching systems that can create paints of the correct color by simply scanning a painted item.
  • Make sure the store attaches the paint number sticker to the paint can, so you can order more when you need to.
  • Frog tape is best for interior masking of walls or wallpaper prior to trim painting or staining.
  • Make sure 24-hour ambient temperatures are suitable for each exterior paint that you are using.
  • Stain matching can be very difficult and may require layering.  Be sure to test on scrap wood of same type as that being stained.
  • Caulking should precede priming and painting.  Caulking should follow staining and sealing.
  • Matching stains can be difficult.  Always test on a scrap wood of the same type.  Stain matching may require layering of different stains.
Roofing Siding Stamped Concrete Termites Top Soil Tree Trimming
Windows Window Blinds, Shutters
  • Types
    • Cellular (transparent, blackout)
      • bottom-up
      • top-down and bottom-up
      • day / night
    • Faux Wood
    • Vinyl
    • Aluminum
    • Vertical
    • Color light heat reflectivity chart
    • When possible, allow for daylight to enter the window.  Sunshine and sky are beautiful.  I recommend the combination of double-hung windows and top-down/bottom up blinds.  By lowering the top window and blind, you simultaneously get privacy, light, a view of the sky, ventilation, and often better rain protection.
  • Brands
  • Installation
    • Inside mount
    • Outside mount
Window Curtains, and Valances
Tax Credits
  • Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, click here.
Organize your projects
  • For ALL of your various home repair projects, create ONE document called fix.doc in your /house folder on your home computer that you can use to organize, prioritize, and keep track of all of your projects.  This single document approach will help you to avoid the chaos of having multiple lists and a "post-it" note approach to your projects.  Having this document on your computer will allow you to easily organize your thoughts, do research, compare alternative approaches, search for contractors, compare product prices, and take advantage of the thousands of youtube how-to videos.  Keep track of websites with good information for each project by copying the web address directly into your fix.doc so you can remember each thing you find.
Do-it-Yourself.  How to Fix, Build, or Do Anything.

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