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6 Home Improvement Ideas Under $1k

Increasing the value of your home with a few upgrades is a great idea to get more for it when it comes time to sell. By making a few strategic and affordable upgrades you can really add big value to your home. However, knowing what adds value and what doesn’t can be a little difficult so here is a list of some of the affordable upgrades that will definitely add value.

Install New Thermostat

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating your home accounts for over 40% of its total energy use. If you install a programmable thermostat you will be able to customize a temperature profile throughout the day. For example, reducing the temperature inside your home by a degree or two while you sleep can equal huge savings at the end of the month. Since energy costs are on the rise, many buyers will appreciate your cost-effective thinking.

Update Fixtures

This is such a cheap and simple fix that can completely freshen up the space. If new kitchen cabinets are out of your budget, simply upgrading the hardware will instantly upgrade the rooms look. Same thing goes for the faucet. With a sleek new kitchen faucet with a sprayer, it will definitely be appreciated by buyers. By anticipating and doing these smaller projects will get you more money in your pocket when selling your home.

Bathroom Upgrades

If your bathroom needs some help, another simple way to bring it into this century is to replace your old toilet with a new one. This will make a significant impact on your bathroom aesthetics. Another way to increase your bathrooms liability is to have the bathtub re-glazed.

Tile Floors

A brand new tile floor can breathe new life into any home. Tile has many more benefits versus carpet, which is why buyers welcome it with open arms. Carpet can retain water, allergens, animal hair, dirt, and other nasty things. So by completly getting rid of it and replacing it with easy to clean tile is a bonus in any buyers book.

Blinds or Plantation Shutters

If your home is still sporting the aluminum blinds or old- school vertical blinds, it may be time to upgrade. By switching out these old blinds makes the home look not so dated and once again it is another thing the buyer does not have to put on their to-do list.

New Front Door

Nothing says “first impressions” like a front door. It is literally one of the first things the buyer will see, so you want it to be amazing. By adding a new front door will boost your curb appeal and give your home the updated look you are wanting. This can be as simple as painting it a new bright and fresh color.

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October Home Maintenance Tasks

Fall is here, and you know what that means… sweater weather and pumpkin spice everything! So before you hit up the local craft store to get your home decorated for the fall season, and more importantly Halloween, take a moment to get your home winter ready! Check out this home maintenance list to get your home ready for the holiday season!

Clean Your Dryer Vents

Although this doesn’t sound as serious, don’t take this too lightly. Lint buildup can increase your risk of a fire. So to prevent that from happening empty out your lint trap every time you use your dryer. A good indicator that your dryer vent needs cleaning is if your clothes aren’t drying as fast or they need multiple cycles to get fully dry.

Inspect Your Gutters and Downspouts

While the leaves are pretty to look at they will start to fall, which can mean that they are going to end up in your gutters. Directing water away from your house can go a long way in preventing roof damage and other water-related issues. So be sure to keep your gutters and downspouts clear!

Fall Cleaning

Open up the windows and do a fall cleaning throughout your home. Be sure to dust areas that don’t normally make the cut on a typical cleaning day. This includes the ceiling fans, ceiling corners, blinds, window screens, and wash the windows inside and out. The more you do now the less you will have to do when the holiday season rolls around!

Outdoor Funiture

Luckily, we are in Florida, which means we don’t have to worry about the damaging effects of snow. The winter season usually brings bonfires and outdoor activities, as the cooler weather draws everyone out of their home. So giving your outdoor furniture and firepit a good cleaning would be a good idea. That way everything is ready for smores and the annual Christmas tree burning after the holidays.

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Hurricane Water Damage Tips

After hurricanes Irma and Harvey, homeowners are looking to get caught up to speed on fixing the water damage to their home. Water damage is typically covered by flood insurance, which is great news! According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage makes up about 20% of all insurance claims in the U.S. However, before you call your insurance agent, be sure to know the steps to take.

Take Pictures Before Cleaning

By taking pictures before you are able to provide critical proof to your insurance of the repairs you need. Without pictures, you may end up getting a reduced amount of financial assistance. If your flood was caused by washing machine or other appliance, you will also want to save the appliance as evidence. Also, by keeping the appliance, you may be able to contact the manufacturer, who will normally replace the product.

Remove As Much Water As You Can

Once you have taken pictures and documented the damage, it is time to rid as much water as you can. The longer the water sits in your home, the deeper it can seep into your drywall, floors, and everything else. Plus mold and mildew will also typically begin growing within 24 to 48 hours. Also, many home insurance companies require insured parties to take the necessary measures to prevent further damage. If you don’t the insurance company could deny a claim for damage since the homeowner didn’t act to alleviate the damage. A great way to get the water out is to use a shop vacuum. Also, adding turning fans will help all the water dry out.

Help From the Expert

When the water damage is quite extensive you should definitely enlist the help of an expert. Calling a water damage restoration specialist or a contractor with this experience will help you out immensely. These pros come with industrial-grade dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and other fantastic equipment that will help dry everything out more thoroughly than a typical household fan.

Government Funding

If a hurricane caused your water damage, then there is a good chance you will qualify for home repair assistance through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). However, if you have flood insurance the government will not override that, this is for victims of a storm who do not have flood insurance. Some homeowners who have been through a hurricane may also qualify for a low-interest disaster loan from the Small Business Association.

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Hurricane Preparedness: Before & After the Storm

Given the recent events in Texas and here in Florida, what better time is there to talk about hurricane preparedness. That way you and your family will be more prepared to take on the next hurricane, which for Florida happens at least once a year. Check out these helpful tips to help your family before and after a hurricane hits.

Know Your Risk

Families would live on the East Coast, the Gulf Coast, or on an island have the highest risk for the damaging effects of hurricanes. However, there is still a risk for states that are more inland. Both Harvey and Irma continued their path of destruction far beyond Texas and Florida.

Develop Your Evacuation Plan

In some cases, local officials may declare a state a mandatory evacuation which requires locals to leave the area. In most cases, however, evacuations are advised and locals can choose to ride out the storm or leave. When a mandatory evacuation is issued, your local officials inform the public using multiple methods of media to get the message out. This would include the news stations, newspapers, text message alert, and social media.

Flooding

If you live in an area prone to flooding, the best thing to do is buy flood insurance. This will not only give you peace of mind but it will also greatly speed up your home’s recovery if a hurricane causes your home to flood. Hurricane flooding may be a result of a storm surge along the coast plus the heavy rain. This storm surge can leave your home in water up to the roof depending on how bad it gets.

High Wind

Before a hurricane strikes, remove or secure outside objects like trash cans, yard furniture, grills, and tools. It is also a good idea to get your trees trimmed or even removed if they pose a big enough threat. Trees with trunks larger than 6in in diameter should be far enough away from your house so they won’t fall on it.

Generators

Hurricanes can leave you without power for several days and even week depending on the severity. So having a generator to power your refrigerator, fans, and charge your phones is a life saver. Only use a gasoline-powered generator outdoors away from windows so the fumes don’t get in your house. The same goes for camping stoves and grills.

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4 End-of-Summer Home Upgrades

For us, in Florida, we don’t have to worry about the summer season coming to an end anytime soon. Technically, summer ends Sept. 22 however, Floridians know that the heat doesn’t get the memo until late November or December. However, now is a great time to get some renovations in before the holiday season comes barreling around the corner.

Vegetable Garden

With the amount of sunshine and rain Florida gets on a daily basis, we are the perfect place to host a garden of any kind. Soon our everyday lives will become bombarded with pumpkin everything. So just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you can’t be festive. Planting fall themed vegetables like carrots, cabbage, beets, and kale are a great way to start the fall season.

Patio Funiture

The best time to get patio furniture is during the winter months when no one really wants to be outside. This way you can upgrade your patio furniture for a bargain. Lawn mowers also have some deep discounts in the off season.

Renovate Your Deck

This could be as simple as giving your deck a good power wash and fixing up some loose screws. Give your deck’s structure a close inspection Specifically, look for signs of rot or cracks in the boards. If you find some problems head to a home improvement store or hire a professional. Deck’s need yearly maintenance since they are constantly being weathered down and exposed to the elements.

Install a Pool

It can be hard to find a home in Florida that doesn’t have a pool, but trust us they exist. This would be the perfect time to install one since it is still warm enough to swim. The busy season for pool builds has started to slow so they will be more willing to give you a pool for a discounted price.

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