Tag Archives: DIY

Fixing Up An Historic Home : The Three Rs
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Fix up an historic homeIf you enjoy both history and fixing things, then you may have trouble driving by historic homes for sale in Cornville without feeling the urge to buy and fix one up.

Before you do, however, you should know the three R’s of fixing historic homes — Restoration, Renovation, and Repair.

Restoration
“Restoration” is the process of returning a home to its original state. Restoring historic homes often requires city and state permission. It’s essential that you check to see whether your home is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP); or, whether it’s located in a historic district. If either is true, there may be a specific set of rules to follow while renovating.

Restoration can be an expensive endeavor. For a home to keep its historic value, the materials used must match the home’s original materials, including furnishings. This can be costly because of antique value.

Renovation
Renovating is less complicated and less restrictive as compared to restoring. However, via a renovation, a home often becomes a more “modern” living space, which can lower the home’s historic value. Be sure that your home is not listed in the NRHP or located in an historic district before beginning renovations.

Depending on size of the project(s), renovations can be expensive, too. However, it’s easier to find great deals on modern appliances as compared to the antique appliances required for a restoration.

Repair
Repairs are often less intensive than a restoration or renovation. For repair, be sure to use materials which fit the home’s character, which may include plaster walls and wooden floors, for example. Matching original materials is not important in the home repair process..

The cost of a repair project will depend on the size and volume of required repairs.

The differences between a restoration, renovation and repair of an historic home may be minor, but those small differences will change your costs, your timeline and your procedural red tape. Speak with an qualified architect if you’re unsure of your obligations as the owner of a historic home.

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Tips To Keep Your Home Cooler Without Turning Down The Thermostat
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Energy-saving tips

The typical U.S. household “loses” up to 30% of its annual heating and cooling bill to energy inefficiencies, according to ENERGY STAR®.

The good news is that there are dozens of ways to help your home perform better.

As the calendar turns to July, and as temperatures warm in AZ and nationwide, implement even one of the following cost-saving moves and you can expect your home’s energy bill to drop. Implement two or more, and you can expect your bill to drop by a lot.

Keep it simple at the start. When the sun shines through a window on a cloudless day, it can raise a room’s temperature by as much as 20 degrees. Therefore, the first energy-saving move to review is the easiest one — simply close your home’s window blinds and shades to block out the sun. 

With the shades drawn and the sun blocked, your rooms will stay cooler, and so will your home. This is especially important during the mid-day hours when the sun is at its strongest so, before you leave for work, make sure you’ve closed your blinds.

The next step is to change your home’s air filter.

Air filters are meant to be changed quarterly, or monthly if your home has shedding pets. When your air filter is clean, the HVAC unit won’t have to work as hard to push air through your home’s air ducts, saving up to another 7% off your annual energy costs.

Next, replace your home’s incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones.

This step can be costly up-front, but over the long-term, savings are big. Not only do energy-efficient light bulbs such as CFLs and LEDs last for years, but they don’t pump heat back into a room like an incandescent bulb will.

Incandescent bulbs are shown to convert 97.5% of their energy into heat, meaning just 2.5% of their supplied energy is used for light. This 97.5% then warms up your house, which costs money to cool.

And, lastly, if your home has ceiling fans, use them.

When a ceiling fan is running, it can make a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler. Just remember that ceiling fans cool you and not the room. Be sure to turn them off when you leave the room.

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How To Choose The Proper Paint Color(s) For A Room
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Whether you’re moving into a new home and want to make it “yours”, or just want to change the feel of your current place, a painting project is an easy way forward. Painting is relatively inexpensive yet it can transform a home’s look-and-feel.

But how do you make sure you’re choosing the best colors and the proper type of paint?

This 8-minute video from Lowe’s tells it all. In it, you’ll learn how professional designers identify a potential paint palette for a room, then how they choose between shade, finish and type.

Among the tips and advice in the video :

  • How to use 2×2 “test blocks” to ensure a color works in both natural and artificial light
  • How to choose the right colors for a small room, and for a large room
  • Why painting the ceiling can change a room’s perceived size
  • How to build complementary, split-complementary and analogous color schemes for a room
  • How to choose between latex and oil-based paint products

In addition, the video shares notes on how light bulb types can affect the “warmness” of a particular paint color, and how to consider existing room elements such as furniture in your final color choices.

Paint projects require little advance planning and, if done properly, they can change the feel of a room, and a home. Most projects can be completed within a weekend.

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Small Repairs That Can Raise Your Sales Price
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Leaky faucet

If you’re actively preparing to list your home for sale, resist the temptation to make major home improvements. Nationwide, home improvement projects recoup just 58 cents on the dollar, says Remodeling Magazine.

Rather, for a better return on your time and money, focus on the minor projects instead. It’s the smaller projects in Cottonwood that tend to have a bigger, long-term payoff.

So, how do you determine which projects are the “smaller ones”? It’s obvious when you think like a buyer.

Consider : Home buyers don’t always notice when your home is in working order. In fact, they expect it to be that way. What they do notice, however, is when things are “broken”. When a buyer sees torn screens in your windows or burnt out light bulbs, it makes him wonder what else in the home has not been cared for.

This is one reason why — especially during warmer months — it’s sensible to hire an exterminator prior to selling your home. If a prospective buyer uncovers bugs in your bathroom, it can leave a lasting, negative impression — one that won’t likely lead to a purchase contrast.

So, with “small repairs” in mind, here are 5 simple projects that you can tackle in a weekend, and that will help your home show better. Each is low-cost and high-impact:

  1. Repair or remove torn screen doors
  2. Fix all leaky faucets and toilets
  3. Touch up holes and cracks in paint, interior and exterior
  4. Apply a lubricant to squeaky doors and cabinets
  5. Get “clutter” into storage and physically out of the way

In addition, you’ll want to pull weeds from your yard, seed any bare spots you find, and lay down fresh mulch, where appropriate.

You won’t need to spend big bucks to get your home ready for sale but the time spent on repairs will have a pay-off in the end. Homes that show better often sell much faster, and at higher prices.

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How To Replace Cracked, Dirty Grout
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How to replace groutTile is among the most versatile home surfacing materials. It can be as functional and good-looking on your home’s walls as it can be on counter tops, adding a polished look to your kitchen or bathrooms.

Tile is also easy-to-clean — so long as it’s well-maintained.

Proper tile cleaning is more than just a daily wipe-down. Cleaning tile requires a periodic resealing of the tiles themselves, as well as a re-grout for when the existing grout cracks, or stains.

Replacing grout is a job that’s low on skill but large on elbow grease. You can hire it out to a handyperson in Sedona , or you can handle it in-home. If you choose to replace your own grout, here are the steps you’ll want to follow.

First, you’ll need some tools :

  • Hammer and screwdriver
  • Grout scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Damp sponge
  • Dry cloths
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer

Start by using your screwdriver to loosen bits of the damaged and/or dirty grout. Tap the screwdriver with the hammer gently to avoid scratching your tile. Once you’ve loosened the grout, use the grout scraper to remove the remnants. 

Next, pour new grout into the crevices between the tiles and smooth it into place using the putty knife. The motion is similar to that of buttering a slice of bread. Scrape up the excess grout as you work. Continue spreading the grout until you’ve finished a several-foot section.

Before the grout has dried, use a damp sponge to wipe the tiles clean and neaten the grout lines. You can also use your finger to smooth and remove excess grout from between the tiles.

Repeat the grouting and cleaning process until all of the grout has been replaced. Allow the grout to dry for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer.

Next, using the dry cloths, buff the tiles, using a forceful, circular motion to remove any remaining grout residue.

Then, as a final step, for long-lasting protection, seal the grout using a commercial grout sealer from a hardware store.

Keeping grout in good condition does more than just make your kitchen or bathrooms look great — it protects the surfaces beneath the tile, too. Re-grouting tile is a basic home improvement task that can pay for itself many times over.

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