Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/19/2018

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 you’re taking on a task you’ve never done before, there’s 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 don’t 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, we’ve 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 don’t 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 they’ve offered you a price they don’t expect you to take.

Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure you’ve 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. Don’t work without a design or blueprint

Even for simple home improvement projects, it’s best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. We’ve all felt the temptation to “eyeball it” 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 aren’t an expert, it’s easy to get angry when things aren’t 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 Thomas Murphy on 2/12/2017

We all want a more energy efficient home. And while we know an energy efficient home is an eco-friendly one our favorite benefit is that it also helps save on utility bills each year. Below are some ways you can perform a home energy audit yourself to hunt out the places your home needs to have repaired to prevent energy leaks: Manual Tests Start by locating any air leaks. Areas where two different building materials meet are especially susceptible. These places include along baseboards and floors or where walls meet the ceiling. If there are any obvious cracks or gaps you have an energy leak. Windows, doors, plumbing, switches, and outlets are all guilty suspects as well and should be tested for drafts. For less obvious leaks dampening your hand and passing it over areas that are likely offenders will help you find drafts. If there is a draft the passing air will make your hand feel cool as it passes by. Another test to try is to start by closing any vents in the room and then light some incense. Watch closely if the smoke moves or billows around in areas you suspect are a culprit to any energy leaks. If the smoke wavers there is a leak. Check for leaks around windows and doors by closing them on a paper bill. If it is easy to pull out the bill you have a leak. This test is also a great way to check the seal of your fridge doors for any leaks. Tech Tests Buy a home energy monitor to determine which appliances are your biggest energy hogs. Consider upgrading old appliances to more energy efficient ones, keeping them unplugged when not in use or getting rid of the appliance altogether if it isn’t essential. Devices that have a standby are energy consumers even when “off” as they are never truly off. If it has an indicator light, charger, AC adapter or digital clock than it is using up power when plugged in. Plugging these devices into a power strip will allow you to easily flip them to off and disconnect all power to them when not in use. Investing in a handheld infrared thermal leak detector to detect any leaks in walls in places like outlets, cable wire holes or around windows, doors and attic hatches. If you find a significant difference in temperature as you pass the detector over a likely culprit you have an air leak on your hands. Whether you opt for the cheap ways to audit your home or invest in a little bit of tech to hunt out those energy leaks taking the time to test your home is well worth the effort. Finding where you home is losing energy and repairing them will save you money in the long run and turn your home will become a more eco-friendly one to boot!




Tags: ecofriendly   energy saving   diy  
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