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10 home repairs to tackle this spring

Home repairs

Spring presents a dual opportunity when it comes to houses and home repairs:

  1. In areas where winter temperatures are subsiding, you’ll be able to get outside and survey any damage that storms and wind may have caused in the last months.
  2. By giving an in-depth look to your residence, you’ll have the chance to make any repairs needed early on, before they turn into major, expensive fixes.

Tackle these 10 home repairs in the warm days of spring and both your home and wallet will thank you this fall.

1. Check the paint.

If your home has gone through a season of snow and ice, the water could have damaged the exterior of your residence. After giving the outside an overview, you may need to scrape and touch up some sections. To make the process easier, ask your local hardware store if the current color of your home can be matched.

The bill is heftier for an entire paint job — the majority of homeowners spend between $1,715 and $3,675, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

Fresh paint can also be a solid solution for a weathered front door. Simply put on a coat of primer, followed by a couple of coats of exterior paint.

2. Go for the gutters. 

A haven for debris and tree branches, gutters can easily become clogged. In addition to clearing them out, checking for leaks can help prevent future water problems.

If you’d rather not clean them yourself, go for a gutter cleaning service.

Expect to pay an average of $165 to have the gutters cleaned, inspected, repaired, and given preventative maintenance, according to Redbeacon.

3. Align storm doors.

Harsh weather can take its toll on the doors of your home. If you notice that a storm door isn’t closing easily – or at all – it may need some adjustments.

First, check that the screws are in place and tight on the hinges. You’ll often be able to repair the molding or frame, rather than replacing the whole door, to make it open and shut properly again.

In addition, if you have a door with glass and screen panels that can be switched, look over the screen for any small holes before installing it.

4. Have the roof checked.

Leaks in a roof can lead to water seeping into the walls and attic, eventually causing water damage and mold problems.

Start by walking around your attic or the top story of your home. Look for any signs of moisture or water spots. And if you feel a cool draft, you might have missing or damaged shingles.

The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends hiring a professional for any work that needs to be done on the roof.

A few costs to expect: $100 to $150 for a few broken shingles, and $300 to $500 to replace flashing or boots by chimneys, skylights, and vents, according to Houselogic.

5. Repair driveways and walkways outside.

If ice expanded and contracted in the cracks of your driveway, or salt hit the pavement, you may see signs of wear and tear in the warmer months.

For smaller repairs, a simple concrete filler may work to fill in gaps so they don’t get any bigger.

To get a driveway with extensive cracks back in shape, it could cost between about $800 and $2,000, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

6. Trim trees near your home.

If you have branches from trees that are growing close to your home, it’s easier to cut them back in spring, before they have leaves.

While you can probably reach low branches on your own, limbs that are high-reaching will likely need a professional service to trim them back into place.

Most homeowners spend between $352 and $964 on tree trimming, notes HomeAdvisor.

7. Don’t overlook the windows.

Though not often the first on the list when it comes to home repairs, windows play an important role in keeping your place well insulated and running efficiently. They not only help keep warm air inside during the winter; they also keep warm air out during the summer.

If your windows are older or worn, they could have trouble insulating your home, resulting in higher energy bills. Before purchasing replacements, try caulking to seal shut any gaps or cracks that could be causing the problem.

8. Check on your air conditioner.

Another way to save on utility bills: have a well-tuned air conditioner.  Start by making sure the power to the unit is turned off. Then check the area around the setup for any debris that should be cleared away. Change the filter for the unit.

As a way to look for other potential issues, turn on the air conditioning unit. Listen for any unusual sounds when it runs, monitor if it creates cool air quickly, and check that it doesn’t shut off too soon.

If your test run reveals any red flags, you’ll want a professional to come and look it over.

9. Prep the deck.

The winter months can give your deck a beating. To give it a review, you’ll first want to clear the area of any furniture, pots and grill materials. Sweep away any dirt or leaves that have gathered. For a thorough cleaning, use a deck cleaner or power washer.

Check for any damaged boards or nails that have popped out. Then add another layer of sealant or stain if needed.

10. Clean the dryer vent duct.

The back of your dryer leads to a vent duct that goes outside of the house. Over time, it can get built up with lint, making your dryer work longer and harder and increasing your energy bills. Furthermore, it can become a fire hazard if too much lint accumulates in it.

To clean it, unplug your dryer and if it is a gas dryer, turn off the gas. Then take off the outside cover of the vent. Use a lint brush with a handle that extends to clear out the inside.


 Frugal Living 
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4 ideas for spring landscaping on a budget

Spring landscaping

The first signs of color have exploded over most of the nation with spring bulbs pushing their heads above ground. Weather has warmed in many parts of the U.S. And your yard looks a bit shaggy. Instead of spending big bucks to get it into shape, try some of these inexpensive spring landscaping ideas instead.
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 Frugal Living 
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21 earth-friendly ways to save on Earth Day

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Earth Day is a great time to remember what we can do to help “green” the planet. These suggestions have dual benefits; they contribute to environmentally friendliness, but they also save us money. Let’s take a look at some everyday ideas you can implement around the home, outside and at work.
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 Personal Finance 
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How to confess financial infidelity

couple_on_couch_tv

Financial infidelities — like hiding a shopping spree or gambling away home equity — can blow up a relationship, but they’re surprisingly common.

About 42% of people who share bank accounts with a partner admitted to cheating financially, according to Harris Poll funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

  • 22% hid a minor purchase.
  • 20% hid cash.
  • 12% hid a bill.
  • 6% hid a bank account.
  • 7% hid a major purchase.

Cheaters who own up to transgressions and work through money problems often improve their relationship, says Tina Tessina, author of Money, Sex, and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage.
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 Frugal Living 
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6 Ways to save on your spring break road trip

Toy car, money and calculator over white. Concept for buying, re

With gas prices slated to remain at the current level or even dip a little, loading the family into the car and taking them on the interstate to explore and relax on a road trip makes perfect sense.

You won’t pay extra no matter how many passengers you have, there are no luggage fees and even Fido rides for free. You can stop whenever and wherever you want. It’s the ideal way to take a vacation.
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 Frugal Living 
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Turn your discarded cell phone into an asset

Turn a cell phone into an asset
March 17, 2016

When we buy new cell phones many of us hang on to our old ones. We rationalize that if the new one leaves us in the lurch, we still have a handset we can use. But after numerous upgrades, the pile of electronics taking up unnecessary space in our homes reaches critical mass. Then it’s time to properly get rid of what was at one time the latest and greatest technology.
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 The Home 
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Hire a mover who won’t break the bank

movers-unloading-a-moving-truck
February 23, 2016
Let’s face it, sometimes you have to pay professionals to get your household goods to your next residence.

You simply may not have the time, ability or inclination to do it yourself.

No matter what the reason, don’t think you have to pay top dollar just because you’ve contracted a professional mover. There are ways to cut your costs.

If you can plan the date of your move, experts say that mid-month sometime between September and April will be the least expensive times.

Summer is very popular for moving because the kids are out of school so because of supply and demand movers can get the best rates then.

Also, if at all possible schedule the mover ahead of time. Some charge more for last minute bookings.

Bargaineering.com has some other tips to not only save you money, but also get your belongings to their destination unscathed.
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 Frugal Living 
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9 ways to save on pet care costs

dog-licking-smiling-man

February 13, 2016
Expenses for pampered pups and coddled cats add up quickly.

The best food for our finicky four-legged friends racks up the dollar signs at the grocery store checkout counter. And a trip to one of the pet franchises can easily blow your budget.

If they get sick, the veterinarian bills skyrocket.

But we adore these guys. They greet us when we come home, and shower us with unconditional love. Some even crawl into our lap while we watch TV. We tend to want what’s best for them.

It is possible to take good care of Lassie and Garfield without breaking the bank. Here’s how.

Spay or neuter.

Besides being the correct thing to do to cut down on the unwanted animal population, you thwart all kinds of behaviors that can set you back financially.

After our collie was neutered, he quit “marking” his territory throughout the house saving on cleaning expenses like extra rolls of paper towels, disinfectant and carpet cleaning.

Pets who haven’t been spayed or neutered are more aggressive towards other dogs and cats, leaving you open to vet bills for someone else’s companion.
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