Metrowest Area Homes' Blog
How long has it been since you've deep-cleaned your home attic? The attic is one of the most overlooked spaces in the home. It is important to shake out the dust ever so often before your attic becomes a source of germs and allergens in your home. Here are some tips to help you keep your attic clean and fresh all year round.
The easiest room to clean is an empty one. For attics not cleaned in a long time, it is best first to remove everything inside. Thorough cleaning allows all the nooks and crannies to be open and the cleaner to check for defects, leaks and other structural damages that may have occurred over time. Removing everything also helps to sort everything kept there to throw away whatever is no longer needed.
Vacuum, then sweep
If you find plenty of dust and waste materials in the attic, using a broom will cause dust to go into the air. Make use of a vacuum cleaner to suck up debris and dirt from the attic. High-efficiency bags or filter canisters work most effectively for these. Be sure to wear protective face masks when cleaning attics because of allergens and other particulates that could be in the dust.
Check for moisture and mold growth
Attic insulation is one of the most common sources of mold in the home. Inspecting an empty attic after cleaning will reveal if there is mold. If you find mold in your attic, call a professional attic cleaning company to come and take care of it. They will also ensure to identify the root cause of the mold and remove it. Failure to take care of mold growth in an attic leads to respiratory problems like asthma and allergies.
Donate anything no longer needed
Attics typically provide storage, and after a while, most of the things stored there are no longer useful. Sell whatever in your attic that is still in good condition, or donate it to a local charity. Cleaning up an attic is also an excellent way to get many items for a yard sale which could sometimes raise enough money to pay for the professional cleaning service for the attic and any repairs that you need to carry out.
Box and label before replacing things
After cleaning and repairing your attic, the last thing is to restock everything there. This time, box everything properly and label with a tag or a clear marker so that things are easy to find. Maintaining some organization in the attic helps to make subsequent cleaning easier.
For a professional attic cleaning and repair, call a local company for quotes.
Creating the curb appeal that you want does not have to be as complex as a full-scale remodel. If your home’s exterior is in decent condition, spend your time and budget on things that pack a big punch. Upgrade how your home looks from the street with these simple exterior, lawn, and garden hacks.
Fill planter or window boxes that hang off porch railings, or under the front windows with colorful annuals such as impatiens, begonias, or petunias. Add smaller pots of greenery into the boxes such as maidenhair fern or ivy so that you have an abundance of flora draping over the side. Adding cheery blooms to your exterior catches the eye and enhances your street-side appeal.
If installing window boxes is out of your comfort zone or might damage stucco or another exterior finish, add drama with a collection of larger and smaller pots. Fill some with plants that grow up and others with flowers that bloom in a bushy shape. Still, others can flow over the sides. Try easy-to-maintain succulents in container gardens or colorful native grasses or cacti if your climate permits. Choose pots with colors that complement the exterior of your home. Place some pots on wider steps leading up to the porch and others filled with shade-friendly plantings to either side of the front door.
Plant a fruit or flowering tree. Depending on how large the front yard is and the area available away from the foundation, an ornamental tree can boost your home’s charm. Determine the potential size the tree might grow by conferring with a nursery or arborist so that the location you choose allows the roots to take hold and not encroach on sidewalks, foundations, and drainage areas. If your home is symmetrical, consider flanking your entry or driveway with a pair of trees or bushes.
Upgrade your lighting. The porch light and carriage lamps on homes take much beating from the sun and weather. Replacing them with new fixtures that have LED bulbs might be just the thing to set your home apart from the rest. Choose a design that complements the architectural features of your home. If you cannot afford new fixtures, take down the existing ones, clean and repair them, and even spray-paint the metal before putting them back up. Replace the incandescent bulb with a soft-white LED bulb rated for outdoor use. If possible, install a lamp post in your yard that turns on at dusk and off at dawn. Select a design that enhances your home and casts a soft glow. Alternatively, add solar path lights along the walkway or to highlight a flowerbed.
Replace your mailbox. Unless it is a bricked-in version that matches the home, most curbside mailboxes end up battered and bent out of shape over time. Even bricked in boxes might have missing mortar or chipped bricks that you should repair. Replacing your dented, rusted, or old mailbox with a new one gives you an instant upgrade. Make sure to check with your local carrier, city, and neighborhood association for regulations and requirements before buying your new mailbox.
When considering whether or not to place your home on the market, talk to your real estate agent for ideas and information on making your home the most attractive in the neighborhood.
Once you have all the inspections and walk-throughs, sign all the paperwork, and get the keys, now what? Do you move in right away? Remodel? Upgrade? Just paint? Depending on your financial situation after the down-payment and closing costs, you might wonder if you will ever have enough to make some changes to your kitchen. While you save up for the big remodel, give your kitchen backsplash a makeover to see you through the waiting.
Consider one of these low-impact backsplash options
Stick on tiles: Whether you want the subway tile look, an impressive glass tiles mosaic, or standard square tiles, you can get the look for less with elegant peel and stick tile options. Apply SkinnyTile or Smart Tiles (available at DIY stores, specialty tile shops, and through online resources) to your walls. These stick-on tiles come in a vast variety of colors, textures, designs, and finishes from glass look to stone to wood.
This technology gives you a three-dimensional appearance on a tile that is only 2mm thick. It resists humidity—allowing it to work well above the sink and dishwashers—and heat—so you can install it above your cooktop. These tiles stick onto drywall or over the top of existing tiles which makes your project even more straightforward. Although the manufacturer recommends grout when possible, it is not mandatory, so if the idea of having to grout puts you off, no worries here. All you need are readily available glass cutting tools.
Stick on wood: To give your kitchen a modern, farmhouse, or shabby chic vibe, consider all the options available with stick-on wood veneer products. Stikwood gives you access to a variety of finishes and stain colors. This real-wood veneer goes right on the wall and lets you unleash your creativity. You can find all the installation tools you need right at the Stikwood website or use what you already have.
Peel and stick planks from Plank and Millwork vertically or horizontally and you can cut them with a utility knife, although a miter saw gives you a more professional look. Create a decorative herringbone pattern or use whitewashed planks to make your kitchen appear historical.
Give your kitchen a shiplap-look with stick-on vinyl plank flooring. You will find extensive choices at your local flooring or DIY suppliers. The vinyl takes a beating and gives your wall the woodgrain texture you crave. Leave them natural, paint them white or try any other color you wish.
Once your project is complete, keep a few extras on hand in case you need to replace one or two tiles or planks. When you get ready to do your complete makeover, carefully remove your stick-on pieces and use them for another project.
New windows can work wonders for a house. Depending on how old your windows are, replacements can make your home less drafty, and much quieter, but they can also spruce up a room that’s starting to look dated.
When you replace your windows you also might see a drop in your heating bill. However, the cost of replacing windows is steeper than you’re ever likely to save on heat. So, if you’re thinking of replacing your windows just to save cash, in the long run there might be better ways of doing so.
In this article, we’re going to talk about choosing replacement windows for your home. We’ll walk you through the different types of windows so you can find the type that fits your needs. Read on for our replacement windows buyer’s guide.
Choosing the right window style
There are endless types of windows that you could find in a given home. However, four main styles are what we normally think of when talking about replacement windows.
Single vs double-hung windows
First, there are single and double-hung windows. In double-hung windows, both the top and bottom sash are operable, or able to be opened. Being able to utilize both sashes is beneficial for airflow. Opening the top sash will allow the warm air escape, opening the bottom sash will allow cool air to enter.
In single-hung windows, only the lower sash is able to be opened and closed. But otherwise, they are very similar to double-hung windows.
Both of these types of windows come in variants that allow you to pivot the sashes inward to clean the exterior glass. However, if you buy single-hung windows you’ll only be able to wash the lower sash. Keep that in mind if you’re buying windows for a second floor or attic window.
Sliding windows are those which move horizontally on their tracks. They produce good ventilation and are easy to use. However, just like single-hung and double hung windows, they do slightly obstruct your view at the midpoint when closed. The rectangular shape of sliding windows, however, means you won’t likely be able to install an air conditioner.
Casement style windows
The last main type of window we’ll talk about are casement style windows. This type of window operates on a hinge like a door would. When they’re fully opened, they produce good ventilation. When they’re fully closed, they don’t obstruct the view at all.
However, just like with sliding windows, you won’t be able to install an AC unit. Furthermore, this type of window is more prone to malfunction due to the crank and hinge system, and cranking it open and closed all the time could be a minor annoyance for some homeowners.
Window frames come in four main materials--vinyl, wood, clad-wood, and aluminum.
Vinyl is the most common. They look clean and modern, and they also resist heat and condensation making them easy to maintain.
Wood frames are regaining popularity. Since they often come unfinished, you can easily customize them to your home.
Clad-wood frames are wood on the interior and aluminum on the exterior, making them rugged and resistant to weathering and rot.
Aluminum windows are economical, lightweight, and easy to maintain.
Now that you know a bit more about windows, you’ll be better equipped to decide what type of replacements to purchase for your home.
If you’re looking for the perfect location to live but can’t quite afford the neighborhood that you’re vying for, a good option is to look for what’s deemed a "up and coming" neighborhood. These areas are where buyers can find the perfect house in a place where property values are only going to increase in the coming years. Buyers may feel that this is a gamble. How can you really tell if a neighborhood is one of these areas? There are a few vital signs that you can find below which show a city or town is on the up and up.
New Concept Businesses Are Moving In
If you hear a new grocery store is going in an area, co-working spaces, or vegan restaurants are coming to town; it’s a good sign that the neighborhood is going to be a happening place very soon. Think organic, Millennial minded ideas that are trendy. The key is to find the things and places that people want most. If you can move into one of these areas before it becomes popular, you have struck property gold.
Public Transportation Is Nearby
In any urban area, being near public transportation is a huge plus. Being near any major transit is great for property values. Even homes near major routes are attractive. People will always want easier access to work and the things they need.
Think About How An Area Is Perceived
Cities across the country have flipped from having negative connotations to being an area of luxury. It happens slowly, but it starts with how desirable people believe the area to be. What’s considered “hip” can really affect the way an area is perceived.
Are The Homes In The Neighborhood The Same?
There’s often much potential in neighborhoods where all of the homes have the same design. If you see homes in a place where properties could use some TLC, it may be an opportunity for you. Other buyers or house flippers may have the same idea. It will be like a domino effect, and the neighborhood will turn around quickly.
How Long Have Homes Been On The Market?
If houses in an area have been on the market for an extended period, it could be an opportunity for you to get a bargain. Buyers may shy away from a home just because the area is less than ideal. Your real estate agent can help you to determine places where homes have been on the market for awhile.