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New Storm Windows Add Up to Wise Home Improvement

If you have old windows in your home, in all probability the old windows are leaking quite a bit of air, which makes the house chilly in the winter and costs more to cool in the summer months. Leaky windows could even be harming your house by allowing windblown rain to seep into the structure. One of the best home improvement tasks you can do as a homeowner is to install some high quality storm windows. A good storm window can fend off cold air better much better than a replacement window and it also costs less to install storm windows. You can install the windows yourself in less time than it takes to install a window.

When shopping for storm windows, be sure that you choose good quality windows. Many storm windows sold at home improvement stores are made rather poorly, with weak corners and with weatherstripping that does not fit tightly enough around the edges of the window frame. For a double-hung window, a triple-track storm window is ideal. This type of window has two glass panes and one screen, each on their own track. If you prefer to have your windows open in the summertime, you can purchase another screen sash and put it in the top of the window by taking out the pane of glass on top.

Once you have measured the windows of your home and have purchased your storm windows, you must first scrape away any built up paint if needed. Next set the storm window in place in the opening. Be sure that it is sitting square and that the windows slide open and closed with ease. If the stop on the window is narrower than the window flange, you can cute the flange using tin snippers if necessary. You will now need to drill screw holes in the flange if holes are not already there. Space the screw holes about eight inches apart. Next you should apply a good amount of silicone or window caulk along the flange along the top and the sides, but not the sill. Home improvement stores sell caulking and silicone, and it is up to you which you prefer to use. Silicone dries clear, while caulking dries white.

Now, in order for the storm window to fit, you will have to tilt it into the opening. Be sure to get it into the correct position the first time so that you do not smear the caulk. Press the flanges into the caulk to ensure that it seals all along the sides as well as the top. Next you must put a screw into the middle of the top flange and into the side flanges near the bottom. Make sure that the window is aligned correctly before driving the remaining screws. Scrape the caulk away that has leaked out due to the pressure applied. For the bottom of the storm windows, you should drive screws into the sill on each side, but be sure to put the screws in on an angle. Apply caulk or silicone along the flange at the sill, wipe away any excess and you are done!

Top Fall Home Improvement Projects

As the seasons come and go, it should not only be fun activities that we should be thinking of and be busy with but also tasks to maintain, if not improve, the comfort and functionality in our New York homes. The warm and sunny days will soon be over and putting off important fall home improvement projects until the months get chilly can prove to be costly and so inconvenient. So if you do not want to go through all the headaches, it’s time to plan your fall home improvement projects whether you are in Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Homes, indeed, are one of the greatest investments anybody can have in a lifetime and allotting time and money to take care of it will provide safety, security, and comfort as well as a boost in property value and enhanced quality of everyday living. To make them last throughout the harsh winter chill and beyond many years to come, here are the top fall home improvement projects to undertake:

1. Property and Home Inspection

The best start to your line of fall home improvement projects this year is a thorough evaluation done by a qualified professional. Though this can initially cost you some, this step will prove to be worth more than your money’s value. By discovering damages early on, you will save yourself from grave surprises instead of them finding their way to you and your house from silently deteriorating.

2. Roofing

Being among the areas most exposed to damaging elements, natural and not, your roofing should be the first area to look into when considering fall home improvements. Especially with the snow on the way, patching whatever roofing problems would be crucial. Things to look for include:

· missing or damaged shingles,

· slits between flashes where the siding and roof joins with flues and vents,

· damp and moldy spots,

· and broken mortar surrounding the chimney especially at caps joints, and washes.

3. Clean and Tune Up

Simply cleaning your surroundings and tuning up important systems can take your efforts for fall home improvements a long, long way. The seemingly harmless accumulation of dead leaves and branches on your gutters can easily bleed you financially. If your gutters got clogged and standing water freezes, this could not only impair the existing gutter system but could also affect efficiency and condition of basement, foundation, walls, crawl spaces and even landscaping. Consider the installation of gutter guards that prevents debris from getting into your gutter system. Also make sure that your drain and gutter system efficiently draws water away from your house.

Other fall home improvements that fall under this category include:

  • Sweeping chimneys
  • Mowing and removing leaves and dead branches on your lawn to avoid snowmolds
  • Checking and maintaining furnace
  • Winterizing lawn by nitrogen fertilizing
  • Avoid freezing by adding insulation to pipes
  • Checking thermostats and considering a programmable one to replace your old thermostat
  • Making sure that no pests can sneak into your home, or worse, have already made a home of house.

The Top 10 Home Improvements That Could Devalue Your Home

Sometimes, making an improvement to your home could actually hurt you when you try to sell it. Here are the top 10 home improvements that can make your home harder to sell:

1. Kitchen Renovation. Any renovation of a kitchen that is too taste-specific or extreme in design. For example, a kitchen equipped with a restaurant-level stove or multiple refrigerators may not appeal to the buyer who is a simple cook. You want to appeal to the broadest range of buyers when selling a home, and if a buyer thinks they need to spend money re-doing what you’ve done, they will offer less.

2. Bathroom Renovations. The same can be said for bathroom renovations. Any design that is over the top could detract from the value of the home. It is best to avoid garish sinks, faucets, and tiles. And skip the heart-shaped bathtub!

3. Painting. Painting the walls is a great way to freshen up a space prior to putting your home on the market, but painting with bold colors such as red, orange, purple or even black (I’ve seen this) is a sure way to turn off a potential buyer. Buyers want to feel like they can move right in and not have to re-paint the walls to match their own tastes and their existing furniture. The same goes for painting the exterior of the home – no bright blues, yellows or greens please!

4. Water Features. Having an in-ground pool, hot tub, waterfall or pond can also devalue a home, as buyers may perceive these as extra maintenance expenses they don’t want to incur. Also, buyers with small children may be fearful of these as well. The only exception of an in-ground pool definitely adding value is if the home is an investment property in a resort area where renters find homes with a pool to be more desirable.

5. “Wasted” Square Footage. Taking valuable square footage in a house and using it for a specific, personalized purpose can make the house harder to sell and/or detract from its value, for example, turning a garage into a gym. Also, on the Bravo TV show, Nine By Design, the hosts of the show were trying to sell their NYC townhouse. The ground floor was taken up by a basketball/squash court because the owners liked to play these games. However, most buyers would see this as wasted space and an expensive project ahead to change.

6. Redecorating. Redecorating in a highly taste-specific style, such as Asian, country clutter or extreme modern can turn-off potential buyers. When selling your home, you want to appeal to the broadest range of buyers, so it’s important that the furniture and decor is neutral and broadly appealing.

7. Illegal home improvements. Decks, driveways, expansions, etc. not approved by the local town authorities can devalue the home as you will probably be forced to correct the situation prior to selling which could result in something as extreme as actually removing it.

8. Laminated Wood Flooring. Installing laminated wood flooring instead of solid wood in an upscale home can also cause a buyer to think “I’ve got to rip this out”! Better to refinish existing hardwood floors, if any, or cover floors with new but inexpensive wall-to-wall carpeting.

9. DIY (Do It Yourself) Home Repairs. While needed repairs and maintenance should be done to a home before putting it on the market, doing these yourself could end up costing you money in the end as buyers perceive your shoddy workmanship as something they have to spend money correcting, and therefore offering you a lower price.

10. Gardens and Landscaping. A high-maintenance garden and landscaping could also lower the value of a home. If buyers are not avid gardeners or don’t want to spend money watering or on hiring someone to constantly weed, trim and rotate your plantings, this could be a real turn-off.

So, before you decide to make that improvement to your home, stop and ask yourself: “Will most buyers find this desirable so that they would be willing to pay for it, or is it just to satisfy my own needs and tastes?”.

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