Articles Tagged "home repairs"

The Watson Blog Home
July
30

Front Door Paint

Once you have your dream house, the next step is to make it your own. And the best place to start is with the front door. It's the first thing people see before they walk in; it should make a decorative statement about who you are and what kind of home this is. Here are some paint options to consider.

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January
20

Ready to reimagine your kitchen? Or tackle that backyard project? Or maybe you're just finally ready to declutter and reorganize. Perhaps you don't even know what it is you want to do with your house; you just know you want change. Never fear! We've got New Year's resolutions for your home to inspire you.

Give Your Stuff a Home

Over the course of a year, we tend to accumulate lots of stuff. If you don't keep a handle on it, you can find your drawers, cabinets, closets, and counters overflowing with heaps of stuff that maybe doesn't belong there. Make it a resolution to give all that homeless stuff a place where it can live comfortably – preferably somewhere neat, tidy, and out of the way. Decluttering in this way not only frees up useful space, it'll make your home feel even roomier than before.

You'll likely have a lot of stuff that doesn't make the cut after this process. Instead of just tossing it, consider donating it to a local organization that will give it to those in need.

Restock & Organize Your Pantry & Fridge

Unless you're hyper-diligent when putting away groceries, chances are you've got a lot of clutter in your pantry, cabinets, fridge, and freezer. Dedicate some time to reorganizing theses pivotal kitchen spaces: sort out the items you'll use/eat from the things you won't, store frequently used items like flour and sugar in airtight containers to minimize the amount of unwieldy bags taking up space, and reorganize what remains in a clean, sensible fashion. It'll make cooking feel like much less of a chore when everything you need is where it should be.

Make Your Home Safe

We mean safe in two ways: safe from intruders and safe for yourself.

First, intruders. If you don't already have one, maybe this is the year to have a security system installed. They're incredibly sophisticated these days, allowing you to control many features remotely from your phone. Pair it with a smart doorbell and cameras and you'll feel safer than ever in your home.

Speaking of feeling safer in your home, sometimes it's the unseen threats that you should worry about. Invisible invaders like radon and carbon monoxide can endanger everyone living in your home. Check for radon with an inexpensive testing kit from your local hardware store. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every bedroom floor as well to monitor this deadly gas.

While we're on the topic of unseen threats, have you cleared out your dryer lint lately? Not the relatively paltry amounts caught in the trap inside the dryer, but rather the lint in the vents and ducts behind the machine? With even just a reasonable amount of lint buildup in those areas, you could be looking at a major fire hazard.

Deep Clean

New year, fresh start – what better time to give your house a deep, deep clean? Go room to room and scrub, dust, vacuum, wipe, and just generally sanitize every nook and cranny you normally glance over during your regular cleaning sessions.

Be More Eco-Friendly

Going green at home doesn't have to mean installing solar panels (though that doesn't hurt). It can happen in smaller but just as impacting ways, like recycling more than just your soda cans. From compost to cardboard and glass to grease, organize your recyclable materials into appropriate bins and dispose of them properly – your local recycling center can help you figure out the best way to approach this.

Going green can also save you money on your power bill, and who doesn't want that? Seemingly little things like turning the lights off when you're not in the room or cutting off your AC when you're gone can help the environment and your wallet. Installing LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads that use less electricity and water, respectively, are other beneficial ways to save money and the planet.

July
8

You're probably familiar with the concept of winter home maintenance. Floridians don't exactly have a lot to worry about in winter, but summer? The brutal heat and humidity summer brings can affect your home in unsuspecting ways. Keep your house protected during the hot months with this inclusive summer home maintenance checklist.

Inspect Air Conditioners

Start your summer home maintenance checklist by tending to your home's biggest ally against the sweltering sun: the air conditioner. If you have a central AC unit, a professional servicing may be in order. Check, clean, or replace filters for both central units and window units. Be proactive to ensure your AC doesn't fail mid-summer.

Clean Fans

Airflow is crucial in keeping your home cool during summer months, so give your ceiling and room fans some love. Use a damp rag to wipe down the blades. For room fans, remove the casing and dust away the detritus that blocks airflow.

Treat Your Windows

Applying a sun-blocking window screen or cover keeps your home cooler in an energy-efficient way. They also help to keep summertime bugs and dirt outside where they belong. While you're at it, re-caulk the seals on your windows and doors to boost your energy efficiency.

Inspect Your Home's Exterior

Keep an eye out for rotting or loose siding – it can be a haven for dust, sap, dirt, bird droppings, and any number of things that can spell trouble in the long run. If you have brick or concrete, give it a good power wash. Heat can also do a number on paint, so check for peeling, fading, or chipping in your exterior paint. Refreshing with a new coat not only protects your home, it also pumps up your curb value!

Give the Grill a Bath

Summertime is grilling season! To clean charcoal grills, empty all charcoal and ash, then wash it with hot water, a scrubber, and soap. Let it dry fully before using again. For a gas grill, turn the heat up high and let it cook with the lid closed for half an hour. Once it cools, scrape the grill with a sturdy brush. Wipe down the exterior with a damp sponge and cleanser and empty the drip pans.

Vacuum Vents

Clogged exhaust fans annoy with their loud wheezing, but they can also reduce airflow. Simply remove the covering and use an attachment to vacuum out the dust.

Check the Roof

Summer in Florida also means lots of thunderstorms. Give your roof a thorough inspection for any missing shingles, cracks, sags, or other structural concerns to prevent a much larger accident.

Refinish Your Deck/Patio

Just like the sun's damaging effects on your home's paint, your deck and/or patio can take a lot of hurt from the heat of summer – not to mention the wear and tear of near-daily thunderstorms. And since you'll likely be using your deck more in the summer, it's a good time to give it a good power wash and maybe a new finish.

Take Care of Your Yard

Regular landscaping can help your yard stay strong and healthy even in the punishing summer heat. Pull out weeds and mow regularly to reduce potential infestations and encourage healthy growth. Adding new layers of mulch can also help choke out weeds and retain moisture.

Clean Out the Gutters

Summer storms can put a lot of strain on your gutters with lots of water and debris. Make a point to regularly clean them out to prevent leaks and further damage.

January
1

Maybe your family grew a bit last year and you need more space. Maybe you're ready to move somewhere closer to work. Whatever your reason for moving on from your current house, how you prep your home to sell makes a big difference in attracting interested buyers. Your home's overall condition includes everything from its curb appeal to the foundation it's built on. That's a broad spectrum, and it can easily overwhelm. But with this post, we'll walk you through some of the most critical steps and teach you how to prep your home to sell.

Deep, Deep Clean

We're not talking about wiping down the counters and vacuuming the carpet – save those for your weekend cleaning routine. When selling is your goal, you've got to scrub, dust, and polish every nook and cranny of your home. Clean behind any pictures hanging on the wall. Wash the inside and outside of all your windows. Scrub the built-up grime from the sides and backs of your major appliances. Dust the ceiling fans. If it's not spotless, clean it until it is! Prospective buyers will be impressed by your home's cleanliness, and they'll be encouraged that you've taken good care of it.

Make Necessary Repairs & Replacements

Drafty door? Cracked windows? Sagging roof? Clogged pipes? Any of these could severely damage your ability to sell your home and should be repaired or replaced. It's also important to determine which repairs are the most cost-effective – these should be your priority.

Organize Cabinets & Closets

During a home tour, prospective buyers are inevitably going to open a cabinet or closet and look around. They may just be checking on the amount of space, but you can bet they'll be unimpressed if it's in disarray. There's no greater time to finally tackle a closet or cabinet rearrangement than when prepping your home to sell. Organization, like cleanliness, shows you've treated your home with care.

Declutter & Depersonalize

Decluttering is a common part of prepping your home to sell, and it's easy to see why. Not only does it create space and open up your home, but it makes it much easier for prospective buyers to see themselves living there without all your junk in the way. Speaking of buyers seeing themselves in your home, now would be a good time to depersonalize. Photos of your kids, family heirlooms, or even just a favorite piece of furniture – all of these should be removed. Don't make prospective buyers feel like they're visiting another family; allow them to envision their own life in your home.

Consider Curb Appeal

Your home's exterior can be forgotten amid deep cleaning and decluttering everything inside. But it shouldn't be, because it's the first thing any potential buyer will see. Don't let them develop a negative opinion of your home before they even make it through the front door. Update doorknobs and locks, paint the front door, and be sure to clean outdoor furniture. Add a few colored pots or plant some flowers for a touch of vibrancy. You want your home's exterior to give potential buyers the same feeling it's given you for years: Welcome home. First time putting your home up for sale? Check out our helpful home-selling guide and make sure you get the most out of your investment.

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