A list of some of the best home remodeling ideas if you’re on a budget, and want easy and quick updates that really pay off! These are all great for resale (adding value and character), or if you’re simply wanting to make your home feel and look more expensive. Most of these are ideal for older homes that need updating, but quite a few of them also add character and charm to builder grade materials — lots of before and after photos to get you inspired!
Time to tidy up and conduct some home maintenance that will help you avoid big repair bills later on. Start with these 10 tasks to get your home in good shape.
- Inspect your roof and gutters. Spring is the time to start preparing your roof for the hot summer months ahead. Even if you don’t foresee any problems with your roof, it is best to have a roofing contractor perform a simple roof checkup every fall and spring. In the spring, a clogged gutter can lead to water overflowing which if left unchecked, can cause damage to your homes foundation.
- Take care of tree and shrub maintenance. Like all living organisms, trees and shrubs need proper care to live long, healthy lives. The proper maintenance methods such as pruning and fertilization can prevent against disease and insect invasion, helping to improve their health and beauty.
- Pressure wash your exterior walls, walkways, deck and other outdoor surfaces. Over time, dirt and grime accumulate on your home’s exterior walls, walkways and deck. Either rent a machine or hire a contractor, to pressure wash and give all those surfaces a good spray. You’ll be amazed at how different your home will look afterward
- Update window treatments. Spring is a great time to trade in your richly-textured drapes for lighter, breezier, more summery colors. If privacy isn’t a huge issue in a space, try adding light, breezy sheer curtains on a thin, minimalist rod. You’ll love how much the change automatically brightens your space. You might also consider substituting your ordinary blinds with Roman Shades or plantation shutters. They’re a classier way to control light and privacy, and to update your style.
- Brighten your space with paint. One of the easiest ways to perk up your home is to invest in painting the exterior or interior rooms. Get inspiration from magazines or online. Don’t be afraid to add color. If you’re not incredibly adventurous when it comes to color choices but still want a pick-me-up, try going with a warmer versions of the neutrals you already have. Don’t want to paint the entire outside? Paint your front door…you will be surprised what a difference it will make! Inside you could even paint an accent wall a bold, fun color and use that space to showcase some of your favorite art or family portraits for your own personal art gallery.
- Clean house. Cleaning isn’t for everyone, but clean houses are: You’ll enjoy your home so much more once you’ve dusted off that layer of wintry grime that has made your home feel stale. If you have an aversion to household chores, hire someone to tackle a seasonal deep-clean for you. Wash windows inside and out to let the light in, clean rugs and carpets. Attending to these chores will leave your home feeling refreshed and get it prepped for the warmer months ahead.
- Get rid of clutter. Sell, give away, or donate anything you’re not using found in overflowing closets or from cluttered surfaces. Hire a clean-out service for bigger projects such as a cluttered garage or bulky household items you no longer need.
- Fix the small stuff. We all have little things around the house that we’ve been meaning to fix, like a leaking faucet or some cracked grout. Small things that remain neglected can lead to larger more expensive problems. Save time by compiling a list of repairs, then hire a handyman to complete in a single visit.
- Lawn Care. A healthy summer lawn starts with spring maintenance. Winter can create conditions friendly to weeds and disease, so it’s crucial that you not neglect spring lawn care, or you could end up paying for it the rest of the year.
- Check your Central Heating and Air Conditioning. Preventative maintenance will ensure trouble-free operation and peak performance for your heating and air units. An inspection will avoid a system failure in severe hot or cold weather when you need it most. It can also help save on your energy bill.
Do Your Homework before Hiring
Due diligence is important when hiring a service provider including the ones suggested in the LMCN Group and the ones listed in the LMCN Directory. Here are some suggestions to guide you through the process of checking their work history, reputation and whether they are legitimate. Ask for:
- Home Improvement Contractor Registration (HICPA). If they don’t have that, they’re not even legally allowed to conduct business as a home improvement contractor in the state of Pennsylvania. CLICK HERE FOR CONTRACTOR SEARCH.
- Proof of liability insurance for themselves and any hired subcontractors. This will protect your personal assets in the event of an injury to one of the workers. They should also make you an additional Insured on their policy. Your name and address will show up on the certificate of insurance under add’l insured and you will have that document for your records. You will also be notified if the policy should lapse. Insurance companies get these requests all the time, not a big deal to add you to it. This is customary and any reputable contractor will oblige without hesitation. That way if an accident happens while they are working, you are protected.
- Proof of workman’s compensation insurance for the contractor and subcontractors at the PA Dept of Labor and Industry workers compensation search portal. CLICK HERE TO SEARCH FOR CURRENT WORKERS COMP INSURANCE.
- Call the Lower Merion Township Building and Planning Dept at 610-645-6200 prior to the start of any job to inquire if there are complaints on file. All contractors who are licensed and insured have a file with the township however, you must go to in person to review a file.
- Check references: Contact people who the contractor has recently completed projects with and ask to see the work they have done.
- Supervision of employees or sub contractors. Hire a contractor who not only works hands on, but is also available to supervise employees & subcontractors as well.
- Personal safety: Your own personal safety should also be a concern when having someone do work in your home. (Read more: Personal Safety Guidelines for Selecting a Home Services Contractor)
Contractor Complaints (Lower Merion Township)
If you have a complaint about a contractor it must be put in writing. Your options are as follows:
1. Contact the State of Pennsylvania attorney general to file a complaint;
Click here to file a complaint. The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General receives more than 50,000 complaints and referrals each year, which allows them to fight on your behalf. You can submit a complaint online or by printing out and sending a form into their office. The more information you provide, the better they can help you.A registry of complaints is kept on file.
2. Send a letter to lower Merion township;
Township Administration Building
75 East Lancaster Avenue
Ardmore, PA 19003-2323
Attn: Building and Planning Dept
All contractors who are licensed and insured have a file with Lower Merion Township and the letter will be added to the file.
You can contact the LM Township Building and Planning Dept at 610-645-6200 prior to the start of any job to inquire if there are complaints on file. However, you must go to the township in person to review a file.
3. Contact your commissioner:
If you do not know who that is. CLICK HERE to find out how to contact your commissioner.
I’m a big fan of supporting hand-made. Have you heard about Home-ology? It’s a new store in Berwyn whose main philosophy is to support American artisans. Almost all of their offerings are handmade by American artisans & folk artists.
They make their own line of furniture, including kitchens & bathrooms, cupboards, beds, big & small decor, hand carved windsor chairs, upholstered chairs/sofas, lighting, etc.
The Home-ology store owners are Lower Merion Community Network group members Bill and Beth Merryfield, who both started out by working in the mental health field and were painting furniture as a hobby. Then in 2005, they did their 1st trade show and the line took off. In 2006, when their daughter was born, they left their jobs and pursued a dream of of owning their own businesses (of making furniture and selling it around the United States to retail stores) and NOW, opening their own storefront in Berwyn!
Please come out and support the GRAND OPENING of Home-ology on Friday, November 1st, 6-9 pm and Saturday Nov. 2nd, 11 am-5 pm. 712 Lancaster Ave, Berwyn, PA 19312