Exterior Home Renovations

Exterior Home Renovations that Add Value to Your Home

Exterior Home renovations can be expensive and time consuming, so it’s natural that as the homeowner, you’ll want to one day recoup the investment. Renovations should definitely be done based upon need before cosmetic updates, however, the good news is that no matter what updates you choose to make to your home, when it comes time to have it evaluated or sold, nearly all of your renovations will give you back more than 70% of the money you put into them. Here are three exterior home renovations that will give you the most return on investment.

 

Landscaping

The first impression of your home is the front yard, making it one of the best investments on the home reno checklist. Landscaping makes your home look nicer and more inviting, especially if you are looking to put your home on the market, but even if you aren’t, you should still invest in it. Proper landscaping will protect your home from the elements, helping to drain water away from your foundation and keeping it cool during the summer with well placed trees. Experts agree that a well-executed landscape renovation is between 95-100% return on your investment.

 

Siding and Front Entryway

Updating your siding and front entryway will also add value to your curb appeal, and give you back around 90%. Your siding needs to be replaced or refurbished around every 10 years, which will help give your home a fresh, well-kept look. Meanwhile, simple updates to the front entryway such as a new coat of paint in a trending color and repairing downtrodden sidewalks and steps will help rejuvenate the look of your home.

 

Deck

Adding a deck to your backyard will add a great deal of value to your house, and bring back around a 90% return on your investment. Creating an inviting, comfortable space in the outdoor portion of your home for socializing will add great appeal for future buyers but only if your backyard is big enough to accommodate it. If your backyard is small, it’s best to leave the green space and landscape it accordingly, especially if you have children or pets.

Every homeowner wants to increase the value of their homes through the years, and be sure of getting back some of their investment back when it comes time to sell, but it’s also important to do things that will bring comfort to you down the line, and to do thorough research into what are the best investments for you. If you are considering home renovations and have questions about where to start, contact Liberty Builders today.

Interior Home Renovations

Interior Home Renovations that Add Value to Your Home

Interior Home renovations can be expensive and time consuming, so it’s natural that as the homeowner, you’ll want to one day recoup the investment. Renovations should definitely be done based upon need before cosmetic updates, however, the good news is that no matter what updates you choose to make to your home, when it comes time to have it evaluated or sold, nearly all of your renovations will give you back more than 70% of the money you put into them. Here are three interior home renovations that will give you the most return on investment.


Kitchen Remodel
There are two types of kitchen remodels: major and minor. If you change the footprint of your kitchen in order to make it larger, then you are doing a major remodel; anything else is a minor remodel. Don’t let the name fool you though, because minor remodels, which can and often do include changing the cabinets, countertops, and appliances, generally have a better return on investment than major remodels do.

 

Bathroom Remodel
You can also perform major or minor remodels on bathrooms with the same criteria as kitchens, but again, a minor remodel generally has a much better return at resale, sometimes over 100%. Not that anyone would say no to a larger bathroom, especially in the master bedroom.


Insulation
As the world moves closer toward ever greater energy efficiency, it’s no surprise that homeowners and potential buyers are interested in making their homes as energy efficient as possible. Adding insulation to your home is a pretty painless way to add value, not only for future resale, but during your time in the home as well. Insulation is meant to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and it will help keep your energy bills down through the years.

Every homeowner wants to increase the value of their homes through the years, and be sure of getting back some of their investment back when it comes time to sell, but it’s also important to do things that will bring comfort to you down the line, and to do thorough research into what are the best investments for you. If you are considering home renovations and have questions about where to start, contact Liberty Builders today.

Dont's of Home Maintenance

The Dont’s of Home Maintenance

Home maintenance is an ongoing job for all homeowners; for as long as you own a home, you will have a checklist of things that you will have to care for and uphold. We’ve provided you with lists on how to look after your home, but we also have a few tips on what you should NOT do to the exterior of your home if you want it to remain solid and beautiful for as long as possible.

Painting Your Home

If your home has wooden siding, it will need a fresh coat of paint about once every 10 years, a far more complicated job than it seems. It can also be an expensive job, so there’s no shame in wanting to repaint your home yourself; however, a common mistake people make when attempting to paint their houses themselves is skimping on the power wash before the painting begins. If you don’t properly wash the siding, the paint will not dry evenly and may begin to flake off within the year, forcing you to redo an expensive and time-consuming job. Something else to consider before painting your home is the age of the house. Many houses built before the late 70s are covered in lead-based paint and can be hazardous for your health if you start stripping it off the siding. If you live in a home built before 1978, consult an expert about the exterior paint and the best way to go about removing it without damaging your health, and that of your family or neighbors.

Don’t Ignore the Cost of Things

Home maintenance and improvement projects are expensive, but necessary parts of homeownership. There will always be things around your home that need to be repaired, and keeping up with things like curb appeal is important for the sake of the neighborhood, as well as for your own property values. So while you may want to add an addition onto your home, consider how much your current maintenance costs before you embark on a new project so that the maintenance you are already in charge of does not suffer because you cannot afford to keep it up for a time.

Don’t Get in Over Your Head

The world, and specifically the internet, is full of DIY solutions for everything, including everything involving home maintenance, and it’s both responsible and admirable when homeowners try to fix issues in their homes. No one can be an expert on everything, however, and everyone’s time is limited, so it’s important to know when it’s time to call a professional. DIY is great, but sometimes it can make the situation worse and end up costing you more than if you had called in a contractor from the beginning.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help from the professionals; your home is worth looking after properly. If you need help with a project, or would like some home maintenance advice, your friends at Liberty Builders are standing by to be of service.

Home Update Plan

The 10 Year Home Update Plan

If you are a homeowner, then you know that home maintenance is a regular part of your everyday life, and will be for as long as you own your current, or any future homes. There are countless sources that help you keep track of the upkeep of your home season to season, but what about the bigger items of your home, like your roof, the water heater, and the very walls that shelter you from the summer heat and the winter cold? These are things that are built to last, but they need a little help every once in a while. If you’ve been in your home for at least a decade, you may want to think about a few of these items.

Home Exterior Siding

Houses with wooden siding are built to withstand the weather with the help of paints and stains, but the exterior paint has yet to be invented that can indefinitely hold up against decades of UV rays, rain, and snow without a little bit of upkeep. Experts say that homeowners should inspect the siding of their homes every 5-10 years for signs of severe wear and tear, such as flaking paint or rotten wood. Faded or flaking paint means that it’s time for a fresh coat, while rotting siding means fresh wood for your siding, in addition to a fresh coat of paint.

Roof

The roof is the home’s first line of defense against rain, snow, and ice, so it’s bound to take a beating throughout the years. If you don’t inspect your roof for damage every season, checking it once every ten years for general wear and tear is a safe timeline to follow. If you live in areas with high winds, or your home is surrounded by multiple trees, there’s a good chance you’ve lost a few roofing tiles over the last decade, and replacing those before it becomes a major issue is always the more economical road to go down, even if you choose to hire a contractor to address it rather than do it yourself.

Water Heater

Most water heaters only have a lifespan of 10 years, but if you’re lucky enough to have one that lasts longer than that, upkeep is absolutely essential, especially in states like Texas that live with hard water. Flushing the sediment out of the bottom of the tank will help extend the life of your water heater, but you should definitely make a habit of keeping an eye on it the closer it gets to that 10-year mark.

Home Appliances

A few other essential home items you’ll need to start looking after more carefully as they enter their first decade are mostly found indoors, like your toilets, the dishwasher, washer and dryer units, and the garbage disposal. Your garage door opener may also start to give you problems around this time, so if you start to notice a lag in performance, you may want to park your car in the driveway or on the street until you can fix or replace it. The most important items inside the home to maintain after a decade are your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detector. These items could save your life someday, so please do not neglect them while going through your checklist items.

Maintaining a home is a big commitment, and sometimes you run into issues you can’t solve on your own, so if you need advice on how to fix a problem in your home or need a contractor, give Liberty Builders a call at 210-714-1655, or visit us at http://www.libertybuilders.net/ for a list of our services.

After Winter Home Maintenance

After Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

If you can believe the groundhog, Spring is on the way. That’s news that the entire country can celebrate after such a rough winter. As the cold gives way to rising temperatures and rainy days—we have to get those May flowers somehow—our homes might start to show a little bit of wear and tear from the long and brutal winter. To help you avoid any water related disasters, we’ve put together a handy maintenance checklist for your home before those Spring rains appear.

1. Check for Water Damage

The very first task is to inspect your roof, chimney, gutters, and siding for any damage. Problems like damaged or missing roof tiles, cracks in the chimney, clogged or loose gutters, or rotted siding should be addressed immediately, by yourself or by a contractor. Left unattended, these problems could lead to water damage to the interior of the home, further damage the roof, or ruin your home’s foundation, creating far more expensive problems than any damage that may appear from this initial inspection.

2. Service HVAC and Change Filters

Spring often feels a lot like summer in certain parts of the country, and the idea of wanting to turn on the AC is completely understandable. Before doing so however, you should have your HVAC serviced by a repairman or contractor, as it’s been sitting dormant for several months outside in the elements. Now is also a great time to change the HVAC filter in your home; experts agree that you should change it every 3-6 months, and Spring is an excellent time since some members of the household may have allergies.

3. Inspect All Windows

Spring is a wonderful season when you can open the windows and effectively cool the house down, but before you do, you should ensure that all of your window screens are fully intact. Harsh winter weather or falling debris can leave holes in the screens, which will only serve to let bugs inside where they don’t belong. Check your storm door for similar repairs.

4. Check Curb Appeal and Safety

Cold weather can also be harsh on concrete. Check your main walkway for cracks that need repairing or pavers and bricks that need to be replaced. Once the warm weather has set in, you can put down fresh soil and start planting flowers and shrubs while getting rid of any weeds that somehow survived through the frost. Now is also a great time to replace any outdoor lights that have gone out, and to ensure that the doorbell is working properly. Last, but certainly not least, test all of your fire alarms and replace the batteries, if necessary.

Once you finish this checklist, you can begin planning for your Summer and Fall renovation plans. If you’re in need of professional repairs or replacements, call Liberty Builders today!

Show Your Handy People You Love Them

5 Ways to Show Your Handy People You Love Them

Listen up, lovebirds, because this one’s for you! It is 2019 so most likely we, as couples, take turns dealing with home tasks including exterior home maintenance. However, general gender norms claim that men work on the hard tasks of home repairs and other rough duties. Whatever your situation is at home, the time is approaching to show some love and appreciation for your loved ones on Valentine’s Day. So if your man (or woman) is the repairer around the house, we’ve compiled a list of Valentine’s Day gifts to get them.

Gifts for your Handy People

Emergency home maintenance can be stressful and scary, and working outside in the winter is difficult for anyone, so when Valentine’s Day comes around consider these gifts for the repair guy or girl in your life.

  • The simplest way to show your appreciation is to order in or head out for lunch or dinner.
  • Bake up a storm in the kitchen and hand out cookies and other simple sweets.
  • While your sweetheart is working outdoors and building up a sweat, you can simply head out with a glass of water to help keep them hydrated.
  • A simple and genuine thank you goes a long way. Make sure to thank the person who is working hard outdoors.
  • Tools and other gadgets are a great gift for the repairman in your home. See what needs to be replaced in the tool shed and pick it up at your local tool shop.

No one wants to be outside doing home maintenance, but there are some people who do, and we should show our love and appreciation for them as they help us with tedious tasks of home repairs and other duties. If you find yourself with a home maintenance emergency on your hands in the dead of winter or any time of the year, please call your friends at Liberty Builders or visit our website for information on our services. We’ll be glad to help.

Keep Your Gutters Flowing

Keep Your Gutters Flowing Year-Round

February can be a volatile month when it comes to weather; the temperature fluctuates between cold and pleasant and it’s often raining. It’s not the ideal month for doing any sort of outdoor home maintenance, but it actually is a great time to go out and check your gutters for any damage before the spring rains set in.

 

Gutter Maintenance is Important

Gutter maintenance and repair can and should be done all year long since each season of the year has their own unique ways of clogging them up. In winter, icicles and ice dams are the biggest dangers that homeowners have to face on their gutters. As picturesque as they may look, ice dams especially have the potential to crack, bend, or burst the gutters they are attached to if they are not dealt with before they grow too large.

Tree debris, such as leaves or pine needles, could fall into the gutters during storms, contributing to the creation of ice dams or icicles, or cause water from storms to back up onto the roof, rot wood siding, or create puddles dangerously close to the foundation rather than flow away from the house as the gutters are intended to ensure. As unpleasant as the idea of climbing around the roof on a February day is, water damage prevention to your home truly is worth it.

Gutter Protection

If you’re tired of climbing onto a ladder in all weathers to clear out your gutters, there are products that can help keep your gutters clear throughout the year, such as the Leaf Relief® by Ply Gem that you can find on our website. It acts as a guard against leaves, twigs, and other debris clogging up your gutters and causing disastrous water damage to your property throughout the year.

If you are interested in having a gutter guard such as Leaf Relief® installed, or if you would like more information on gutter maintenance, feel free to visit our website for more details, or give us a call, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

 

Go Green in 2019

How to Go Green with Home Maintenance in 2019

As children, we’re taught that we should leave a place as clean as when we found it, if not nicer, and as adults that idea morphs into the desire to leave more for our children than we had for ourselves. While that concept is often applied to money, it’s also very easily applicable to the earth itself, for what greater gift can we leave to the generations who come after us than a healthy, thriving planet on which to grow and prosper? Based on climate science, the earth is changing because of human influence, and while that idea can be daunting, small green changes in our home maintenance projects do have an impact, both on the world and on your immediate finances

Insulation is Your Best Friend
The harder an HVAC system has to work to heat and cool a home, the more CO2 is potentially being pumped into the air, ultimately contributing to a vicious cycle that could easily be nipped in the bud with a little bit of insulation. Insulating your attic will save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime in heating bills during the winter, and insulating your basement will do the same for you during the summer. However, insulating your walls and ceilings will only help you so much if your windows and doors aren’t as properly insulated; but that task is not a difficult one. You don’t have to immediately replace old windows and doors in order to achieve a greener home, though if you are in the market for new windows, double paned windows are the greenest choice; however, older windows can be made green by using a tube of caulk and a tin of glass putty to seal up any gaps where air can be felt flowing through. As for doors, adding some inexpensive weather stripping or a fun draft blocker will quickly eliminate the issue; your wallet will thank you at the end of the season.

Outdoor Projects
An extremely easy way to make your home green on the outside is to plant trees. It raises your curb appeal, can lower your heating and cooling bills by protecting your house from the elements throughout the year, and help the environment, because the world needs more trees. Evergreen trees on the North and east sides of your house will help keep your home cozy during the winter months, and deciduous trees on the south side will protect the house from the sun during the summer. If you want a more involved project, manufacturers have begun creating non-VOC exterior paints, or you can add stone facings to the exterior of your home, which will add an additional layer of insulation year-round. If you’re in the market for a new roof, look into metal, slate, or ceramic tiles instead of the traditional asphalt. They are kinder to the environment overall, can be recycled if damaged, and will keep your home cooler during the summer. And don’t turn your back on the idea of mounting solar panels on your home either. The price for solar energy has dropped significantly in the past few years, and they will help take your energy bills down year-round.

Going green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; in some ways going green is about being thrifty and finding new ways to use what you already have. There are short and long-term benefits to going green, and you and your children deserve to benefit from those changes. If you need help getting started going green, call us at Liberty Builders. We’re standing by to help you with all of your exciting future projects. 

Trendy Doors

3 Trendy Doors to Look for in 2019

A new year is always a good time to freshen things up in your home, inside and out. If you are looking for ways to brighten up the exterior of your home without getting too cold—it is still January after all—sprucing up your front door with the latest trends may be a good place to start.

Trendy Colors

According to style experts, the top color picks of the year are either bright, cheerful colors or colors that fall on the more soothing side of the spectrum. If you want your house to exude a summery feeling throughout the winter months, you can’t go wrong by painting your door a shade of yellow. Both bright and pastel yellows are in style for 2019, as are bold and pastel shades of reds and pinks. If you find yourself longing for spring, try a brilliant cherry red of a soft coral pink to refresh the front door and bring a smile to the faces of all your visitors. The big color of the year though, in all its iterations, is blue. If you’ve ever dreamed of giving yourself a break from the cold with a trip to the beach, but haven’t had a chance yet, bring a hint of the beach to your home by painting your front door an ocean blue or teal, or if you just miss spring, a robin’s egg blue will make the exterior of your home springier in no time.

Technology

Smart home technology has slowly been on the rise for the past few years, but security experts and home design experts expect the demand for home security, specifically more sophisticated smart locks, to grow rapidly in 2019. The number of home invasions around the world have been rising since 2016, but smart home technology has grown to meet the challenge, and as most home invaders begin at the front door, experts agree that high end smart locks will be appearing on front doors very rapidly throughout the year.

Front Door Hardware

The first thing people see when they approach your front door is the color, but a close second, most of the year, are the hardware pieces that adorn it. If you’ve never had a reason to replace the handle or doorknob or your front door before, a home exterior makeover may be your excuse to do it. Trends in metal pieces for 2019 mostly skew towards dark metals such as Venetian or oil rubbed bronze and matte black, which will stand out in stylish contrast to many of the year’s front door colors. However, if dark metals aren’t to your liking, champagne bronze and brushed nickel are also trending for 2019, and will blend in well with pastel door colors, but avoid brass fittings, as that has fallen out of favor this year.

Giving your home exterior a makeover can be fun when there are so many new styles and ideas to choose from, but if you’re not sure how much time you want to invest in it, your front door is an excellent place to start, and it can help to clear away some of those winter blues. Give Liberty Builders of Texas a call for a free in-home consultation.

boost your curb appeal by updating the exterior of your home

Resolve to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, only to break them before January is even over and it tends to boil down to the fact that too many people choose goals that were too vague to begin with and had even more vague outcomes, or they didn’t have their heart set on attaining it anyway. So this year, why not make a New Year’s resolution that will have a concrete outcome and have a lasting effect throughout the year, like improving your home’s curb appeal?

Paint and Lighting

Improving the curb appeal of your home does not have to turn into a complete overhaul of your front yard. Start closer to the house and work your way outwards to get yourself in the mood of updating things, like painting your front door a new color, or replacing the outdated door fixtures with something more modern. The benefit of Christmas and New Year’s being so close together is that if you end up in a hardware store for some Christmas shopping, you can head on over to the paint section and pick out a few chips that you think might look nice as the new focal point of your home. Have you been considering replacing the lighting on the front porch? Take a walk by the lighting section on your way to the check out. You can begin to make note of things that you know will make your home look brand new with minimal effort and time.

Gardening

Winter is a good time to trim your trees and shrubs, as it will help them grow more healthy leaves and branches when spring arrives. If you live in areas of the country with milder winters, this task can be done at nearly any time of the season. In areas where the winters are more severe, this is a task best done before winter truly sets in, or just as it’s beginning to ease off. Either way, come spring time, your healthy, fully blooming shrubs and trees will add a tremendous amount of curb appeal to your home.

Now that you’ve made it to your garden, don’t forget to mulch your gardens once the winter sets in. Whether you prefer flowers or shrubs in your gardens, they will mostly withdraw during the winter months, but putting mulch down before the soil begins to freeze will keep the roots of the plants warmer and will give you a much richer soil to work with in the spring. Winter is also a great time to repair or build any raised planters that you may have on your property, before any of your plants come back for the spring or to line any flower beds to help keep the weeds out. Doing these things when the plants are dormant makes the overall tasks far easier than they would be if you wait for spring.

There are many reasons to improve your home’s curb appeal: you want to sell your home, you have a home owner’s association monitoring your yard, or for personal enjoyment; you deserve to live in a beautiful home. Should you decide that you’d like to improve your curb appeal in the new year, and are unsure of where to begin, call Liberty Builders. We are always happy to help you with your home improvement projects.