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.

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.

House for Sale

Homeowners Spend $2,000/Yearly on Maintenance

The cost of homeownership is more than just a monthly mortgage on the home of your dreams. Along with the down payment, insurance, utilities, a new homeowner is also shelling out money for home maintenance services in order to keep it running smoothly month to month.

According to Bankrate.com, homeowners on average spend $2,000 a year on home maintenance, which includes landscaping, housekeeping, and plumbing services. Additionally, 63 percent of homeowners use at least one recurring home maintenance provider while another 35 percent use at least two!

Homeowners tend to spend the most on housekeeping at $285 per month, followed by homeowner’s association dues, and landscaping. The next most popular services were home security systems, pool care, snow removal, septic service, and trash and recycling collection services.

With that being said, owning a home is not cheap! Homeowners have to prepare for major repairs, such as roof leaks or blown-out air conditioners. Budgets need to be set for property taxes, which can cost over $200 each month. Maintenance services are convenient and will save time but they are a detriment to a homeowner’s bank account if the budget does not exist.

To avoid running into a financial crisis, Liberty Builders recommends two important factors for maintenance costs:

  • Create a home maintenance fund to go along with other savings accounts and avoid using credit cards or loans for unexpected home repair costs.
  • Make better short-term and long-term housing decisions by factoring in the $2,000 estimated maintenance costs when deciding if buying a house is affordable.

Agents should focus their clients toward homes they can comfortably afford, however that is not always the case. Ask an agent to help with this dilemma when house hunting.

At Liberty Builders, you can rely on reasonably cost effective services for your exterior home. We will even throw in a free in-home consultation and take you step-by-step on costs to avoid a hole in your wallet.

After photos of remodel of siding of garage

Liberty Builders Provides the Best Siding Services

What is siding? Also known as wall cladding, siding is the protective material attached to the exterior side of a wall of a house or other building. Liberty Builders of Texas is the largest Mastic Siding applicator in the state of Texas and is one of the top dealers in the United States, year after year. We are the only Mastic Elite Contractor in San Antonio and the surrounding area.

There are some requirements that need to be met in order for a contractor to even be considered for the Mastic Elite status. Liberty Builders of Texas exceeds all of them. It is important to note our installers renew their VSI certification every three years, and every single sales person and manager attends monthly product training seminars.

Our entire team is committed to providing you with all the details of the products and services we offer. Your exterior siding project will be in good hands with our highly trained and certified specialists.

Liberty Builders of Texas has successfully completed more siding installations than any other company in San Antonio. Windows, doors, and garages can sometimes be difficult to work with, but our skilled crews have restored some of the most complex residing projects in the area.

Our siding gives your home the classic look of freshly painted wood with exceptional durability. We have a siding option with a truly “authentic” wood grain embossing without the maintenance of real wood. Based on an average-size home, repainting or staining can cost up to $6,000 every four years. Liberty Elite Siding never needs painting, caulking or patching because, unlike wood, it won’t crack, peel, rot or split.

If you are interested in siding for your home, call Liberty Builders of Texas today for a FREE in-home consultation.

Contemporary family home

Focus on These 5 Qualities When House Hunting

There’s so much that goes into purchasing a house. You want to find the best house you can turn into a home, in the area you want, and for the best price. It can be difficult and not every house you spot is going to be perfect, so focus on these five home features that could save you money and give you the best value.

1. Plumbing Accessibility: How a house ages is based on how it was built and even designed. Make sure the house you’re eyeing has an accessible plumbing system. The more you have to work to access your plumbing, the more money you’ll have to pay. Leaks and clogs could be difficult to solve when you have inaccessible plumbing, so keep that in mind.

2. Wiring: If you’re a lover of older homes, you could come across wiring issues that could be dangerous and costly to fix. If you go with an older home, make sure to get an inspection on the house’s electrical system.

3. Structure: When you’re walking through a vacant home, examine uneven floor boards, doors and windows that are difficult to open due to shifting, and cracks in the home’s walls (exterior and interior).

4. Energy-Efficient Windows: Look for houses with new, energy-efficient windows. This could prevent air conditioning and heating from seeping out of the sills and reduce your energy bill.

5. Lifestyle: Think of how you’ll use your home. If you’re going to utilize your bedroom and office more than any other room, those rooms should probably be bigger than the kitchen or living room. If you don’t have kids, don’t look for a four bedroom home. If you love to cook, find a house with a roomy kitchen. You may not need a house with a foyer and a living room. Consider these small but effective lifestyle choices when choosing the right home.

Home repairs can be pricey and the more you know about what to look for when buying a house, the more money you’ll save in the long run.

Luxury house with beautiful curb appeal

Counting the Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal

If your neighbors are boosting their curb appeal, you need to join the bandwagon. Don’t allow your home to fall behind on the maintenance everyone else is managing to do to their homes. Renovations to your home not only boost your curb appeal, but also allow your home to sell at a higher price and attract businesses to your neighborhood. Here are three ways to boost your curb appeal.
DIY: Do-it-yourself projects are projects you can do on the cheap. They will boost your curb appeal, provide a great workout for you, and a fun bonding experience if you include your family in the projects. DIY projects could help lessen the amount of maintenance needed on your home if you’re looking to sell. You’ll also end up spending more money. Yearly DIY repairs are recommended.
Some DIY tasks to boost your curb appeal include touching up paint, sealing cracks in the driveway and sidewalks, pressure washing your home’s exterior, and replacing damaged windows.
Hire a professional: If you have bigger projects to complete, you’ll need to get with a reliable company to help with these tasks. Your home should be inspected every seven to 10 years to check for repairs or replacements.
Call a professional when you need services done that include siding replacement, painting, and replacement of gutters, windows, and doors.
Learn to Landscape: If you already don’t know how to garden, you need to learn to boost your home’s curb appeal. This includes keeping your lawn cut and watered. Pull weeds, fertilize, trim your bushes, remove dead wood, and fill your garden with beautiful flowers and plants.
Liberty Builders can help with some of these services. We’ll be glad to go throughout your home’s exterior with you and examine the repairs it needs. We offer a FREE in-home consultation. Give us a call today!

Open porch with concrete floor

Cut Energy Costs with a New Door

The front door is your first impression of your home and should be a reflection of your personality and your home’s style. At Liberty Builders, we’ll replace your exterior doors because it is one of our core replacement products. If your doors are old and starting to rot, it may be time to look into replacing your exterior doors with something more energy efficient.
Door replacing is not something everyone thinks of when it comes to enhancing the appearance of a house, but there are many good reasons why you should look into it. Replacing your old door can help to improve your home’s appearance and curb appeal, drastically! Also, having a quality exterior door will help you save money on your energy bill, especially for those of us dealing with the high temperature of the San Antonio weather.

Liberty Builders provide energy efficient doors to their clients because it benefits them and their home in many ways.

• They reduce drafts and cut energy bills.
• They provide up to 4 times greater insulating value than wood.
• They have tight seals.
• They have an adjustable sill and threshold.
• They are Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council certified.
• They have insulated decorative glass options.
• They have low-E glass available in select styles.

Liberty Builders also offers a wide-range of exterior doors to choose from including fiberglass doors, sliding glass doors, and patio doors.

Call Liberty Builders today for a FREE in-home consultation.

Man power washing his driveway to keep it clean

Summer Exterior Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer is here and you need to make sure your house is ready to handle the unpredictable South Texas weather. A change in season comes with a new set of maintenance to-dos for your home and the exterior. Maintain your home now to prevent any future problems and prepare for the fall.

• Touch-up your exterior. Make the exterior of your home more presentable with a simple paint job.
• Analyze your deck. Check for signs of rotting. If it’s an older deck, it may be time to repair or replace altogether.
• Inspect your hose. Examine your hoses and faucets for leaks, as this could lead to a big waste of water and a higher water bill for you. Applying some electrical tape around the hose could easily fix the problem.
• Inspect the air-conditioner. This is the busiest time of year for your AC. Clean the filter and make sure it’s still running in top shape. You still have one more month of warm weather to get through. While you’re at it, keep the shrubs that surround your AC unit trimmed and pruned.
• Check the crawl space. Moisture in the crawl space of your home can cause mold and rotting. Cover the space to prevent moisture from coming up through the ground.
• Inspect the attic as well. Look for signs of pests, insects, water leaks, or mold. Also, turn off the lights and check for signs of daylight seeping through. If you spot this, it’s time for an attic repair.
• Repair your driveway. Examine the driveway and other concrete areas around your house for cracks and holes. Use concrete repair caulk and asphalt crack sealer to repair the cracks.
• Finally, clean your house’s exterior. From the roof to the exterior windows, window screens, to the patios and sidewalks. A good power washer should do most of the work.

Keep following Liberty Builders blogs for the latest in exterior home maintenance care.

Stamped Stained Concrete on outdoor patio

Pave Your Way with Liberty Builders

Liberty Builders offers a large list of services to our clients in order to assist them with the remodeling of their home’s exterior. Consider a concrete project to add to your home this summer. We can either replace the current concrete you have in your exterior spaces or add new concrete to improve your home’s curb appeal. All it takes is one phone call to start the process!
Liberty Builders offers two forms of concrete projects: Stamped Concrete and Stained Concrete.

• Stamped Concrete is concrete that replicates stones such as tile or brick. It is also referred to textured or imprinted concrete. You can gain a high-end look of stone pavement at a low cost. In recent years, stamped concrete has become a popular choice.

• Stained Concrete is created from acid-based chemical concrete stains to achieve color schemes that resemble stone, marble, wood, and more.

There is no limit to where these services can take place. Liberty Builders can provide either concrete service to your porch, backyard patio, or driveway. Give Liberty Builders a call today for a FREE in-home consultation at 210-714-1655.