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6 Biggest Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

When considering renovation, you are free to dream big! You can have all the trending home styles and apply a more modern look to a tired house. But if you’re selling or flipping, you may not want to go overboard. Consider the buyer in search of a new home. Will they enjoy the extra room you added in place of a garage? Will they enjoy a pool in place of a big yard? You don’t know what the prospective buyer will want and chances are they will renovate the home once purchased. When renovating a home, balance is key. Follow these tips to avoid renovation mistakes that could hurt your property.

  1. Pay attention to the demands of your market. Adding a basement to a Texas home may not do much for the property value of your home, but adding a screened porch will. If your neighborhood caters to families, skip the luxurious restorations and stick with something simple. What you think works in your house may actually not work for another owner.
  2. Avoid open space. Opens areas and larger rooms may be the current trend but this might make your home appear smaller. To avoid this, use a half-wall with built-in shelving or widen a doorway into an archway. A large master bedroom is appealing to anyone but not at the expense of other bedrooms. Consider investing in a master addition instead.
  3. Don’t build that pool. Pools are simply a never-ending buildup of maintenance costs or a highly dangerous area if you have kids. If you’re selling your home after a renovation, a pool will not be a good investment, especially if you live in an area with a neighborhood pool.
  4. Updating one room on an old house is useless. Save renovation costs by selling your home as is and they can do the dirty work. If your home is outdated, tackle the entire home as one single project as your budget allows.
  5. Build back, not up. If you’re going for room additions, adding a second floor is costly, time consuming, and will create less space on your lower level by adding a staircase.
  6. Don’t settle for trendy. Nothing stays the same in the world of design. Eco-friendly restorations won’t do too much to increase your property costs and the latest sink design will eventually get tired. Be creative with your renovations but don’t settle for what’s popular now.

Want more tips? Give Liberty Builders a call. We can help!

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Your Home Maintenance Checklist for February

February is the time to start planning many things, such as your spring cleaning plans and summer vacation plans. But, before you get to those things, you have some home maintenance chores to do before the start of spring. There are certain things to replace and clean before a change in weather, or you’re bound to see the negative effects of not caring for your home.

Follow these home maintenance tips for the month of February:

  • It’s time to replace the air filter on your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) system in order to keep the air in your home clean and flowing freely. A high quality air filter is the best choice to remove mold, pollen, and other particles from the air. You’ll want to replace your filter every three months or you might damage your HVAC system.
  • Clean your walls, floors, and interior windows. A midwinter cleaning could cut down on dust. This is especially important for allergy sufferers.
  • Plan your yard and patio projects for the spring. Maybe it’s time to renovate your patio or add onto it. Also, consider building a carport over your driveway. Now is a great time to plant shrubs and fruit trees in your garden. If you’re planning to add onto your home, think twice about where you keep your garden.
  • Winter isn’t quite finished yet but clean your gutters frequently as leaf build-up could cause damage to your gutters, which could then cause damage to the roof of your home.

Keep following Liberty Builders for your monthly home maintenance checklist. Give us a call if the winter weather has affected your home negatively. We’ll be able to help with exterior home repair. Call us at (210) 714-1655.

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Increase the Value of Your Home

As the New Year begins and you look to fulfilling all your 2017 resolutions, we hope that you remembered to include home improvement among them. Home improvement projects that increase the value of your home are beneficial for many reasons, whether you’re looking to sell or stay, raising your home’s value is not as difficult as it seems. Here are some great tips to help get you started.

Make a plan. List all the things you want to change and improve on your home and research how much time and money will go into each project. After that, prioritize your list and focus on your cheaper or easier tasks first and leave the more challenging projects for last, as they may be less easily achievable due to time or cost.

Focus on one room at a time. Rather than working in several projects at once, focus on one, finish it, and then move on. Don’t stress yourself by overworking or leaving no room available for some R&R. Also, don’t forget about the little upgrades that will increase your home’s value such as replacing old faucets, doors, and outlet plates.

Keep up home maintenance. A well maintained home easily improves its value. Prevent mold before it spreads unchecked and stay on top of maintenance issues before they become expensive problems. This includes your home’s curb appeal. Accentuate your walkway or yard with flowers and lanterns and keep lawn and bushes well-trimmed and healthy.

Don’t forget the bathroom. One room that suffers the most over time is the bathroom. Take care of it or watch your home value decrease drastically. Watch out for mold, dirt, and grime as they can become embedded in surfaces quickly. Under-mount sinks are trendy right now so replace your faucet with those. Also, if you can, replace your countertop with marble or granite and replace your overhead lighting with wall mounds to add a relaxed mood.

Whether you’re looking to sell or stay, your home worth will increase dramatically with these simple tips. Your house will look newly renovated and have amazing curb appeal. Call Liberty Builders today, we can help!

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December Home Maintenance Tips

Seasonal home maintenance helps to keep your home running smoothly, protects your investments, and may decrease your home repair costs. Since winter is the un-friendliest season of the year, you shouldn’t allow winter maintenance to go by during the busiest time of the year. Follow these December home maintenance tips before things get rough around the house.

• Disconnect all your garden hoses and wrap all exterior pipes and spigots.
• Find cold drafts seeping in through windows and properly seal with caulk or weather-stripping.
• Clean out your chimney or hire a professional chimney cleaner if you’re unsure how to properly clean it yourself.
• Clean out your dryer vents or this will create a big fire risk.
• Change your air filter as this will ensure your system is running more efficiently and will cut down on allergens.
• Clean your gutters from the fall buildup of leaves.
• Check that all your exterior electrical components are working properly.
• Check for loose or broken shingles on your roof.
• Survey your attic and insulation in order to lower your heating bill.
• Replace the batteries to your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Finally, if haven’t already, safely set up decorations and Christmas lights around your home.

Keep following Liberty Builders’ blogs for your monthly home maintenance checklists.

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8 Home Maintenance Tips to Follow Before Winter Comes

You’re never really done with exterior home maintenance and the start of another season means different things for your home. For fall, the weather will be cooler and the leaves are sure to fall everywhere, meaning it’s time to plan your fall home exterior maintenance checklist before winter arrives.

  1. Clean gutters.Gutters require constant upkeep, especially in autumn. Leaves and other debris can clog your rain gutters, causing leaks and other problems. After the leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.
  2. Wash windows. Also, have your windows and screens washed if you did not do so in the spring or if they now appear dirty after the summer months.
  3. Inspect and maintain your heating system.Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor to be sure that the system is clean and in good shape. Replace and clean your furnace and humidifier filters at least every 30 days during the heating season. When properly serviced, heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer and have fewer problems.
  4. Repair your roof and siding. Have a Liberty Builders professional inspect your roof and siding for any missing and loose shingles. It’s better to find and repair the damaged areas in the fall than to discover a leaky roof during the winter. Also, trim any tree branches that interfere with your roof and siding.
  5. Shut off outdoor water systems.Freezing temperatures can cause damage to hoses, pipes and your sprinkler system so make sure to shut off all exterior faucets, and winterize your sprinkler systems before a potential freeze. Drain all hoses and store them inside your home.
  6. Check safety devices.Take a minute to change the batteries to your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to ensure they are in working order.
  7. Apply weather stripping and caulk to doors and windows. Inspect weather stripping around doors and windows. Caulk exterior joints around windows and doors. Caulking helps keep your house weather tight and lowers your heating bills. Proper sealing and insulation can save up to 20% on winter heating costs.
  8. Inspect and clean your fireplaces and chimneys. Have your chimneys cleaned by a licensed professional.

 

Good luck with your winter preparations, and if you need any exterior home repairs done, be sure to call Liberty Builders – we’re here to help!

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Late Summer Deck and Patio Care

The kids are going back to school. The days are starting to shorten. This is the best time of the year to give some special love to the deck or patio that you’ve been using all summer long for sunset watching, outdoor activities, and barbecues. To clean and clear a concrete or wood deck patio, use a power washer to remove tough stains and marks. Reseal and stain your deck or patio as needed if any discoloration starts to appear. Use the time spent cleaning or resealing to check for rot or cracks in your deck or patio, and make any necessary repairs. Move and rearrange any planters or furniture on the deck or patio to prevent discoloration, stains or damage left from watered plants and pressure points from deck chairs. Make sure that the gutters are draining and wicking water away properly to keep your deck or patio from becoming flooded during rainy conditions. Clear any debris like leaves away from your deck. Finally, trim any trees or shrubs: long branches can promote rot and mold growth on wood decks or patios.

If you suspect any issues or cracks with your patio or deck, contact Liberty Builders. We’ll be happy to help with any deck or patio job: big or small. At Liberty Builders, we’re dedicated to the care of your patio or deck and will help keep it looking beautiful for years to come.

Source:

https://www.houselogic.com/by-room/yard-patio/deck-care-and-maintenance/

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Energy Saving Tips for the Whole Family

The kids are going back to school and that means their electronics won’t get a moment of reprieve. This zealous use of energy and resources can cause a serious spike in your energy bill. These tips are designed to help teach the whole family how to be a little more energy efficient. Make sure that kids close the refrigerator and freezer doors. More than a third of the cold air in your refrigerator can escape every time the door is open. Summer is not over in Texas and that means the days are still hot. Keep curtains closed during the day to keep the sun at bay and adjust the thermostat by about 10 degrees in the summer months. Remind children that an adult should be the only one to adjust the thermostat. When your family leaves the room, turn off any lights or electrical devices: encourage kids to remember to turn off their laptops, video game consoles and TVs when they’re not in use or when they’re not in the room. Use a timer to help teach your kids how to take shorter baths and showers that will help reduce on water usage and waste. Encourage your children to report any burned out light bulbs so that they can be replaced with compact florescent bulbs, which save about $30 dollars in energy cost over the life of the light bulb. When organizing chore charts set any chores that involve the dishwasher, washing machine or dryer until after 8pm. This will keep your home cool despite the heat that can be put out by washing machines, dryers and dishwashers. Only run complete loads of dishes or clothes and any smaller loads of dishes or clothes should be air-dried on the counter or outside on a clothesline.

These energy tips can help keep your electric bills low and teach the whole family invaluable lessons on energy management and energy efficiency. Contact Liberty Builders if you suspect that your home may not be as energy efficient as possible: we can help seal any cracks doors or windows that can waste energy.

 

Sources:

http://www.mortgagecalculator.org/helpful-advice/energy-saving-for-kids.php

http://www.alliantenergykids.com/EnergyandTheEnvironment/SavingEnergy/022391

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6 Signs You Need To Replace Your Windows

Now that Spring has arrived, it’s time for some home improvements. The winter can provide some damage to your home, especially to your windows. Be aware of how winter weather can affect them. If you didn’t take any precautions for winter or if you are not aware of how to notice window damage, here are some warning signs.

  • Condensation: Can you see out of the window? Condensation, fading, and discoloration can all affect your windows. Ugly windows will lower the value and appeal of your home. If you can’t see inside or outside, it is time for replacements.
  • Energy Efficiency: Is your energy bill higher? If your HVAC unit is working harder than normal, it is because your windows are old and are letting outside air in. This leads to higher electric bills. You’ll be able to tell this is happening if your windows appear to be leaking and it’s not condensation.
  • Cracked / Damaged: How difficult is it to crack a window open? A definite sign that you need your windows replaced is when you struggle to open and close them. If you can feel or hear a draft seeping through, this might be a sign that your windows aren’t shutting properly either and it is time to replace.
  • Exterior Noise: Can you hear your neighbors fighting? Good windows should be able to reduce exterior noise. An improved window design can drown out those loud car horns and neighbors.
  • Insects / Critters: Have you found more insects indoors? If you spot mice and other outdoor critters crawling about your floors, they could be coming in through cracks found on your window glass or sill.
  • Rotting: How old is your house? When living in an older home, the window wood might be rotting and the window design look could be outdated. Update the look of your home by replacing the windows, while also lowering your energy bill and complementing your home’s exterior with something more attractive.

To be sure about window damage, call our local window services for an in-home consultation.

 

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5 Things to Replace and Repair This Spring

Winter can cause some serious damage to your home. That’s why March isn’t just for spring cleaning anymore, it’s for home repairs too. Wall cracks, gutter damage, and window damage are all signs that your house endured a rough winter. If you’re experiencing post-winter damage to your home, here is what you need to be focused on for repairs and replacements this Spring.

1. Replace your windows. Cold weather will make it easier to leave your windows with smudges and streaks. Replacing them could be costly so you should also invest in caulk or weather strips. However, gradually replace windows in every room to avoid the large bill.

2. Repair your gutters, downspouts, and roofs. You should have gutters and downspouts cleaned come spring so that water can flow through them easily. Gutters should be facing away from the house to stop water pooling around the foundation. Gutter covers may also be helpful. Check for leaks coming from the roof. Patch newer roofs but older roofs over 20 years need more maintenance.

3. Paint the house. Rain and snow are big detriments of paint. For better curb appeal, repaint your home or select a brand new color for some difference.

4. Install a new heating system. It may be time to install a new one depending on the age of the house and unit. For best results, find a system that carries the EnergyStar label. Have your filters checked and replaced if your existing systems are still in good condition. Replace filters when they are dark and clogged.

5. Install more insulation. To reduce heat loss or gain, you’ll want to begin with the attic. Adding insulation will reduce your utility bills. If you install more where you already have some, you will save energy as well. You can save greater amounts of energy if you install insulation into places in your home that have never been insulated. Radiant Barriers would be a a great cost effective upgrade. This type of insulation includes a heat reflective material that will keep your home cool during the upcoming summer months.

Checking these 5 items off your home repair list will keep up the value of your home and save you heartache in the years to come.  Now is the time to start your home repair before it’ too late. If you are looking to help don’t forget to contact Liberty Builders. We offer free estimates for a variety of home improvement services.

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4 Home Improvements to Increase The Value of Your Home

The beginning of the year is a popular time for homeowners to consider remodeling. Whether due to a New Year’s Resolution of finally putting a home on the market or simply to make a house more comfortable and appealing, remodeling is a hot topic in the housing sector during January and February. Carefully considering which remodeling projects you choose to take on can result in a valuable investment that recoups a great deal more money than the cost of the projects themselves. That being said, here are 5 of the best home improvement projects for your return:

  1. Exterior Siding Replacement–Replacing siding is one of the most inexpensive ways to make a home’s exterior look virtually brand new. Additionally, all Liberty Builders siding replacements include the installation of a Blue foam board by Dow to ensure durability and save you money overtime due to increased insulation. According to Business Insider, siding adds an average of 78 percent return at resale. And once installed, replacement siding requires little maintenance and lasts for up to twenty-five years.
  2. Front Door Replacement–A front door not only adds to a home’s overall curb appeal, but also makes a big first impression since it’s the first part of your home that visitors will see up close. When replacing your front door, it’s a smart move is to invest in an energy efficient door. Having a quality exterior door in San Antonio can help reduce draft and cut your energy bill.
  3. Deck or Patio Addition–Outdoor living spaces have become more desirable, especially in San Antonio where the weather is rather warm year round. Adding a deck or patio will certainly increase the value of your home. HGTV claims that homeowners recoup 65-90 percent of their investment by adding a deck or upgrading a patio.
  4. Energy-Efficient Insulation–If your home lacks basic insulation and has old doors or windows that let in plenty of hot and cold air, home inspectors will include this in their reports to potential homebuyers. Homes that haven’t been modified with energy efficiency in mind cost more to live in and maintain. By updating your home, you can increase your value while saving thousands of dollars just by making a few changes. For example, adding extra insulation to your attic and replacing old windows with new energy efficient ones will save you 40 percent on your utility bill.

While adding an outdoor living space may seem like an exciting endeavor, it is important to focus on the smaller home improvement projects as well. Projects like staining your concrete, applying a new coat of paint, and replacing damaged floors are all affordable projects that can result in an increased home value down the road.

Ready to update your home? Call Liberty Builders of Texas at (210) 714-1655 for a free in-home consultation!

 

Source: Business Insider and Money Crashers