Autumn Home Cold

Get your Home Ready for Cold Weather

It recently snowed and we couldn’t believe our eyes! Normally in South Texas, however, the bitter cold doesn’t arrive until January and February, so now is the time to prepare our homes from cold damage. Prepare your home now and don’t delay because if you’re a native Texan, then you know the weather is never predictable. Cold temperatures can damage certain parts of your home and could dig a hole in your pocket. Follow these steps to ensure your home is ready for what the winter brings this season.

  1. Seal windows and doors. Caulk around windows and install weather stripping around your exterior doors. Gaps that are found in windows and doors make it difficult – and expensive – to keep your house warm in the winter. You could save a lot on heating costs by taking on this task before the cold weather hits.
  2. Protect your pipes. Watch out for busted pipes this season as the water in your pipes could freeze. Especially in older homes, it’s a good idea to leave faucets dripping in very cold weather. Disconnect outdoor hoses and store them away, and cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators.
  3. Check the heat. Turn on the furnace to see if it is operating normally. Change your furnace filter before continuous use of your heater.
  4. Clean and store lawn equipment. It’s time to store away equipment usually used for summer days, such as your lawnmower and other motor-operated devices. Empty the fuel tanks because gas can degrade and damage the fuel line and other components. After cleaning, store them in a dry and warm place to avoid winter damage.
  5. Inspect your fireplace and chimney. Soot and other debris can collect in the months that you’re not using them. Make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean before you light up the first log of the winter. When you aren’t using it, keep the flue closed all the way. This will prevent cool air from entering the house.

For more home maintenance tips and other tricks, continue to follow Liberty Builders. If you have any questions or are in need of home exterior services, call us today. We offer a free in-home consultation.

Blue House

Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Every homeowner wants their house to be the best looking one in their neighborhood. Not every homeowner currently has the budget for big home improvement projects. We have searched to find 4 things you can do to easily boost your home’s curb appeal while being on a tighter budget. Follow these tips and watch as your home becomes the talk of the neighborhood.

1. Paint your front door, shutters, and trim. This may seem obvious but a new nicely fresh coat of paint can make your house stand out from all the others.
2. Keep up with lawn and garden maintenance. A fresh cut lawn and a weed-free flower garden with multiple colored succulents will complement your home.
3. Changing or painting lights and door fixtures. Getting or painting fixtures that match in color is a small change that can give your home new life.
4. Power wash your siding, walkways, and porch. Over time, dirt and grime start to build up on these surfaces. A power wash can clean them right up and make your home look brand new.

Whatever you decide to do with your home (sell or improve the exterior look), these tips can help upgrade any houses curb appeal. When you decide it’s time and you have the budget for larger home improvements, call us for a free in-home consultation.

Home Exterior Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Following a summer renovation, we understand that you may not be motivated to decorate your house for Halloween, but don’t skip getting into the spirit altogether. And don’t worry, your Halloween decorations aren’t going to overshadow your beautiful home. You can definitely decorate for the trick-or-treating holiday tastefully and without going overboard. Enjoy something pumpkin flavored and read on for Halloween decorating tips for your home’s exterior.

Harvest: Instead of trying to scare up the neighborhood kids, make them feel the autumn mood by adding pumpkins of different sizes to your yard, along with bales of hay or straw. Consider corn stalks and scarecrows to include in your décor.

Floral: You can also turn your home into a fall attraction by adding a garden. Begin fall gardening by adding fall and winter flowers to your yard. Chrysanthemums are a nice choice and a low-maintenance one, too. Pansies are another fall flower to add. However, if you’re not ready to add a garden to your home, consider a collection of fake floral options. Fill hanging pots and sitting pots with colors of flowers with yellow, orange, and red. Don’t ignore garlands if you want to take it a step below that. Garlands and wreaths are an excellent addition to your door and porch décor.

Pumpkins: Keep it extra simple by placing jack-o-lanterns to your porch. Get the family involved by having a carving night so that you have more than just one pumpkin to decorate your front lawn and porch with.

Scare: If you’re up for the challenge and don’t mind adding some scary decorations, go all out! Spread cobweb all over your porch and even your lawn and bushes. Board up your windows to give your home a look of abandonment. And, don’t forget hanging décor like ghosts, witches, bats, ghosts, and other Halloween themed ghouls.

Have a safe and happy Halloween. Don’t allow yourself to not to have some fun simply because you recently renovated your home. There are many ways to make your home look beautiful no matter what it’s decorated with. Happy Halloween from all of us at Liberty Builders.

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.

Siding repair demolition

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!

brick house yard porch architecture

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.

House image of remodel completion

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!

christmas decorations on fences on autumn street

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.

New gutter covers on home

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!

Back porch of home

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/