Category Archives: Home Maintenance

Energy Saving Tips When The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Fireplace1. Programmable Thermostats Save Money

You can adjust your thermostat manually as necessary as long as you and other family members remember to make the adjustments. You won’t have that challenge every day with a programmable thermostat. Either way, adjusting your thermostat down while you are away or asleep will reduce energy costs

2. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans have a switch that reverses fan direction for summer or winter use.  The Del Mar Lighting video says it better than any text

<

3. Water Heater

Consider insulating exposed hot water pipes can reduce temperature loss and enable the water heater thermostat to be set lower.  I recommend having it done by a licensed plumber.  Additionally, consider an insulated jacket for the water heater, especially in an unheated basement.

4. Insulation

Over time the insulation that was blown or placed in your attic can compact under its’ own weight and lose its’ effectiveness, especially if it is blown in as opposed to rolls of insulation.  A roofing or insulation firm can check the R factor and advise you how much, if any needs to be added.

5. Frozen Water Pipes And Spigots

Repairing frozen water pipes and correcting damage caused by them is always an eexpensive proposition.  A little care before the temperature  drops below freezing can minimize the threat.  See my post on Preventing Frozen Water Pipes

6.Windows

Unless you have double pane windows make certain any storm windows are in full repair and all caulking is replaced as necessary.  Check your local hardware store for the various types of transparent sheeting that can be applied and shrunk tight with a hair dryer to create a temporary thermal window.

7.Fireplaces

They can be charming, inefficient, safe or dangerous.  Which is up to you and the level of care given.  It makes no difference if they are gas or wood burning.  For more date read Fireplace Safety Tips.

8.Gutters, Downspouts and Roofs

Changing your furnace filter according to the manufacturer’s specs is the first rule of efficient furnace performance.  Periodic gutter and downspout cleaning minimizes ice damage to your roof and home.  See Under All Is The Land, Over All Is The Roof.

The time you devote to these energy saving tips in the pre-season will go a long way in making your home a cozy winter refuge.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

Karen Biz Card 360

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

=hous

 

Frozen Water Pipes Can Be Prevented With Simple Precaution

Snow Lake Ridge B1Frozen water pipes will not keep you from enjoying a beautiful winter season as long as you take a few simple steps to minimize the possibility of costly repairs due to frozen water pipes.  Once a frozen water pipe breaks the damage to your home from water can be both extensive and expensive.

  • Turn off the water supply to external spigots and leave the outdoor spigot open during the winter.  Ice forming in a closed spigot can cause interior pipes to freeze even if the interior space is heated.
  • If you plan to be away for several days and lower the heat  leave any cabinet doors under sinks open to permit air circulation.
  • Fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapped  insulation to minimize heat transfer.  This type pipe may be outside your home, in a crawl space or an unheated garage.
  • Caulk or seal holes in exterior walls or foundations near water pipes.

Finally, if you plan to be away for an extended period of time you should arrange for a licensed plumber to winterize your home – it will go a long way in protecting your property from frozen water pipes and minimizing problems with your insurance carrier.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a Prince William County home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you in Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Stafford County or the entire Northern Virginia Area.

Karen Biz Card 360

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

 

=hous

Home Improvements That Pay Off When Selling Your Home

House KHome Improvements need to be chosen wisely, especially when you’re trying to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes time to sell your property.

So before you spend thousands of dollars on home improvements you’ve been dreaming about, make sure that you’re armed with the facts first.

Today, I’m going to use my more than three decades experience to tell you which of the most common home improvements are worth the investment, and which ones you’re better off doing without. The answers may surprise you.

Roofs and New Siding: Not Very Glamorous but Quite Impactful

Remodeling Magazine reports that you’re more likely to recoup your investment on such features as your roof or your siding than you are on bathroom or kitchen remodels.

In fact, siding replacement recouped 92.8 percent of its investment while roof replacements recouped 90 percent or more at resale.

Roof replacement appears to be most important to buyers in the east, with home owners recouping an average 96.3 percent of the cost. In the Midwest, that average return was around 71.1 percent.

That’s because home buyers care more about the overall structure of the home than they do about an aesthetically pleasing kitchen.

What’s more, a recently replaced roof or new siding tells buyers that their maintenance costs are going to be low for the first few years. And it’s impossible to understate how important that is to buyers. For example, most buyers look at the roof and siding at some point during the initial visit to a home for sale.

Kitchens: A Sound Investment or Not?

The consensus is unanimous: Kitchen remodels are an excellent way to spend your home improvements dollars – but only if you don’t spend too much..

In fact, minor kitchen remodels (in the ballpark of $15,000 or less) returned 92.9 percent of the investment. That number dropped off on bigger remodeling projects in the kitchen.

Some features to focus on in the kitchen include all wood cabinets, commercial-looking appliances, stone floors and stone counter tops.

I suggest you call several kitchen supply stores to determine which are the “hot colors and styles” before you meet with a remodeling contractor to contract for the home improvements

How About Bathrooms?

Bathrooms are also a fantastic place to invest your home remodeling dollars. Often, home owners are pleasantly surprised to discover that they get a 100 percent plus return on their investment.

Some features that you may want to focus on during a bathroom remodel include floor-to-ceiling steam showers and walk-in showers. Similar to the recommendation for a kitchen I suggest you call several bathroom remodeling firms to determine which are the most important items before you make any decision.

And if you only have one bathroom in your home, spend your money on adding a second bathroom instead of remodeling the only bathroom you have.

Don’t Forget To Consider Your Home’s Curb Appeal!

People often focus their remodeling dollars on the inside of the home but the exterior is just as important – if not more so.

After all, a potential home buyer will form an opinion about your home before they ever step foot inside.

Perhaps that’s why adding siding is such a sound investment when you look at the return you could get at resale.

Another way to make sure your home has adequate curb appeal is to make certain your front door is clean or freshly painted and your landscaping is neat and attractive

Give Buyers Extra Room to Grow

Finally, if your home is small consider adding a bedroom or family room

We’ve already talked about the benefits of adding a bathroom. But the same principles hold true for other room additions as well.

In fact, for every 1,000 square feet added to a home, your sales price will increase by more than 30 percent, according to a 2005 National Association of Realtors study.

One caveat to this rule: Don’t add so much extra space that your home becomes the most expensive home in the neighborhood. That’s a sure way to turn off home buyers.

Just a Few More General Notes About Home Remodels

RS1551_shutterstock_983846-lprRegardless of what type of project you select, remember that the following factors will also help determine your return on investment:

  • The Value of Your Home
  • The Value of the Homes in Your Neighborhood
  • The Housing Market You’re Located In
  • How Soon You Sell Your Home After the Home Improvement Project
  • The Quality of the Home Improvement Project

We Are Your #1 Resource for Real Estate Trends and News

Hopefully you learned something today about home remodeling projects and how much they really benefit you as a prospective home seller.

Make sure to follow my blog to receive the latest updates on real estate trends like these and how they may impact you.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The Kruschkas are long term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a Prince William County home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you in Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Stafford County or the entire Northern Virginia Area.

 Karen Biz Card 360

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

 

=hous

Fireplace Safety Tips Will Protect Your Family, Your Home and Save You Money

Fireplace safety tipa

 

fireplace safety  tips are needed as temperatures drop to protect your family and home.

There are simple inspections and cleaning that can be competed by many homeowners.  If there is any question at all you should contact a chimney sweep or a fireplace contractor.

Wood-burning

    • Creosote, the unspent fuel that collects on the chimney walls, is the leading cause of fires started by a dirty chimney.  You should have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a licensed chimney sweep.  It is the most important of all the fireplace safety tips
    • Gaskets on doors and fireplace glass need to be inspected and replaced if necessary. If these airtight doors allow extra air into the firebox it could create a dangerous flare-up
    • Fireplace blowers do not normally have a filter.  They should be checked and cleaned to maintain maximum performance
    • Replace any broken or deteriorated brick lining in the firebox. If brick in a prefabricated firebox has deteriorated allowing the steel frame to overheat it could cause permanent damage
    • Be certain to replace any batteries in smoke detectors before the wood burning fireplace is used.

Gas-burning

  • Whenever your gas fireplace requires service you should call a licensed technician to provide the service.
  • Fireplace blowers do not normally have a filter.  They should be checked and cleaned to maintain maximum performance
  •   The battery in any optional remote devices should be changed periodically

 Finally, batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 6 months.  This is more than fireplace safety tips – it can min[imize injury or damage from many types of fires

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The Kruschkas are long term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a Prince William County home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you in Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Stafford County or the entire Northern Virginia Area.

Karen Biz Card 360

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

=hous