Simple Budget-Friendly Tips to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Boost your homes curb appeal

Boost your homes curb appeal

First impressions are critical so here are some great tips to boost your home’s  curb appeal.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. For better or worse, the first thing guests (or potential buyers) notice about your home will be imprinted in their memory forever. So why not make it count? A beautiful exterior can increase your property value by thousands of dollars. And curb appeal doesn’t need to come at a steep price point either. Below, we walk you through budget-friendly improvements that will make sure your curb appeal packs a punch.

Paint the Front Door

 

According to Hotty Toddy, your front door is the focus of your home’s exterior, that one point everyone’s eyes naturally gravitate to. Thus, giving your door a fresh coat of paint can be just the ticket you need to freshen up an old look. Colorful front doors are all the rage, as the contrast against the traditional siding will make your porch pop. Be sure to prep your surfaces with primer so that your paint lasts for years to come, and get painting!

Add (Lots Of) Plants and Flowers

 

Green is the way to go if you’re looking to improve your home’s exterior. One of the best ways to boost your home’s curb appeal is by doing some simple landscaping. Installing flower boxes under windows or on porch railings adds a pop of color that is eye-catching and pleasant. Adding shrubs around your porch stairs and along your driveway is another easy way to add beauty to your property. If you’re looking for the most sturdy and ideal landscaping plants, check out Bob Vila’s handy guide here.

Clean the Siding

 

Dirty siding is one of the easiest ways to give off an unclean, unkempt vibe. As the most prominent external feature of your house, try to ensure that your siding remains clean at all times. However, this can be challenging, especially if you live in an area with a lot of snow or rainfall. One solution is to get your siding painted, but this can be costly and needs to be kept up with regularly. We suggest going in with your power washer every couple of weeks to keep that paint looking fresh and the siding neat.

Window Seals

 

Windows are another significant feature on your property that can seriously impact your curb appeal. If your window seals are broken, give them a fix for an instant solution to draft, condensation, and moisture issues. Not only will fixing your window seals significantly up the quality of your life, but it will also reduce your monthly energy bill. That’s a win-win in our books! If you don’t feel comfortable handing any window-related repairs yourself, search online for home window repair companies near you and start reading reviews — the way, you can get someone you know you can trust with the task.

Don’t Forget the Small Fixes

 

It’s the attention to detail to the smallest of elements that will help your property stand out. For example, installing a chic door knob or handle can level up the overall aesthetic of your home. Replace your older knob with one that has a visually appealing look, texture, and color. Also, pay attention to your fence and go in and repair any broken fence links. Adding creeper or runner plants can give your old fence a touch of whimsy, and painting the wood can go a long way too. The ultimate takeaway here is to consider the smallest of elements and see how you can transform them into objects that bring you joy.

 

Enhancing your front yard doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Nor does it have to be a time-consuming, challenging affair. Use these tricks to up your curb appeal instantly and make a good impression on guests and passersby. We promise people will stop and stare at your beautiful new exterior!

As you can see, you don’t need a large budget or a big crew to boost your home’s curb appeal.

Looking to purchase the right power tool for your home’s curb appeal project? Visit Top Outdoor Lawn Tools for unbiased reviews on power tools that take care of your landscaping needs and much more!

  • 6 months ago

How To Turn a Rental Into Your Ultimate Dream Home

turn a rental into you ultimate dream home

Photo by paulbr75 via Pixabay

Even if you’re not ready to buy a home, you don’t have to settle for living in a place you don’t love. You can still turn a rental into your ultimate dream home. Although you may not be able to remodel a house or apartment you’re renting, you can redecorate to meet almost any goal you have for your home. Check your lease for rules about what you can and can’t do, and then start planning your project. to turn a rental into your ultimate dream home.

 

Design a Space Where You Can Relax and Feel at Home

 

If feeling comfortable and relaxed at home is one of your top priorities, decorate with your favorite colors, patterns, and fabrics. You may not be allowed to paint your walls, but fabric panels, curtains, and removable wallpaper can go a long way toward making a room feel more like your own. Decorating with plants is a fantastic way to bring nature in, purify the air, and make your place feel more open and airy.

 

Create a Haven for Guests

 

The tiny home movement has proven that people can entertain even in the smallest spaces. Even if you have a small apartment, you can prepare for entertaining by focusing on an indoor/outdoor layout, if possible. Also, consider serving food throughout the house instead of all in one crowded area, and arrange multiple seating areas so guests have room to spread out.

 

For your outside spaces, if your lease allows and the landlord doesn’t handle the yard work, be sure to stay on top of upkeep. This is more than just mowing—you want to make sure that your yard and landscape receive enough water, are free of weeds, and get seasonal fertilizer for health. These practices will keep your outdoor space looking beautiful.

 

Develop a Live/Work Space That Works for You

 

Studies have shown that working from home can be very productive, especially when you stay organized and avoid distractions. A dedicated home office can be a great place to work, especially since it means that you don’t have to set up and take down your workspace every day, as you might at the kitchen table. If you don’t have a spare room to dedicate to work, carve out a workspace in a corner or unused closet. If your office has to be in your kitchen, living room, or bedroom, put up a simple room divider to create a visual separation between work and home.

 

Give Your Kids an Oasis in Your Rented Home

 

As you select kids’ furnishings, think durable, colorful, and functional. Incorporate plenty of open floor space in younger kids’ rooms and anchor furniture to prevent tip-over accidents. Involve the kids in design decisions so they can have a space they love, and create organization systems they’ll actually use to keep the room clutter-free and relaxing. Include multi-functional kids’ furniture to save space without sacrificing utility.

 

Turn a Rental Into Your Ultimate Dream Home

 

With the right tweaks, you can make almost any house or apartment fit your needs. However, if your current space is just not working for you, it may be time for a new place. To save time, start by looking at online rental listings and filter by numbers of rooms, amenities, and other key points. Listings with 3D tours can give you a better sense of each home before you spend all day driving around the city for in-person tours. Before renting or buying in a neighborhood, be sure to look into the local housing market.

 

Now that you have some ideas about how to make a rented house or apartment into a dream home, plan to make it a reality for yourself. Start with just one goal or room in mind. Think about what would make the most difference in your life right now. If it’s creating the perfect home office, start there. If it’s streamlining your kitchen and dining room to make entertaining easier, go for it. As you optimize each part of your home, you’ll build momentum for tackling the next room.

 

This article is brought to you by Top Outdoor Tools, where our intention is to give you some reviews of some of the popular tools and other information as far as taking care of your yard, trees, bushes, and other landscaping. For more information, please visit us today!

  • 11 months ago

Add to the Value of Your House with These Home Improvements

home improvements

Whether you are just thinking about remodeling your house or you are thinking about selling your property, you can add to the value of your house with these home improvements.

If you are remodeling your home, or you are planning on selling your property in the near future, then you have several options for increasing the value of your home. There are some home improvements that look good at first glance, but that are expensive and that are not particularly desirable to prospective buyers. The following home improvements are practical, useful, and good for adding value to your home.

Remodel the Kitchen But Pay Attention to the Design

The kitchen is the busiest room in the house, which makes it a great candidate for remodeling. One of the reasons that this home improvement is so valuable is that you can get back between 60 and 80 percent of the investment. You will also save a lot of money on your energy bills, so if you plan on staying in the property for a while after the remodeling is done you should make your money back quickly.

Try to make sure that the design you opt for matches the rest of your home. If your kitchen design clashes with the rest of the house this could drive away prospective buyers. Built-in appliances are a good choice if you are not sure what to invest in. In addition, it is a good idea to talk to an interior designer for ideas.

home improvements

Find Some Unused Space in Your Home and Think About Adding a Bathroom

Installing a second bathroom is another good investment, one that could increase the value of your home by 80 percent of the investment, or alternatively if you are able to do some of the work yourself even as much as 100 percent of the investment.

If you plan on doing this, then you will need to look for a space that you can turn into the second bathroom. An unused bedroom is a good option, or possibly even the space under your stairs. You need 18 square feet for a bathtub, as a minimum, but the more space you have the better.

add second bathroom for added home value

Reinventing an Existing Room Can Be a Great Idea if Done Right

Taking an existing room and re-inventing this is an affordable way to add value to your property. It can also be much more practical than expanding your home if you don’t have a lot of money. However, if you plan on doing this you should think carefully about current fashions and the kinds of things that people want to use a room for. Adding space could price your home out of the market, making an open plan room or repurposing a spare room is far less likely to do this.

Consider turning a garage into a habitable room, or converting the attic or the basement into a bedroom or a small guest area. Even if you are not planning on moving out of your house at the moment this is a good option because it will give you the option to rent out that room, allowing you to recoup the investment relatively quickly.

If you are not sure whether you are making a good investment, talk to an estate agent before you start tearing down walls or making massive changes to the layout of your home. They will be able to offer some insight into the sorts of things that most buyers are interested in.

  • last year

A Resource Guide to Home Improvements for Older Houses

home improvements

home improvements

Image via Pexels

An old house has a certain charm to it, thanks to its traditional architecture and lengthy history.                           However, if you own an older property, you also have to put extra effort and money into maintaining it.                 The right home improvements will help ensure your place remains comfortable and functional and can help   protect the property value.

This resource guide provides tips and tools regarding worthwhile home improvements.

 Tackle Issues Impeding Functionality First

 Start with the basics.

●     Plumbing problems are common in older properties. Hire a pro to tackle common issues like corroded           pipes and outdated fixtures to improve efficiency.

●     Older homes often lack insulation. Make fresh insulation installation a priority for your old home                     renovations, as it can enhance comfort and cut HVAC costs.

●     Family Handyman notes you can also decrease expenses by adding a new HVAC system to your to-do             list of home renovations. This is a job best left to an expert, not a DIY task.

 Boost Property Value with Modern Upgrades Next

 With the essentials taken care of, you can tackle the “nice to have” points on your remodeling checklist.

●     Consider giving your house a more modern look by embracing open concept floor plans

        that remain popular among buyers.

●     Invest in appliances that enhance resale value, like stoves, refrigerators, and low-energy washing                     machines.

●     Give the interior rooms a fresh coat of paint, focusing on hues that sell well, like neutral white and off-           whites.

●     As you make improvements, keep receipts. Redfin explains that if you sell your home,

       you can use these to show the investment you’ve made and boost value.

 Finish Off with Necessary Exterior Upgrades

 Your home’s exterior plays a big part in its curb appeal.

●     Clean up your house’s siding and get it sparkling using a hose and power washer.

●     Prioritize perennials in your garden, so you’ll have flowers blooming all year round.

●     Establish a thriving lawn with a regular routine of mowing, watering, and fertilizing.

●     Invest in your landscaping by getting the right outdoor power tools to maintain a well-manicured lawn.

       Top Outdoor Tools has tips on what you need.

 An old house can be a beautiful asset—if it’s well maintained. Giving your property some tender loving care will ensure it’s looking its best. The above guide provides some resources to help guide the way.

  • last year

Guide to Choosing the Best Lawn Mower for Your Needs

guide to choosing the best lawn mower for your needs

This guide to choosing the best lawn mower for your needs will help you narrow down the vast choices of both types and sizes of mowers available for purchase.

Having a great-looking lawn gives many people a sense of deep satisfaction.  They spend hours every week cutting the grass, edging around the lawn, caring for flowers and more. They consider their lawn an extension of their home and treat it like a masterpiece to be carefully displayed.

Others, however, view a lawn as just one more thing to take care of. They just want to get outside, get the job done and cross that off the to-do list. Whichever way you feel about lawn work, there are a few tips and tools that can help you have a great-looking lawn with the least amount of fuss. Even if you don’t mind the fuss, by using the best lawn mower for your needs, you’ll free up time to move on to other indoor or outdoor homeowner projects.

Treating your lawn well does more than give your home curbside appeal. A great-looking lawn can also keep many pests, both plant and insect, from making a home in your grass. A yard that’s well-tended is a barrier against erosion, too.

 

push mower for flat lawns

The right lawn mower isn’t necessary just to cut the grass. Without the right lawn mower, your grass can become unhealthy and unsightly. Since you have to spend time taking care of it anyway, you might as well treat your lawn to the best.

There is a relationship that takes place between a mower and a yard. Not every mower is suitable for every yard. You can choose from a self-propelled mower, a reel mower, a riding lawn mower, an electric mower or, if you have plenty of money to spend on a mower, you can even get a robot mower that will mow the grass for you.

robot mower

Match the mower to your lawn for the best results and maybe even saving you some money.

While there are as many different styles of lawns as there are mowers, not every mower on the market will be suited for your lawn. For example, if you have a small lawn, you certainly wouldn’t want to pay for a huge riding lawn mower because you wouldn’t have the room to maneuver something as large as a riding one.

If your lawn is fairly small to medium-sized, then you’ll want to buy a lawn mower that you can push. These mowers are fairly inexpensive and easy to maintain. You don’t need as much horsepower in a mower that’s used for small to medium-sized lawns, either. You’ll want to consider the size of the mower’s width. The wider the mower, the larger span you can have on the blades, which shortens the amount of time spent cutting the grass.

Before you pick out a mower, you should do a yard check. Take stock of the surface area of your lawn. Pay attention to whether your lawn is rough or has a fairly even grass surface. Next, note if your lawn is mostly in the sun or if it’s shaded or if there is a mixture. If the lawn area has a lot of shade, does the lawn that’s covered by shade consist of thicker grass?

Look at the landscaping of your lawn. Are there a lot of bushes you’re going to have to mow around? Do you have a lot of flowerbeds? And what do you have around those flower beds? What kinds of decorations are on your lawn? Do you have landscape lights along your walkways?

If you have a lot of things on your lawn that you’re going to have to move your lawn mower around, you’re going to want one that will get you close to the decorations as possible so that you don’t have to go back over as many spots with a weedeater.

 

push mower

If you have a lawn that’s uneven or at a slant, it would be better mowed using a self-propelled mower so that you’re not struggling to push the machine.

Mowing Habits Might Affect Your Purchase

Some people prefer to mow their grass on a regular schedule, such as once weekly, while others prefer a schedule of once every other week. Some people don’t schedule lawn maintenance at all, they just mow the grass whenever it starts looking too long.

If you mow your grass every week, you have to be careful not to mow it down too short. Not only can you cause soil erosion from mowing too short, but you can cause your grass to die and your lawn to get brown patches.

One sign that you’re not mowing your grass correctly is if you notice after you’re done mowing that there are lumps of grass clippings left in the mower’s wake. This means that your grass was left too long.

Another sign of improper mowing is a lot of weeds in the grass. Some people think weeds are a sign that a lawn isn’t being mowed often enough but it’s actually a sign that you’re cutting your grass too short. The best rule for cutting grass is to never cut the grass shorter than two inches. It’s better to leave grass at three inches, but some people don’t like the grass at that height.

If your grass is fast-growing and you don’t get around to mowing it as often as it needs it, that can make a difference in the type of mower that you should use because not all mowers can handle grass that’s taller. It will bog the mower down, make it shut off often and put a lot of wear on the motor.

Another mowing habit to consider is whether or not you mow your grass when it’s completely dry. You should not mow your grass when it’s wet because it’s not good for your grass. You’ll get an uneven cut and it’s also not good for your mower. Wet grass causes mowers to shut off and it can clump to the underside as well as clog mowers, too. If you’re using a bag mower, wet grass is heavy and difficult to remove from the bag.

Sizing Up Your Mower’s Cutting Ability

To look at how differently mowers cut grass, all you have to do is take a drive through a random neighborhood. You’ll find grass that looks like a herd of goats set upon it because the grass looks choppy, high in some places and low in others. You’ll see lawns that look like they have more clippings than grass. Then you’ll see other lawns that look like the grass was given an ugly flattop, while other lawns look in high need of a decent mower.

How your lawn looks depends on both you and your mower. You can take care of the length of the grass simply by adjusting the height of your mower to a set level. But if you notice a consistent performance that’s not what you want, it could be that you have the wrong mower for your grass.

For your grass to look even, you have to have a mower that can handle the terrain of your lawn. For example, if you have a sloped lawn, if you struggle to push a mower up the slope, this can result in uneven grass, which is why it’s always better to use self-propelled mowers for yards that are not flat.

Power Isn’t Always the Most Important Factor

Some people automatically assume that the more power a lawn mower has, the better job it will do at cutting the grass. Surprisingly, how much power a lawn mower has is not the number one factor you should look at when choosing a mower. The power of the motor is simply what allows the mower to work. It won’t do you any good to have a mower that’s powerful if it does a terrible job of cutting the grass and your grass ends up looking uneven.

How your lawn mower does the job of cutting your grass is always the most important factor. The cutting ability of a mower is determined by the deck and also by the type of mower you have as well as what kind of condition the blades are in.

If you have a good new mower that’s suited for your lawn, cutting performance isn’t usually an issue. But as time goes on, you might start to notice that the grass looks ragged after it’s been cut. Most people don’t realize that dull or ineffectual mowing blades can actually cause damage to the grass.

It’s the same concept as getting a haircut with a dull pair of scissors. All a dull blade is doing is tugging on the grass and making haphazard cuts rather than slicing it off neatly and evenly. If you notice grass blades that aren’t cut all the way through or grass blades that bend rather than getting cut, the cutting performance of the lawn mower is the cause and not the power of the machine.

What Will Your Mower Do With the Cuttings?

What happens to the clippings as you mow obviously depends on the type of mower that you use. Some people choose to use mowers that are all in one model so that once the yard is mowed, there aren’t any clippings. Or they prefer to use a bag mower, simply because they plan to use the clippings in compost piles.

Guide to Choosing the Best Lawn Mower for Your Needs

There are several different bag mowers you can choose from and the one you select should be based on your yard type and how often you mow your grass. Mowers that use side discharge for the clippings work well for some lawns as long as the discharge isn’t slanted down because you don’t want to mow the grass only to turn around and have to rake it when you’re done.

Clippings that are left on the ground, especially clippings that are too thick, promote plant and grass diseases that can quickly overtake a lawn. If you leave clippings and look over your lawn after moving the clippings, you might notice yellow patches where these clippings were. That’s a sign that the grass was deprived of sun. And even though some clippings are useful, an over-abundance of clippings put out by a mower is not – unless, of course, they’re mulched.

Most regular mowers simply leave the clippings on the ground, but you have to look at two factors when deciding if this is the type of mower you want. First, if you’re mowing your grass less often and the grass gets kind of tall, then it will cause your mower to become clogged. Of course, that, in turn, affects how your mower performs.

If you’ve chosen a bag mower to deal with your cuttings, then you should know that bag mowers aren’t supposed to leave any sign of the clippings. You should not have to deal with patches of clippings or go behind and rake at all.

When you’re looking at the various lawn mowers with bags, you’ll see that they range in size to include small, medium and large. You’ll want to get the mower that has a bag capable of holding a vast amount because otherwise, you’ll be spending a whole lot of time doing repeated emptying of the bag. Some mowers with bags also offer a versatile choice. You can choose to have side discharge, mulching or a roomy bag, too.

Additional Features

Mowing the grass is something that has to be done, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be an uncomfortable job. If you’ve ever mowed a large yard, then you know how easy it is to get blisters on your hands when you grip an uncomfortable mower handle. So, one feature you want to look at is a mower that has a comfortable grip.

But you want to pay attention to the mower’s safety features. One of the most common causes of injuries in push mowers is slipping and falling because of yard incline, damp grass or stumbling over a tree root. The lever on the handle of the mowers is designed to be a safety feature. Once that lever is released, the mower will automatically shut off which means the sharp blade stops turning.

Some models have a blade clutch, which will shut down the blade but will allow the mower to keep running. Another safety feature is longer handles on mowers. Riding lawn mowers are made now so that they can’t operate if you put the machine in reverse. Putting it in reverse will shut down the blades.

These types of mowers are also made with a safety mode that engages if the person mowing the grass leaves the mower. The safety mechanism will shut down the engine. Some riding lawn mowers have a rollover protective structure. Coupled with a seat restraint, this feature is designed to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a rollover.

A feature that you’ll want in a mower is rear-wheel drive. This is a feature that makes a push mower easier to operate because they grip better and the rear wheel power takes the load off of you. Mowers with rear-wheel drive are great for lawns that are sloped or that are hilly.

If you’ve ever pulled on a recoil rope to get a mower started, then you know how that can be an exercise in frustration sometimes not to mention how it can strain your shoulder. Mowers with a key startup turn on with a simple flick of the wrist, and you don’t have to push a button to prime with a key startup, either.

Another feature you will like is a wash-out port. This lets users wash out debris from under the mowing deck instead of having to clean it by hand. It keeps your mower free from debris for optimal performance.

Factoring Price Into the Equation

Finally, you’ll want to figure the cost of the lawnmower against the performance you’re going to get from the machine. You’ll also want to look at the cost of maintenance when considering the mower you choose. The size of the lawn needing mowing will determine whether or not it’s more cost-effective to get a push mower or a riding lawn mower.

riding mower

Take each of the different types of mowers, the self-propelled, the reel, electric, bag, etc., and compare the features they offer (that would be beneficial to you) against the cost of the machine. Take into consideration how often you mow the grass and how much extra time you want to spend on yard maintenance.

For example, if you hate to rake up clippings, then obviously, you’ll want a bag mower. Also look at how well the mower makes the lawn look, how easy it is to maneuver the machine and the durability of the mower.

  • last year

Safety Tips for the Proper Use of Yard String Trimmers

safety tips for the proper use of yard string trimmers

Safety tips for the proper use of yard string trimmers go beyond just putting on some safety gear. 

When you own a yard string trimmer, it is a good idea to invest in some safety equipment. You will not know when an accident could occur so it is good to be prepared. You should always keep an eye on your family and children while using any product that can potentially harm them. Here are a few Safe Use of Yard String Trimmers Safety Tips to follow.

It is important that you have all the safety features on a string trimmer that you can think of. If you do not have one of these, you may find yourself in trouble. Always read the safety instructions for the model of string trimmer that you own before you start operating it. The manufacturers of these products understand that they can be dangerous if used incorrectly.

Always remember to fully charge your string trimmer before using it. That will give you the most power and will let you finish the job without having to wait for recharging the battery. If you are going to use it for the first time, you should practice with it for about twenty minutes before you start using it in any larger areas. Battery-powered trimmers are quite powerful and are capable of causing serious injury if used improperly.

Always make sure that you clean your yard string trimmers after every use. There is no sense in keeping something so useful around the house and not being able to use it safely. These trimmers collect a lot of dirt and grass debris during the trimming procedure especially if the grass tends to be a little damp. You should remove all of the caked-on grass and make sure to keep the motor vents free from debris so it does not overheat. Wipe all of the surfaces off with a damp cloth including the string holder and associated areas.

Research and find the proper type and size of string trimmer for your particular yard work.

Most people with yards that have trees, flower beds, sidewalk areas, driveways, or other areas where the mower can’t completely trim can make use of a string trimmer. They come in all types of sizes and power ranges. There are gas-powered string trimmers but unless you have a very large area to trim they usually are not necessary for the average homeowner. There are battery-powered trimmers that can do most jobs just fine. In fact, some people actually prefer to use rechargeable battery-powered trimmers because they are much quieter and typically weigh much less than a gas-powered trimmer. They also get rid of the cost of gasoline and oil and are much less messy. 

safety tips for the proper use of yard string trimmers

Rechargeable battery-powered string trimmers are the perfect choice for anyone that wants to keep their yard looking nice and manicured. The batteries for many of them charge quite rapidly today and that beats having to be mixing gas and oil and pouring it into your trimmer. Always wear safety glasses or goggles when using a trimmer. It is also a good idea to wear gloves for hand protection. Make sure there are no people near the areas where you are trimming because these devices can propel rocks and other debris at great speeds which can cause serious injury.

  • last year
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