Home improvements without value

How do I fix my home?

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    You're getting ready to list your home for sale, and you want to scope out the market first. While it's great that you've taken the initiative to update the home's exterior, it's likely that the interior is in much more dire need of your attention at this point. It may be infected with dry rot, or it may simply be obsolete.

    Fix My Home

    The Dilemma 

    You've posed a question to which the answer depends on a variety of variables. Where can I find out how the other houses on the market currently stand? What would you say about the temperature of the current real estate market: hot, cold, or neutral? Is there a good chance that you'll make back your initial investment?

    Many homeowners spend a disproportionate amount of money on renovations and fixes before listing their homes for sale. They address issues that a customer is unlikely to identify as problematic, or who would not be willing to pay extra to have addressed.

    Before beginning any kind of repair work, it's a good idea to talk to your real estate agent so that you can weigh the pros and cons of the project in light of your specific home and circumstances.

    Selling a Home in "As Is" Condition

    Let's pretend there's a long list of fixes and upgrades that need to be made to the property in question. There is urine all over the wooden floors, and there are exit holes in the walls. The bathroom's bathtub has fallen through the floor joists, and a large portion of the electrical system is broken. Every sink has a leaky faucet.

    Repairing this house will be neither easy nor cheap. Putting on a fresh coat of paint won't help. In this case, it could be beneficial to set a low enough asking price to attract multiple buyers. Flippers and builders are likely to be the only types of buyers who get in touch with you.

    Do Homebuyers Want Fixer-Uppers or Fixed Up Homes?

    Some would-be buyers claim to be interested in "fixer-uppers," but in reality they're looking for homes that need mostly cosmetic work. Anyone looking to purchase a "fixer-upper" probably falls into one of two categories: either they cannot afford a more expensive home, or they plan to make a profit by making improvements to the property themselves.

    Those looking to purchase "fixer-uppers" are typically okay with making cosmetic changes to the property, such as repainting, installing new carpeting, or switching out the lighting. Not one of them cares about resetting the base or shifting the walls.

    Buyers interested in a "fixer-upper" typically try to haggle down the asking price in two ways: first, to account for the costs of necessary repairs; second, to account for the time and effort involved in the process. If a house is worth $100,000 after repairs, but needs a new roof, the repairs would cost $80,000. There's a chance that the price of a new roof installation will be around $10,000. An offer of $90,000 for this property is extremely unlikely to be accepted. For the same price, they could buy a comparable house that has been updated with a new roof.

    An interested buyer might make an offer of $75,000 or less on such a home. Instead of trying to negotiate a lower price, the seller would be better off replacing the roof and asking for $100,000.

    Don't forget that a lot of buyers won't even look at a house that needs a new roof. Since so much will need to be done, they worry that the final price tag will be higher than expected. The cost of a roof replacement could increase if the sheathing needs to be removed before the rafters can be fixed.

    Most homebuyers want to find a house that doesn't need a lot of work to make it habitable right away. Making no repairs to your home could result in a smaller pool of interested buyers.

    Before Fixing Up Your Home

    Intelligent home sellers will weigh the price of the proposed repairs or upgrades against the increase in the home's market value that will result from having them done. If the return on the upgrade's cost is low, it's probably not worth it to implement. Before you decide to add a dormer to your master bedroom and skylights, consider the fact that kitchen and bathroom renovations typically yield the highest return on investment.

    You might also want to take the afternoon off to tag along with your real estate agent on a tour of the other houses on the market in the area. Note the condition of these houses and the features they offer.

    Check out the other houses in the area and see how they stack up against yours. If the majority of your friends and family already have updated kitchens, then you should probably give that room top priority when renovating your own home. Your rivals are the other homes for sale.

    A kitchen remodel need not involve major structural changes or the purchase of brand-new, high-priced appliances to be worthwhile. Simply by painting your oak cabinets a darker colour and replacing the hardware, you can give your kitchen a completely new look.

    Where to Start 

    Make a comprehensive inventory of everything that is broken, damaged, or worn out. If potential buyers see issues or non-functioning systems while touring your home, they may wonder if anything else has been neglected.

    The bare minimum in home improvements that should be considered before selling include fixing leaky faucets, broken appliances, and HVAC systems.

    Broken windows need to have new glass installed, and the roof needs to be fixed if it's leaking. Replace any lamps or fans that are too old for their intended purpose. Any serious buyer will want to have a home inspection done, so make sure everything is up to code.

    Cosmetic Touches 

    Replace stained or worn carpeting. Re-painting stained or dark walls with white is a bad idea. Get rid of and replace your old window treatments.

    Remember that furnished rooms show better than unfurnished ones, but that old, worn furniture can detract from the value of your home. It may be time to consider a furniture upgrade if you've got some old, worn pieces. At any time, you can pack it up and take it with you wherever you go.

    The Effect of the Market 

    It's possible you won't need to put as much money into repairs and upgrades to your home if you plan to sell it in a seller's market. But a house that needs work will never sell for full asking price, no matter how good the market. It's possible that in sluggish real estate markets, potential buyers won't even bother to look at a house that needs work. Consult with your agent for insight into the market conditions.

    Home Repairs You Really Should Know How to Do Yourself

    Prepping Your Paint Jobs Like a Pro

    Whether you want to paint the entire room or just need to cover a nail hole, paint is the only thing that can help you maintain or improve a room's appearance. You haven't been a homeowner for very long if you don't have a few paintbrushes stashed away in the basement or garage and a few paint-splattered work clothes hanging in your closet.

    Sprucing up your rooms with paint is a great way to present your home at its best, but before you go out and buy a bunch of paint samples, there are a few things to keep in mind about how to choose paint colours for your home. Painting can improve the look of your home and increase its value if done properly. Leaving behind roller marks, spatters, and sloppy trim paint is bad, but leaving behind paint that is cracked and peeling is almost as bad.

    The best results can be expected from those who put in the time and effort required to get themselves fully ready for the job. The most crucial part of painting is the preparation. Preparation is the key to a stress-free painting experience, but it takes time.

    To begin, get rid of anything in the way of your project, such as hardware or fixtures. Curtain rods, light switch covers, and door hinges are just a few examples of fixtures that need to be loosened. To answer your question, it does take time, but that time isn't extra. If you don't remove objects that will get in the way of your paintbrush or roller, you'll have to spend time later trying to hide or paint around them, taking away from your work time. It will take longer and the result won't look as polished if you clear the area first.

    Remove any clutter from the room, and then clean the walls with a damp sponge or dry cloth. Walls that have built up a lot of dirt, dust, and grease may end up with streaks in the paint job. Take a quick tour of the room and keep an eye out for nail holes, gouges, and other imperfections that need spackle, as well as rough spots that could use a good sanding. Repairs like this, which may seem minor, can have a major effect on the overall appearance of the painted surface, especially in older homes. Afterwards, you should wash the walls and make any minor repairs before priming the sanded areas. To avoid the extra work of priming the walls, which is especially important if you have sanded a large portion of the surface, you may want to consider using a paint that contains the primer.

    It will be easy to paint the room once you have taped off the moulding, built-ins, and baseboards and laid down drop cloths.

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    Dealing with Doors

    The doors in your home, no matter how simple they look on the outside, will need to be checked and possibly fixed every so often. Your entire house is equipped with access points. Even though door issues like squeaks and sticking are usually not major, they can be annoying nonetheless.

    Wooden interior doors are vulnerable to seasonal changes in humidity and temperature, even though they are protected from the elements. Under wet conditions, wooden doors can swell if there isn't enough room between them and the frame. Look at the door's hinges to see if they are loose or have corroded, as these could be causing the problem. Put a door wedge under the latch side of the door to even out the door's weight. Then you should snug up any screws that are a little loose. Even if the screws look fine, but closing the door still causes some resistance, you should take note of those areas. If a door starts sticking only when the weather gets humid or wet, it may need to be planed. But before you take this step, you should consider whether or not the problem might resolve itself in a few months.

    Planing the door will require a specialised carpenter's plane. The door's edge will have a thin slice of wood removed from it using a plane in the same way that cheese is sliced from a block using a cheese plane. If the door is slamming into the jamb or the lintel, you can tell by drawing a line perpendicular to the door at the point of impact. If the jam is near the door's top or on the end opposite the handle, you can plane it without removing the door from its hinges. Cutting at an angle first will help prevent the wood or veneer from splitting. If the jamb or bottom of the door is where the tightness is, you can remove it by setting the door on its side, tapping out the hinge pins with a hammer and screwdriver, and finally planing the jamb and bottom smooth. The hinges may need to be readjusted if you plan the end of the hinge, so this should be done only if all other solutions have failed.

    Doors that don't open or close properly can make squeaking noises because they put extra stress on the hinges. Hinge noise is another common symptom of oxidation. Applying some lubricant to noisy door hinges may be all it takes to stop them from squeaking when people come and go. Before you apply penetrating oil to the door's hinges, make sure to protect the floor with a cloth. Restrain yourself at first. After a few drops of oil have been applied to the hinge, the door must be opened and closed several times to distribute the oil throughout the hinge's moving parts. Allow some time to pass, and then try opening and closing the door again. If the noise persists after applying the solution, try applying more drops.

    Applying oil to the hinges may help, but if that doesn't work you can try lubricating the pins instead. Then, with a shim under the door for support, take out the hinge pins one by one. They need to be scrubbed with steel wool, and the pinholes cleaned with a tiny circular wire brush.

    Applying Caulk

    Caulk is the rubbery substance used to seal the seams between your bathroom fixtures (such as the tub, shower, and sink) and the wall (or floor, in the case of the toilet). Because of the barrier it creates, moisture is kept from seeping through the walls and flooring. There's only one easy step involved in the application process because it sticks to itself once it's in place. Over time, caulk can lose its original colour or become brittle, making your home more vulnerable to flooding and mould. The removal of caulk can be similarly challenging.

    Cleaning up old caulk residue is the most difficult part of caulking. The old caulk must be completely removed before applying the new bead, so careful preparation is crucial. In the past, removing caulk was a tedious process that required a razor scraper and a lot of time. Several commercially available products exist to facilitate the removal of old caulk by rendering it more malleable and lubricated. A putty knife makes quick work of treating caulk residue. When the old caulk has been scraped away, follow up by cleaning the area with paint thinner and letting it dry before continuing. You're ready to proceed to the subsequent stage of setup.

    Learning to use a caulking gun or a standard tube of caulk proficiently takes time and effort. It's like trying to make a straight line with a tube of toothpaste. The idea is flawed and cannot be implemented. However, at this juncture, you are not without alternatives. Considering the low cost of caulk, it's practical to purchase some extra to test on some scrap plywood. In order to fill the widest gap in your project, you'll need to cut the tip of the cone-shaped caulk cap at an angle and make sure its diameter is large enough.

    If you are not confident in your ability to lay down a smooth and even bead of caulk, you may find it helpful to use pre-packaged caulk strips, which you simply unroll and press into place. They eliminate the need for creativity but provide a reliable method for setting up a uniform structure rapidly. The element of surprise is thus negated.

    Repairing a Faucet Washer

    Repairing a leaking faucet is one of the most typical home maintenance tasks. Drip after drip may not seem like a big deal, but over time they can add up to a serious problem. The average American household wastes about 11,000 gallons (42 kiloliters) of water per year due to leaks and drips, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Not only could you fill a swimming pool with that much water, but the money you'd spend on it would be better put to use elsewhere.

    Depending on the type of faucet you have, fixing a leaking faucet without calling a plumber can be a simple matter. The first step is to turn off the water supply. In one of the close by spots, you can usually find the valve that will turn off the flow. If that doesn't work, you can always shut off the water to the entire house and turn it back on whenever you're ready. Usually, the main house shutoff is situated in the basement or the laundry room.

    Since compression-type faucets are the most common, we will focus on fixing and replacing their corresponding washers. There should be a brand name associated with the sink if you want to know what kind of faucet it is. It may be situated anywhere on the faucet's handle or body. You can look up your faucet model and get details on replacement parts and similar models on the websites of the vast majority of manufacturers today.

    Following these instructions will ensure that the washer in your compression-type faucet is replaced properly.

    • To take off the faucet's handle, simply unscrew it from the side. The screw may be at the back of the handle, or it may be covered by a decorative metal or plastic cap. Probably for aesthetic reasons, the screw has been hidden, but you should still look for it.
    • Remove the end nut used for packing. Using pliers to do this is necessary, and the object may resist.
    • You can take the valve out of its housing by turning the screw on its stem in the opposite direction (counterclockwise).
    • The washer can be uninstalled from its screw holder. It may be necessary to use penetrating oil to remove the screw if the washer has been in place for a long time.
    • Remove the washer and examine it. As long as it hasn't seen too much use, you can use it as a template for your replacement search. In the event that the washer came apart as you were removing it, you should examine the valve body to determine the appropriate size washer to use in its place. Verify whether the washer fits into a space with straight walls or angled walls by examining the valve seat at the base of the valve body. Find the right washer for your faucet by knowing its make and model; you may even be able to find a washer that was designed specifically for your faucet.
    • A new washer can be purchased from any retailer carrying plumbing supplies or from a store specialising in such goods. Generic washer kits, containing dozens of different types of washers in a variety of sizes and shapes, can also be found at your neighbourhood retailer. For your forthcoming plumbing project, it would be helpful to have a kit on hand.
    • When you've tracked down a replacement washer, you can finish the installation by going through the same motions you did to take out the old one.

    Many faucet leaks can be traced back to worn washers, but in rare cases, the leak persists even after the washer has been replaced. Changing the washer is usually the first step you should take when trying to figure out why water is leaking.

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    Unplugging a Clogged Toilet

    The inevitable clogging of a toilet is an issue that every homeowner will face at some point. It's similar to a ritual of passage into adulthood. Urgent situations, like when the toilet stops flushing, are stressful because they require quick action.

    Before anything else, you shouldn't panic. Instead, put on your private investigator hat and check to see if anything unusual was flushed down the toilet. If there are young children in the house, the toilet is more likely to be a dumping ground for a wide variety of plastic toys. If this is the case, you could try fishing for the object while wearing protective gloves. One other option is to wait for the water level in the bowl to return to normal, at which point one can add a bucket of water to the bowl. The increased force typically forces the obstructions to dislodge and continue on their way.

    If that doesn't work, a plunger will be needed to flush the toilet. Plungers with flanges are superior to those without them for unclogging toilets because they create a tighter seal and exert more force down the discharge syphon tube. Accordion-shaped plungers are also efficient. Make sure the suction cup is completely full of water before you start plunging. Fill the bowl with water if it gets low, then carry on.

    A plumbing snake, also known as a closet auger, is a coiled metal rod that can be inserted into the toilet bowl and snaked down the plumbing to dislodge any obstructions. As an alternative to using chemicals, you can try using one of these tools to dislodge the obstruction. You can find snakes at any department store or hardware store for a low price and they're readily available.

    If none of those work, you can find delivery tools for compressed air or carbon dioxide cartridges at most stores that carry plumbing supplies. The force applied by these tools is greater than that of a standard plunger, making them ideal for dislodging obstructions. Although they are more expensive than a plunger, they are still much less expensive than hiring a plumber.

    The last two options are removing the toilet from its installation, turning it upside down, and attempting to remove the clog in that way, or calling a professional plumber. Experiencing sickness is a possibility here, but avoiding a hefty plumbing bill might be worth it.

    Toilets can usually be disconnected without too much trouble. Usually, a wax collar and hold-down bolts are used to keep the bowl in place on the floor after the tank has been removed. It shouldn't be too difficult to lift the toilet off of the collar and place it on a plastic tarp so that it is more easily accessible after the screws have been removed and the caulk around the base has been removed.

    Pad the area under the tarp with an old blanket before setting the toilet down to keep it from cracking, and cover the drain opening to keep gas from escaping. It's important to replace the wax collar before reinstalling the toilet. Although removing a toilet isn't particularly challenging, it is advised that you have assistance because of the heavy weight.

    Having more time before beginning a project allows you to shop around for better deals on materials and supplies.

    You don't have to put up with the house in its current condition just because money is tight. If you prioritise your goals, do as much of the work as possible without outside help, and try to keep costs to a minimum, you can get a lot done.

    Being a homeowner comes with a large number of responsibilities. Though there are times when you'll need the help of a professional, you can do a lot of the upkeep on your own. If you want to be a better homeowner, you should learn some of these basic maintenance and repair skills.

    Home Repair FAQs

    Common skills include appliance installation, carpentry, basic plumbing, minor electrical wiring, maintenance and renovation. Over time, maintenance workers can improve these skills and gain new ones through vocational training, apprenticing, self-directed study and continued work experience.

    Major repairs involve large expenditures that extend the useful life of an asset. For example, the replacement of a building roof is considered a major repair if it allows the building to be used beyond its normal operating life.

    A repair is maintenance that takes place to restore a typecertificated product to "condition for safe operation." And, an alteration is maintenance that is performed that adds to and/or removes from the type-certificated product's configuration..

    One of the most common new construction Home defects is overlooked paint. You may find that some areas of a newly-built home have not been properly painted, such as basement areas, utility closets, and other out-of-the-way areas. Touch up paint is also done at the very end of construction.

    What are the steps in repair aspect? Finding the deterioration • Determining the cause • Evaluating the strength of existing building or structure • Evaluating the need of repair • Selecting and implementing a repair procedure.

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