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DIY Home Projects for the Fall & Winter

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Now that you’re stuck indoors during the cold months it’s the perfect opportunity to give your home a little TLC. Here are our top 5 picks for DIY home projects that are easier and more affordable to execute during the fall and winter.

Energy Efficiency Improvements

Most people think about improving their home’s energy efficiency during the hot summer months, but this is when products and services are at a premium. If you make improvements during the fall and winter there’s a better chance that you’ll save some money. Even better – you’ll be prepared for summer as soon as it hits.

In addition to standard items like insulation and caulking up air leaks, it’s a good idea to add some smart features. For example, Nest is a programmable thermostat that can be controlled by your smart phone and learns your preferences so it can make automatic adjustments. Another new invention is Pulse Smart Bulbs that incorporate a wireless stereo system with lighting that can be controlled with your phone. These smart home features can help you save money on energy every month and add value to your home since they are in high demand with buyers. A recent Coldwell Banker study found that two thirds of buyers are interested in smart features like the ones noted above.

Improve the Lighting

Since you’ll already be focused on energy efficiency, another easy project to take on during the darker winter months is updating your lighting. From simply swapping out old bulbs for CFLs to replacing the fans and overhead lights, improving illumination will quickly transform the look of a room. You can also:

  • Change the light switch faceplates.
  • Add lamps or change the shades.
  • Update the fixtures to give a room an immediate facelift.

Also consider ways to improve the functionality of the lighting. Installing dimmers and sensors can give you more control over your lighting and lower electricity costs.

Update the Hardware

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to update the look of your interior is by replacing the hardware on cabinets and doors. Knobs and handles may be small but they are eye-catching elements that are handled on a daily basis. Taking just an hour or two to replace them will have an instant impact that improves the look of your home and adds a bit of personal style.

Closet Organization

Closet space is one of the top items on all homeowners’ wish lists. No matter how much space you have it never seems like enough. When you can’t add more closets the next best thing is efficient organization.

The first step is going through and clearing out the clutter. Donate, trash or give away things that haven’t seen the light of day in a long time. Next, consider how you want the space to function. Closet organization options are endless these days. When the space is cleared out it’s easier to see how to make the best use of the space. Create a plan on how you want things arranged and what you’ll need. Finally, set aside a full day to install your new shelves, racks, bins, etc.

Clear Out the Garage

Once your closets are in order, you may find that the garage needs a little attention as well. A garage clear out is perfect during the fall and winter when you don’t have to deal with stifling heat that slows the work down. You’ll also have more room to park your vehicles so you don’t have to get out in the cold. While you’re reorganizing you may want to consider creating a pseudo mudroom around the entry into your home. This can help keep coats and boots collected in an area where the mess can be contained.

Have more clutter than you expected? Dumpsters.biz can help you clear out the mess from your fall and winter home projects with fast, affordable dumpster rentals. Get an estimate in seconds online!

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3 Must Follow Rules for Renovating Any Home

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Remodeling your home is a great way to add value and improve its livability at the same time. The National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index shows that since the end of 2013 renovation activity has been high. This indicates that more people are taking on major projects, minor projects and general maintenance for their homes.

If you are one of the thousands of home owners that plan to renovate in the coming months, following the renovation rules below will make the entire process go smoother and significantly decrease the amount of stress that’s involved.

Rule #1 – Always Create a Budget . . . With a Contingency

If you’re using a contractor then the cost of the renovation will be clear before anything gets underway. But before you start taking bids it’s best to put together a budget for your project. If you plan to take on the renovation yourself, a budget is absolutely necessary to keep the expenses from getting out of control. RemodelingCalculator.org has a number of calculators that can help you get a rough estimate of what the costs will be.

One thing that many people don’t do when budgeting is add in an expense line for the contingency. A contingency is extra money that’s factored in for unexpected expenses. No matter how well you plan and research the costs, there’s a very good chance something will crop up or won’t be accounted for. Factoring in a contingency of 10-20% will help to ensure you have enough to cover all the expenses and keep the project within budget.

Rule #2 – Have Everything Planned Out & Decided Beforehand

It’s easy for renovations to drag out much longer than expected because decisions have to be made during the process. To minimize cost and reduce the renovation time, put together a plan beforehand that includes both a timeline and a clear picture of what the renovation will include. The more decisions you can make about how things should look and function (the paint color, type of flooring, specific appliances that will go in, etc.) before the project the less delays there will be.

Rule #3 – Know What You Will Do With All the Waste Before the Project Starts

Even minor renovations can create a lot of trash and debris. These materials not only take up space at the construction site, they can also pose a safety risk. If you live in an HOA another consideration could be regulations regarding how renovation waste should be contained. Before your project begins you’ll need to put a plan in place for containing the waste so it doesn’t begin to pile up with nowhere to go.

For small projects you may be able to load the waste into the back of a truck, however you do have to be careful loading to avoid damaging the vehicle. Moderate to major renovations typically create many truckloads of waste, which is difficult to manage without a dumpster. Anyone can order a residential dumpster rental that is placed on the property, making it easy to keep waste contained. The dumpster rental company will pick the garbage container up when you’re done and dispose of the trash, saving you time and money.

If you are about to begin a renovation project and need an affordable dumpster rental, Dumpsters.biz can help. We work with dumpster operators all over the country to make the rental process stress-free and reliable for homeowners. Use our online form to see rental estimates in your area!