Protect your Home from Termites

Termites have been around for millions of years. While the insects are small, they can cause major damage to the structure of homes. Since they work from the inside out, the destruction begins without you knowing it. Cindy Mannes, vice president of the National Pest Management Association, said,

 

“Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. annually, which is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance.”

We know this sounds scary, but don’t worry! There are numerous things you can do to prevent termites in new builds and existing homes. As you prepare complete spring home maintenance tasks, make sure you add in preventative measures against termites and other insects. 

 

New Homes

If you are building a new home, termite prevention begins with the foundation. Termite mesh, a termite barrier, and concrete can be packed beneath a house, making it impossible for termites to pass through the ground and into the house. Pressure-treated wood is also highly recommended for termite prevention.

 

Existing Homes

Homeowners can take measures to prevent an infestation in existing homes as well. Create a barrier between your home and the ground, so only the concrete foundation of the house touches mulch, plants, and soil. The siding should begin at least 6 inches above the soil, making it difficult for termites to reach. 

 

Tips to Protect against Pests

  1. Reduce moisture in and around the home.
  2. Repair leaky faucets, pipes, and exterior HVAC units.
  3. Repair rotted roof shingles. 
  4. Replace weather-stripping around windows and doors. 
  5. Check to ensure gutters and downspouts divert water away from the house.
  6. Inspect your home throughout the year for evidence of termite waste, patterns in wood, or mud tunnels leading up the house. 

You can also get a yearly inspection completed by a pest professional, who can treat both the yard and structure of the wood, should there be evidence of termites. 

The trick with termites? Prevention! Take the time each year to check for signs of termites so you can get ahead of any damage they may cause. 

31 Home Maintenance Projects to Complete Now

We all have a list of home maintenance projects we would love to take on “when we have more time.” Now that many of us are spending more time at home, we can begin to tackle those projects. Some of you may have already started your spring cleaning and organizing, while others may be overwhelmed with the thought of doing all the tasks you usually put off.

Either way, you can use this checklist to help you get started. No need to do everything at once – pick one or two small projects to get started, and determine where you want to go from there.

Deep Clean

Spring is synonymous with cleaning and airing out. After you complete your basic cleaning routine, dive into these projects to make your home feel brand new. 

  • Clean vents and baseboards.
  • Wipe down blinds
  • Wash windows, window tracks, and screens.
  • Wash curtains.
  • Scrub tile grout. 
  • Wipe down light fixtures and fans.
  • Sanitize garbage cans. 
  • Clean under your furniture.
  • Clean cabinets and drawers (inside and out). 
  • Clean the inside of your dishwasher and oven. 
  • Descale faucets and shower heads. 
  • Wipe down doors and walls.
  • Wipe down the inside of your refrigerator and freezer.

Organize

If you tend to hold on to everything you’ve ever gotten, now is an excellent time to sort through your belongings and get rid of what you do not need or want. Here is where you can start:

  • Closets
  • Drawers and cabinets
  • Entryway
  • Garage
  • Basement
  • Attic
  • Shed
  • Pantry

Rearrange

All of the cleaning and organizing may get you in the mood for a whole new look. That doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend money on new furniture and decor. Try rearranging what you have to change things up.

  • Furniture layout (in any room!)
  • Books on bookshelves
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Wall art

Landscape and Property

You can also give some attention to your property and outside living space. Here are some outside projects to work on:

  • Clean up the lawn from leaves and winter debris.
  • Sweep or power wash patio and deck. 
  • Prune shrubs.
  • Clean patio furniture.
  • Wash siding of the house. 
  • Prep for planting.

Are you doing any home maintenance projects right now? Let us know what they are in the comments!

Upgrades that Pay Off

You love the size and location of your home, but some work needs to be completed for you to remain happy while living there. 

If you are going to spend money on renovations, it’s important to factor in how much value the projects will add to your home. 

Whether you plan to sell in the near future, a few years down the road, or haven’t thought of selling at all, continue reading to learn what interior projects are most likely to add value to the home for resale. 

INTERIOR RENOVATION PROJECTS

REALTOR rank of projects’ appeal to buyers (highest to lowest)

REALTOR rank of projects’ likely value to the home for resale (highest to lowest)

Complete Kitchen Renovation

Complete Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Upgrade

Kitchen Upgrade

HVAC Replacement

HVAC Replacement

New Wood Flooring

New Master Suite / Owners’ Suite

Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom Renovation

Hardwood Flooring Refinish

Basement Conversion to Living Area

New Master Suite / Owners’ Suite

Add New Bathroom

Add New Bathroom

New Wood Flooring

Basement Conversion to Living Area

Hardwood Flooring Refinish

Attic Conversion to Living Area

Attic Conversion to Living Area

Insulation Upgrade

Insulation Upgrade

Closet Renovation

Closet Renovation

* From the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report

 

Kitchens and Bathrooms 

Kitchens top the list of remodeling projects, according to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of Realtors. “Complete Kitchen Renovation” is the top remodeling project to complete if you want to appeal to buyers and add value to the resale, according to Realtors surveyed. 

We know that while a complete renovation in the kitchen is what homeowners dream about, it is also a costly project. With a kitchen upgrade ranking number two on both lists, you can choose to stay within budget by keeping some aspects of the kitchen and upgrading others. 

“Bathroom Renovation” and “Add a New Bathroom” are also remodeling projects that add value. If you have just one bathroom, consider where you can add another. For an outdated bathroom, determine what upgrades are needed to make it feel more luxurious or relaxing. 

 

Comfort and Sustainability

Aesthetics aren’t everything. Buyers are also interested in comfort and sustainability, which has a lot to do with the mechanics of the home. An HVAC Replacement or Insulation Upgrade can make a significant difference for buyers. These changes can help to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, which adds value to the property.

 

Which home renovation project would you like to tackle in 2020?

 

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