Tag Archives: exterior

10 Fall Maintenance Tasks You Should Start in Summer

DIY experts say fall and spring are the two major home maintenance seasons, with the former being especially important – if you overlook your autumn maintenance tasks, you risk leaving your home vulnerable to the many problems that wild winter weather can bring. These problems can be very expensive to repair, to say nothing of the inconveniences they can cause.

The smart move is to get a jump on your fall maintenance during the summer, when the days are still long and the weather warm.

10 Fall Maintenance Tasks You Should Start in Summer by Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement

Get Started in Summer with These Essential Fall Home Maintenance Tasks

Here are 10 high-priority fall maintenance tasks you should start during the summertime:

  • Inspect your roof. Check your roof carefully for signs of wear and tear, like missing or damaged shingles. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing onto your roof, grab a pair of binoculars and use them to inspect all visible parts of your roof from a distance. Or call a roofer.
  • Service your furnace. Have a professional technician come in and perform seasonal heating system maintenance. Most home heating specialists aren’t busy in summer, meaning it should be easy to book an appointment. Your furnace will run more reliably and economically if it’s properly serviced, so this is an investment that can pay dividends.
  • Clean your chimney. If you’ve got a fireplace, now is the time to make sure the remnants of last winter’s fires are all cleared out. It’s also a good idea to get a head start on restocking your firewood, especially if you cut it yourself.
  • Insulate exposed pipes. Pipe bursts are one of the most feared wintertime home mishaps, as they are a nightmare to clean up after. A key way to avoid them is to insulate your exposed pipes so trapped water won’t freeze and cause a burst.
  • Prune your bushes and trees. Well-trimmed trees, shrubs and hedges don’t just look better – they also grow better in the long run. By pruning now, you’ll give them the advantage of continued health through the rest of the growing season and put them in great shape to come back strong next year.
  • Check your snow removal gear. Is your snow blower functioning properly? Are all your snow shovels in ship-shape and ready for another winter? Now is the time to find out.
  • Check your weatherstripping. Quality, properly applied weatherstripping adds a vital layer of protection around windows and doors, helping keep heat inside during the winter. Give yours an upgrade before fall arrives, since you never quite know when you’ll need to turn your heat on for the first time.
  • Clear your gutters. You’ll need to do this again in the late fall to clear out autumn’s remnants, but a preliminary cleaning effort now will make that task less time-consuming.
  • Measure your slope. If you haven’t done so in a while, check your property’s grade rate to make sure it is adequately sloped to guide water away from your home when the snow melts in springtime. Erosion can affect property grading over time, so if it’s been a few years, you’re better safe than sorry.
  • Check your detectors. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and have fresh batteries. During the winter, your windows are closed and your combustion appliances are on more often. That’s part of the reason it’s especially important to make sure your CO2 detector is functioning properly.

Take care of these tasks while the weather is still warm and sunny and your home will be in great shape heading toward winter.

If you need help preparing your home for winter, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. We are a family owned and operated Virginia home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience. Whether you need your furnace serviced, gutters repaired, or water damage handled, we’re here to help!

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

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Top 10 Summer Home Improvement Projects

With warm temperatures and long hours of daylight, summer is the ideal time to work on a home improvement project, especially those that are going to spruce up your home’s exterior.

If you get a prompt start, you’ll even be finished in time to enjoy the fruits of your labor before the cool weather makes its inevitable comeback.

Focusing on minor upgrades and energy efficiency that will add appeal and comfort to your home is the smartest thing you can do, especially if you’re considering selling in the near future.

Top 10 Summer Home Improvement Projects

Top 10 Summer Home Improvement Projects

If you’re looking for ideas for summer home improvement projects, considering the relative costs of popular home upgrades is a great place to start. That way, you can undertake a project that fits in your budget range and get a jump start on planning future renovations.

Lower-Cost Summer Home Renovation Projects

Looking for a quick upgrade that’s easy on your budget? Consider these popular options:

  • Spruce up your yard: Landscaping is alwasy at the top of every summer home improvement list, and is one of the biggest home improvements that add value to a property. Boosting your curb appeal can be as cheap and easy as laying a new lawn, adding some shrubs and trees and applying a fresh coat of paint to your home’s exterior. Spending on landscaping and doing it wisely, you can greatly add to the value of your home.
  • Update your lighting: Good exterior lighting helps keep your home safe and secure, while improving your home’s curb appeal. Add new fixtures, install motion-detecting sensors and sleep easy.
  • Install a new front door: One of the cheapest, yet most effective exterior changes is as simple as a new front door. Swap your old one out for an energy-efficient, attractive upgrade for just a few hundred dollars.

Summer Projects for Mid-Range Budgets

If you’re looking to spend a little more money without breaking the bank, these mid-range projects are excellent:

  • Install a new HVAC system: This will require an investment of a few thousand dollars, but you’ll dramatically reduce your heating and cooling costs for years to come. And if your central air was installed a few decades ago, upgrading to a more efficient condenser will be a treat for both your family and your wallet!
  • Replace your windows: Swap out your old, drafty windows for dual-pane energy-efficient replacements that help keep cool air in during the summer and prevent warm air from escaping during the winter. Now is also a good time to think about installing curtains, shades, blinds, awnings and window films to help control summer heat gain through windows.
  • Add insulation: Attic insulation plays an extremely important role in the health of your roof and the overall energy efficiency of your home. Review your home’s insulation protection and address problem areas with products that have a suitable R-value for your climate.
  • Do a minor indoor remodeling: Kitchens and bathrooms are high-profile areas that see a lot of traffic. They both offer a high ROI, and you don’t have to break the bank for a high impact result. Invest in a kitchen face-lift: replace your cabinet faces, install new sinks and plumbing fixtures, add a backsplash, update the lighting and add an island. For bathrooms, replacing your dated vanity is always recommended. You’ll be glad you did when the time comes to sell your home.

High-End Exterior Upgrades If You Can Splurge

Making a significant investment in home improvement is a major decision, but it’s one that can pay off in big ways down the road in the form of a dramatically increased resale value.

With summer being a really good time to take a good look at how you experience outdoor living, ask yourself: What do you love about your back yard? How do you use your outdoor space? How can you improve your outdoor living?

Here are some high-budget projects that can further expand your living space to the outdoors:

  • Build a porch, deck or patio: Make better use of your outdoor space by adding a covered porch, raised deck or backyard patio (this post will help you choose your best option). Each offers great ROI,
  • Install a swimming pool: While certainly on the very expensive side of home improvements, this elaborate upgrade will help you make the most of the summer months for as long as you live in your home.
  • Add outbuildings: If you’re running out of space, building a detached garage or shed will solve your storage woes while adding a lot of value to your home.
  • Install a sunroom: When part of your deck is converted to a screened-in porch or sunroom you can enjoy the summer weather without the mosquitoes. A sunroom will extend the season and keep you sheltered from the elements, and it might just be your favorite part of the house no matter the time of the year!

Hire A Professional Home Improvement Contractor

Summer is the best time to take care of your exterior home improvement projects in order to maintain and enhance your home, but unless you’ve got extensive construction skills and experience, you’ll achieve the best results by working with a professional contractor, especially if you’re considering one of the higher-end projects this summer.

Choose a local professional with a proven track record of success in the same kind of work you’re planning, but compare quotes and do your research before committing to a single contractor.

Whether you’re thinking of installing a deck, replacing windows, or building a shed, investing in a skilled contractor can go a long way. Here at Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement, we can help you turn your dreams into reality. We are a family owned and operated Charlottesville & Culpeper VA home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience in interior and exterior renovation and construction, and we make it our mission to exceed our customers’ expectations and provide exceptional service!

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

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Exterior Home Improvement: Choosing Between Deck, Patio and Porch

With the return of the warm weather, many homeowners look to the outdoors when they cast an eye to home improvement projects. Options abound: decks, patios and porches are all popular, and they can all boost your home’s resale value and livability.

Yet, many homeowners struggle when it comes to committing to one of these options, hemming and hawing over their relative advantages, disadvantages and costs.

To help you reach the decision that’s right for your home and your budget, we’ve complied a quick guide to choosing between decks, patios and porches.

Exterior Home Improvement: Choosing Between Deck, Patio and Porch

Exterior Home Improvement: Choosing Between Deck, Patio and Porch

Step #1: Set Your Budget

As with any home improvement project, the first thing you should do is set a budget limit. Identify a soft lower limit that represents the amount of money you would like to spend, but has enough flexibility to accommodate the unforeseen surprises that invariably accompany renovations. Then, create a hard upper limit that represents the absolute maximum amount of money you can comfortably commit to the project without jeopardizing your other financial commitments.

As a general rule of thumb, porches are usually the least expensive to build, with patios being second and decks usually being the most expensive option.

If your budget is limited, it may be a better idea to stick with a patio or deck, and use whatever financial flexibility you have to make sure it’s well-built and pleasing to the eye. If you’ve got the means to absorb a more expensive project, move on to considering the pros and cons of each exterior home improvement option.

Step #2: Consider Benefits and Drawbacks

Porches offer the following advantages:

  • Quick, relatively easy and practical to build
  • Immediate boost to curb appeal, since they occupy front rather than back yards
  • Low-maintenance
  • Can be covered for protection from weather elements

Yet, they come with these drawbacks:

  • Limited space relative to patios and decks
  • Lower return on investment (ROI) rates, compared to patios and decks
  • Do not usually provide an immediate, impactful increase in property resale value

The pros of patios include:

  • Great ROI rates, with Gallup data indicating they increased a home’s perceived value by about 12%
  • Little to no maintenance
  • A long life of up to 25 years or more, when properly built using sturdy raw materials like natural stone
  • Ideal for low-grade slopes and flat yards

Patios also come with these downsides:

  • Major limitations when dealing with higher-grade slopes and hilly yards
  • Costs tend to rise significantly when building patios on sloped ground, since slopes need to be filled in prior to construction

Decks are great because:

  • Decks have excellent ROI rates, increasing perceived home value by about 10%
  • They are one of the most versatile options, and can be built from a wide range of materials including wood, stone, metal, or composite materials
  • They are the easiest and most practical option for yards with steep slopes

Beyond their higher cost, decks also come with these disadvantages:

  • They typically require seasonal or annual care and maintenance, especially if they are built from wood (this can be avoided by installing a composite deck)
  • Even with proper maintenance, most decks start to wear down faster than patios

Consult a Home Improvement Expert

If you’re still unsure which option is right for you, or if you want to compare specific costs, contact a reputable local construction contractor to discuss your situation and obtain estimates. You can ask for comparative estimates that will specify the relative cost of each option and help guide you to the right decision.

Whether you’re thinking of installing a deck, patio or porch, careful planning goes a long way. Here at Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement, we can help you turn your dreams into reality. We are a family owned and operated Charlottesville & Culpeper VA home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience in interior and exterior renovation and construction, and we make it our mission to exceed our customers’ expectations and provide exceptional service!

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

Extend your living space outside

Get your no-obligation quote!