SOURCE: Handyman Connection

Handyman Connection

May 20, 2011 19:16 ET

Ode to Spring and the Home Maintenance Project From Handyman Connection

CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - Ah, spring is finally in the air. For many of us that means shaking off the doldrums of winter to once again embrace the golden glow of sunshine and Mother Nature in all her glory.

But before you break out that picnic basket and head off for the beaches and BBQs, you might want to plan a few home maintenance projects around the house, just to get into the season.

Outside Your Home

The number one enemy of any home is moisture. Rain and snow and ice -- they take their toll on your house. So grab paper and pen and start your project list with a tour of your home's exterior.

  • Inspect your home's foundation inside and out for signs of cracking and splitting. Repair with caulk or cement.
  • Look for places where the ground has slipped away from the wall and fill in with fresh dirt. Make sure the new grade slopes away from the foundation.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts, fascia or soffit boards. Clean out the gutters and downspouts, and where winter snow and ice have soaked through boards, replace any that are soft or rotting.
  • Power wash siding to clean away mold and mildew, dirt and debris. Replace damaged siding that can't be fixed and apply a fresh coat of paint. Do the same for roof shingles. If you have a lot of broken shingles -- roof or siding -- consider hiring a reputable handyman to do the work.
  • For decks and porches, replace damaged and warped floor boards. Use metal fixers to discourage mold and mildew. Apply quick-drying cement to repair any cracks in your patio.

Inside Your Home

Although winter isn't quite as hard on the inside of your home as it is on the outside, this is still a good time to give the interior a fresh makeover. Here are a few home repair and home improvement ideas to help get you started.

  • Organizing your home not only simplifies your life, but it can make a huge difference in the look and feel of it as well. Learn to toss. If you haven't seen Aunt Tilly's hand-crafted birthday tree made from driftwood in x-many years, do you really need it?
  • Old cabinets and countertops can date a kitchen and make it feel less like the heart of home and more like a shabby relative. Consider replacing the cabinets. If that's not in your budget, paint them a pleasing color and install modern hardware. New granite countertops can give your kitchen a well-deserved facelift and make it feel stylish and warm. New appliances will do the same.
  • Though small in stature, the bath is understandably popular. Tear out the old wallpaper and brush on a cheery coat of paint. Bring the room up to date with a new sink and vanity. Replace the old-fashioned medicine cabinet with a sleek, lighted mirror. If your electrical and plumbing skills are not up to par, consider hiring a licensed plumber and a licensed electrician for the tricky parts.
  • For the truly daring who are in the mood for a little home remodeling, move a non-load bearing wall or take it out all together. Think about how much more spacious your home will feel. For such a large project, you might consider having a general contractor plan and execute any demolition work or home installations.

Dan Sage of Handyman Connection -- North America's original and leading specialists in home improvement, repair and remodeling -- has this to say about hiring home improvement help.

"Having work done around the house is one of the few occasions when we invite relative strangers to spend extended periods of time in our homes," Sage said. "Therefore, it is very important to make sure you're comfortable with who you're hiring to do the work."

Wise advice and something to remember in case that romantic spring walk in the woods beckons a little more strongly than a Saturday afternoon spent repairing the deck or mending the fence.

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