10 Home Improvements You Must Tackle This Summer

Today’s Homeowner’s 4 Seasons of Home Ownership is a curated collection of how-to videos, articles and tips to keep your home running smoothly throughout the year. The summer checklist focuses mainly on the exterior of the house, paying close attention to the siding and trim, fencing and gates, outdoor furniture and grill, driveway and sidewalks.

See how we helped a family take on the summer checklist in the 4 Seasons of Home Ownership: Summer episode of Today’s Homeowner With Danny Lipford. And, check out Simple Steps to Summer Prep for more info.

wood gate by lake
Inspect fencing and gates and make any needed repairs.

Summer Checklist

Top 10 Must Do

  1. Change AC and heating system filters.
  2. Flush out AC drain line with bleach twice during the summer.
  3. Check for loose railings or damage on wood decks. Repair, if needed.
  4. Inspect fencing and gates for damage. Repair, if needed.
  5. Clean all outdoor furniture.
  6. Thoroughly clean and inspect outdoor grill.
  7. Have fireplace chimney professionally inspected and cleaned.
  8. Scrape any loose paint from siding and wood trim, then prime and paint.
  9. Clean all windows inside and out.
  10. Pull all weeds and add mulch to gardens and planting beds.
patio furniture
Clean and protect the furniture on your
Read More

19 Tips to Maintain Your Home This Winter Season

People spend 90 percent of their time indoors during the winter season, so tackling the chores on this checklist ensures healthy air and water quality throughout this period.

The 4 Seasons of Home Ownership is a curated collection of how-to videos, articles and tips to keep your home running smoothly throughout the year.

This winter checklist (which is applicable for seasonal chores from late December through late March) also focuses on making sure you and your home are prepared in case of severe winter weather.

snow blowing
Clean and oil your snowblower to keep it running efficiently this winter.

Winter Checklist

Here are 10 things you must do during the winter season. That’s why we pushed them to the top of our checklist. 

  1. Change heating system filters.
  2. Clean kitchen range hood filter.
  3. Clean all baseboard heaters.
  4. Change water and icemaker filters on the refrigerator.
  5. Thoroughly clean, oil and prepare snowblower for winter.
  6. Gather tools and supplies for removing ice from walkways and driveways.
  7. Inspect the washing machine hoses for leaks or damage. Replace, if necessary.
  8. Insulate exposed water lines and hose bibs.
  9. Set ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to circulate warm air.
  10. Prepare portable or standby generators.
winter driving survival kit
Add a winter survival kit
Read More

7 Essential Questions to Ask Before Replacing Your Roof

Asking an installer the right questions can lead to a great-looking roof replacement that will last for many decades. (Photo courtesy of Classic Metal Roofing Systems)

The last thing homeowners need is anything else that adds to their stress. And because of extreme weather events in many regions, having to worry about the roof is especially unwelcome these days.

As homeowners begin to prioritize their spring home improvement projects, the experts at the Metal Roofing Alliance say the best method for ensuring peace of mind and long-term satisfaction starts with asking installers the right questions, well in advance of when a replacement project starts.

“Replacing a roof is a major expense and it has a big impact on how a home looks and performs,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “Because there are so many variables, it can be stressful and anxiety-producing, causing homeowners to feel uneasy about whether they are making the right choices.

“But it doesn’t have to be that way: asking good questions goes a long way towards making a worry- and hassle-free decision.”

According to MRA, the first step is finding a reputable, qualified pro who will conduct a thorough and honest evaluation of your

Read More

MRA Launches Best Residential Metal Roofing Project Competition for 2021

Think your metal roofing project is outstanding? Enter the Metal Roofing Alliance’s 2021 Best Residential Metal Roofing Project quarterly competition.

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Metal Roofing Alliance has kicked off its 2021 Best Residential Metal Roofing Project quarterly competition and this year, the opportunity to enter is open to both the trades and homeowners.

Designed to honor the most stylish, creative and effective use of metal roofing, the MRA will select one winner each quarter based on project appearance, performance and originality/use of materials.

Interested participants may upload their project photo along with a 200-word-or-less description for why their metal roofing project is worthy of top honors at metalroofing.com. Winners will be highlighted on MRA’s website and digital channels and will receive a $200 prize.

MRA’s quarterly honorees for 2021 will be selected in March, June, September and December and only residential metal roofing projects in the U.S. and Canada will be considered (see MRA website for specific details and rules).

“Homeowners tell us how much they love their metal roof and what a difference it has made to their home,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “This competition is designed to show off how quality metal roofing is being

Read More

Ice Dams on Your Roof: How to Prevent Them

Ice dams cause some of nature’s most beautiful sights — icicles — but they also wreak havoc on your home. (DepositPhotos)

If you’re fortunate enough to live in the Sunbelt or some other balmy region, chances are you’ve never heard of — or at least experienced — ice dams.

I, on the other hand, live in New England, so every winter, ice dams are as common — and as welcoming — as frostbite and sub-zero temperatures.

That’s because ice dams can be problematic, destructive, and virtually impossible to remove once fully formed.


Ice dams on house in winter
Ice dams lead to icicles. (DepositPhotos)

Ice Dams: Beautiful, But Problematic

Ironically, ice dams are often responsible for one of the most beautiful and iconoclastic of all winter images: glistening crystal-clear icicles hanging from gutters and eaves.

Heck, even I marvel at the delicate beauty of icicles — but only when they’re hanging off someone else’s house.

So, what causes ice dams?

It all starts with a roof blanketed in snow. The snow layer sitting directly on the roof begins to melt, and water runs down the roof under the blanket of snow.

When the water hits the overhanging eave of the house, it begins to freeze. Some

Read More

Home Decorating: Kitchen on a Budget

Decorating a home can be a trying thing to do with the best of budgets. The fact that you do not happen to have large lots of money lying around however should not prevent you from having a lovely kitchen to call your own. The kitchen is after all, the heart of any home and you want this room to be one that invites everyone to come, congregate, and pitch in (one can always dream right?). This is the reason that you want your kitchen to shine above all other rooms in your home though. The kitchen should radiate warmth and home to all who enter.

Truthfully faucet trend speaking there are many things you can do in your kitchen that will greatly impact the overall look of your kitchen without changing anything structurally within your kitchen. If you have wallpaper, remove it and try paint. There are all kinds of great things you can do in the kitchen from plaster, which goes amazingly well in a kitchen, to faux finishes and textures, and glazes for added impact. The walls in the kitchen are your canvas and the world is at your disposal. Just remember to try to tie the …

Read More