Posted 08/05/2015

diy

Have you ever felt empowered to take on a home improvement project from watching HGTV or DIY Network? Only to get 1/2 way through and realize it was a much bigger undertaking than what you pictured in your head. Many hours and days of filming go into these projects and are edited down to a half hour show. It is hardly as easy as it looks and there are projects that require the help of a professional, more than one person or may be just too dangerous to take on yourself.

Many people are capable of doing projects with all the tutorial videos on the internet to help. Consider this info as a guide to some of the riskier projects that you may want to think twice about.

Electrical Work:

Want to replace a new light fixture or add a dimmer?  Well, that  can be done fairly easy but still, if you’re not familiar with wiring, there’s a risk. Even the smallest mistake in electrical repair jobs could have a devastating effect on not only your property but your life as well.

Electric Shock

Definitely, leave the rewiring and electrical repairs to the pros. In addition to the dangers of attempting to do this yourself, there are codes to be followed.  The risk of electric shock or fire are just not worth saving a few bucks.

Tree Removal/Pruning:

As a do-it-yourself-er, you could  get away with trimming back small branches. Even then, be sure to wear protective goggles. But for trees and larger branches, put some serious thought into this. Chainsaws, utility wires, trees and branches falling in the opposite direction than planned, and falls from ladders and trees. Imagine the things that can go wrong. Chainsaws are very heavy, carry a serious risk for major injuries and would you really want to learn how to use one on a video tutorial for a weekend project? I say “BAD IDEA!”

Also, consider that  you can damage a tree beyond repair if pruned at the wrong time. For most trees, it is best to trim when dormant,  late fall to early spring.

Replacing Garage Door Springs:

A garage door has springs that are wound tight when installed, and function as you press your garage door opener. Over time they will loosen and break. These springs support the entire weight of a garage door and they are very heavy. it isn’t advisable to try to open it until the parts are repaired. Most homeowners will not attempt to open the garage door based on the weight alone. It is after all, around 300 pounds.

Installing new garage door springs is not only a lengthy and complicated process, but potentially dangerous. Remember, garage door springs are wound and under tension .  Anytime you’re dealing with a tightly wound, heavy springs and aren’t extremely careful, you can be looking at a very dangerous situation.  This job just seems to be best not to  touch with a ten foot pole.

Removing Walls:

Who doesn’t want their home to have an open feel, right? Knocking down some walls looks easy enough.  At least when you watch these home improvement shows where the homeowner jumps right in there with a sledgehammer with the host and starts swinging away at the wall.

Removing a load-bearing wall without knowing it can be disastrous. Not adding the necessary support can result in costly repairs and the floors and roof above can literally come crashing down.

It’s likely that there are electrical wires running up and through the walls. So now you are getting into electrical and hopefully, you got the message about dealing with electrical wiring.  Once you are inside the wall, this means re-routing or dead-ending circuits.

You can always do the frame work and trim but be sure to hire a pro to find out what’s behind the wall before you start demolition.

If you are looking to purchase a new home, refinance or make a home improvement, please contact one of our Mortgage Consultants at Mortgages Unlimited to help you get started. 763-416-2600 or visit us at www.muihomeloans.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 07/21/2015

pig and house

Home ownership can be expensive and at times you can feel like it’s sucking money right out of your bank account. If you don’t pay attention to the small things, you might wind up paying much more to replace items that could have been given a little TLC.

Below are some tips you’ll be glad you knew about.

Maintain and service your appliances

All the hype on energy saving appliances can be just that. If you service your appliances regularly and take care of problems as soon as you notice them, your appliances can last a very long time.

Some of these new appliances can be pretty expensive and the savings over the lifetime of the appliance is minimal compared the money shelled out to purchase them. For instance, if you clean your lint tray regularly and vacuum under the area of the lint tray periodically, your dryer will heat quicker and more efficient allowing for a shorter time to dry clothes. So why spend nearly $500 to buy a new dryer?

Add Insulation

If your attic isn’t insulated, now might be the time to do it. The Department of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can shave 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill. And it works the opposite way for warm climates; in summer, it helps stabilize your house’s indoor temps to keep cooling needs in check.

If you are handy, this can be a weekend DIY project. This is definitely worth the investment and you will see savings immediately.

Purchase a programmable thermostat

thermostat

When there’s no one around during the day, there’s no need to have the heat or air on as you would when you’re home. A 10-15 degree difference can mean a significant savings on your bill.

You can pick up a programmable thermostat for as low as $25.00 from your local hardware store and installation is easy.

Use less water

Are you aware of how much water you use? Do you let the shower run too long before getting in? Run your dishwasher when half full or run the water while brushing your teeth? When you start paying attention to this, you will see how much water you’re wasting and you might as well just take your hard earned cash and flush it down the toilet.

The difference between washing in hot water/warm rinse vs. cold wash/cold rinse is hot water can cost you 60 cents per load, whereas cold water will only cost 4 cents per load. Save water and money by washing clothes and dishes when you have a full load to wash.

Fix leaky faucets and shower heads

This is another way that water and money are wasted. Several drips per minute can turn into a couple gallons at the end of the day. Also, fixing any appliance early on, will save you from having to replace it sooner than you have to.

Do it yourself

So many projects can be done by you. Or maybe you have a friend that is handy and willing to help. You can save big bucks this way. Many big box home improvement stores have classes on home projects. Also, have you ever looked up instructions on Youtube? It is one of the best places to find step-by-step instructions for almost anything. And you can stop and start the video as you go along.

If you are in need of getting approved for a mortgage or want to look at saving money on your current mortgage, give a Mortgages Unlimited Mortgage Professional a call today at 763-416-2600 or visit us at www.muihomeloans.com

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