Top 10 Home Improvement Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Homeownership has a way of awakening the inner Bob Vila in all of us—even the ones who know nothing about home improvement. Whether you’re tackling huge renovations or tiptoeing your way into the world of DIY, these tips will help you set yourself up for success.

Have a plan

Renovations rarely go exactly to plan, but that doesn’t mean you should wing it. Last-minute changes are both stressful and expensive, so get the non-negotiable details hammered out first. At minimum, this means knowing what results you want and how much money—and time—it will take to achieve them.

Modeling and design tools like Floorplanner are super helpful in the planning phase. Create a couple different versions of the same project, then add a 10-15% buffer to your budget estimates to prepare for inevitable surprises.

Add value when possible

If you’re not sure where to start with home improvements, it can be helpful to prioritize projects that increase your home’s value. Updated kitchens and bathrooms are pretty much always a safe bet, as are any renovations that increase square footage, like finished basements and decks. But buyer preferences vary from market to market, so be sure to focus on what’s popular and valuable where you live—not broad national trends.

Tackle quick, time-sensitive projects first

Some home improvements are more urgent than others. If a project will save you money immediately or prevent devastating damage in the future, bump it to the top of the priority list. That goes double for quick, easy fixes, like sealing drafts and replacing filters.

Find your DIY threshold

Even if you’re an experienced DIY-er with a well-stocked workshop, not all home improvement projects are suitable for amateurs. Before starting a project, gauge your interest level: How much work are you really willing to put in? Is that effort worth the money you’ll save? Be brutally honest.

If you have no idea what you’re getting into, don’t commit until you’ve spent, at minimum, a solid couple of hours watching YouTube tutorials and pricing out materials. Remember: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Bone up on DIY knowledge

Everyone should know a few basic repair skills, and thanks to the internet, learning them has never been easier. If you can, start with a specific question: Is my garbage disposal broken or just clogged? Do I really need to clean my dishwasher filter? How do you refinish a coffee table? You’ll click with some blogs and video personalities more than others; next time, start with them.

If you’re more of a hands-on learner, try volunteering: You’ll learn new skills and help people at the same time. Many hardware stores offer free clinics on basic home repair and improvement skills, too, so be sure to check the offerings in your area.

Save money by scrimping—and splurging—responsibly

Major renovations are expensive, but going full Scrooge on every single line item only creates more work later. Instead, identify where you can and can’t afford to be a little stingy. A good rule of thumb: Shell out for anything catastrophically expensive and/or difficult to replace, like hot water heaters and electrical work. For easily replaceable items—shower heads, light fixtures, drawer pulls—cheap is fine. You should also consider how much use and enjoyment you’ll get from an item. If you’re an avid cook, skimp on floor tiles so you can splurge on the stove of your dreams.

Understand your financing options

Unfortunately, most home improvements do not pay for themselves. If you can’t afford to finance the project in full with cash, you should know the different ways you can finance your home improvement without putting your home at risk.

Personal loans and credit cards can be useful for small-to-medium projects, depending on the interest rate and terms, while home equity loans (HELs) and lines of credit (HELOCs) can help finance major renovations and repairs. Improvements that increase your home’s value can cut down on private mortgage insurance payments, but keep in mind you’ll have to pay to get your home reassessed on top of everything else.

Get your tools right

You can’t really improve your home with just your bare hands—most projects require at least a multi-tool. Before you start a project of any size, be sure your toolbox actually contains the tools you’ll need. Keep in mind that some project genres need special equipment, particularly if they involve plumbing or electrical systems. When in doubt, Google it.

Find the perfect contractor

Finding a handyman or contractor you trust is a lot like finding the right dentist or therapist: Harder than it sounds, and with incredibly high stakes. It’s important to vet potential contractors carefully using these criteria:

  • Word of mouth: Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations—especially if they have industry connections
  • Check for complaints: Look up your state’s consumer protection office and your local building inspection office
  • Learn which licenses and permits are required in your area for contractors, electricians, plumbers, and painters
  • Get proof of insurance: Ask contractors to provide you with their insurance details so you can verify it with the provider
  • Ask for references, then actually check them out
  • Meet with every potential candidate so you get a feel for their style
  • Get quotes—and track them with a spreadsheet or other list

For even more specific questions you should ask, check out our page or contact us for more information.

Always keep your next project in mind

When one project ends, another begins—such is the nature of home improvement. Planning your next move is a lot harder when you can’t remember the good ideas you had while working on something else. Keep a detailed list of your project goals in a spreadsheet, notebook, or even a good old-fashioned Pinterest board so you’ll always know what’s next.

This story was originally published in 2014 and thoroughly updated on March 15, 2021 with a new copy and links.

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Affordable Home Improvement Tips Find big savings on those high buck remodeling projects

home improvementZivicaKerkez/Shutterstock
You’ll save money on remodeling projects if you plan well in advance, get several bids, do simple parts yourself, shop for materials, design with energy savings in mind and follow these other easy ideas.

Tip 1: Plan your project and get bids well in advance

Advance planning pays off

You get the best contractor deals when contractors aren’t so busy.

Have you ever tried to find a contractor in March to start your new three-season porch that you want completed by Mother’s Day? It’ll cost more than if you’d found a contractor in January. Most contractors plan out months ahead and don’t want to disrupt their schedules. They’ll shoot you a high bid, because they really don’t want to fit you in … unless you pay a high rate.

Most building trades have busy seasons and slow seasons. Plan ahead, and you’ll get more competitive bids during the slow seasons. Best times to schedule:

  • roofing—cold or rainy months
  • indoor renovations—winter or during rainy months
  • heating—late summer, before fall
  • air conditioning—late winter or early spring
  • chimney cleaning— anytime except fall!
  • project design (architects)—fall and winter

Tip 2: Pay extra for energy-saving features

Invest in the future

Investing in energy-saving features now will save on future expenses.

With energy prices rising, many contractors are offering energy efficiency upgrades (at an additional price). These might include higher-efficiency windows; guaranteed air sealing; extra-thick insulation; and higher-efficiency heating, cooling or other appliances. If they don’t offer this, you can ask what additional measures they (or you) can take to improve your home’s energy performance. Then compare the estimated energy savings with the cost of each upgrade. A payback period of seven to 10 years is good. (Simple payback is the time it takes for the savings to equal the original cost.) Keep in mind that upgrades done during the remodeling process always cost less than upgrades added later.

Tip 3: Hire an architect or designer for at least an initial sketch

Don’t throw money away

Don’t waste money by building an addition you don’t like!

The most expensive mistake you can make is to build an addition or remodel a room that you don’t like when it’s finished. Professional design help during the planning stage helps you tailor the space to fit. Sometimes it takes only one or two key details to make that room special. Most architects and designers will walk you through the initial planning for a modest fee. Gather lots of visual material to illustrate your ideas. And be sure you’re on the same page as your spouse! Be prepared to do some legwork after going through these home improvement tips.

Tip 4: Pitch in and do parts of the project yourself

Sweat equity

Tackle the parts of the project within your skill range.

Doing the entire project yourself is by far the best way to save. But if you don’t have the time or skills, your part-time sweat equity can reduce costs. Consider taking on such labor-intensive jobs as demolition, moving materials, digging, cleaning up the job site after work, sanding trim or painting. Coordinate the jobs with the contractor in advance and agree on their value. Beware! Once you commit yourself, make sure to complete the work in a timely way. Tardiness can throw off the construction schedule and cost you more in the long run!

Tip 5: Plan for future upgrades if you can’t afford them now

You don’t have to wait until you can build your dream addition all at once. You can get started now and gradually add as your finances allow. But work from a master plan so you don’t have to go back and tear out or upgrade what you’ve already done.

For example, consider:

  • an electrical service with capacity for the future addition, workshop or hot tub
  • in-the-wall wiring for electronics in every room or a future home theater
  • rough plumbing for a future half bath or hot tub
  • wiring for future lighting fixtures
  • rough framing for future doors or windows
  • French doors that open to a future deck.

Tip 6: Compare the price of remodeling with the cost of buying new

Remodel or move?

It may be financially smart to buy a different home rather than invest in your current one.

Your house is your most important investment as well as the place you call home. Although you may love your house and neighborhood, check how much your addition would add to the value of your home. Creating a luxury home in a modest neighborhood may not make financial sense. A real estate agent or home appraiser can make a close estimate. If you can’t recoup at least 75 percent of the cost when you sell, at least consider the advantages of buying another house with the space or features you need. It may well be a better investment to move rather than to add on.

Tip 7: Shop for materials yourself

Shop smart

Shop for finish materials and appliances to take advantage of sales.

You won’t save much by trying to stockpile lumber, drywall, electrical wiring or other basic building materials. But when it comes to the finish materials—carpeting, appliances, faucets, countertops, light fixtures—your own footwork will pay off. Not only do you get exactly what you want, but you also can find bargains, especially if you start collecting these items well in advance. You can even plan to reuse a stylish old stove, distressed hardwood flooring or other items that add a creative touch to a room. But clear your decisions with your contractor; installation costs might be higher for unusual requests.

Tip 8: Don’t overdo windows and skylights

Windows are hot!

Excessive glass area will raise energy costs and decrease comfort.

Big windows and skylights can have a spectacular effect in a new addition, making it feel bright and cheery and offering great views. But more is not always better. Not only are windows and skylights expensive, but even energy-efficient ones will sharply increase your heating and cooling bills. Large skylights can make a room feel like a furnace in the summer! You may have to replace your air conditioner, heat pump or furnace with a larger one. Or perhaps add units to keep the room comfortable.

Tip 9: Avoid moving the plumbing or changing the foundation

You can’t always avoid it, but any alteration to these two systems typically adds thousands to a remodeling project. Neither is simple. New plumbing often requires breaking into walls and floors; resizing lines to meet newer plumbing codes; and replacing old, out-of-date pipes. New foundations usually require excavation, concrete and other heavy, expensive work. The price jumps whenever you add these two items, so ask yourself if you really need to move the kitchen sink during a kitchen remodel, or if you really need the extra space in a bathroom bump-out.

Tip 10: Order over the internet

Internet shopping

Internet shopping will save time and money.

Can’t find a nice-looking low-voltage light fixture at a nearby home center? The Internet puts a wide selection of products at your fingertips. Even better, it gives you access to hard-to-find specialty items at competitive prices. Often you can save 40 to 50 percent over the list price.…

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Top 7 Reasons to Renovate Your Home

Renovate your home

Home renovations are costly, time-consuming and messy. Still, many people choose to renovate their homes for a variety of reasons. There are almost as many reasons to fix up your home as there are projects to choose from. Here are the top reasons for renovating your home.

1. To increase your comfort or enjoyment of the home.

This one comes first for a reason. Although there are many good reasons to renovate your home, your own comfort and enjoyment are important factors that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you renovate solely based on how it will impact the future sales price down the line, you may end up living in a showplace that doesn’t feel like a home. Your comfort and enjoyment are more important than what improvements will make the most money when you eventually sell.

2. To fix a safety issue.

Some home renovation projects just can’t be put off. Electrical problems, roof leaks, or a crack in the foundation are some problems that must be taken care of to keep your family safe and prevent catastrophic or total loss of the home.

3. To improve the home’s value.

If you plan to sell the home within the next few years, you may want to renovate some or all of it with an eye toward getting the most you can when you put it on the market. Some projects that have the best immediate return are opening up the main living space, replacing the front door, and updating the kitchen or bathroom.

4. To upgrade the home’s function.

Maybe you need more space, or a second bathroom would make things a lot easier during those busy mornings. Maybe your husband wants a man cave, or you would like a deck or a patio for outdoor entertaining. Renovating so that the home functions better for the residents is a good idea, as long as the upgrades don’t hurt the home’s value or decrease usable space.

5. To increase the efficiency of the home.

New windows, a heat pump, and added insulation are examples of improvements that can decrease energy costs and pay for themselves over time. More efficient homes are also more attractive to buyers if you want to sell since they know costs will be lower on an energy-efficient home.

Renovate your home
Planning and dreaming together is part of the fun of home renovations.

6. To update the home’s style.

An older home can have a dated look that makes it less attractive to buyers or can look more plain than upscale. Updating your home’s style can be a whim based on new trends or a way to prepare a house for sale. The best bet is to use timeless styles that send the message of sophistication.

7. To prepare the house for sale.

When the main objective of renovations is to sell the home, choices should reflect what is most likely to help with the sale. Neutral colors, upgrades that add value, and fixing any cosmetic or functional problems will help get the house in tip-top shape for resale.

The experts can help with all your renovation needs. Call us for more information.…

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7 Home Renovation Do’s And Don’ts

Satisfied woman drinking coffee and painting living room

If you own a home, it’s likely your biggest and longest-term investment. Whether you’re sprucing up your home to sell or planning a renovation for personal reasons, even relatively minor changes can net you some big gains in home value. So what areas should you focus on to get the most efficient return on your reno dollar? Here’s how to make smart home investments and avoid fixes that can fall flat.

5 Most Popular Home Renovations Made During Lockdown - Build Magazine

DO: Install an energy-efficient steel door. Selling your home is all about making a good first impression, and first impressions start at the front door.
DON’T: Install a fiberglass front door. The higher cost won’t mean a higher sale price.

DO: Add a spare room. Converting unused basement or attic space into an extra bedroom opens your home to exponentially more buyers.
DON’T: Add an extra bathroom. Plumbing, wiring and tiling make these small spaces extremely expensive add-ons. (However, if your home has only one bathroom, adding a powder room can be a major selling feature.)

DO: Paint. The cheapest and easiest way to refresh a room is with a new coat of paint. If you do it yourself, the only cost will be for paint and brushes.
DON’T: Wallpaper. Anyone who’s had to remove old wallpaper knows what a dreadful task it can be.

DO: Replace cabinet hardware. Changing the handles in the kitchen and bathroom is a cheap and easy way to add some flair.
DON’T: Remodel your home office. Many buyers will look at built-in shelving and desks as something they’ll have to spend money on converting back to a bedroom.

DO: Landscape your property. A mix of hardy perennials and some vibrant low-cost annuals will give your home that all-important curb appeal.
DON’T: Install an in-ground pool. Many buyers will balk at the ongoing maintenance and be fearful of long-term repair and replacement costs.

DO: Make minor repairs. Scour your house from top to bottom for chipped paint, missing or cracked outlet covers to replace and so on. These low-cost DIY tasks will reap untold rewards.
DON’T: Add a sunroom. They’re expensive to install and, when dated, buyers will be leery of the cost of replacing aging windows.

DO: Upgrade your appliances. Energy-efficient ones may qualify for a tax credit or rebate (check out this state-by-state directory of available energy incentives), and you’ll cut back on your utility bills for as long as you’re in the house.
DON’T: Add a backup generator. While the peace of mind may help you weather any storm, buyers typically will not pay a premium for this addition.…

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5 EASY HOME IMPROVEMENT TIPS THAT CREATE INSTANT APPEAL

Changing the way a home looks doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks or try and get on a home renovation show.

Sure, it may be tempting to be on TV—but you can get the same kinds of results with a little bit of elbow grease and your own vision. How? You can increase the appeal (and value!) of any home by committing to some simple home improvement tips that are budget-friendly and DIY-worthy.

Here are our top 5 home improvement tips that can transform any home renovation project.

Why spend the time on home improvement?

3 New Year's home improvement projects that can help you get more from your  house

Home improvement is a pretty big topic, especially if you’re the type of person to watch shows or read about the styling, trends, and upgrades that are possible.

But it’s not always about looks– some home improvements are strictly about making the house work better! This means that you could add in a central air unit, move the location of a door, or change the types of windows you have.

No matter what you’re aiming for, home improvement is a valuable way to invest back into your space.

As professionals invested in creating excellent homes, you’ll want to make sure the improvements you make are budget-friendly but still add value.

1. Get out the paint

Home Improvement Sees A Boom – But Will It Last? | PYMNTS.com

Do you notice yourself eyeing the gorgeous color pallets of professionally decorated homes?

Whether you’re a fan of demure earth tones or fun bursts of color over monochrome themes, the simple fix is paint.

If you want to change the entire character stamp of a home, add some fresh paint to your home. You can look online for modern inspiration or hit the store yourself to mix and match.

Changing up the colors inside your home is relatively cheap since most paint gallons cost $30. Compare that to the nearly 1k that most people spend getting professional painters in to do the job.

2. Freshen up your bathroom

5 ways to freshen up your bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most important parts of a home. Sometimes, a nice bathroom can really be the tipping point for a home buyer who is on the fence.

If you want to improve the look of a home’s bathroom without a costly complete overhaul, you’ll want to freshen up a few things. Try adding a new, clean layer of grout and caulk around your bathtub, tiles, and sink. You can also update the finishes, like the sink spout and handles, lighting, and mirror.

3. Bring some color into your garden or window sills

Shelves to be constructed under windows for cat entrance and egress and  potted plants | Outdoor shelves, Window plants, Window planters

When a future buyer drives up to a house, the first thing they’ll notice is the exterior of the home. If it’s lacking luster, spruce it up with some flowers!

There’s no easier way to add some beauty to your home than through landscaping.

Some personal stories online show the huge difference that doing some landscaping yourself can make. Instead of spending $25,000 you could spend $3,000.

Now, that’s still a lot. But, don’t worry, you can spend under $100 to make a total transformation.

Look into flowers and plants that are natural to your area and which will attract bees and birds. You’ll get beautiful blooms and help the environment all at once.

4. Update and add your finishes

One of our favorite home improvement tips is to update and add to the finishes in your home. Every cabinet or door handle, faucets, and light fixtures could all use an update every so often.

Some modern options include hardware that’s bronze, rose gold, mod matte black, or a very sleek steel!

Home finishes don’t just stop at hardware. Think about adding crown molding to the home for additional charm.

You can pick up the materials from any home goods store and, with a few measurements, make a huge difference in your room.

5. Update your filters

Perhaps one of the most practice home improvement tips is this: check your filters.

You’ll want to make sure that the air and water the future homeowners are around is clean at all times. Replace the air filters and remind the new homeowners to do the same around every 90 days– or 60 days if they have pets!

Cleaning out your vents can also help you cut down on allergies and dust getting around so don’t forget those. You can keep track of when to change your water filters as well.

Now, if you really want to take things to the next level, update the filter covers.

Remember those cool finishes we talked about in the previous tip?

With so many people becoming interested in mixing up the traditional parts of their homes, you can find ways to spruce up anything.

That means you can find vent covers in gorgeous colors, patterns, and finishes. So when you’re cleaning up, you can feel even more productive by adding some charm to what’s normally an overlooked part of the home.

And if you ever need help or some advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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Pest Control in Virginia Beach

Are you looking for some pest and termites control in Virginia Beach? If you are nodding in yes, then we’re right here for you. If the termites and pests have entered your home, then you don’t have to go through it all alone. In such tough times, you all look for a good pest control team. That’s why we are here to make you aware of it.

What do you mean by a Pest?

A pest is any kind of rodent or insect that is considered unwanted because they invade businesses and the homes of people. Also, they cause damage to their property and increase the risk of transmitting an illness or a disease. That’s why pest control becomes necessary. But what is pest control?

Pest control is nothing but the process of controlling and managing the pests, termites, and other insects from the business place or residential place. Controlling and managing the pests can be done using various methods. Usually, they are killed by making use of an exterminator but there are certain methods of human pest control as well. The methods include making alterations around the objects to get rid of the pest’s entry or making use of sound to repel or deter pests.

Averting the pest problem is far more preferable than dealing with one that has already happened… Nevertheless, if the issue still, then there’s no other way: you need to eliminate the pests first.

Wildlife and Insects enter the buildings

All these insects, rodents, and wildlife enter the building to seek shelter, warmth, and food. The areas that generally get affected by them are the basement, attic, and roof. However, the owners of houses can do some of the things and safety measures to ensure that they don’t offer an environment that’s kind of attractive to the insects. For instance, you can keep your home uncluttered and tidy, without any hiding spaces.

Similarly, in the spaces outside your home, you can make sure to not stack firewood or other such items near the house. Also, make sure to keep the branches of trees trimmed and far away from your home. In addition to this, you can seal the areas tightly where insects can enter directly.

Moreover, to control excessive pests, you can take help from pest control services. They can easily check your area to see if the pests are there or not…

Pest Control Services Can Figure Out-

  • The place from where the pests or insects are entering your home.
  • Identify the kind of pest and deal with them if the pests are already there.
  • They can also advise if there’s any kind of damage because of the pests.
  • To prevent the pests from entering, make sure to spray regularly.
  •  Also, they seal off all the places from where pests are entering.

Moreover, some of the services also make use of traps and baits, and some hold specialization in humane insect and pest control and prevention. Also, if there are pets in your home, then they’ll let you know which medicines are harmful to the pets.

Besides, the main aim of pest control is to remove insects, rodents, cockroaches, or any other bugs from the areas where people reside. The type of method used to control the pests depends upon the situation. The humane methods of pest control are becoming more famous but there are certain situations in which they don’t work. Anyway, the aim is to prevent the damage caused by the insects and to lessen the risk of spreading the illness or disease to people.

The Main Features of these pest control are:

✓ Service On the Same Day
As soon as you spot the pests, you need to deal with them immediately. These pest control services offer service as soon as you call them.

✓ 24-hour Open Phone Lines
The pests have no routine, they can enter anywhere in your house. That’s why these services offer telephone services twenty hours a day.

Here are the primary advantages of pest or insect control services

∆ Keeps the disease away

Many pests that keep roaming in our residence transmit diseases that may be without difficulty transmittable to people and animals. Pests may have dangerous results for your fitness and your circle of relative’s fitness. Hence, it’s far vital to recognize the risks arising from the sort of issues your own home is struggling from. Common residence pests along with cockroaches, mosquitoes, fleas can transmit lethal illnesses to people together with plague, malaria, dengue, and notably Asthma! Yeah, you heard it correctly! Cockroaches are pests that could lead to asthma, and additionally, they convey hundreds of thousands of pathogens and micro organism cells at the side them. Therefore, drag those risky species out of your own home.

∆ Reduces fitness risks

The human beings operating in the insect control services are trained, also they have all the information on killing the pests and coping with toxic chemical substances which might be used to kill Insects. That’s why it would not be sensible enough to rent a pest service and allow the specialists to work with the chemical substances rather than us? An incorrect removal technique attempted out with the aid of using ourselves can result in a large twist of fate risking the own circle of relatives contributors’ lives. But whilst technicians want to apply merchandise that may be harmful, they also have the information to make certain the protection of your circle of relatives.

∆ Reduce hypersensitive reactions and itching

Many insect bites can lead to excessive hypersensitive reactions and itching everywhere in the body. However, in case you rent an insect control service to get rid of those stinging insects, then you could save yourself, your circle of relatives, and the contributors from getting attacked with the aid of using those risky bugs. Itching sensations and allergies are broadly speaking resulting from fleas, bed bugs, mosquitoes, spiders, and plenty of others. Therefore, in case you discover any of those bugs living in the corners of your own house, with its entire battalion, then right away name a pest control and inspection service and adequately kill them.

To Sum Up…
Now it’s time to wrap up this article. In this article, we have talked about pest control in Virginia and its benefits. So, we hope that you got all that you needed to know about pest control in Virginia Beach. We believe that this article proved to be helpful for you. So, why wait? Call any of these pest services and they’ll solve all your problems.…

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5 Benefits of Working with a Professional Deck Builder

If you’re building an outdoor deck, you need a good specialist in your corner. Why? Because many homeowners end up frustrated, behind schedule, and over budget — all because they didn’t think it was important to hire a qualified professional.

   

Here are five reasons why your best interest lies in hiring a professional deck builder before you add this feature to your outdoor space.

1. Correct installation

Many people think that building a deck sounds like a relatively simple task, so they try to do it themselves. More often than not, this does not work out ideally. Poor installation and quality of decks can prove extremely dangerous, both during installation and after the fact.

This is especially true for multi-level or second-story decks. Decks have to be built and reinforced in such a way that they will stay upright through all types of weather and weight — that’s where a professional earns their stripes.

 

2. More experience

Professional deck builders get better results in less time because they’ve done it so many times before, in so many different settings. DIY deck building, or hiring an unqualified specialist, will very quickly prove problematic for these reasons. There is simply no substitute for years of experience and hundreds of successful deck projects under the belt.

3. Meeting codes and regulations

Any large addition to your home will require approval from the city. Outdoor decks are no exception. A qualified deck builder will submit the plans for your deck and obtain the needed permission for you. They’ll also be familiar with local building codes and regulations, and will make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

4. Affordability

Professional deck builders receive discounts on materials from manufacturers and stores, so with the price of labor, it often ends up being close to what you would pay if you did it yourself. And when you consider the long-term value of having a reliable outdoor deck installation from the ground up, it’s definitely more affordable to hire a skilled pro.

5. Getting the tricky angles right

Outdoor decks come in so many different styles and shapes. It’s also worth noting that no two houses or landscapes are exactly the same. This means there are trick angles involved. People who build their own decks often struggle with these details — again, this probably comes down to a lack of experience (plus tools and skills). The advantage of working with a pro deck builder is being able to really go for the design you want, and have every expectation of a flawless result.

Finding the best deck builder in your area

As you begin your search for the best outdoor deck builder in your area, you will likely have to know some rough dimensions of the space so that the builder can give you an accurate estimate for cost and time. Once you’ve signed a contract with a builder, the speed and professionalism with which your deck takes shape is another great benefit.
Good luck with your outdoor deck projects this summer!…

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Home Improvement: 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Wilson

Wilson was the helpful, intellectual neighbor to the Taylors, but what don’t we know about him?

We all remember Wilson (Earl Hindman) from the 1990s sitcom, Home Improvement. The sagacious, intelligent neighbor that was always helping Tim (Tim Allen) and the rest of the Taylors figure out life, offering quality advice and a listening ear whenever needed. He’s the kind of neighbor we all wished we had (or else inspired us to be better neighbors ourselves). Wilson seems to know just about everything; though Tim didn’t always understand his neighbor’s intellect, he still respected him and highly valued his opinion. That said, here are 10 facts you may not know about one of TV’s most famous neighbors!

10Wilson Has A Ph.D. In Forgotten Languages And Cultures

Wilson’s smart. We all know that. He’s been just about everywhere; he’s seen and done so much out in the world, which is why he’s so knowledgeable and worldly. His house is full of artifacts and he often references history or otherwise offers famous quotes as part of his conversations consisting of advice to Tim. Considering he has a Ph.D. in cultures and languages that most people have overlooked, it’s no wonder Wilson’s information was so well-rounded and interesting. We could all use some of Wilson’s wisdom in our lives.

9Wilson’s Hidden Face

Most of the time, the fence blocks the lower half of Wilson’s face, obscuring it so that the audience is never able to see it. Yet, sometimes, there are instances in which we feel we’re close enough to see the entirety of his face when he’s away from the fence.

RELATED: Home Improvement: 10 Hidden Details You Never Noticed

For example, plants and scarves have also contributed to hiding Wilson’s face from the audience whenever he was away from the fence. If you didn’t notice this trick, take a look back on the rare occasion Wilson was away from the fence and see what you make of it.

8Wilson’s Full Name

Wilson’s full name was actually Wilson W. Wilson. Yes, really. Maybe his parents didn’t have many ideas when it came to names, but at the end of the day, the name suits the character well. Can you imagine Wilson having any name other than “Wilson”? We can’t. We also wonder what the middle initial stands for, but we can make an educated guess: Wilson. At least Wilson is an easy name to remember.

7Hindman Made Extra Efforts To Conceal His Face

At the curtain call following the end of each episode, Hindman carried around a miniature version of a picket fence to hide the lower half of his face from the audience, keeping up the facade of his character on the show. It’s clever and shows his dedication to his character.

RELATED: Home Improvement: 10 Jokes That Have Already Aged Poorly

Anyone in the live audience hoping to get a sneak peek was either amused or disappointed at this gesture. Yet, we have to appreciate that even after an episode, Hindman remained “in character.”

6The Actor That Was Cool With People Seeing Only Half His Face

Most actors seem to be offended whenever they’re given minimal recognition or are otherwise cut so the audience doesn’t see them much–or even at all. Earl Hindman was fine with being cast in a role where the audience would only ever see half his face; we could consider this a rarity in show business. Obviously, he had to be fine with this on some level, otherwise, we wouldn’t have had eight seasons with Wilson in the cast! Perhaps Hindman favored the anonymity, perhaps he liked having something of a mysterious aspect around his character and around himself as an actor as people tried to guess what he looked like when they could see his entire face. Whatever the reason, Hindman went with the flow.

5Wilson’s Popularity

According to a poll conducted on IMDb, Wilson comes in fourth place when it comes to unseen TV characters that audiences would like to see. Considering the number of unseen characters on TV shows, from Howard’s mother on The Big Bang Theory to Robin Masters on Magnum, P.I., and even Ugly Naked Guy on Friends, audiences have an array of unseen characters to choose from. That said, it’s impressive that Wilson’s character ranks in the top five. Luckily, audiences got their wish, which brings us to…

4We Finally See Wilson’s Face!

In the series finale curtain call, audiences got to see Wilson’s face for the very first time. Not just half of it, but the entirety of it! Finally getting to see Wilson as a whole was satisfying to audiences, especially those who had hung around as loyal viewers since the series’ very first episode in 1991.

RELATED: Tim Allen Says Home Improvement Reboot ‘Has Been Floated’ 

At least the series didn’t leave us wondering if they’d ever reveal the face of one of its main characters; things were wrapped up nicely on Home Improvement. 

3The Running Gag On Wilson’s Words

Whenever Tim approached Wilson for advice, it wasn’t uncommon for Wilson to include a famous quote, a reference of historical value, or something of the like to help Tim either understand or solve whatever situation he’d come to Wilson with. That said, one of the running gags on the show was how Tim would pretty much butcher Wilson’s words whenever he tried to repeat them. Poor Wilson’s carefully thought-out advice and wisdom was misused and sadly misinterpreted (after all, Tim doesn’t always understand everything Wilson says), but thankfully, it’s one of the comedic points of the show so we forgive Tim for it. We’re assuming Wilson does, too, since he knows how his neighbor can be.

2The Fan Theory

Wilson is someone that everyone looks up to, especially Tim. He’s practically the Yoda of neighbors; he’s always got an answer for everything and he knows so much about so many topics. There’s nothing Wilson can’t do. A fan theory on Reddit has been constructed from this observation, and it goes like this: since Tim is a carpenter and receives infinite wisdom from his mysterious neighbor, it makes him Jesus Christ. Tim then goes around trying to spread the lessons he learns from Wilson, who is considered God-like. It almost makes sense, Wilson as God and Tim as Jesus, but most likely they’re just two regular guys that happen to exhibit certain qualities.

1Wilson’s Character Origination

Wilson’s character is quite unique. He’s wise, he’s been everywhere, he willingly helps out Tim and his family though he has no obligation to. He’s the kind of neighbor people wish they had. In a world where many of us don’t know our neighbors, Wilson makes us want to know them just to see if we can find a Wilson in our own backyards. The character of Wilson himself comes from a childhood memory of Tim Allen’s in which Allen was too short to see his neighbor over the fence, so he couldn’t see his neighbor. It’s funny how actors apply real life to a sitcom and turn it into something memorable for us all to enjoy.

Wilson is without a doubt one of our favorite characters not just on Home Improvement, but on television as a whole. The double entendre of Home Improvement is a perfect example of why the Wilson character was so popular: not only was Tim trying to teach audiences to use tools and to remodel homes, but he was also learning how to handle family life at home too (which more often than not required Wilson’s input).

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