Tag Archives: DIY

Last Minute Winterization Tips!

DHREA 19/11/2018

There are two kinds of home winterization tips. The first variety often involves spending a load of money to upgrade your energy efficiency. While definitely worthwhile and timely, these fixes can still be very costly (think adding insulation, getting a new energy efficient furnace, energy efficient windows, etc.).

The other variety of home winterizing tips focus on the things that you can do on a weekend afternoon for very little money (or free) with a little bit of elbow grease. The cost savings of doing such work generally comes in the form of preventing costly fix-it repairs that come from neglect. Since the weather in the Steel City will probably fluctuate for the next 3 or 4 months, take advantage of one of the more temperate days we have coming and keep your home warm for the rest of winter!

Clean Out Your Gutters

Gutters that are dammed up with leaves can result in ice dams, which can lead to all kinds of costly outdoor repairs (damaged shingles, roof leaks, broken gutters, etc). Additionally, if your gutters are clogged up, water could be falling right next to your foundation and leads to possible flooding in the basement.

Drain Your External Faucets

Water that is sitting in pipes that lead to outside faucets can freeze and burst, ultimately flooding your basement and leading to possible water damage and mold problems. Simply close off the interior faucet valves by turning them clockwise all the way to the right. Then go outside and make sure that every last drop has come out of the faucet.

Caulk

Search for drafts around windows and doors on a cold windy day. Place a tissue paper over the suspected draft area. If the paper flutters, you’ve probably located the draft. For drafts under doors, you may have to buy a rubber draft stopper to place at the bottom of the door.

Repair Your Shingles

If you have cracked, missing, or otherwise damaged shingles, have them replaced immediately so that you don’t get roof leaks. Strong winds, falling tree limbs, and sun weathering can all lead to damaged shingles. You might as well check them out while you’re up on your roof cleaning out your gutters.

Flush Your Hot Water Heater

You can flush a hot water heater any time of year, but you might as well throw it in with the other maintenance work you’ll be doing since you really only need to do it about once a year. If you don’t, sediment can build up at the bottom of your water heater and cause it to lose efficiency or even leak.

Simply take one of your water hoses and fasten it to the water faucet at the bottom of your water heater. Turn off the water heater so that you don’t get burned by hot water accidentally. Run the hose outdoors, preferably, but if you can’t do that, then a laundry tub should be sufficient. Open the valve and let the water drain out completely, rinsing out the sediment with it.

 

 

 

Join nearly 600 other real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
588 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More

DHRE DIY Blog: Make A Home A Home!

DHREA 14/11/2018

welcomehome

 

The key to any living situation is making “a home feel like a home”. Whether you own or rent, a little elbow grease and creativity can go a long way. Here’s some quick and easy examples of how to make your home feel more like a home.

1. SHOW YOUR STRENGTHS

If you are someone who is crafty and clever, don’t take for granted your skill. If you own a staple gun, update you bedhead, armchair, or dining chairs at the cost of the fabric only. Competent sewers should consider recovering lampshades, cushion covers and whipping up some curtains. You might have a knack at photography or be a gifted artist. Here again, don’t undervalue your skills. Instead, consider creating some pieces for your wall. You will be updating your space at a low cost and can also have the satisfaction of knowing it is the result of your own handy work.

2. PERSONALIZE

Displaying photos in the house is a no-brainer for personalizing your home, but how you do it can make or break your space. Group photos together to create a gallery wall for an effective contemporary look. Avoid using small photos which can get lost on the wall and create clutter. Similarly, your book collection is uniquely yours so empty your books out of their storage boxes and display them in your home. Whether stacked on bookshelves, piled in a tower on the floor or plumping up a vignette, books are an ideal way to personalize your space.

3. GO GREEN

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times: Greenery in the home provides life. While some will argue this, we all need more plants in our interiors. A large plant is an ideal way to fill out a corner and there’s no reason to stop at one. A collection of different plants in varying heights and in varying pots creates interest, lushness, and vitality.

4. BE A SOFTY

A home to me should be a like a big fuzzy bear hug – a place you feel comfortable and at ease. Pay special attention to the soft furnishings in your home to simply soften up your space. Cushions, rugs, curtains, bed quilts, and towels, are those pieces that create a layered, welcoming, and homely look and feel. And strive for diversity in your materials and patterns to create added interest.

5. HAVE FUN

When styling any space be willing to play around with your furnishings until you can stand back and feel a sense of pride and satisfaction. There are interior styling ‘rules’ which you can apply to help you in the process, but it is largely intuitive and requires a lot of play. Add, delete, shift, delete, shift, add, shift, delete, delete, delete! I suggest waiting until you’re home alone, playing your favorite tunes, getting in the zone, and then play the day away.

6. LOOK FOR UNIQUE BARGAINS

It might be time to step out of your comfort zone and seek out some fun and interesting furniture and homeware retailers. Not only can discovering new suppliers provide a fresh source of inspiration, but often the more diversely you shop, the more diverse your space becomes. And don’t be afraid of second hand stores and antique dealers…sometimes the most obscure find can really satisfy your taste for unique decor.

 

 

Join nearly 600 other real estate professionals in Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click the box below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
586 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More

Getting Ahead of Simple Winter Projects

DHREA 24/10/2018

doorhinge

Accomplishments, even little ones, go a long way toward a sunny outlook. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy, quick home repair chores you can do when you’re mired in the thick of winter. For max efficiency, make a to-do list ahead of time and shop for all the tools and supplies in one trip. On your work days, put the basics in a basket and carry it from room to room, checking off completed tasks as you speed through them.

What to Look (and Listen) For

In each room, look around and take stock of what needs fixing or improving. Focus on small, quick-hit changes, not major redos. Here are some likely suspects:

Sagging towel rack or wobbly toilet tissue holder.

Unscrew the fixture and look for the culprit. It’s probably a wimpy, push-in type plastic drywall anchor. Pull that out (or just poke it through the wall) and replace it with something more substantial.

Squeaky door hinges.

Eliminate squeaks by squirting a puff of powdered graphite alongside the pin where the hinge turns. If the door sticks, plane off a bit of the wood, then touch up the paint so the surgery isn’t noticeable.

Creaky floor boards.

They’ll shush if you fasten them down better. Anti-squeak repair kits feature specially designed screws that are easy to conceal. A low-cost alternative: Dust a little talcum powder into the seam where floorboards meet…the talcum acts as a lubricant to quiet boards that rub against each other.

Rusty shutoff valves.

Check under sinks and behind toilets for the shutoff valves on your water supply lines. These little-used valves may slowly rust in place over time, and might not work when you need them most. Keep them operating by putting a little machine oil or WD-40 on the handle shafts. Twist the handles back and forth to work the oil into the threads. If they won’t budge, give the oil a couple of hours to penetrate, and try again.

Blistered paint on shower ceilings.

This area gets a lot of heat and moisture that stresses paint finishes. Scrape off old paint and recoat, using a high-quality exterior-grade paint. Also, be sure everyone uses the bathroom vent when showering to help get rid of excess moisture.

Loose handles or hinges on furniture, cabinets, and doors.

You can probably fix these with a few quick turns of a screwdriver. But if a screw just spins in place, try making the hole fit the screw better by stuffing in a toothpick coated with glue, or switching to a larger screw.

Safety Items

You know those routine safety checks you keep meaning to do but never have the time? Now’s the time.

Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

If you don’t like waking up to the annoying chirp of smoke detector batteries as they wear down, do what many fire departments recommend and simply replace all of them at the same time once a year.

Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets.

You’re supposed to test them once a month, but who does? Now’s a great time. You’ll find them around potentially wet areas…building codes specify GFCI outlets in bathrooms, kitchens, and for outdoor receptacles. Make sure the device trips and resets correctly. If you find a faulty outlet, replace it or get an electrician to do it for $75 to $100.

Exhaust filter for the kitchen stove.

By washing it to remove grease, you’ll increase the efficiency of your exhaust vent; plus, if a kitchen stove top fire breaks out, this will help keep the flames from spreading.

Clothes dryer vent.

Pull the dryer out from the wall, disconnect the vent pipe, and vacuum lint out of the pipe and the place where it connects to the machine. Also, wipe lint off your exterior dryer vent so the flap opens and closes easily. (You’ll need to go outside for that, but it’s quick.) Remember that vents clogged with old dryer lint are a leading cause of house fires.

Drain hoses.

Inspect your clothes washer, dishwasher, and ice maker. If you see any cracks or drips, replace the hose so you don’t come home to a flood one day.

Electrical cords.

Replace any that are brittle, cracked, or have damaged plugs. If you’re using extension cords, see if you can eliminate them. For example, replacing that too-short lamp cord with one that’s longer. If you don’t feel up to rewiring the lamp yourself, drop it off at a repair shop as you head out to shop for your repair materials. It might not be ready by the end of the day. But, hey, one half-done repair that you can’t check off is no big deal, right?

 

Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today! You’ll be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s monthly real estate workshops while you connect with nearly 600 other professionals!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
574 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More

Preparing Your Gutters For Autumn and Winter!

DHREA 22/10/2018

gutters

 

Home exterior upkeep has gone from mowers and hoses to rakes and ladders. No other outside component of your house is as susceptible to the conditions of autumn than your gutters. Leaves, twigs, rain, and low temperatures are locked and loaded and ready to put your gutter system to the test. Now that it’s the last week of October and you’ve procrastinated enough, it’s time to officially prepare your gutters for the season!

CLEAN AND INSPECT

The first rule of fall season gutter preparedness is clean and inspect. Unravel your garden hose one last time before it’s tucked into the garage until spring and flush out your gutters and downspouts. Give it a high pressure hosing and then put on your outdoor work gloves to pick up and wipe away any remaining debris. If it’s been a long time since you’ve cleaned your gutters you will want to fill up a bucket with warm water and liquid dish soap and wipe them down with a sturdy sponge. Only when your gutters have been thoroughly cleaned can you perform a proper inspection. The reason for the subsequent inspection? To check for loose brackets/screws, uneven sections, leaks, or any form of excessive wear and tear.

REPAIR WHERE NEEDED

Once you’ve cleaned and inspected your gutters you will have a good idea of where repair is essential. This can’t wait. Buy exact-fit brackets and screws and then replace and secure them where needed. If you’ve uncovered leaks, it may be possible to patch them. For good measure, clean the area surrounding the leak again, but this time using a wire brush and water, then scrub with an abrasive pad once it has dried. Apply plastic roofing cement over the hole with a putty knife while smoothing out the edges of the cement. If the hole is too big, you can apply a strip of aluminum flashing to the area, and seal the edges with the cement. If the repairs are significant enough that they have impacted the appearance of your gutters you can always paint them when the weather forecast permits.

KEEP COLD WEATHER INTRUDERS OUT

Autumn doesn’t just bring falling leaves and rainfall, its cold snap sends rodents (mice, rats, squirrels and raccoons) packing for higher ground. The cozy beds presented by your concave gutters and downspout exit points gives them a place to nest. Pay a visit to your local home and garden store for humane rodent repellent and check your gutters often through the season to ensure they are free from nesting intruders.

INSTALL GUTTER GUARDS

No matter how well you’ve trimmed your trees and raked the yard leaves will still find their way on to your roof. It’s what they do. If you don’t yet have them, autumn is prime time to finally install gutter guards. A gutter guard, is a fitted screen with pinpoints wide enough to allow rainwater to collect within and funnel through while preventing leaves and twigs from entering. A sound leaf protection system will accommodate both vinyl and aluminum gutters, will be maintenance-free, and can be installed on your existing system by a professional without hassle to you, the homeowner.

WHEN IN DOUBT…INSTALL A NEW GUTTER SYSTEM

Ok, so this isn’t the answer for everyone. However, if your inspection, cleaning, and attempts at repair may have hinted that your gutters need replacing in the near future. If that’s the case, then it may as well be now. Delaying the inevitable and waiting another year or two can spell big trouble. One harsh autumn storm could deal the final blow that results in significant gutter damage, damage that will impact your landscape, home exterior, and worse…the interior. The good news, is that you are entering the best season to make your decision on a new system.

Depending upon the height of your roof and exposure to foliage (trees in close proximity) a new standard system may be all that you need to get you through numerous autumns to come. A 5 or 6-inch continuous or eavestrough system can be professionally mounted on your fascia board with relative ease and in time for autumn’s first bite. A 5-inch fascia or eavestrough gutter system (for roofing without a fascia board) can also be installed with minimum turnaround time. Don’t delay your installation…contact a professional as soon as possible, before the weather catches up with the calendar!

 

 

We’re closing in on 600 professionals on board Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop! Click the box below to connect today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
573 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More

DHRE DIY Corner: Improve In-Home Air Quality!

DHREA 19/10/2018

Sneeze

 

Runny nose. Itchy eyes. A massive headache. These are just a few ailments suffered by homeowners with poor indoor air quality, potentially as a result of smoke, dust, or other contaminants. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people spend close to 90% of their time indoors, where air quality can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.

Although anyone can suffer from poor indoor air quality, asthma/allergy sufferers, children, and the elderly are particularly sensitive. Fortunately, a few simple and affordable home improvements can go a long way to benefit your home’s air.

Avoid Scented Sprays
Despite their fresh scents, air fresheners and laundry products can emit dozens of chemicals. For truly fresh air, look for fragrance-free or natural products and skip aerosol sprays. Keep rooms ventilated by opening windows, and add a plant to help purify your air.

Control Dust
Household dust can trap chemicals and allergens. Some objects are prone to dust, such as rugs, upholstered furniture, and infrequently moved accessories. Opt for easy-to-clean or washable items to avoid dust getting trapped in your space. Try to avoid clutter at all costs! Large piles of “I’ll get to it later” is a vacation resort for dust.

Dehumidify Damp Areas
Moisture can attract dust mites, mildew, and mold. Your rooms should be kept at a safe 30% to 50% humidity level. An inexpensive indoor humidity monitor will check your home’s levels, and a basic dehumidifier can solve many moisture challenges.

Clean Floors Regularly
If you can, use a vacuum cleaner that is equipped with a HEPA filter and rotating brushes to remove dust and dirt from floors. Vacuum at least once a week, especially in high-traffic areas. A good vacuum will not blow dust or dirt out in the exhaust. Twice a month, use a microfiber mop on hard floors, skipping any chemical cleaning solutions in favor of warm water or a natural product.

 

 

Network with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Workshop group on MeetUp.com today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
571 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

 

 

Read More

Insulate Your Windows and Cut Your Heating Costs Down!

DHREA 24/09/2018

bubblewrap

 

Winter is coming, and so are cold drafts and high energy bills. One area that often goes overlooked in preparation for autumn/winter is making sure your windows and doors aren’t leaking in cold air.

If your leaking problem is from loose fitting window sashes or a poor fitting door, the simplest and cheapest method would be to purchase some self-adhesive foam weather stripping. This rolled product can be easily installed at the bottom of a window or around the outside edge of the door frame. Select the smallest size that will help seal the gaps, then just peel and stick. Too large and you may have difficulty closing the door etc.

Another good window treatment is the clear plastic window film that mounts to the frame of the window. Use a hair dryer to “stretch” the film, thus sealing any air leaking in around the sides or through poorly glazed panes.

Get a window insulator kit. It is made of a clear, plastic material that goes over the window, with double-sided tape around the edges to seal it. It’s easy to set up and helps a lot with drafty windows.

If you can actually see the gaps in the windows, a can of “Great Stuff” or something similar would probably do the trick. It’s an expanding foam that you spray into gaps.

Or you could use a squeeze tube of “DAP Silicon II” and run a bead of it around the window. This is perfect if you either don’t have a caulking gun, or don’t want to buy one. Instead, you can use a “squeeze it yourself” tube of Silicon II.

As for doors, a great short term fix is just rolling up an old bath towel and put it along the bottom of the door as a draft blocker! Old school? Absolutely. But, amazingly effective and inexpensive.

 

 

 

We have an announcement regarding October’s Workshop coming VERY SOON! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Workshop group on MeetUp.com today for the latest updates, and the chance to network with over 500 other real estate professionals!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
527 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More

Temps are on the rise again! Ensure your AC Unit is working properly!

DHREA 27/08/2018

 

 

 

Air conditioner repair can be very expensive when you have to call in a professional. Of course there are times when a costly repair is unavoidable, but you can troubleshoot your system first, before calling in a professional. Many times your problem is something you can easily fix. 

It’s often the case that your unit is not working for the simplest of reasons. In can be frustrating to pay out a hundred dollars or more just to have a technician come out and flip a breaker back on. There are some quick and easy checks you can perform yourself before you call for help from an air conditioner repair company. These checks often help you save a lot of money too.

Here are a few things you can try if your air conditioner unit is in need of repair, not running at all or maybe just blowing less than cool air:

1.  CHECK YOUR BREAKER

If the unit won’t come on at all your breaker could have tripped. If you have several appliances, lights and other things on the same breaker often it will trip and the air conditioner will not operate. This is a quick check that can save you money, frustration, and even embarrassment.

2.  CHECK THE THERMOSTAT

This is another part of the system that can cause you dollars and distress. If the unit is battery operated it may just need new batteries. Make sure you have the thermostat set for a temperature below the room temperature. Insure that the unit is not turned off or set to just have the fan blow. Settings can get inadvertently changed. 

3.  DON’T FORGET THE FILTER

Many air conditioner repairs can be avoided by consistently changing your filter. If your filter is dirty and clogged, it can cause many issues with your unit. Lack of air flow can cause a lack of cooling efficiency with the system. In some cases a clogged filter can lead to your system icing up. Filters should be checked often and changed on a regular basis.

4.  MELT AWAY ICE

If your unit is iced up it will not cool properly. Melting the ice is a simple procedure. You can turn the system to off and run just the fan to help melt the ice quickly. Or you can just turn off the unit and let the ice melt on its own.

5.  CLEAN IT ONCE IN AWHILE!

Often the system may just be dirty. Instead of an actual air conditioner repair, the unit may just need to be cleaned. On the outside unit you can carefully clean the fan blades and remove any debris from inside or near the unit. The condenser fins can be cleaned also. Be very careful when fooling with blades and fins as they are easy to bend and break. Also, make sure the unit is off when you clean it.

6.  EXAMINE DUCTS

If you feel comfortable climbing into your attic, check out your ducts to make sure air is coming out of them. In the event they are dirty enough to block air flow they will surely need to be cleaned. Often a register may have been accidentally closed partly or even all the way. A cursory check will show if air is flowing through the ducts.

 

(The steps above are some things you should try if your AC unit is on the blink. These can save you a lot of money before you call in a professional air conditioner repair company. Of course, some things dealing with air conditioner repair can only be handled by a competent and professional service company. Things like adding freon and electrical repairs have to be done by specialists!)

 

Alex Deacon’s September Workshop is going to be LIT! (We promise to never use that phrase again. 😉 )

RSVP at the box below, and connect with 500 other Real Estate Professionals!

Zero Money Down is not Impossible

Saturday, Sep 8, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

25 Members Attending

I know it sounds too easy to be true and I often preach that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. In this case I am confident saying that this can be done regardless if you have been in the business as long as I or if you are new to the business of Real Estate Investing. I am going to show you the step by step process to start your…

Check out this Meetup →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More

DHRE DIY CORNER: It’s Never Too Early To Prepare For Fall

DHREA 20/08/2018

Japanese Maple Leaves

 

With spring cleaning far behind, and summer fun all but over, it’s time to start fall home maintenance and prepare for the autumn wind.  Fall is the perfect time to perform important maintenance to your home so you’re not caught in the middle of winter with a drafty house or a malfunctioning heater. Here’s some tips to help your home stay warm and comfortable into winter.

 

1. Chimney and Fireplace

Chimneys and fireplaces cause some of the most expensive damage to homes. Build-up from creosote can easily ignite, causing a devastating fire. If you are unfamiliar with inspecting a chimney, it may be worth calling in a chimney sweep, which is usually quite affordable. Make sure to leave your flu closed when not in use, and always have a fireplace screen in front of open flames to protect your home from wayward sparks.

2. Windows

Windows may be a continual source of frustration for homeowners. There are many seal repair kits available at local hardware stores. Walk around the interior windows, placing your hand near the seal. Check for any breezes flowing through. Do the same process for doors. When you find one, mark it with a sticker or other indicator so you can tally how many repair kits you need. If a window is improperly sized, cracked, or broken, it needs to be replaced.For doors, you can purchase draft preventers and other seal kits to improve the seal. Every 1/8 of an inch can lower a room a whole degree, so it can really pay off to have updated, well-sealed doors and windows.

3. Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers, and First Aid Kits

Every six months, replace batteries in all the detectors in your home. Check the expiration dates on your first aid kit and fire extinguisher, and that each is up to date and in a convenient place. If you don’t have a fire escape route, this is a good time to draft one. (I know, I know…but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 🙂 )

4. Indoor Pipes

Winterizing pipes is one of the easiest, most valuable ways to protect your home over the winter. Most home repair stores carry fitted insulation that can easily wrap around any size pipe. If you can’t afford to do every pipe in your home, give priority to the pipes that are closest to the outdoors, or most likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to shut off water to any area that won’t be used, and to check pipes for leaks or cracks that may grow larger with the varying temperatures of fall.

5. Yard Maintenance

Fall leaves may be beautiful, but these can slowly rot, causing huge backup and damage in gutters. This backup will cause water to spill over the gutter and into your yard and walking areas, which can cause damage to your home and make walking conditions dangerous. Disconnect all garden hoses, and store them coiled and flat in a cool, dry place. If possible, turn of water to all outside faucets and drain them to protect the outside pipes from damage. Also, store any outdoor furniture that may become damaged from snow or ice.

6. Roof Inspection

A roof inspection may seem overkill, but harsh winter winds and heavy snow can take a toll on your home. It may be a good idea go up to your rooftop to check for any broken tiles or cracks. It’s important to take care of any damage now to avoid repairs during the cold winter months.

7. Stock Up on Winter Supplies for Your Home

Before prices on winter gear soars, stock up on winter items such as snow shovels, firewood, or sidewalk salt. It’s better to have the supplies now than to have to run to the store during a snowstorm!These fall home maintenance tips are quick, easy, and affordable. It might be a good idea to brush up on home repair insurance coverage as you’re making improvements and renovations. As the adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…especially when it comes to home repairs.

 

Connect with nearly 500 other real estate investors and professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today. Click the box below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
489 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

 

Read More

DHRE Home Blog: The Benefits of Using Essential Oils

DHREA 30/07/2018

essential oils

 

Essential oils are a product made by the distillation of natural material, usually by water or steam. The resulting all natural oils are highly aromatic, and can be used for a number of holistic reasons from health and skin care to aromatherapy. Essential oils can also be used for healthy home do it yourself projects. These projects can range from simply getting your home to smell nice, all the way to pest control.

Here are a few do it yourself healthy home tips and tricks you can do with Essential Oils.

AIR FILTERS

While doing your monthly air filter replacement in your home, put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the air filter before you install it. Put a drop in each corner, as well as a couple in the center of the filter. This will keep your home smelling great for a month when you change your air filters again.

FRESHEN WHILE YOU VACUUM 

Depending on the type of vacuum you have this can be done two ways. The first way is if your vacuum uses the disposable paper bags. If so just add a few drops to the bag before you install it. If you have a reusable bag or a bagless vacuum simply put the drops on a cotton ball and place the cotton ball inside the bag or canister. Then every time you vacuum you will leave behind a fresh scent.

LINEN SPRAY

Get a spray bottle and fill it with 1.5 cups of water. Then add 3 ounces of vodka and about 30-35 drops of your favorite scented essential oil. Lavender is a popular choice for this spray. Shake the bottle up to mix the ingredients and spray your linens to give them a pleasant aroma.

GET RID OF SHOE ODOR

This is possibly the easiest trick you can do. Put a few drops of some great smelling essential oils on cotton balls and leave them in your shoes overnight. The next morning your shoes should be smelling good as new. Just make sure to put your shoes out of the reach of any pets you have when you do this.

KEEP YOUR BBQ BUG FREE

No one enjoys a BBQ with a bunch of mosquitoes and flies buzzing around. To keep these annoying bugs at bay drip a few drops of citronella oil on the coals of your BBQ and on any candles you have out.

AMAZING SMELLING LAUNDRY

To get your laundry smelling fantastic put a couple drops of an essential oil like lavender or your own favorite blend on a dryer sheet. Put the dryer sheet in with your laundry and turn the dryer on. Your laundry should come out smelling even better then usual.

HOMEMADE AIR FRESHENER

Rather than using those store bought aerosol sprays that are full of dangerous chemicals you can make your own air freshening spray with essential oils. Get a spray bottle and fill it up with no more than a cup of distilled water. Then choose three of your favorite essential oils that go well together. Put eight drops of each oil in the spray bottle. Shake well. Now you have a healthy, homemade air freshening spray.

HOMEMADE PEST REPELLENT

If you have pests like mice, spiders and ants in your home this is an easy trick to get rid of them. Put a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball. Then, put the cotton balls in the problem areas of your home. Most of these pests detest the smell of peppermint so this should drive them out of your home.

EASY SIMMER POTS

Want to freshen up your entire house quick and easy? Fill a pan with water and bring it to a boil. Once it begins to boil set it to simmer and add drops of your favorite smelling essential oil. This will have your home smelling great in no time. Just remember to keep putting water and drops in the pan as they evaporate into the air.

Alex Deacon’s August Real Estate Investing Workshop has been announced! Click below for details!

Detailed Game plan from A-Z for your next Buy and Hold

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

1 Members Attending

This is a great session for those who want to buy and hold. This will give you an idea of realistic expectations that you can count on for your current and your future investments. We will look at some of my current and past buy and hold properties and take a close look to see what mistakes and successes I had made and lets learn from those and com…

Check out this Meetup →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More

Inexpensive Kitchen Renovations With Huge Impact!

DHREA 06/07/2018

Fridge

Upgrades to a kitchen can make any house or property feel more cozy or posh (yes, I went there), while greatly improving the value. The biggest misconception is these improvements come with a hefty price tag. With a little hard work and elbow grease, a kitchen can be renovated beautifully without breaking the bank. Check out some popular ideas below!

Paint The Fridge
Oftentimes, the most obvious of solutions go right over our heads. Repainting the refrigerator can modernize any kitchen, pull color-schemes together, and really make your kitchen pop. In fact, most appliances can be repainted. Just make sure to ensure you’re using the correct paint, as you’ll be looking for specialized appliance paint! There’s also a fun factor involved. If you have kids, imagine turning your refrigerator into a giant chalkboard! Find out how HERE!

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
This means either sanding them down and re-staining them, or just painting them in a semigloss or glossy latex paint. For a bold change, ditch the white and try a pale blue, coral red, or even glossy black for a modern look. All you need is sandpaper, paint, and equal parts elbow grease and patience!

Buy Under Cabinet Lighting
As you can see, lighting can really make or break a kitchen. Consider lighting you can attach under the cabinets. Department stores are now selling inexpensive under cabinet lighting that utilizes wall outlets, and in most places, you can find energy efficient LEDs. Again, a very affordable way to modernize your kitchen.

Add A Kitchen Lamp
For a cost far less than permanent track lighting, add a flea market find. A pop-bright colored table lamp, a hanging kitchen chandelier, etc. You’d be amazed how this simple addition can change the whole look and vibe of the entire room while giving another personal touch to your kitchen.

Replace The Countertop/Sink
Not all countertops are made or cost the same, but there are affordable options if you are willing to put in a little work. It should be noted that replacing a countertop isn’t likely to add value to your house other than pleasing aesthetics, but we all enjoy customization, don’t we? These days, you can find a quality stainless steel or acrylic sink for around $100!

Remember…home renovations are not for everybody! Please use caution and avoid projects you are uncomfortable with!

 

JOIN ALEX DEACON’S REAL ESTATE NETWORKING GROUP ON MEETUP.COM!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
463 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

 

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

Read More