Renovation

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Many people consider home renovating to be an inside affair, but there are also many exterior renovations that can help beautify a home and encourage spending more time outdoors. Like interior renovations, with the proper planning, and research, fixing up the exterior of a home and its surroundings can be accomplished by the do-it-yourselfer while also saving money.

If a major renovation, such as replacing siding or roofing, is not urgent, taking the time to search for the best deal is advisable. Putting up siding, and replacing a roof might be best left to a professional contractor, unless the homeowner has some prior experience. One great way to get experience, and help out someone in need at the same time, is to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers can ask to learn a certain skill, and gain valuable experience. Also, try stopping by the Habitat Re-store to find deals on a variety of home improvement items for the interior and exterior. A good way to spruce up the home's exterior, without contractor skills, is to apply a new coat of paint- just remember to prep the surface first with a good wash, or by sanding off old paint.

Improving a home's lawn can do wonders for its appearance and curb appeal. Though some signs of improvement can be seen within a few months, know that the lawn may have to go through a couple growing seasons to see vast improvements. First remove thatch from the yard. Thatch is the dead layer of turf grass between the soil and the green grass. This is done by mowing the grass and raking out the thatch. If it is really thick, you may want to rent a power rake. Remove weeds with a hoe, and treat serious areas with weed killer. Eventually, the grass with grow thick enough to choke out the weeds. If there are unlevel areas in the yard, fill them with topsoil and compost, and rake until it's level. Add new grass where necessary, either with grass seed or new sod. Fertilizing the lawn four times a year will help in grow strong and stay healthy.

Installing plants and trees can add new color and texture to a yard, and can also be used as a natural screen or fence to block out any undesirable views. Shrubs generally come in 1, 2, 3 , 5, 7, and 15 gallon sizes, with trees coming in the 7 and 15 gallon sizes. Trees larger than 15 gallons should be installed by a professional, and will usually involve heavy duty equipment. Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball, while keeping the depth of the hole the same as the height of the root ball. Loosen the roots, and place the plant or tree in the hole, and fill the hole halfway, then water it. Fill up the rest of the hole, and add mulch around the plant to preserve moisture and keep weeds from growing.

To create a nice outdoor area for entertaining, making a patio out of pavers is a good task for the do-it-yourselfer, and more pleasing to the eye than a professionally poured concrete slab. First, remove grass from the area which is easily achieved by renting a sod cutter from a home improvement store. Level out the area, and define the patio's perimeters with plastic edging or treated wood. Spread about 2 inches worth of coarse sand inside the form, and lay down the pavers snuggly against each other. Once all the pavers are in place, spread sand across the top of the patio, and work it into the spaces between the pavers with a broom, and the new patio is complete.

After a nice renovation to a home's exterior and its surroundings, coming home will be a pleasure before the front door is ever opened.

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