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8 Tips on How to Save Money on Exterior Renovations

exterior renovationsIf you’re currently considering exterior renovations, it’s likely that you are envisioning dollar signs disappearing right before your very eyes.

It’s true that renovations can cost large chunks of money. This can make the entire process more stressful and difficult than anyone wants it to be. But it’s nice to redesign your home, and sometimes renovations are impossible to ignore, especially when disaster strikes.

With a little bit of extra help, however, those costs can be minimized.

Continue reading to learn more.

1. Plan Ahead To Keep Labor Costs Low

Being able to give your contractor a detailed idea of what exterior renovations you want to have done will go a long way in keeping costs much lower. The work will go faster and easier, making it a better job for everyone involved.

Plus, if you leave certain things for the renovators to figure out, it may end up costing you more as their idea of what is an acceptable cost may be very different from your own.

Exterior renovation services, such as Ross Services, want to do their very best for you. So make sure to be ready with a game plan to make the entire process cheaper and less stressful for everyone.

2. Avoid Purchasing Customized Items

It is much more affordable to buy items such as windows or paneling off the shelf of your local materials store than to dole out extra cash for something made to order. Although that customized triangular window might look really nice in your foyer, it also will cost you a lot more money than a normal rectangular window. Both for the window itself, and to get that oddly-shaped window installed.

Stick to the basics, and your costs will be much lower.

If you have your heart set on getting some customizations, you should keep them to a minimum in order to keep expenses as low as possible.

3. Gather the Needed Materials Yourself

Getting the materials for your exterior renovations is a necessary part of the entire project. However, getting them delivered right to your door is a luxury that will add a lot of expense to the overall budget.

Instead of ordering for the materials to be delivered, go and pick them up yourself to save extra money. This way you can ensure that the materials are exactly what you want for your project and that you’re getting the best price at the same time.

Just remember to bring these materials to the renovation site before the contractors get there. Otherwise, you might just be paying them to stand around waiting!

4. Explore Other Ways to Bring in Natural Light

Big open windows are quite beautiful, but they aren’t the only way to get natural light into places like your chic kitchen or your comfy living room. There are other options that won’t require you to cut out a hole into the side of your home.

An item called a “light tube”, for instance, is installed between the rafters of your roof and will help bring in natural sunlight into your home. And, it’s much cheaper than installing a whole new window.

Also, you won’t have new windows to wash during your regular cleaning routine. Less cleaning for similar results sounds like big savings in my book!

5. Spend a Little Now to Save Big Later

In order to save money during a such a large project like exterior renovations, you need to find all of the little ways where spending more now will actually save you money in the long run.

Let’s look at the siding on your home for a good example. You can save money buying just plain siding, but if you spend a little extra on the pre-painted and pre-primed version, you’ll actually save time and money.

That extra sturdy siding won’t need re-painting nearly as often as the plain siding, which ultimately saves you money. Try to find situations like this one in order to maximize your savings.

6. Try Demolishing on Your Own

It’s not recommended that you demolish interior walls without experience or knowledge, due to all of the potential electrical wiring or plumbing you could damage. However, for exterior renovations, you don’t have to worry quite as much.

Decks, especially, are quite easy for homeowners to demolish on their own without the need to hire a demolition team. Putting in some hard labor yourself will save you a lot of money.

Plus, it could be a new way to work out a little bit of stress at the same time.

7. Visit a Building-Supply Auction

Auction houses are like little treasure boxes that most people ignore. If you want to save extra money on your exterior renovations, you can’t ignore auctions any longer.

There are a lot of unused building materials just waiting for a new home. Things like lumber or siding, even sets of windows or deck furniture could be available in one of these auctions.

Don’t let the savings available at an auction pass you by. Find out where the nearest auction is, and give it a try.

8. Start Your Renovation During Contractor Downtime

Exterior renovations services have their own busy schedules to contend with when they pick up new projects. When they’re at their busiest, that is also when they are at their most costly.

If at all possible, wait until your contract has slower business before beginning your own renovations. Often a contractor will offer a small discount if you hire them during these slow times.

The busiest times for renovations are generally around the warmest summer months or around August or September when kids are beginning school again. Try to plan your renovation around these times in order to save the most money and hopefully get a discount at the same time.

Exterior Renovations Don’t Have to Empty Your Bank Account

While it’s true that your renovations will still cost you a bit, with the help of these tips, that sum of money can be significantly reduced. It’s all about getting the most bang for your buck.

This way, you can enjoy the perks of a newly renovated home, without the stresses of having spent a bit too much money in the process.

Do you have your own method for saving money on renovations? Contact me and share your wisdom!

5 Sentimental and Unique Gifts for Grandma

gifts for grandmaPicking the right gifts for grandma can be a challenge! How do you find the perfect gift that’s sentimental, but also unique to her?

It helps to have a few gift ideas on hand when it’s time to pick the perfect present. Whether you’re shopping for a birthday, Christmas, or another special occasion, you can choose an amazing gift that will be cherished for years to come.

Try one of these 5 interesting gift ideas to help you get started – or to inspire you to come up with a new gift idea of your own!

5 Unexpected Gifts for Grandma

1. A Living Gift

If your grandma has a green thumb, try giving her the gift of a plant that will beautify her home or garden.

If you’re a gardener as well, you might give a plant that you raised yourself for an extra personal touch. But even if you can hardly keep a cactus alive, you can still give a beautiful store bought plant!

Just make sure to choose one that fits grandma’s unique personality. You might try a plant that blooms in her favorite color or an herb that she’ll love to cook with.

2. A Photo She’ll Love

You might have gifted grandma with a photo in a pretty frame when you were younger. Now, though, there are many other creative ways to use photos in gifts.

Try giving a digital photo frame that will cycle through a number of beloved family pictures from years past. Or, give a custom gift like a photo blanket from The Memories Place – these make fun and cozy additions to grandma’s home.

3. A Crafty Accessory

Jewelry makes a wonderful gift for a stylish grandmother. However, you don’t want to give just any jewelry – try something handmade for that special touch.

If you make a necklace or pair of earrings, she’s sure to love it. But if grandma has a creative streak, you might try giving an easy jewelry kit that she can use to design her own looks. You could also try an interesting handmade piece from a local designer that fits her style well.

4. A Home Upgrade

As people get older, it can get harder to do all the things they want to around the home. Why not give grandma an opportunity to do that home update or refresh she’s always wanted?

You might try a gift certificate for an interior decorator, or to a furniture store for that cute new lamp or living room set she’s had her eyes on. Or, keep it simple and gift a subscription to a cleaning service. Everyone can use a little help keeping their home spotless sometimes!

5. A Gift You Do Together

What grandma probably wants more than anything is a little more time with her grandkids. A gift that gives you two a fun day together will really be special.

If she loves baking, then gift a local baking class that you two can take together. There are all kinds of other classes you can take, too – try terrarium building, or even a low-impact dance class. And, of course, tickets to a concert or play she’ll love are always a good choice.

Pick the Perfect Gift Now

When it comes to gifts for grandma, a little extra thoughtfulness goes a long way.

More than anything, you should try to give a present that fits her personality and interests. Show how much you care about her by remembering her favorite activities, style, or colors, and proving that in the gift you choose.

Are you shopping on a budget? Check out our frugal living tips here, so you’ll have more to spare for the perfect gift!

4 Warning Signs of Poor Quality Air in Your Home

quality airWe know how to check our homes for obvious risks. We install fire alarms, carbon monoxide monitors, security systems, deadbolts, and more to safeguard our home from both external and internal threats that could endanger our family.

Yet, for all our preparation, we may be overlooking one of the most important considerations of all — the condition of the air filling rooms that we sleep, cook, clean, and relax in daily.

While it often goes unnoticed, quality air is one home element that cannot be overlooked. Today, we’re breaking down a few warning signs to look for when deciding if yours needs attention.

Ready to learn more? Take a deep breath and let’s go!

1. Your Allergies are Flaring Up

Do you have itchy eyes, a runny nose, or a sore throat? While many of these symptoms are typically associated with allergies, there’s a chance it’s not the changing climate outside, but rather your air inside, that’s to blame.

As your rooms are more enclosed than the space outside your home, they can more easily trap materials such as pollen and dust. This can lead to high — and sometimes unhealthy — concentration levels.

If your congestion tends to amp up a few minutes after stepping inside your home, your air quality may need improvement.

2. You See Mold

Sometimes, your air quality could be diminished by excess humidity. In super-humid environments, mold can run rampant. When it does, not only is it unsightly, it could also pose a major threat to your health.

Medical professionals associate mold and dampness with a range of health effects, including respiratory illness, lung infections, skin diseases, and more.

As it grows on your walls, furniture, and floor, mold typically displays a telltale design of green or black spots and an unmistakably musky scent.

One way to decrease the humidity level in your home? Find the best furnace humidifier for your space and install it to clean the air and improve its overall quality.

3. You Smell Something Funny

As discussed above, mold has a signature odor. Yet, it’s not the only contaminant that could reduce the amount of quality air in your home.

If your house has poor ventilation, any scent can become trapped within it as it’s unable to properly escape. If this is the case, you may also notice that the smell of strong chemicals, such as cleaners, lingers around longer than usual.

You might think you’d be able to quickly discern if your home has a funky smell. Yet, scientific experts agree that over time, we become “nose-blind” to the scent of our own home. That means we may not always catch when something smells “off.”

One way to check? Leave the house for a little while, then survey the odor when you get back. Better yet, have a friend or family member who doesn’t live in your home come in and do a sniff test for you.

4. It’s Dustier Than Usual

If your air isn’t circulating properly, you may notice that your home’s surfaces are collecting more dust than you’re used to seeing.

A quality air filter can successfully trap and hold many of the particles and contaminants that normally accumulate in the air. Yet, even the best one may not be a strong enough match against air that’s especially polluted.

From pet hair to pollen, there are many sources of dust, and each requires immediate attention. The working condition of your respiratory system, not to mention your air conditioning system, depends on it!

From Quality Air to Green Living: Thrifty Ways to Save

Are you looking to improve the interior of your home to protect it against the dangers of low-quality air? While you’re at it, are you interested in learning more about frugal living, ways you can earn money from home, and some of the hottest online deals around?

If so, you’ve come to the right spot!

I’m dedicated to helping readers live their best, healthiest lives — on a budget. Every day I post practical tips and insights on ways to cut costs without cutting corners.

Contact me to learn more or leave a reply below to join the conversation!

Cool! Make Your Photos POP With This Instant Win!

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Have Pets? You Need This Seat Cover!

Calling all dog owners! Do you love taking your furry friend with you on errands, but hate how messy your vehicle gets? Worry no more! You have a chance to instantly win this Waterproof Pet Car Seat Cover! Perfect for hauling your pets to the park! Keep yours seats looking great and avoid accidental messes! Share with your pet-loving friends! Just click the link and tweet out the message see if you instantly win! 

  • TOUGHER THAN THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGES, THIS COVER WILL NEVER BREAK, MOVE NOR LEAK: We Love Animals’ seats cover for pets is stitched together through 3 tough layers, to bring comfort and safety. The upper WATERPROOF PU layer won’t leak nor smell. The rubber backing keeps the cover in place, even on leather seats and no matter how wild your puppy is. The colorfast material prevents your upholstery from getting stained. It contains no heavy metals and it’s tougher than your pup’s teething blues
  • TAKE YOUR DOGS OR KITTENS ALONG AND KEEP YOUR PEACE OF MIND: Don’t leave your friends at home when you can travel with them safely in your vehicle: car, jeep, SUV, truck, carrier or trailer. We Love Animals back seat cover can be converted to an oxford hammock, keeping your kitty or dog from jumping to the front seat and distracting the driver. It will also keep them safe and protect the flooring. Bring your pup’s accessories along: toy, treat and food bowl. The car’s interior will stay intact
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Calling all dog owners! Do you love taking your furry friend with you on errands, but hate how messy your vehicle gets? Worry no more! You have a chance to instantly win this Waterproof Pet Car Seat Cover! Perfect for hauling your pets to the park! Keep yours seats looking great and avoid accidental messes! Share with your pet-loving friends! Just click the link and tweet out the message see if you instantly win! 

Enter Now! I Keep One In The Car!

Portable Garmet steamer

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