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Three Great Interior Home Improvement Projects for the Fall! October 15, 2010

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Home Decorating, Home Design.
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Fall is the perfect time to start some new small home improvement projects around the house in order to get your home ready for the upcoming winter holidays when you’ll be too busy to dedicate much time to fixing up your house.

Autumn is traditionally a slow time for a lot of home contractors and home improvement stores and the slumping housing market means that hardware stores and home contractors are hungry for work and many are willing to lower prices on products and services just to stay busy. You can take advantage of this situation by completing some small interior projects around your home while the weather is still nice enough to have the windows open.

Here are three great projects that quick and easy to do for the fall season:

Prep your heating system for the winter months: Even though the weather is warm and sunny now, winter is right around the corner and there’s no better time than the present to get your furnace or heating inspected and checked out by a professional before it’s too late. A simple inspection could save you lots of money and cold nights in the middle of January. If you have a forced air heating system then you’ll want to check air filters, make sure there are no leaks or loose ducts and generally give everything the once over because it probably hasn’t been used in six months or more. If you have to buy any sort of fuel oil then you may want to take this opportunity to look over the tank and valves and make sure you don’t have any leaks or drips.

Add insulation to your home: If your heating system is going to warm your home then the insulation in your walls and attic will help keep the heat locked in tight. Most homes could always use more insulation and it’s much easier to climb around in an attic when the weather isn’t pushing 90 degrees outside. Attics that are free of debris are easy to put new insulation into, whether it be rolls of fiberglass insulation or blown insulation. You can also put additional insulation in your exterior walls, but this can be a large job requiring some specialized knowledge and equipment and is almost always better left to professionals.

Paint those rooms: A lot of people have friends and family visit for the holidays and there isn’t a less expensive and faster way to give a room a fresh new feel than with a new coat of paint. It’s best to paint during the fall and spring because you can open the windows and let the fresh air take care of the paint fumes and dry the walls faster. Paint is relatively inexpensive but if you’re in a hurry and really want a nice finish you can look into hiring a professional painter who can be sure the job is done right and quickly.

All three of these projects will help make your home a warmer and happier place to be for upcoming holidays and long winter nights!

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Light Up Your House this Holiday Season! December 10, 2009

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Home Decorating.
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With the holiday season now upon us, here are some helpful ideas from Better Homes and Gardens to light up your house!

Welcoming Lights

Greet your guests with seasonal style by adding lights to your front entry. Getting a strand of outdoor lights evenly-spaced and facing the same direction used to be quite an accomplishment. As much as outdoor lights are a beauty to behold, they can be a beast to install — and you’re trying to tame this unwieldy tangle on a chilly December day.

A little Yankee ingenuity has come to the rescue. New styles of clips that attach to the gutter, inside the doorway or along the walkway make it easier to space bulbs evenly and allow you to easily direct the lights. Made of a sturdy plastic, the clips snap in place with ease. And the clips come in a styles suited for standard or miniature lights. You’ll find them just about everywhere — from home centers to grocery stores.