When to trim your trees around your home

If your home’s surroundings are void of any trees, consider adding some floral beauty the next time you feel like remodeling – trees are one of the best-looking features that a home’s yard could have.

Yet for all their awesomeness, trees require fairly-frequent maintenance like all living organisms do. If you’re looking to outfit your yard with some big old trees, make sure you’re ready to care for them as if you were Mother Nature herself. Here are some trimming tips so you can know just the right amount to cut off:

  • If there are trees around your home, always be on the lookout for loose or broken branches and remove them accordingly. Aside from potentially harboring disease and pests, loose branches can also fall off and cause significant damage to your home or belongings and even injure you or someone in the vicinity.
  • Know how a tree should function through the seasons. Don’t trim the poor tree just because it’s blooming in the spring – if you’re bothered by growth and want something you can have complete control over, opt for a statue or a lamp post instead. Remember: the fact that a tree can’t talk and is therefore unable ask you to stop cutting off its parts is no reason to let loose with the shears.
  • Keep in mind that trees can be harmed or even killed by excessive trimming. No, we don’t mean figuratively – since trees are alive, they can be injured by overzealous trimmers without a lot of experience. Always err on the side of too little rather than too much (unless you’re dealing with an infection) – would you rather have an overgrown tree or a dead one?

Knowing when to ask the tree service pros for help

Tree trimming is one of those things that we’re often too proud to ask for help with. After all, it’s just taking some shears and cutting off a few branches, right? Hardly.

Trimming trees requires a lot of knowledge about how they work and the dos and don’ts of the whole thing – a good deal experience with different types of trees is also a plus . This is why many arborists are getting certificates to prove their worth and why more and more clients are looking for these certificates before hiring.

An example of a good time to ask for an arborist’s help is when the high-up branches are in need of trimming. Lack of a fear of heights is no reason to climb twenty feet up on a shaky ladder or a crane whose screws are falling off – you might be surprised by the amount of fall-related injuries that befall DIY tree trimmers.

Aside from safety, wanting the best for your tree is another good reason to work with professionals. Trees take a long time to grow, and when they do, they can last for millennia, but not if humans are working against them. Getting seasoned (no pun intended) arborists to prune and trim your tree is a great way to ensure that its branches will want to hug you on-sight.

Do you need rain gutters for your home

Rain gutters can be a costly affair. Sure enough, installing a complete rain gutter system is expensive and oftentimes prohibitive. But what about the costs incurred from lacking such a system? The weather-related damage your home could incur in the absence of proper rain gutters could far exceed their initial cost.

Does my home really need rain gutters?

It’s safe to say that nobody can consider rain gutters a cachet addition to a home, nor one that isn’t needed. Yet many home owners without a working system of gutters seem reluctant to get one until it’s absolutely necessary. Maybe they’re afraid of raccoons using them to climb the roof while ruining the gutters in the process?

The only scenario in which you should pass on rain gutters is when you’re living in a very, very warm place. Like, really warm – to a point where rain is minimal, snow is nonexistent and all that good stuff.

You could also pass up on them if your home is essentially surrounded by trees, as leaves can combine with dirt, dust and moisture to create a clogging for the ages. Yet, in most cases, this is easily remedied by getting the appropriate gutter screen that will shield your gutter system from unwanted intruders.

The fact that no heavy rainfall has hit your home thus far is irrelevant: it could happen at any moment and you definitely don’t want to be getting caught unprepared. We mentioned that rain gutters pay themselves off as soon as the rain and snow get heavy: if you’re still concerned about your finances, consider getting rain gutters from a cheaper material that fits your balance better.

Keep in mind that cheaper shouldn’t necessarily mean worse when dealing with rain gutters – every good contractor will install even thin aluminum gutters with longevity in mind.

Knowing your contractors

If you’ve made the decision to install rain gutters on your home, feel free to call yourself a smart home owner, but don’t think that the hard part is over yet.

In fact, finding good contractors for any type of work can be extremely difficult depending on where you live. With rain gutters, the difficulty can sometimes go from hard to nightmare mode: there’s an awful lot of low-skilled rain gutter contractors running around looking to make a quick buck.

It’s more than just the poor quality of service to watch out for with subpar contractors – they’re also known for their fondness of scamming their clients into buying services they don’t need, billing so-called ‘shadow services’ and refusing to perform repairs in favor of a much pricier gutter replacement.

The contractor you’re thinking of doing work with should have no problem explaining the work-to-be-done in great detail, including naming the price of every service – they should also have no qualms about repairing existing gutters at your behest. Always make sure to talk to several different contractors before picking one in order to compare what each of them offers and recognize shady business early on.

Best value added home remodeling projects

Home remodeling sounds great in theory: out with the old, in with the new, what could go wrong? Well, a couple of things. For starters, the latest addition to your home might work much better in theory than in practice: home remodeling regrets are particularly unpleasant.

For many, though, there’s an even bigger concern: the possibility of your home remodeling effort not adding much value to your home. You could be perfectly content with living out the rest of your days in the same home, but you could just as easily want to sell it and move on come next year.

To best prepare you for the future while keeping the present in mind, here are some home remodeling projects you can always count on to provide a good value when it’s selling time.

Add value through home remodeling projects

  • Kitchen work: it seems strange for some, but the kitchen is one of the most important factors in virtually every home purchase – how your kitchen looks and works will significantly impact the final price you can get for your home. In fact, you can count on every sensible kitchen-improving effort at least returning your investment in full when you’re selling the home. For best results, opt for a middle ground between a functional kitchen and one that looks great and inviting.
  • Home theater system: Investing in a home theater system – especially with a quality LCD TV and speakers – will always pay later on and will add a surprising amount of value to the home. People love their leisure time, eh? A remodeling effort centered around creating a home theater(presumably in your living room) can include many optional additions, from slick leather sofas and armchairs to improved lighting for the best possible ambient.
  • Bedroom improvement: Like the kitchen and the bathroom, the bedroom is another top concern of every home buyer. Also like the above two, you can generally count on a good return on investment for every bedroom remodeling effort you do – a nicer bed is good, but how about an adjacent bathroom, complete with a shower cabin?

It also pays to keep an eye out for remodeling efforts that aren’t likely to pay themselves off any time soon. As already mentioned, things can seem better or more valuable in theory than they are in practice. Examples of not-so-good home improvement efforts include:

  • The addition of extra rooms, especially novelty ones: Aside from astronomical prices associated with these additions, buyers won’t always appreciate the fact that the house has an added office, study or even something as extravagant as a sunroom. Moreover, these types of additions can get out of hand and increase the price of your home too much for its relative neighborhood, which isn’t always a good spot to find yourself in.
  • Garage features: How much your garage plays in the price of your home depends on whether you have an attic or basement and their state. While improvements to the garage’s size might be welcomed by many home buyers, ‘extra’ perks like a heating and/or air conditioning system might not be valued as much.

Top 5 tools you will need for DIY projects around the home

There are few ways to spend our leisure time that are more constructive than home improvement – DIY projects done well will increase the overall price of your home and will notably improve your quality of life.

Everyone knows that a handyman needs his tools or he’s out of work. Tool sets can easily cost hundreds or thousands of dollars – to help you decide what’s necessary and what you can do without, here are 5 tools that are an absolute must-have in your belt.

 5 Tools You Need For DIY Projects

  • Power drill: Let’s be honest: nothing quite says handyman like a power drill. This could very well be considered the cornerstone of your toolkit, and with good reason – the drill offers an amazing value for the money. If you ever owned a home without owning a power drill, you’ll know that these things can seem as important as forks and spoons. Drilling holes, creating space, screwing in and screwing out – these are just some of the tasks that the mighty drill handles impressively. There’s a staggering amount of drills out there, and you might easily find yourself confused when buying one – if you can, try going for a cordless set as it might make your job easier.
  • Circular saw: You thought a power drill was dangerous? The circular saw might be the most menacing tool you can own, but it’s also one of the most important. A lot of what makes circular saws so dangerous is the fact that they’re handheld – without being firmly fixed to a table, the ways through which a saw can injure you are many. Don’t be scared, though – you’ll need one of these if you want to do some serious work around the home.
  • Angle grinder: When you aren’t drilling things or slicing them into pieces, you’ll probably want to grind them down until they assume the shape of your choosing. Here is where an angle grinder comes in handy – you weren’t going to use a file on that piece of metal, were you? Many of the better angle grinders will feature a diamond blade that lets them grind down everything except maybe diamonds themselves without even forcing you to empty your savings account to buy one.
  • Voltage checker: We said that the power drill adds great value for your money, but how about a voltage checker? With $10 or so, you could save yourself thousands of dollars on health costs incurred after getting zapped by some nasty current – provided you survive the encounter, that is. While a voltage checker doesn’t seem like a must-have, it most certainly is – no DIY handyman should get close to an outlet without one of these babies.
  • Pliers and nippers: Right, you probably already know you’ll need a couple of quality pliers to do work around the house. But how about some nippers? This tool is meant to pull nails out of wood and similar materials without damaging their surface – if you’ve left those long bent nails inside for too long for fear of damaging their surroundings(and the interior), it’s time to put them to rest.