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Spring 2016 Newsletter

Spring Cleaning Isn’t Complete without a Chimney Sweep

So you’ve got a plan to tackle a few spring–cleaning projects that will make your home a more pleasant place to live in. But have you scheduled your professional spring chimney cleaning yet? This is an often–neglected task that should become a priority each year because it’s not something that improves your home’s look—it’s something that keeps your family members safe.

The Dangers of Creosote

Much of your spring–cleaning is done for aesthetic purposes. You clear out the garage because you’re sick of looking at the pile of clutter that stops you from parking two cars in it. You throw away unwanted items in your bathroom so you can clear off the counters and store the toothpaste neatly in a drawer.

In some cases, spring–cleaning helps to keep you healthier. You might throw out old medicine from the medicine cabinet or relocate cleaning chemicals to a higher shelf that children cannot reach. Spring chimney cleaning is just as important for your family’s health and safety, even though the danger is something you cannot see.

Creosote is a black tarlike substance that collects on the inside of your chimney or chimney liner as a result of the byproducts created when you keep a fire going. Over the course of the winter, enough creosote could have built up in your chimney to become a fire hazard. Creosote is highly combustible, and it could cause the chimney to catch fire when you use your fireplace again in the winter.

Cleaning and Inspection All in One

What better time than during spring–cleaning to call in an expert to inspect your chimney? After all, you’re not using it right now, and a spring chimney inspection and cleaning gives you plenty of time to correct the problems that could mean danger for your home when the weather cools off again.

A qualified chimney sweep can perform a complete inspection and cleaning each year in order to eliminate creosote and other debris and inform you about any problems with the structure of your chimney. You’ll find out now whether structural damages increase the likelihood of a fire or if a damaged chimney crown or chimney flashing could put you at risk for water damage. This gives you several months to schedule repairs before you need your fireplace again in the winter.

Choosing a Quality Chimney Sweep

Most of your spring–cleaning—like clearing cobwebs from the shed and throwing out old items from the pantry—will be done on your own this year. But cleaning a chimney is something we never recommend if you don’t have the proper training. A certified chimney sweep can do the job correctly, ensuring that your home is safer and better prepared for any weather to come.

5 Remodeling Projects that Can Improve Your Return on Investment

This article includes 5 home improvement projects and remodeling projects that offer a high return on investment. First, a kitchen upgrade is something many homebuyers look for when investing in a new property. New doors and new siding are two projects with a high ROI, as is adding on a deck or patio. Finally, the article suggests that some smaller home improvements, like fresh paint, could help to increase the home’s appeal.

You’re looking for a home improvement project that you can enjoy for a few years to come, but also one that increases the property value for a future resale. Some projects have a fairly minimal return on investment, costing too much and adding too little when it’s time to sell. While projects with a low ROI are still viable options if you plan to keep the home for several years, some homeowners do not want to make a change that won’t increase the return on investment.

Here, you’ll find 5 projects that won’t break the bank and that can give your home greater appeal and value.

Upgrading the Kitchen

The look and feel of a kitchen is often the selling point for homebuyers, so even a few minor upgrades can go a long way. This is where people spend a large portion of their time at home, and they want it to be an efficient and pleasant place to cook, clean, and hang out with family. Fresh tiling, energy–efficient appliances, and an open kitchen and dining area layout are all improvements that people look for when they’re shopping for a new home.

New Doors

This is one project in which the cost of the upgrade is nearly as much as the value you’ll add. Your front door makes one of the most important first impressions for a potential buyer. In addition, updating your garage door is an excellent way to spend relatively little for a large return.

New Siding

This is often cited as having one of the highest returns on investment. Of course, if your siding is just fine as is, you should probably move on to a different home improvement project. However, new vinyl siding can be relatively inexpensive and it adds greatly to a home’s aesthetic value.

Outside Additions

One of the major benefits of adding a deck, patio, or outdoor room to your home is that it increases the square footage of your home. Quality workmanship makes all the difference when it comes to an outdoor deck or patio, so call a local contractor to get one that is custom designed for your home for a higher resale value.

Small Changes

Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference when you are trying to sell a home. A fresh coat of paint, for example, can do a world of good for the look and feel of your home. Simply decluttering a home to take photos is an easy improvement, and it’s something you can do on your own.