The 7 Deadly Remodeling Sins

Renovation, particularly DIY renovation, is huge for homeowners right now. If you’re in the majority considering a renovation, the operative word is “plan.” Jim Hubbard, owner of Remodeling Experts in St. Louis, MO, tells Freshome, “Doing the work is easy, but planning and making good selections – that’s the hard part.” Failing to plan is the overall remodeling sin that homeowners make. However, within that broad category, these are the seven deadly remodeling sins that can ruin your project and your budget.
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Do your research to make sure you’re not surprised by costs. Image: dSPACE Studio Ltd.

1. Having an unrealistic budget

“’Budget’ is a very tricky word – when it is mentioned, people seem to get a little shy,” Hubbard says. “Sometimes, when I hear the homeowner’s budget, I wonder if they came up with it from watching a DIY TV show, because those amounts won’t
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Here Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Renting

Choosing to live in a rental property offers a lot of freedom from repairs and maintenance. Typically, tenants are not responsible for tasks like cutting the grass and fixing plumbing problems. Perhaps that’s why more than 111 million Americans have chosen renting over home ownership, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. Renting provides convenience and independence, but there are limits to what you can do in a rental property. While specifics may vary from landlord to landlord, these are some of the general do’s and don’ts of renting a property.
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Some of the biggest do’s and don’ts of renting involve painting projects. Image: Vertebrae Architecture

Don’t go paint crazy

“Tenants like to say, ‘I’m leaving the place better than I got it,’ and some tenants might think that blood-red accent wall they painted is much better,” says Diana Valin, CPM, owner/broker at The Rental Xperts in San Diego, CA. However, Valin tells Freshome
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Buying a House… Pests Not Included

Most homebuyers have a laundry list of “must-have” items before signing on the dotted line, ranging from hardwood floors to stainless steel appliances to open floorplans. But there’s one thing they don’t want in a new house: pests. And for good reason. According to Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, “Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year – a cost that is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance.”

Pests aren’t just unsightly; they also cause costly property damage. Image: DeForest Architects

These particular insects are insidious – Mannes tells Freshome that termites chew through wood, flooring and wallpaper without being detected by the human eye. “Termites are known as ‘silent destroyers’ because they can compromise the structural stability of a home without anyone even knowing until the damage is severe,” she explains. However, termites aren’t the only
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HGTV’s Chip Wade: DIY Hacks to Transform Your Backyard on a Budget

Chip Wade of HGTV and the DIYNetwork is known for such shows as “Designed to Sell,” “Curb Appeal” and “Elbow Room.” He’s also a Liberty Mutual Consultant – and a new survey from Liberty Mutual revealed that for 52% of consumers who completed a DIY project, saving money was the number one objective. With all this in mind, we asked Wade for some simple DIY ways to transform your backyard into an outdoor haven on a budget.
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Consider starting to transform your backyard with simpler spaces close to the house. Image: McClellan Architects

Think about layout

Some homeowners get carried away and want to create multiple backyard spaces, but Wade advises against this approach. “For most clients, I actually encourage them to look at smaller outdoor living setups that are close to the house structure, rather than making multiple destination areas.”  He also believes that this will help
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transform your backyard with a patio fireplace
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The Nasty 9: What Are the Germiest Places in Your Home?

Some germs are beneficial, but not when they put you and your loved ones at risk for viruses and diseases. Your home, with all of its nooks and crannies, is a breeding ground for mold, staph germs, yeast and coliform bacteria. Some places in your home are germier than others, so cleaning takes a little extra effort in these areas. We spoke with Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona who is better known as “Dr. Germ,” and consulted a study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), a public health and safety organization. With their help, we discovered the nine germiest places in your home – and how to clean and disinfect them.
germiest places in your home

Even items used for cleaning can play host to germs. Image: Michael Norpell

1. Dish sponges

“Number one is the household sponge – almost all have E. coli growing in them, and in our studies,
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