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How to Fix Common Wall and Floor Problems

Link To Original Article From HouseLogic.com

By: Deirdre Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016

 

Although some maintenance projects are best left to the pros, these three easy DIY fixes will give you bragging rights.

We turned to three bloggers for ideas on how to tackle some little, but nagging, household wall and floor issues.

A Made-Up Drywall Repair

 The problem: Concealing drywall damage is a tricky business that requires a handful of drywall tools and materials to make walls look like new. To fix coin-sized holes, many traditionalists use mesh or paper tape. But not Lesli DeVito, the DIY blogger behind My Old Country House.

 The fix: Cosmetic wedges! DeVito first tried patching the two nickel-sized openings with cement board she had lying around, but the pieces didn't fit as you can see in the picture below (left).

 Tool list:

How to:

  1. Cut the wedges into pieces that are slightly larger than the holes.
  2. Spackle the drywall and wipe off the excess.
  3. When the spackle dries, sand the area until it's smooth.
  4. Add a fresh coat of paint.

Now DeVito challenges people to find where the holes were; go ahead, take a peek.

A Seamless Way to Remove Nails from Trim and Flooring

 The problem: You can save some dough by using salvaged materials like trim and oak flooring. But before you can install or even safely store them, you have to pull out any old nails -- without damaging the wood.

 The fix: Although you might be tempted to whack the nail from the back with a hammer and then yank it, don't. That can mar the surface. Instead, pull the nails out from the back, says Peter Fazio from the site Dadand.

 Tool list:

How to:

  1. Put the trim or floorboard face down on a drop cloth to protect the front surface.
  2. Using your pliers, grab the nail and gently roll onto the curved part of the tool until the nail pops out.

If the old filler used to conceal the nail on the front side pops out, it's easy to fix. Refill the hole with color-matched wood filler (it'll work for composite trim, too). Scrape the top of the repair gently with a putty knife to remove excess filler -- otherwise you'll leave a noticeable bump.

If you can't find color-matched filler, repair the hole and gently sand the area smooth. Spot paint to match.

The Trick to Spiffing Up Grody Grout

 The problem: When Virginia from LiveLoveDIY painted her kitchen cabinets bright white, her dingy tile grout became a real eyesore.

Sure, cleaning agents like hydrogen peroxide can brighten discolored floors, but they won't do much for grout. Grout is gritty and easily stains; despite scrubbing, it may never appear clean.

 The fix: Using what she calls the "best product ever," a bottle of Polyblend Grout Renew (there are other brands, too), a stain- and fade-resistant grout paint in snow white. It costs about $14 for an 8-ounce bottle, which was enough to cover the all grout in her kitchen.

 Tool list:

How to:

  1. Squeeze a dollop of paint on the grout and scrub it in with a toothbrush. (The paint Virginia used dries fast, so you'll need to work quickly.)
  2.  Wipe off the excess from tile with a paper towel.

Including a few breaks, it took her about four hours to complete the job, which she says was time well-spent. Virginia also says the grout paint is easy to keep clean.

 Tip: You might also want to seal the grout paint after it dries.

 

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2022.  All rights reserved.

 

Home Upgrades With the Lowest ROI

Article From HouseLogic.com

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon
Published: August 26, 2013

 

File these 4 home upgrades under wish fulfillment, not value investment.

Life is a balancing act, and upgrading your home is no different. Some upgrades, like a kitchen remodel or an additional bathroom, typically add value to your home. Others, like putting in a pool, provide little dollar return on your investment.

Of course, homeowning isn't just about building wealth; it's also about living well and making memories -- even if that means outclassing your neighborhood or turning off future buyers. So if any of these six upgrades is something you can't be dissuaded from, enjoy! We won't judge. But go in with your eyes wide open. Here's why:

 

#1 Outdoor Kitchen

 

 The fantasy: You're the man -- grilling steaks, blending margaritas, and washing highball glasses without ever leaving your pimped-out patio kitchen.

 The reality: For what it costs -- median cost is $14,000 -- are you really gonna use it? Despite our penchant for eating alfresco, families spend most leisure time in front of some screen and almost no leisure time outdoors, no matter how much they spend on amenities, according to UCLA's "Life At Home" study.

 The bottom-line: Instead, buy a tricked out gas grill, which will do just fine when you need to char something. If you're dying for an outdoor upgrade, install exterior lighting -- only 1% of buyers don't want that.

 

#2 In-Ground Swimming Pool

 

 The fantasy: Floating aimlessly, sipping umbrella drinks, staying cool in the dog days of summer.

 The reality: Pools are money pits that you'll spend $57,500 to install, and thousands more to insure, secure, and maintain. Plus, you won't use them as much as you think, and when you're ready to sell, buyers will call your pool a maintenance pain. In fact, according to the "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS?, you'll only get back 43% return when you sell.

 The bottom-line: If a backyard swimming pool is on your must-have home list, go for it. But, get real about:

 

#3 In-Ground Spa

 

The fantasy: Soothing aching muscles and sipping chardonnay with friends while being surrounded by warm water and bubbles.

The reality: In-ground spas are nearly as expensive as pools and cost about $1 a day for electricity and chemicals. You'll have to buy a cover ($50 to $400) to keep children, pets, and leaves out. And, like in-ground pools, in-ground spas' ROI depends solely on how much the next homeowner wants one.

The bottom-line: Unless you have a chronic condition that requires hydrotherapy, you probably won't use your spa as much as you imagine. A portable hot tub will give you the same benefits for as little as $1,000 to $2,500, and you can take it with you when you move.

 

#4 Elevator

 

 Your fantasy: No more climbing stairs for you or for your parents when they move in.

The reality: Elevators top the list of features buyers don't want in the NAHB "What Buyers Really Want" report. They cost upwards of $25,000 to install, which requires sawing through floors, laying concrete, and crafting high-precision framing. And, at sales time, elevators can turn off some families, especially those with little kids who love to push buttons.

The bottom-line: If you truly need help climbing stairs, you can install a chair lift on a rail system ($1,000 to $5,000). Best feature: It can be removed.

 

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2022.  All rights reserved.