Check out your home with a critical eye

Scripps Howard News ServiceMarch 22, 2013 

Spring is here and that means it’s time to spruce up. It always seems exciting to get spring cleaning under way, then part way through, the excitement fades and the reality of the work sets in. The finished result makes all the labor worthwhile. But what really needs sprucing up – and what can wait another year?

Is it time to replace some older, dilapidated things with newer, more efficient ones?

Roof: Let’s start with the roof. Climb up a ladder (be careful!) or get binoculars and go across the street to view your roof. Are there missing or broken tiles or shingles? Replacing the roof is expensive, but not as expensive as replacing many more things in your house if it leaks or a storm rips off some of your roofing. Some roofing products come with an insurance discount.

Windows: How about the windows? If you see condensation between the glass panes or your windows are hard to open or close, your energy bills are going to be higher than they should be. It might be time to replace the windows. OK, so this is another expensive endeavor, but worth the investment over the long run.

Entry: The front door should be in good and attractive condition. When you are inside looking at the closed front door, do you see light peeking in around it? Do you feel a cold draft when you stand close to the door? Is it hard to close or lock? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it’s time for a new door. Again, your energy bill will be more palatable if you have a well-sealed front door. And a clean, well-maintained front door makes your home more inviting and attractive.

Floors: How are the floors? Sometimes replacing the carpet in the most-used room is all you need. Carpeting isn’t cheap, so consider replacing the most-used room’s carpet first and following up with other rooms in a year or so. If you have wood, tile or marble flooring, getting a professional company to refurbish is a good idea.

Furniture: Sometimes furniture needs to be reupholstered, other times buying new is better. Reupholstering is a good choice if the furniture you have is of good quality, you like it very much and it is comfortable. But buying new is another good choice, too, because reupholstering can be as expensive as buying new. Weigh the difference and decide: new or reupholstered.

Appliances: Energy-saving appliances are available everywhere, so evaluate what you have and replace any inefficient appliances you own with new energy-efficient models.

Friedmann: DsgnQuest@aol.com

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