Home Maintenance

True Adventures in Homeownership: Eleven Weeks and Counting

It’s only been a few weeks since my last update on new homeownership, but somehow my math was really off last time. I don’t have a special time machine that allows me to zip through five weeks in a mere three. Still, a lot has happened in the last three weeks, including some important new lessons. Contractors Sometimes Give Cash Discounts We got our carport roof fixed three…
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How to Hire Professional Movers

My husband and I decided five years ago (around the time I moved in with him) that the next time we moved, we would hire professionals to do the job. Yes, it costs more, but given the hassles, timing, and expense of doing it yourself, it’s worth it to us. Here are our reasons: We’re tired of wrangling friends to help us It takes far longer for non-professionals…
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Buy a Patio Set after Labor Day to Save Big

Experts say there is a best time to buy anything. Big screens after the Super Bowl, laptops for back-to-school, and here’s one I’ve just discovered: patio furniture and grills after Labor Day. Which Stores Have Big Sales A full-time patio store may have some items on clearance after Labor Day, but since patios are their year-round business, don’t look for big markdowns any time of year. Instead, check…
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New Homeowner – Which Tools Do I Really Need?

Most people have a few basic tools, even if they live in apartments, but once you move into your first home, you may find yourself needed a lot more tools. Here are the basics we’ve needed in our first two weeks in our new home. Screwdrivers: We needed Phillips and Flat head screwdrivers in several sizes. Fortunately, we have a multi-bit screwdriver set. It has one handle and…
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Save Money and Water with Native Plants

California is making a big push for native California plants, because they conserve water. Conserving water is also a great way to save money, especially if you live in an area where water rates are rising. Local plants offer several other money-saving advantages, too. Native Plants Reduce Your Water Bill Most people have large green lawns, but those lawns are not actually native to most regions. Native grasses…
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Finding Home Service People: Angie’s List Review

When we first moved into our house, I started using Yelp and Craigslist to find contractors for repair jobs where we didn’t have referrals from our Realtor. We had success with finding a floor refinisher and a mover via Yelp. I had a much harder time finding good reviews or resources for smaller tasks like woodworking or bee removal. A friend mentioned that she always found good service…
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