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Summer Exterior Home Maintenance Projects

Maintaining your home is as important as any task you will complete this summer. Knowing what and how to maintain and how to complete any repairs is sometimes the hardest part of getting started.


Your garage door is probably one of the most used and neglected parts of your home. Keeping it in good working order is inexpensive and will save you a ton of money in the long haul.

Materials: Lubricant, Wrench, Car Wax, Clean Rags, Detergent diluted with water

* Check all moving parts to be sure none are bent or broken.
* Check and lubricate all rails, axles, hinges, springs, rollers, etc. . . .
* Wipe down your door with diluted detergent to clean away debris.
* Wax the door. This will keep new dirt and debris from collecting on the surface.
* Paint wooden doors inside and out and caulk all cracks and gaps.
* Check weather sealants on the bottom of the door.


Rust can deteriorate and ruin many metal items in the home. Regular maintenance can prevent rust from ever appearing.

Materials: Wire Brush, Metal Primer, Rust Resistant Paint, Paintbrush

* Use wire brush to scrape away loose rust. (If possible brush down to the bare metal)
* Clean away old paint.
* Apply metal primer.
* Repaint metal with rust resistant paint.


Yard maintenance not only increases curb appeal and resale value of your home, it simply looks and feels good.

Materials: Pruning Shears

* Check trees for dead hanging limbs and remove.
* Trim your bushes and vines. (Bushes and vines hold moisture and can contribute to mortar damage.)
* Trim unkept plants. (Unkept plants leaning against a home are the perfect entrance path for creepy crawlies)


Your homes siding and crawlspaces are its keys to the outside world. Keeping these areas, clean and repaired will lengthen the life of your home.

Materials: Vapor Barrier, Flashlight, Foam Pipe Wrap, Siding Cleaner, Scrubber, Hose

* Clean your siding. (Remember to apply cleaner from the bottom up and rinse from the top down to keep siding streak-free)
* Clean tough spots with a scrubber.
* Remove mold and mildew. (Siding soaks up mold and mildew like a sponge, decreasing the integrity of the siding)
* Poke your head into the crawlspace with a flashlight. Look for moisture and evidence of termites.
* Check the dirt floor (if you have one). The dirt may look dry, but actually be wet.
* Check your vapor barrier. (If you do not have a vapor barrier, one can be easily made from a variety of materials such as foil or plastic.)
* Check pipe wraps on exposed pipes. If pipes aren’t wrapped, wrap them.
* Check sewer lines under toilets for leaks.


Decks are a wonderful addition to a home. Not only do they add value, but living space as well. Maintaining your deck will take very little time and effort and the return is well worth the work.

Materials: Screwdriver, Hammer, Garden Hose, Socket Wrench, Deck Cleaner, Dust Broom, Plastic Sheet or Tarp, Rubber Gloves, Scrub Brush, Deck Sealant

* Clear the year’s worth of debris from in between the floorboards. This debris holds moisture and can cause the floor to rot.
* Sweep Deck.
* Check for water damage, splintered areas, and rotten boards.
* Hammer in any loose or protruding nails.
* Make sure rails are tight.
* Tighten the bolts holding the deck to the house.
* Clean and rinse your deck with deck cleaner. Be sure to protect any plants that may be damaged by the cleaner.
* Apply deck sealer.

Home maintenance can be overwhelming but is so very necessary. On those cold winter nights and hot summer days, you will be glad you repaired and maintained the home that protects you.

Spring is Coming! Get those windows sparkling!

If there’s one spring cleaning ritual that should never be skipped, it’s cleaning the windows.

All the elements from a long winter — snow, rain, wind — create a grimy film on your windows that actually make a room look darker because less natural light can pass through. On the inside, everything from kitchen grease to dust sticks to your windows.

And think about those spring breezes blowing through dusty window screens – letting dust pollute the air in your home. Windows won’t stay clean for long if your window screens are covered in dirt.

Dish detergent
A squeegee
An old towel
Vacuum cleaner
Paper towels
Non-linting microfiber cloths and a spray bottle

Pick a cloudy day to wash your windows- sunlight makes the windows dry too quickly, leaving streaks. You actually don’t need to buy a special window or glass cleaner. The best solution is simply a couple of drops of a mild dish detergent, like Dawn, mixed with warm water. Dish detergent is effective at cutting grease, which makes it perfect for window cleaning. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and you’ll be ready to clean with your own homemade formula.

1. Open up your window, slide the screen and storm window out, and place them on an old towel.

2. Spray one side of your storm window with your cleaner. Wash the window with your microfiber cloth.

3. After washing, wipe down using a squeegee. Keep your squeegee clean between strokes by wiping off with a paper towel or rag. Repeat on the other side of the storm window.

4. Use the same process on the inside of your window – spray, wash, and squeegee. It’s best to alternate the direction of your strokes with the squeegee to reduce streaking. For example, move the squeegee vertically on the inside of the window and horizontally on the outside.

5. Next, you want to clean your window sill, which is likely quite dirty. Spray the sill with your cleaner and use paper towels or microfiber cloths to wipe clean.

6. Use your vacuum to suck up all the dirt and dust embedded in your window screen. Alternately, you can hose off your window screens in the yard, and let them air-dry in the sun.

7. Head outside to clean the outside of the window glass using the same method. You may need to add an extension pole to your squeegee.

8. Replace the screen and storm window.

Once you’ve freshly washed your windows, enjoy the big reward: windows that sparkle.

For more information on this topic, please visit the source of this article at http://www.diylife.com/2010/03/27/spring-maintenance-cleaning-windows

Top 10 Remodeling Projects that Pay Back the Most

Here are Remodeling Magazine’s top 10 remodeling projects that pay back the most. You’ll notice that these are not ambitious, vanity jobs. All are projects that replace worn or aged home components, bring parts of the home up-to-date or add living space without expanding the home’s footprint:

  1. Replacing exterior siding with upscale fiber cement. Siding pays back a whopping 78%, on average, of the $13,461 average cost. The most cost-effective thing you can do to your home this year is to replace old siding with new, higher-end fiber cement.
  2. Replacing an entry door with a midlevel 20-gauge steel door is an inexpensive upgrade at $1,238 on average, but it pays back 73% and greatly improves curb appeal.
  3. A midrange attic bedroom remodel involves popping out a dormer for a 5-by-7-foot bathroom with shower, insulating and finishing the walls and ceiling, adding four windows, extending the heating and air conditioning and improving wiring and lighting. The payback is 72.5% on the $50,148 expenditure. More living space is being sought as adult children are driven back to their parents’ homes by the shaky economy and as older parents join the households of their adult children. (The Census Bureau says 18% of American households are doubled up now, up from 17% in 2008.) An attic remodel is the cheapest way to add space and a bathroom within the house. A basement remodel is the next most cost-efficient way to add living space, although code requirements for headroom and exterior doors make that project more complicated and more expensive, Alfano says.
  4. A midrange minor kitchen remodel paid back 72.1% of the $19,588 investment. Included are new laminate countertops and new sink, faucets and appliances. The floor is untouched and cabinets are kept in place but refaced with new hardware added. “You’re taking what’s there and giving it a face lift,” Alfano says. “The kitchen really looks good and the average cost for this is under $20,000 – less than what a lot of people would pay for a car.” In today’s austere climate, kitchen and bath remodels are pale imitations of the lavish vanity projects from the housing boom. Most consumers are shunning the expensive spa baths and chef’s kitchens that involve moving electrical services, plumbing and walls.
  5. A midrange garage door replacement may not be high on many wish lists; it’s one of those jobs that you do because it’s needed. But it adds curb appeal and function, and it pays back 71.9%, on average, of the $1,512 average cost.
  6. A high-end garage door replacement recoups almost as much: 71.1% of the $2,994 average cost.
  7. A new wood deck earns back 70.1%, on average, of its $10,350 cost at resale this year.
  8. New foam-backed vinyl siding replacement keeps the house warm and pays back 69.6% of its $14,274 average cost. The average project involves 1,250 square feet of siding, including trim.
  9. New midrange replacement vinyl siding upgrades the look of the home and pays back 69.5% of the $11,729 average price.
  10. Upscale vinyl replacement windows have a 69.1% payback on the $14,328 cost. The project involves replacing 10 double-hung 3-by-5 windows. The new windows are low-emissivity glass and are insulated with simulated wood-grain trim.

For more information on this topic, visit the source of this article at: http://realestate.msn.com/10-remodeling-projects-that-pay-back-most

Morgan Exteriors, Inc. - Best of HomeAdvisor Award Winner

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Throughout Florida

Morgan Exteriors, Inc. is a home remodeling company that services Tampa Bay, Orlando, Fort Myers, and the Jacksonville area. We are general contractors, however, we specialize in what we know and do best - Energy Efficient Replacement Windows, Doors, Solid-core Siding, Eaves and overhangs, and most exterior improvements.

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