Big Do-It-Yourself Projects

Home prices are skyrocketing and the housing market is struggling to keep pace with demand. In this market, many homeowners are choosing to take on major renovation projects around the house.

 

These major projects probably require a contractor, though the handiest of fix-it people might try to take these on themselves.

 

Here are popular projects based on the value they add to your living space.

 

Basement renovation:  few renovation projects add square footage as efficiently as a basement remodel. There are lots of ideas for how to do it, but full agreement on why: usually the infrastructure is in place for an economical expansion. Better yet, basement renovations often yield high returns on the investment. Homeowners who later sell often realize more than 70% return on their investment in a basement.

 

Kitchen renovation: kitchen renovations are among the most complex, costly, and time-consuming projects a homeowner can take on. At around $100 per square foot, they can really set a homeowner back. Nationally, owners report that they only return between 50% and 60% on their investment in a sale.

 

A kitchen remodel almost always means working with electricity and water, so often the work involves coordinating multiple professionals and managing their schedules. Unfortunately, many homeowners must plan to leave their house for a period of time for a kitchen renovation.

 

Adding a room: Adding new space can be an attractive way to renovate your house. Adding a mudroom, breakfast nook, or even a full guest room over the garage, can be accomplished without adding expensive foundation elements. There are lots of ideas for where and what to add, and a wide range of costs. Picking the project that will be most useful for your family is important.

 

Renovating a bathroom: Bathroom renovations can be almost as powerful as kitchen renovations in shaping your quality of life. There is not another room where you are certain to visit at least twice a day, and no space knows you as intimately. Making the space larger, warmer, and adding storage are common adaptations. Expect a bathroom renovation to return nearly 70% on investment, according to Zillow.

 

 

Remember, despite information about the return on investment, there are even better reasons to take on these renovations. They simply make your space better.

 

More than one homeowner has taken on a major renovation to prepare for a sale, and decided to stay. They found that their new space was better than any house they might find on the market.

Six Steps to the Best Garage Sale Ever

Getting ready for your garage sale is as much about finding the right state of mind as it is about finding things to sell.

 

In order to get in the garage sale mindset, one might first watch a few minutes of Marie Kondo or Clean House, and perhaps an episode or two of Hoarders.

 

You know who you don’t want to be!

 

Once you are serious about getting rid of what you no longer need, you are ready to follow these simple steps to prepare for your garage sale or perhaps plan a neighborhood yard sale.

 

Just follow these 6 simple steps to the best garage sale

 

  1. Thoroughly clean in unusual places. Your living room might not have a lot of excess junk in it, or the dining room either. You live in those spaces and regularly tidy up and get rid of useless items. This is a time to tackle the back of the garage, a basement closet, or those boxes you never unpacked from the move.
  2. Don’t throw anything out – yet. Some people suggest doing an early cull and throwing away the “junk” before setting it out. But for most homes, your collection of unwanted items is relatively small. Lots of garage sale visitors work from a list of addresses and drive by the site before deciding whether to stop. Having lots of stuff entices people to stop by and browse.
  3. Set a date and advertise as your budget allows. Local paper? Social media? Printed fliers on the library bulletin board and neighborhood telephone poles? It’s all about your budget and time. Usually ads are relatively cheap. Some local papers offer a coupon for one free ad a month to their subscribers – take advantage of it!
  4. Label your prices – but be prepared to lose a haggle. The fun of a garage sale is getting money – any amount of money – for something you were about to throw away. Too many people end up throwing out or donating items after having asked too high a price during the sale. Now you not only don’t have the money, but you have one more thing to haul away. Everyone loses in that scenario.
  5. Combined garage sale? Use colored labels and keep a sheet at checkout with the actual negotiated price, to make dividing up the money at the end relatively easy. And don’t quibble over a few dollars here or there. Money left over and unaccounted for? Split it? A small dispute over the remaining $5? Hand it over. You have already won by cleaning out your space.
  6. Resolve to never let those items re-enter your house. After the garage sale, look at what’s left. The broken phonograph, the bike parts, the clothing. Some of these items can NOW be labeled junk and thrown in a curbside rental garbage bag, or perhaps into your own trash. The rest can go to a charity where they will find a new home. You’ve already thrown them away once. No sense taking them back in the house and having to throw them away again later.

Create a Neighborhood Yard Sale

There are many problems with garage and yard sales. There is gathering stuff together, deciding on prices, putting it out on display that morning, and lots of other logistics. This includes advertising.

 

You could advertise in the local paper, Craigslist, Facebook, with neighborhood fliers, and other social media. Few people have the resources to advertise in any broader way.

 

So the real problem is, you are unlikely to draw a big enough crowd to sell everything you hoped to sell.

 

That’s if you do it alone. You don’t have to do it alone. By doing a little extra prep work, you can divide the effort and multiply the crowd you get for your neighborhood yard sale.

 

Create a neighborhood yard sale:

 

Here’s a quick overview of how to create a neighborhood yard sale.

 

  1. Pick three dates that work for you, the further in advance the better. It would be ideal to be six months in advance, but even two months might be enough.
  2. Give these dates to your neighbors in a flier (put it in their door handle, not their mailbox!) Or just talk with three or four of them.
  3. Then pick the consensus date.
  4. Ask for one volunteer to do each of the following:
    1. Design fliers that provide the date, times, and location of the neighborhood sale
    2. Post those fliers in visible spaces around your community
    3. Create a .jpeg image with this information that multiple families can share on their own social media account
    4. Plan for removing unwanted items at the end of the day – some to a dumpster rented for that purpose and some to a local charity
  5. If feasible, add the following fun tweaks, assigning one per person:
    1. Get the street blocked off
    2. Invite a food truck
    3. Add a face painting booth
    4. Allow other neighbors from outside of your neighborhood to sell from your space
  6. Send a reminder two weeks before to all your neighbors – it’s time to clean and prep items for sale, including marking them with tags and setting prices.
  7. Clearly mark the price on items and, if more than one family is selling from a particular garage or yard, use different color tags to help divide the money at the end of the day
  8. Buy something from a neighbor!
  9. Help your neighbors clean up

 

Hosting a neighborhood yard sale can draw a larger crowd than an individual garage sale. More importantly, if done well, it can build a sense of community.

6 Items You Should Never Leave In Your Car!

Food & Drink

Cans of soda, for example, can cause all types of issues in either hot or cold cars. Don’t neglect items like candy bars or ice cream, which can quickly melt in the heat and make a mess. But it’s not just your car’s upholstery that’s at risk. According to the FDA, bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses double every 20 minutes, even at room temperature. So don’t leave groceries or leftovers in a warm car for more than two hours, or only an hour when it’s over 80 degrees or higher.

Aerosol Cans

So have you ever looked and actually read the side of that can of hairspray, deodorant, spray paint? Well there’s a storage temperature recommendation. That’s because pressurized cans are particularly sensitive; outside of that temperature zone, the contents may expand, which could cause the can to crack or explode.

Lighters

Lighters may be tiny, but they can definitely pack a punch when they are overheated. The flammable fuel inside these little plastic tubes can expand and breach the lighter casing when exposed to high heat, creating a fire hazard.

Plastic Bottles

Interesting fact! A clear plastic bottle of water can magnify the sun’s rays and it will start to light a car seat on fire. But the greater risk may come from bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially harmful compound found in most clear plastics. The FDA maintains that BPA is safe at current levels of exposure in foods. However, studies have shown an increased release of BPA from plastics at higher temperature, so don’t take the chance of adding more of this chemical to your beverage. Also included in this is lotions, sun screens, and other chemical plastic bottles.

Batteries

All battery manufacturers recommend against leaving batteries in high temperatures, which can lead not only to a loss of capacity, but also to leakage or rupture as well. And that can be bad news for your health and your car’s interior, as battery acid is dangerous when inhaled and highly corrosive, eating away at everything in sight.

Electronics

Many phone, laptop and game system manufacturers list optimal temperatures. They also warn against leaving your device in your car, where it might shut down or start to suffer damage.

What Can You Throw Away in a Roll Off Dumpster?

Every household/or business is liable for regulating what they toss in the trash. Batteries, broken glass, and certain cleaners (flammables) need special disposal. These rules and regulations are in place to protect you and the environment. These regulations extend beyond the household. Renting a roll off container for your project won’t allow you to bypass the guidelines. Knowing what you can and can’t throw away is one of the most frequently asked questions we discuss with our purchasers here at Big Daddy Dumpsters. Here’s a list of common products and materials that can and can’t be thrown into a roll off container.

 

What You Can Throw Away in a Roll Off Container?

Luckily, if you are renting a roll off dumpster for a construction or demolition project, a good portion of the waste can be tossed in the container.

Junk

Are you clearing out a house? Most “junk” can make its way to the dumpster. Everything from toys to pots and pans can get tossed into the heap. Before piling on the electronics, you’ll need to call Big Daddy Dumpsters to confirm we can dispose of the items before you put it in the container.

Furniture

Sofas, tables, chairs, and beds are usually able to be thrown in. However not every landfill in Ohio allows mattresses and upholstered furniture. Your waste management company can give you more information and confirm what’s allowed.

Appliances

Appliances are usually disposable in most roll-off containers. Washers and dryers typically are ok. The issue with appliances is some of them contain hazardous liquids. Freon is an excellent example of a hazardous material. You have to have it removed before it can make it’s way to the landfill.  These are commonly found in refrigerators, deep freezers, and ac units

Electronics

Most TVs, printers, computers, and other goods are accepted in most roll-off containers. Sometimes though. Local pawn shops or electronic stores may buy used or old electronics. Be sure to check there first!

Yard Waste

It’s safe to say that almost all yard waste is safe for the roll-off dumpster. Some municipalities require the yard waste to be separated from other trash. You will need to confirm with Big Daddy Dumpsters whether or not you will need an extra container if you have a lot of yard waste and debris to remove.

Concrete and Asphalt

Roll-off containers are excellent for disposing concrete and asphalt. They can also carry brick and stone as well. These building materials are heavy.  Only our 10 yard dumpster is recommended for this. Also a good measuring method is to not fill it more than halfway with this type of debris.

Roofing Shingles

Replacing a shingled roof accumulates a lot of debris. Many project managers rely on roll off containers for assistance. Also with Big Daddy Dumpsters. We can stick that dumpsters right where you want it!

Other Construction Debris

Wood, siding, drywall and other construction materials are typically ok to throw away in a container. Keep in mind there are weight limits. Building materials quickly add up. Going over might cause us to drop off another dumpster to distribute the weight better.

What You Can’t Throw Away in a Roll Off Container

Hazardous materials can not under any circumstances be tossed in any dumpster or landfill. That rule is standard practice for almost every state. Where it gets tricky is deciding which products are considered “hazardous.” Here are a few things you can expect not to go in a roll off container.

Tires

Paint and lacquers (Sometimes latex paint is not. Empty paint cans can be recycled. )

Car batteries and dry-cell

Oil and fuel or other flammable materials like propane

Refrigerant

We hope this helped you understand what can and can’t be thrown away. Always remember we are one phone call away!

8 Tips To Keep Ticks Away This Season!

Welcome to the Midwest! Where the rising summer temperatures and mild winters, we have a dangerous tick that is growing in population in many different regions. Although ticks don’t pose a direct threat to the overall health of your grass, it does threaten the potential health of your family, friends, pets and you as everyone enjoys your beautiful lawn this season! These pests shelter themselves in lawns and cause potential health risks like skin irritation, fever, aches & pains, rashes and diseases like Lyme disease, southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), ehrlichiosis, and tularemia as well as, although rare, the deadly Powassan virus (often carried by blacklegged ticks) or paralysis. It’s important to understand that with ticks’ populations on the rise, there is an increased risk of contracting these diseases. This may seem a little concerning but don’t fret; by following these 8 tips you can keep your family and lawn safe this season.

Watering Your Lawn

Water turf deeply and infrequently. Try to avoid overwatering. Ticks like moist areas and an overly watered lawn is an open invitation for invasion. For lawns with drainage issues, try aeration. A good rule of thumb is to give your lawn 1-1.5 inches of water a week (1 inch of water = 1 hour of sprinkling).  How often you water varies on grass and soil types. If you are in unsure of the grass and soil types in your area, check with the Cooperative Extension or your local water authority office for help determining types and the recommended irrigation schedules for your area.

Cut It Right!

Mowing your lawn to the correct height will reduce the likeliness of tick infestation since they disguise themselves in longer grass. Proper mowing heights will also attract natural tick predators. NOTE: Be sure to research or consult a lawn care expert about the grass species in your area for mowing specifications in the heat of summer.

Create a Safe Zone.

If woods are located near your property, create a barrier that limits tick migration by removing leaf litter, weeds and brush.

Inspect Your Pet’s Favorite Areas.

Ticks enjoy latching onto pets which can cause the pest to hitch a ride indoors. Check and treat pet areas, especially in shady, cool spots for ticks. Consider putting down cedar mulch in these areas because it naturally repels these pests.

Welcome Natural Predators and Native Plants!

Mowing your lawn to the correct height and adopting a continuous lawn care program of fertilization, control products and soil amendments, proper irrigation, aeration and thatch management can help attract natural predators to ticks as well as encouraging native plant growth for a healthy and balance lawn that will naturally prevent ticks.

Welcome the Sunshine!

Ticks love shady, moist areas. Introduce more sunshine into a landscape by pruning trees and shrubs.

Keeping It Clean!

Keeping the yard clean from debris like piles of lumber, brick, stone and wood, brush, excessive leaf litter, and tall weeds throughout the season helps to eliminate potential habitats for ticks to reproduce and hibernate.

Protect Your House!

Protect ticks from getting into your home by forming roughly a 6-inch wide clean area around your home by picking up brush, leaf litter and eliminating weeds to eliminate potential hiding places.

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