Here's what you should know if you are looking to renovate your home

Home renovations don't have to break the bank. Here's some tips on how to save on small projects.

Home renovations don't have to break the bank. Here's some tips on how to save on small projects.

Updating your home does not have to break the bank. Small projects, from installing new fixtures to roof repair, can improve the look and value of a home.




Maintenance


HVAC maintenance

G&S Mechanical suggested the following heating, ventilation and air conditioning system maintenance schedule:
In the spring, make sure the system is blowing cool air for summer
In the fall, check the heat is working for winter
Monthly air filter changes and checks on the system’s drain

Roof repair

Kangaroof recommended:
Looking for missing shingles which expose a home to water damage
Keeping tree limbs away from the roof so animals cannot access it
Cleaning gutters regularly
Sealing around pipes and boots, the most common areas for leaks
Checking the chimney flashing for areas where water can enter

Plumbing

Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing made suggestions on how to properly maintain a plumbing system:
Tankless water heaters should be flushed out annually
Check all toilets for wear and tear in older homes and the possibility of constant running water
Ask about pressure gauge checks; Pressure Reducing Valves are under constant high pressure and can slowly go bad and restrict flow and pressure




Do-it-yourself


Modernize your kitchen or bathroom with new fixtures

Chris Siebenthaler from Wilson Plumbing, which services customers in the city of Austin, said fixture replacement is one of the best “bang-for-your-buck” plumbing projects.

“Faucet, sink and toilet replacements add a fresh new [look] to the home without breaking the bank,” he said. “Stick to name brands, and consult your plumber or showroom consultant for educated fixture recommendations.”

Siebenthaler recommended keeping all manuals and receipts for plumbing fixtures and appliances. In the future, these documents may come in handy when repairs and replacements are necessary.

Paint and upgrade cabinets

When selling homes, Isabel Affinito of JB Goodwin Realtors, which has offices throughout Austin, said she finds kitchens and bathrooms stick out the most to buyers when making decisions.

One way to freshen up the look of a kitchen or bathroom is to renovate the cabinets. She said homeowners can paint their cabinets—white is particularly popular for kitchens.

“The shape of the cabinets isn’t a problem; it’s usually the colors and the hardware,” she said.




Cheap jobs


Transform your bathtub into a stand-up shower

Converting bathtubs to showers is one of the fastest ways to create immediate value, said Josh Agrelius, the owner of bathroom renovation company Re-Bath of Austin, which serves the metro area.

“People are taking less baths,” he said. “Especially with the droughts we’ve had, people are water-conscious.”

To get started, homeowners need to research companies they may want to work with. Agrelius said they should make sure they are hiring qualified professionals, using online resources and the Better Business Bureau as resources.

“You might spend a little bit more, but it will be done the right way without cutting any corners,” Agrelius said.

Update tile to create a sanitary, safe environment

Traditionally, bathing area walls were installed with porous grout, Agrelius said. This can cause the walls of tubs or showers to become moldy from moisture.

“Here in Texas, you can’t control the heat, and [the bathing area is] a wet area,” Agrelius said. “The most effective way to control water is to eliminate the grout by installing slab-like walls.”

By using slab-like walls, including large-format tiles, stone and acrylics, homeowners can avoid the creation of a potentially toxic area, he said.

Invest in landscaping

Affinito said she recommends people selling their homes only invest in renovations that will result in more than a 100 percent return. Hiring a landscaper to add mulch and clean up the lawn for a few hours is often worth the investment in Austin.

“You don’t have to go crazy with it,” Affinito said. “It makes a huge difference to your curb appeal.”
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

KFC opened in Hutto on Dec. 10. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
KFC now open in Hutto

The national fast food chain is known for its fried chicken, along with traditional Southern sides such as mashed potatoes and coleslaw.

Travis County commissioners voted to allow staff to begin contract negotiations for a new women's jail facility at a Dec. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Travis County Sheriff's Office)
Travis County begins contract negotiations for women’s jail facility as overall jail population continues to decline

The county has planned to build a new, separate women’s facility for years, despite some pushback from local activists.

Delighted Paws Pet Care began providing services to Round Rock-area pets in November. (Courtesy Delighted Paws Pet Care)
Delighted Paws Pet Care now serving Round Rock

Delighted Paws Pet Care, a provider of in-home pet sitting and private dog walking services, began providing services to Round Rock-area pets in November.

Williamson County Commissioners Court established the primary early voting locations Dec. 10. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Most early voting polling locations finalized for March 2020 primaries

Court establishes primary early voting locations ahead of March 2020 elections.

Common winter allergies in Texas are caused by pollen from the Ashe juniper—also known as a mountain cedar. The tree is native to the area. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
As pollen counts rise in Central Texas, learn about cedar fever and allergy prevention

As temperatures cool heading into the winter season in Central Texas, pollen counts from Ashe juniper trees begin to climb, causing seasonal allergies referred to locally by residents as “cedar fever.”

James Avery storefront in progress, coming soon, Stone Hill Town Center
James Avery to open storefront in Pflugerville's Stone Hill Town Center

The jewelry chain specializes in bracelets, necklaces, charms and pendents, along with handbags and signature jewelry collections.

bath and body works strip mall storefront
Bath & Body Works to open Pflugerville storefront in 2020

From specialty soaps to candles and body care products: A Bath & Body Works is coming to Pflugerville next year.

Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza, at the lectern, speaks at a November 2017 press conference. Garza filed her candidacy for Travis County attorney on Dec. 9.
Delia Garza files for Travis County attorney race, will finish term as Austin Mayor Pro Tem

Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza filed her candidacy paperwork Dec. 9 to run for Travis County attorney as a Democrat.

A candidate for interim city manager will be selected from the Texas Municipal League. (Courtesy city of Huttto)
Hutto seeks to hire interim city manager from Texas Municipal League

The city of Hutto will seek a retired city manager from the Texas Municipal League to serve as Hutto's interim city manager.

Michael Angelos Gourmet Foods prepares, processes and packages a line of Italian frozen dishes at a facility in Round Rock.
18 new jobs, $11M facility upgrades: Michael Angelos Gourmet Foods ups investment in Round Rock

Local manufacturer of frozen foods Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods plans to upgrade its facilities, hire additional staff with a $290,000 economic incentive boost.

Back to top