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.”


MOST RECENT

After cutting $4.3 million meant for street maintenance from this year’s budget, Round Rock City Council took steps Aug. 13 to secure road repair funds for fiscal year 2020-21. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Street maintenance drives Round Rock’s budget, tax rate discussions

After cutting $4.3 million meant for street maintenance from this year’s budget, Round Rock City Council took steps Aug. 13 to secure road repair funds for fiscal year 2020-21.

The ballot includes three council seats and seven charter amendments.
It’s official: Round Rock will hold city elections Nov. 3

The ballot includes three council seats and seven charter amendments.

Williamson County reported 73 new coronavirus cases and reached 99 total deaths Aug. 13. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County reports 73 new coronavirus cases, reaches 99 deaths Aug. 13

The county's seven-day rolling positivity rate, or the rate at which tests return positive, continues to decrease.

The future location on South Congress Avenue would be the third located in the South Austin area. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
P. Terry's plans for S. Congress drive-thru and more Austin-area news

Read the latest Austin-area business and community news.

The city of Taylor will host free state COVID-19 testing Aug. 15-16. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State COVID-19 testing in Williamson County continues in Taylor on Aug. 15-16

Free testing will be provided for county and non-county residents at the Main Street Intermediate School.

Capital Metro's plan to build rail lines and expand its public transportation network, Project Connect, will head to voters in the city of Austin on Nov. 3. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Project Connect officially in the hands of Austin voters Nov. 3

Austin City Council took its final vote Aug. 13 on a plan to ask voters for approximately $3.85 billion in local revenue to expand the city's public transportation network.

Austin Regional Clinic location
Austin Regional Clinic now recruiting for coronavirus vaccine trial

Local health care provider Austin Regional Clinic will recruit 250 patients from the Austin area to participate in a late-phase clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine.

(Courtesy AMC Theatres)
AMC Theatres to reopen Aug. 20 with 15-cent tickets

AMC Theatres—which has multiple locations in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas—will begin reopening its movie screens Aug. 20.

Two weeks after initially discussing a proposed budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21, Pflugerville City Council took steps Aug. 11 to consider a lower proposed budget and maximum tax rate. (Screenshot courtesy city of Pflugerville)
Pflugerville scales back maximum tax rate, trims $646k from proposed budget

Two weeks after initially discussing a proposed budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21, Pflugerville City Council took steps Aug. 11 to consider a lower proposed budget and maximum tax rate.

Here is an update on coronavirus cases in Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County continues to see drop in positivity rate, reports 64 new coronavirus cases Aug. 12

See how Williamson County is doing as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

According to the report, 380,174 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in children nationwide as of Aug. 6, which accounts for approximately 9.1% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
REPORT: COVID-19 cases in children increase by 90% nationwide in 1 month

As school district officials across the U.S. prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year, 179,990 new COVID-19 cases were reported in children nationwide between July 9 and Aug. 6—an increase of 90%, according to a report compiled by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.