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Spring projects can save
Save money
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The ads are already appearing in newspapers for spring fix-up project materials. Whether you live in a warm or cold weather area, it’s not too early to begin thinking about projects you’ll need to do around the house once spring officially arrives.
Identify what needs to be done. Walk around the outside of your home with a clipboard and pen and make note of any damage that was done over the winter.
• Roof: Take a look at your roof with binoculars and pay attention to flashing around chimneys and vents.
• Paint: Inspect window trim, fascia boards, gable ends and under the eaves.
• Landscaping: Fill in wet areas and divert water away from the foundation; consider adding shrubs for curb appeal; clean and repair gutters.
• Safety items: Fix or replace loose exterior stair treads and buckled concrete walks.
Inside your house, think of the places that were drafty this winter. While it was cold air that blew in, this summer it will be hot air, driving up your cooling costs. Caulk windows and consider sun-blocking curtains.
Not only is this a good time to do maintenance, but upgrade projects can add to the value of your home when it comes time to sell. Bathrooms and kitchens are the big items when it comes to recouping your dollars. Depending on the size, exterior decks can be a do-it-yourself project. (Don’t forget the permits.)
Smaller projects can add value to your home and your comfort as well:
• Fresh paint, including walls, trim and doors. (Beware adding wallpaper. It’s easier for a potential purchaser to cover over paint, and too much wallpaper can be a deal-killer when it’s time to sell.)
• Hardwood flooring in a room or two can be an easy do-it-yourself weekend project if you do your homework first. Learn about the various types of flooring and the kind of sub-flooring they can cover.
To stretch your fix-up dollars, pool your power-tool resources with friends and neighbors instead of buying. Price the materials you’ll need and shop for bargains.
Before you tackle a project, consider whether it’s something you can reasonably handle yourself. If you can’t, and if extra hands to help won’t solve the problem, start early interviewing contractors and getting estimates.

Uffington does not personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to
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