Save Big With Small Home Repairs

Money Saving Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Spring has sprung, and now is the time to spruce up your house and make simple fixes before allowing minor issues turn into big expensive repairs down the line.  Matt Lederer of Chicago-based Mahogany Builders shares with us eight fantastic DIY tips that will save you money, save energy, keep your family safe and maximize the curb appeal of your home!

Spring is the season of rebirth and regeneration, and Matt believes the same is true for your home! He suggests to first walk across the street and  survey your house from afar. Do any ‘MUST FIXES’ reveal themselves?  Now is the time to plan any seasonal projects before the distractions of summer take over and you lose momentum. Also, if you need to bring in outside help for big projects, early spring is the best time to take advantage of contractor discounts and open schedules before renovation season goes into high gear!

Check Your Basement & Foundation

Scan everything in the basement. Check the floor for cracks.  Check the water and sewer pipes for leaks, mold and tearing and pests. Address any moisture or water problems immediately either with a water vacuum, dehumidifier, or new gutter drains.  Drain all sediment from your hot water heater. Change your furnace filter in April which will improve energy efficiency.  To reduce any smell of mildew, purchase an odor absorbing product with neutral or no scent.

Fix Up Your Front Door

Your front door should be an inviting gateway into your home.  However, winter storms, wear & tear from adults, kids & animals can leave your door looking dingy and weak. Consider replacing your main entrance with a more energy efficient door that not only looks great but will  save you money on heating and air conditioning bills. If you don’t want to spend the cash on a new door now, a simple paint job to the door you have will do wonders!

Painting & The Trim

Carefully scrape, prime and paint peeling spots on trim or exterior woodwork. This will help to protect the wood against summer’s heat and moisture while preventing a more elaborate and pricey paint job come fall. Painting is one of the best ways to transform the look of your home inexpensively.  Adding crown moldings, chair rails and other trims can create a custom look on a budget.

Clean Gutters & Inspect the Foundation

Gutters are a breeding ground for insects, mold, mildew and algae spores that can enter your attic and allow biological growths to enter your home. Scoop out debris and run water down the gutter with a hose. Invest in a gutter cap or screen. Scrub out the inside with a gutter brush. Inspect the foundation of your home for large cracks and shifts in the blocks. Seal large cracks and gaps between the foundation and concrete/earth and directly on the concrete. Any remnant snow should be shoveled to drain away from the home.
Clean the Deck

Remove all grime, pollen, fungus and mildew. Scrub the surface with a deck cleanser or this homemade cleaning formula: Add one cup of powdered laundry detergent to a gallon of hot water.  Then add 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach to kill moss or mildew.

De-Clutter Your Garage

Hardware stores offer a range of affordable shelving solutions. Throw out junk and place keepsakes in labeled shoe boxes, which will stack nicely on shelves. Shelving, stackable racks and boxes can convert a crammed garage into a functional space as opposed to an eye soar and danger zone.

Get Rid of Mold For Good

Examine your ceilings, attic, walls and bathrooms. If you do notice mold, you must identify the source of the mold before repainting. Ask a local contractor for help. When you are ready to repaint use mold growth inhibitor paint made for high moisture areas. Paints with zinc oxide are more resistant to mildew than paint containing titanium dioxide. Paints or primer with linseed oil, water based paints and latex paints are susceptible to mildew. 100% acrylic semi-gloss, high-gloss latex paints, or oil paints are your best bets!

Reseal & Recaulk

Caulk and other sealants safeguard your home against rain and snow at vulnerable points such as cracks and open joints. Winter can rip caulk apart. Scrape out old caulking by using a painter’s five-in-one tool. Clean and disinfect with one-part liquid chlorine bleach in three parts warm water.

If you live in the Chicagoland area and are interested in renovating your home, contact Matt Lederer of Mahogany Builders. Mahogany Builders specializes in kitchens, bathrooms, custom cabinetry, shelving & storage units, fireplaces, lighting and more. The Mahogany staff includes a team of 15- skilled tradesmen, a dedicated construction manager, a project manager, and in house designer to help bring all projects in on time and on budget!  Go to or call Matt at (312) 804-9955 for more information!

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One Response to “Save Big With Small Home Repairs”

  1. TomPier says:

    great post as usual!

Any Thoughts?