Gifts for the Home

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Men laying new hardwood flooring

by Bob and RodMan, of The Bob and RodMan Home Show on 920 AM-WGKA

As we move toward the gift-giving season, it is good to remember our homes as worthy of receiving the holiday bounty. Gifts given in this direction yield double rewards: immediate gains in livability and enhanced value for the future.

Now, you can’t take the home-place to the spa, but you can bring the spa to your home. Professional detailing can take care of unsightly roof algae, brighten driveway or parking pad, spruce up landscaping, enhance the appearance of brick or siding, extend the life of deck or patio, multiply the effectiveness of gutter and drainage systems and, overall, magnify curb appeal for yourself or potential buyers.

On the same theme, providing your home with regularly scheduled inspections and planned maintenance is, as they say, a gift that keeps on giving. Twice-a-year HVAC checkups ensure reliable operation, and the plans usually include other repair perks. Spring and fall gutter inspection and cleaning pays off by protecting not only cornice work but foundation as well. Annual garage-door inspection helps guarantee the safe operation of the heaviest moving component of your home. Septic tanks and drain fields benefit from a good going over every five years or so. A full home inspection on a similar rotation can disclose minor issues before they become real problems. Such a look over might suggest enhanced electrical service to accommodate our increased amperage demands.

Sometimes a gift to yourself can be held for your home in proxy. That garage or workshop organizer makes life easier for you but benefits your home indirectly as do-it-yourself projects are enhanced. Speaking of organization, a packaged tool kit puts the right tool at hand for any reasonable job. Likewise, partitioned boxes of standard fasteners – nuts, bolts, screws, nails – save gas and frustration. Stocking stuffers like work aprons, gloves, pliers or pruners, safety glasses and earplugs help you dress the part for efficiency and safety.

A full woodworking shop might be a touch over the line but a good electric drill, a saber saw, a quality circular saw and a power compound miter saw are sure to find regular use for repair or upgrade projects. Your home will be proud to know that it is owned by someone who can cut crown molding.

Books always make perfect gifts, and there are plenty of excellent home repair/renovation manuals to choose from. There is one that graces few home libraries but I think should be in every one. That’s the “International One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code”. From footing to ridge, it contains all the do-it-right directions for home construction. The plot ain’t much, but it is a perfect tool to cut through jargon and to help evaluate any plans and specifications submitted for extensive remodel projects. It can really help you communicate in a knowledgeable fashion when working with your contractor. You might even find it fun to read.

Happy holidays and a prosperous home ownership!

Get more expert advice from Bob and RodMan.

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