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SpringHome April 2020


Greeneville Sun

Moving 101 Turn Your New House Into A Home

Kitchen Upgrade Small Kitchen Improvements That Maximize Functionality

Curb Appeal 5 Outdoor Projects That Add Value To Your Home

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Saturday, April 25, 2020


Home Improvement 2020 Edition How To Design Your Dream Custom-Built Home BY METRO CREATIVE


here are many advantages to designing your own home. Gone are the builder-basic styles, layouts that don’t work for your family and exteriors you can’t tell apart from your neighbors’. To help with your planning, check out these tips. Find the right property. There are no limits to what you can create with a custom-built home, but the size and quality of your lot do impose restrictions. While you don’t need to have everything decided when you purchase the property, make sure you have a general idea of what you need — your architect can help with this. Also, double check zoning laws, so you don’t wind up not being able to build your dream three-story home on a residential street that only allows bungalows. Consider your lifestyle. What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? What’s important to you? From bigger elements like smart home automation and sustainability to smaller considerations like storage and organization, think of these things when designing the layout and built-in elements. For example, if you hate shoveling, now is the opportunity to make


There are many advantages to designing your own home. Gone are the builder-basic styles, layouts that don’t work for your family and exteriors you can’t tell apart from your neighbors’.

sure you have the shortest driveway possible. Build for the future. Your needs and wants right now are at the top of your mind, but a custom home is a significant investment in time, money and energy. It’s also likely you want this to be your forever home,

so it’s a smart idea to build for tomorrow. Think about how your family will evolve and what your future needs will be. Consider building materials that are designed to stand the test of time, like insulated concrete forms (ICFs) from Nudura. This alternative to wood

framing is a greener option and o ers disaster resilience against high winds and fire. The superior insulation also means more comfortable, uniform indoor temperatures and less money spent on heating and cooling your home. Avoid the fantasy trap.

This is your dream home, so it’s okay to indulge on that outdoor fireplace or luxury bathroom tiles that you’ve been envisioning. But to keep your budget in check, focus on the priorities and items that will give you the best value for your dollar. Invest in

features that will improve your everyday living and boost your property value, like energy-e cient construction or a finished basement. Find more information about designing your new home with insulated concrete forms at nudura.com.


Saturday, April 25, 2020


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It’s time to get comfortable!


Spring is a great time to reconsider home interiors. This spring homeowners can embrace various strategies, both big and small, to give their homes a whole new feel.

Decor Ideas To Give Homes A Fresh Look This Spring BY METRO CREATIVE

even adding some brightly colored accent furniture to rooms that could use a lift. pring is a season of rejuvenation, and • Declutter: Clutter is often conquered that spirit of renewal can take hold during spring cleaning sessions, but inside a home. homeowners who want to create more Warm weather and longer hours of dayfree-flowing interior spaces can downsize light make spring a perfect time to imagine their furniture and/or look for multipura home’s interior design in a new light. pose features that make it hard for clutter The following are a handful of decor ideas to take over a room. Create more open that may inspire homeowners to give their space in entertaining areas by mounting homes an entirely new look this spring. the television and getting rid of a bulky • Wallpaper: Wallpaper fell out of favor entertainment center. Create even more years ago, but new styles that aren’t so space by replacing rarely used end tables heavily patterned can make for wonderful with a storage ottoman where books and additions to any room. Large-scale prints magazines can be stored to give a room a can give a room a whole new feel without fresh, clean look. giving homeowners or their guests the • Accent features: Sometimes the smallimpression that they have stepped back in est changes to an interior space make the time. A simple, mural-style floral wallpaper biggest impression. Replace dated accents on the walls surrounding a table in a break- like vases and table lamps with newer fast nook can bring nature inside. items that reflect the latest styles and • Pastel colors: Nothing embodies the trends. Such adjustments won’t break the spring quite like pastel colors. If colorful, bank, and they can give rooms a whole new bright flowers dot the garden in the backfeel. yard, homeowners can bring those uplifting Spring is a great time to reconsider home pastels inside by painting an accent wall or interiors.



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639-5557 www.airprohvacinc.com

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Saturday, April 25, 2020


Small Kitchen Improvements That Maximize Functionality BY METRO CREATIVE


any homeowners wish for expansive kitchens. Modernized kitchens that include sought after features and showcase the latest trends go a long way to improving the overall value of a home. As desirable as such kitchens may be, some homes simply don’t have enough space for a centerfold-worthy kitchen featuring an island, wine refrigerator and walk-in pantry. However, homeowners with small kitchens can still improve the form and function of their existing spaces.

REVAMP CABINETRY Homeowners whose kitchens are small often lament their lack of storage. Redesigning the layout of cabinets, and possibly adding some more cabinetry, may take care of certain storage issues. The experts at Merit Kitchens suggest utilizing corner space with LeMans units, lazy susans and other gadgets to make access to these areas easier. Going vertical with wall cabinets that extend to the ceiling also can add more storage, as can roll-in work carts.

WORK WITH THE WALLS Small kitchens require clever usage of vertical space. Vertical storage units, hooks, shelving, and more can move items out of drawers and o of counters. Consider an under-the-cabinet toaster oven and microwave to create more counter space.

USE SCALED-DOWN APPLIANCES Shop with size in mind when looking at new appliances if you have a small kitchen. Compact versions won’t take up as much METRO CREATIVE Modernized kitchens that include sought after features and showcase the latest trends go a long way to improving the overall value of a home. space as larger alternatives. Homeowners should consider the ultimate function of the kitchen and then think about which applispace. ally add personality to a kitchen. Flooring, ances will serve them well. Homeowners with porating glass to improve the perception of space in small kitchens. Glass lets you counter materials and quality fixtures can small kitchens may not need a large stand see through the objects, thereby enhancreally set small kitchens apart. mixer or an oversized commercial stove. EMBRACE HIGH-END MATERIALS ing the feeling of spaciousness or what It costs less to renovate small spaces Small kitchens can be culinary havens designers call “negative space.” Glass also than bigger areas, so homeowners may be with the right improvements to maximize ADD SOME GLASS The DIY Network recommends incorable to a ord high-end materials that recan be reflective, visually expanding the the space.

Subscribe Today! 423-359-3185 The Greeneville Sun


Saturday, April 25, 2020


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What To Expect During A Bathroom Remodel BY METRO CREATIVE


here are many reasons to renovate a home. Some homeowners purchase fixer-uppers and commit to making major renovations before they even move in, while others may renovate their homes with an eye on resale value. But many homeowners also take on renovation projects to make the homes more livable for themselves. Bathroom renovations are popular projects. In fact, a 2018 survey from the National Association of Home Builders found that bathroom remodels are the most popular remodeling projects. But just because bathroom remodeling projects are popular doesn’t mean they’re easy to endure. Knowing what to expect during a bathroom remodel can help homeowners get through the renovation process.

COST Bathroom remodeling projects can be expensive. According to Remodeling magazine’s “Cost vs. Value 2019” report, a mid-range bathroom remodeling project cost an average of $20,420 in 2019, while an upscale remodel cost just under $64,000. Homeowners should develop budgets METRO CREATIVE


Knowing what to expect during a bathroom remodel can help homeowners get through the renovation process.

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Saturday, April 25, 2020


Turn Your New House Into A Home BY METRO CREATIVE


istorically low mortgage interest rates are helping to drive a new wave of home sales. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates roughly 14 percent of the population, or around 40 million people, move every year for various reasons. Statistics Canada’s Canadian Housing Survey found about half of Canadian households have either moved within the past five years or intend to do so within the next five. While people may be inclined to move far from their current residences, the moving resource Move. org notes that some U.S. states are seeing an influx in people leaving while others are absorbing new residents. Illinois, Alaska, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia are the top five states Americans are leaving, while Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Montana are gaining residents. People relocate for various reasons. After moving into a new house, it can take some e ort to turn that house

into a true home and feel comfortable in your new environs. These steps can help that process along. • Create at least one complete and serene space. Focus on setting up the bedroom so you can retreat at the end of the day. Invest in new furniture or get new bedding to give the room this comforting feeling. • Create an organizational plan. It can be tempting to want to throw everything in closets and unpack quickly, but give yourself time to fully analyze where you want to store items, where you may need to paint or reconfigure spaces, as well as any home improvements you want to make before taking out all of your stu . When you fully unpack, you can immediately enjoy your hard work. • Hang artwork. Hang a few select pieces of artwork or family photos shortly after moving in. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good. • Bring mementos. Your first home may bring about warm feelings. While you can’t recreate it entirely, you



After moving into a new house, it can take some effort to turn that house into a true home and feel comfortable in your new environs.

can use a piece of furniture or a few family heirlooms to make your new space feel homey.

for their bathroom renovation projects to determine which type of project they can a ord. In addition, setting aside a little extra money for overruns is a wise move that can help homeowners handle any unforeseen expenses that arise during the project.

renovations tend to generate a lot of noise. The noise can be di cult to overcome for professionals who work from home fulltime, and it also can be hard on parents of young children who still nap and don’t yet go to school. Parents of young children may find it best to delay bathroom renovation projects until their children are schoolaged and out of the house for most of the day on weekdays.



Few home renovation projects can be undertaken quietly, and bathroom

The debris generated by bathroom renovation projects is another thing homeown-


• Rely on familiar scents. Break in the new space with familiar aromas, whether it’s preferential air freshen-

ers, scented candles or baking your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Moving into a new home

ers must prepare for. In addition to preparing for the waste generated by the project, first-time renovators must realize that dust might be a big issue once the project begins. Dust can pose a threat to residents’ overall health, particularly the health of youngsters whose bodies haven’t yet fully developed. As a result, parents of young children may want to schedule renovations during family vacations so their children are exposed to as little dust as possible.

CHANGES Few renovations go o without a hitch.

can be exciting. Certain touches can help make the new space feel more like home.

Once a project begins, contractors often uncover issues that weren’t noticeable to the naked eye. These issues may increase the cost of completing a project or force homeowners to change their plans to make the project stay as close to their budgets as possible. Recognizing that these decisions may have to be made on the fly can help homeowners feel more prepared when unexpected issues arise. Bathroom renovation projects are worthwhile investments. Knowing what to expect during a bathroom renovation project can help homeowners handle all the twists and turns that may arise.


Saturday, April 25, 2020


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Container Gardening Tips BY METRO CREATIVE

cient drainage. The following are some other ardening is beneficial in ways container gardening e orts various ways. The AARP can prove successful. states that some of the • Watch water. Planet Natural health perks associated with gar- Research Center says plants with dening include improved mood, thin leaves typically need ample increased vitamin D levels (which water, and plants with thick benefits bones and immune leaves need less. Use this as a system) and reduced risk of deguideline to gauge water needs. mentia. In addition, if gardening • Size correctly. Plants should e orts include growing herbs, be sized to the container. Confruits and vegetables, it can be a sider dwarf varieties of certain cost-e ective way to eat healthy. plants if your containers are For gardeners without sufsmall. ficient space or for those with • Choose the right soil. Fill conmobility issues, container tainers with a commercial potgardening can be an ideal way ting soil rather than soil from the to grow everything from flowers garden. Garden soil can dry into to vegetables. Better Homes & a solid mass, while commercial Gardens says most plants are mixtures have amendments like not fussy about the containers in peat moss, vermiculite, compost, which they grow so long as some and other ingredients to help of their basic needs are met. This with soil texture and moisture means watering correctly for the retention. type of plant, and ensuring su • Mix it up. When planting


containers of flowers and other greenery, Good Housekeeping says to include “a thriller, a spiller and a filler” as a good rule of thumb. The thriller is the focal point, the spiller a trailing plant, and a filler has smaller leaves or flowers to add bulk and color. • Poke holes. Drainage holes are essential so that soil will not become waterlogged. Holes don’t need to be large, but there should be enough of them so that excess water can drain out readily. • Select the right container material. Container materials may be a ected by gardeners’ budgets, personal taste and other factors. For those who live in hot climates, selecting a light-colored container can help prevent further soil heat absorption. Container gardening is a healthy and enjoyable activity that can pay dividends in various ways.

For gardeners without sufficient space or for those with mobility issues, container gardening can be an ideal way to grow everything from flowers to vegetables.

ATTENTION: GL&PS CUSTOMERS <<< May is National Electrical Safety Month >>> In order to better educate the citizens of Greeneville and Greene County, Greeneville Light & Power System would like to provide their customers with the following important electrical safety tips in honor of electrical safety month.

• Never touch a fallen power line. Always assume it is energized and contact GL&PS immediately. • When pruning trees or working on the roof, always beware of overhead power lines. • Never allow children to fly kites near electrical power lines. • Stay away from potentially dangerous electrical hazards such as substations, poles, wires, meters, and transformers. • Before you dig, make sure there are no underground power lines. Call Tennessee One Call @ 1-800-351-1111. • When using extension cords, make sure they are rated 110 North College Street for the products you are using. • Use only fiberglass or wooden ladders when working 423-636-6202 (Emergency) around electricity. • Read and obey all danger and warning signs.

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Saturday, April 25, 2020


A Lesson In Building A Backyard Retaining Wall BY METRO CREATIVE


lat, even landscapes are often coveted in backyards. However, flat backyards are not always so easy to find. Fortunately, varied terrain does not mean that certain landscaping plans are entirely o limits, especially for homeowners willing to build retaining walls. Retaining walls help turn steep slopes in a yard into terraced focal points. They also can reduce soil erosion in hilly areas and can be used for aesthetic purposes, like raised planters, or to create more usable space within the yard. When an inground pool or pond is cut into a backyard hill, a retaining wall helps keep the remaining portion of that hill from collapsing into the cut-away area. When contemplating retaining wall projects, a lesson in physics and engineering may be needed. A sturdy and long-lasting retaining wall needs to be built in a way that will take into consideration the force of the soil and the point at which the soil will begin to slide away, advises the experts at The Family Handyman. If these calculations seem beyond the scope of your ability, installation of a retaining wall is a job best left to a professional. If you are ready to forge ahead, these tips can get you started. However, it’s important to note the potential benefits of working with others who have already built a retaining wall. • Safety first: Call to have underground utilities


When contemplating retaining wall projects, a lesson in physics and engineering may be needed.

plotted and marked before beginning any excavation. • Map out your trench and begin to dig. The trench should have a level, compacted base as it will be the foundation for which the retaining wall materials, be they blocks, bricks or wood, sit in. A crushed stone base will help anchor the courses and serve to promote drainage. The Family Handyman says to

bury the first course of the retaining wall one-tenth the height of the wall to prevent soil behind it from pushing the bottom out. • Check for level. When placing blocks or timbers, make sure they are even with the first and periodically check for level as you go, advises the home improvement retailer Lowes. • Stagger and set back. The next row of blocks or

material should be positioned so that the joints are staggered for blocks, bricks or wood. A masonry blade will be needed to cut the harder materials; a circular saw will cut timber. Also, work against gravity by setting the second course slightly back from the first to help push back against the soil that is trying so hard to push forward. Repeat the process as each

level is placed. Many retaining wall products are made with a lip to create this set back. • Go with the grade. For especially steep slopes, a gradual step-up design may be more secure and more appealing than a very tall retaining wall. Each level of a stepped design should be done like the first. • Backfill with stone for drainage. Using a layer of

stone behind the retaining wall can help successfully direct water away so it will not increase the weight of the soil behind the wall and push against the retaining wall, advises The Home Depot. Retaining walls serve di erent purposes in a yard. Building such a wall requires planning and careful execution to ensure the job is done correctly.


Saturday, April 25, 2020


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5 Outdoor Projects That Add Value To Your Home BY METRO CREATIVE


xterior renovations can enhance the appearance of a property and make it more enjoyable for homeowners. Certain renovations have the potential to add value to a home, while others may do the opposite. Learning which ones have the largest return on investment can help homeowners select features that will have the most positive impact. Curb appeal goes a long way toward attracting potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, first impressions of a property have a strong influence on buyers. Landscaping and external features can do much to influence such impressions. . • Lawn care program:


Curb appeal goes a long way toward attracting potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, first impressions of a property have a strong influence on buyers.

Investing in a lawn care program that consists of fertilizer and weed control

application and can be transferred over to a subsequent home owner is an attractive

feature. NAR says such a care program can recover $1,000 in value of the $330 average


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refers to structures like outdoor kitchens or decks. Softscaping involves the living elements of the landscape. Hiring a landscape designer to install trees, shrubs, natural edging, and rock elements can do wonders toward improving the look and value of a home. • Pool or water feature: In certain markets, particularly hot climates, a pool or another water feature is a must-have. However, in other areas where outdoor time is limited, a pool or water feature can actually lower the value of a home. Speaking with a real estate professional can give homeowners an idea of how a pool will fare in a given neighborhood. Outdoor improvements can improve the marketability of a home, as well as enhance its appearance and function.

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cost, or a 303 percent ROI. • Low-maintenance lifestyle: When choosing materials for projects, those that o er low-maintenance benefits can be preferential. These include low-maintenance patio materials, composite decking, vinyl fencing, and inorganic mulched beds. • Fire pit: A fire pit can be used for much of the year. In the spring and summer, the firepit is a great place to congregate to roast marshmallows or sip wine and gaze into the fire. In the fall, the fire pit can make for a cozy retreat. A fire pit that has a gas burner is low-maintenance, and the National Association of Landscape Professionals says that most can recoup about $4,000 of their $6,000 average price tag. • Softscaping: Hardscaping


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Saturday, April 25, 2020


Best Methods To Repair Damaged Driveways BY METRO CREATIVE


sphalt and concrete driveways are common throughout suburban neighborhoods. They are as much a part of a home as lawns, decks and other exterior elements. Regardless of how they’re utilized, driveways need to be cared for and maintained to retain their appearance and function. Even the most durable driveways can su er from cracks and pits over time. As cracks form, they pave the way for more deterioration if they are not addressed. Water infiltration can break down the integrity of the driveway during freeze and thaw periods, and any little hole or crack can promote weed growth. Driveway repair can be a do-it-yourself project, but pay attention to the details to ensure the job is done right.

ASPHALT The home improvement resource The Family Handyman says it is key to first repair cracks and pits in an asphalt driveway before planning to topcoat it, which is generally done every year or so to maintain its appearance and durability. A variety of topcoat products are available at various price points. Experts recommend investing in a quality product that will not shrink and crack. A melt-in material that is similar to products used by highway crews can be purchased for around $100. This product also will require use of a propane torch. Caulk-style crack repair products may not


Driveway repair can be a do-it-yourself project, but pay attention to the details to ensure the job is done right.

require as many tools, and are much easier to apply. They may not last as long, however. Homeowners must weigh the pros and cons to each before beginning. The experts at Popular Mechanics say that there also are other asphalt patch mixes available at home supply retailers. Serious holes, rather than cracks, can be addressed with a coarse-aggregate filler commonly referred to as cold patch. After cracks and holes are filled, use a sealer to

lock everything in place and create a smooth topcoat appearance. Speak with a store employee if you are unsure which product is needed for your application.

CONCRETE The process is similar with concrete driveways, yet the products di er. Small driveway cracks can be repaired by scrubbing out the crack to remove debris and then filling using a mortar repair compound, suggests the repair advice

site Home Guides. Larger specialists to perform the cracks and potholes should job. Keeping up on driveway be cleaned. Once that’s done, repair can prolong the life of apply a painted-in bonder to the crack or hole, followed by a dry concrete patching product mixed with water. The material can be worked into the damaged area with a trowel, and then leveled using a wood board. Afterward, a liquid concrete sealer can be applied to help prevent future cracks and holes. Homeowners who are hesitant to fix their driveways can contact masons or asphalt

the surface and help delay a complete driveway replacement for several years.


Saturday, April 25, 2020


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Home Repairs That Can Sink Budgets Fast BY METRO CREATIVE


home is the most substantial investment many people will ever make. Once down payments have been made and closing costs have been paid, homeowners may still be staring down sizable expenses as they begin to tackle any repairs that need to be made. Home maintenance and renovations involve a certain measure of trepidation. Even after vetting contractors and establishing budgets, homeowners may worry that repairs will unearth problems that snowball into expensive fixes. Planning ahead for such projects and learning to recognize issues that tend to be costly can help homeowners weather any

storms that may arise. • Foundation issues: A strong foundation is key to any home. If there is a problem with the foundation, it can be unsafe to live in the house. The foundation repair company Foundation Experts advises that foundation fixes can range from $4,000 to upward of $100,000 depending on the scale of the job. Clogged gutters and water pooling around the foundation can contribute to damage, so water issues must be remedied first. • Roof damage: A roof is a key barrier between the indoors and outdoors. Roofs must remain in tiptop shape. The home improvement resource HomeAdvisor says that a roof repair or replacement can cost

between $3,000 and $12,000. But homeowners also must budget for the cost of removing the old roofing materials and fixing any damage to the interior of the home. Inspecting the roof and making repairs as you go is key to avoiding a big headache. • Siding replacement: Another costly project can be replacing the siding. Siding may need to be replaced if there is water/ wind damage or penetration from insects. Spot repairs may be relatively inexpensive. However, the home improvement resource Modernize says the average siding installation project can cost between $5,500 and $15,000 depending on the materials homeowners choose.

• HVAC update: Keeping a home at a comfortable temperature is also a matter of safety. If a system gives out, homeowners may be scrambling for a solution. Yearly inspections and upkeep, which includes changing system filters regularly, can help identify potential problems. Neglect is one of the main contributors to the failure of heating and cooling equipment. Based on national averages, a whole-house HVAC system can cost between $4,000 and $12,000. These are some of the more costly repairs homeowners can expect. Keeping on top of the home will help mitigate damage and could extend the life of major home components.


Planning ahead for such projects and learning to recognize issues that tend to be costly can help homeowners weather any storms that may arise.

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Saturday, April 25, 2020


House Powerwashing Tips BY METRO CREATIVE

that, until very recently, pressure washers were owerwashing, also almost exclusively comknown as presmercial machines sold to sure-washing, utilizes professionals or rented to a high-velocity water spray do-it-yourselfers. Lately to remove dirt and residue manufacturers have targeted from the exterior surfaces of homeowners looking to buy a home. It is frequently used with lightweight options. on vinyl siding, concrete For those who see powerand sometimes wood decks washing as a routine vento treat mildew and other ture, purchasing a unit may growth that accumulates be worth the investment. over time. It is important to exercise Powerwashing can be a caution when operating a great way to remove grime powerwashing machine. The without having to scrub high-velocity spray can tear by hand. But it requires a through skin. It is key to get delicate touch to get it right. a feel for the washer, and try Sometimes it is best to leave less pressure first to get a the job to professionals. But handle on the magnitude of homeowners willing to give the tool. it a go can try powerwashing Don safety gear prior to themselves, as various stores using a pressure washer. rent power washers. Gloves, eye protection and The home improvement ear protection can be handy. website ImproveNet says Most units will connect to


a standard garden hose. Choose old clothing and expect to get wet. Never point a powerwasher hose at anyone and do not attempt to rinse feet or hands in the spray. The renovation resource The Family Handyman suggests starting with a wide-degree nozzle to test out the spray on the surface that needs to be cleaned. A 15- or 25-degree nozzle is usually the wand for general cleaning and paint stripping without damaging the surface of the home. Experiment with an optimal distance of the washer wand to get the desired cleaning e ects without causing any damage. Work using a horizontal and slightly downward angle to avoid driving water up under the siding of a home.

Avoid spraying any electric wires or components on the home. Also, try not to spray upward, and angle the spray away from doors, windows and vents. Some washers have reservoirs that will hold a detergent solution. Choose the right detergent for the job. Keep in mind that cleansers containing bleach can damage surrounding plants, so they may need to be covered while the washing takes place. Avoid the use of ladders when operating a powerwasher. The push-back from the wand can cause falls. Instead, opt for an extension wand to address the upper reaches of a home. Powerwashing a home is METRO CREATIVE an e ective way to remove Powerwashing the exterior of the home can be an effective stubborn grime and refresh the look of a home’s exterior. way to clean it in the spring and fall.

Improve Soil Quality For A Better Lawn BY METRO CREATIVE

vegetable garden beds. No matter which type of soil lush, green lawn a homeowner is working can vastly improve a with, there are various ways home’s curb appeal. to make it better. Thick, healthy grass indicates that homeowners care REMOVE THATCH Thatch is a tightly knotted enough about their properties to invest the time, e ort layer of leaves, grass roots, stems, and other debris and money to make them that accumulates between beautiful. the grass blades and the According to the landscaping tool company soil. Too much thatch can Troy-Bilt, soil fertility is hinder the movement of the foundation of healthy water, air and nutrients lawns. In fact, the quality of into the soil. According to the soil is essential whethorganic fertilizer company Organo-Lawn, thatch often er one is growing acres occurs if the production of of grass, potted plants or


dead organic material in the lawn exceeds the ability of the microorganisms in the soil to break down that organic matter. A half-inch of thatch is normal. If thatch gets too thick, it will need to be removed. The home improvement resource DIY Network says dethatching can take place in the summer, fall and winter using a thatching rake.

AERATE A lawn aerator will create holes in the soil. This can improve drainage and en-

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courage worms and helpful microorganisms that require oxygen to thrive in the soil. The Briggs & Stratton Company says the best time to aerate a lawn is during the growing season when the grass can heal and fill in any holes, such as spring and fall. Aeration can help develop deeper grass roots for a healthier lawn.

TEST AND AMEND SOIL A great lawn has loamy soil, which has a key ratio of clay, silt and sand. Silt is a granular material of a size between sand and clay that

originates from quartz and feldspar. It is the most fertile of the three types of soil components. Sand does not retain water, but it helps to create spaces in the soil that permit air to circulate. Clay particles are small and bind together tightly, but clay is naturally nutrient-rich. The home improvement site BobVila.com says loamy soil should have equal parts sand and silt and half as much clay. If the lawn is not yet established, loamy soil can be created and then the grass seeds planted. For


established soil, after removing thatch and aerating, top-dressing the lawn can help. This involves adding a thin layer of soil over the lawn. It can improve the soil without killing the existing turf. Ideally, it should be done in early fall or spring, as this gives the grass time to grow through three to four more mowings before severe heat or cold sets in. Healthy soil is vital to a lush lawn. It takes a little work, but improving soil can create vibrant, healthy, green grass.

The Greeneville Sun


Saturday, April 25, 2020


3 Common DIY Mistakes To Avoid BY METRO CREATIVE


ride tends to swell when homeowners successfully complete do-it-yourself projects on their homes. In addition to saving homeowners money, DIY projects provide a unique way for men and women to personally connect with their homes. The ability to look at a finished project and say it’s a result of your own handiwork can make a home feel more your own. As fun and fulfilling as DIY projects can be, they also can be nerve-wracking and induce anxiety. When DIY projects falter, fixing them can prove costly, as homeowners typically must call in contractors to correct their mistakes and get a project back on track. That results in additional labor and material costs that might have been avoidable, especially for homeowners who make an e ort to avoid some common DIY mistakes. 1. Failure to secure permits Even though homeowners own their homes, that does not mean they have carte blanche to do what they want with them. Many renovation projects require homeowners to secure permits before projects can commence. Some may even require additional permits as the projects advance. If proper permits are not secured, homeowners may be fined and projects may be nixed, regardless of how much money homeown-


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When DIY projects falter, fixing them can prove costly, as homeowners typically must call in contractors to correct their mistakes and get a project back on track.

ers have spent up to that point. Before beginning a home renovation project, homeowners should always contact their local permit o ce to determine if any permits are required. Bankrate.com notes that permits are often required for any project larger than painting or wallpapering. 2. Overestimating your abilities DIY television shows make home renovation projects look easy, but reality suggests otherwise. Homeowners with little or no experience renovating a home may want to take classes before they think about starting a project on their own. Even online tutorials tend to make jobs appear easier than they are. Roofing and plumbing projects tend to be best left to the professionals, as these projects can be either dangerous or vulnerable to disaster if not addressed by trained professionals. 3. Incorrect materials Whether it’s to save

money or a byproduct of inexperience, DIYers do not always choose the correct materials for a job. Experienced contractors have ample experience working with all sorts of materials and are therefore in a unique position to recommend the best materials for any given job. That resource is not available for DIYers, who must perform ample research before beginning a job so the project involves the most appropriate materials. Incorrect materials can be a sunken cost that derails a project, but even jobs completed using incorrect materials may need to be redone a lot more quickly than those that employed the right materials the first time. Many home renovation projects can be completed without the help of professional contractors., especially when homeowners take steps to avoid some of the more common mistakes made by DIYers.


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Page 14


Saturday, April 25, 2020


6 Options For Funding Your Next Home Improvement Project BY METRO CREATIVE


efore starting a home improvement project, either on one’s own or with the assistance of a professional contractor, homeowners must first consider the costs involved. According to the home improvement resource HomeAdvisor, more than one-third of homeowners do not understand what hiring a professional will cost, and then cannot successfully budget and secure financing once they have set their sights on a renovation project. HomeAdvisor says that some of the more popular projects, such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom or building a deck, can cost, on average, $19,920, $9,274 and $6,919, respectively. Homeowners may find that the more expensive renovations require them to secure some type of financing. Those who have never before sought such financing may want to consider these options. 1. Cash-out refinancing: With cash-out refinancing, a person will begin the mortgage process anew with the intention of paying o the current mortgage balance, and then taking out additional funds for other purposes. Cash-out refinancing is a way to tap into a home’s existing equity for use on improvements or other expenses, such as college tuition.


Homeowners may find that the more expensive renovations require them to secure some type of financing. Those who have never before sought such financing may want to consider some options.

2. Home equity line of credit: The financial experts at Bankrate indicate that a HELOC works like a credit card, with the house as collateral. There is a credit limit, and borrowers can spend up to that limit. The interest rate may or may not be fixed. However, the interest may be tax-deductible if the financing is used to improve, buy or build a home. 3. Home equity loan:

Individuals also can borrow against equity in their homes with a fixed interest rate through a home equity loan. Most lenders will calculate 80 percent of the home value and subtract a homeowner’s mortgage balance to figure out how much can be borrowed, according to the financial advisory site The Simple Dollar. 4. Personal loan: Homeowners can shop around

at various financial institutions for competitive personal loans to be used for home improvement purposes. Funds may be approved within one business day, which can be ideal for those who want to begin their improvements soon. 5. Personal line of credit: A personal line of credit allows borrowers to borrow only the money needed at the time, and o ers a variable interest rate that is

generally lower than fixed loan rates. Again, like a credit card, PLOC gives a person a maximum borrowing amount and is ideal for ongoing purchases. 6. Credit cards: In a pinch, credit cards can be used to finance improvements, but they do come with the cost of very high interest rates if the balance is not paid in full by the time the bill comes due. However, for fund-

ing smaller projects and maximizing rewards points through home improvement retailers or specific credit card company promotions, credit cards can be a way to earn various perks in addition to the benefit of improving a home. Homeowners looking to finance their next improvements should speak to a financial advisor and shop around for the best types of funding for them.


Saturday, April 25, 2020


Page 15

Improve Storage At Home BY METRO CREATIVE

does not require any building.

omes are getting bigger, but it seems like people are still lamenting a lack of storage space. National Public Radio says the average American home has nearly tripled in size during the last 50 years. Despite that, 10 percent of Americans still need to rent o -site storage, according to a report in the New York Times Magazine. Self-storage facilities are one of the fastest-growing commercial real estate segments, and the Self Storage Association says there are more than 50,000 storage facilities in the U.S. alone. The commercial real estate company CBRE, Ltd., says there are roughly 3,000 self-storage facilities across Canada, and 65 to 85 percent of self-storage tenants are residential users. Improving storage at home can be a cost-e ective alternative to renting storage space. With these easy tips, homeowners can maximize space immediately.




Gain more storage by recessing a chest of drawers into what is called the “knee wall” of homes that have sloped ceilings in attics and upstairs bedrooms. Utilize these short walls in an e cient manner by sinking drawers or shelves into them, without taking up floor space.

Closets may be plentiful, but if not e ciently utilized, space may still seem lacking. Track closet storage systems often make greater use of closet space than traditional shelf and hanging rod systems. Customizing closets using track systems or other modifications can improve utility of all closets in the house.

STORAGE BEDS Storage beds typically feature cubbies or drawers within a platform-style bed frame. It’s a practical home storage solution, and

Maximize spaces by looking up and down for storage possibilities. Items that are not used frequently, such as seasonal decorations or travel suitcases, can be stored in high spaces. Shelving on walls can go as high as necessary and be put to use in awkward wall areas, such as in corners or under eaves.


Improving storage at home can be a cost-effective alternative to renting storage space. Following some easy tips, homeowners can maximize space immediately.

STORAGE BENCHES/OTTOMANS A stopping area inside the front door replete with a storage bench can house shoes, umbrellas, hats, backpacks, and other items, keeping them tidy and out of sight. In living rooms, look for chests or ottomans that are decorative and functional. Store throw blankets or board games inside.


Don’t Replace...


RAFTER SHELVING While in the attic (or a garage), add hanging shelves to rafters or exposed beams to create o -the-floor storage as well. These are just a few of the handy ways to improve the interior storage space in a home.

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Saturday, April 25, 2020


Buying a House That Needs Work?

Get a Purchase Plus Mortgage 100% financing plus up to $30,000 for upgrades or renovations Certain restrictions apply

Apply Online

Today! Important Information: Interest on the portion of the credit extension that is greater than the fair market value of the dwelling is not tax deductible for Federal income tax purposes; and the consumer should consult with a tax adviser for further information regarding the deductibility of interest and charges. Subject to credit approval. Certain restrictions apply.


Profile for The Greeneville Sun

Spring Home Improvement 2020  

This 10-page special publication is The Greeneville Sun's annual look at home improvement trends, possibilities and potentials. ©2020 THE GR...

Spring Home Improvement 2020  

This 10-page special publication is The Greeneville Sun's annual look at home improvement trends, possibilities and potentials. ©2020 THE GR...