9 Tips for a Spring-Clean Home All Winter Long

You know, when you think about it, we should be obsessing over fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning. After all, you’re about to shut yourself inside for months with all the dust and dirt your home has collected during the hot, dusty, open-window days of summer. And who wants to inhale that?!

The EPA even estimates that indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor air. So here’s a checklist to help you breathe easy all winter long in your home.

#1 Wash and Disinfect Garbage Cans and Wastebaskets

You’re going to be shut in all winter with these germ havens, so now’s a good time to clean them thoroughly. Take them outside where you can blast the insides with a garden hose, then add disinfectant.

For an environmentally safe way to sterilize these nasty grime collectors, use undiluted hydrogen peroxide or vinegar mixed 50/50 with water. Caution! Don’t mix hydrogen peroxide with vinegar — the result is harmful peracetic acid. Regular bleach is an effective disinfectant (one part bleach to six parts water), but we much prefer environmentally safe.

Let the garbage cans sit for an hour, then pour out the contents and scrub the insides with a stiff bristle brush to remove any residue. Rinse and, if possible, let the wastebasket dry in direct sunlight, which helps eliminate bacteria.

#2 Wash and Disinfect Toilet Brush Holders

Take the holder and the brush outside, and spray wash thoroughly with a garden hose. Immerse the holder and brush in a bucket of hot water mixed with one of these solutions:

  • 1 part bleach to 6 parts water
  • 2 to 3 cups of environmentally friendly washing soda crystals
  • A 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water

Let everything sit in the solution for a couple of hours, then rinse the holder and brush with a hose and place in direct sunlight to dry.

#3 Turn Over Furniture and Vacuum the Bottoms

You might shift furniture around so you can vacuum the floor, but there’s another side to the story — the underside.

Tilt upholstered chairs and couches all the way back (much easier with two people) to expose the bottoms. The dustcovers tacked underneath furniture can catch dreck and dust bunnies, so vacuum them off, being careful not to press too hard on the fabric.

#4 Clean the Tops of Doors, Trim, and Artwork

Tables and countertops aren’t the only household items with horizontal surfaces. In fact, just about everything in your house except Rover’s tennis ball has some kind of horizontal surface where dust and dirt will nestle, often unnoticed. You’ll want to clean the top horizontal edges of:

  • Interior doors
  • Trim, including baseboards and chair rails
  • Artwork and mirrors
  • Electrical wall plates
  • Wall-mounted smoke detectors, CO detectors, and thermostats
  • Upper kitchen cabinets
  • Light bulbs and light fixtures
  • Computer monitors
  • Books on shelves

#5 Vacuum Behind the Fridge

Your fridge needs to be cleaned periodically so that it operates at peak efficiency. Ignore this chore and face another $5 to $10 per month in utility costs. Worst case: a visit from an appliance repair pro who’ll charge $75 to $150 per hour!

The object is to clean the condenser coils. Here’s how:

If the condenser coils are on the back of the refrigerator, then pull the unit out completely, and unplug it while you work on it. Brush or vacuum the coils to clean them, and clean up any dirt and dust on the floor.

Also, check to make sure your freezer vents are clear. Freezers circulate air to reduce frost, but piling up too much stuff in front of the little grill-like vents inside your freezer blocks their business.

If the condenser coils are on the bottom of the fridge, then you’ll need to clean them from the front of the unit.

Take off the bottom faceplate to expose the coils.

Clean dust using a condenser-cleaning brush ($8) or a long, thin vacuum attachment made for cleaning under refrigerators ($14).

You should still pull your refrigerator all the way out and vacuum up dirt and dust that accumulates in back of the unit. Unplug it while you work on it.

Put down a piece of cardboard so that grit under the wheels doesn’t scratch your flooring.

#6 Winterize Your Entry

Keep winter’s slush and gunk at bay by making your entryway a dirt guardian.

  • Get a boot scraper ($19 to $35).
  • Add a chair or bench for taking off boots, and have a boot rack for wet footwear.
  • Put down a tough coir outdoor doormat ($30 to $190) for cleaning footwear.

Related: Check Out These Clever Entryway Solutions

#7 Clean Windows

By some estimates, dirty window glass cuts daylight by 20%. That’s a lot less light coming in at a time of year when you really need it to help chase away winter blues.

Clean windows inside and out with a homemade non-toxic solution:

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon eco-friendly dish detergent
  • 2 cups water

Wipe clean and polish using microfiber cloths.

#8 Clean Ceiling Fan Blades

Those big blades on your ceiling fan are great at moving air, but when they’re idle they’re big dust magnets — dust settles on the top surfaces where you can’t see it.

Out of sight maybe, but not out of mind. Here’s an easy way to clean them: Take an old pillowcase and gently cover a blade. Pull it back slowly to remove the dust. The dust stays inside the pillowcase, instead of all over the floor, the furniture, your hair (ugh!).

#9 Change Furnace Filters

Yeah, this is a no-brainer, which is why it’s last on this list. But everything else you do could be moot if you’re not changing your filters at least once every 60 days (more if you’re sensitive to allergies).

Air filters for furnaces are rated by level of efficiency. The higher the rating, the better the filter is at removing dirt, mold spores, and pet dander.

Filters are rated one of two ways (you’ll see the ratings on the packaging); higher numbers mean better efficiency, but there’s a point of diminishing returns — some filters with extremely high ratings also restrict air flow, making your HVAC work so hard that the system heats and cools inefficiently.

  • Minimum efficiency rating values (MERV) for filters range from 1 to 16, but 7 to 13 is typical for households (14 and up are used in hospitals).
  • Microparticle performance rating (MPR) range from 300 to 2,400.

Cheap filters cost about $2, but won’t do you much good. You’re better off paying $12 to $17 for a pleated filter with a 1250 MPR, or $20 to $25 for a filter rated 2,400.

Happy cleaning (and breathing!) this winter.

Article Courtesy of HouseLogic

New Listing 8205 Granwyn Ct Louisville Ky 40258

 

You will not want to miss seeing this 3BR/3.5BA pristine Cape Cod home in the quiet neighborhood of Grandel Farms. You will immediately notice the covered porch where you can spend time unwinding from one’s day. Enter the home to find gleaming hardwood floors leading you into the open area. A beautiful gas fireplace will invite you to sit in front of a fire and read your favorite book in the great room. Picture friends sitting at the breakfast bar visiting as you prepare meals on the multiple countertops. You will find the backsplash compliments the stainless steel appliances and abundance of cabinets. Wait until you see the Florida room that boasts natural sunlight through its many windows, tall ceilings with decorative window.

Enjoy plenty of solitude watching sunrises and sunsets. This home is unique in that all the bedrooms can be master bedrooms. There is one bedroom on the first level and a laundry room that has been converted to a dressing room/closet, as well as a full bathroom. Both spacious master bedrooms on the second level envelope you with warmth and security and possess 9-foot dormers. Each room has large walk-in closets and full bathrooms. One of the bathrooms features a double vanity, garden Jacuzzi tub, and shower. You will find ample room to entertain in the finished basement area that has a recreation room with pool table that remains with property. There is an additional family room that could easily be used as the 4th bedroom with adjoining 1/2 bathroom. A second laundry room can be found too, as well as a large unfinished storage area. If this isn’t enough bang for your money, check out the fenced-in backyard. Perfect for hosting gatherings and cookouts on one of the two patio areas or roasting marshmallows on the built-in fire pit. There is even a bordered play area! The oversized double driveway leads to a 2-car garage and accommodates extra parking for guests. Take a look at the list of upgrades under the document tab of this listing. You will absolutely fall in love with the easy living this home offers so schedule your private showing TODAY and make this your next home! 

 

Front of house
Living room
Beautiful Florida Room
Back yard

8609 Attu Lane Louisville KY 40291

Beautiful Home
Lovely Master
Family Room
Pond
What a view for a wonderful sunrise or sunset!

If you are looking for peaceful living that showcases the beauty of nature, THIS HOME IS FOR YOU! Words cannot describe the outdoor living space. With a little over 7 acres, the property offers many quiet moments of solitude on any of its multiple decks with built-in seating and creek rock patio. As you drive up to the landscaped circular driveway, you will immediately notice and hear the waterfall from the pond and feel the tranquility. Walk down to the dock where the fish stocked from Kentucky Fish & Game will greet you. The one owner 3BR/4.5 BA brick home is perfect for multi-generational living with 2 separate open style living areas. Enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sunrise overlooking the property in the Florida room or main kitchen.

Throughout the home you will find recessed lighting, wainscoting, skylights and abundance of closets and storage areas. The living room has built-in nooks and the sitting room has built-in shelving. Both kitchens have granite countertops and all kitchen appliances remain. Appreciate the magnificent view in the main kitchen through the floor to ceiling Palladium window, as well as skylight in the cathedral ceiling. Picture friends sitting around the breakfast bar visiting as you prepare meals. The large master bedroom is a personal retreat in itself and allows for a sitting area where you can spend hours reading a book. The finished basement is sound proof with extra insulation in the ceiling. There is a bedroom, extended bar with bar sink, cabinets, refrigerator, additional laundry area, and 3 bonus rooms that can be used as an office, recreation room and additional sleeping quarters. One of the bonus rooms has a built-in desk and walk-in closet. The separate basement entrance is great for privacy. The full bathroom has a double vanity with built-in shelving. The 2+ garage is amazing and a handyman/welder’s dream. Wired for 220v electricity, this garage lacks nothing with its tall ceilings, oversized 8 ft garage doors, utility sink, cabinets, workbenches and an oversized work area. The back door leads to a second driveway that can be used to park an RV. Host many gatherings and cookouts using the cook shed featured with lights and electrical outlets. There is a barn and utility shed too. As you can tell, this unique property has so many features that can’t completely be covered in this description. Take a look at our pictures and find yourself dreaming when looking at the surreal seasonal pictures. Discover country living in the middle of Fern Creek only minutes from shopping, entertainment and restaurants. Schedule your private showing TODAY and be captured by this home’s beauty!

2301 WinterHaven Ct

Kick back for the evening at your beautiful bar
Making gourmet dinners in this awesome kitchen
Welcome Home
Kick back on the deck watch the sun go down
Beautiful Home
Huge First floor Master Bedroom
Beautiful Dining room

Price Reduction on this Amazing Home! Nestled in Paramont Estates this beautiful home as all the luxuries! The amentities of the association are nice as well. This home is one you do not want to miss, high end appliances, beautiful landscaping and an amazing deck! The $20,000 price reduction makes it an even sweetier deal! Call today let’s hang our hat here!  You will be amazed by the precise attention given to intricate details in the custom designed extra wide dentil and crown molding, wainscoting, inlayed hardwood flooring, built-in hutch, bookshelves, cabinetry and trim work throughout the home. The home is ADA compliant and has an elevator to take you from floor to floor. The doorways on the first level all have beautiful transom windows. The oversized windows provide an abundance of natural sunlight through the Plantation blinds. There is also new flooring throughout the home.  Featured are built-in stainless steel appliances including a 6-burner Thermadore stove, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and double oven. You will be quite impressed by the incredible glass front dining cabinet, granite countertops, custom designed cabinets with magazine rack, as well as the multiple countertops. These are just a few of the items that will entice you. Off the kitchen is a long hallway that leads to the walk-in pantry, 3+ car garage, mudroom/laundry room, 1/2 bath and drop zone where you will find cubbies and plenty of storage.  Enjoy the magnificent view while having a cup of coffee watching the sunrise on the covered side of the deck. The deck stretches the backside of the home and there is a gas line hookup perfect for hosting cookouts hassle free. The master bedroom envelops you with warmth and security under its recessed lighting and crown molding. Call us Today for your own private showing!

Price Reduction on Chenoweth Run Rd.

Can you Imagine drinking coffee from the dock?
Amazing view
Let’s take a dip!
Welcome Home!
Big Family room

Motivated sellers! This home is beautiful, has everything you can want and need! Call us today to check this home out! Enjoy peaceful living in metro Louisville in this 4BR/3BA brick home on 11.55 acres of nature. This home is equipped with all of life’s indulgences. Enter the surreal grounds starting with one of two stocked ponds to find an immaculately kept home beautifully landscaped. Open the custom designed front door with sidelights to be greeted by wainscoting, dentil molding, and a double closet in the foyer. The living room has floor to ceiling windows and built- in cabinets and shelving. You will love celebrating holidays in the festive ambience of the dining room with its floor to ceiling windows and precise detail of the wainscoting.

New Listing 2301 Winterhaven Ct, Prospect Ky 40059

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Home  Offering easy living in this 6BR/4 full/2 half BA home in Paramont Estates with all of the comforts of luxury. The circular front driveway takes you through the landscaped lawn to the custom designed leaded glass front door with transom window and sidelights. You will be amazed by the precise attention given to intricate details in the custom designed extra wide dentil and crown molding, wainscoting, inlayed hardwood flooring, built-in hutch, bookshelves, cabinetry and trim work throughout the home. The home is ADA compliant and has an elevator to take you from floor to floor. The doorways on the first level all have beautiful transom windows. The oversized windows provide an abundance of natural sunlight through the Plantation blinds. There is also new flooring throughout the home. Enjoy many holiday celebrations in the formal dining room’s festive atmosphere. Wait until you see the kitchen where the heart of the home is located. The massive eat-in kitchen is a chef’s delight. Picture friends sitting around the oversized island, with bar sink, visiting as you prepare meals in the state of the art kitchen. Featured are built-in stainless steel appliances including a 6-burner Thermadore stove, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and double oven. You will be quite impressed by the incredible glass front dining cabinet, granite countertops, custom designed cabinets with magazine rack, as well as the multiple countertops. These are just a few of the items that will entice you. Off the kitchen is a long hallway that leads to the walk-in pantry, 3+ car garage, mudroom/laundry room, 1/2 bath and drop zone where you will find cubbies and plenty of storage. The laundry room has built in cabinets, counter, utility sink, laundry shoot and hanging rod. Relax in the living room reading a book in front of the gas fireplace. A wall of windows with a French door leads you to the oversized deck. Enjoy the magnificent view while having a cup of coffee watching the sunrise on the covered side of the deck. The deck stretches the backside of the home and there is a gas line hookup perfect for hosting cookouts hassle free. The master bedroom envelops you with warmth and security under its recessed lighting and crown molding. There is an adjoining room with a wall of built-in bookshelves that can be used as a sitting room or library. The master bathroom is like going to the spa! Stunning marble floors granite counter tops, jetted tub, dual vanities and a custom designed walk-in closet with plenty of drawers. The marble shower has a built-in bench. There is a lot of personality in the 4 bedrooms on the 2nd level. Two of the rooms have extended storage space that has been finished with built-in desks so you will have no excuse for interruption when completing tasks. The bedrooms are extremely huge and 3 bedrooms have window seats with storage perfect for curling up with a good book or talking to best friends. One bedroom has built-in bookshelves and walk-in closet and adjoined to another bedroom by a “Jack and Jill” bathroom. The 2nd bedroom has a window seat the size of a twin mattress providing for more sleeping space with double storage drawers below. The 3rd bedroom has a built-in desk and bathroom that can also be accessed from the hall. The 4th bedroom was designed to be a playroom and the walls have many built-in storage drawers. The finished walkout basement is a home within a home and perfect for multi-generational living. The family room has an entertainment center with cherry finish that is the focal point. Wired for surround sound you need walk across the room to the kitchen with for a beverage and snack. The recreation room has a pool table that remains, gas fireplace and extended cherry finished bar. The cabinets are glass front with a built-in wine rack. There is a dishwasher, full refrigerator, tiled floor and double sink. There are oversized French doors that extend as tall as the ceiling that lead to a patio area. There is a separate area with private entrance that has a living room, full bath and nicely sized bedroom perfect for separate living quarters. A few more features of the home include a central vacuum system, 3 zones for heating and air conditioning, irrigation system, smart alarm that can be controlled by phone, intercom system and water purification system. Your children can attend the award winning North Oldham County school system. Surrounded by a beautiful quarry, the clubhouse offers many amenities such as paddleboat, racquetball, tennis, nature trail hiking, indoor heated pool and private event space. As you can tell there are a lot of features to this exquisite home and you will want to see them all in person. Priced to sell so call today for your private tour
Beautiful flooring and so much light
Large master
Imagine relaxing here

Price Adjust $340,000 813 Locust Pointe Pl

You will not want to miss seeing this spacious 3BR/3.5BA home in the sought out neighborhood of Copperfield. Located on the corner of a cul-de-sac, the beautifully landscaped yard draws you home with manicured burning bushes lining the walk to the porcelain slated front steps. Open the custom designed front door with sidelights to be greeted by a foyer with double closets and a powder room. The living room has a lot of natural sunlight through the floor to ceiling bay windows. Through French doors you will find an open area that hosts a family room with sectioned beam ceilings and eat-in kitchen. You will enjoy many hours of relaxation in the family room in front of the gas fireplace that boasts custom built bookshelves and cabinets on each side.

Gorgeous Frontage
locust-point-entry
Elegant Entry
locust-pointe-dining
Gorgeous Dining
locust-point-living
Cozy sitting room

Another set of French doors lead you to an oversized deck. Picture friends sitting around the breakfast bar visiting as you prepare meals. The kitchen has a Palladium window, recessed lighting, a built-in planning desk and bay window. Enjoy many holiday celebrations in the formal dining room’s festive atmosphere as you immediately notice the double tray patterned ceiling, dentil molding and floor to ceiling bay window. The master bedroom envelops you with warmth and security with its layout and gas fireplace and vaulted ceilings. The room is a home in itself with both a sitting room and separate room that can be used as an office or nursery! The sitting room with a vaulted ceiling, recessed lighting and skylight offers solitude as you unwind after one’s busy day. Off the sitting room you will find a huge walk-in closet with a skylight. The bedroom also connects to a separate room that features a Palladium window and built-in window seats on each side and can be used as an office. The master bath has a Jacuzzi tub, double vanity, recessed lighting and vaulted ceiling. There are two other spacious bedrooms on the 2nd level and a hall bathroom with double vanities. You will find ample room to entertain in the partially finished walkout basement. Featured is a gas fireplace, built-in cabinet with electrical outlets for a television and entertainment needs, recessed lighting, wainscoting and French doors that lead to a patio. You will also find a full bathroom and storage area. This home also has a 3-car garage with tall ceilings. Perfectly located minutes from the Gene Snyder, shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Schedule your private showing today and come see for yourself!

Price Reduced 7920 Nature Way

nature-way
Front Entrance

 

natureway-living
Living Room
nautrewaydining
Beautiful Dining area

Feel at home in this conveniently located 3BR/2.5BA in the friendly neighborhood of Orchard Lakes at Breckenridge. Enter the home off the covered front porch and you will find a spacious open floor plan. The great room offers many hours of relaxation in front of the gas fireplace where there is an abundance of sunlight through its transom windows. Picture friends visiting as you prepare meals in the large eat-in kitchen that boasts plenty of counter-space and cabinet space. Enjoy many holiday celebrations in the formal dining room’s festive atmosphere. There is a powder room also on the 1st level. The master bedroom is complimented with cathedral ceilings and walk-in closet. The master bathroom has double vanities, garden tub and shower. There are an additional two bedrooms, as well as a full bathroom on the 2nd level. Host many cookouts and gatherings in the large backyard. With shopping, entertainment and restaurants within minutes, you will find everything at your fingertips! Priced to sell so make your appointment for a private tour TODAY!

Home Maintenance for People with Better Things to Do

Owning your own home shouldn’t mean an endless list of chores.

Weekends are meant for coaching a youth soccer team to victory, chopping your way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” or training for a 5K to help save the pandas — not working your way through a tedious, 30-item maintenance checklist. But then, taking care of the home you love is important, too.

So how do you have your fun and keep a well-maintained home?

It’s simple: Just be mindful of your home. You don’t need a rigid maintenance list. (They work best for Type A people anyway.) Instead, train your senses to warn you of these problems, and then act ASAP:

Your Dryer Seems Hotter Than Usual

If your clothes and your dryer are super, super hot or, conversely, your dryer is taking longer to dry, you could have a clogged lint vent, a leading cause of house fires. “Sometimes the dryer connection will wiggle loose going to the outside, causing all sorts of issues with lint,” says Jeff Devlin, licensed contractor and host of DIY Network’s “Stone House Revival and “I Hate My Bath.” Heat and packed lint make the perfect recipe for fire. To defuse that combination:

  • Pull out the dryer connection — this is the tube or pipe that connects the dryer to the window vent.
  • Suck out all the lint from the pipe and pipe connection with a vacuum attachment.
  • Re-attach, making sure it’s not loose or bent.

You can also hire a pro to do it.

You Smell Something Musty

Your nose knows what’s normal in your home. “If you go into a room and it smells musty, there’s something going on,” says Frank Lesh, executive director of American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). When you smell that mildew-y smell, you know you’ve got a problem, he says. What kind of problem? Read on.

You Can See Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew are the banners for moisture, your home’s No. 1 enemy. If you see them, you know moisture has broken through your home’s defenses and is bringing reinforcements. Find out where the water source is and eradicate it ASAP. Moisture is like cancer to a home. If you don’t catch it early, it will eat away at your home’s very structure, causing major damage to its foundation, walls, floors, and ceilings.

You Spot a Water Stain

You get it now. Water = bad. So even a faint water stain should light a fire under you. Zero in on the source before moisture can settle into your home’s bones. A water stain on the ceiling could signal a leak in your roof, or if it’s under a bathroom it could be a pipe that’s leaking. Stain under a window? Your window may need caulking.

Your Drain Is Really Slow (and It Gurgles)

Showering in water up to your ankles defeats the purpose. “A clean drain is a healthy drain,” says Devlin. If your drain makes odd noises and takes foreeeeeeever, you could be at risk of a sewer backup, which is not only a moisture issue, but one that ranks high on the stinky scale. If you’re lucky, it could be a simple clog, but either way it might be a good idea to put your plumber’s number in your cellphone’s favorites list.

You Hear Something That’s Alive

The pitter-patter of tiny rodent footsteps is enough to send shivers down your spine — and can quickly multiply into a mini stampede. One couple found out the hard way.

“We found that a squirrel had taken up residence in the attic and was chewing through electrical wires,” says David Bowers. By the time he and his partner, Sharon Bowers, (BTW, they co-authored “The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop”) got around to calling a pro, an entire squirrel family (with more on the way!) had settled in to dine on those wires — a costly fix that was also a fire hazard.

If you hear unwanted visitors, evict them quickly, then block the entry they used. With squirrels, it might be an overgrown tree limb, which they use to jump onto your roof and then slip through a hole under roof flashing or rotting fascia, or an open window. For smaller pests, keep in mind they can come in through the tiniest of holes. (Mice can squeeze through a dime-sized opening.)

Your Gutters Create Waterfalls

You may love the smell and sound of rain, but when it’s cascading off your gutters in torrents instead of traveling neatly through them … well, remember those warnings about moisture? Cleaning the gutters is home maintenance 101 for good reason. “It can lead to exterior damage, as well as water damaging the foundations,” says Bowers. If you spot a gutter clog, clear it. You’ll be happier for it. It’s probably the best thing you can do to protect your home.

Originally posted with HouseLogic.

4 Ways to Avoid DIY Mistakes — From a DIYer Who’s Made Them All

DIY gone wrong is your worst nightmare. Sleep better with these tips to master DIY know-how.

New backsplash? You’ve done it. Upgrading a faucet? No problem. You’re a DIY master. But what about that electrical issue? Or fixing a leaky roof? Even though you (and your BFF, YouTube) have pulled off many DIY projects, you know there are projects you’ve no business trying on your own. But what about those projects that fall somewhere in between “I got this” and “I’m calling the pros”? How can you know if a project is really DIYable for you?

For Lucas Hall, finding that answer has been trial and error. As a “DIY landlord” for more than two years and founder of Landlordology, an online resource for landlords, he’s gutted three homes and renovated countless others.

“I’m just handy enough to be dangerous,” Hall says.

He’s suffered more than his fair share of DIY disasters, and with each, he’s learned a valuable lesson about his own limits, as well as how he can do better next time.

Think 10 Steps Ahead

When Hall updated a tiny kitchen in one of his rentals, he installed a brand-new, expensive fridge — and then built a peninsula countertop extension.

“We thought it was the greatest idea,” he says. But adding the peninsula narrowed the space in front of the refrigerator, making it impossible to remove without lifting it entirely up and over the extension. (Ever tried to lift a fridge?)

“I’m just praying the fridge doesn’t die on me, because I’m going to have to hire four or five burly guys to get it out,” Hall says. “Or just Sawzall the thing in half.”

DIY lesson: Measure once, measure twice, measure again, and think through every possible scenario before changing a room’s layout.

Don’t Go With the Cheapest Option

Speaking of kitchen appliances: Hall was looking for an island range hood, which can be extra-expensive because it needs to be attractive from all angles. Dismayed by the prices he found elsewhere online, he went to Amazon, where he found an $800 hood on sale for about $250.

“Of course, it was from a brand we hadn’t really heard of,” Hall says.

Less than a year after installation, the hood was on the fritz. Removing the appliance was a challenge. The electrical wiring needed to be redone, and the wall needed to be drywalled, requiring a professional contractor.

“It probably cost me three-fold to fix my mistake,” says Hall. “For any appliance that’s more complicated than plugging it in and rolling it into place, upgrade and buy something that’s not going to break on you within a year.”

DIY lesson: For any DIY project, the cheapest option, from materials to appliances, should raise a red flag.

For Specialty Work, Seek Specialty Advice

Hall is no electrician, but since he’d done some minor electrical work before, he figured the job of adding a dimmer switch would be no big deal.

“We hung a chandelier in the dining room, and figured you might want to dim this giant chandelier for a relaxing candlelit dinner,” says Hall. Because the space had switches at both entrances, he added a dimmer to both — the more the merrier, right?

Wrong.

“After four hours spent blowing circuits and lightbulbs and struggling to get this chandelier to dim correctly, we called the manufacturer,” Hall says. Spoiler alert: You just can’t have two dimmer switches for one circuit.

A dimmer works by modulating the amount of electricity flowing through the circuit; adding another causes chaos. A little research would’ve indicated the second dimmer switch was a no-no.

“It just flips out,” says Hall. “It doesn’t know how much dimming should be happening. The lights were flickering like a poltergeist.”

DIY lesson: No one blames you for not being a specialist, but any time you’re taking on a specialty project make sure to do your research first or consult a pro.

DIY When Help is Available (aka, NOT on a Holiday)

Holidays might be a great time to tackle minor DIY projects, but if you’re working on anything that could require a professional if things go south, consider waiting for a normal business day.

“I was trying to get a property ready to rent,” says Hall. “Time is money. It was the Fourth of July … and I was adding a new cabinet [in the bathroom].”

It sounds easy enough, but the unit was in a condo building with a centralized water system; there wasn’t a water shut-off valve for just that bathroom. Not wanting to shut down the water for the entire building on July Fourth, he decided to risk it.

And oh, what a risk it turned out to be. When trying to loosen a pipe, the whole thing broke off. It was rusted out. Water sprayed out so hard, it hit him in the chest. After rushing to the basement, he flipped every knob he found until the water shut-off.

“Luckily my property was on the first floor and the basement was a laundry room, because water was leaking through the floor, destroying drywall,” Hall says.

Being a holiday, the rest of the day was no less of a disaster. The condo association’s emergency line sent him a plumber who was angry to be missing his holiday events and drinking as he tried to fix the problem. Sloppy work resulted in a fire — in a building with no water.

“He runs to my fridge and starts grabbing anything liquid — milk, a bottle of Sprite, cans of beer,” Hall recalls. “He’s dumping water into the middle of the wall, punching holes in it, trying to find the fire.”

DIY lesson: Always do tricky DIY projects when you know a pro — a pro you trust — can help out in a hurry.

Originally posted with HouseLogic.