New Year's Home Improvement Resolutions
January, 2009 - Issue #51
photography by Ted Dayton

Homes are a lot like people; some of them need to lose weight (clutter!), get in shape (fix that leaky roof!) and focus on self improvement (can you say "media center?").

Resolution #1: Get more Organized at Home to Reduce Clutter
After the holidays, homeowners are frustrated with the extra items collected after the festivities are over. From gifts, boxes, memorabilia and more, there is just too much stuff and not enough storage space. We suggest starting with some quick, easy and durable garage overhead storage racks ranging from $185 to $350 installed - then add garage cabinetry packages from $1,500 and up to really organize your life. Garage Envy 888-248-1766

Resolution #2: Move your Seasonal Decor Out of the House
Often times, there's just no more room in the house for your seasonal decor. Have a careful, qualified team pick up your seasonal items to store in a fully-secure, climate-controlled facility until it's time again for holiday cheer! Services start as low as $50 for pick up and $50 per month for a 5-foot by 5-foot by 7-foot storage vault. Affordable Quality Moving & Storage 254-7823

Resolution #3: Buy Flooring when it's more Affordable - and Guaranteed
Our New Year's Day sale is our biggest sale of the year, and we include no-interest financing for three years. Regardless of what 2009 has in store, we guarantee that your floors will be beautiful, or we will install another floor of equal value for free (you can chat with one of us for details). Brent's Carpet One 255-3337
Resolution #4: Don't Fight Father Time when making Home Improvements
There is always a "best time" to do certain projects. Spring, summer and fall are all great times to perform roof maintenance. If you wait until the rains of winter, costs could triple. Major additions or remodels can be done while you're gone on a trip; what better way to avoid living in a less-than-convenient home during busy construction? Now is a great time to do home improvements; prices are down compared to a year ago. Make a call and get an estimate - you'll probably be pleasantly surprised. Top Construction 775-9945

Resolution #5: Be the most Entertaining House on the Block
The best time to complete an entertainment center would be now. All prices of these kinds of materials have gone up steadily the last 20 or so years and continue to rise today. For this reason, putting off the job may cost down the road because of higher material expenses. For example, an entertainment center for a standard size opening (48 inches by 94 inches) would be around $3,000 and up. A year ago, it would have been several hundred dollars less - just because of material costs. Don't wait for costs to go higher; enjoy the beautiful cabinetry for years to come. David Bryan Woodworks 312-1964

span style='color:#990000;'>Resolution #6: Save Money and Energy
Before your heater starts running 24-7, have your unit checked out. Swapping out filters and cleaning the system are easy ways to reduce energy consumption because your system will be working more efficiently. That'll cost you less in heating bills, too, and result in cleaner air for your family. Mac Heating & Cooling 816-7403

Your Home's 2009 Improvement Checklist
In this time of economic challenges, it's extra important to maintain your home. Save money by making sure everything is serviced and working properly; you don't want little problems to become big expenses.

Paint Make sure there's no cracking around wood or chipping paint.

Electrical Ensure that everything's working properly and that you have no shorts.

Plumbing Check for and fix leaks; save money with an insulated cover for the water heater.

Flooring Your tile should be sealed and wood conditioned.

Fixtures All should be working properly without leaks.

Windows Save money by replacing old windows with energy efficient windows.

Water systems Replace salt conditioners - they are damaging to your pipes and the environment.

Window treatments New shutters can keep the cold out and the heat in, saving you cash.

Stairs Prevent injuries by checking for cracked or loose steps.
Home remodel Increase the value of your home and be prepared for when the economy turns around (it always does)!

Work with reputable companies. Ask for a proof of a contractor's license, as well as workers' comp, bond and liability insurance. You also want to check if they have a positive performance history with the Registrar of Contractors and the Better Business Bureau. Ask for three references, too.

Tips courtesy of Just SCV's Best, a collection of Santa Clarita's finest home improvement specialists
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