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Home Improvement Tips to Help You Go Maintenance-Free

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Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Thu Aug 15, 2013.

(StatePoint) Want to save time and money? If you’re a homeowner, consider improvement projects that can reduce the need for ongoing home maintenance. You’ll find the upfront cost and energy well worth it down the line.

It could be as simple as replacing older materials with newer products that are longer-lasting and less susceptible to wear and tear, say experts.

“Every element of your home’s exterior will eventually need to be replaced,” says Mark Clement a professional contractor and host of the MyFixItUpLife home improvement radio show. “When that happens, make a sound investment by opting for energy efficient, durable products that can reduce your maintenance efforts.”

Not sure where to start? Beginning with the exterior of your home will give you the added benefit of boosting your house’s curb appeal. Clement offers homeowners a handy checklist:

The Roof

Look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that are “flapping” in the wind. These indicate that a new roof may be in your future. Newer products on the market, such as polymer shake and slate roofing tiles, are impact-resistant. And some tiles, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes, are fire- and impact-resistant. Along with helping protect against potential wildfires and severe weather, these roofs often come with a homeowner insurance discount. They also have a 50-year limited warranty.

Windows

If you find the windows in your home don’t operate easily, there’s air leaking in or out of the units or condensation builds up between the glass panes, it may be time to replace them. Consider vinyl framed windows, which are energy-efficient, visually appealing and durable.  Plus, they don’t come with the maintenance hassles of wood windows, such as rotting frames, scraping and repainting.

For example, Simonton vinyl windows have a strong product warranty and are ENERGY STAR qualified.

Accessory Features

Check shutters, trim and louvers. Look for water spots, decay or peeling paint to see if they’re deteriorating, suffering from insect infestations or warping. When it’s time to replace these items, select low-maintenance urethane or PVC products, like those from Fypon. The lightweight pieces are easy to install, add curb appeal and resist moisture.

Main Entry Door

Can you see light around your door from the inside? Is the door hard to close or lock? Is the door itself warped? These are signs it’s time to replace your entry door. And even if you can’t see light, air may be moving through gaps in the weather stripping at a surprising rate.

Consider replacing an entryway with a high-performance fiberglass door, like those from Therma-Tru. Fiberglass doors can have up to four times more insulating value than wood doors. And, selecting a door with all its components made by the same manufacturer -- such as weatherstripping, sills and sweep -- assures that you’re purchasing a strong, reliable entry door. For more home improvement tips, visit www.myfixituplife.com.

If you have limited time and resources to complete home improvement projects, stick to those upgrades that will have a lasting impact.

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Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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