When it comes to improving your home and maintaining or increasing its value, many experts will tell you that it all starts with curb appeal. So in this article, I’ve provided a few smart tips for beautifying your yard or landscaping, and then finished with some tips for installing wood flooring, using renovation materials wisely, and eliminating microwave odor.

Create a low maintenance rock garden to add beauty to your landscape. If you’d rather not spend considerable time trying to weed, water, and maintain a flower garden, but you’d still like to have a nice-looking and welcoming yard, choose various hardscape features like rocks, a foot path, a bench, and a little fence. These require some effort to arrange, but afterward, you’re set for years.

Don’t forget about functional elements when landscaping. After all of your hard work with landscaping, the very last thing you want is for current functional elements to take away from the stunning results. So, replace items like an old rusted mailbox, or sand and paint your peeling window boxes to give the entire property a finished and polished appearance.

Compost your organic waste. If your town doesn’t already offer compost waste collection, add your own compost to your yard. You’ll not only dramatically reduce the quantity of garbage that you send to the garbage dump every week, but you’ll also save money on fertilizers for your garden. Moreover, your fertilizers will be organic.

Leave an expansion gap when installing wood flooring. Your start and end rows of your hardwood floor should have a small gap near the wall’s edge that is equivalent to the flooring’s thickness. Make a chalk line so that you won’t cross over into the expansion space as you’re installing the flooring. Cover the expansion gaps with quarter round molding so that they’re not visible. Nail the quarter rounds to the baseboard or wall, but not to the floor. The whole point is to allow the flooring a little room to move around, otherwise you risk it buckling when it reacts to humidity and temperature changes in the room.

Make use of your building and renovation materials only as you need them. If you’re building a room, decking, or other feature for your home, only use your materials as you need them so that you won’t waste money. For instance, rather than cutting all your lumber to the appropriate sizes all at once, cut only one at a time or in little batches. This way, if you have extras that have not been cut or otherwise altered, you’ll be able to take them back to the store and get your money back.

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