3 DIY Fixes for Plumbing Problems


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Some common plumbing problems can be easily fixed with just a few dollars and a little bit of elbow grease.  Here are three common problems that you can fix on your own:

1.  Stop Sprayer Woes.  If your sink sprayer always seems to be caught, it’s probably getting caught on the shut-off valves below.  Covering the pipes and shut-off valves with ½ inch foam pipe insulation will take care of the problem for just a couple of dollars.  If it won’t stay on, just add a bit of tape to keep it in place.

2.  Get The Creak Out.  Copper piping can creek a lot when it expands and grinds against joists and other things above it.  If this is your problem, just purchase some adhesive-backed felt at the hardware store, cut it into strips, remove each hanger and wrap the pipe in the felt before refastening it to the hanger, which will silence the creaking.

3.  Fix Your Toilet.  If something hard like a toy, toothbrush, or other foreign object is dropped in your toilet, using a plunger may only lodge it further down.  Using a wet/dry vac instead to suck out the water and the object is a much better option.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Home Projects You Can Handle Yourself


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If you’re looking for a do-it-yourself project that will be usefull in the long run, consider one of these tried and true projects that are relatively easy and inexpensive:

Motion Detector Lights.  Motion Detector Lights are not just for outdoor use, you can install them indoors as well to make your life easier.  For example, install one in your laundry room so that the light goes on and off automatically when you enter and exit.  Many of these light fixtures are easy to install and can be found at your local hardware store.

Rollout Cabinets.  Nothing is more convenient than rollouts in your cabinets, especially if they are deep and hard to access every inch.  You can convert cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom, garage, or really anywhere that you have a cabinet that could be more convenient.

Garage Shelving.  If you need more storage in your garage, don’t disregard the space near the ceiling.  Installing a high shelf all the way around the perimeter gives you a lot of added storage.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Weekend Projects To Change The Feel Of Your Home


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Looking for a quick pick-me-up for your home?  Try these projects, which shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete!

1.  Add Molding:  Any room can be improved with the finishing touch of crown molding, and you can match the style of molding not only with your own personal taste but also with the architectural style of your home – it’s win, win!

2.  Change Up Your Interior Doors: Your interior doors are often overlooked as necessary, but they don’t necessarily have to be boring to be useful.  Considering replacing interior doors with more unique or stylish counterparts.

3.  Put Your Lights on Dimmers:  Adding dimmer switches to your light fixtures is one of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to add ambiance to any room.

4.  Install a Ceiling Fan:  Installing a ceiling fan is a relatively inexpensive way to cut down on your cooling costs and shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.

5.  Style Your Staircase:  By adding some distinctive rails, architectural embellishments, or even a coat of paint you can give your staircase a whole new look.  The best part of this project is that you can get as creative as you’d like!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Garage Organization Tips

Tired of barely having enough room in your garage for your car? Check out some of these tips for organizing. With a little organization, you might find yourself hanging out in your garage, “just for fun!”


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Tired of barely having enough room in your garage for your car?  Check out some of these tips for organizing.  With a little organization, you might find yourself hanging out in your garage, “just for fun!”

Two Words:  Adjustable Shelving
Hang several layers of shelving around the perimeter of your garage and stow away off season equipment, boots, buckets, etc.  By getting as possible off the ground and onto shelves, you eliminate clutter and gain a more organized space.

Peg Boards
Hang a few pegboards and use a variety of hooks instead of just one type and you’ll open up all kinds of storage opportunities!  Pegboards are great for hanging most tools and a whole lot more.

Garbage Cans
If you store large quantities of dog food, salt, sand, birdseed or other items that come in heavy bags, dump them in a garbage can (or put the whole bag inside), put the lid on, and label it.  Your storage will look much neater than if you have open, half-used bags lying around.  Throw a scoop inside and everything you need will be at your fingertips when you need it!

Canisters
Small kitchen-type canisters are useful for storing nuts, bolts, screws, nails, and more.  You can even get magnetic canisters and secure a magnetic strip to the wall for out of the way storage.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Let us help!  Give Cooper Realty Associates a call today – 302-629-6693.

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5 Things to Consider Before Refinishing a Basement

Do you have an unfinished basement that you are considering refinishing? A finished basement can give you a lot of extra living space and also add a lot of value to your home, but finishing a basement is a lot of work! Here are five things you should consider before you make any plans…


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Do you have an unfinished basement that you are considering refinishing?  A finished basement can give you a lot of extra living space and also add a lot of value to your home, but finishing a basement is a lot of work!  Here are five things you should consider before you make any plans…

1.  Know the Safety Standards and Zoning Codes

Make sure all access points meet safety standards – do the stairs from the inside of the house meet building codes?  Are there any exterior entrances or does there need to be?  Is the ceiling high enough?  Will any structural support be altered?  Is there enough airflow?  Have you gotten any permits that you need for the work you’re planning to do?  And if you’re planning to refinish your basement as a rental unit, you will need to check with your local municipality to be sure that rentals are allowed in your neighborhood.

2.  Make Sure It’s Dry

Lots of basements flood.  If you want to finish your basement, you need to make sure the exterior of your house has good drainage.  If you have an older house, this is especially important.  If you’ve recently purchased your house, consider living in it for a year before making any plans to finish the basement.  See what it’s like in all seasons, so that you know what kind of moisture issues you are dealing with.  If your basement has moisture issues, take care of them before you do any finishing work.  Whether you need to install a drain, re-landscape for better drainage, reroute your gutters, install a sump pump, or waterproof the exterior of your house, not taking care of the issue before you finish your basement is like throwing time and money down the drain.

3.  Decide What It Will Be Used For

Finishing a basement just to have it finished is a bad idea.  Decide beforehand how the space is going to be used.  Will it be a family room?  An office?  Converted into bedrooms?  A media room?  A game room?  Your plans for the room will factor into your design and ultimately the amount of time and money it takes to do the work.  For example, a game room might just need some walls, flooring, and paint.  But more extensive projects will require you to think about electrical wiring, plumbing, and ventilation well in advance of starting the project.

4.  Decide How You’ll Weather-proof

There is no sense in refinishing an area that is too cold to use in the winter and too hot to use in the summer.  There are many different methods of insulating, and you should research them to decide what type will work best for your house.  In addition to insulation you want to make sure you have the proper heating and/or air conditioning installed in the space as well.  This might mean rerouting or adding duct work to your home, installing small wall units, or even upgrading your home’s existing system if it is not equipped to handle heating or cooling the extra space.  Again, you will want to do all of this research before you start any work so that you don’t end up with any big, unexpected costs, or worse, a lovely finished basement that can only be used for a few weeks out of the year due to climate control issues.

5.  Decide on the Finishing Touches

There are so many options for finishing the ceilings, walls, and floors of your newly improved space that you will want to do some research ahead of time.  A lot of these choices will depend on what you plan on using the space for (see #3), and I’m not suggesting you have every last detail down to your paint colors chosen before you start any work.  It is in your best interest, however, to do some research and narrow down your decisions ahead of time.  Putting this thought in before any work begins will prevent your costs from skyrocketing at the very end of the project.

Basements are versatile rooms that add useful living space to any home, but refinishing them poorly is not only a waste of money, but can also detract from the value of your home.  Spending time planning, researching, and fixing any existing issues before you begin work will save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run!

Are you looking for a new home?  (Perhaps one with a basement that is already finished?)  We’d love to help you find your dream home.  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates – 302-644-2266 and put us to work for you!

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