Vicki Millehan, Author at Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate | Vicki Millehan

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How to Protect Your Home from Wind Damage

Powerful winds can do a great deal of damage to your home if you’re not prepared. As we teeter between the final days of winter and the emergence of spring, we’re likely to see more wind storms in our forecasts. And since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, taking the time to windproof your home will save you time, money, and headaches in the future.

Secure Your Outdoor Furnishings: Having to replace seat cushions is a minor inconvenience but having your lawn furniture flying off your porch and into the side of your car is far worse. If we’re headed for windy weather, bring your lawn furniture inside. If you have a basketball goal that isn’t cemented into the ground, ask for help in laying it flat so that the wind doesn’t cause it to come crashing down.

Check Your Doors and Windows: If a windstorm is eminent, then consider covering your windows and storm doors to prevent the glass from breaking. Be mindful of French doors and sliding glass doors, as strong winds can hurl projectiles directly into them. Don’t forget about your garage door; high winds can rip a garage door completely off the structure.

Keep an Eye on Your Trees: If you have trees on your property, ask yourself what might happen if they fell toward your home. Are you in the clear, or would a tree crash into your living room? If you have trees too close to your home, consider having them removed.

Replace Damaged Siding and Roofing: Strong winds can pull siding panels off of your home, leaving you with damaged siding edges. Make sure you fasten any loose panels and replace damaged ones when necessary. Check your roof for missing shingles. Missing shingles leave your roof exposed to the elements, which could create an emergency repair issue. Contact a professional roofing company to replace missing shingles.

Source: 6 Tips to Protect Your Home from Wind Damage,

Are You Forgetting These Three Home Maintenance Tasks?

The hustle and bustle of everyday life can easily cause us to forget about small home maintenance tasks. With your home being one of your most sizeable investments, keeping up with your maintenance to-do lists could keep you from making costly, time-consuming repairs down the road. And while we all tend to remember items such as checking the batteries in our smoke detectors and cleaning our gutters, some of the smaller, more menial tasks can slip right by us.

Below is a list of common home maintenance tasks that are easily overlooked:

Clean Your Refrigerator Drip Pan: Chances are, you didn’t even know you had one. But you do, and it needs to be cleaned often. Why? Refrigerator drip pans are prone to mold growth, which is not the most appetizing thing to have near your food.

Flush Your Water Heater: Water heaters need to be flushed to remove dirt and sediment that can build up from within. Also, check the temperature of your water to make sure that it is below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature higher than that will result in scalding.

Reseal Your Grout: Grout is mostly made up of sand and cement, meaning that it absorbs water and bacteria. Resealing it annually will keep your grout looking its best for as long as possible.

Cleaning out drip pans and water heaters may not sound like an appealing afternoon task, but it’s far better than dealing with broken appliances and freezing 6am showers. Set up reminders in your phone or home calendar and give yourself a gold star for remembering these often-overlooked home improvements.

Source: 6 Home Maintenance Tasks You Didn’t Know You Were Forgetting, RIS

Which Home Improvement Projects Offer The Highest ROI?

You’ve got your mind set on renovating your home in hopes of increasing your profits post-sale, and a freshly renovated kitchen and bathroom tops your list. But what happens if your offers start coming in lower than you had assumed they would, and all of that money you poured into home improvement didn’t seem to make a difference at all?

A strong housing market affects the return on investment (ROI) of home improvement projects. Buyers and real estate investors alike may scrutinize the amount of money spent on a renovation and question if the increased asking price is justified. If your newly renovated kitchen and bathroom upped the price considerably, then you risk losing potential buyers who aren’t interested in purchasing a home within that price range.

Project ROI

According to Remodel Magazine, here are the top projects that have the highest and lowest ROI for mid-range homes:

Highest ROI

  • Manufactured Stone Veneer (97.1% ROI)
  • Steel Entry Door Replacement (91.3% ROI)
  • Deck Addition-Wood (82.8% ROI)
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel (81.1% ROI)
  • Siding Replacement (76.7% ROI)

Lowest ROI

  • Backyard Patio (47.7% ROI)
  • Master Suite Addition (56.6% ROI)
  • Major Kitchen Remodel (59% ROI)
  • Bathroom Addition (59.9% ROI)
  • Deck Addition-Composite (63.6% ROI)

If you want to increase your home’s resale value with worthwhile ROI home improvement projects, connect with an experienced realtor who knows the market and specializes in your style of home. A real estate agent will give you realistic idea of what your home will bring in that specific area, and help you determine which projects will yield the best ROI results.


Source:, “Cost vs. Value: The Home Improvement Projects with the Highest ROI in 2018.”