PARKERSBURG -Spring is a great time for people to tackle home improvement projects, big or small.
Whether it's a minor task such as cleaning gutters or a large-scale project like building a deck, home improvement projects create a fresh look and add resale value.
"This is the time homeowners start to think about doing maintenance jobs or possibly remodeling their homes," said John Farnsworth, executive officer of the Mid-Ohio Valley Home Builders Association. "Jobs range from do-it-yourself projects like adding a backsplash in your kitchen or painting your walls, all the way to the big stuff, like adding a room onto your house."
Some projects should be always be done before the summer season, such as removing winter gunk and leaves from gutters and getting central air conditioning systems inspected and cleaned. Cleaning the air conditioning unit can lead to lower cooling bills in the summer, and the task could even prolong the life of the unit. Homeowners can start by clearing away leaves and debris from the unit, making sure all indoor vents are not blocked by items, and checking the filters regularly.
"There's nothing like a good spring cleaning. A lot of people are getting out their powerwashers and cleaning off their decks and their vinyl siding, and making all those small repairs that they haven't gotten around to," said Farnsworth. "These might not be big changes that everyone will notice, but they are still important."
Spring is also the ideal time to clean up the yard, remove dead leaves and sticks from shrubbery and flowerbeds, and start prepping garden areas, he said.
Not all big projects require a professional. Putting a fresh coat of paint on the vinyl siding or interior walls can be done in a weekend. Painting adds a fresh splash of color while hiding imperfections.
"Painting the inside of your house in the winter is very difficult, because it's just too cold to open the windows and let the paint fumes flow out," said Farnsworth. "In the spring, you can open up all the windows, allowing the rooms to air out while you paint."
For a small job with a big impact, such as a new tile backsplash in the kitchen, homeowners can get everything they need from a local home improvement store.
Larger projects, such as a full bathroom remodel or room addition, require the help of a professional.
"There are a lot of great local businesses around here that can do just about any job," said Farnsworth. "And all that hard work you put into your home, it will pay off in the end. Those projects add value when it comes time to sell your house down the road."
More homeowners are opting for energy-efficient updates and green features, which are better for the environment and easier on the wallet, said Dan Harrison with Harrison Construction in Marietta.
"We are absolutely swamped right now, and with the mild winter we had, we've been busy all year," said Harrison. "What is happening very quickly is that manufacturers are starting to make these green products as standard materials. Many of these products are simply better quality and they are also healthier for the environment."
Sustainable choices for countertops are natural stone and concrete. Dual flush toilets, tankless water heaters and energy-efficient windows are also becoming more popular.
"Gradually these green products are becoming the norm in the industry," said Harrison.