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Ready to tackle home improvement projects now that you finally have some time? 5 tips

For some, quarantine time means ‘tool time!’

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So, has anyone in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic tried to turn into Bob Villa, or that fictional TV character, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor?

More time at home has turned into more of an opportunity to do various home improvement projects, although that sometimes can be dangerous.

Scott Frankel, co-president of Frankel Building Group in Texas, offered five tips for those who are currently attempting or about to start home renovation projects while quarantined.


Think maintenance.

“Our advice is to focus on maintenance over additions,” Frankel said. “People are trying to find something exciting and something interesting. When they do that, they are thinking about expanding the home. Right now, we think the idea should be to keep things super simple.”

Examples of tasks that Frankel said people should be focused on are cleaning gutters, changing light bulbs, cleaning fans, cleaning shower and bath fixtures, simple plumbing jobs or the installation of a camera system, which has become more affordable lately.

“That’s what people should be focusing on right now,” Frankel said. “Things that are low-cost. They aren’t things that are going to necessarily wow your neighbor, but they need to be done.”

Don’t bring in outside workers.

While tempting as it might be to bring in some outside help, whether it’s friends or professionals, you don’t want to take any chances with the virus spread still rampant.

“It’s not good for them and it’s not good for you,” Frankel said.

Be sure to perform fixes properly.

It’s hilarious to watch construction bloopers on TV shows such as “Home Improvement,” but it’s not so funny when a task isn’t done correctly at home -- and the outcome is a lot of physical or financial pain for homeowners.

Frankel said when doing tasks such as fixing a light or a ceiling fan, knowing how to stand on a ladder is vital.

“It’s really important that when people are doing this, they think about their positioning,” he said. “I’ve heard many, many stories of people’s posture being weird. It’s a real easy way to throw your back out or slip off of a ladder.”

Clean out items you don’t need anymore.

Whether it’s toys that your kids don’t need or outdated wall decorations that you are tired of, this is a great time to do some cleaning, especially if you are eyeing redesign projects for certain rooms.

“You’ve got your priorities ready to go with an expert,” Frankel said. “It’s great to already have that room sifted through.”

However, just make sure as many items as possible can be donated instead of thrown away, as garbage companies are becoming overloaded with trash they can’t handle during the pandemic, Frankel said.

Start planning for when the time comes to call a professional.

While it’s a bad time to have outside workers in the home, now is a great opportunity to prepare for when it is the proper time to call for professional help.

Not only can you start cleaning areas out, but you can put your thinking cap on and finalize ideas for designs or additions that you’ll be able to get to soon -- once the time is right, of course.

“When you go to a professional and you say that this is what you want to do, your ideas are organized,” Frankel said.


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