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Homes | Planning out the new year, Part 1

Here's help for planning home projects

It's time to fill your calendar with goals for the year. Here's a look at projects you can do during the first half of the year. Look for the second half in Tuesday's BayLink. McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers


• Make a list of projects you plan to complete during the year. Include small but important chores so you won't overlook them, and big projects so you can budget ahead.

• Post important emergency information: location of main gas valve, for instance, or contact numbers for heating and cooling service.

• If you're planning a bath or kitchen remodeling project, visit the National Kitchen and Bath Association at


• Organize your garage or shed.

• Dispose of old paint, and properly. Add waste paint hardener, available at hardware stores, to partial cans of latex paint. Cat litter works, too.

• Clean lint from dryer ducts and vents.

• Early spring is a good time for interior painting. Visit, and www.sherwin


• Repair window and porch screens. Save old screening for patches.

• Build or repair fences and arbors so they'll be ready for new plants.

• Repair deck board; remove protruding nails and replace with coated or galvanized screws. Be sure to check and tighten bolts in deck supports.

• Clean and seal wood deck as necessary. Deck stains with at least some pigment last longer than clear sealers.

• Check your foundation. If large cracks develop, call an engineer.


• Wash black streaks from roof. Use prepared cleaner ( or mix your own: Combine one part chlorine bleach with three parts water and a handful of trisodium phosphate. Apply to small section of roof with garden sprayer, let soak 20 minutes, rinse with hose.

• Wash siding and gutters with similar solution.

• Scrape and touch up exterior paint, paying special attention to window sills, gable vents and garage doors.


• Complete larger exterior painting jobs. Follow the shade — don't paint in direct sun — and quit before dusk so the paint can dry before dew forms. For most exterior jobs, look for 100 percent acrylic, and buy at least the "better" quality.

• Clean gas grill and replace rusted or damaged parts.

• Check crawl space for moisture and remove debris. If you spot signs of termites, call a pro.


• Prepare an emergency kit for storm season. See

• Vacuum coils behind refrigerators and freezers to ensure proper operation.

• Check supply hoses to washing machines. If hoses are soft or cracked, replace them.

• Remove toe panel from the front of the dishwasher and check for leaks under the appliance.

• Test GFCI circuit breakers, especially those that supply power to freezers in garages.

Here's help for planning home projects 01/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 9:47am]
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