Exterior home improvements

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Updated: 4/13/2007 7:48 am
Improving your home's looks can be as simple as washing the walls or as complex as getting new siding. You'll save a lot of time and trouble if you rent a power washer to get the exterior clean. After rinsing, check the walls thoroughly for chipped paint or other problems and touch up where necessary. Use a nail set to drive any protruding nails back below the surface of the siding. If your exterior is brick, look for crumbled mortar. If you find some, use a chisel to clean it out to a depth of about an inch, then repack the area with fresh mortar. For cracks in stucco, widen the crack so it's wider inside than on the surface, then fill with patching cement. If it's time to repaint the whole house, make sure that all the old, chipped paint is sanded smooth. It this exposes the bare wood, use an undercoat on those areas. An alternative to painting is to have siding installed. You have a wide choice of siding materials, including wood, hardboard, fiberglass, aluminum, or vinyl. Vinyl siding is the most expensive, but also lasts the longest. You might consider having your new siding installed by an expert. Any rotted or decaying beams inside the wall have to be replaced. Putting up new siding over bad supports can cause serious problems that will likely affect your home's resale value.

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