Magazine article Working Mother

Curb Appeal

Magazine article Working Mother

Curb Appeal

Article excerpt

The grass is two inches too long. The gutters are packed with last autumn's leaves. The house paint is peeling. But the good news is that by budgeting for big maintenance projects now, you can save a bundle next year. "This is a great time of year to remake your home-maintenance philosophy," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angle's List, a Web-based home-service listing (www.angieslist.com).

Look for off-peak discounts. Home-maintenance experts say the best way to save on outdoor repairs and yard work is to schedule services in the off-season. "Everybody wants their house painted by barbecue season, but they don't think about that until the end of June," says Hicks. "If you plan for service in the off-season, you can take advantage of discounts and be first on the list next year."

When booking the work early, double-check that it will actually be done at an appropriate time, says Olli Hertto, president of Finnpro Inc., a painting and restoration company. "There are paints that are formulated for lowtemperature applications, but you risk getting an inferior job if the paint goes on too early or too late in the season," he warns. "We give an exterior painting discount for work contracted in early spring, but we don't actually do the work until it's dry and warm. …

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