Spring is a good time to paint fences and the exterior of your home, especially wood surfaces. This way, they will be protected from summer heat and sun. Wood decks should also be sealed once a year.
To keep tools rust-free, keep them clean and dry by wiping them off with a dry clean cloth before you put them away. To combat rust and corrosion that is caused by humidity, occasionally coat all metal surfaces with light oil. If you live in a humid climate or keep your tools in the basement, a dehumidifier will help.
When installing roof shingles, do not nail above the sealant strips or the mid-section of the shingle.
You can avoid splitting or marring wood, such as hardwood molding, by using what is called a nail spinner. With this low-cost device chucked into your power drill, you just insert the nail and then "drill" it into position. The nail will penetrate to within 1/4 in. or so of the surface, then you can drive it home with a hammer and a nailset.
Tape a sanding sheet around the head of a sponge mop. This will give you the reach you'll need to smooth out hard to reach walls and ceilings before you paint or during construction.
Once you have invested in quality power tools, follow through with premium blades, bits or accessories to take full advantage of high-quality engineering. For example, if you try to get by with a cheap saw blade instead of a premium blade, a saw will not perform up to its potential no matter what you paid it.
Files should always be protected from grease, water, or nicks that can make them less effective. When carrying files in a toolbox, it is a good idea to wrap them in a cloth. When storing, try to hang them in a rack or keep them in a drawer with wooden divisions. Keep file teeth clean by using a file card or a wire brush to clear the grooves.
To store project plans, reference materials and magazine clippings, keep at least one two-drawer file cabinet in your workshop. You may be able to tuck them under existing workbenches. Or, if you will be building new workbenches, design them to accommodate the file-drawer cabinets.
There isn't a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics. Generally, older homes may be in more established neighborhoods, offer more ambiance, and have lower property tax rates. People who buy older homes, however, shouldn't mind maintaining their home and making some repairs. Newer homes tend to use more modern architecture and systems, are usually easier to maintain, and may be more energy-efficient. People who buy new homes often don't want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs.
Unless you have a buyer's agent, remember that the agent works for the seller. Make a point of asking him or her to keep your discussions and information confidential. Listen to your real estate agent's advice, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer should involve several factors: what homes sell for in the area, the home's condition, how long it's been on the market, financing terms, and the seller's situation. By the time you're ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And, be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth until they can agree on a price.