How to Avoid Home Improvement Mishaps

Congratulations on planning your next home improvement project! There are so many things that will go right, but there are also many that can go wrong. Start now to learn how to avoid the most common home improvement mishaps.

Create a Plan and Budget

The idea of a newly remodeled home can be tantalizing, so much so that many homeowners skimp on the necessary prep work. However, laying a proper foundation for your home improvement projects will ensure your success. Spend a little extra time to create a plan and a budget for your project. Research the scope of the required work, the timeline, and how much it will cost. It’s a good idea to add 20 percent to your budget for miscellaneous costs, since most projects end up taking longer and costing more than you initially expect. Starting your home improvement projects with a solid plan and budget will save you time and money, ultimately allowing you to bring your dreams to fruition.


Hire a Reliable Professional

Depending on your project, you may be able to complete some of the work yourself. However, make sure you know your limits and hire a reliable professional if you are not confident you can successfully complete the job to your satisfaction. Choose contractors with good qualifications and extensive professional experience. Forty percent of customers use HomeAdvisor to find home professionals. Before you hire a contractor for your project, it’s a good idea to interview several different contractors and have them give you a quote. This will help you find the contractor who can do the best job for the best price.


Prioritize Safety

If you do end up choosing to complete your home improvement project on your own, make sure you put safety as first priority. Taking a shortcut to save yourself five minutes can land you in the hospital having to pay thousands of dollars. You can avoid most disasters by making sure you wear protective clothing, read the instructions, educate yourself about your homeowners’ insurance, and keep a first aid kit nearby. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re not alone as you’re working, especially if you’re working at heights higher than your shoulders.


Going over budget, ending up with a poor-quality project, and getting injured are three of the most common home improvement mishaps. You can avoid these by creating a plan, sticking to a budget, hiring a reliable contractor, and prioritizing safety. As you follow these suggestions, you will be safer, happier, and more successful.  

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How Repairs to Your Home Can Cut Your Utility Bills

Do you feel like your utility bills are out of control? Costing you more than is reasonable? There are several repairs you can do around your home in order to reduce your utility bills.

Roof Repairs

Roof repairs can save you money on utilities. If your roof is not in tip-top shape, you could be losing energy, including your heated and cooled air, through your roof.

Make regular checks to make sure your roof does not show signs of leaks, holes, mold, or other damage. You may notice drafts, uneven temperatures in your house, dry air, extra dust in rooms below your attic, or a high utility bill—these are possible indicators of a damaged or otherwise less-than-optimal roof. You can repair your roof yourself or call in professionals to do it for you. There is also the option of replacing your roof completely.

Fixing Leaky Pipes

Fixing leaky pipes can reduce water waste. According to WaterSmart, even small leaks can translate to increases in your utility bills, so it is important to isolate pipe problems and get them resolved ASAP. An average household leak can, if left unaddressed, waste more than 10,000 gallons of water in a year. For leaky pipes, call your utility company or other professionals. Taking care of such leaks can save you approximately 10 percent on your water bills every year.

Sprinkler Repair

Dysfunctional sprinklers can cause water waste, resulting in increasing your utility bills and wasting your money. However, it is possible to have a beautiful, green lawn while still conserving water and saving money.

If you have one, make sure your rain sensor is working. If you use a timer for your sprinkler, optimize it. It is also possible that leaks or ill-fitting sprinkler heads are allowing water to escape onto the street or other hard, non-grass surfaces where the water is simply wasted. According to The Sprinkler Guy, fixing your sprinkler head can help direct water to your lawn where it belongs. A proper-fitting sprinkler head will save you water, and money, by directing the water more efficiently.

Replace Lightbulbs

Updating your lightbulbs can increase your energy efficiency. Old bulbs may be wasting energy, and switching from incandescent bulbs to a more energy-efficient option can reduce your utilities bills even further. According to YLighting, switching to LED lights can save you 75 dollars per year, and they last up to 25 times longer than traditional light fixtures. Unlike traditional light bulbs, LED lights can use as much as 25 percent less energy than your original light bulbs. Not only are they environmentally friendly and cost-efficient, but they also work just as well as other types of lightbulb.

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels can reduce your electric bills by as much as 50 percent. Using the sun to power your home is not only environmentally friendly, but it also will save you a lot of money. No one can charge you for using the sun’s energy, and you will only have to pay for electricity when the sun is clouded over or gone for the day.

Solar panels also require far less maintenance than traditional electricity from a utility company, and many come with warranties or service contracts guaranteeing free maintenance. Besides these cost reductions, you also will no longer have to deal with fluctuations in electric costs. Turning away from using fossil fuels means your power is no longer vulnerable to unsteady markets.

Improve Insulation

Adding more insulation to your home, especially in places like the attic, will result in lower fuel bills and greater comfort. Uninsulated ductwork, for example, can result in a loss of 40 percent of your heated or cooled air according to Richmond’s Air. Many homes are built with under-insulated attics, and a good insulation job can save you 30 percent on your heating and cooling bills.

Seal air leaks around doors, windows, and electrical outlets (perhaps using weatherstrips) before beginning to insulate. That way, you will reduce your home’s loss of air conditioning. You don’t want to be paying for something that’s just escaping through the cracks.

Completing some or all of these home repairs will help to drastically reduce your utility bills. Whether you choose to target your water, electricity, or other energy consumption, making a few simple changes and checks can make a big difference in how much money you are spending.

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Were honored to have a guest post from CBK coaching today!

Interacting with people is complicated. We never truly know what another person is thinking, how they will interpret our words, or which emotions they are experiencing. And, while there are several behavioral cues which can tell us a lot about how someone likes to communicate and interact, the bottom line is that the only person we can control is ourselves.

The good news is that self-control, or Self-Regulation as we like to refer to it in the Emotional Intelligence realm, is incredibly powerful. In fact, after years of mentoring, coaching, and consulting, I have seen first-hand the life-changing differences that can occur when someone engages their power of self-regulation. The results can be super-human!


Our society has become increasingly reactive, and unfortunately often explosive. Few people take the time to truly think through obstacles, and instead, they over-react to even minor problems. Road rage has become a common occurrence. Fights on little-league fields involve people of all ages. And, let’s not even talk politics!

What if I told you that you have the power to successfully address any conflict, problem, or argument? You don’t need any special training. You don’t need any tools. You don’t even need a special suit. You just need to take three steps and you can unleash your superpower and skillfully manage situations such as:

  • When you get angry
  • When someone else gets angry
  • When you disagree with someone
  • When someone disagrees with you
  • When your kids do something wrong
  • When your spouse does something wrong
  • When you do something wrong
  • When you start thinking negative thoughts about any situation, experience, or person
  • When you are hit with a problem and need a good solution


So, how do you become a superhero who overcomes the tallest problems in a single bound? Refrain. Reflect. Respond. These three steps are the best self-regulation techniques you can use, no matter what vulture, joker, or riddler is coming at you.


When someone or some thing upsets you, your first instinct may be to yell, kick, or throw something, but that will only make you look weak, and is likely to escalate the situation. Instead, put on your power cape and take control of the only thing you can – yourself. Remove yourself from the situation if necessary and take several deep breaths. Calm yourself down by focusing only on the sound of your slowing breathing. The most powerful hero isn’t the one who hits the hardest, it’s the one who uses his/her inner strength to benefit everyone involved.


Once your mind and heart have stopped racing, reflect on the situation and make a conscious decision to be a Super Hero who saves the day by searching for solutions instead of intensifying problems. If you are angry at your partner and can’t stop thinking about all the ways they have wronged you, make a list of all the things they have done right. Use your reflection time to find your inner empathy and try to see things from a different point of view. Turn on your x-ray vision and look beneath the surface of the situation to find commonalities instead of differences. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest to see, so take time to really look and think.


If you’ve truly calmed your mind and emotions and used your brain and heart to identify constructive solutions, you are ready to come out of the bat cave and calmly respond, using your extraordinary powers to create a harmonious outcome. Gentle and composed, your response will set the tone for everyone else and inspire them to use their superhero powers, too.


Self-regulation is a dynamic power that can create a more fulfilling life at work and home while making the whole world a little nicer. You don’t need to put on a costume or have a secret identity to be a Superhero, you just need to unleash your power of EQ by practicing the 3 R’s of Self-Regulation. Although, having a special bracelet, hammer or ring would be cool!