E-Newsletter                                          March, 2013 

In This Issue
Remodeling Magazine Cost vs Value Report
Planting tomatoes (my way) from John Krause
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It's officially SPRING!
Now is the time we can actually start working on some of the home repair, maintenance, remodeling and landscaping projects we've been planning all winter. Here are some trends we are seeing:
  • more projects to increase comfort and energy efficiency -- especially with the new income tax credits available
  • flooring: more stained and polished concrete and engineered wood
  • kitchen and bathroom tiles: natural colors and/or glass mosaic tiles often in gem colors
  • cabinets: painted finishes mixed with natural wood
  • softer interior paint colors
  • eliminating "barriers" in the home to be safer. For example, eliminating sunken or step-down areas.
  • removing tubs and replacing with walk-in showers



Along with Spring comes the urge to purge -- clean house that is.  We recommend approaching it like a military campaign:  


  • map a route
  • make a list
  • break up projects over time -- give your self time and don't try to do the whole house in a day or two
  • divide projects among family members
  • hire a pro for projects like window cleaning
  • gather cleaning supplies in one location -- even in a bucket or basket to carry from room to room. 
  • implement plan 

Don't forget to enjoy Spring!

Remodeling Magazine 2013 Cost vs Value Report

Before starting your remodeling project, you may want to review this Cost vs Value Report to see what return you could expect if you were to sell your home.

For example, Vinyl or wood replacement windows in both Dallas and Houston will result in recouping 73.1% to 78.4% of the job cost.
A major kitchen remodel in either city will recoup 64.4% - 72.9%  of the initial job cost.

Click on the city name and you will be linked to either the Dallas area or Houston area data. The report also has data for other cities.
Planting Tomatoes (my way) from John Krause

First, I soak my transplants in a compost tea solution. Then, I place soft rock phospate in a very shallow hole in the soil. Allow about 24 inches between the holes to allow for good air flow around the plants. Now the tomatoe transplants are ready to be planted on top of the phosphate.


Water the soil between your tomato plants and not directly on them. This will help create healthier root systems as the roots grow to the water source. Also, let your plants tell you when they need water. They will. Most people tend to over-water. This will also help in preventing early blight.


Enjoy: Any way you like them! You know they will taste far superior to any purchased in a store.  

Alex's repurposed bird houses

It's really exciting to see a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nesting in my homemade birdhouses. Here is how you can make your own:


  • Plastic coffee containers
  • Stick from the yard or small dowel for the perch
  • Wire
  • Drill for 1 1/2 inch hole and also holes for the stick or dowels

To do:

  • Drill or cut 1 1/2 inch hole in the bottom for the entrance to the house
  • Drill holes on the side to wire the perch to
  • Wire the perch in place
  • Hang the new birdhouse and enjoy!








9 Projects to put Spring in your curb appeal

In a weekend:

1. Add blooming flowers in pots to your entrance or front porch.

2. In flower beds, add annuals and replace aging perennials.

3. Fertilize lawn and remove weeds -- add grass in bare spots. 

4. Make sure mower blades are sharp. 

5. Add decorative flower bed edging

6. Add solar lights to emphasize landscape and walks.

7. Replace front door hardware and entrance lighting or add a new front door.

Over time: 


1. Renew sidewalks and driveways.

2. Spruce up exterior paint.

Please join us!

We look forward to you joining our show, House Talk Today, every Saturday from 1-3 p.m. in the DFW area on 660 AM The Answer and in the Houston area on NEWS 92 FM or iheart radio or www.housetalktoday.com or ksky.com.
If you have a home building, maintenance, repair or remodeling questions, please give us a call during our show at 800-281-8255 and let us know how we can help you. If you can't call, then email us anytime.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with others. Also if you follow us on facebook, you will pick up more useful tips and information for use around the house.

Chris Miles                                                                                         Alex Guthrie
chris@housetalktoday.com                                                                  alex@housetalktoday.com