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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Poll: Most Americans prefer home improvements they can do on their own

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While many consumers and homeowners may appreciate leaving a maintenance or building task in the capable hands of a professional, the overwhelming majority of Americans say that given the choice, they'd rather take on these projects themselves instead of hiring outside help.

According to the poll, which was conducted by survey research firm GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, approximately seven in every 10 homeowners say they trend toward do-it-yourself home improvement projects as opposed to recruiting a business that specializes in renovation or home design.

Ross Kenneth Urken, personal finance editor for news website TheStreet, which commissioned the poll, pointed out that the internet has made DIY projects more of an option for consumers. It's done this by providing them with the tools and information they need to get the job done right, which at the same time has helped them keep their costs affordable.

And homeowners can spend a substantial amount of money on these projects at any given time. The survey reveals that more than one-third of respondents spend between $1,000 and $5,000 each year. In 12 percent of cases, consumers devote more than $5,000 toward home improvements each year.

DIY inspection tasks to consider
In a similar vein, while enlisting the services of a professional home inspection company is always a smart investment to make, homeowners can take on the role of home inspector as well in order to get an idea of the overall upkeep of their home and what they should be on the lookout for. Recently, Popular Mechanics produces a detailed guide that charts out what maintenance issues can be done on one's own and how to spot them.

For example, the roof is one of the main areas of the house that can easily fall into disrepair. And while some are so significant that they require a full-scale replacement, there are those issues that DIYers can handle. A good sign shingles need to be replaced is if there are a few that are curling or blistering, perhaps as a result of their age or adverse weather conditions. This can be corrected by installing zinc strips along the ridge of the home, which can also ward off the formation of algae, fungus and mold that crops up during certain times of the year.

Replace caulking if cracks are spotted
Something that homeowners go into and out of each day is the door to the residence. Despite the frequency with which they use it, they likely fail to notice what surrounds the door, specifically the caulk that seals water and air from leaking inside. Over time, though, this caulking can become cracked, increasing the likelihood that the elements will find their way in. Tim Hockenberry, a Washington, D.C.-based home inspector, said that this issue can be solved by replacing the caulking as soon as cracking is spotted.

Take a look at the insulation in the attic
Another part of the home that may require a more thorough home inspection is the attic. It's in this portion of the house that insulation is out in the open, as it lines the underbelly of the roof. Occasionally, however, the felt material that insulation is made up of - more frequently referred to as batts - it can get in the way of recessed lighting fixtures if they've been installed. To ensure proper airflow and diminish the risk of a fire hazard, Popular Mechanics recommends pulling batts away from the fixtures and vents.