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estate cleanout

Top Things to Consider when Planning an Estate Cleanout

estate cleanout

If you are planning an estate cleanout, chances are you are already under a degree of stress. We often need to clear an estate when a family member or close friend has passed away and their home needs to be emptied of their possessions. Here are some of the things to consider before you start the process to make the whole ordeal easier, quicker and less stressful for you.

Do you Have Someone to Help You?

This is not something you can or should do alone. Depending on the size of the estate, this can be an enormous undertaking and might be physically and emotionally exhausting for you. Get family and friends to help in small shifts if possible to sort through all of the belongings. For the physical labor, you should do some research into hiring a company to expedite the process after you have decided what needs to be thrown away and what should be kept for various purposes.

Where Are the Key Financial Documents?

Before you start throwing things away, locate and secure things like wills, trusts, insurance statements, deeds, titles, bank statements, certificates, tax information, and receipts. Many elderly people do not keep these papers neatly organized all in one place. Over time they may have gotten mixed in with papers and documents that are more or less just trash. Before starting to throw things away, make sure you have located the most important documents.

Can you Sell or Donate Any of the Belongings?

Not everything in the home should be treated as junk or trash. Many things should be donated or sold to make money for a funeral or other similar costs. If there is a mortgage to be paid off or rent still owed, it could help to have extra cash from things that could be sold. You can bring items to places like Goodwill or Salvation Army to be donated, as long as they are clean, unbroken, and still functional.

Did You Think About Hiring an Appraiser?

It may seem like just another step to draw out the process, but doing some research into hiring an appraiser can actually be worth the time. If there is a lot of furniture, jewelry and antiques, a professional can give you a fairly accurate estimate at an hourly rate. This will help if you do decide to sell any of the items in the house.

Did you Talk to the Family?

If the estate doesn’t belong to a direct family member, it’s best to talk to the family and get a list of items they want to keep before you start clearing out. Have them work out problems and disputes on their own and then present you with a list. If you need to, don’t be afraid to involve a mediator or legal help if cooperation becomes difficult. Even if the home did belong to one of your family members, it is possible that other relatives may want to keep things from the home that have sentimental value.

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How To Replace Your Own Shingles


roof replacement

As a homeowner, you know there is a wide array of tedious tasks that need to be done to maintain the aesthetics and safety of your home, from roof to basement. One of the most discussed tasks is replacing broken or missing shingles, either after a bad storm or maybe just after years of wear and tear. Many roofing companies offer this service, but you may find that they charge astronomical prices, are difficult to schedule with, and can be a loud nuisance as they work. A simple solution to this age-old problem – replace your shingles yourself! But how? You may think that roofing isn’t something just anyone can do. But replacing asphalt shingles on your own can actually be easy enough for you to do yourself, with the right guidance and equipment.

Steps to Replace Your Own Shingles

The first thing to remember with any DIY project is safety. Make sure to work slowly and carefully as a fall from your roof can result in serious injury! You may want to have someone help you by handing you tools and shingles so you don’t have to move around too much. Or have someone to spot you on the ground or someone to come check on you every now and again to make sure you haven’t tripped or injured yourself.


To start, you’ll need the following tools and equipment:

  • Roof shingles
  • Roofing paper
  • Roofing hammer
  • Roofing nails
  • Utility knife
  • 2×4 bracing
  • Ladder to get onto the roof
  • Sturdy shoes with traction soles to prevent slipping
  • You may also want to invest in a hard hat, just in case

Step 1: A Clean Slate

Start by getting rid of any old, worn, broken or chipped roof tiles that will be replaced. You can use the hammer claw and knife to pry them up. Also, make sure to remove the nails and felt rooting paper in the area where you will add new shingles. If you are replacing a large portion of your roof, you might want to consider a dumpster rental service to make cleanup a cinch. Most of these companies offer same day delivery and pickup, so you won’t have to worry about taking several trips to the dump.

Step 2: Lay the Groundwork

Start from the lowest section and work your way up when installing new singles. First, apply the new roofing paper with the nails to the surface to be reshingled. The paper should overlap each piece by 2 inches from above.

Step 3: Attach the Shingles

Now lay down and attach the shingles themselves. You should be using galvanized roofing nails through the center of each shingle.

Line up the bottom of each shingle with the top of the previous course so that each shingle is exposed by about 6 inches. The courses should be vertically aligned and alternating.

You can shingle a ridge or hip by cutting down your shingles into 3 pieces. Overlap them so they straddle the ridge and  nail them in on each side.

And there you have it! There is really nothing to reshingling a roof yourself. Just make sure you are safe and are using shingles that match the material and color of the old shingles. You can prevent wear and tear by using high quality materials, regularly remove debris like leaves and trash from your roof, check for corrosion regularly and keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear so there is no backup.…

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