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7 Do-It-Yourself Home Improvements

Stop and take a look around your house. Are you delighted with everything in it? This is where you spend a good portion of your day and where you and your family build happy memories. There's no reason why it should be anything less than your dream home.

It can be expensive to hire a professional to redo some part of your home, and choosing a contractor can be a stressful process. Instead of shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a contractor, why not consider these great home improvement ideas you can do yourself!

1. The deck of your dreams.

With cooler fall weather on the way, you might be thinking about turning your boring outside space into an outdoor living room. Whether you're after a raised wood deck to give your guests someplace to sit or a classy brick patio for lounging by the grill, a usable outside space can make a big difference in how you enjoy your home. A charming, visual addition to the outside of your home is a great way to add value too!

While this is a big project, the rewards are big too. Start by drawing up some plans—remember, you're basically building a series of wood boxes that are bolted together. Draw up a shopping list of things you need and head over to NCCU to finance your new project. Then, head to your local home improvement store for lumber, bolts, and a few new power tools.

2. Paint a room… or the whole house!

If you're not feeling up to building much, you can make the inside of your house feel new again with a fresh coat of paint. Choose colors that complement your furniture and flooring, but choose slightly different shades for different parts of the house. For example, maybe you want to paint your kitchen and dining room in mellow earth shades to give them a sense of coziness, but you want to paint your bedroom a calming blue to help you sleep.

This can be a great project to get the kids involved in, too. Wall paint, sponges, and scissors allow children to paint fun and imaginative shapes on their bedroom walls. A sense of ownership over the design might encourage them to keep their rooms a little cleaner as well. You can get creative in main spaces, too! Try painting an accent wall to change the lighting effects in your living room! Aside from paint, brushes, and rollers, make sure you get covers for furniture and floors and painter's tape.

3. Fix up an entryway.

Your front door is the first thing people see when they come to your home. You want to make sure it says great things about you and your family. A little bit of time and effort can make this part of your house feel more welcoming while also saving you time and effort.

You can make relatively minor changes here. Metal house numbers, trim paint and a few planters can make your front stoop look much nicer. You can also make some serious changes. A new door can really liven up the front of your house. New weather stripping can make your front door more energy efficient to save on winter heating costs. Nice light fixtures can take a little time to install, but they can make your house both charming and safer. Sketch out some ideas, then head to your home improvement store to figure out what you need to make your front door the talk of the neighborhood.

4. Add a splash of class with a tasteful backsplash.

The section of wall above the bathroom and kitchen sinks can see a lot of water damage. Left uncovered, this can lead to mildew and even mold in hard-to-reach places. A backsplash is an attractive option for preventing that kind of damage.

While these are typically done in tile, there's nothing stopping you from looking at wood bead board, ceiling tile, or wallpaper. You could even turn them into a functional addition to your organization system with chalkboard, whiteboard, or magnetic surfaces! Write up a recipe or meal plan to help keep your prep work organized in the kitchen or write a fun morning greeting to your kids in the bathroom! There's no limit to what a backsplash can do for your home. Head down to your local home improvement store to see what kind of material you want to use, and don't forget to pick up adhesive to stick it all together!

5. Create a new outlook with new windows.

Installing new windows can seem like a daunting task, but they'll pay for themselves. Energy efficient windows with new molding and stripping can significantly reduce your energy bills. Plus, having new windows and screens will make your home look well-cared-for when it comes time to sell.

Do some research on energy efficient two- and three-ply windows. Figure out which will fit your budget and hold long-term value, but remember, you generally get what you pay for. Cheap windows won't conserve much energy.

6. Refresh a tired kitchen or bathroom with new fixtures.

Your faucets and knobs see a lot of abuse. They get touched by grimy hands, splashed by soapy water, and built up calcium and rust even if you're careful about washing them. Because they're usually metal, they tend to draw a lot of attention. Dull, streaky fixtures can suck all the energy out of a kitchen or bathroom.

Replacing them, though, is pretty easy. In the bathroom, you can get sleek, modern fixtures that will save you sink space for storage. In the kitchen, consider getting a detachable head with a vegetable sprayer to make cleanups easier. Whatever you do here, you'll end up with a nicer looking kitchen or bathroom.

7. Bring your stuff together with built-in storage.

If your house looks like most others, it's chock-full of memorabilia and keepsakes. Tossed about the room, this can look cluttered and dingy, not to mention it makes it hard to clean and dust. Adding more furniture, though, can make a space feel cramped and tiny.

Instead, think about adding more built-in storage. Whether you just want to hang a shelf over an entryway, put some coat hooks by the door, or build a bookshelf into a living room wall, built-in storage is a great way to display your treasured memories without shrinking a room with too much stuff. Many built-ins require lumber, mounting tools, and a few other gadgets that DIY experts should have no trouble identifying.

When it comes to improving your home, NCCU is ready to partner with you every step of the way. You may have heard about home equity loans and lines of credit, but you may have thought you can't use them for small remodeling projects. However, it's actually one of the most common uses for these types of financing.

Let's talk. You supply the ideas, Northern Colorado Credit Union can supply the home equity loan or line of credit to make your dreams a reality. Contact us or fill out our application and start enjoying the equity in your home today.

Does It Pay to Refinance Your Mortgage?

Mortgage interest rates are still extremely low and it may be the perfect time to refinance. You may have even refinanced several years ago and are now considering a mortgage refinance again because rates have fallen so low and you're afraid they're going to rise. You should consider the following:

1. Amortization.

In the early years of your mortgage, you pay more interest than principal. Run the numbers and calculate how the principal will decrease in the early years of a new loan.

2. Closing costs.

Based on what you'll save with the new, lower mortgage, figure out how long will it take you to recoup the closing costs?

3. Points.

If you paid points for a lower rate on your current mortgage, that money is lost when you refinance.

4. How much longer you are planning to stay in the house.

It's not worth the cost of refinancing if you'll be selling before you can make that money back in savings.

5. Equity.

Would you like to pay off your house faster? You may consider going to a shorter term: 5, 10, or 15 years. Many times the interest rates are even better.

All in all, the decision to refinance should be based on more factors than just the interest rate or monthly payment. Call us at 970.330.3900 to schedule a free consultation.

Membership Benefits

We're a community credit union available to everyone in Weld County. YOU CAN JOIN!

Come experience the credit union difference!

  • Local decisions, local options and a community-minded focus
  • More than 53,000 Free ATMs
  • Shared branching at over 5,300 credit unions across the country
  • Mortgages and refinancing options
  • Better loan rates—especially auto loans and credit cards
  • Competitive deposit rates
  • Auto buying services
  • Financial planning service through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member NASD/SIPC
  • Free notary service
  • Money orders
  • Cashier's checks
  • Wire transfers between financial institutions and Western Union wire service
  • Credit protection insurance (life and disability)

Sprint Credit Union Member Discount

How would you like valuable savings on monthly wireless bills, plus waived activation and upgrade fees?

You get all that and more thanks to Northern Colorado Credit Union and Sprint's Credit Union Member Discount program.

There are two ways to save with Sprint:

Individuals

  • Get 10% off of select regularly priced Sprint monthly service
  • Have your activation fee waived (up to $36 in savings)
  • Have your upgrade fee waived (up to $36 in savings)
  • Use Corporate ID: NACUC_ZZM to claim your discount

Businesses

  • Get 15% off of select regularly priced Sprint monthly service
  • Have your activation fee waived (up to $36 in savings)
  • Have your upgrade fee waived (up to $36 in savings)
  • Use Corporate ID: NACUC_ZDS_ZZM to claim your discount

Credit Union Member Verification

Verification is easy and only takes a few minutes to complete. There are four ways to verify credit union membership:

  1. Use the Free Invest in America apps for iPhone or Android (you will be prompted to black out all confidential information within the app)
  2. Visit www.Sprint.com/verify from a mobile device. Black out all confidential information on your documentation prior to faxing.
  3. Sign up for Sprint's AutoPay using your credit union's checking account or credit union debit/credit card: http://www.sprint.com/.
  4. For members paying their Sprint monthly bill through Sprint's AutoPay option using their credit union checking account or debit/credit card, verification is as easy as it gets.
  • Members sign up for Sprint's AutoPay online using their credit union account (checking, credit card or debit card).
  • Sprint pulls the R&T and credit/debit card BIN numbers monthly and verifies credit union membership for all accounts being paid through Sprint's AutoPay.
  • These members are validated monthly each time the report is pulled. Members verified this way don't need to go through any other verification process.

Start saving with Sprint today!

Is a HELOC Right for You?

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) can be a valuable tool for responsible borrowers. A HELOC basically works like a credit card, but interest rates are usually much better than for other loans. Plus the interest on a Home Equity Line of Credit may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor to be sure). Would you like to remodel your home or do you have home expenses you need to cover? Do you need to consolidate debt from higher interest loans like high-rate credit cards? Or would you like to finance a vacation over a period of time? If you answered "yes" to any of these, your home's equity can be extremely useful. We look at your individual situation, examine various factors like your income, credit history, expenses, and other debts to see what rate and payment makes sense for your situation. Then we set up a HELOC that's right for you.

What are the main benefits of a HELOC with NCCU?

  • NO annual fee (some other institutions charge an annual fee)
  • NO fees for future advances over $499
  • You can transfer funds directly into your NCCU checking ccount
  • Much lower interest rates than many other loans, especially credit cards.
  • Interest payments may be tax deductible.
  • Advance transfers can be done through Home Banking 24/7
  • Consolidating other high interest loans to a HELOC gives you one easy monthly payment at a great interest rate.
  • Terms for repayment that make sense and help you pay off your loan in five (5) years.

As with any home loan, you want to make sure that you have a steady, reliable source of income and know that you will be able to repay the loan. A HELOC's low interest rate and tax deductible interest paid makes it a sensible alternative.

Like to learn more? Visit: Home-Equity Loans: What You Need To Know

Consolidate your loans and see how much you can save!

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