Winter is coming. We get lots of emergency water extractions in early winter, when people have failed to take precautions prior to the first freeze of the season. There are numerous steps that homeowners can take to avoid burst pipes and other maintenance and safety issues during the winter. Here are some of the ways you can prepare for winter:
Yahoo Homes recently came out with an article that listed the Top 10 most popular home remodeling projects that aren’t worth your money. Apparently, even though the economy is in revival mode (didn’t you get the memo?), these 10 projects won’t give you the return on your investment when you sell your home.
The trouble is, maybe you’re not going to be selling your home, maybe you plan on sticking around for a few years. Maybe (gasp!) you even plan on raising all of your kids in your home until you send the youngest off to college (and your oldest is only 6 now). But we digress. Let’s get to the list, and see what other options there are for your hard earned dollar.
Graduations, Mother’s Day, 4th of July… Summer gives us so many reasons to celebrate! It also gives us a dozen reasons to get our homes in top shape. Here are 12 home maintenance tips to help you get your home into shape for those carefree days of summer.
School will be out for the year soon... And that usually means a summer getaway or two. So whether you’re planning for quick weekend retreat or a weeklong stay at the beach, we’ve compiled a 16-point check list to help you get your house in order before heading out the door for that much-needed break.
1. While you’re washing clothes to pack for your trip, go ahead and do all the laundry and put away any clean clothes you’re not taking with you. You’ll be glad you did when you get back home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes!
2. LaJolla Mom recommends adding 1/2 cup of chlorine to the toilet bowl to prevent the ring that sometimes occurs from standing water. Love this tip! We’ve also heard that baking soda works, too!
3. Make arrangements for pets and plants to be cared for by a family member or trusted friend/neighbor.
4. Run the dishwasher – coming home to a sink filled with dirty dishes is no fun.
5. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counter tops - crumbs left behind are an invitation for ants and flies to take up residence while you’re away.
6. Take out trash and place clean liners in all trash cans – you don’t want to come home to a house that smells of old trash!
7. Clean out the fridge – use up or throw out anything that might go bad while you’re away.
8. Do a quick sweep and vacuum if you have time.
9. Set the thermostat to a temp that is less comfortable but still protects your pets and plants.
10. Here's a great tip from The Retreat In Laguna: Unplug any electronics and garage door openers. This will cut down on any possible shortages, which can cause disastrous fires and prevent thieves from easy access through the garage door.
11. Put fresh sheets on all the beds so that you can climb into a clean, cozy bed after traveling.
12. Include a trash bag in each traveler’s suitcase for dirty clothes. This way, when you get back home, trash bags filled with dirty clothes can be dumped in the laundry room, and clean clothes can be put away.
13. Brightnest recommends turning off your hot water heater. An empty house doesn’t need hot water, and your water heater will cost you money while you’re gone.
14. Stop your mail and newspaper delivery service or ask a trusted neighbor to pick these up for you.
15. Turn off the automatic icemaker. We’ve heard several stories from clients about an icemaker that leaked while homeowners were out of town, causing major damage to flooring and subfloors.
16. And last but not least, from the Life as Mom blog: Double check that all your bills due while away have been paid or are scheduled to be paid. An absolute must – thanks for the reminder!
That’s it – set the alarm and you’re on your way! Have a wonderful, relaxing vacation –they’ll be plenty to do once you get home. Has it been more than six months since you’ve had your carpets professionally cleaned? Why not give yourself a break and let the pros handle the tough jobs for you? Schedule a professional carpet cleaning today!
You’ve found the perfect home, all the paperwork is signed, the movers are scheduled and the last box has been taped up and marked. If you’ve purchased a previously owned home, there are some things you’ll want to do before you begin unpacking. Follow this checklist of seven expert tips we’ve curated to help you turn that house into your new home.
1. Change the locks on all exterior doors. As soon as the closing is over and you've been handed the keys to your new home, either buy and install new lock sets or have a locksmith switch them out. Remember that in addition to the previous owners, Realtors, maintenance personnel, inspection companies and various other companies and service providers are all likely to have keys to your house. Installing new locks will provide some peace of mind and ensure that this is house is truly your home.
2. The folks at Houzz suggest that new homeowners Install new switch plates. Many older houses, especially those that have undergone renovations, will have mismatched outlets, dirty or discolored cover plates, and rusted or damaged air vent covers.
3. Have the heating and cooling systems cleaned and serviced, and purchase a service contract so if the system stops working in the depths of winter, you won’t have to overpay to get a technician to come to your home. This is also a good time to have your air ducts cleaned.
4. Lifehacker recommends you have the carpets professionally cleaned. We couldn’t agree more! Now is the perfect time; without any furniture to move the process is much faster and you’ll be able to move your own pieces into a space that you know has been deep cleaned by professional technicians. Spectrum is licensed, insured, IICRC-certified and CRI-approved. Give us a call at 636.680.5555 to find out about our reasonable rates and professional guarantee!
5. This is also a perfect time to hire a cleaning service to clean out all the kitchen cabinets, wipe down closet shelving and give a good scrub to all the bathrooms.
6. If your are moving into an apartment or home where you’re taking over appliances from a previous owner, Apartment Therapy recommends that you clean out and disinfect the fridge.
7. Apartment therapy also recommends that you replace the toilets seats in all the bathrooms. A great tip!
Anything you’d add to our list? We’d love to hear from you! And if we can help you get your new home move-in ready, please give us a call or fill out our contact form – we look forward to serving you!
Valentine's Day has come and gone. But there's no reason you can't continue to show yourself a little love. And the best way to do that is by making your life just a little bit easier. These 12 life hacks might not make you instantly skinny or rich, but they might save you a little time or make life just a little less messy, and who couldn’t use that, right?
Trends in home design come and go, but if there’s one thing on which designers, realtors and homeowners almost always agree, it’s that hardwood floors never go out of style. But while they’re beautiful, and hold their value, they also require a little know how to keep them gorgeous.
In cold weather pipes can freeze for multiple reasons: quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, or having the thermostat set too low. Plastic and copper pipes can burst when they freeze, and recovering from this is not as simple as calling a plumber. A crack in a pipe can cause flooding, structural damage and the potential for mold. Read on for tips on how to prevent pipes from freezing even in the coldest months of the year. And, what to do if your pipes do freeze...
The holidays can be a little crazy. Whether you’ll be attending all those dinner parties, or throwing a few yourself, there’s a lot of planning involved. And that means cleaning, cooking, inviting, and organizing – whew! So, we’ve combed through the internet to find the best and brightest tips for prepping for this madcap holiday season. And then, we asked you, our cherished followers, friends and customers to share your best tips… And boy, did you deliver! We were going to give you ten. Then it became a dozen, then a baker’s dozen. But you guys gave us some great advice! So without further ado… here are our top 16 tips for keeping your cool and enjoying all the best this season has to offer!
Turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, all those casseroles and pies... and don't forget those festive holiday drinks! If you're the host of this annual get together, only you know about the rainbow of stains left behind on your gorgeous tablecloths and freshly cleaned carpets. According to new research from the IICRC*, two in three households have had their floors or upholstery stained during the holidays. We've checked in with the heavyweights of stain removal from Heloise and Better Homes & Gardens to Good Housekeeping and our very own Spectrum Blog, to give you the best tips for removing the toughest stains from red wine and lipstick to pumpkin pie and gravy - and everything in between. So relax and enjoy your holiday - we've got you covered!