Home Maintenance Checklist
• Change or clean air filters in your central air system.
• Have septic tank system inspected, if applicable.
• Inspect driveways, sidewalks, patios, bricks, and other concrete or stone surfaces for cracks. Repair as needed.
• Inspect decks, steps, and wooden structures for wood rot and other damage. Make repairs as soon as possible to minimize further complications.
• Check eaves around roof, chimneys, caps, etc. Remove flying insect nests. Fix any damaged areas.
• Inspect washer hoses and dryer vent system.
If your yard is not living up to its full potential as a place for family and friends to relax, enjoy the weather, and gather for fun, then it’s time to get out there and make some improvements before winter sends everyone scurrying indoors again.
Because the yards around most homes account for such a large part of the property, any updates to outdoor spaces can make a dramatic difference for the better – for your own enjoyment, as well as the future resale value. Here are seven yard improvements to consider:
A garden fountain can make your whole yard seem more sophisticated. The moving water is a great attraction for birds, plus, the sound effects are perfect for masking the noise from surrounding streets, commercial districts, and noisy neighbors.
These water-less landscape features use carefully arranged stones to create the feel of flowing water in a nearly maintenance-free setting.
With the right lights staged throughout your yard, you can bring your whole garden into view, make outdoor paths, and walkways safer, and highlight the best architectural aspects of your home’s exterior.
Family and guests love to gather in the kitchen (and cooks enjoy the company), so why not create an outdoor kitchen in your backyard? High-end versions often feature running water and natural gas. But less-expensive layouts can be created using bottled water and propane gas tanks.
While everyone loves the sun, your family and friends may not want to sit directly in it for hours at a time. Freestanding yard awnings (also called sun shade sails) offer an inexpensive way to create some respite. Made of colorful, fade-resistant outdoor fabric, they can be relatively easily stretched overhead and across areas of your yard using cables, turnbuckles, and other inexpensive mounting hardware.
Connect a projector to your existing laptop, erect a temporary screen, and before you know it, you can be watching mainstream movies in your backyard.
Some of the same ideas and principles that professional designers use to make interior spaces look their best can also be applied to your patio. For example:
DEVELOP A THEME. Give your patio a beach feel with umbrellas, beach towels, distressed furniture, nautical accessories, and more. Or use river stones, cabin furnishings and wildflowers to create a creek-side theme.
DRAPE THE SPACE IN LIGHT. Weatherproof, commercial grade string lights (with full size bulbs) are available inexpensively today. Hang them over your patio to create a lighting effect that’s both practical and romantic.
USE RUGS. Laying area rugs on your patio allows you to cover imperfections and add color and personality to create a more intimate setting.
ADD VISUAL INTEREST. Place a few large boulders or decorative pots or accessories around your patio to give the surrounding yard more visual interest.
If you are planning to build a fence, and you want it to provide a good defense against intruders, experts recommend the following features:
A HEIGHT OF EIGHT FEET. Tall fences are harder to climb over. But double-check local building codes regarding maximum height allowed before starting construction.
A LOCKING GATE LATCH. Even if you don’t use it every day, you can lock it when you are on vacation, or when there are reports of burglaries in the neighborhood.
SEE-THROUGH AREAS. If you install a fence that is solid, burglars and other intruders may use it to hide their activities from well-meaning neighbors.
A BELL. Attaching a bell to the gate is a good way to prevent a burglar from making a silent entry.
REGULAR MAINTENANCE. Fence repairs should be made right away to maintain security.
To avoid wasting money at home while you are on vacation follow these tips:
- See if it is possible to put a vacation hold on your garbage and recycling services so you aren’t paying for empty containers to be emptied.
- Turn off the thermostat (or turn it down to 60 degrees if you are concerned about water pipes freezing).
- If the heat/air-conditioning is going to be turned down, but not off, close the window coverings to conserve energy.
- Flip the circuit breaker for the water heater to the off position.
- Plug your computing and entertainment devices into power strips, then turn off the strips to stop the electronics from consuming “phantom” energy.
- Instead of leaving interior lights turned on full-time to scare away would-be burglars, plug a few low-wattage lamps into automated timers.
Great, buildable land for sale. Please call me for more information at 503-717-2154.
Here are just a few of the beautiful homes Gearhart has to offer. Call me today for more information at 503-717-2154.
A grand home with a history and a future! This ocean front home takes it’s roots from the historic Oswald West house. Enjoy fabulous ocean views, four stone fireplaces, lots of entertainment space, two master suites, wave pool, putting green, and wrap-around deck. Quality workmanship includes rare Merbau wood floors, cedar-lined walls and ceilings, built-in buffet, and custom iron works. Private guest quarters and more. Please call me for more information at 503-717-2154.
DE-CLUTTERING TIPS FOR GARDENERS
Gardening season is just weeks away. Start preparing by de-cluttering your tools and supplies:
ASSESS CHEMICALS AND FERTILIZERS. If anything is expired, spoiled from exposure to the elements, or never to be used again anytime soon, make plans to properly dispose of it (that typically means taking the item to a hazardous materials drop-off location).
SAY GOODBYE TO TOOLS with broken handles, chipped blades, missing teeth and other permanent problems. If the tool is unique or antique, try selling it.
CLEAR OUT PLANT CONTAINERS that are broken, chipped or not meant for display. Many nurseries will gladly take back and reuse plastic retail pots.
SELL ANY GARDEN ACCESSORIES YOU ARE NO LONGER USING such as garden art, outdoor furniture, bird baths, and more.
This unique one level design is nestled on a 1/3 acre flag lot located on the golf course and just one block from the beach. Quality built, lots of natural light, vaulted ceilings, 2 bedrooms with a loft making a third bedroom option. Make Gearhart your home!