Protect Your Investment: 5 Fall Maintenance To-Do’s

Protect Your Home | Fall To-Do Checklist

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While he was talking about fire safety, I think it applies equally well to home maintenance. One weekend of prevention this fall can save you many headaches (and a lot of money) down the road. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Gutters top to bottom: Water in the wrong spots can do a lot of damage. Start by ensuring that gutters and downspouts are doing their job. (You may want to hire a professional, especially if you have a two-story house with a steep roof.) If your home is surrounded by deciduous trees you may need to clean out your gutters a few times a year, especially in the fall. Check to make sure your gutters are flush with the roof and attached securely, repairing any areas that sag or where the water collects and overflows. Clean out the gutters and downspouts, checking that outlet strainers are in good shape, and are firmly in place. Finally, check that your downspouts direct water away from your house, not straight along the foundation.

Check for leaks: The best opportunity to catch leaks is the first heavy rain after a long dry spell. Check the underside of the roof, looking for moisture on joints or insulation. Mark any spots that you find and then hire a roofing specialist to repair these leaks. If you wait until spots show up on your ceiling, insulation and sheet rock will have also been damaged and you could have a mold problem too. You can find tips on how to solve roof & gutter issues in this great article from http://FamilyHandyman.com.

Don’t forget the basement and the caulking around windows & doors. Check your foundation for cracks, erosion and gaps in window and door weathering. Make sure to properly seal any leaks while the weather is nice. This will ensure materials dry properly.

Pest Prevention: Rodents are determined and opportunistic, and they can do tremendous amounts of property damage (and endanger your family’s health). As temperatures cool, take measures to prevent roof rats and other critters from moving in. Branches that touch your house and overhang your roof are convenient on-ramps for invaders, so trim back branches so they’re at least four feet from the house. If you do hear scuttling overhead or discover rodent droppings in your attic, crawl space or basement, take immediate action. The website http://www.thisoldhouse.com has several helpful articles on the topic.

Maintain your heating and cooling systems: Preventative maintenance is especially crucial for your home’s heating and air-conditioning systems. Fall is a smart time to have your systems checked and tuned up if necessary. Don’t wait for extreme temperatures to arrive, when service companies are slammed with emergency calls. Between tune-ups, keeps your system performing optimally by cleaning and/or replacing air filters as needed.

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, a professional inspection and cleaning will help prevent potentially lethal chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, it’s a good idea to keep a supply of dry firewood or sawdust-composite logs so you have a backup heat source in an emergency. Gas fireplaces should be serviced about every 2 years to lengthen their lifespans.

Insulate & seal: Insulating your home is a cost-efficient investment, whether you’re trying to keep the interior warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Aside from more major improvements like energy-efficient windows and insulation, there are some quick fixes that do-it-yourselfers can tackle. If an exterior door doesn’t have a snug seal when closed, replace the weather stripping; self-adhesive foam stripping is much simpler to install than traditional vinyl stripping. If there is a gap under the door (which can happen over time as a house settles), you may need to realign the door and replace the vinyl door bottom and/or door sweep. Air also sneaks inside through electrical outlets and light switches on exterior walls. Dye-cut foam outlet seals placed behind the wall plates are a quick and inexpensive solution.

Posted on September 4, 2018 at 11:46 am
Windermere Mercer Island | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Rising Interest Rates Spur Buyer Competition

According to a recent report by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, well-priced homes are drawing multiple offers, with jumps in both pending and closed home sales compared to this time last year. While the number of new listings is also up, the overall inventory of available homes is still low compared to buyer demand…and with interest rates starting to climb, the competition among buyers has reached a fever pitch.

Click here for the full article and a county-by-county statistical summary!

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Posted on June 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Marianne Parks | Category: Real Estate Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Color Trends for Fall 2012

Fall: what a perfect excuse for change around your home and in your wardrobe!  This autumn, fashion designers are combining versatile mocha, grey and gold neutrals with a boost of spirited hues.  Where the muted rust of autumns past blended quietly with the natural scenery, this year's palette sets out to rival it with vivid tangerine, jewel-tone greens and a brilliant blue surpassing even the clearest autumn sky.  Rounding out the palette are feminine shades of rich lavender, smoky rose and a sizzling pink sure to warm up those chilly days.

Whether you're looking for fun seasonal decor or that perfect fall scarf, try out these hot new hues for an instant style update…

 

 

 

View Pantone’s full report for designer quotes, sketches and more!

 

Posted on September 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm
Marianne Parks | Category: Hot Trends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring Feng Shui Tips

Spring is in the air and it’s the perfect time to refresh your surroundings and life with new energy.  Whether it’s starting a remodeling project, gardening or painting your walls new color, the active “yang” energy of the season can support you to take action!

 

Enhance the path to your home.  Welcome spring with a floral doormat and a wind chime hung outside your door to stimulate energy.  Remove dead plants from garden beds and pots and replace them with colorful plants and flowers.  Pay attention to your decks and backyard spaces for inspiring outdoor views.

 

Bring the “wood” element of nature indoors. Add vase of fresh flowers or a plant to key living spaces (if you don’t have a green thumb, silk plants represent the vitality nature in full bloom).  Throw away dried flowers that lack life force and become dust collectors!

 

Change your bedding and bedroom décor.  To reflect the shift from winter to spring, use lightweight floral or striped prints for curtains, pillows, or bedding.  Add inspiring artwork and clear the clutter to enhance this important room.   A change in scenery refreshes body, mind and spirit!

 

Paint your walls or an accent wall. Paint is a low-cost and high-impact way to energize your living spaces.  Be bold and try a bright color to transform your walls from drab to dramatic.  Use low or zero VOC paint to ensure a healthy environment for you and your loved ones.   Happy painting!

 

If you’re interested in a spring “tune-up” for your home and would like assistance to get started, I highly recommend my favorite Feng Shui and Color Consultant, Cynthia Chomos.   She can be reached at (206) 919-0107 or visit:  www.CynthiaChomos.com

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 1:00 am
Marianne Parks | Category: Hot Trends, Living Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,