Archive for November, 2009

Nov 25 2009

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Indoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Filed under Home Maintenance

Indoor CleaningFall is here and winter is right around the corner. Now is a good time to do a little home maintenance both indoors and out. This maintenance checklist will help you get started inside.

 

Indoors

 

·         Clean closets – You can quickly determine if your closets need a little attention with two easy tests. Can you close the closet door easily? Can you see any floor space? If you answered “NO” to one or both of these questions, it is time to get organized. Begin by clearing out any items that you don’t wear or use any more. Donate what you can to charity Make room for your winter wardrobe. Pack summer clothing and other items and store them elsewhere. Broken items or gloves and shoes that are missing their match should be thrown out. Likewise with clothing items that have broken zippers and other flaws that cannot be repaired. Add compartments and organizers to your closets at different levels to utilize more space. Finish one closet before you move on to the next one.

·         Maintain Large Appliances – With the holidays coming, you need to make sure your appliances can handle the demands you place on them. Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and clean the condenser coils with a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment. Also, clean the lower front grille. Thoroughly clean the oven and stove. Freshen up your garbage disposal by packing it with ice cubes and ¼ cub of baking soda. Turn it on and let it run until the ice grinding noise stops. Then pour a quart-size pot of boiling water down to rinse.

·         Maintain Woodwork – This is a good time of the year to repair woodwork because indoor air is at its driest. Re-glue any wood trim or broken pieces or parts of furniture such as a wobbly arm on a dining room chair or a loose piece of trim around the entry door. 

 

For information about outdoor home maintenance review last week’s posting, Outdoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.

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Nov 19 2009

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Outdoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Filed under Home Maintenance

Fall Home MaintenanceIt is time to do a little home maintenance both indoors and out. This maintenance checklist will help you get started outside.

 

Outdoors

 

·         Remove Leaves from Problem Areas – Take some time to clean out gutters and make sure water flows properly through them. Remove leaves from the roof that have settled in low places such as roof valleys. Rake or mulch your yard with the lawn mower so layers of leaves do not kill the grass beneath. Clear leaf buildup from ditches and culverts on your property. This prevents water flow from washing away soil and damaging your landscaping.

·         Check your Sump Pump – Some homes with basements in wet areas have sump pumps that turn on automatically when ground water levels rise. They eliminate water in the basement before it becomes a problem. If your home has a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition before winter snows melt and the rainy season starts.

·         Maintain Moisture in Your Home – With the air at its driest, fall and winter can further rob your home of moisture, especially if you have forced air, a wood stove or a wood burning fireplace. A touch of moisture makes the heated air feel warmer allowing you to set the thermostat at a slightly lower temperature. (Think of it like humidity in the summertime…the more humid the air is the warmer it feels.) If your skin seems dry or your woodwork is cracking, you need moisture in your home. Consider a furnace-mounted humidifier or putting a teakettle on the wood stove.

·         Trim Problem Trees – Trees are dormant during the fall and winter. Identify those that need to be trimmed. Pay attention to limbs and branches that are too close to your home potentially causing damage if they fall or break during a storm. Look for limbs that might brush against your home on a windy day scratching or damaging the exterior finish. Make note of trees that heavily shade your roof causing moss and/or mildew to grow. Once you’ve identified the problem trees hire a professional to trim and cut them back.

 

 For more information, check back next week for the upcoming posting, Indoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.

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Nov 12 2009

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Garage Storage Safety Tips

Garage StorageOften the garage is a catch-all for the many items we need to store, but don’t know exactly where to put them. In most cases, the garage is the ideal storage space. However, sometimes storing chemicals and tools in the garage can be dangerous and even hazardous to your health. These garage storage tips will help you determine what items are safe to store in the garage and how to store them without threatening your heath, harming your family or causing damage to your new home.

 

Chemicals

·         Road salt and ice-melt mixtures can be very harmful to children and pets. Store these items in childproof, non-spill containers. Place them on a high shelf, in a high cabinet or in a locked garage closet out of reach of children.

·         Do not store auto fluids, paints or pesticides in old food containers or containers that do not have tightly sealed lids or caps. These containers might leak causing burns, fumes, respiratory problems and fire hazards.

·         Sweet smelling anti-freeze may be very attractive to pets, but it can kill them. As little as one tablespoon can make your pet (or child) very sick or even be deadly to cats and small dogs. Make sure caps are sealed tightly on all anti-freeze bottles and store out of reach of children and pets.

·         Propane is extremely combustible. A single spark of static electricity or flip of the light switch could ignite nearby propane causing an explosion. It is necessary to store propane containers and anything that uses propane away from the home in a storage shed, detached garage or other outbuilding. Do not store propane in your attached garage.

·         Get in the habit of storing all chemicals in their original containers complete warning labels so you know what is inside and what dangers or threats each may pose. Store these in a safe place out of reach from children where they will not fall or spill. Chemicals are best stored away from the home in a detached garage or a shed rather than in an attached garage.

 

Ladders, Tools and Other Items

·         Ladders should be stored against a wall or at floor level using storage hooks to secure them. Ladders stored vertically or not securely fastened to the wall can easily tip or fall harming people and damaging property.

·         Store lawn and garden tools and other small hand tools such as pliers, a hammer or screw drivers in a secure place such as a toolbox. Lock the tool box if possible.

·         Store tools, especially those with sharp blades and points, out of reach from children. However, be sure they are easily accessible to you without having to balance tools overhead or reach dangerously overhead.

·         Use peg board and hooks to hang long-handled items on the garage wall such as shovels and rakes. Secure them tightly to the wall.

·         Make sure all power tools are turned off before storing after each use.

·         Place heavy and bulky tools and items on low shelves or on the floor preventing them from falling. Make sure all sharp points and edges face the wall preventing someone from getting hurt if they bump into the sharp and pointed edges.

·         Check all extension cords that are stored or used in the garage to be sure they are rated for outdoor use due to possible moisture. Those not rated for outdoor use are a potential hazard.

 

Read more home safety tips from The House Plan Shop.

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Nov 05 2009

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New: House Plans with Photos at The House Plan Shop

House Plan 043H-0160The House Plan Shop is proud to announce our newest collection: House Plans with Photos. This photo collection represents the work of residential designers, architects and builders throughout the United States and Canada. Many home plans in this collection display both interior and exterior photos while others simply have exterior photography or interior shots. No matter how few or how many photographs are available with each plan in this collection, they all deliver a better sense and feel for the finished home. These house plans also include color renderings and left, right and rear elevations when available. Please visit our new collection, House Plans with Photos, and enjoy the photography the designers, builders and home owners have proudly provided for our customers to view.

 

Please Note: The photographs displayed on The House Plan Shop’s website may differ from the actual plans, depending on the modifications performed by the owner/builder. Refer to the floor plan for the actual layout of the home.

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