Home Renovation

Laminate Flooring is the New Black

One of the benefits of being a realtor, is the satisfaction you gain in selling a home to friends, so that you can watch the transformation of their new home over time. Super handy friends of mine bought a house that needed a lot of elbow grease in Florence center a few years ago. It has been so much fun to watch them transform this diamond in the rough into a sparkling gem, one room and one project at at time. Their most recent project has been to finish the spacious basement. They decided to save some money by GC-ing the project themselves. They hired contractors to do some of the work - hang the ceiling, rebuild the staircase, install lighting and outlets, etc. The rest of the work they did on their own, and the results are beautiful! 

To me, the standout of this space has been their choice of flooring (well, that and the sleek and modern cable stair rail). They decided on a floating laminate floor - and it is beautiful! "Beautiful", you may ask yourself - "but that's not possible with a laminate floor!". Well, that is what I would have thought too, once upon a time. But the laminate "floorboards" they used are just that, beautiful! The photo below (though not a basement space) mimics the floor in question quite accurately. A rustic-looking "wood" floor in medium browns and tans. The fact is, laminate ain't what it used to be. Read on for a recent New York Times article about laminate flooring.

 

Under Your Feet, the Floor Show

By JAY ROMANOAUG. 6, 2008

SOMETIMES neither wood, tile nor carpeting seems like the right choice for a floor. An alternative worth considering is laminate.

“Laminates are probably the most exciting change the flooring industry has seen in the last decade,” said Tom Kraeutler, who is a host of The Money Pit, a radio show, and with his co-host, Leslie Segrete, author of “My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure” (Globe Pequot Press, 2008).

Bill Dearing, president of the North American Laminate Flooring Association in Washington, said laminates account for 18 to 21 percent of the retail flooring market for residential remodeling. And since 1993, he said, sales of laminates have increased by more than 10 percent nearly every year.

Mr. Kraeutler explained that earlier versions of laminate flooring were difficult to install because as each strip of flooring was laid, the tongue and groove connection required gluing and clamping of the joints.

Photo
 
CreditJoel Holland 

Laminate flooring available now, he said, is much easier to use. Glue is no longer needed as the adjoining boards snap into place, and it is also more visually appealing, with hundreds of patterns to choose from. “A laminate floor can look like any kind of wood, stone, tile, vinyl, or just about any other flooring material available,” he said. Paul Murfin, vice president of sales for Armstrong Floor Products in Lancaster, Pa., said the flooring can be anywhere from 7 to 12 millimeters thick and can have a smooth or textured finish. With laminate that looks like stone, the surface can have a stone-like texture; laminate that looks like wood could have a raised grain. Early laminates had a tendency to produce a hollow “clippity-clop” sound when walked on with shoes. Newer laminates, particularly thicker ones, eliminate that sound. In addition, Mr. Murfin said, laminates are free-floating surfaces. They are not glued to the subfloor but rest on foam.

Amberlee Virgili, a customer service representative for FloorOne.com, an online retailer of laminate flooring products, said her company sells about 16 brands of laminate flooring, with prices from less than $1 a square foot to about $5 a square foot.

Bob Middleton, technical and installation manager at Lumber Liquidators, a nationwide retailer of flooring products based in Toano, Va., said consumers should look at a product’s warranty. Laminate floors can carry warranties of 10, 20 or 30 years, he said.

Mr. Dearing of Nalfa said, “The best thing to do is to try to look at a display floor.” That is particularly helpful, he added, when a homeowner is considering a laminate floor with a textured finish. Another thing a homeowner can do is visit the organization’s Web site at www.nalfa.orgcom. The organization has established a set of voluntary standards for laminate manufacturers. Manufacturers then submit their products to the organization and can obtain a certificate, usually depicted on the packaging, that indicates that the product in the box meets Nalfa standards.

One final question that many homeowners may ask is whether laminates are right for do-it-yourselfers.

“Absolutely,” said Bob Markovich, home and yard editor for Consumer Reports in Yonkers. Mr. Markovich said his organization tested and reviewed 41 flooring products for its August issue, including a large number of laminates. “If you’re looking for flooring that’s reasonably priced, tough and realistic-looking, and you want to install it yourself, laminates are the way to go,” he said.

The Joys of a Properly Finished Basement

This time of year, better known as the "spring market" to Northampton Area realtors, we find ourselves showing a lot of houses to potential buyers. With all of the rain we've been having, the dryness (or dampness) of a basement is at the forefront of the minds of home buyers. There are many factors that can add to or take away from the potential livability of a basement space. Inheriting moisture problems from a previous owner is something one hopes to avoid when purchasing a home. 

A few years ago, friends of mine purchased a ranch in Florence. It was in solid shape, with a damp basement. They intended to ultimately turn the basement into living space. The advice they received from their contractor was to demo the space and live with it for a year to see if/where/when/how water was getting into the basement. This was great advice! They eventually found an area where water was seeping in - not from below ground, but from the outside. They put in a perimeter drain, and diverted the downspouts from the gutters away from the house. Presto! No more water in the basement. Now they have begun the project of finishing their basement properly. 

The article below, from the RAPV newsletter, gives good advice about how to properly finish a basement.

How to Finish Your Basement Right!

 

Like most things, planning a basement renovation is easier when you have all the right tools at your disposal. Read on to learn about a few tips and tricks you can use to make your project as quick and inexpensive as possible.

Tip #1: Find a good contractor.

Finding an experienced contractor can help make the renovation proceed as smoothly as possible. The contractor will be able to help you acquire all the necessary building permits that might be required by your city. This person's business network and connections can also be a huge asset when you are arranging subcontractors to help you with specific parts of the basement renovation. 

Tip #2: Choose the right materials.

You will have to order or purchase the building materials for each phase of your basement upgrade, and it is important to make sure you choose the best materials for the job in every scenario. A good contractor will be able to help you make the right decisions about each of your building materials. 

Tip #3: Increase airflow.

The basement tends to be the coldest room in the house. Many homes have the furnace at one end of the basement, making the opposite end chilly by comparison. Consider installing ducts with an in-line fan in order to even out your basement's temperature.

Tip #4: Check for signs of possible water damage.

Before you proceed with the renovation, check the foundation for cracks and check the basement floor for any pools or drips. Repairing any potential problems before you begin to renovate can save a lot of time and money down the road. If you live in a particularly damp climate, you might want to consider adding a vapor barrier before sealing off your walls and floors. Another way to reduce moisture in your basement is to offset the interior walls from the home's exterior walls. This can be done using thin strips of wood or metal, and can also be used to balance out an uneven exterior wall.

Tip #5: Add additional insulation.

Most basements are not as well insulated as the home's other levels, so if you are planning to start spending more time in the basement, it might be a good idea to add some extra insulation to your basement's walls.

Tip #6: Sand down your ceiling joists.

Many older homes have ceiling joists that are beginning to sag, and this can cause problems if you are installing a new ceiling in your basement. Sanding or planing these joists can help make your ceiling appear as smooth as possible. You can easily do this yourself by using a level and an electric sander. 

These basic steps can help give your newly finished basement a solid foundation to grow from and become an integral part of your family's life.

Choosing the Right Siding for your Home

We lived in a 100 year old house with clapboard siding for 8 years. We loved the look of painted clapboards, but we quickly tired of the upkeep and expense of the exterior paint job. 2 years ago we bought a new home, with Hardie Plank siding. The exterior paint has shown no signs of wear and tear since it was painted. In fact, the paint job looks new! 

Here in the Northampton area, we realtors sell a mix of +/- 100 year old homes with clapboard siding (or clapboards covered over with vinyl siding, aluminum siding and, sometimes, asbestos shingles), as well as mid-century homes with aluminum or vinyl siding, and, lastly, some new construction which usually has vinyl or Hardie plank siding. The Daily Hampshire Gazette recently ran a special section on homes, including this interesting article about choosing the right siding for your home. If you are a homeowner who is thinking about residing your current home, or you are building a home and wondering what siding might be best for you, this article should come in handy.

Here is an example of Hardie Plank siding.

Vintage Farmhouse, www.jameshardie.com

Deciding on siding

GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

Tim Uhlig, pictured in photo at left, from Wilcox Builders in Hatfield, primes a new edge on a fiber cement soffit

board being installed on a home in the Village Hill development at Northampton. At right, and below, Michael

Cendrowski, works on the soffits while Uhlig cuts the siding, shown above right.

4 HOME MAGAZINE, Wednesday, September 14, 2016

 By LINDA ENERSON

For the Gazette

Siding is just one element of a home, but it’s an important one, as siding is often the first thing people notice when

they walk up to or drive by a home —and there’s a lot of it. If, for some reason, you don’t like the siding you’ve picked

out for your new or renovated home, it’s pretty hard to overlook it. Siding is made from a variety of materials,

some of them time-tested, like vinyl and wood, but there are also some newer products on the market, such as

fiber cement and OSB. With so many options to choose from, it can be a confusing task for homeowners to pick the siding

option that will serve their needs best.

Wright Builders constructs new homes and commercial buildings around the Valley using all kinds of siding. Roger Cooney, vice president

of design, sales and estimating, helps customers make decisions about what siding they want based on price, environmental impact,

aesthetics, durabilityand maintenance. According to Cooney, the key to picking

the right siding is for homeowners to understand their own priorities. For example, how critical is it for their home’s

siding to be eco-friendly, and what price point will their budget allow?

Vinyl

Vinyl is the least expensive siding option. When it comes to the environmental impact, “it’s pretty nasty,” Cooney said. Vinyl siding is largely

composed of PVC (polyvinyl chloride). During the manufacturingprocess of PVC, dioxin (a carcinogen) and other toxic gases are

produced, which are harmful to the  health of workers, as well as people and animals in the surrounding area. Dioxin and other toxins are 

also released when vinyl begins to  break down through the natural weathering process or when the siding materials finally make their way 

to a landfill. And Cooney said that in the unfortunate circumstance of a house fire, vinyl can actually melt, releasing more toxic chemicals.

Fiber cement

Fiber cement siding is a composite material made from cement, cellulose and sand. It is produced in a variety of styles, including shingles,

lap siding, vertical siding, and panels, and like wood, can be easily painted or stained, though unlike wood, it is impervious

to water and termite damage. Cooney said his company is installing fiber cement on many of the homes and commercials they build

because it is very durable, reasonably priced (about $3 per square foot at R.K. Miles), and more aesthetically pleasing than vinyl, as well

as fireproof. Fiber cement siding is used on all of the homes that Wright Builders recently constructed at the Village Hill developmenton the

old State Hospital grounds in Northampton. In terms of the environmental impact of fiber cement, Cooney said that while it is inert once

produced, fiber cement siding does require a fair amount of energy to manufacture. During installation, workers must wear a respirator to

prevent inhalation of silica dust when they cut the product.

OSB (Oriented strand board)

(OSB) is a siding product made of many glued layers or strands of wood. The price point of OSBproducts is similar to fiber cement siding

materials. According to Cooney, when it comes to durability and environmental impact, OSB scores less favorably than fiber cement. “It’s

has a lot of formaldehyde and glue in it,” he said.

Wood

The old standard, wood clapboard siding is still among the most environmentally friendly siding available, as long as it is sourced from

companies that practice sustainable forestry. Cooney said consumers should look for The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo, which

certifies that responsible forestry standards have been maintained in the production of wood products bearing that label. Consumers

should also be aware that FSC certification adds cost. While not FSC certified, most locally harvested wood products are managed 

suitably and sustainably, according to Cooney. Pine and cedar are the two types of wood siding. Both can be sourced locally, as Eastern 

cedar and Eastern white pine grow in the Northeast. Pine is relatively inexpensive. Clogston says pine clapboards run between $1.50 and 

$2 a square foot at R. K. Miles. Cedar, which Cooney said holds up to the elements better than pine, showing less discoloration from

weathering, is the most expensive of all siding. Clogston said cedar runs in the range of $5 to $7 per square foot. The problem with wood

is that it requires a new coat of stain or paint about everydecade. According to Cooney, the best way to preserve wood siding is to paint or

stain all sides of it including any cuts made during installation, and install it over a drain plane to allow rain and other “bulk water ” to exit. 

But maintaining wood is only a problem if you don’t like to paint. Cooney recentlypainted his own house over Labor Day weekend. 

“Personally, I find it meditativeand satisfying … I’m sure I’m unusual in enjoying that type of work!” he said.

Painting Over Wallpaper

In the real estate market in the Northampton, MA area, many of the homes for sale are 100 years old or older. While houses of this age are generally full of charm and character - with age often comes a set of issues to deal with. Items such as possible presence of lead paint, asbestos wrapped heating pipes, floor tiles or exterior shakes, and old wallpaper over original plaster are among the issues found in older homes.

I recently sold a sweet, old farmhouse in Williamsburg, MA. The house was full of charm, character, and good vibes. The upstairs bedrooms, however, were wallpapered, and the plaster to which the wallpaper was adhered had shifted away from the walls and the lathe underneath. In a situation such as this, I would imagine that the only solution is the remove the plaster and the wallpaper - and recover it with new sheetrock and paint. There are times, however, when it is possible, and a good solution, to paint right over existing wallpaper. This article from Angie's List explains when and how this remedy would apply.

When you have to paint over wallpaper


 

 

Painting over wallpaper is acceptable if removal will damage the wall or the wall is already damaged. 

 

(Brandon Smith, Angie's List) Brandon Smith/Angie's List--TNS
By OSEYE BOYD
Angie's List (TNS)
Thursday, March 31, 2016

While painting over wallpaper isn't the best option, sometimes it's the only option.

Forget what you've heard: It's possible to paint over all wallpaper -- and not just the paintable type.

While it's always preferable to remove wallpaper before painting, it's not always possible. Sometimes, you'll find layer upon layer of wallpaper, or removal will cause significant wall damage, says Jeff Sellers, owner of Merrifield Paint and Design of Arlington, Virginia.

"In some of these older homes, when you start pulling paper off you really don't know what you're getting into," Sellers says. "You can get the paper off and find the wall is damaged, and that's why they put the wallpaper up. You never know why people put up wallpaper."

Sellers says the type of wallpaper is a good indicator of whether it will come off easily. Paper-backed wallpaper is more difficult to remove than vinyl. You'll likely need to use a scoring device and adhesive remover, which may prove laborious and result in possible wall damage.


How to paint over wallpaper

You may be tempted to slap some paint on the wall, but there's more to it. Without proper preparation, the wallpaper will eventually lift and begin to show through the paint -- and look like painted over wallpaper.

According to experts, the wall should be clean and dust free. Remove all loose ends. If unable to remove, glue or cut away, spot prime and fill holes with spackle. Prime the wallpaper with an oil-based primer and skim the wallpaper with drywall mud to cover seams from the wallpaper and create a smooth wall. After skimming, sand the wall and prime again. Be sure the wall is dust free before applying paint.

"What matters is that you use an oil-based primer to seal the wallpaper," says Carlos Mendoza of Carlos Mendoza Painting, in Spring, Texas. "That's what's going to seal the wallpaper."

Once you've prepped the wall, Mendoza recommends using satin finish paint instead of flat, which is porous. If you prefer, you can use flat paint. However, because it's porous, flat paint holds dirt and is difficult to clean.

"The satin finish does show imperfections, but as long as you keep the texture consistent, you should be OK," Mendoza says.

Avoid bubbling, lifting or other issues with the wallpaper by testing a couple of spots and allowing to dry completely before painting the entire wall, said Octave Villar, manager of Behr application laboratory in Santa Ana, California.

 

Are Smaller Kitchens The Wave of the Future?

I recently put together a comparative market analysis for homeowners in Northampton who are hoping to sell their home in the spring market. Their ranch-style house has 3 modest bedrooms (yet with a small en suite master bath) a relatively small eat in kitchen, some nice open common living spaces and a lovely back yard. I was struck by the functionality of their small, yet streamlined kitchen. I'm always impressed by friends and clients who have the vision to create beautiful and functional small spaces within their homes. We realtors are seeing a trend towards buyers (generally speaking) seeking homes that aren't overwhelmingly spacious. With more modest-sized homes comes smaller rooms, including the kitchen.

Local design writer, Debra Jo Immergut, recently wrote the following article for the Boston Globe, describing how to design a functional and great looking compact kitchen. As we move towards becoming a culture that is ever more mindful of waste, hyperconsumerism and keeping a check on our carbon footprint, the trend towards smaller kitchens may become more popular.

 

Great design ideas for small kitchens

Advice from the experts on creating a tasteful and organized kitchen when you're short on space.


The new 21st-century kitchen is less focused on square footage and more on a general sense of openness, flow, and functionality.

By Debra Jo Immergut GLOBE CORRESPONDENT FEBRUARY 19, 2016


For the last decade or two, the dream kitchen has been bulking up. Peruse popular home-centric websites, and you'll see marble-topped islands big enough to merit their own coordinates on Google Maps, ranges with sufficient burner capacity to launch small rockets, and cavernous fridges that could double as bunkers. Yes, some people have kitchens on steroids. And some -- urban dwellers, tiny-house revolutionaries, and countless homeowners who simply live less large -- don't. The good news: The small-kitchen crowd needn't feel deprived. When designed for maximum efficiency and style, a more modest kitchen might even be considered the next big thing.

"The kitchen is ever increasing in importance," said Treff LaFleche, principal of LDa Architecture & Interiors in Cambridge, "but the space being dedicated to it is changing dramatically." The new 21st-century kitchen is less focused on square footage and more on a general sense of openness, flow, and functionality, he said -- it's less about a huge footprint and more about "serving as the heart of the home."


A few years down the road, a compact kitchen area may even be an attractive selling point. "Boomers are the ones with the money right now, but their millennial children are driving a move toward efficiency and sustainability," said Bill Darcy, CEO of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, a trade group of manufacturers and designers. Smaller spaces fit the lifestyle of a generation more encumbered with student debt and less enamored with sprawling dream homes, Darcy said.

To make a small kitchen work, owners should plan a savvy layout and opt for simple aesthetics, said New York designer Young Huh, who sat recently on a trend-spotting panel for the association. "You have to make the most of your choices," Huh noted. One upside to remaking a tiny space: You might be able to splurge here and there. "You can really go for it and choose a beautiful floor tile, because it's not so expensive to order a small amount," she noted.

So forget the vast culinary palaces of the Internet. Instead, make the cleverest possible use of the space you've got. But first, arm yourself with these strategies from kitchen-design geniuses.

Tailor it to fit

A slatted shelf unit hangs over the sink; it air-dries and stores dishes in the same spot.
MATT DELPHENICH ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY

A slatted shelf unit hangs over the sink; it air-dries and stores dishes in the same spot.

Even the tiniest space can be extremely functional if it's been fine-tuned to suit a family's daily routines. "Kitchens are very personal," said designer Emily Pinney, principal of Pinney Designs and owner of Cambridge boutique Syd + Sam. For example, "If your kids are always running in for drinks and snacks, maybe you need a refrigerator drawer that's really usable," Pinney said, noting that kitchen design should "be about what you really need in your life."

Creative solutions define the kitchen Charlestown's Bunker Workshop designed for an in-law apartment in Duxbury. The occupants wanted a dish-drying rack similar to ones they'd seen in Italy, so interior architect Chris Greenawalt devised a slatted shelf unit to hang over the sink; it air-dries and stores dishes in the same spot. A deep-green glass backsplash protects the wall from stray droplets and serves as a focal point for the all-white kitchen.


The couple made other requests for the space: They hoped for a kitchen island, a spot to sit and watch their grandkids play in the yard, and a full-size dining table. "We built a low, wheeled desk in front of the window where they could sit and have a glass of wine," Greenawalt said. The ingenious desk can then open into a table and double as an island work space.

Keep cabinetry streamlined

McMansion-dwellers may splash out on ornate cabinetry and crown molding, say designers, but in a small kitchen, it's best to keep it simple. "Go for a really good rhythm -- a line of cabinetry that's as clean and unbroken as possible," Huh said. If flat-panel styles are too contemporary, she said, Shaker is an ideal traditional alternative.

Consider covering appliances with panels to match your cabinetry: "It makes the refrigerator door disappear," said Huh, "and makes the kitchen look larger." Hardware, too, should be as simple as possible, designers say -- or go without it, opting instead for touch-latch doors. Portsmouth, N.H.-based designer Patty Kennedy found the paneling principle at work in a New York City kitchen she helped style for a photo shoot; the walls, refrigerator, and cabinets were covered with anigre, an African hardwood, lending a seamless finish to a potentially awkward nook.

Let there be light

In tight quarters, generously sized windows and pass-throughs can make a huge difference, as can white or neutral color schemes. "I'm a big believer in bigger windows that sit right down to the countertop, opening up to daylight and the outside," said Pinney, who loves their effect in a white-on-white Back Bay apartment she designed. Even a tiny over-the-sink window can be enlarged to make a confined space appear more spacious, she noted.

Sticking to the same materials and a neutral color works best in a diminutive space, "so your eye can focus and it's not all over the map," Pinney said. In the Back Bay kitchen, she used white Calcutta marble on the counters and white marble mosaic on the adjoining backsplashes, adding just enough visual interest while maintaining a restrained, unified scheme.

Choose small appliances



In this Cambridge kitchen, the fridge was placed below the counter.
GREG PREMRU PHOTOGRAPHY

In this Cambridge kitchen, the fridge was placed below the counter.

As alluring as those blazingly powerful six- or eight-burner ranges may be, they're often not a great fit for many households. "I'm trying to get clients to consider using smaller appliances," Greenawalt said. "The way most people shop is changing, and the way we cook is changing as well." For smaller spaces, he prefers a separate wall oven and stovetop to avoid breaking up the counter lines.

LDa's LaFleche does see more homeowners moving away from "that whole trend of the giant Sub-Zero refrigerators" and shifting toward "right-sizing their cooking and buying fresh." To that end, he often recommends small refrigerator drawers dedicated to produce or dairy that are closer to prep and cooking areas. In a small but inviting Cambridge galley kitchen, LaFleche specified an under-the-counter fridge, plus a smooth glass-topped stove and separate wall ovens.

Go vertical

MATT DELPHENICH ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Outfitted with pegboard accessories from the local hardware store, the aligator board in this kitchen serves as custom storage for kitchen utensils and other small gadgets.

Before moving her operations to Portsmouth, Kennedy worked for years designing interiors for the cramped confines of New York City apartments, where she learned that "every space needed to serve a double or triple function." She advises owners of compact kitchens to squeeze maximum utility out of vertical spaces. She works with high-end materials, but in her own New Hampshire kitchen, she devoted a narrow wall to her pot collection, hanging them from inexpensive IKEA racks. ("I'm a big IKEA fan -- they just get it.")

Greenawalt used a similar strategy in a loft apartment in Boston's Leather District. In lieu of a traditional backsplash, he installed panels of bright red perforated metal ("It's called AlligatorBoard, and people usually use it to hang tools in their garages," he said). Outfitted with pegboard accessories from the local hardware store, it serves as custom storage for kitchen utensils and other small gadgets.

Most important, LaFleche said, is to think hard about what you actually need to store. "We're seeing the reverse trend from the '80s, '90s, and early 2000s, when the goal was to put everything in the kitchen." He advises clients to divide gear into categories and keep items that might be used only every few weeks or months elsewhere: "They might move out to the closet or the hallway." Besides, if you're truly into cooking, he suggested, "the only thing you might really want is a set of knives."

And, on a related note, if you're truly just into eating, the only thing you might really want is a set of takeout menus -- and happily, those take almost no space to store.


Debra Jo Immergut is a Massachusetts-based design writer. Connect with her on Twitter @debraimmergut or send comments to Address@globe.com.

 

Keeping Up with the Needs of your Home

It's hard to pinpoint the moment at which your newly renovated kitchen or bath starts to feel and look dated. As the months and years go by, something shifts. Is it that the paint has faded? Is it that the white square tile just isn't as timeless a choice as white subway tile would have been? Are you wishing you had chosen oil-rubbed bronze fixtures vs. chrome? Whatever the case may be, time does take it's toll on our homes - both stylistically and actually. As realtors, we are often pointing out to sellers, that when faced with what to focus on with regard to house updates for resale, it's the systems that should come first. Roofs, windows and trim, HVAC systems, gutter cleaning, moisture management in basements -- all of these items may be less compelling than a gorgeous bathroom renovation - but aesthetic choices are subjective. For instance, If you spend a lot of money on a kitchen renovation in lieu of replacing an aging roof or aging HVAC system - buyers may not like your design choices; they would therefore be less likely to buy your home than a home with a slightly dated kitchen but a new roof and updated HVAC system.  Giving a house or room a fresh coat of paint can liven up the space without spending a lot of money.

The following article from the Daily Hampshire Gazette gives sound advice about the "whens" and "whys" to start taking on home improvement projects in an aging home.

 

 

Living Smart: Projects for your home’s difficult teen years



As your house approaches 20 years old, consider steps to improve window efficiency. (Summer Galyan/Angie's List/TNS)

By Michele Dawson Angie’s List (TNS)
Thursday, November 5, 2015


When it comes to home improvement projects on your house that’s coming of age, there’s no denying that your roof, windows and air conditioning and heating units might be getting moody, temperamental or give you the silent treatment altogether.

As your home ages, it will require more upkeep and improvements. It’s especially important to stay on top of some of the more potentially troublesome elements of your home — ones that can cause you massive headaches and put a huge dent in your wallet.

Many changes both small and large can increase energy efficiency and cut down on electricity or gas bills, as well as increase home value if and when you plan to sell your house.

If your home’s age is in the double-digits, some of the home improvement projects on your to-do list will include:

Roof repairs, shingles and gutters


While staying on top of roof maintenance should take place regardless of the age of your home, it becomes even more important in the teen years. The National Roofing Contractors Association says you should examine the condition of the shingles. Any sign of blistering, buckling or curling means it’s time to replace them. You should also check the chimneys and pipes for wear or anything that seems to be coming apart. Also, check your gutters for any shingle granules. If you’re finding healthy amounts in the gutter, that means they’re not on the shingles and your roof is missing out on ultraviolet ray protection. If you find any of these problems, consider a roof repair by a licensed roofing contractor.

Gutter cleaning plays an important role in protecting your gutters, downspouts and foundation. Keep a clean gutter by regularly hiring a gutter cleaning company, and consider adding gutter guards to further protect them.

Window replacement and repair

As your windows age, they’re bound to lose the battle with draftiness or become stubborn and stick to their frames, and you’ll likely see your energy bill increase. Checking your windows for drafts and caulking is an easy solution that can be completed in a weekend and with minimal expense. Or you might consider new replacement windows with high energy efficiency. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says you’ll save 7 to 15 percent on your energy bill, and your home’s temperature will be consistent. No more drafts if you’re sitting by the window or rooms that feel too hot in the summer. A vinyl window overhaul can cost you upwards of $10,000 to $15,000. But the good news is that you’ll recover about 78 percent of that when you sell your home, according to Hanley Wood’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report.

Heating and cooling

Life expectancy in HVAC units is typically 10 to 15 years. Units produced today are much more energy-efficient than the models just a decade ago. If you’re constantly calling an HVAC contractor, your unit is noisy, it’s humid inside your house, your energy bills are rising, or your unit’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is less than 13, then it’s time to consider replacing your heating and cooling unit with a model that boasts higher energy efficiency. A licensed HVAC contractor can perform a load calculation that gets the most efficient model for your money.

Landscaping, tree service

When your house was new, the trees and landscape were so young and nonthreatening. As the years pass, the trees have matured and provide shade and beautiful aesthetics. But your gutters are getting clogged with leaves and you start to notice bumps and bulges in the path of tree roots, heading straight to your block patio. You’ll need to start cleaning those gutters more frequently. And if your tree roots are presenting problems, you can consider installing a barrier to the roots or dig and place pack material to discourage the roots.

A tree service professional can help ensure the best health for your trees by careful pruning and maintenance.

Painting and home décor


An easy way to help your home decor retain a youthful appearance is by livening it up with a new paint job. For both the interior and exterior, a fresh coat of paint can bring a crisp, clean, bold appearance. As walls get dingy and dirty, painting a room can do wonders. And introducing new colors can make a room or exterior of your house feel new again.

Staying in tune with your house during its tumultuous teen years is especially important if you plan on selling in the near future. Buyers tend to navigate toward homes that have been properly maintained and sport newer, more energy-efficient features. And exterior work such as regular tree service and fresh paint can increase curb appeal for a better home value.

 

Clever Storage Ideas for Everyone!

Those of you who have read my blog posts in the past, know that I am a big fan of the Apartment Therapy blog. Although the overall slant of the blog is about how to use limited space in a clever, tasteful and design-lover-worthy way (such as in apartment living) - I find there are many posts which are relevant to life in single family home as well. Many of us Northampton dwellers are design-driven. You don't have to live in a tiny apartment in a large city like NYC to appreciate clever and well-designed storage ideas! As realtors, we are often faced with the challenge of helping seller clients remove the clutter in their homes. This article highlights some great ideas for creating storage solutions in your home... which can help both with decluttering for resale, or just day to day clutter-free living! It also provides great ideas for people who are either building or renovating their homes. Enjoy!

 

10 Clever Hidden Storage Solutions You'll Wish You Had at Home


Run–don't walk–to your nearest contractor, cabinet maker or handy family member and ask–nay, beg–to have one of these seriously smart solutions built into the storage around your home.

Some of these ideas might even be worthwhile for long-term renters; if you're settled into your "almost-forever" apartment, give your existing cabinet specs to a builder and see if they can't craft a new drawer or slide-in piece with one of these brilliant solutions built right in:

Above: A drawer for all your endless utensils.
From Hearthstone Design.


This slide-out bathroom styling station.
From Sicora Design Build.



This pull-out sideways medicine cabinet.
From College City Design Build, via Houzz


These slim drawers built in the bathtub casing.
Designed by Wanda Ely, spotted in this tour on Houzz.



This convenient spot for dry ingredients.
From a 2009 issue of Maison & Demeure.



These stairs-turned-drawers.
As seen on Houzz, from Henarise Pty. Ltd.


This cleaning supply cabinet with a built-in caddy.
From Wood Mode Custom Cabinets.



This hideaway pet dish and food storage combo.
Another one from Wood Mode Custom Cabinets.



This slide-out knife block.
Designed by Signature Design & Cabinetry and featured on The Kitchn.



And this drawer, which is actually a ninja stepstool.
From The Kitchen Source, via Houzz.

(Image credits: Jeff Freeman; Sicora Design Build; College City Design Build; Andrew Snow; Maison & Demeure; Henarise Pty. Ltd.; Wood Mode; Signature Design and Cabinetry; The Kitchen Source)

 

Ikea Closet Transformation

As realtors, we wind up wearing many hats. We joke that we can play a range of roles from realtor, friend, matchmaker, interior designer and therapist to marriage counselor. With a process as emotionally charged as buying or selling a home, we need to be able to be empathic listeners, advisors (when solicited), and fonts of information about whom to call about which question or issue.

I spent an hour with a long standing client the other day, looking at a charming house from 1790. We were fantasizing about the many ways she could take a charmingly awkward space, and transform it into a usable space for her, without losing the charm of the era which drew her to the house in the first place. There are few things I find as enticing as a great "before and after" design story in a magazine or design blog.  Or, even better, to see a home transformed by talented designer, architect or builder.

I was perusing the Apartment Therapy blog today, and came across a fun story about the transformation of an awkward space into an attractive and functional closet, on an Ikea budget nonetheless! I felt compelled to share it here on our blog.

 

 

Before & After: IKEA to the Rescue for a Sloped-Ceiling Closet

 

Master bedroom closet with sloped ceiling, before renovation

Brit realizes she's lucky to have decent-sized closets in her 1924 Seattle home, but the walk-in closet in the master still felt tiny and cramped because of the very sloped ceiling. She really wanted to retain the old house charm but to bring the organization into this century.

 

Wow, that is one stunning space. Here's how it all came together.

 

Renovated master bedroom walk-in closet with sloped ceiling

From Brit:

We decided to use two layers of storage - one for off-season clothes in the deepest part of the eaves and the other for in-season clothes hanging in front. We hacked some Ikea Besta bookcases to create all of our built-in storage. We also added shiny white beadboard on the wall, ceiling, and slope to unify the space and to keep with the time period. To make the closet even brighter, we painted the original wood floors white and added a multi-colored kilim rug. To give the room more depth and drama, we updated the window trim and painted it shiny black. Now the space is much more functional while retaining much of the 1920s character.

See more at House Updated.

 

Thank you Brit!

 

Comments

  1. Sarah on

    God bless Dr. Osas for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of HERPES since 2012 and I was taking my medications, I wasn't satisfied i needed to get the HERPES out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for HERPES i saw a comment about Dr. Osas, how he cured HERPES with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through UPS SPEED POST. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 14 days later i was cured from HERPES, Dr. Osas truly you are great, do you need his help also? Why don't you contact him through doctorosasherbalhome@gmail.com whatsapp him on +2348112252378 DOCTOR OSAS CAN AS WELL CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:- 1. HIV/AIDS 2. HERPES 3. CANCER ALL KINDS 4. ALS 5. Hepatitis A,B,C 6. Diabetes 7. CHRONIC DISEASE 8. Coronary Artery Disease (Ischemic Heart Disease) 9. Alopecia 10.Bipolar disorder 11.Bedwetting 12.Carpal tunnel syndrome 13.Celiac disease 14.Ear Infections 15.Endometriosis 16.Epilepsy 17.Chlamydia 18.Syphilis 19.Gonorrhea
    • doris fletcher on

      i was ever going to be HIV Negative again,Dr Olokum has given me reasons to be happy, i was HIV positive for 2years and all the means i tried for treatment was not helpful to me, but when i came on the Internet i saw great testimony about Dr Olokum on how he was able to cure someone from HIV, this person said great things about this man, and advice we contact him for any Disease problem that Dr Olokum can be of help, well i decided to give him a try, he requested for my information which i sent to him, and he told me he was going to prepare for me a healing portion, which he wanted me to take for days, and after which i should go back to the hospital for check up, well after taking all the treatment sent to me by Dr Olokum i went back to the Hospital for check up, and now i have been confirmed HIV Negative, friends you can reach Dr olokum on any treatment for any Disease he is the one only i can show you all up to, reach him on drolokumspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348161554365
      • doris fletcher on

        Hello……… my name jessica All thanks to Dr ofemu for his good work and for healing my brother for HIV sickness he was very sick for five years and my daddy have spend so much money on medical care and drug he have being taking to some many place for healing… even different pastor have pray for him it get worse every 6hous the man that heal with 6min is here the man that the lord god have giving the power to put every thing in place the man that give a word and never fail my kid brother was just chatting one day when he see this post of jack about the curing of HIV/ADIS virus by Dr ofemu he run to my daddy and tell him about the man my daddy decided to call him and confirm it if it is true about the cure the man just assure him about his work that the great power of is for father and his gods cure any disease include HIV/AID, Rota virus, Smallpox ,Hepatitis well we have hope on him which we give a try to after five days my kind brother started getting better as am write this comment his is at work now what a miracle….. if you need help from Dr ofemu contact him now on ofemusolutiontemple@gmail.com or contact him via +2348161554365
        • jessica on

          'After being in relationship with Wilson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don't believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr Zuma zuk and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: spiritualherbalisthealers@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS'
          • ella johnson on

            I want to share my true life story and how i got help to save my life and my marriage firstly i want to thank a great man called Dr.fara. i was married for the past 8years looking for a baby badly and i have spend alot of money for medical description all to no avail until the 9years after loosing hope already and my husband has already made up his mind to marry another woman and it was like big slap on my face till one faithful day i was on the internet checking on what to do to get pregnant and i saw a testimony share by Marina johnson in Brooklyn NY, USA on how she got help to have a baby of her own today and she now live a happy life with his husband and she also pregnant again and i quickly contacted the email and number wrote which is drfaraspelltemple@gmail.com and +2348054265852 now am pregnant after doing what this man ask me to do and the instruction he gave to me, am now 7months pregnant after 8years of marriage am so so happy and if you are out there having this similar problem quickly contact him now for your help,he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like: (1)If you want your ex back. (2) herpes cure. (3)You want to be promoted in your office. (4)You want women/ men to run after you. (5)Hiv cure. (6)[Als disease cure. (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8)if you are not seeing your period he can also cure you.
            • ella johnson on

              I want to share my true life story and how i got help to save my life and my marriage firstly i want to thank a great man called Dr.fara. i was married for the past 8years looking for a baby badly and i have spend alot of money for medical description all to no avail until the 9years after loosing hope already and my husband has already made up his mind to marry another woman and it was like big slap on my face till one faithful day i was on the internet checking on what to do to get pregnant and i saw a testimony share by Marina johnson in Brooklyn NY, USA on how she got help to have a baby of her own today and she now live a happy life with his husband and she also pregnant again and i quickly contacted the email and number wrote which is drfaraspelltemple@gmail.com and +2348054265852 now am pregnant after doing what this man ask me to do and the instruction he gave to me, am now 7months pregnant after 8years of marriage am so so happy and if you are out there having this similar problem quickly contact him now for your help,he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like: (1)If you want your ex back. (2) herpes cure. (3)You want to be promoted in your office. (4)You want women/ men to run after you. (5)Hiv cure. (6)[Als disease cure. (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8)if you are not seeing your period he can also cure you.
              • ella johnson on

                I want to share my true life story and how i got help to save my life and my marriage firstly i want to thank a great man called Dr.fara. i was married for the past 8years looking for a baby badly and i have spend alot of money for medical description all to no avail until the 9years after loosing hope already and my husband has already made up his mind to marry another woman and it was like big slap on my face till one faithful day i was on the internet checking on what to do to get pregnant and i saw a testimony share by Marina johnson in Brooklyn NY, USA on how she got help to have a baby of her own today and she now live a happy life with his husband and she also pregnant again and i quickly contacted the email and number wrote which is drfaraspelltemple@gmail.com and +2348054265852 now am pregnant after doing what this man ask me to do and the instruction he gave to me, am now 7months pregnant after 8years of marriage am so so happy and if you are out there having this similar problem quickly contact him now for your help,he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like: (1)If you want your ex back. (2) herpes cure. (3)You want to be promoted in your office. (4)You want women/ men to run after you. (5)Hiv cure. (6)[Als disease cure. (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8)if you are not seeing your period he can also cure you.
                • ella johnson on

                  I want to share my true life story and how i got help to save my life and my marriage firstly i want to thank a great man called Dr.fara. i was married for the past 8years looking for a baby badly and i have spend alot of money for medical description all to no avail until the 9years after loosing hope already and my husband has already made up his mind to marry another woman and it was like big slap on my face till one faithful day i was on the internet checking on what to do to get pregnant and i saw a testimony share by Marina johnson in Brooklyn NY, USA on how she got help to have a baby of her own today and she now live a happy life with his husband and she also pregnant again and i quickly contacted the email and number wrote which is drfaraspelltemple@gmail.com and +2348054265852 now am pregnant after doing what this man ask me to do and the instruction he gave to me, am now 7months pregnant after 8years of marriage am so so happy and if you are out there having this similar problem quickly contact him now for your help,he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like: (1)If you want your ex back. (2) herpes cure. (3)You want to be promoted in your office. (4)You want women/ men to run after you. (5)Hiv cure. (6)[Als disease cure. (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8)if you are not seeing your period he can also cure you.
                  • ella johnson on

                    I want to share my true life story and how i got help to save my life and my marriage firstly i want to thank a great man called Dr.fara. i was married for the past 8years looking for a baby badly and i have spend alot of money for medical description all to no avail until the 9years after loosing hope already and my husband has already made up his mind to marry another woman and it was like big slap on my face till one faithful day i was on the internet checking on what to do to get pregnant and i saw a testimony share by Marina johnson in Brooklyn NY, USA on how she got help to have a baby of her own today and she now live a happy life with his husband and she also pregnant again and i quickly contacted the email and number wrote which is drfaraspelltemple@gmail.com and +2348054265852 now am pregnant after doing what this man ask me to do and the instruction he gave to me, am now 7months pregnant after 8years of marriage am so so happy and if you are out there having this similar problem quickly contact him now for your help,he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, he cast spells for different purposes like: (1)If you want your ex back. (2) herpes cure. (3)You want to be promoted in your office. (4)You want women/ men to run after you. (5)Hiv cure. (6)[Als disease cure. (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8)if you are not seeing your period he can also cure you.
                    • Helen Robert on

                      I'm here to testify about the great work Dr Marvel did for me. I have been suffering from (HERPES) disease for the past 5 years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year,I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulating all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came across a testimony of one lady on the internet testifying about a Man called Dr Marvel on how he cured her from Herpes Simplex Virus. And she also gave the email address of this man and advise anybody to contact him for help for any kind of sickness that he would be of help, so I emailed him telling him about my (HERPES Virus) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! Well i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as Dr Marvel assured me that i will be cured,after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if i have be finally healed behold it was TRUE, So friends my advise is if you have such sickness or any other at all you can contact Dr Marvel via email extremespellhome@hotmail.com . You can also call his telephone number +1 559 898 2962. Thanks once again Dr Marvel. Helen Robert.
                      • caldin on

                        Hello everybody am caldin anya, from germany This is a testimony i want to make.I was an HIV positive for 8 years taking anti retrovirus.As i was reading online some 5 months ago i saw a testimony on cure of HIV.I decided to give a try.Now as am telling you am very negative tested 4 times in 5 months after finishing mu cure.The cure is a pure herbs from Africa shipped to me through DHL.My cure took about 4 to 7 days.Dear brothers and sisters if you are out there,please the cure is out and rush to have yours.If you are interested,email the researcher using ehigraceherbalhivcure@gmail. com, or visit his websites http://ehigraceherbalhivcure.webs.com I will encourage every person who come across this mail to cure yourself if you are positive.THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ehi. HERPES, WITCH CRAFT PROBLEM, HIV/AIDS. CANCER. ALS .NEED YOUR EX BACK, PERFECT CHARM, NEED A BABY, you can also call or whatsapp [+2348071635034]
                        • caldin on

                          Hello everybody am caldin anya, from germany This is a testimony i want to make.I was an HIV positive for 8 years taking anti retrovirus.As i was reading online some 5 months ago i saw a testimony on cure of HIV.I decided to give a try.Now as am telling you am very negative tested 4 times in 5 months after finishing mu cure.The cure is a pure herbs from Africa shipped to me through DHL.My cure took about 4 to 7 days.Dear brothers and sisters if you are out there,please the cure is out and rush to have yours.If you are interested,email the researcher using ehigraceherbalhivcure@gmail. com, or visit his websites http://ehigraceherbalhivcure.webs.com I will encourage every person who come across this mail to cure yourself if you are positive.THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ehi. HERPES, WITCH CRAFT PROBLEM, HIV/AIDS. CANCER. ALS .NEED YOUR EX BACK, PERFECT CHARM, NEED A BABY, you can also call or whatsapp [+2348071635034]
                          • caldin on

                            Hello everybody am caldin anya, from germany This is a testimony i want to make.I was an HIV positive for 8 years taking anti retrovirus.As i was reading online some 5 months ago i saw a testimony on cure of HIV.I decided to give a try.Now as am telling you am very negative tested 4 times in 5 months after finishing mu cure.The cure is a pure herbs from Africa shipped to me through DHL.My cure took about 4 to 7 days.Dear brothers and sisters if you are out there,please the cure is out and rush to have yours.If you are interested,email the researcher using ehigraceherbalhivcure@gmail. com, or visit his websites http://ehigraceherbalhivcure.webs.com I will encourage every person who come across this mail to cure yourself if you are positive.THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ehi. HERPES, WITCH CRAFT PROBLEM, HIV/AIDS. CANCER. ALS .NEED YOUR EX BACK, PERFECT CHARM, NEED A BABY, you can also call or whatsapp [+2348071635034]
                            • caldin on

                              Hello everybody am caldin anya, from germany This is a testimony i want to make.I was an HIV positive for 8 years taking anti retrovirus.As i was reading online some 5 months ago i saw a testimony on cure of HIV.I decided to give a try.Now as am telling you am very negative tested 4 times in 5 months after finishing mu cure.The cure is a pure herbs from Africa shipped to me through DHL.My cure took about 4 to 7 days.Dear brothers and sisters if you are out there,please the cure is out and rush to have yours.If you are interested,email the researcher using ehigraceherbalhivcure@gmail. com, or visit his websites http://ehigraceherbalhivcure.webs.com I will encourage every person who come across this mail to cure yourself if you are positive.THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ehi. HERPES, WITCH CRAFT PROBLEM, HIV/AIDS. CANCER. ALS .NEED YOUR EX BACK, PERFECT CHARM, NEED A BABY, you can also call or whatsapp [+2348071635034]
                              • lucy anu on

                                HELLO EVERYONE, i don't just know the reason why some people is finding it difficult to believe that there is a cure for HIV, i have been HIV+ since last three years with my boyfriend but today i am happy that i am HIV_ with herbal medicine of DR OBHIOTOR the great healer,i was browsing the internet searching for help when i came across a testimony shared by someone on how DR OBHIOTOR cure his HIV i was so much in need of getting his treatment but after all DR OBHIOTOR brought a smile to my face with his herbal medicine. i am so much happy today that we have someone like this great healer out there, so my people out there kindly contact this great healer on his email address: dr.obhiotorherbalhome@gmail.com please sir keep your good work cause there are people out there who is in need of your healing medicine.once more contact him now: dr.obhiotorherbalhome@gmail.com or call his number +2347064851317
                                • Flora on

                                  Hello!! I’m indeed very happy for the great help that Dr. Agumagu rendered to me, I was a HIV patient my husband also was a HIV patient, we saw a blog whereby Dr. Agumagu cured HIV, we (Me and My Husband) decided to contact him which we did, he asked us to buy some items, unfailingly we sent him the money he will need in buying the items required, He casted the spell and asked us to go for check-up after three days of casting the spell, Luckily for us we were tested HIV negative, now I believe all these Testimonies about him on the internet, he is truly a great man, if you want to discuss with me on how he cured us, kindly email me on jacquelineshley@outlook.com or you can contact the great Herbalist and a spell caster on agumaguspelltemple@outlook.com or agumaguspelltemple@gmail.com you can call him via his mobile phone number on +2348158847627
                                  • lucy anu on

                                    HELLO EVERYONE, i don't just know the reason why some people is finding it difficult to believe that there is a cure for HIV, i have been HIV+ since last three years with my boyfriend but today i am happy that i am HIV_ with herbal medicine of DR OBHIOTOR the great healer,i was browsing the internet searching for help when i came across a testimony shared by someone on how DR OBHIOTOR cure his HIV i was so much in need of getting his treatment but after all DR OBHIOTOR brought a smile to my face with his herbal medicine. i am so much happy today that we have someone like this great healer out there, so my people out there kindly contact this great healer on his email address: dr.obhiotorherbalhome@gmail.com please sir keep your good work cause there are people out there who is in need of your healing medicine.once more contact him now: dr.obhiotorherbalhome@gmail.com or call his number +2347064851317
                                    • lucy anu on

                                      HELLO EVERYONE, i don't just know the reason why some people is finding it difficult to believe that there is a cure for HIV, i have been HIV+ since last three years with my boyfriend but today i am happy that i am HIV_ with herbal medicine of DR OBHIOTOR the great healer,i was browsing the internet searching for help when i came across a testimony shared by someone on how DR OBHIOTOR cure his HIV i was so much in need of getting his treatment but after all DR OBHIOTOR brought a smile to my face with his herbal medicine. i am so much happy today that we have someone like this great healer out there, so my people out there kindly contact this great healer on his email address: dr.obhiotorherbalhome@gmail.com please sir keep your good work cause there are people out there who is in need of your healing medicine.once more contact him now: dr.obhiotorherbalhome@gmail.com or call his number +2347064851317........
                                      • Sarah Robinson on

                                        I've had HEPATITIS B problem over 4 years. I tried everything, of course I went to the doctor. about a hundred times, and though about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I’m gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was surfing the internet I found Dr.Suku contact number. I called him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I’m cured by Dr. Suku herbal medicine, I’m very thankful to Dr. Suku and very happy with my hubby and family.his email greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com or contact his hot line:+2348074839242 so any type of disease HIV/AIDS,CANCER, ALS, Hepatitis C, PCV.. HERPES,through his via email;greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com his website http://greatsukusolutiont.wix.com/dr-suku
                                        • Sarah Robinson on

                                          I've had HEPATITIS B problem over 4 years. I tried everything, of course I went to the doctor. about a hundred times, and though about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I’m gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was surfing the internet I found Dr.Suku contact number. I called him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I’m cured by Dr. Suku herbal medicine, I’m very thankful to Dr. Suku and very happy with my hubby and family.his email greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com or contact his hot line:+2348074839242 so any type of disease HIV/AIDS,CANCER, ALS, Hepatitis C, PCV.. HERPES,through his via email;greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com his website http://greatsukusolutiont.wix.com/dr-suku
                                          • ellis on

                                            i am Ellis, a survivor (cancer). i am not so good at testimonies but i must testify about my encounter with DR. EHIS. no one introduced me to this man, i saw a testimony by a lady who was cured of ALS and i was astounded. seeing his email address on the post, i contacted him and on we went. after so much has been done, i was a bit skeptical at first until i went for chemo and was told by the doctor that the growth is no longer there. This man's wonderment cleared my doubt and he has given me testimony for life. i am forever grateful to him because if it had not been for him,, i might not have seen the b light of this day. here is his email address thebrotherhoodtemple@gmail.com
                                            • ellis on

                                              i am Ellis, a survivor (cancer). i am not so good at testimonies but i must testify about my encounter with DR. EHIS. no one introduced me to this man, i saw a testimony by a lady who was cured of ALS and i was astounded. seeing his email address on the post, i contacted him and on we went. after so much has been done, i was a bit skeptical at first until i went for chemo and was told by the doctor that the growth is no longer there. This man's wonderment cleared my doubt and he has given me testimony for life. i am forever grateful to him because if it had not been for him,, i might not have seen the b light of this day. here is his email address thebrotherhoodtemple@gmail.com

                                              Spring Recycling Events

                                              Few things make me happier than purging things we no longer use or need.  In light of that, and that fact that spring actually seems to have arrived; so I'm sure that many of you are itching to do some spring cleaning...
                                              This information just in from my live-in, walking recycling resource:
                                              RECYCLING EVENT this coming Saturday, April 12, from 9 until Noon at Smith Vocational High School on Locust Street sponsored by the Northampton ReUse Committee. This is the first of a series of special material recycling events coming in the Spring and Fall 2014.The materials to be collected this Saturday are: Paper Shredding Styrofoam Pellet Plastic Bags from Pellet StovesPaper ShreddingOn site secure document paper shredding will be provided by Pro-Shred of Wilbraham. Please bring only clean and dry paper. Manila folders are okay but plastic folders and page dividers are not. Shredded paper will be recycled at the event. There is a limit of two curbside recycling sized boxes.

                                              Styrofoam Recycling

                                              Materials that will be accepted are large pieces of white, clean and dry foam. Any paper or plastic must be removed and will not be accepted.In addition colored foam, packing peanuts and food related foam like cups, plates and trays will not be accepted.

                                              Pellet Bags Recycling Bags must be empty, dry and relatively clean. Only bags from wood pellets will be accepted. Please stack empty bags, fold them together and place the roll inside another empty pellet bag.

                                              The ReUse Committee is always looking for volunteers to help at these events. They usually require one to four hours of time on a Saturday morning. If you are interested in joining our corps of volunteers, please contact me at david.starr@comcast.net. The events are fun and social and require no previous experience.

                                              Upcoming Events

                                              April 26th - Community Tag Sale and Swap, Northampton

                                              May 3 - Bulky Rigid Plastics and Kid's Stuff Exchange    9 till Noon at Smith Voc toys, lawn furniture, plastic play structures, plastic buckets...

                                              For information regarding this and upcoming recycling events please contact Susan Waite, Northampton Recycling Coordinator, with any questions 413 587 1059 or swaite@northamptonma.gov.

                                              In addition to the exciting news above.... My resources tell me that there is a drop off site in Holyoke for any unwanted paint!

                                              paint

                                               

                                              As you can see, we have a nice collection going and we are thinking it's time to purge!  And what a great idea that someone else might actually be able to use it.  A win-win situation.  Here is the information:

                                              Latex paint can be brought to the Refuse/Recycling Drop-off Site for disposal. Paint swap is available for anyone interested in unused paint. Empty latex paint cans that are dried up can be brought to the Refuse/Recycling Center. Empty cans of oil-based paint must be disposed of during the City's hazardous waste day, which is held twice a year in the Spring, and Fall. Information concerning the City's Hazardous Waste Days is available by calling the DPW at 413-322-5645.

                                               

                                              Happy Purging everyone!

                                               

                                               

                                               

                                              A New Coat of Paint

                                               

                                              I was visiting some clients last week to advise them about readying their house to potentially sell.  They wanted advice about any work I might recommend they do before listing it.  The house is a well-kept single-floor home (ranch-style), with some very nice attributes:  wider hallways (custom designed to accommodate a wheelchair) which creates a sense of spaciousness often missing from certain houses of that era; a master suite (uncommon in many ranch style homes), a large eat-in kitchen, a dining/living room, two wooden decks and a semi-finished basement.  The house was built in the 60's - so some of the original wallpaper has not held up, stylistically-speaking.  The bathrooms and kitchen are somewhat dated, but, overall the house is lovely, it has a sense of being well-built and spacious.  The thing that struck me most, on this second visit to the house, was how refreshed the kitchen and baths looked from the first time I had visited.  And to what could I attribute this fresh new look?  A few coats of paint!

                                               

                                              Even though as realtors we come across this all the time, I am still so amazed a what a huge difference a freshly painted room can make.  A room with a dingy paint job, or with cracks in the paint, conveys a message akin to "this house requires a great deal of work to take care of, and the owners have been too overwhelmed to stay on top of it" (or some such notion).  The truth is, we tend to become comfortable with our surroundings and don't always notice when a paint job has run it's course.  By the same token, if you are preparing your house to put on the market, a complete renovation of a kitchen or bathroom won't necessarily equal the same increase in value or profit when you go to sell.  Whereas, less expensive measures such as cleaning windows, decluttering and organizing, a very thorough overall house cleaning, a yard cleared of debris, and freshly painted walls (usually best in neutral colors vs. dark or bright colors) can go a long way towards conveying a message of "home sweet home" to prospective buyers.

                                               

                                              So, look closely at your walls.  Are there small handprints placed at kid-level throughout the house?  Has the paint around your framed artwork and photos faded?  Are there cracks in the paint?  If so, it may be time to start thinking about repainting - one room at a time!

                                               

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