Select Page

TOP-BANNER-NL-FEBRUARY-2016-VESTED

Article-1Learn all about what’s happening in your area – or the area you’re thinking about moving to with these short and straight to the point Market Watch Videos on our YouTube Channel.

Want more detailed reports? Visit our Relocation Tools page to see market stats, use our area guide and map narrow your search.

Article-2-1

Snow in the forecast? No matter how much snow is expected to accumulate, homeowners can make certain they’re prepared with an arsenal of tools that can be called upon when clearing snow from driveways, sidewalks and pathways around the home.

To clear snow from large, flat areas, such as the driveway, a snow blower is the best tool. To eliminate the need to restock gas supplies during a storm, consider using hybrid snow blower. When using the hybrid model, clear the areas furthest from your home first using the battery, and then switch to corded electric power as you move closer to your home. Clear a path as it snows, if possible, to avoid a larger job later on. Once snow has been removed, cover icy patches with salt or sand.

When it comes to clearing sidewalks and pathways, put down ice melt a few hours ahead of lighter snowfall-this can melt snow up to 2 inches down and keep ice from forming. If a blizzard threatens your area, remove smaller amounts of snow from sidewalks and pathways several times, instead of waiting until the snow stops falling. This not only cuts strenuous activity, but also allows the sun to warm up the surface.

Remember that while removing snow, it’s important to dress warmly, paying attention to parts of the body that are vulnerable to frostbite, like fingers and toes. Dress in layers so that you can remove articles of clothing as your body heats up.

Bear in mind also that some municipalities require homeowners to keep sidewalks clear, so be sure to make contingency plans if you yourself will be unable to remove snow in a timely manner.

Source: Snow Joe

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved.

Article-3

Bathroom remodels require their fair share of the stake, and if you have a tiny bathroom, that can mean forking over big bucks solely for demolition. Yikes!

But before you knock down any walls, consider these supersizing tricks professional remodelers use-without actually increasing square footage:

  • Tile size and pattern can either grow or diminish spaciousness. Conventional wall tiles are 4-inches by 4-inches, which, to the eye, appear smaller than they should. To increase the sense of space in the bathroom, use bigger, glossy wall tiles, like ceramic or granite, in a largely uninterrupted pattern.
  • Lighter colors create the impression of more space. To play into this effect, select floor tile that are lighter in color, and arrange them diagonally to give the illusion of more space.
  • Tiny bathrooms lack the space for a full-sized bathtub, so don’t try to squeeze one in. Instead, install a compartment shower with glass walls. These allow the occupant to see the room wall to wall, without their line of sight cut off by a curtain or door.
  • Strategically-placed lighting can also add spaciousness. To make the most of your tiny bathroom, install wall fixtures, rather than overhead lighting. Wall lighting illuminates the bathroom at eye level; overhead lighting can cast shadows, lending a cramped feel to the space.

Source: Cornerstone Design & Remodel.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved.

Article-4

High winter heating bills can make mincemeat of your budget-but a few tricks can help keep you toasty and warm this winter and keep heating costs under control. Home improvement experts suggest these seven tips:

  1. Service the Furnace – Seems like a no-brainer, but many homeowners forget or put off having the furnace checked each fall. Being certain that your system is working efficiently can help save you big bucks.
  2. Flip the Ceiling Fan – Warm air rises. While it may seem odd to have the ceiling fan on in cold weather, flipping the switch to spin in a clockwise manner will help to warm up the room.
  3. Reflect the Radiator – If you have radiators in your home, place a sheet of aluminum foil behind each one. The radiator will heat the foil, which will reflect heat back into the room.
  4. Put a Stop to Drafty Doors – Warm air escapes and cold air enters from the space under your front door. Stop the leakage with a piece of foam pipe insulation cut to the right size. It’s lightweight and easy to remove and reuse as needed.
  5. Put a Jacket on Your Water Heater – According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save an average of $20 a month on your heating bill just by wrapping your water heater in an insulating blanket, available at most home stores.
  6. Consider the Cost of Exhaust – Using the exhaust fan is a good way to remove humid air from the bathroom after showering, but turn it off as soon as feasible. Using the fans for long periods can run up your heating bill because the warm air pulled out is replaced with cold air, which needs to be heated.
  7. Let the Sun Shine In – Many families leave their blinds or drapes closed when they leave home for the day. Letting the daytime sun in-especially in south-facing rooms–can bring in enough warmth to help your rooms stay warmer into the evening even after the window coverings are closed.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved.

Article-5

Most homeowners become concerned when winter storms threaten snow and ice damage to their property. What they’re often less concerned about is water damage, which can be just as detrimental to a home as snow and ice buildup.

Water, no matter how much or how little, can cause foundation damage, mold growth, musty smells and damage to tools and furniture. A damp area can also attract pests, which can cause severe damage to the structure of your home. High relative humidity (RH) in wet spaces can also lead to rust on tools and other metal objects, and even cause electronics to fail.

Areas of your home that may flood-a basement or crawlspace, for instance-must be outfitted to ensure adequate drying. To do that, most homeowners can:

  • Patch Leaks – If the source of a leak is obvious and small, perform patching to repair them. (If cracks are widespread or there are signs foundation damage has already occurred, it’s best to call a professional.)
  • Clear Drains – If your home has a clogged French drain (or no sump pump), the water will have no way to exit your property. Be sure to clear drains of any debris, and consider installing a sump pump if flooding is a frequent occurrence in your area.
  • Dehumidify the Air – The only real way to remove moisture from the air is with a dehumidifier. Purchase a high-capacity dehumidifier to protect your home from the damaging effects of excess moisture.

Source: Aprilaire

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved.

Article-6

Everyone gets bored with their surroundings occasionally-especially when the winter doldrums set in and we are spending more time at home. A quick renovation can help boost your mood, and doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money.

Designers offer four tips for giving your home new interest while spending minimal dollars:

Use paint and molding – Changing the color of the walls can give a room a whole new look. If you can’t afford to paint the whole house, focus on one room – the living or family room, perhaps. Replace the old or outdated baseboards with attractive new ones. Think about adding crown molding. By far the cheapest option, but very effective, is to paint an accent wall in one room – giving one wall of the living room, for example, new warmth and personality.

Change the lighting – Lighting definitely affects the mood you and your guests feel in your home. Poor lighting can make you feel depressed. Bright lighting can stimulate the mind – and natural light coming through windows and skylights can calm your mind and emotions. Think about trading in those light-blocking drapes for blinds, shutters – or nothing. Decide what kind of lighting effect you want in a room and choose light fixtures and bulb sizes accordingly.

Rearrange the furniture – Keeping everything the same can get stifling after a while, and rearranging the furniture can be fun. Place the biggest pieces first. Create an inviting seating/conversational area. Leave enough room for walkways. Add a few colorful new accent pieces, like pillows or coffee table décor, to create a lively new look.

Organize – There is nothing inviting about clutter. Spending some time (and maybe some money) to organize your living space can help make your home more inviting. Sort your belongings and figure out the best way to store them. Add some shelving (store-bought or do-it-yourself), a bookcase to hold both books and knickknacks, or a storage unit for CDs or DVDs.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia.©2016. All rights reserved

 

Font Resize
Contrast