What to look for in a home if you want to age in place

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Read on to learn of some ways that can allow you to stay safer in your home as you grow older.

Easier drawer pulls

Lever door handles are easier to turn than knobs. These are among one of the more inexpensive changes that can be added to your home.

Think flooring. Wood, linoleum, cork or even rubber flooring are good options because they are easier on joints and safer if a fall were to occur.

Being able to pull out shelves to reach exactly what you need is necessary especially when things become less accessible as you age. Wide, easy-to-grab cabinet and drawer pulls are essential if you want to age in place. Cabinet knobs and drawer pulls are also a fairly inexpensive change.

Wider hallways and passages to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. In the kitchen, the Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines require at least 60 inches of clearance between opposing cabinets, walls or appliances for U-shaped kitchens; galley or “pass through” kitchens require at least 40 inches of clearance between opposing surfaces.

No-threshold shower. Although these are growing in popularity due to the sleek look they offer, curbless showers are essential in an aging in place home as they are easier and safer to use. Grab bars can also be added for more safety.

Curbless shower

Curbless shower

Atleast one no step entry in to the home that is covered and well lit. This is essential to allow access for wheelchairs and walkers.

Elevator. If the home is more then one level be sure the staircase has secure banisters as well as an elevator. If you are not prepared to install an elevator currently, you can frame in stacked closets on top of each other to use for storage until you are ready to add in the elevator.

Wider doors to allow for walkers and wheelchairs. It is suggested that doorways be atleast 32-inches wide.

Install comfort-height toilets. These are two to three inches higher than traditional toilets, and require less bending to sit on.

In conclusion, addressing flooring issues, installing additional lighting and adding in a curbless showers are all things that may be beneficial to all ages and can be more aesthetically appealing. Are you considering adding any of these features to your home?

Sources houzz.com and The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Veneer and Stone Bi Level Home

Were nearing completion on this bi level home on the South River. The combination of wood and stone veneer siding truly makes this home stand out. Click on each image to see it enlarged.

Have You Heard: Pantones 2017 Color of the year is here

PANTONE-Color-of-the-Year-2017-Greenery-15-0343-leaves-2732x2048-1200x900Have you heard? Pantone recently released it’s choice for Color of the Year for 2017. This symbolic selection is a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. This years choice is a vibrant and refreshing color named Greenery. Although inspired by nature, the staff is very specific about the shade describing it as “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.”

“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose” Leatrice Eiseman

You can easily incorporate this color in your home and life to elevate your mood and to encourage new beginnings. As Pantone states, Greenery is natures neutral color and can be incorporated with many different shades including yellow, melon, purples and blues. Try these tips below to keep you up to date on trends:

  • Painting all four walls may be a bit overwhelming. Try to use it on an accent wall or kitchen back splash to give your room a refreshing look.
  • Often overlooked when trying to incorporate a new hue: add something alive! Bring plants and herbs in this bright color into your home to liven up any room.
  • Rugs, throws, tablecloths and pillows are always an easy way to stay on top of trends. They are also inexpensive and easily changed. This color will stand out even more in a neutral room.

Pantone’s staff around the world spends the year studying trends in fashion, consumer products, social media, art and technology. It looks for influences that best describe the current culture and mood in our society.

“There’s a growing desire to reconnect with Nature and what is real, and find ways to disconnect from technology. We need a break. We need to stop and breathe. “(Greenery) is about unity and community—connecting to oneself and others and a higher purpose, Nature.” Laurie Pressman, Pantone Color Institutes Vice President

Credit: www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2017 and CNN.com

Ways to save on heating costs this Winter

Although the days have been warmer here in Maryland, they are slowly becoming chillier as we near Christmas. If you are concerned about cranking up the heat because of the increase in your electric bill, check out our easy tips for reducing your energy costs.

Adjust your thermostat at night or during the day when you are away from you home. You can save about 10 percent per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day, according to the US Department of Energy.

Keep your furnace clean and unblocked. Check your furnace filter regularly and replace it cff5f4c3a91f45e51e8fc13924e3c00bwhen it gets dirty. A dirty filter makes your furnace or heat pump work harder, and leads to higher energy bills.

Plastic wrap your windows. Drafty windows can be major culprits of heat loss, but can easily be fixed by covering them with plastic. DIY window insulation kits start as low as $12 and can even be found at local stores like Target.

Hang thermal curtains. Invest in curtains with thermal lining that will block heat and UV in the summer and keep cold air out in the Winter.

ceiling fan - stock photoReverse the ceiling fan. Most ceiling fans have a switch you can flip that will change the direction the fan blades are rotating. This will push hot air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the room.

 

Decorate for warmth. Put flannel sheets on your bed, warm rugs on your floors and extra throw blankets on the sofas.

Take advantage of free solar heating. Open curtains during the day to allow the sun to warm your home; close curtains at night to trap in the heat.

Close the damper. Sometimes overlooked this can be a major culprit in heat loss. Keep the damper closed when your fireplace isn’t in use to prevent warm air escaping.

H.O.M.E: Home Operations and Maintenance Evaluation

Are you aware of all that our Home Operations and Maintenance Evaluation (H.O.M.E) offers? For the majority of homeowners today their homes are one of their most valuable investments. H.O.M.E. provides homeowners a comprehensive evaluation of the operations and maintenance of your entire home inside and out.

WSP1Why should you choose the H.O.M.E. program?

  • Save money by eliminating avoidable repairs and failures.
  • Extend the life of home components, equipment, and systems.
  • Reduce safety and health risks in your home.
  • Shorten your ‘to-do’ list.
  • Maximize your home’s value and resale potential.
  • Improve and maintain your home’s appearance and appeal.
  • Take pleasure in your beautiful home where everything works as designed.
  • Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your home is professionally maintained.
  • Extra Time to do the things that are most important to you.

How does H.O.M.E work and when should it be done?

  • A Lundberg technician will conduct up to a 4 hour evaluation using a 300+ point check list.
  • The H.O.M.E. checklist inspects all operations and maintenance needs of your home inside and out.
  • During the evaluation minor repairs will be addressed (Included in evaluation).
  • Larger repairs, if needed, will be noted and an estimate for repairs will be provided if desired.
  • It is suggested that homeowners check the maintenance needs of their home 2-4 times a year.
  • Routine maintenance as needed.

Subscription rates
H.O.M.E is offered as a yearly subscription, providing 3 levels of comfort for home maintenance

  • 1 Yearly inspection visit: $250.00 total investment
  • 2 Yearly inspection visits: $400.00 total investment ($150.00 annual savings)
  • 4 Yearly inspection visits: $600.00 total investment ($400.00 annual savings)

***If repairs are needed and work is commenced a $250.00 credit will be applied to your final invoice after repairs are completed. Credit may only be used one time in a calendar year.

downloadHome Operations and Maintenance Evaluation extended services
We understand that your time is valuable and when issues arise with your home, whether it be your weekend retreat or your main abode. H.O.M.E. extended services are available to address those issues when you cannot. Let H.O.M.E. extended services be your hassle free solution.

H.O.M.E extended services include:

  • Seasonal preparation
  • Pool closing/opening
  • Landscape clean-up
  • Deck and ext. furniture cleaning
  • Outside furniture prep or store
  • Dock and lift maintenance
  • Ext. hoses/water line maintenance

Don’t let your unfinished projects and to-to lists continue to grow. Let us provide you with high quality workmanship for your home and check off all of those to-dos!
Contact us today at 410-643-3334 for more information.

Your Fall Home Checklist

Boost your homes energy efficiency and prevent winter damage by checking  off these to-dos before cold weather hits.

concrete-walkwayCheck outside walkways, stairs and the driveway for cracks or imperfections. When covered in ice and snow these can be hard to maneuver and can become hazardous

Take a walk around your house and look for signs of damage. This includes the roof, siding and foundation. Schedule these repairs before winter comes.

Seal gaps where critters could enter. With colder weather animals are always looking for a warm place and some only need a small gap to sneak in.

Stock up and check the condition of winter supplies. This includes snow scrapers, shovels, emergency kits and snow blowers (if you use them).

Raking-leaves-300x225

Rake leaves. Letting leaves sit over winter can inhibit spring growth.

Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Drain the hoses and protect your pipes from the dropping temperatures.

Add weatherstripping. This is often overlooked, but this small step can help you save money on your energy costs. Apply it around the frames of windows and doors.

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Clean gutters and downspouts once most of the leaves have fallen. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.

 

 

Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon download (1)monoxide detectors and replace batteries as needed. In addition to this check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher.

Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire.

Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Make sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order.

Thank you for voting!

2016-window-decal-300x300We wanted to take a moment to thank you, our loyal supporters, for voting us ‘Best Builder’ for the Shore Updates 2016 Golden Anchor awards for the second consecutive year. As we are nearing our 40th year in business, we couldn’t be more proud to be part of such a supportive community.

We recently were awarded ‘Best Custom Home Builder’ in the “Whats Up Best of” awards for the Annapolis and Eastern Shore. It was our 6th year winning for the Eastern Shore and our 1st for Annapolis.

The team at Lundberg Builders take great pride in each project that we work on and aim to provide exceptional customer service to each client even after their project is completed. We thank our clients for trusting us with building, maintaining and renovating their homes and for their many referrals. We sincerely appreciate your support, trust and loyalty.

You can check out the full list of winners here: shoreupdate.com/2016goodies

Easy ways to Transition your Home from Summer to Fall.

summer to fall

Can you smell that? That’s the comforting scent of all things pumpkins, apple cider and spice. We may still be in the depths of summer and planning beach trips, barbecues, and enjoying warm summer nights, but Fall is almost within our reach! Check out these quick tips to help transition you’re home decor from Summer to Fall.

Layer rugs and pull out the throw blankets
Add warmth to your home by adding a few textured throw blankets and area rugs to your rooms. For an added touch, choose ones that are in rich fall colors: red, orange, dark purple and browns.

P1040699Turn to the outdoors for inspiration
Bring the outdoors inside and fill some jars with branches from your yard or your local craft store. Add in fall smelling potpourri for added affect. A bundle of fallen twigs wrapped in a bow could be used in an entry way or as fireplace decor, fallen leaves could be used as a base to fill a jar and pine cones could be used to fill a wooden bowl along with other accents. Bonus because those decorations are all free!

Switch out pillows
This is always a fairly inexpensive way to change your decor. Choose fall colors and textured pillows such as ones with knitted covers or faux fur. 976f5cadb19258571309a186e537467c

Change our your bedding
Add linens in rich colors, plaids and darker prints. Simply adding darker colors can totally transform your home to feeling more seasonal.

Change out your welcome mat
The best way to say “Hello fall!” is to have a festive welcome mat by your front door! 

Create a welcoming autumn feel with scented candles
Scented candles in the season’s vanilla, spice, apple and pumpkin fragrances can easily bring warmth to any space. Try arranging large candles around a centerpiece with faux leaves and pine cones.

Switch your hand towels
Choose darker, bolder, earthy and warm fall colors. You can also bust out new hand soaps in fall scents.

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Your August Home Checklist

As the summer approaches it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with back to school tasks and the end of those long summer nights. With life moving so fast we all try to plan ahead to be organized and get our homes to run more efficiently; but we often don’t get around to it.

Take a look at our quick list and tackle a few of these “to-dos” now before the months get even busier. Improve home safety, get rid of old summer toys and clean up the yard before heading out for your end of the summer vacation to help you get a head start!

prunning-shrubsImprove home safety. Many people save their vacations for the end of the summer in mid to late August. So it’s best to touch up on your home safety features before jetting off. Add deadbolt locks, trim bushes near windows and add motion sensor lights. If it’s within your families budget adding a home security system is always recommended.

Fix drips and leaks. Remember to check inside and outside, as the outside is often overlooked. Take a tour of all outdoor said427650-728px-Keep-Your-Kitchen-Clean-and-Safe-Step-1pigots and showers, and fix leaks as needed.

Brush up kitchen chores that you’ve been putting off. Rinse out trash cans and recycling bins with soapy water, run white vinegar through your coffeemaker (finish by running plain water), and wipe down kitchen light fixtures and appliances.

Out with the old, in with the new. Go thru summer toys and gear and donate or toss broken and worn beach toys, umbrellas and the like. Clean all sports equipment and outdoor toys while you’re at and put them in their proper space.

Clean dryer vents and washer hoses. Clean out dryer vents and check the hoses as well to help your dryer and washer work more efficiently. Cracked washer hoses can cause costly leaks — check and replace yours before they become a problem.

maxresdefaultClean cleaning equipment. Mops, brooms, buckets, and vacuum cleaners get dirty, too. Replace heads on mops, replace brooms altogether, scrub buckets, and service the vacuum cleaner.

 

Get your heating system checked to make sure there are no leaks and no surprises when cold weather sets in.

Test your smoke detectors. Replace batteries as needed. Go over your family’s evacuation plan and refresh if needed.

Prep for easy weeknight dinners and school lunches. It’s time to start thinking ahead to the busy months of back to school and fall. Get a jump start on kitchen tasks by cleaning out the cupboards and organizing your Tupperware, fridge and snack cabinets. This will help with making all of those school lunches that much easier!

Vacuum your refrigerator coils. The fridge can use up to 15 percent of your homeDirty-coils’s total power, so you want it running as efficiently as possible. The coils get dirty over time and your fridge uses more energy. It’s estimated that you can save up to $100 a year by doing this.

Wash windows inside and out. You’ll be amazed with how much more light will come in and how much clearer your view will be.

Inspect outdoor play equipment. Reinforce, tighten and re-stain, reseal or repaint as needed.