Modern Farmhouse Design Details

 

Modern Farmhouse – Courtesy of James Hardie

American Farmhouse home design has always been a common, classic style in our architectural history, originating with the first American colonists. However, with the rise in popularity  of HGTV’s Fixer Upper show starring Joanna Gaines and her husband, Chip, farmhouse style has enjoyed a significant revival and further evolved with a new twist now known as “Modern Farmhouse”.  Below we review what builder elements you can use to design your new construction or remodel with quintessential Modern Farmhouse style. (Main photo above – Modern Farmhouse, photo courtesy of James Hardie).

Vertical siding

Vertical siding – Courtesy of James Hardie

Applying  vertical lap or Board and Batten siding in a light (typically white) monochromatic exterior color is unmistakably Modern Farmhouse. It also helps accentuate the rectangular shape of the home while drawing the eye to the standing seam metal roof. This often will often also make the house appear taller as well.

Black window casings

Lundberg Builders custom home with black window casings

Black windows are the height of chic right now.  Black casings help add drama and modernity that defines today’s Modern Farmhouse. When black windows are paired with matching furnishes in the room they really make a room pop.  They also add stunning contrast to the light colors typically associated with the farmhouse aesthetic.

Standing seam metal roof

Standing seam metal roofs are more expensive initially, but the cost pays off in the long run as a more durable and long-lasting roofing material.  This type of metal roof system will less likely cause roof leaks in the future. Also, with not having the hardware exposed, it leaves the roof with a clean hard line finished look.

Sliding barn doors

Photo credit courtesy of Sun Mountain Custom Doors (www.sunmountaindoor.com).

Sliding barn doors are everywhere right now as the Rustic Farmhouse look trend continues.  In my experience with clients, sliding barn doors are desirable over traditional pocket doors because they allow a homeowner to gain more room in a space with the bonus of adding character as architectural décor while still retaining their functional purpose as a door to separate and define spaces. We’re even seeing now riffs on the solid wood sliding barn door in new transparent “french door-esque” glass and frame versions which up the ante on fresh and modern. The image above is a double barn door (Sun Mountain Design SQ-0100-D001-HX), with crossbucks, made of Reclaimed Barnwood with Clear Coat finish.

Exposed Beams

Custom kitchen with exposed beams, Lundberg Builders

Having Exposed beams in your project also adds drama and character to your Modern Farmhouse home. These beams can be structural if you had an old barn that was then turned into a house, which would be called a Timber Frame. The most common construction now is Stick frame which includes smaller beams and metal fasteners. You can still achieve this beam look by adding exposed beams for purely aesthetic aim. These beams can either show off the beautiful raw wood grain, or showcase a  salvaged or reclaimed wood. You can also paint or stain them to match the ceiling or to provide a contrast. Exposed beams also do not have to be made of wood at all. Steel or other materials can also be used and either left as is, or finished with a wrap made from reclaimed barnwood or even hardwood flooring.

Tongue and groove paneling, ship lap and Buttboard

When you walk into an old farmhouse,  you typically won’t see drywall, but rather wood planks on the wall. The Modern Farmhouse often comes with not only exposed beams on the ceiling, but the treatment of the ceiling itself is often a focal point, utilizing tongue and groove paneling.  Adding wood planks to either the walls or ceiling of  your Modern Farmhouse adds a rustic, cozy and crafted home feeling that adds dimension and depth of interest with the layering of building textures.

So what happens when you want to incorporate some Modern Farmhouse builder elements but also really love elements from other styles of home? This is often how new twists like Modern Farmhouse come into fruition in the first place. Styles marry and evolve into something new. This also is exactly why homeowners choose to work with us! As a custom builder, we aren’t boxed into a specific home design plan. We also know the rules of different architectural styles but are not afraid to break them to fulfill your wish list! We look forward to helping you design and build a home that is custom-made for YOU!

Reasons Why Architectural Details Matter

If you have ever driven through a great neighborhood and remarked about the quality of it, most likely it’s because you recognized the beauty and the appeal of the homes built there. We are fortunate to have many such neighborhoods here on the Eastern Shore and in neighboring Annapolis. Was it an awesome front door and window package, the presentation of a front porch, or the proper use of decorative corbels that caught your eye?

Like separating the men from the boys, homes that possess architectural details-are usually the best homes on the block—or at least they have the potential to be the best. Here are three reasons why and four examples of homes that hit the mark. (All photos courtesy of Lundberg Builders)

  1. When building or remodeling, careful consideration of the level of detail is essential to create a template for consistency throughout your home.
  2. Well-conceived architectural details ensure that your completed home project is authentic.
  3. Value. One little word that says it all. Detail helps build value into your property from Day One—and working with a custom builder will not only help ensure your home is built to last; your builder can work with you to maximize its value over time.
In size, in scope, and in limitless detail, this custom Lundberg-built home delivers appealing visual impact. This architecturally well-detailed home exterior fits well in its surroundings and uses specific materials to create details that meld the interior and exterior beautifully. Note how the exterior stone plays off the natural outdoor elements and then appears again inside the home.
This classic 18th century townhouse remodel by Lundberg Builders provides a perfect example of authenticity in architectural detail. While it has been updated to provide modern convenience, it remains true to its historic roots inside and out.
This amazing home on the Wye River (top) and the Bay traditional home (below) proves that no matter the style, period, or type of home, its specific architectural detail will stand the test of time and no-doubt continue to grab the eye of passers-by for many years to come

In summary, by choosing the right materials and methods, keeping an eye on aesthetics, quality, and livability over the long-term, then balancing that with your home’s long-term life cycle cost, you will gain not just pride of place, but peace of mind.

Come and share your love of architectural details with us. Contact Lundberg Builders at 410-643-3334, Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD. Visit us online at www.lundbergbuilders.com.

 

Inside, Outside & All Around the House…Paint Colors Popping Off the Trend Palette this Year

 

If you’re considering a color re-work for your home’s interiors this spring, you will have plenty of intriguing options on a spectrum from subtle to sublime shades. The two main themes in color can best be described as Muted and Deep.

The spectrum of color can best be seen in this palette prepared specifically for 2019 courtesy of The Creativity Exchange.

Muted

There’s something very romantic and relaxing about the muted approach to color for bed, bath and main living areas. Another plus about employing a muted color is the way it enables you to embrace what’s trending without having to go too bold if that just isn’t your style.

This contemporary living room design pulls from the Ash and Soltice colors in the palette above. While the room exudes a sleek and sophisticated vibe, it does not lack warmth and is clearly very inventive, and inviting.

A soothing bedroom and bath is the ultimate retreat from the real world. A slight hint of mint on a bedroom wall, which pulls Misty from the palette above, is like aromatherapy for the eyes.

The most subtle of aqua tones creates an easy, even breezy feel in the bathroom, and gray transcends boring when it is combined with a bolder vanity and backsplash option, yet it maintains the subdued vibe of a place of refuge.

Deep

Trending down this year’s palette are richer, thicker color statements for those who easily embrace and must have change.

A deeper green for main living areas and kitchens is about the most popular color out there right now. With the proper balance of lighter elements like this sleek white table and chairs, a color like Nightwatch from the palette exudes the confidence of your design style.

Personal spaces like home offices can become havens for creativity when a darker hue is infused into the design. While Charcoal Blue may never have been top of mind when choosing a paint office color, it clearly can provide inspiration and inviting sight lines.

And don’t forget your home’s smaller spaces like hallways and entryways. When added as an accent wall color, these deep hues help convey your home’s color story.

Of course, when it comes to curb appeal, that’s a whole other story. We’ll leave you with a tease of a home we just love and we’ll explore more with an exterior home color “primer” in our upcoming newsletter—so be sure to check your inbox for that!

Are you in love with a certain paint color right now? Contact Lundberg Builders at 410-643-3334 and come and talk paint with our pros! Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD. Visit us online at www.lundbergbuilders.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curb Appeal Series: Adore The Door!

If windows are said to be the eyes of the home, your front door could very well be considered entry to the soul of your home. Your approach to and choice of a front door surely sets the tone for your home…and here, where the salt air and Bay breezes abound, you will also want that door to be as functional as it is beautiful.How can you make sure that happens? Consider the three primary aspects you will need to address: Safety, Durability and Curb Appeal. (Photo by Lisa J. Gotto)

Safety –the Number One thing your door needs to do is keep your family secure within the walls of your home and keep the criminal element out.

Durability –no matter the material you choose for the door, as a homeowner you need to make peace with the fact that it will require some amount of periodic maintenance to ensure long-term reliability.

Curb Appeal –Finally, the fun stuff! What’s great about today’s doors, is that you need not sacrifice form for function. So, go ahead-think about what the door on your dream home looks like and then talk to your builder and home design pro. They can help you choose the right material and craft the look you desire.

Answering the Wood, Steel or Fiberglass Question

 Like the door above, for many homeowners only the look of wood will do. It’s a warm, earthy material…and truly some of the most inviting entryways are those that are showcased in wood. Wood choices include oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany, maple, and fir.(Photo courtesy of Shabby & Charme)

Solid wood doors make an awesome canvas for color, especially softwood varieties, such western hemlock or pine. So if you are going for the wood look, keep in mind that these doors are best installed in areas that have a degree of protection like an overhang or a portico so they are somewhat shielded for the elements. If you are concerned about wood’s natural tendency to shrink or warp, you may wish to compromise and choose a stock wood door that offers a veneer skin over an engineered wood core.

There are ways to keep warping at bay. This includes purchasing a door that was stored properly prior to installation and treating the door with a minimum of two coats of a good quality exterior solvent-borne or water-borne clear finish. Adding a polyurethane sealant and polishing your door twice annually should be part of a regular maintenance plan.

Choosing a steel door is wise if maintenance is something you would prefer not to have to do as often. While just the word “steel” may sound cold, your front door and entryway does not have to look that way.

With a variety of colors, glass insets and detail work available, your steel door can say “welcome” just as well—and as warm—as any wood door. Steel also provides a step up in safety aspect department. Steel is the strongest of the three materials and the inner frames of these doors are generally constructed of wood or steel—again the strongest option. This is also a cozier option than you may think, as the interior cavities of steel doors are filled with high-density foam insulation, so they are energy-efficient, as well. (Photo courtesy of wanhaptoori.com)

While dings and dents can occur over time, they can be addressed with basic sand paper, a putty fill and a paint-over. Expect some paint touch-ups as part of regular maintenance with this option.

Fiberglass doors can also be warm and versatile.

The image above proves you can still make a statement and create tons of curb appeal with a dream door that also prizes practicality. A fiberglass door can do a great job of mimicking the look and feel of a solid wood door. Even in the harshest climates fiberglass does well requiring just periodic resealing. Most of these doors are made with a core of polyurethane-foam insulation over a framework of wooden stiles and rails, and then covered with a molded fiberglass skin. fiberglass door. This option is highly durable and virtually maintenance-free. So, if wood was your dream but that option is not a practical one for your home, fiberglass could be the answer. (Photo courtesy of Codel Entry Systems)

Remember, when choosing your door, the standard about making that all-important first impression, because curb appeal is still king! Look for more door tips in our upcoming newsletter and for the next blog in our Curb Appeal series coming in September!

If you’re ready to start your front door project, call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

The Romance & Rustic Ambiance of She Sheds and Sleeping Porches

A secret space. A quiet place. A restful repose for a hectic day. Don’t you want that? We do!

Whether you are fortunate enough to have an existing structure on your property or opt to buy a basic shed and “she” —or even “he” it up for a reflective outdoor space for male repose, this alternative outdoor concept seems to complement the inherent charm of living on the Eastern Shore perfectly. (Photos courtesy of Janis Nicolay and Living Vintage)

Go For Cozy!

Probably the greatest advantage of this luxe shed trend is the fun you can have with the creative process. This could be the perfect opportunity to pull some great heirlooms or yard sale finds from the attic and put them to good use. It could also be the chance you’ve been waiting  for to address a worn out building on your property that needs some love.

Even if you have a ruin of an old farmhouse, cabin or greenhouse on your property, you can consult with your builder and design professional to see how it can be salvaged and turned into additional “pride of place” space.

The pros can make sure your shed design provides ample natural light, any custom touches you desire and addresses the way you wish to use the space.

Once you have a basic, sound structure (some shed dwellers opt to run electricity for small lamps or even space heating) then the fun really begins as you take the space and make it “all about you.” The key is to surround yourself with everything that you love and items that inspire you! (Photos courtesy of Finding Silver Pennies, Janis Nicolay and The Painted Home.)

Getting Some Zzz’s

And there’s another unique outdoor retreat…the sleeping porch, that might work well for some Eastern Shore dwellers with limited space on their existing property, the sleeping porch. In fact, if you have a screened-in porch, you could be well on your way to some serene and starry nights, or perhaps just naps, with this reminiscent summer camp-like option, that first became popular during the Victorian Era—the days before air conditioning.

Back then it was a matter of necessity, as it was too hot to sleep in the house at night, especially in the South.  It was also a matter of health, as doctors regularly prescribed sleeping outside as a means of enhancing one’s immune system. (Photo courtesy of Coastal Living.)

Today sleeping porches are coming back into fashion as homeowners seek to get more use out of their hard-earned square footage and there are so many more materials suitable for outdoor living.

What you’ll need for a restful night’s sleep on your porch:

  • Invest in good, tightly woven screening material to keep bugs at bay. Privacy screening is also available but it can look darker and take away from the ambience you wish to create for your space. A great compromise would be to invest in polyester screening with an 18 x 14 mesh screen and then hang blinds or simple indoor/outdoor cabana-style curtains for extra privacy in the evening.
  • Make sure your roof structure is sound. While rain is likely to lull you to sleep, a soggy bedsheet is far from comfortable.
  • Install a ceiling fan to keep air circulating on muggy days.
  • For security, a low railing along the perimeter is recommended.
  • Consider furnishing with versatile pieces like a wicker day bed to provide a large enough place to sleep at night that can double as a comfortable seating area during the day. (Photo courtesy of Portage and Slain)

With proper planning, the right materials and sound professional advice you could be enjoying the benefits of a sleeping porch three seasons each year. If this sounds like a plan you wish to pursue, contact Lundberg Builders today at 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

 

 

 

5 Ways to Bring More Hygge into Your Bedroom This Winter

So, what’s this word “hygge” all about? Hygge refers to a Danish lifestyle concept that dates back to 19th century Scandinavia. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” the Danes believe there is much to be gained by creating cozy living spaces and surroundings that speak to simpler and even smaller creature comforts. Think ski lodge-cool, soft-as-a-cotton-ball socks, and the comfort of warm and steamy beverages on our coldest winter days. These are all elements and examples of living “Hygge”.

Let’s see what happens when we apply this way of thinking to décor and design to our most basic retreat –the bedroom.

Play with Wall Texture

While plain drywall and standard art and shelving is practical,  adding features like wood beams and wood wall accents changes a functional room into a sanctuary space that can transport you to another place. Reset your “head space” button with warm woods interspersed with other textures like stone and toss in a fur throw for a completely enveloping experience and perhaps, a well-earned, long winter’s nap. (Photo credit: Yellowstone Traditions)

Choose a Fireplace as Your Focal Point

Technology and advancements in in-home heating make in-bedroom fireplaces more convenient than ever. It seems a shame NOT to add this feature as a room focal point that can be all at once posh and practical. Be sure to research which heat source is best for you: gas, wood or even electric. Remember, there are varying levels of convenience depending on which energy source you choose—as it can actually mean the difference between “sawing wood” and chopping it. (Photo credit: cornerfireplaceideas.com)

Add a Romantic Seating Area

Create a soothing mood and get comfy before you even hit the sheets, by allowing enough room in your floor plan for a cozy seating area for reading, meditating or just plain conversing—remember conversation? Add books, aroma therapy candles, wine—whatever adds to a relaxing space. The most progressive floor plans even allow space for a wine or mini fridge and wet bar, for those nights when breaking the Zen zone by leaving the room is just not an option. (Photo credit: Inspired By Love)

Layer in Comfort Under Foot

It wasn’t that long ago that bedrooms were bastions of wall-to-wall carpet pile, and with good reason—comfort and warmth. Choosing a warm hardwood for this room can be just as cozy and practical (a great choice for the allergy-prone) when you add the right area rug, and maybe even layer in more texture with a faux animal skin in winter. How deliciously Danish! (Photo credit: New Pacific Direct, Inc.)

Go For Glow

Never underestimate the influence lighting has on a room, especially bedroom lighting. While classic, task lighting is desired for dressing and reading purposes, it’s not the only lighting option you should consider for this room. A bedroom with a Hygge vibe will exude a warm glow. Fortunately, now there are more romantic wall-mounted options than ever—as well as, on-trend, boutique pendant lighting that helps create the ambient environment and feeling of well-being so important for Hygge living. (Photo ©2016 Lisa J. Gotto)

Want to bring that sense of “hygge” into an existing bedroom or have a new one designed with this concept in mind? Lundberg Builders are ready to help you create cozy interiors for the winter and all year-round with the custom touches and timeless details that make a house a home.

Create your wish list and contact Lundberg Builders today at 410-643-3334 or visit lundbergbuilders.com. Lundberg Builders, Inc. is located at 314 Main St., Stevensville, MD.

 

 

 

 

How to Create an Impressive-Looking Focal Wall For Your Living Room

The living room is perhaps the most important room in your home as this is where you get to relax and spend quality time with your family. Many people spend a lot of time and money to make sure that their living room looks great, and designers often recommend investing in the living room if their client is on a tight decorating budget. One of the best things that you can do to refresh your living room is to create a focal wall, and depending on your preferences, your accent wall can be functional or decorative, or even both. Here are 5 ways that you can create an impressive-looking focal wall for your living room.

Use reclaimed wood15232137_1240942792653022_9031474608958469836_n

Barn walls or reclaimed wood, both real and faux, is immensely popular in home décor. Not only does reclaimed wood give your focal wall a warm and weathered look, but using this material will not harm the environment as it is a sustainable material for construction or remodeling. Have your builder cover your accent wall with reclaimed wood for a rustic look.

Embed a fireplace

Nothing is as luxurious and comforting as a fireplace in a living room. If you don’t care for a wood burning fireplace, consider embedding an ethanol fireplace insert in your living room focal wall. This type of fireplace will bathe your living room in warmth without smoke, bad odors, or particles that can be harmful to your health. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the smoke from wood burning contains particles that can cause health problems such as a runny nose and bronchitis. As an ethanol fireplace only need bio-ethanol fuel to feed the fire, it’s safer for your health than a regular fireplace.GG Gas Fireplace

Built-in shelving

If you want to display your books and collectibles, consider having built-in shelving room as a living room accent wall. You can either paint the accent wall and all the shelving attached to it the same color, or paint the shelving in white and the accent wall a bright color, like yellow, turquoise, or red.

Mirrors

To make a stylish statement, paint your accent wall in a dark color, such as navy blue, then hang a few decorative wall mirrors once the paint dries. Try to find mirrors with golden accents to give your living room a touch of opulence.

These are just a few ways to create an impressive-looking focal wall for your living room. Any of these tips will give your living room that wow factor that your family and friends will surely love.

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

Preparing your Home & Family for a Hurricane

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Thunder & lightening & wind, oh my! The current forecast of a hurricane means your home and other personal property could be at risk for damage from extreme winds, rain, hail and lightning. Tropical storms, including hurricanes at any level, can cause significant damage to your home and property, from missing shingles and fence posts to collapsed roofs and walls. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the storm can make all the difference for you and your homes safety. The tips below can help you plan ahead for the upcoming storm, as well as for the future.

  • Check your insurance coverage! Many people overlook this important step until after the fact. Assure that it reflects the current state of your home & consider adding flood insurance and coverage for additional living expenses in case your home is uninhabitable after a storm. Bonus Tip: Take photos or videos of the contents of each room. This will save you a major headache in case of a disaster.
  • Secure windows and sliding glass doors. Although not the best option, one solution is to tape your windows.. The tape isn’t going to keep an object from breaking your window if wind flings it at your house, but it should keep the glass from flying around the room if an object does hit. It’s ideal to have heavy plywood to fit your windows on hand or metal shutters installed, but these would all need to be done in advance. We recommend using 3/4 inch plywood and drilling screw holes 18 inches apart. Once a window is broken, the wind blows inside to not only wreck the interior, but also to apply upward pressure on the roof. This is why this step is so important!
  • Prepare and stow a hurricane emergency kit! Your kit should include bottled water (a gallon of water per person for at least 3 days is recommended), non-perishable food, a first aid kit and any medications. Don’t forget extra clothes, flashlights, a radio, extra batteries and disposable dishes. Keep these supplies in a specific spot in your home that everyone can get to quickly and easily.
  • Store important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies and passports in a watertight containeFemar.
  • Have an established evacuation plan & family emergency plan in place. If you don’t have transportation of your own, make arrangements with friends or family members. Here is an awesome printable from FEMA to help you put together a Family Emergency Plan. Click the image to the right for the full printable.
  • Maintain your outdoor area. Cut tree branches to no more than four to five feet long, so they do not fall and damage power lines or your property. Empty your gutters so water can properly drain
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank before the storm
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings to help keep food cold in case of a power outage.
  • It’s also highly recommended that you unplug all non-essential appliances and electronics
  • If you’re in an area that is prone to flooding buy sandbags. These can be used to line your house to protect against minor flooding.
  • If your home has a pool, you’ll need some additional preparation. Items around the pool, like furniture, toys, and skimmer lids should be brought inside to avoid becoming projectiles. (Some opt to throw their furniture into the pool, but doing this can actually cause damage to the pool’s finish). Turn off the gas supply at the meter and the filter pump at the breaker and store the filter indoors during the storm.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage can and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Familiarize yourself with hurricane evacuation routes in your area and where to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate. It’s always better to be prepared.
  • Do not use a gas oven or range to heat your house and never run a generator inside where exhaust fumes can accumulate!
  • If you have kids and you’ve dealt with a power outage before…you probably know the struggle. We don’t realize how much we rely on all things electric up_101765307ntil it’s not available. Prepare a fun emergency kit now for the kiddies so you don’t drive yourself crazy being stuck in the house. Include Play-Doh, coloring books, Lego’s, puzzles, balloons and fun surprises. Here are a few more ideas for staving off cabin fever: Flashlight tag, board games, crafts (pasta necklace anyone?) freeze dance and hide and seek.

 

Although they are predicting that Hurricane Joaquin will stay out to sea, the forecast track is still very uncertain. Have an emergency plan in place! Taking steps now can also help preparing for a future hurricane or major storm a little less of a headache.Remember to stay tuned to your local forecast for updates and possible warnings.

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Your Home’s Fall Checklist

 

fall-upkeep

Fall means vibrant red, orange, and yellow foliage, lots of pumpkins, and refreshingly cool temperatures. But, it also means winter isn’t far away. Here are a few projects—from looking after the exterior of your home to maintaining your heating system—that can help your home gear up for the cold and save you some cash.

  • Path-lights-by-Outdoor-Lighting-Perspectives-of-MemphisLight the Way With Outdoor Lanterns. Colder days, means less daylight. Add outdoor lanterns or lights to your pathway to have some light when you arrive home. This will also help to enhance the curb appeal of your home, while adding a measure of safety and  security.

 

 

 

  • Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets and store them in a shed or garage. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage.
  • 10_Fall_Home_Maintenance_MustsHere’s the chore on everyone’s “least favorite” list: clean your gutters. Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs in winter. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets if necessary. Annually your roof’s drainage system diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house’s exterior and foundation walls. That’s why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly.Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems. If they don’t, add downspout extensions (typically about $10 to $20 each).
    *Pro Tip: After cleaning your gutters, cover them with mesh guards to keep debris from collecting again
  • Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk and make a journey around  your home’s exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for 10% of your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Because weather stripping can deteriorate over time, it is important to inspect it periodically. To check the efficiency of your weather stripping try this: close a door or window on a strip of paper; if the paper slides easily, it’s not doing its job.

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  •  Prune plants: Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees because the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.
  • Before the chill sets in, make an appointment for your furnace’s annual checkup. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall, before the heating season begins. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, a system can wear itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working. Remember to change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months anyway, but if you haven’t, now’s the time! You’ll notice a difference in the air quality, and your furnace will run more efficiently. Disposable filters can be vacuumed once before replacement. Foam filters can also be vacuumed, but don’t need to be replaced unless they are damaged (use a soft brush on a vacuum cleaner). If the filter is metal or electrostatic, remove and wash it with a firm water spray.
  • Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps before things get icy.  Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but the dangers are increased when the weather turns icy. Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths. Fixing these smaller problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming major future expenses.
  • It’s smart to do a safety check of your home at minimum once per year. Here are some pointers on how to do this. Fires 1.1.11.0 Accordion 2 of 8 
    1. Test smoke and CO monitors. Test the detectors by pressing the test button or holding a smoke source (like a blown-out candle) near the unit. Replace the batteries in each smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if necessary. If you haven’t already, install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.
    2. This is also a good time to get the family together for a review of your fire evacuation plan.
    3. Check fire extinguishers. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. Annually, check the indicator on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged. Make certain that the lock pin is intact and firmly in place, and check that the discharge nozzle is not clogged. Clean the extinguisher and check it for dents, scratches, and corrosion. Replace if the damage seems severe. Note: Fire extinguishers that are more than six years old should be replaced!
    4. Fire escape plans. Every bedroom, including basement bedrooms, should have two exit paths. Make sure windows aren’t blocked by furniture or other items. Ideally, each upper-floor bedroom should have a rope ladder near the window for emergency exits.

As you’re enjoying the last few weeks of warm weather, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming colder days. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Properly maintaining your home also enhances its value and appeal and is less effort than managing a crisis later.    Taking the steps above will have you & your home ready for the chilly days ahead!