Home Maintenance for Fall/Winter
The purchase of a home will likely be the biggest invest anybody will make in their life. Our homes are the centers of our lives because they hold everything and everyone important to us. Our top priorities are taking care of that invest. Winter is a harsh season here in North Idaho as a result it can cause some damage to our homes, properties, our loved ones, or even our wallets! It can be avoided if we take extra steps this fall or start of winter to prepare.
The next question is where do I start? Not knowing can be overwhelming and stressful. Below is just a small list of some important home maintenance ideas. Included is the reason you should do them. It can make a huge difference on your home and property this year.
For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!
What to do
|Clean gutters and downspouts throughout fall||A build up of leaves and other debris could lead to wood rot, pest issues, and ruined gutters.|
|Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows & doors||Removing screens stop snow from getting trapped between the window and screen. That avoids damage to the sill and frame as well as lets in more light. Installing storm windows & doors helps keep your home insulated through the cold months.|
|Replace the filter in your furnace||This helps the lifespan of your heater, reduces energy bills and improves air quality.|
|Flush and insulate your hot water tank||Flushing removes sediment which in turn could extend the life of your tank. Insulating can help conserve energy, in turn saving you money.|
|Place a sheet of plywood held down by a few bricks on top and your AC, not a waterproof cover||Plywood can stop falling icicles and other debris which in turn would cause damage to the unit. Waterproof covers creates a warm environment for unwanted guests to stay for the winter.|
|Trim limps that are close to power lines or the roof of your home||Avoids heavy snow/ice building up causing damage.|
For a full list of maintenance ideas as well as a printable checklist, go to our website by clicking here!
Here in beautiful North Idaho we are lucky to have 4 very distinct seasons. Everybody loves the warmth of Summer, the freshness of Spring, the colors of Fall, and the coziness of Winter.
With winter comes SNOW and that can mean snow storms! Driving in the snow and knowing how to be prepared for winter driving can be a bit stressful.
Knowing what to do or even where to start preparation can be one of the biggest hurdles. There are simple preparations that can be done to your vehicle and with your family to get through the longest and coldest season. Check out the below tips to help avoid winter from sneaking up on you and those you love.
Preparation Tips for Successfully Surviving the Winter:
Get a Vehicle Winter Maintenance Check-up Before Winter Hits:
~ Don’t wait to check your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and wipers ~
~ Tire shops and mechanics are busiest just before and during winter storms, so get your check-up scheduled NOW ~
Keep a Basic Winter Survival Kit in Your Vehicle:
~ Flashlight ~ Batteries ~ Blanket ~ Snacks ~
Water ~ Gloves ~ Boots ~ First-aid kit ~
Load Your Car with Basic Travel Gear:
~ Tire chains ~ Ice scraper/snowbrush ~ Jumper cables ~ Road flares ~
Keep Your Fuel Tank Full:
~ Don’t let it fall below half a tank ~
Plan With Your Family
~ Create a plan that works well with your family ~
~ Practice it each year before the snow falls ~
~ Be sure to find your local station for traffic reports and emergency messages ~
~ Know the weather approaching so you are prepared for its arrival ~
Check Your Tires:
~ Make sure your chains fit before the first winter storm ~
~ Check tire pressure during cold weather ~
Click on the Checklists Below for More Information:
AND REMEMBER TO ALWAYS BE SAFE OUT THERE!!
Washington State Dept of Transportation https://www.wsdot.com/winter/emergencykit.htm
Take the Winter by Storm https://takewinterbystorm.org/
Is that beautiful time of year again here in Coeur d’Alene… Fall!
With Fall comes all of the beautiful and colorful leaves that we love and enjoy for about the first 2 weeks. After they have fallen off the trees, the fun begins with leaves all over our yards and driveways. We then being the clean up as we ready our yards for winter. The raking of those beautiful leaves into piles and then scooping them into bags to take to the landfill to throw way.
DON’t BOTHER with that this year! Spend more time inside this year enjoying your hot cocoa and cozy PJ’s! Our City of Coeur d’Alene is not only beautiful but they are also awesome! One of the benefits of living is Coeur d’Alene and our Leaf Pick Up program and its absolutely FREE for you!
Leaf Pickup! Starting Friday November 13th
Click the link here for leaf pickup map. Find your zone – leaf pickup will happen in alphabetic order.
Some things to keep in mind:
- You may start putting your leaves out Friday November 2nd.
- Please move cars out of the street if at all possible during leaf pick-up.
- Keep the leaves about one foot off the curb line to facilitate storm water flow.
- Be alert for leaf pick-up equipment traveling through your neighborhood.
- Keep a safe distance away from leaf pick-up heavy equipment.
- Recognize that we have a tough job to do in a very short window between when the leaves fall and when the snow flies.
- Understand that city and private trucks are exempted from covering loads during the leaf pick-up period. Sweepers will follow city trucks to collect remaining/excess leaves.
- Place bagged leaves in street.
- Mix branches, rubble or other refuse in with the leaves.
- Miss the deadline… we only have time for one pass!
When you decide to sell your home it’s all about appealing to the buyer. It can be a frustrating experience as a seller because you have built a relationship with the house. It’s not just a house, it’s your home and like most of us, you’re probably attached to it. Unfortunately, the buyer probably isn’t concerned with your sentiment to it. Here and in the video, we outline a few ways to remove the “you” from your home and make it an enticing property for prospective buyers.
Clean your house
This should be obvious. It isn’t. Some homes need a little extra care when it comes to making it appear tidy and in good order. some things to consider:
- Clean your walls- kids are messier than we think.
- Check your switch plates and baseboards- huge collection point for dust and grimy fingerprints.
- Get rid of the grease and grime on your appliances- remember that kitchens are a huge selling point and will probably be under scrutiny.
- Bathroom- toothpaste on the mirrors, dirty toilets, soap scum on the tiles; all of these are big turn offs for buyers.
- Laundry room- dryers are notorious for spitting out more dust than we can keep up with. Give it a good once over (maybe twice).
Remove personal things
I know it seems like you’re taking the character and soul out of the home when you remove those personal touches. But I guess that is the point. Buyers aren’t trying to learn about you, they really want to see if the house feels right and gives them a good feeling when they walk through the door. It can even be distracting to see who lived there before because the buyer will be focusing on the house’s past rather than its future. Some ways you can prevent this distraction:
- Take down any family photos, especially ones of any children who live in the house.
- Remove any personal objects, trophies, family names, or other identifying objects.
- laundry, we all have it but we don’t necessarily want to see yours. Keep clothes in dressers and neatly put away in closets (which will most likely be looked in).
- Valuables. This is pretty obvious. however, when doing a walk through before a showing, you might have forgot about things like keys, or collectibles or even jewelry. Best not to take any chances and keep it all out of sight.
- Declutter your house. the knickknacks and curio should get put away. Remember: you want the potential buyer to be able to visualize their things in the house.
- Stage. Stage. Stage.If you have moved your things out already, consider staging.
While you are probably like the majority of us and have put off your house repairs, they have never been more important for selling your home. Even the minor repairs are huge. I recommend starting from the front and working your way back. Just imagine that potential buyers are walking through your house and the first thing they see is broken floorboard or a minor piece of trim, they will probably be thinking, ” I wonder what else is broken”. You want them to have a good first impression of your home.
- Put a fresh coat of paint on your front door. It is one of the biggest aspects of curb appeal and it is so easy to do.
- roof, insulation and siding can be a big determining factor for buyers. Make sure they’re in good condition.
- A little landscaping goes a long way and a tidy yard will make people excited to see the rest of the house.
Do a sniff check
I think that everyone’s home has a certain smell or scent. not necessarily bad, just unique to that home. Most likely you don’t realize it either. Have someone who doesn’t live there do a sniff check for you. Their unbiased nose will pick up what you might not. If it doesn’t smell great, tackle the problem. Get carpet cleaners in there and clean it to high heaven. I don’t recommend covering up any smells with really powerful candles or wax warmer. As someone who has purchased homes and showed many, the strong smelling candles don’t fool anyone. Nothing beats the smell of clean.
Tidy up garage
Often garages become collection points for the uncategorized stuff that we accumulate. But when preparing a home to be shown to potential buyers, cater to all members of the family. My husband is easy to impress with an organized (mostly) garage. Basic things like a swept floor or painted drywall (discount paint sections in home improvement stores are great for this) make a huge difference. Also, consider that when you open your garage, anyone can see in there. I don’t like people seeing my mess, and it is no different when you’re trying to sell.
Remember, you want to give the buyer a blank slate so that they can see their future in that house. Help them to see the dream. I hope you found this helpful and if there are things that you found to be helpful in the past, tell us about it. We love hearing from you.Let’s Make Awesome Happen
John & Tracey Tindall
When buying a home for the first time you most likely want to save money any chance you get. It can seem like an overwhelming and never ending drain on your bank account. When you finally close on your new home you probably won’t want to even think about any more paperwork or transactions, but a quick trip to the County Assessor’s office to file a homeowner’s exemption will save you so much money each year in property tax.
What is it ?
An exemption that reduces the taxable value of your home up to a maximum of $100,000 in value.
Why do I need it?
By reducing the taxable value of your home, your taxes are much LESS and you SAVE! If you have a mortgage, this savings will likely reduce your total monthly mortgage payment.
If you live in your home at least 6 months out of the year as your primary residence, you qualify!
When do I need to file?
You must file by the 15th of April in 2018!
Where do I file?
The county assessors office for the county in which you reside.
Remember: Idaho is a non-disclosure state and this means that you do not have to share the value of your home with the county when you apply (what you paid for it)
If you are not sure about your home owner exemption status, give us a call and we would be happy to help you! We are here to help!
If you’ve been outside anytime during the last week, you no doubt noticed the smoke. It’s fire season again in the Pacific Northwest. Before we talk about the multitude ways to help keep your investment safe from fire, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of those firefighters away from their families. Thank You! On to business.
When you decided to purchase a house and make the emotional commitment of being a home owner, I truly doubt you ever thought that a fire could happen to you. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2015 there were 501,500 structure fires in the U.S. resulting in just over 10 billion dollars in damages and 2,685 deaths. No one wants to be a part of this statistic.
Smoke alarms probably seem like a no-brainer, but there maybe you forgot to test them or check the batteries. It is recommended that you test them monthly and replace the batteries every six months when you change the clocks for daylight savings time. Another thing to remember when putting in new alarms, smoke rises. Smoke is less dense than air so it rises, which is why smoke alarms are on the ceiling or no further than 6 inches from the ceiling on the wall.
typically associated with businesses, schools and hospitals but fire extinguishers are recommended for the home as well. The best places to keep your home extinguishers are anyplace that you would expect something to combust. Obviously the kitchen, but also in places like the garage or down in the basement by the furnace. You, the homeowner are also encouraged to have a fire extinguisher for every floor. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to run upstairs to get the fire extinguisher.
Know your types of extinguishers!
There isn’t one fire extinguisher that works on all types of fires. And speaking of types of fires, there are 6. SIX! with 5 different types of extinguishers, the location of the fire will most likely dictate the type of fire. I am not going to go in depth with all of the types and appropriate applications. But for the sake of the homeowner, you’ll need to determine which one is right for the different areas of your home. It is worth noting that the dry powder type of extinguisher (also known as the ABC type) is not recommended for small spaces such as homes and offices. If inhaled, it can be very damaging.
Know how to use the extinguisher
Having an extinguisher is just half the battle. If you want to be effective in stopping fires before they do real damage, you need to know how to use them. remember the acronym PASS. P-pull pin A-aim at the base S- squeeze the trigger S- sweep back and forth. Here is a short video illustrating the proper technique.
Emergency Escape Route
I remember when I was young, I always thought it was silly to do a fire drill at home. It wasn’t until I grew up and had babies of my own and realized that you absolutely need to practice. If you live in a home with multiple stories, get a window ladder. You wont always be able to use the stairs. Some advice I would like to pass on. If there is a fire in your home. Do not get dressed. Don’t try to find valuables. Don’t search for pets. Just get your children and leave the house. Most likely the animals will find a way out on their own. They have instincts that guide them away from fire. Your valuables are worthless if you do not have someone to share them with. Keep your family safe.
Keep combustibles away from outlets and other electronics.
It makes sense when you think about it retrospectively. But how often do we push furniture up against outlets or not think about the power strip we have had around since the 90’s. Sure it might work just fine. But newer electronics like power strips are being made safer and besides, after years of use (or maybe abuse) it’s not exactly as safe as it used to be. Outlets, extension cords, open or lose wiring. Check them. As for your electronics, I’m sure you’ve noticed that after using tv’s or laptops they get warm (maybe hot) to the touch. With the right combinations of factors, you could have a fire on your hands. Keep electronics off when they’re not being used. While the electronics are in use, keep them away from combustibles.
Keep the dead and dry stuff away from the house
Not all fires start from inside the home, some start from your yard or property. As homeowners, you are advised to trim back or remove completely, any dead trees or shrubs, or any dried up debris. These types of organic materials serve as kindling in wildfires, and they pose a threat to your home as well!
If we forgot something or you know a good way to keep your home safe, please say so in the comments! We love hearing from you. Stay safe out there in the heat and smoke!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen
Independence Day is just around the corner and we’ve come up with some tips, tricks and design ideas to help you be the BBQ champion. Some of my favorite childhood memories were any given summer outside, circled around the grill with friends and family. Here’s to you and yours. Here’s to turning those summer days in to wonderful memories.
Clean your Grill!
The key to having almost anything ready to use, is cleaning it up after you use it. But if you are like me, sometimes the food coma sets in and cleaning up is out of the question. Here are some ways to keep your grill ready for a cookout at a moments notice.
- Leave your grill on for a few minutes with the hood closed. This is a super easy, coma-friendly way to burn off any excess foods and fats left on the grill.
- Give your grill a good scrub with something abrasive. Grill brushes, tin foil, abrasive sponge. Put a minute of elbow grease in to it to remove any charred junk.
- To ensure a non-sticking grill when you fire it up the next time, spray on some non-stick spray or a bit of vegetable oil. I’ve even heard that rubbing a 1/2 onion on the grate can do the trick.
- That’s it. These easy steps will have your grill laying in wait, ready to pounce at any moment to help you keep your throne of Grill King- or Queen!
If you hate following instructions like me, here is the video version from diy network: How to clean your grill in 15 minutes
Here are a few hacks to make serving, eating and cleaning up after your festivities easy as pie!
Here are some recipes that we either love or want to make this summer. And I may be a bit biased for bourbon. Not sorry. Photos and titles are linked.
Yes. All of those!
These look amazing. I cant wait to make these. Ribs are such a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re messy, they’re not exactly on the skinny menu, but Lord they are delicious.
You read that correctly. Made these last year for a family gathering. I wish I had made more, there wasn’t nearly enough to go around twice.
This is another recipe I am looking forward to using this Independence day. I hope it has as much kick as they say.
BBQ Grill Station Ideas
Maybe this summer your mind is set on remodeling or updating your back yard. Here are some BBQ stations that are functional and add to your back yard setting.
These concrete counter tops have plenty of room for prepping. I really like the clean and fucntional design, as well as the low cost of concrete.
This one is really great too, I think the portable design is perfect for a more laid back yard. And having a sink nearby is such a smart idea. You handle tons of raw meat when you grill, and being able to wash your hands is an obvious way to prevent food-born illnesses. It even has a built in chopping block…. ok, ok. It’s a cutting board. A girl can dream right?
If putting together a large permanent station isn’t something that your bank account will allow, this might be a good solution. You can set up a semi-permanent station by using cinderblocks and paver stones to accomplish a similar built-in feel. This way you won’t spend a fortune and you will still have all that work and prep space.
We hope you enjoy these tips and tricks. If you’re feeling motivated, we’d love to see how your projects are coming along. And feedback on the recipes is always encouraged. Enjoy!
From our family to yours, We hope you have a wonderful and proud Independence Day!
God Bless America!