Organizing Your Home

In these times we seem to be stuck inside more often than not. This can make our home feel a bit more cluttery or unorganized. Take advantage of the time you’re home and get things organized. But, where do you start? If you break it down room by room, it will make the task feel a bit less overwhelming. And before you get started, consider the follow tips.

 

Kitchen

A kitchen is often the most used room in the house, which can cause it to feel to most unorganized. The countertops especially seem to be the catch all for almost everything. The first thing you can do to make a difference is to take unused or unnecessary items off the counters. Adding open shelving is a great way to store those frequently used items for easy access. And store the larger items that you don’t use as frequently in cabinets above or below.

A must-have for all kitchens organization is a lazy Susan. This brings the back of your cabinets to the front. The best items to put on a lazy Susan are the heavy, messy and clumsy ones that you seem you use often. Plus, they’re much easier to clean than a cabinet.

 

Living RoomOrganized Living Room - Chaos to Order - Chicago Professional ...

First, take inventory of all the items. Figure out what doesn’t belong, what needs to be disposed of, or what can be moved to make it feel less cluttery. It’s best to really take the time to consider the flow of the room and how foot traffic will interact with the furniture.

A good tip is to use items that serve as multiple types of things. Find items that have storage underneath, this will really help cut down on the disorganization.

 

Bathroom

Open shelving seems to work the best in bathrooms as both functional storage and for aesthetics. It allows you to store bathroom supplies, towels and toiletries in addition to providing a very welcoming feel.

Then, check under your sinks and in your medicine cabinets. Time to go through all those items and discard any old, unused or expired items. Once the amount of items are reduced, you can reorganize to make it feel much cleaner.

 

8 Ways To Simplify & Organize Your Master Bedroom - Organization ...Bedroom

In a bedroom you want to maximize space and minimize clutter. A couple tips to do this, especially if your closet is small, is to place a garment rack against the wall or store out of season clothes elsewhere. Additionally, use the underside of your bed as a storage area with bins or roll out shelving. If you have a nightstand, use that as a dresser or a bookshelf as a decor piece.

The way you hang your clothes can also make a big difference in reducing clutter. Hang the most used items at eye level and those not used as often and accessories higher up. This will help you not also stay organized overtime but also save you time when you’re getting ready.

 

Garage

Garages can get very unorganized and cluttered since it’s not often looked at. But if it’s done right, it can be a very useful storage area with room to park vehicles. The best tactic is to go vertical. This will allow you to store your items as well as those large bulky items that you don’t use everyday.

If you go room by room when reorganizing your home, it can make it a much more doable task. And don’t be afraid to really tear a room apart to put it back together. Something it has to be worse before it can get better.

Credit: Sandy Dodge – Windermere Blog


Posted on July 8, 2020 at 3:32 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Helpful Tips, Home & Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Backyard Chickens

Backyard chickens have been increasingly popular as people try to have more self-sourced food. But what is really involved in raising chickens in the backyard of an urban development? Is the benefits worth any drawbacks? Where do you even get started? We know a few families who keep chickens and they have some advise and information that may be helpful if this is something you’re considering.

 

Where to Startbrown chicken

Step 1: Know the Law.

Locate your cities municipal regulations as well as your subdivision’s CC&R’s/Bylaws. Every city and neighborhood may have different rules and regulations around raising chickens. For example, many don’t allow roosters (which is fine because hens will lay eggs without them), you may need a permit, signed agreements with neighbors, or there may even be restrictions or ordinances regarding location or size of your coop.

Step 2: Decide on the Chicken Breed.

Believe it or not, there are actually many different chicken breeds that have been bred for different purposes. Depending on what you are using your chickens for, you may choose to get a certain breed or multiple different types of breeds. There are 4 different categories:

  • Egg Laying Breeds – As you could imagine but their name, this type of hen was bred to produce large amounts of eggs in a short production lifetime. This is typically the breed that many homeowners choose when picking the type of chicken to have in their backyard.
  • Meat Breeds – Once again, the name gives away the purpose of this breed. They grow very quickly, put on weight at a crazy rate and are typically slaughtered at about 9 weeks old.
  • Dual Purpose Breeds – This breed is productive in the egg laying department but also get large enough quickly to be used as meat, it’s the best of both worlds.
  • Heritage Breeds – This type of chicken is naturally breeding, they have a very slow growth rate and live long outdoor lives.

Step 3: Build Your Coop.

When it comes to building a chicken coop, there are a few things you need to be sure you have. First, you’ll want the basic shelter requirements, which means a waterproof place for the chickens to get out of the elements. Second, be sure they have enough space, since they can begin to peck at each other if they are too cramped. Third, the coop needs to have good ventilation so it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Fourth, you will need nesting boxes for your hens to lay their eggs. Fifth, include roosts, so the chickens have a comfortable place to sleep. Sixth, the chickens need a space to roam outside of their coop, whether that’s in a pen or free range. Lastly, be sure you have security, predators will not hesitate coming into your backyard.

Step 4: Prep for Chicks.

Raising chicks requires a few additional supplies compared to if you get you chickens full grown. Those supplies include a brooding box, this doesn’t have to be very expensive or complicated, it just needs to be large enough and protect the chicks from any drafts. Bedding, pine shavings will do, which is also inexpensive. Be sure they have traction and don’t slip around, or they could develop a walking issue later in life. Traction can be as easy as putting some paper towels down under your bedding. Warmth, since chicks don’t get all their feathers right away, we must help them stay warm. A heat lamp for the first 6-7 weeks should do the trick. Food, chick food can be a bit complicated but here’s how it breaks down:

  • 0-8 weeks: 18-20% starter feed crumbles
  • 8-14 weeks: 16-18% starter/grower
  • 15-18 weeks: 16% finisher
  • 18 weeks upward: 16% layer feed

    white and pink rabbit plush toy on yellow plastic basin

The food comes medicated, with a coccidiostat which protects them from a coccidiosis, or un-medicated. If all your birds have been vaccinated, the un-medicated food is fine . Additionally, getting a feeder along with the food will help cut down on the mess. Water, be sure the water you feed your chicks isn’t too hot or too cold and that it’s changed out frequently. You can add an electrolyte/vitamin supplement to the water for the first few days. For additional details on the specifics of the supplies you will need, read more here.

Step 5: Get Your Chickens.

You can purchase chickens at most any stage in life – from an egg to an adult – the best option for backyard chickens is when they’re chicks, typically about 1 day old. This option allows you to pick the breeds you’d like, when you’d like them and it’ll be the cheapest.  You can get your chicks at a local farm, hatchery or farm supply store. USPS also ships chicks, if you choose to purchase your chicks online. Determining where you get them will take some research and ultimately will be up to what’s the most convenient for you. And once you’ve decided where you will purchase your birds, you’ll want to be sure to pick the right ones. Avoid birds that are lethargic, sitting by itself & reluctant to move, or once that has any nasal and/or eye discharge. Check out the link here for some good questions to ask your breeder.

 

Caring For Your Chickens

Once you get past the chick stage, caring for your chickens is relatively easy. Your coop is built and it has everything they need. All that’s left for you is to provide their food and water and care for any physical needs. Water is very important because if a hen doesn’t get enough water, it can affect her egg laying. If a hen goes without water for 24 hours, she could stop laying for weeks. Hens needs about a cup of water each day, so be sure to set out enough water for all the chickens. Next, you’ll need to be sure to have enough food and the type they need. Chickens will dig up a portion of their diet and eat insects, seeds, etc. But, you’ll also need to put out chicken food specifically made for their needs. To read more about the right type of food, click here.

Over time, you will develop a routine with your hens. Mornings tend to be when you let the chickens out of their coop, check on food & water and do just a general inspection of everything. In the evenings, you’ll lock them back up in the coop and collect your eggs. There will also be other chores you’ll need to preform, like cleaning out their coop and tending to their nesting boxes. That usually happens about once a week.

 

The Things Nobody Tells You

You will get a list from any person who current has or has had backyard chickens of things they weren’t expecting. If you’re seriously thinking about getting chickens for your own backyard, you might want to consider that some of the following will be true for you as well.

two white eggsFirst off, something you’ve probably thought about already is that chickens are dirty and smelly. Seems pretty obvious, right? But the question is, how much dirty and smelly is too much for you? Whatever you do, it will not make the smell go away. They are constantly pooping and tracking it around. Lay out more straw or pick it up more often, doesn’t matter. With the smell comes the flies, which is a whole other problem that you’ll have to deal with.

Your chickens may not lay eggs when you expect them to. There’s a chance they’ll start laying after the age they’re supposed to, even if you get the egg laying breed. Or not as frequently as you were expecting. They could even stop laying all together, which is alarming and there’s likely a reason for that. Check out a few reasons here.

You may begin to feel and treat your birds as pets or even like your kids. They even enjoy human interaction like any pet would. And that’s all totally normal and okay, until…. and dies. Which happens frequently. One of your birds or the entire flock could get sick and die. Or, a predator may get into your backyard and cause a lot a mayhem. You could also get lucky and your bird will live through it production life, but then you’ll need to make the decision of keeping that bird and spending lots of money to feed it, giving it away, or even having it for dinner.

You may expect a hen but get a rooster, that isn’t surprising. Chicken sexing is about 90% accurate, which sounds pretty high. But there’s still a pretty good possibility that you’ll get a rooster. Which isn’t ideal for most backyard flocks since roosters and typically illegal and a nuisance.

Sometimes It Doesn’t Work Out

Don’t feel bad if after trying to raise backyard chickens you determine it’s not something for you. It takes the right kind of person with the right kind of circumstances to be successful and happy. And even if it worked for you in the past, sometimes circumstances change.

 

Credit: ModernFarmer, TheHappyChickenCoop, GoodHousekeeping


Posted on June 2, 2020 at 6:36 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Helpful Tips, Home & Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spending Memorial Day At Home

Staying home this holiday weekend?  Here are some great ideas to get ready for a great summer!

Memorial Day traditionally represents the kick-off of summer. Kids are getting out of school (that’s not so much the case this year), families are making summer vacation plans, and backyard barbecues are on everyone’s minds. This is also a great time of the year to get your house in order and ready for the summer season. The following is a handful of ideas and tips to help you with this process.

 

Outdoor Spaces

GardeningGardening It’s not too late to start your garden! This weekend I will be planting an herb garden; I planted summer vegetables a few weeks ago.  If you’re thinking of doing the same, just make sure you use starts because many summer harvest vegetables won’t start from seed this late in the season.

Outdoor living My home has an outdoor space with great potential, including a partially covered patio perfect for entertaining. This weekend I plan to upgrade the space with small touches to make it summer party ready. This includes finding outdoor lighting options, updating the seating and cleaning up the barbecue.

BBQ- Make sure your grill is ready to go this season by making sure everything is clean and in working order before you fire it up. In the northwest that includes making sure the fuel lines are spider-web-free. Also, make sure you have propane or charcoal on hand for impromptu dinners.

Clean Windows- Now is a great time to clean your windows, inside and out. Sun shows more dirt and smudges.

Lawn care- Prepare your lawn for the months ahead. Depending on where you live this means different things. Check your sprinkler system to make sure it wasn’t damaged over the winter; upgrade your lawn care to ensure fuller greens, check for and remove moss to prevent dead patches and start your weeding regimen.

Pool prep- If you have an outdoor pool, get it ready for a summer season of fun in the sun. Same goes for hot-tubs. Make sure your equipment has been serviced, chemicals are available and your pool is clean and ready to use. OR, head to the local hardware store and buy your kiddie pool now before they run out, as I learned one hot July!

De-winterize- I once was doused head to toe when we were turning the water back on to our exterior pipes because the pipe had split in the winter- so make sure all your pipes survived the cold, check your winterized projects and prepare your house for summer.  This is also a good time to look around the exterior, checking roof, gutters and siding.

Summarize- Check or replace AC filters, window screens, and household fans to make sure these are all functioning and will help provide maximum circulation in your house. Consider installing an attic fan or vent to help pull heat out of your home all winter long. Pack away excess cold weather items such as heavy blankets, jackets and other items so they aren’t in your way. Same goes for any sundry items you only use during fall and winter.

 

Inside Spaces

Lighten the Space- Though I likely won’t spend much time inside once the mercury rises, I want to keep the house as light and cool as possible. I have found that replacing the curtains with a lighter shade lets the light in, but also keeps the rooms from overheating from sun exposure. Summer always makes me want to lighten up with the accessories- lighter colors, more whites, bright accents and less clutter.

Rearrange- Freshen up spaces by rearranging some of your wall art. If you don’t have enough wall pieces to rearrange regularly it may be time to add to your collection. You can find inexpensive original art online at stores such as Etsy or in person at local galleries. You can always play with other items like framed images from books, vintage posters or record albums. Here are some terrific ideas for using what you have to add interest to a room.

SpringCleanupAir it out- Open all the windows, shake out the rugs and update home fragrances to fit summer moods (citrus, freesia, clean linen, coconut, melon, fruits and tropical, etc.). You can create your own diffuser with essential oils to distribute fragrance. This may be more symbolic than practical but it always makes me feel ready for summer.

Paint- If you have a room you really want to refresh, a three-day weekend is a good time to take on a project of scale, so you have plenty of time to prep, paint, dry, and clean up. Painting is one of the least expensive ways to really transform how a room feels. Need help picking colors and paint type? Here is some good advice.

Garage or Basement- Tackle a big space that makes a big difference. Our garages and basements often become year-long dumping grounds for seasonal decorations and clothing, items that don’t fit in cabinets, memorabilia and maintenance tools. Go through your items and sort by keep, throw out and donate/sell and then group your keeps by function. Make sure your tools are accessible for easy gardening and entertaining by making sure your tools are accounted for, ready to go, and easy to reach. Here is a useful video on garage organization.

Yard/Garage Sale- If you have overflow at your house, plan a yard/garage sale to get rid of items you no longer need or want. Just make sure to pack everything up and donate it at the end of the sale otherwise you are just letting the clutter back in!

Plan a party- Once your space is all cleaned up and redecorated you will want to show it off! Plan a summer BBQ, dinner party, pool party, picnic or any other gathering.

 

What are your planning for Memorial Day weekend?

Source: Tara Sharp – Windermere Blog


Posted on May 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Spring, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring Gardening

Spring has sprung! It seems like it may be warm enough to start getting things in the ground, but we also live in North Idaho and could get random snow without warning. So, is it really a good time to start planting? Check out some tips below for getting fruits and veggies planted. It’s never too early to start planning.

 

When to Plant

On average, the last frost in the area is anywhere from May 8th-15th so planting before then is a bit dangerous. There are warmer years when the frost ends much sooner than that, but overall is a good idea to wait.

Wait to buy! All those big box stores are starting to bring out all their plants and flowers and they look great. But, the likelihood they will survive this early is up in the air without frost prevention measures. Resisting the urge to buy until it’s time to plant will save you money and time.

 

Seeding Indoors

Now is a great time to get some of your favorites seeded indoors. Purchasing seed packets are cheaper than plant starts and you get more options. You only need a few basic items and a warm, sunny window. Read all about how to start seeds indoors here.

 

Prepare Your Garden

Take a look at the winter damage in your garden. Make sure your perennial are still holding strong. Next, rake out any leaves or debris that’s left over. And pull out those weeds, the soil is wet so they will come out easier this time of year. If you choose to use a chemical to kill the weeds, be sure to read up on it so it doesn’t kill everything. Additionally, it’s not recommended to use vinegar as a weed killer. I will wilt the leaves and make them look dead, but their roots will still be alive. It will also damage the PH of your soil and kill the good micro-organisms living there.

person holding carrots

You can also start planning your 2020 garden. Figure out what and where you will plant things. A good idea is to not plant the same crops in the same spot each year, but rather to rotate them to prevent soil depletion and disease. Keeping a journal of your garden each year will help with that planning. It becomes a valuable tool year after year so you can know which plants thrive where, track weather patterns and planting times.

Don’t work with wet soil. It will compact and create rock hard mud balls which are impossible to work with. Only after the soil dries, should you gently turn the top layer of soil. No need for a deep rototilling, this will bring weed seeds to the surface. And before adding anything to your soil, it’s best to test it first so you know what it needs. You can find soil testing kits here.

 

Planting Calendar

You can plant cool season crops directly outdoors in late April or early spring. Those include peas, spinach, kale, lettuce, and carrots. But, of course, it all depends on the weather. If you plan to sow seeds directly into your garden, you will find that most of them do well when planted in early May. There are options if you want to transplant seedlings or start seeds indoors. Here are two great resources to help with timing of your planting:

 

Credit: Garden.org, Almanac.com, Coeur d’Alene Coop

 


Posted on April 21, 2020 at 5:55 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Spring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring Home Maintenance

If you’re like us, on the first day of spring you’re still waiting for the snow to melt so you can get on with enjoying spring properly. We’ve provided for you a quick home maintenance checklist of things to look over after a long winter.

 

Gutters

roof gutter home house water investment

Your rain gutters are designed to direct water away from your house. A yearly inspection for damage and improper drainage will help you keep your home from dreaded water damage. Image by Felix Ulich

Fall loves to dump leaves all over your roof and winter likes to cement them in your gutters. In early spring the freezing and thawing can cause the watery leaf dam to expand and crack your gutters and down spouts. Keep this frost heaving in check by cleaning out leaves as soon as you can. If you didn’t catch it in time, the spring is a great time to inspect for damage and get it replaced, if needed.  Remember, water that isn’t directed away from the house can permeate into your foundation causing loads of problems down the road, that is why it’s important for gutters to work properly.

 

 

 

 

 

Chimney

chimney roof break broken diy investment inspection

Lots of snow and strong winds can compromise your chimney and other brick work that your home might have. When you can safely get on the roof, inspect for water intrusion or any misplaced and ill fitting bricks. Image by AxxLC

Chimneys stick out like a sore thumb on the top of your house. That means they’re especially vulnerable to the wind and inclement weather of North Idaho winters. There are some chimney features that really need to be inspected after a winter. Check for obvious problems like bricks that look out of place or… if it’s fallen down. That’s a good indicator of a problem. Check the flashing at the base of your chimney. That’s the thin sheet of metal that keeps the water from puddling and directs it down the roof. Furthermore, a periodic cleaning of the inside bits will make it firstly, more efficient. And secondly, safer.

 

 

 

Siding

After a damp fall and winter your siding will most likely accumulate mold, mildew and dirt. You can easily fix this with a pressure washer. If you don’t own one, they cost maybe $30 to rent for a day. When you hose your house down, two magical things will happen: you will experience the oddly satisfying pleasure of pressure washing and your house will look brand new. Seriously.

Some of the worst areas are under eaves and near downspouts. Any stains and mold in these places definitely indicate that there is a problem with how your gutters are handling roof water.

 

Foundation

Remember when we said that water can permeate into your foundation and cause problems? Ground water is no joke and can completely compromise your home’s structural integrity. Concrete is porous and readily holds water and that water will cause the concrete to break down over time. If you live in areas that get cold, you also run the risk of frost heaving. Both of these scenarios will cause your foundation to crack, or your home to be unsettled and shift.

The spring is your first opportunity to check your foundation for any problem areas. We recommend checking near downspouts and areas that tend to be waterlogged.

 

 

Roof

roof house moss mold investment diy clean

Unless your roof moss problem is a wild animal, a simple gentle scrub with soap and water should fix your fuzzy roof. There are chemicals available at home improvement stores to make this process easier. Image by RitaE

Shingles, slate and other roofing materials are not indestructible. While you’re already on the roof checking out the smokestack and gutters, give the roof a good look over. Look for out-of-place shingles, sagging spots or raised shingles. Water will get in any way it can. Your vigilance will keep your roof at the apex of its abilities.

Additionally, check for moss or other organic material. Moss holds water like a pro and the last thing you want is water perched on your roof waiting to find a way in.

 

 

 

 

Lawn

grass lawn green landscape landscaping home yard

Feed your lawn with a fertilizer of your choosing to give your turf a head start this summer. Image by Hans Braxmeier

We have tons of leafy beautiful deciduous trees in our yards. Every spring, without fail, we find clumps of leaves we missed before the snow fell. When the snow is gone, go clean them up. Debris that is left on turf for too long will suffocate and deprive grass of valuable sunlight.  This is also a perfect opportunity to rake and fertilize your lawn and give it the best fighting chance for yard of the month.

 

 

 

 

Planting/Gardening

Spring is a great time to get started on getting the flower beds ready for the months of upcoming growth. After winter, your soil will be dried and packed, best to revitalize it with some compost or manure. This will increase the health of the soil and in turn, your plants. Trim up your existing shrubs and plants to allow for new growth. It is best to wait until mid-April or May to do this. If it’s still getting too cold for plants to survive overnight, start seeding indoors. Vegetables and annuals can be started indoors 6-8 weeks before planting them. Once soil temperatures have reached the optimal temperature for your plants, get them in your prepared soil outside. Some recommendations for good spring flowers/scrubs include the following:

Put manure & fertilizer in your soil to keep your plants healthy in summer months

Pansies

Snapdragons

Vegetables like lettuce, peas and arugula

Redbuds

Transplanting tomato plants from indoor pots to outside

Lilacs

Tulips

 

 

 

Pests

Many pests and critters breed in spring. You can help keep them in check by cleaning the places they would typically habituate. That includes basements, window sills, under cabinets, behind appliances and ceiling corners, just to start. Prevent unchecked population growth by getting rid of the dust and debris that would typically provide shelter. Keeping your counters and trash bins clean will offer less food to the critters. If you’re more concerned with poisonous spiders or the bugs are taking over, call the pest exterminators!

 

Energy Rating

This winter, we found tons of drafts and cold places throughout our house. This is not good. Remember, air is small and goes wherever it wants. Including your bathroom windows and under your front doors. You get the idea, and just think of all the dollars you are literally letting slip through the cracks. My dad always used to yell “Close the door! We’re not heating the neighborhood!” Turns out that if you don’t repair the seals and weather strips, you are- in fact, heating the neighborhood.

Also. Bugs are small, they too come through the cracks. See above.

 

Climate Control

Your furnace was crucial during the winter and fall. Your AC will probably be a close friend during the summer. Take care of your friend before its in the triple digits. There are some really easy preventative maintenance tasks that you can do, or if you don’t feel confident- call an HVAC technician to service and inspect it.

Some easy things you can do: clean and/or replace your air filters, check hose connections for leaks, dust/blow off/ vacuum dirt from fans & electronics and check drip pans.

Click here for a Printable Checklist!


Posted on March 16, 2020 at 7:57 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Spring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

How To Stage Your Home To Sell

Should I stage my home? This may be one of the most frequently asked questions when a person is putting their house on the market. This question is often followed by, How? There are many things to consider and we’re here to help! Check out some tips below to get your home staged to sell.

 

 

1. Clean and RepairImage result for cleaning a home

Starting with the most obvious first, you want to make sure your home is sparkly clean with nothing damaged. Put your home’s best foot forward with a good cleaning. If your home is large or you don’t have enough time, you could always hire a pro. Also, be sure the outside of the home is cleaned in both the back and front yards. When a home is clean, it suggests to the potential buyer that the previous tenants took care of the home and property. Alongside cleaning, you should also patch and repair anything that could be a sign of neglect. Use a melamine foam eraser pad to remove any scuffs from the walls. If there are any holes in the walls, be sure to spackle, caulk and paint that area. Additionally, apply paint to any areas where it seems to have chipped. And once again, this goes for the yard too. The overall goal of this step is to make the home look well taken care of.

 

Image result for depersonalize your home before and after

2. De-Clutter and De-Personalize

When it comes to clutter, the less you have, the larger your space looks… and space sells! You may need to find a spot to temporarily store your belongings. Do not store them in your garage or closets because often times those get looked in. Alongside de-cluttering is to de-personalize. Remove pictures, personal knickknacks and anything that could identify the space as yours. It may be difficult to remove all the things that make your home feel like you, but it’ll be worth it.

 

 

 

Image result for curb appeal to sell3. Work On Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything. Often times potential home buyers will drive by the property first to make sure it’s worth their time. Make sure it’ll lure them in and make them feel like they could be walking into their home. Blooming flowers are always a nice way to add a bit of color and flare to the front of your home. Be sure everything is clean: siding, sidewalks, windows, and porch. Keep your lawn watered, mowed and overall put together. Your porch should have a clean doormat and neat porch furniture if there’s room. Be sure your number is easily readable and even keep your lights on during the evening in case there are drive by’s at night.

 

 

 

Image result for light when home is staged

4. Brighten Things Up

Use the natural light to your advantage. Pull back curtains or open blinds, this will make the rooms feel bigger. Turn on all the lights, even during the day. This will help make your home look more inviting and save perspective buyers from fumbling around trying to find the switch. Also be sure your light fixtures are clean and appealing, even dusting your light bulb if needed. There are also different color temperatures on light bulbs, you could play with your options to find the one that works the best.

 

 

5. Rearrange FurnitureImage result for stagged furniture

First, remove any damaged or large pieces of furniture or anything that doesn’t match the rest of your decor. With what you have left, decide if there’s still too many pieces or if you need more. You can always rent furniture if the home is too empty. Once your furniture is picked, you want to arrange it in a way that allows for plenty of open and walkable space. Additionally, there is a design technique called “floating” which positions your couches, chairs, and tables away from your walls. Add an area rug to make it feel more cozy, even if the room is carpeted.

 

 

 

Image result for neutral wall colors

6. Be Neutral

Bright colored walls can be a major turn off for buyers. Although it expresses individuality, it signifies the home’s past, not future. Not to mention, bold colors distract from a rooms assets and can be all somebody sees. When picking the new paint for the wall, you do not have to go straight white. There are plenty of sophisticated neutral colors to choose from and they will help make everything look cleaner and put together. Additionally, when decorating the master bedroom specifically, remain neutral. You want to appeal to all types of people, including single or married.

 

 

 

7. Use Every SpaceImage result for decorate awkward space in home

If you have a room that is used as storage or junk dumping area, clean it up. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose. Identify what a buyer could see, maybe it’s an office, a spare bedroom, or a kids room and decorate accordingly. This goes for any awkward areas too. Whether that’s a small nook or space under the stairs, decorate it in a way that can show off the potential.  You could set up a small workstation, put up a bulletin board or build some shelves. Even if this means you need to rent or borrow additional furniture to make this happen.

 

 

 

Staging a home requires much time, effort and often times, money. It may not seem like it would be worth it. But let us assure you, it is! According the the National Association of Realtors, in March of 2019, 83% of buyers said that a staged home made it easier for them to visualize the property as a future home. 1/4 of the buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1%-5% compared to homes that weren’t staged. Often times, staging a home will provide you with the result you’re looking for.

 

Credit: Moving.com, Trulia, FoxNews, NAR


Posted on February 27, 2020 at 8:03 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Listings & Selling your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Home Features Every Buyer Wants

Whether you’re buying, selling, building or remodeling – it’s good to know the home features that every buyer is looking for. Especially if you’re remodeling or building and plan to resale, some of these items may make or break your real estate transaction.

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What Not To Do

Let’s first start with a quick list of no-no’s. Although the idea and everyday use of some of these items may work for you, they could severely hurt you if you plan to sell you home since they’re not practical for the average buyer:

  • Removing closets
  • Combining two rooms
  • Adding a sunroom
  • A garage converted to a living space
  • Adding a pool or hot rub
  • Any feature that is too personalized such as wall color/texture,  too much wallpaper, or lavish lighting that may look dated overtime

 

What To Do

Below are some home features that will increase the resale value of your home and what most all buyers are looking for.

Hardwood Floors

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White Couch Near Black Mat

Since they are much easier to clean, durable, long lasting, and have a contemporary look, hardwood floors are one of the top features a buyer wants. Engineered wood flooring is a good option if you’re on a budget, although it may not last as long it’s still just as easy to clean and has the same look.

 

 

 

Modern Kitchen

Kitchen and Dining Area

silver French-door refrigerator

Kitchens are where we spend a lot of our time, whether we’re entertaining or cooking. So this feature is obviously going to make the list. A buyer will likely be looking for a modern kitchen with an open floor plan. Specific features that are of importance is a large pantry, an area to eat separate from the dining room (either an eat-in kitchen or island with a breakfast bar), new appliances that are stainless steel & energy efficient, ample counter space & storage, and quartz or granite countertops all with a modern design.

 

 

 

Energy Efficiency

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Who wouldn’t want to save money? Buyers look for and are more likely to be interested in a home when it’s outfitted with energy efficient appliances, windows, lighting and HVAC. These items help save money in utilities each month but don’t take away from the buyer’s  comfort level.

 

 

 

Laundry Room

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Having a dedicated laundry room is increasing in importance with buyers. Especially one large enough to sort, iron, fold and stack the laundry until it finally gets put away. The placement of the laundry room in a home is also important. Having the laundry room near bedrooms, just off the kitchen, as a laundry room/mud room combination or even a laundry chute if it’s downstairs are all considered to be good locations

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Walk-in Closet

Assorted Clothes Hanged Inside Cabinet

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Many older homes do not have the luxury of a walk in closet, but the feature is quickly gaining popularity. Although closet space in general is very important, walk in closets off the master are considered essential for most buyers when purchasing a home. Depending on how large the closet is, it provides a space to showcase your wardrobe & accessories, keeps your clothes organized, and allows for enough room for a couple to store all of their clothes & accessories.

 

 

 

Large Garage

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A large 2 car or 3 car garage allows for the buyer to park their vehicle indoors plus adds storage space. Unlike an attic or basement, the garage is much more accessible to store belongings. The space could also be used as a workshop or mudroom with space to build shelves and cabinets. The possibility with a large garage is endless.

 

 

 

 

Patio

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Outdoor patios are a simple way to extend the living space of your home. It’s really easy for buyers to see themselves sitting outside playing with their children or entertaining when the backyard is really nice. This is typically an easy and cheaper way to increase the value of your home.

 

 

Credit: GOBankingRates, SpaceWise, Kiplinger, Organized Interiors


Posted on December 10, 2019 at 8:45 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Costs and Spending, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Listings & Selling your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Don’t Forget! Top 6 Overlooked Winterizing Tasks

As a homeowner, you likely already have a checklist of items you need to complete before the snow falls. But, there are a few items that you may have forgotten about. Don’t let these items go unchecked or you may have unnecessary headache and expense in the future. Below are 6 tasks that should be completed but many homeowners overlook.

Note: If you do not have a checklist of home maintenance before winter, take a look at ours here!

1. Drain Gasoline and Oil From Your Yard Equipment

Mowing your lawn may be the last thing on your mind right now. But, to ensure your power equipment still runs in tip top shape next year, drain the remaining gas and oil out. If gasoline or oil sits too long it could cause changes in the chemical composition which could lead to a number of problems. Read about how gas can go bad and how to identify it here.

 

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2. Clean Your Window Weep Holes

There are many windows that have weep holes on the exterior bottom of the frame. Their purpose is to drain any water that collects in the frame’s bottom channel. But often times they get clogged with bugs or debris of some kind which could then spill into your house. First, test the weep hole by pouring water into the track. If it doesn’t steadily drain out, there is likely a clog. If that is the case, you could spray it out with compressed air or poke a wire hanger into the hole.

 

 

3. Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater

You should drain some of the water from your water heater every year otherwise sediment will collect at the bottom. With gas powered water heaters, this will cause hot spots that will damage the tank. With electric powered heaters, it could cause the lower heating elements to fail. So draining it once yearly will not only extend the water heaters life but also save you money on your energy bills.

 

4. Clean Dryer Vents

If your dryer vent is plugged, it could cause your dryer to run inefficiently or even cause a house fire. Before winter arrives, be sure to clean out your vent to prevent that from happening. It may not always be lint that causes the backup, there may be pests nesting or stuck exhaust hood flappers could also be the culprit. Each year, take the vent off the back of your dryer and clean it. You could get any debris out with a wet/dry vac or use a cleaning kit that can be purchased at home centers. Inspect your exhaust hood flappers to ensure they are in proper working order as well.

 

5. Check For High Water Pressure

High water pressure can cause issues with pipes, connections and appliances not to mention it wastes water. It is very easy to test to pressure, you just need to purchase a pressure gauge that hooks up to spigot or tub faucet. If the pressure is too high, just change the pressure reducing valve.

 

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6. Test Sump Pump

It’s best to test you sump pump twice a year to avoid your home flooding. It is very simple to test it, you just need to dump water into the basin to make sure it’s working. And be sure your pump has a vertical float switch.

 

 

 

Consider adding the above tasks to your winterizing checklist to help with any possible issues that may arise over the winter season.

 

Credit: Family Handyman, Do It Yourself 


Posted on December 3, 2019 at 6:09 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Easy Tips To Keep Your Garbage Disposal Spinning

We all love our garbage disposal but when it breaks down, it definitely becomes a love/hate relationship. We’ve scoured the blogs and professional opinions and we have a short list of ways to keep your disposal grinding away.

Easy maintenance tasks done every few weeks or months can really extend your garbage disposals life span.

  1. Really think about what you’re putting in there. Most food should be alright, but take note if the food is prone to absorbing water further, if its very hard or tough or if it might get really gunked up in cool water. Heavy and hard things like bones might break the mechanical parts of your disposal. Fats and oils can solidify in cold water and clog your pipes. Foods that absorb water will eventually turn into a gunked up clog.
  2. Cold water is best when grinding your waste up. You can absolutely use hot water at all other times, but cold water is recommended so that oils don’t melt and then solidify in the drain plug of the disposal. I personally run hot water after to push anything lingering further on down the drain.
  3. Clean it up! I like to use citrus peels and some dish soap to keep the disposal clean and smell free. You can put the peel and the soap in while the disposal is running and you can tell right
  4. Use an allen wrench to free up the disposal. Sometimes they get bound up or maybe you over did it when cleaning out the fridge. Don’t stress! Just grab an allen wrench and hand turn according to directions. Usually that will do the trick and you won’t burn out the motor! Win!
  5. Experts recommend keeping your disposal blades sharp by dropping some ice cubes down the disposal. It doesn’t take a long time but it does sound a little intense. Bonus feature- it’ll act as an abrasive and clean off any built up food from the blades and the housing.
  6. Did you know there are disposal cleaners? There are. But they are not to be confused with your standard drain cleaner- which have caustic chemicals that can/will damage your disposal’s seals and integral parts. Don’t do that. You love your disposal too much.
  7. Be very vigilant and cautious when you’re getting things that fall in to the deep, dark, slimy disposal. Set up a barricade, nail the kitchen door shut- do what you must do so that you don’t turn into a horror movie character and lose your pretty fingers. Please.

We are not plumbers nor are we disposal experts, mostly just parents who have had to take care of a few household maintenance issues. But if you’re looking- we do have a plumber we can recommend. These are just our real life bits of advice and some info from the pros. Please use common sense when trying to do any work on your disposal. If you think about it- its really a sink full of spinning knives… so safe.

For more information on proper use of your disposal, click here!

For a checklist to prepare your home for the colder months, click HERE!

If you have any other disposal tips or if you can think of a topic you’d like to hear about, please let us know in the comments.

 

Let’s Make Awesome Happen,

 


Posted on November 20, 2019 at 7:01 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in Best of CDA, Costs and Spending, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Leaf Fest 2019

It’s 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 12th

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Click the link here for leaf pickup map. Find your zone – leaf pickup will happen in alphabetic order.

 

Some things to keep in mind:

Do:

  • 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.

 

Don’t:

  • 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!

Posted on November 4, 2019 at 9:17 pm
John and Tracey Tindall | Posted in CDA is Awesome, Fall, Helpful Tips, Home & Projects, Our Great City, Whats Happening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,