VOLUME 21, NO. 4

house wise


Don't Skip The Home Inspection!

With so many homes selling “as-is” these days, a home inspection is truly a must-have. There is simply no better way to get to know a home, learn about any issues and understand its features. The inspector will objectively evaluate the home’s major systems and components and note their findings in your inspection report. Accompanying the inspector during the process is strongly encouraged so you have the opportunity to ask questions along the way.

Already settled into your new home? Even after the sale has closed, a home inspection will provide peace of mind about the home’s condition and safety. Know what you’re buying by getting a complete, professional home inspection!


5 Tips For Your Summer Garden

Your garden is established and growing great. Keep it going strong by staying on top of these summer garden tasks:

  1. Water thoroughly where needed. Container plants normally dry out faster than plants in the ground, so you may need to water them daily when the weather is very hot and/or dry.

  2. Practice smart pest control. Some offending insects, like aphids, can be washed off with a blast from your garden hose. Familiarize yourself with both harmful and beneficial insects and worms in your area so you know who to target and who to leave alone.

  3. Deadhead faded blooms and trim dead or wayward growth. Removing dried flowers keeps your plants looking good and can help certain types reflower.

  4. Mulch for maximum benefit. A 3”-4” layer of mulch helps keep weeds down, promotes moisture retention in the soil and makes your garden look clean and neat. Keep mulch at least a few inches away from the base of the plant to allow for good air circulation.

  5. Fill in bare spots in beds with summer annuals or mulch to keep things looking fresh


Pick Your Palette: Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

You’ve decided to update your home with fresh paint in a new color. Here are some guidelines that will help you find colors you’ll love now and in the years to come.

  1. Look around. Take photos of homes with colors that catch your eye, and check out design websites for inspiration. This is the easiest and most direct way to start narrowing down your options.

  2. Take a good look at your home. If it has existing brick, stone or other surfaces that won’t be painted, you’ll need to take their tones into account when selecting your new colors. Avoid clashing tones by painting sample swatches next to these materials. The color of your roof may need to be considered as well.
  1. Get outside. Be sure to look at color swatches outdoors before you decide on paint samples. Outdoor light is much brighter than inside your home and has a significant effect on how colors look.

  2. Test, and test some more. Paint colors will appear very different depending on the time of day, direction of exposure, and in full sun vs. shade. Be sure to view painted samples under all of these conditions tomake sure you’re happy with what you see.

A fresh, new color palette will make you fall in love with your home all over again.


Beat The Heat!

House heating up? Try these practical ideas to cool off
in comfort.

  1. Close window coverings on south- and west-facing sides of the house until dusk.

  2. Switching ceiling fans to the summer rotation setting (usually counterclockwise) creates a downward breeze and makes the room feel cooler.

  3. Give the stove a rest and opt for the microwave and outdoor grill instead.

  4. Use a programmable or smart thermostat to raise the AC temperature when you’re away from home. Be sure to raise the temperature overnight, too.

  5. Take a break for an ice-cold drink or a frozen treat. Enjoy!
person holding ice cream cone


Lead-based Paint – Should You Worry?

If your home was built before 1960, it probably has some lead-based paint. If built between 1960 and 1990, there is likely to be lead-based paint on the exterior. A home built after 1990 is unlikely to have lead paint because household paints in the U.S. and Canada were no longer manufactured using lead.

How can I learn if my home has lead-based paint?

An approved testing kit provides instant results, or you can sent a sample to a lab for testing. The most common areas where lead-based paint is found is on walls and interior trim, door jambs and window frames.

If my house has lead-based paint, should I worry?

Lead poisoning doesn’t happen overnight, so there’s no need to panic. But living with lead should not be an option, especially if there are very young children in the home. You can have your children tested for lead poisoning with a simple blood test by your family physician.

What can be done about it?

Painted surfaces that are in good condition with no flaking or chipping can be painted over with two coats of high-quality paint to encapsulate the underlying paint. Wear surfaces can be replaced rather than encapsulated. For example, you can remove and replace door jambs with new wood.

When encapsulation or wood replacement is not practical, the paint can be removed using chemical strippers. This should only be done by a professional contractor since proper containment of the lead material is essential.

Experience the Pillar To Post difference. Schedule your next home inspection today!