Home Maintenance

5 New Year's Resolutions For Your Home

Stream line your stuff and declutter
No excuses — that clutter has got to go! Start by creating more storage space so you can stash stuff easily. You’ve probably got storage solutions you didn’t know you had. Put up a high shelf between the walls of a narrow hallway, and tuck storage in out-of-the-way nooks, such as under-stairs spaces and between wall studs. If your home is tight on space, don’t despair: There’s still room for storage. Shoe organizers ($20) do more than hold shoes — use them to store keys, notepads, and cell phones. This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don't use, wear or love and donate it to charity. I promise you it will make you feel good!

Budget For A Home Remodeling Project
Most of us have changes we’d like to make to our homes but, few of us actually ever get around to doing them. Start planning and setting aside money for the updated kitchen or bathroom you’d like to have. If you want to paint your living room in a few months start looking at paint samples and budgeting for the cost of paint or hiring a professional. Check out an app called Digit for an easy way to start saving.

Battle Your Bathroom and Prevent Mold
Run your bath fans during your bath or shower and for a half-hour after to flush out moisture. You could also consider adding a timer switch to make this step automatic. Lastly if you have tile, seal the grout lines annually with a standard grout sealer to waterproof them. To get rid of the current mold, use a solution of bleach and water on a cotton ball. Mold the cotton ball to the space where the mold is located and let it sit 10 minutes, then rinse it off and let dry.

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Try conducting a DIY home energy audit. Start by checking windows, doors, chimneys and electrical outlets for air leaks. If the draft isn’t obvious, use a lit candle or stick of incense to detect unwanted air flowing into your house. Resolve by using caulk around windows, draft plug in the chimney and foam insulated pads behind outlet covers to help eliminate the drafts. Weather-stripping is very helpful to close gaps around doors. Also, unplug unused appliances, wrap an insulating cover around the water heater and use builders foam on the exterior of your home to close any gaps where electrical wires enter your home.

Deep Cleaning
Cleaning can be time consuming but, it’s best to do at least one deep clean twice a year. The New Year is the perfect time to tackle this job. Break the process into different floors so that you don’t try to take it on all at once. Make time to clean and vacuum behind appliances and furniture. You could also consider hiring the professionals. 

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    Fun Fact Friday; Cleaning the Caulk in Your Bathroom

    Most of us have lived in homes that have some mold trapped in the caulk around the tub or shower. It’s inevitable that some builds up over time. Did you know there’s a quick and easy fix for this? Mix some bleach with a little bit of water, then take cotton balls and moisten them with the mixture you just made. Once they’re moist stretch them out and then press them along the area of caulk that has mold trapped in it. Wait about 10 minutes and remove the cotton balls and then rinse the caulk with warm water. Repeat if needed to remove all mold. 

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      Selling Your Kingstowne Home - 5 Maintenance Items You Need To Do Prior To Listing

      Selling Your Kingstowne Home - 5 Maintenance Items You Need To Do Prior To Listing

      Home buyers are out in full force in the Kingstowne area – hello spring market! If you are going to sell your Kingstowne home this year tackling maintenance items before it goes on the market is key for a successful sale. Check out the below tips to get an idea of the areas you should be focusing on.
       


      Service The HVAC – it’s guaranteed a home inspector will check the HVAC once your home goes under contract. Have it in tip-top shape before that happens. This is something you should have done twice a year as a homeowner to keep the system in good working order. Having the HVAC serviced before listing your home will not only have it ready for the home inspection it’s a chance for you to know upfront if any repairs are needed. If they are, take care of them prior to listing your home.
       

      Check The Smoke Detectors – if you didn’t just change the batteries and test them when we went on daylight savings time make sure you do it before you list your home. This is another item a home inspector is guaranteed to check. If your smoke detectors are getting a yellow look to them it’s time for a replacement.

      Deep Clean – this isn’t just your weekly dusting and vacuuming. We’re talking baseboards, molding, cabinets (including the top of them if they don’t go to the ceiling, all appliances, windows, floors, light fixtures, and ceiling fans. Every nook and cranny of your house needs to be cleaned when you’re doing a deep clean. You might want to hire a professional to tackle this task. If you decide to do it yourself break your house up into different sections and focus on one at a time. The details matter for a deep clean.
       


      Organize The Garage – the garage is an area that becomes a catch-all for many homeowners. It’s also an area that’s frequently overlooked when selling a home. Showing buyers that every area of your home has been maintained is key to getting top dollar. Organize the garage and get rid of clutter. Do the walls have holes or cracks in them? Do they need painting? How does the floor look? Maybe it needs painting too. The garage shouldn’t look like a storage unit and is another area of your house that will need attention prior to going on the market.
       


      Make The Exterior Shine – the first thing a potential buyer will see is the exterior of your home. Some buyers drive by a home before going for a tour and if it’s not appealing they never come to see the interior. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. Trim bushes, mulch, clean the gutters, power wash, wash the exterior of the windows, clean the front door, replace the hardware if it’s worn, and look for any areas that need paint or repair.
       


      Kingstowne home buyers are looking for homes that are well maintained inside and out. It takes time to properly prepare a home to go on the market and an eye for detail. Your investment of time and money towards the maintenance of your home before you go on the market will pay off in the form of strong offers and less time on the market. Have questions about preparing your home for the market? Contact me, Amanda Davidson at 703-431-3755 or amanda@amandadavidson.com. 

       

       

       

       

      6 Fall Maintenance Tips To Prepare Your Home For Winter

      6 Fall Maintenance Tips To Prepare Your Home For Winter

      Summer seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye this year. With the change of season comes time for maintenance to your home. Putting off maintenance items will often cause bigger problems to occur which in turn costs you more money. Use our tips as a guide to make sure your home is prepared for winter.
       

       

      HVAC Service – contact your preferred HVAC technician to have your system inspected and serviced before the cold temperatures arrive. Systems tend to have problems and stop running in extreme temperatures. Don’t risk being without heat on a cold winter day.

       

      Check Your Roof – have your roof inspected for missing or damaged shingles, clogged gutters, and loose gutters. If you have a ridge vent also have it inspected to make sure it doesn’t need to be secured or sealed to prevent water intrusion.  
       


      Clean The Gutters – when your roof is being inspected if the gutters are clogged have them cleaned. Clogged gutters can cause leaks in the roof, rotten fascia that leads to water intrusion or even a flood in the basement.
       

      Winterize Exterior Faucets – this is a really important item that often gets overlooked. Before the first freeze, you want to turn off and drain all exterior faucets otherwise known as winterizing them. This will prevent any water from being trapped in the pipes, freezing, and then causing a pipe to burst.
       

      Chimney Sweep – before you have your first fire of the season be sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned. Knowing that your chimney is in good working order is a sound safety precaution to take. The peace of mind alone knowing that there’s no buildup and the structure is safe will be worth every penny.
       


      Purchase Winter Weather Essentials – get your snow shovel, ice melt, candles, flashlights, gloves, and any other winter storm supplies you need to purchase long before there’s a storm predicted. You’ll not only pay less, you also won’t risk the chance of the items being sold out. We all know that in Northern Virginia we can overact just a bit when the weatherman is predicting snow!

       

      If you live in Northern Virginia and need a referral for a trusted professional to take care of any of the above maintenance items contact us. We'd be happy to give you some recommendations!