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6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into a New House

1. Change the Locks
You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.

2. Check for Plumbing Leaks
Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak. Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Steam Clean Carpets
Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself.

4. Wipe Out Your Cabinets
Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.

5. Give Critters the Heave-Ho
That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100 to $300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.

6. Introduce Yourself to Your Circuit Breaker Box and Main Water Valve
It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?” You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

 

 

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No-Sweat Hacks to Deep Clean the Cruddiest Things

Ahhh! Sparkling floors, gleaming windows, and zero dust bunnies. A thorough cleaning can make your abode feel brand new. But that immaculate house comes with a price — sore biceps.

 

#1 Break Out the Drill on Your Bathtub
Cleaning a grungy tub can be back-breaking work. But here’s a genius idea that’ll save you time and sweat: Use your drill. Simply attach a scrubby (or a foam ball polishing attachment if you happen to have one) and use it to do the scrubbing for you. Look in the automotive section for the attachment, which is made specially for tackling grime without scratching surfaces.

#2 Soak Stove Burners in Ammonia
Your stove burners take the bulk of the greasy, gunky mess during cooking, so do them a favor and give them a good cleaning. Don’t worry: No scrubbing involved. To clear the crud, combine your stove burners and 1/4 cup ammonia in a plastic bag and let sit overnight. They should come clean with a light sponge the next day.

#3 Run Floor Vents Through the Dishwasher
Scour as you might, removing all the accumulated dirt and dust from your floor and ceiling vents can be a spring cleaner’s nightmare. If yours are made of aluminum or steel, there’s a shortcut to spic-and-span: Just run them through the dishwasher on a water-only cycle.

#4 Tie a Bag of Vinegar Around Your Showerhead
Mineral build-up on your showerhead can cause low water pressure and wonky water streams. But it’s easy to clean them without removing them. Using a rubber band, attach a bag of vinegar to your showerhead, making sure all the holes are submerged in the vinegar, and soak it overnight. Voilà. Good as new.

Continue reading here for more tips.

Source: Houselogic.com

 

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Check out our July newsletter here. Also, remember to like our Facebook page here and you will automatically be entered into our next American Express gift card drawing!

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5 Tricks to Rejuvenate a Run-Down Patio on a Budget

 

Whether you love to entertain friends or bask in the sun with a cocktail and a novel, here are five easy ways to inject new life into your little corner of nature:

#1 Stop the Pests that Make Your Patio Look Untidy
It’s hard to enjoy your patio if it’s covered in debris scattered by the wind or by critters with a penchant for digging and trampling. Stop critters with the humble pine cone — instead of regular mulch. Those spiny cones will deter pests and mischievous pets. And chances are your plants will LOVE them because they acidify the soil. Showstopper plants like azaleas and rhododendrons will burst with color.

#2 Pop Some Color on that Concrete Patio
Rejuvenate that dilapidated patio with color in a can. Try painting it a bold, bright color or a fun pattern, like chevron. You can also mimic the appearance of upscale stone patios with just a bit of paint and some stamps. If you want to let your creative juices flow, try mimicking a carpet or even a game board, such as Twister. At the very least, a new coat of concrete stain will give that tired concrete a fresh look.

#3 Ditch the Rust But Not the Furniture
Lounging on your patio, cocktail in hand, requires something to lounge on. But if that secondhand chaise you bought post-college is covered in rust, you’re not going to be relaxing on it in your summer whites anytime soon. But replacing it is expensive — and a waste! Give it a rust-busting makeover, instead. ere are several ways to remove rust.  If the damage isn’t too extensive, the job can be as simple as scraping it off. Use a wire brush, sandpaper, or steel wool — and a bit of elbow grease — to scour it away.For less effort, use a drill with a wire brush attachment. For more extensive rust issues, you can use an acidic agent like vinegar to help with the removal. Or use a chemical rust converter (such as Rust-Oleum), which actually changes the rust into a different substance and protects against future rusting, adding years to your chaise’s lifespan. Paint over the treated spot and that chaise will be right back to its glory days and ready for you in your white shorts.


#4 Create Outdoor Storage
If a dumpy layer of clutter and scattered pots make your patio look sad, consider adding DIY storage to keep all of your outdoor whatnots neat and tidy. Paint wooden crates (about $10 each) to match your patio (or try a bright, fun, contrasting color) and add a sealant to weatherproof the wood. Arrange them to create attractive, rustic storage. Glue the crates together and attach wheels to the bottom if you want to be able to move it around.

#5 Build a Fire Pit — No Tools Needed
Sometimes the best way to distract from a patio that needs some love is by drawing attention to a feature that does nothing but delight. A mini fire pit can serve as an arresting visual focal point while adding more fun and function to your patio. Creating your own outdoor s’more-making oasis doesn’t have to take much time or money. Try DIY blog Young House Love’s super-cheap, pint-sized pit, which requires only heat-resistant pavers (also called fire bricks), which cost about $5 per stone.

 

Source: houslogic.com

 

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Our June newsletter

Check out our June newsletter to see all that’s happening in Punta Gorda! Click here to view. Also, remember to like our Facebook page here and you will automatically be entered into our American Express gift card drawing for July.

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Super Simple Ideas for People Who Don’t Like Yard Work

Who has time to prep for a patio party when you can’t even keep up with the regular stuff? Shouldn’t you get to kick back on your lawn, too? Yes, you should. It’s just a matter of designing your landscape so it requires less attention from you. Here are a few strategies to help:

 

img2Use Rocks for Interesting Landscape Features

Grass doesn’t grow on rocks. Besides stating the obvious, what that really means is that they’re the perfect, versatile tool for creating a low-maintenance outdoor space. Use them to create walkways, or group them together to form decorative outcroppings.

Switch to Tall Grass That Never Needs Mowing

Not all grass is created equal. Tall grasses, like switchgrass, bluestem, muhly, and fountaingrass, all grow fast and require very little TLC. Nor do they ever get mowed.
How to use tall grasses:
-Group along a fence line.
-Group into geometric patterns in your yard for a clean look.
-Go more random for a more natural look.

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Plant Your Own Mini Forest if You Get Lots of Rain

Where there are trees there shall be no grass. But there will be shade, and that’s a plus for picnicking and lawn-chair lounging. Consider your local climate, as soaking up water can be good or bad. Do you need to sop up excess water? Is the yard already too dry? Keep in mind that native trees are less maintenance because they’re adapted to your area.

For more creative ideas, click here.

Source: Houselogic.com

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8 Tips & Tricks to Keep Your Home Cleaner Longer

It’s spring cleaning time again…Do you know some of these tricks to keep your home cleaner for a longer time? Read more.

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Check out March’s e-newsletter here and find out how you can enter into next month’s $25 gift card drawing!

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Atlanta Braves may be coming to North Port

For all of you Braves fans out there, it looks like Southwest Florida may be the new spring training home for Atlanta in 2019. North Port, only about 20 minutes away from Punta Gorda, will be building a new stadium if negotiations go well.

Read more here.

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December’s Newsletter

Be sure to check out our December newsletter to see all that’s happening in Punta Gorda! Click here to view. Also, remember to like our Facebook page here and you will automatically be entered into our American Express gift card drawing for January.

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