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Articles Tagged "Home repair"

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June
27

What to Know When Building a Deck

Deck Building Ideas

Relaxing on a deck is enjoyable in any season, but especially during the summer months. 

Want to expand your home's outdoor spaces and increase your home's value? Building a deck will help you accomplish both of these goals!

With so many different options regarding deck materials, styles, and designs, it's important to do your research so your deck is right for your home. Here are a few things our real estate agents suggest you know when building a deck. 

  1. A Deck is a Cost-Effective Way to Add More Space to Your Home
    Even though a deck usually isn't fully enclosed, it expands your home's usable outdoor areas for a price that's significantly less than building another room onto your home. A deck provides a large amount of open space for you to use according to your family's needs; set up a table for outside dining, or invest in a comfortable, conversational set for an evening of board games and snacks. 
  1. You Have Numerous Material Options for Constructing Your Deck
    When choosing from the multitude of deck materials, you'll want to pick a selection that fits your aesthetic, maintenance preferences, and budget. Natural wood looks beautiful and resists rotting and insects. However, it's more expensive than other options and requires re-sealing every couple of years to keep it from cracking. You'll also need to pressure wash it annually to remove grime. Pressure-treated lumber is a more affordable alternative to natural wood that's also resistant to rot and insects. Like natural wood, it needs re-sealing every couple of years and an annual pressure washing to keep it clean. Composite decking combines recycled plastic with wood fibers. Trex and TimberTech are examples of composite decking. While composite decking is resistant to insects and rotting, it can get extremely hot when exposed to direct sunlight. Shady areas are also prone to developing mold and mildew. Plastic decking is durable and easy to clean with your garden hose or a scrub brush. It's not vulnerable to moisture, insects, or rot. Like composite decking, plastic decking gets very hot in direct sunlight and has a tendency to develop mold and mildew in shady areas. 
  1. Overly Extravagant Decks Might Not Pay Off
    If you're planning to add your home to the list of Richmond homes for sale, you may wonder if a fancy deck will help you secure a higher asking price for your home. While a deck will raise your overall home value, potential buyers aren't likely to place as high of a value on customized deck features or extravagant deck designs. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't add unique deck features or opt for more expensive decking materials if they're important to you; just realize that you might not recoup your money when it's time to sell your home. Ultimately, you'll need to consider how you'd like to use this space and how long you'd like to stay in your current home.
  1. You May Need a Building Permit
    Depending on the size and height of your deck and your town's specific laws, you may need to apply for a building permit to construct your new deck. This will add at least a few hundred to the cost of your deck. Don't skip this step if you do need a permit. Otherwise, you'll have issues when you sell your home, and insurance claims associated with your deck may be denied. 

A deck is a fantastic addition to any home that will help increase its value and expand the outdoor living space. Want to upgrade to a home with space for a larger deck? Contact us today to get started!

March
7

Moving Expenses to Know About

Moving Expenses

The key to a successful and affordable move is to plan ahead. This way, you can start saving and budgeting well in advance of your moving date. But what expenses do you need to account for as you plan your move? Our real estate agents list some often-forgotten moving expenses below.

  • Moving Insurance
    When you hire a moving company, they generally charge you a base moving fee, plus additional fees for extra services like furniture assembly or appliance prep.

    One extra fee customers don't always account for is the cost of moving insurance. Most moving companies include a certain amount of insurance by default, but it's often wise to pay for additional coverage, especially if you have valuable items. Your moving company should be able to give you a quote for this insurance based on the value of your possessions.

  • Equipment Rental
    If you're moving things yourself, you may want to rent a dolly or moving straps to make carrying heavy items easier. You can rent these items from a local moving truck rental service. (Don't forget to account for the cost of renting a moving truck for your DIY move, too.)

  • Vehicle Shipping
    If you own more than one vehicle, you may need to drive one to your new home and have the other one shipped. Get quotes for vehicle shipping well in advance of your move. You'll often get a better rate if you book this service early.

  • Overnight Stays
    If you're moving a long distance, it might take you more than one day to drive to your destination. So make sure you budget for a night in a hotel as you calculate your expected moving costs. Even if you stay at a friend's house along the way, there may be costs involved, such as the cost of eating dinner out that night.

  • Dining Out
    When you're busy packing and moving, you'll probably eat out or order takeout more often than usual. As such, it's wise to budget for a few extra restaurant meals around the time of your move. The earlier you prioritize unpacking your kitchen items, the lower the cost.

  • Packing Supplies
    If you are packing yourself or doing the whole move yourself, you will need lots of packing supplies, including boxes, tape, and packing peanuts. You can save money by reusing packing supplies that friends may have, but make sure you still budget some funds for these materials. You can never have too much tape or too many markers.

  • Child Care
    If you have children, you may want to hire a sitter on days you're doing most of the packing. Even if a family member or friend is willing to watch the kids, it's nice to give them some cash as a "thank you."

  • Gasoline
    Whether you're driving a moving truck or just your personal vehicle to your new home, be sure to account for the cost of fuel. You'll probably use more gas than usual, making trips to the store for moving supplies, driving to the truck rental place, and driving to restaurants, too, so a little extra wiggle room in the budget doesn't hurt here.

When you set a moving budget ahead of time, there are fewer surprises along the way. If you happen to still be looking at Richmond homes for sale, don't dismay. We're confident you'll soon find the perfect place and start planning your move. Contact us if you'd like some assistance on your homebuying journey.

February
28

Just in Time for Spring: Window Cleaning Tips

With spring around the corner, it's time to plan your spring cleaning. One area that many homeowners often overlook is their windows. 

Clean windows maximize the amount of natural light that enters your home; our real estate agents know that gleaming windows also help your home look its best during home showings. 

Here are a few guidelines to follow when spring cleaning your windows. 

  • Start by Vacuuming Around Your Window Sills and Window Frames
    Have you ever tried to wipe up dirt with a wet cloth? If so, you know that it turns to mud, making it more difficult for you to clean. Use the crevice attachment on your vacuum to remove dirt and debris from your window sills and frames. 
  • Choose the Right Materials
    To clean your window glass, you need cleaning materials that won't leave streaks. Usually, it's your rag that leaves streaks, not your window cleaner. Newspaper is one cheap alternative that won't leave streaks, or you can use microfiber cleaning cloths. Depending on how many windows you need to clean, you may want to invest in a squeegee specifically designed for glass cleaning. A squeegee will allow you to quickly remove the excess cleaning solution, so you have a streak-free finish. 
  • Use Soapy Water to Clean Your Window Frames
    When cleaning your window frames, you don't need anything fancy. Usually, a few drops of dish soap and warm water are an effective cleaner. After you wash the frames, make sure that you dry them, as the materials of some frames (like wood or metal) can be damaged by excess moisture. 
  • Remember to Wash Your Curtains or Blinds
    Don't forget to wash your curtains or clean your blinds. Otherwise, they'll transfer dust and grime to your clean windows. You should also wash your window coverings before adding your home to the list of Richmond homes for sale. Remove your curtains and launder according to the instructions. Some curtains can be washed in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, while others require dry cleaning or steam cleaning. To get your blinds clean, use an old sock and a mixture that's half water and half vinegar to dust them. If your blinds are extremely dirty or have a greasy residue, spray them with a degreaser (like the yellow Mr. Clean). Then, wipe them with a warm, wet rag. Make sure that you also dust your window hardware, like your curtain rod or blind brackets. 
  • Remove Your Window Screens to Clean Them
    If your windows have screens, remove them and lay them on a towel or old sheet. Vacuum both sides of your screens to remove dirt and debris. Then, mix a quarter of a cup of cleaner with a half-gallon of warm water. Wash each side of your screens using a sponge or microfiber cloth. Then, rinse them with your water hose on a low setting. Use a dry towel to remove excess moisture before reinstalling your screens. 

With a little time and a few materials, you'll quickly have your windows looking their best. Interested in buying a home with more windows or natural lighting? Contact us today to start your search!

November
29

Appliance Upgrades to Consider

Appliance Upgrades

Thinking about making some upgrades before selling your home? It might make sense to include new appliances on your list.

Appliances last a long time, have aesthetic appeal, and are a major necessity, so it's no surprise new units can have a big impact when it's time to sell your home. Our real estate agents often find appliances, especially in the kitchen, can really shape a buyer's perspective. They're a major selling point.

Upgrading your appliances before selling gives you an opportunity to boost your sale price and ultimately see a higher return on your investment. When deciding whether it's worth it to upgrade, consider the cost of the new appliance and to what degree you'll be able to recover your costs. Here are the appliances you should prioritize when considering upgrades:

  • Refrigerators
    Kitchens are often one of the most important rooms when it comes to home value, and your refrigerator is often the first thing buyers see when walking into the kitchen. Catch their attention with a nice upgrade. Think stainless steel, energy-efficient, and maybe even an appliance with smart technology or Internet connectivity. You can buy a decent model for $2,500 to $4,000. Most refrigerators last quite a while -- usually 10 to 13 years, so this is a big-ticket item. Check out some of the great-looking refrigerators in these Richmond homes for sale.
     
  • Washers and Dryers
    After the refrigerator, your washer and dryer are also major selling points. A high-quality, energy-efficient washer and dryer set with lots of features will run you $2,000 to $3,000 upfront, but you can most certainly see a return in your sale price. A good washer and dryer set will last 15 to 17 years.

  • Range/Oven
    Flat-top stoves and ovens that blend seamlessly into your counter space will attract more buyer attention than a standalone appliance. Select a sleek model that matches your kitchen. Buyers don't want to worry about having to upgrade their range/oven, so a brand new unit will be an attractive feature. A new model might cost you $2,000 to $3,000, and a range/oven will typically last about 15 years. 

  • Dishwashers
    A nice, energy-efficient dishwasher that matches the refrigerator can also help improve your kitchen's appeal and ultimately improve your home value. A new dishwasher will cost you $800 to $1,500. However, because dishwashers generally have a shorter lifespan than many other appliances (8 - 10 years), you might want to prioritize other upgrades first.

You don't have to spring the most expensive models, but investing in nice appliance upgrades is a good way to improve your home value and realize a greater return. For more home selling tips, contact us today.

August
23

How To Brighten Up Your Home With Natural Light

RVA Light Tips

The importance of natural light in the home can't be overstated. Everyone loves bright, open rooms, and natural lighting really makes your home appear larger and more welcoming. Maximizing your home's natural lighting can also decrease your utility costs, and more importantly, it can actually improve your mood and mental health.

The best part is, increasing natural light exposure can be easy and cost-effective. While windows are your primary natural light source, there are many simple things you can do to maximize light throughout your house. Here are simple tips from our real estate agents:

  • Focus On Light Colors
    Did you know that painting your walls bright colors or using bright colored wallpaper actually helps maximize natural light exposure throughout the room? This is because light coming in from your windows reflects or bounces off light-colored walls. Dark colors do the opposite - they absorb light which lessens its impact. Try different shades of off-white for the best impact. Choosing light-colored furniture can also create the same effect. For inspiration, check out the light colors in some of these beautiful Richmond homes for sale.

  • Add Mirrors And Shiny Surfaces
    Mirrors, shiny surfaces, or anything with reflective properties are effective at helping natural light reach every nook and cranny of a room. Using mirrors and reflective surfaces is a great strategy, especially for rooms that don't see a lot of natural light, to begin with. Mirrors are especially effective at achieving this. Not only do they make for some great home decor, but they also can significantly increase lighting. The larger the mirror or reflective surface, the more light it will reflect. 

  • Choose The Right Flooring
    While we're on the subject of reflective surfaces, think about how the floors in your home reflect light. Naturally shiny surfaces like light hardwood or ceramic will make a room appear much bigger and brighter. Carpet is much less reflective, especially if it's a darker color. Combining reflecting flooring with bright walls can really create a stunning effect.

  • Pick A New Front Door With A Window
    Adding new windows frames to your home can be a fairly expensive home renovation project, but adding a front door with big open windows is much more affordable. If your living room doesn't receive much natural light, a door with a window can serve as an extra light source.

  • Add A Skylight
    The best way to increase natural lighting in a room is by adding a skylight. A skylight is a fantastic addition, especially in the bathroom or kitchen. Since skylights are positioned directly upwards, they're likely to generate more natural light than a regular door or window. While it can be a bit of an expensive investment, skylights are truly a great option.

Whether you're planning to sell your home or are simply looking for ways to spruce up your interior, maximizing natural light is easy and cost-effective. For more tips on home staging techniques, contact us today.

August
16

DIY Projects Perfect for a Rainy Day

Rainy Day Projects

Rain, rain go away! Summer showers are bound to happen and even people who love the rain can get cranky when they are cooped up inside all day. You can stave off that boredom by jumping into a DIY project to stay active. Our real estate agents have a few ideas for projects for kids and grownups alike. Some are just for fun, while others are designed to spruce up Richmond homes for sale. Take a look at some of these great options:

  • Update Cabinet Hardware
    Your kitchen will take on a brand new look by simply switching out hinges and handles. New drawer pulls are a great way to add a bright new look to old cabinetry. This is an excellent job for young people just learning how to use tools. If you don't want to replace brass, polish it up to a high shine, and it will look like new. 
  • Change Light Fixtures
    This can have a big impact on any room, but perhaps the greatest is in the bathroom. New lights over the sink are simple to install and will make the room more modern and efficient. Don't forget to change out all of the light bulbs. Upgrading the mirror will also make the room much more attractive to potential buyers. With a minimal purchase and a little time, you can transform the room from tired and dingy to bright and beautiful. While you're at it, installing a new ceiling fan is a similar process, adding both comfort and style to any room. 
  • Deep Clean Appliances
    You'll marvel at the difference a sparkling stove, spotless microwave, glistening refrigerator, and clean dishwasher will make to the appearance of any kitchen. Pay particular attention to fingerprints on brushed aluminum or chrome. Simply running the dishwasher through a cycle with nothing but a cup of white vinegar will remove the detergent build-up, mineral deposits, and small food particles, leaving it smelling fresh and clean. Add a fresh box of baking soda to the refrigerator to neutralize food odors. 
  • Vacuum the Dryer Vent
    Damp lint debris caught in the vent will cause a significant increase in the time required to dry your clothes as well as causing a nasty, musty odor. When that lint dries, it becomes a serious fire hazard. Pull the dryer from the wall and unplug it. Disconnect the dryer hose from the back of the unit and the wall. Vacuum out the lint, or if the hose is damp or shows any signs of damage, consider replacing it. They are only a few dollars at a home improvement store. Clean the wall vent from the inside and the outside of the house to ensure that all debris is removed. Reverse your steps to put everything back in place. 
  • Work with the Kids
    Choose a project appropriate for their ages. Young teens and preteens might be capable of helping with the projects listed for adults. You can teach them valuable tool skills and help them understand home maintenance. You will be amazed at the sense of pride they have after assisting with a home improvement project. Smaller children can make simple crafts such as cardboard birdhouses or creating an indoor herb garden. When lunchtime rolls around, you can give kids of any age cooking lessons.

If you're getting your home ready to sell or looking for a new place, don't hesitate to contact us. Our real estate professionals are always ready to assist you at any point in the buying or selling process. 

July
19

The Outdoor Upgrades Buyers Are Looking For

RVA Home Upgrades

Our real estate agents recommend staging, cleaning, and organizing your outdoor areas to ensure they show well with potential buyers. This might include considering some updates as well! Take your outdoor spaces to the next level with these upgrades. 

  1. Clean Your Home's Exterior
    Before you start adding decorative pieces or installing new outdoor products, see that your home's exterior is free from dirt, grime, and mildew. Most surfaces (including vinyl siding, concrete, wood, and bricks) can be pressure-washed to quickly enhance their appearance. You can then use a stiff deck brush and outdoor cleaner to quickly scrub away spills and mud. 
  1. Add an Outdoor Firepit
    A firepit is a fantastic addition that suits any outdoor space. Use it for relaxing evenings with family and friends, or roast marshmallows for an after-dinner treat. Wood-burning ones are the most affordable option, and a lot of buyers love the smell of an authentic bonfire. However, if you have a surface not suited for wood-burning fires or prefer a fire with less prep work, a gas-burning firepit is a terrific alternative. 
  1. Revamp Your Front Door
    Your front door is the first thing that greets guests and homebuyers exploring Richmond homes for sale. See that it creates a positive first impression by giving it a makeover. If your front door is old and wobbly, replace it with a durable steel door. Not only will a newer door look better, but it will help make your home more energy-efficient. However, if your door is relatively new and you like the style, give it a fresh coat of paint and consider replacing the hardware.
  1. Install a New Deck or Patio
    Feel like your current patio doesn't have ample space for your outdoor entertaining needs? Expand your outdoor living area with a new deck or patio. New decks and patios recoup a lot of their cost when you sell your home, and they enable you to make your outdoor area more functional. If you currently have a deck in decent shape, one option is to expand it and then stain the new and old portions the same color for a uniform appearance. This will also help you save on the cost of materials and labor. 
  1. Get Your Lawn Healthy
    A yard full of lush, green grass appeals to any buyer. Get your yard looking its best by making sure it has everything it needs for optimal growth. See that you fertilize and treat your yard for weeds every six months. You can install a sprinkler system to make it easier to water your lawn when weather conditions are dry and hot. If you have a few areas where grass simply refuses to grow, add a few mats of sod. Your yard will instantly have green grass in these barren spots. 

Need more assistance selling your home? Contact us today for help!

July
5

How to Maintain Your Gutters This Summer

Gutter Tips

It's easy not to think about your gutters when they're doing their job, but a little cleaning and maintenance should be done at least once or twice a year. If you haven't cleaned your gutters since the trees dropped their leaves last fall, doing your maintenance now will help keep them clean throughout the summer's rainstorms. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for gutter maintenance this summer.

  1. Remove Nests
    First things first: Check your gutters for any nests from animals or creepy crawlies. Birds' nests are commonly found in and around gutters. If you've waited until summer to clean your gutters, chances are the birds aren't using the nests anymore, so you can remove them without worrying about the occupants. Wasps nests, on the other hand, are best left to a professional pest service for your own safety.

  2. Remove Debris
    Before you can flush your gutters, it's important to make sure you remove any loose debris so that you're not washing it all downstream and creating a blockage. Check your gutters for leaves, sticks, and other debris that can be removed manually. It may be time-consuming, but it'll save you any hassle later on.

  3. Flush Your Gutters
    Once you've removed all the loose debris, you can use a garden hose to manually flush the gutters. Make sure the downspouts are running quickly and don't show any signs of blockage inside. If you do find blockages, you can remove the downspout and work on it from the safety of the ground. Clear the blockage by running the garden hose directly into the downspout, running a plumbing snake through the downspout, and if none of those work, disassembling the downspout to find and remove the blockage. Once the downspout is clear, you can reattach it to the gutters.

  4. Repair Any Damage
    Gutters can become damaged over time, especially if they're not cleaned regularly. Inspect your gutters thoroughly for rust, cracks and busted seams, and signs of problems such as algae growth. Algae can be scrubbed off, but cracked or rusted gutters should be repaired or replaced. This is especially important if you're planning on selling your home, as unsightly gutters will be an immediate red flag to potential buyers that can be seen from the street, if not the listing pictures.

  5. Call a Professional if Needed
    Whether you're working on a ladder at gutter height, or leaning down to access the gutters from your roof, cleaning and repairing gutters can be dangerous. Consider whether you have the tools and skills to do this job yourself, and call the pros if you don't. Especially if you are planning to sell the home, it may benefit you to have a pro doing the work, and recent gutter maintenance or even a brand new gutter system will be a selling point over other Richmond homes for sale.

Keeping up on home maintenance is an easy way to protect your investment, but it's especially important to catch up on any maintenance tasks if you're planning on selling your home soon. The outside of your home is a great place to start because that's the first thing a buyer sees. For more suggestions on how to get your home ready to sell and boost your curb appeal, contact us today.

May
25

Get Started With Composting This Summer

Compost RVA

Composting may not be the most exciting topic for a new homeowner, but it's important to remember its impact. The lush green lawns surrounding the most impressive Richmond homes for sale are fed by the nutrients found in compost. If this is your first venture into home gardening, or you want to enhance your efforts, adding composting is an effective option. Get started with these tips. 

  1. Select a Location
    The ideal spot for a compost heap or bin is a level space with good drainage and partial shade. The object is to keep the pile moist, not wet or dry. You must also ensure that it is not accessible to dogs and cats. Allow for about three to five feet in both width and depth. Avoid concrete and asphalt as a base as they hinder microbial growth.

  2. Accumulate Compost Ingredients
    These include fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, tea, leaves, wood, shredded paper, and cardboard. Avoid animal byproducts such as bones and dairy items, fatty or oily foods, fecal material, and any garden waste that was treated with pesticides or weed killer. If you have had sick plants, do not include that material, either. 

  3. Add Organic Materials and a Nitrogen Source
    A successful compost heap is built on nitrogen and carbon compounds. The nitrogen is derived from green materials, such as grass clippings, while carbon comes from brown sources such as twigs and straw. Since they take longer to break down than green materials, start with a layer of brown debris. Build it up to about six inches. Your next layer should be green materials, including kitchen waste. Again, make this layer about six inches high. Continue building this organic "parfait" until you run out of materials or reach the desired height. Lightly water each layer as you go. Tamp them down, but don't pack tightly.
    While not a hard and fast rule, many gardeners find that adding nitrogen fertilizer helps initiate the breaking down of the organic materials. 

  4. Water and Turn Materials
    Hopefully, nature will provide most of the moisture you need in the form of rain. But sometimes, the weather may need a little help, and you'll have to water the pile yourself. The goal is to keep the pile moist but not wet, like a damp sponge. A handful should feel moist, but not leave your hand wet when you dump it out. Decomposition creates heat in the middle and bottom of the pile, but aeration releases oxygen to the rest of the pile and encourages the growth of microorganisms. As a general rule, you should turn the pile every three to seven days, depending upon weather and rate of decomposition.

Following these steps will help you create the initial pile, but you may need to troubleshoot the process as you go. If there is a foul odor, your pile is not getting enough air and should be turned. If it is soggy, there is too much water, and you will need to add dry materials as you turn it. If the compost is damp but not warming up throughout the pile, your ratio of "brown to green" is too high. Add nitrogen ingredients such as grass clippings, manure, or a commercial nitrogen fertilizer. 

If you're still looking for that perfect garden space, our real estate agents would be happy to help you find it. Contact us to arrange a tour of the finest homes in the Richmond area.

May
10

Are You Making These Interior Design Mistakes?

Interior Design

Designing a beautiful home is no easy task. While it may seem simple, it takes a keen, knowledgeable eye to create an interior with that special wow factor! Our real estate agents show a variety of homes that reflect beautiful design style, and we see the difference it makes when buying or selling a home.

As interior designers know, it requires vision, skill, and planning to understand the impact of scale, color, and balance in your home. Many design decisions go into a well-designed interior. In Richmond homes for sale, savvy buyers are looking for interiors that reflect current design trends, so they don't have to sink money into costly design mistakes.

Scale

Scale is so important when designing interior spaces. It's more than just taking measurements to make sure everything fits. Scale means understanding how the size of the room relates to interior furnishings like rugs, furniture, lighting, artwork, and accessories. The slightest mistake can quickly destroy the design style and ambiance in a room. Common design mistakes to avoid:

  • Over-Sized Furnishings – The scale of your furniture must work with the scale of your room. Large rooms with high ceilings are great for oversized sofas, large tables, and heavy armories, but using them in small rooms will make the space feel cramped and uncomfortable.

  • Small Area Rugs – If you fall in love with an area rug that doesn't fit your budget, don't buy a smaller rug just because it does. Area rugs should be anchored under furniture pieces, not floating between them, leaving the room feeling sparse and unfinished.

Color

Colors used in paints, wallpapers, textiles, window treatments, rugs, and accessories have a big impact on your room's comfort and light. While lighter colors reflect light and make rooms feel more spacious, darker colors absorb light, making rooms feel smaller. When choosing interior colors, avoid mistakes that may create an uncomfortable room:

  • Dark Colors – Using dark colors on low ceilings or walls in small rooms can create a gloomy, uncomfortable space that feels claustrophobic, especially when rooms have minimal natural light from windows and doors.

  • Glossy Paints – While high-gloss and semi-gloss paints are great for doors and trim, they often create too much sheen on walls and ceilings. Glossy paints should be avoided on stucco or textured walls where surfaces are uneven or flawed.

  • Large Patterns – Wallpapers and textiles with large, bold patterns and colors can create a showstopping style in a large room, but they quickly overpower everything else in a small room. Consider your room size, furnishings, and light before choosing large, bold patterns.

Balance

Creating good balance in a room means paying attention to important details like the ceiling height, interesting focal points, and symmetrical or asymmetrical features. To avoid mistakes that ruin balance:

  • Create a focal point

  • Vary heights of furnishings, accessories, and light fixtures

  • Spread colors and patterns evenly throughout the room

If your room has a built-in focal point like a beautiful stone fireplace, emphasize it with spot or track lighting. If there's no focal point in the room, you can create one with a wall of colorful paintings or black and white photos. To create a good balance, keep frame colors and finishes to a minimum and make sure that artwork complements other things in the room. In a bedroom, your bed can serve as the focal point with beautiful quilts, linens, and throw pillows that showcase the room.

If you're interested in buying or selling your home, contact us for more information and opportunities. We can help with all your real estate needs.

November
16

7 Home Improvement Projects You Should do in the Fall

autumn home improvement

Fall is the prime time of the year to tackle certain home improvement projects! Not so hot and sticky outside, and you can even turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, and get some work done before the cold weather sets in. 

Inside or outside the home, get your property ready for the winter so it will stand out among other Richmond homes for sale

  1. Clear the rain gutters.
    After the leaves have all fallen, clear your rain gutters of leaves and debris. This will make it harder for animals to build nests that block the flow of rain. Check for sagging sections of gutter and cracks in the edge of the roof where water might be entering.

    After securing a ladder, remove leaf debris and put it in a bucket, handing it down to a helper when full. Wash out the gutters with a power hose attachment. If you have rain gutter covers, you'll need to remove and reattach them when you're done with the job. 

  2. Have the roof inspected.
    It's a good idea to get the roof inspected now and then, even if it is fairly new and hasn't been damaged by hail or a major wind storm. These days, roof inspectors often use drones to do the job, so no need to endanger yourself. Or, if you're handy, have a go at it. Do schedule a roofing company to make any needed repairs. 

  3. Disconnect garden hoses. 
    Disconnect hoses and turn off valves. Cover faucets whenever freezing is imminent.

  4. Protect outdoor furniture.
    Clean and store plastic, resin, wood, or wicker furniture indoors. You can leave teak and metal furniture outdoors, although if you have a covered patio, maybe you should move it there and cover it. Store cushions and umbrellas out of the elements. 

  5. Air seal your home.
    Your furnace or other types of heating system will work much more efficiently if your home is tightly sealed around areas where conditioned air typically leaks out and air from the outside gets in. Use caulk, weatherstripping, and insulation around the door and window frames, around the attic hatch, along baseboards, and around the holes in exterior walls for cables, wires, and pipes. You'll boost your efficiency and lower your energy bill considerably.

  6. Switch the direction of ceiling fan blades.
    When ceiling fan blades go counter-clockwise, they help to lift warm air from floor level and move cooler air from the central air conditioner down the walls to the level of the room's occupants. Reverse the direction of the fan blades with a switch on the motor in the winter, and they do the opposite. If you've been using the ceiling fans all summer, wipe off the blades so they will work with less resistance.

  7. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    These two devices can save your family's lives, but only if they're connected to the home's wiring or have fresh batteries in them. Perform tests according to instructions.

Ask our real estate agents for more tips about ensuring that your Richmond home's shipshape for winter. Contact us today. 

August
24

What Sellers and Buyers Need to Know About Home Inspections

Home Inspections

A home inspection is an important step when you're buying or selling a home, so it pays to know what an inspection entails and exactly what kind of information it reveals.

Our REALTORS® explain the following points buyers and sellers need to know about home inspections for Richmond homes for sale.

  • How a Home Inspection Works  
    A home inspection isn't mandatory, but it's usually a good idea to have one performed. The homebuyer usually pays for the inspection, which calls for a third-party professional inspector to closely examine and evaluate many aspects of the property. If you'd like to look at the home when the inspector does, there's a lot you may be able to learn.   

    Sometimes a home seller will pay for an inspection to reassure potential buyers that their property doesn't have any major issues. The areas covered by an inspection usually include the foundation and basement, interior plumbing systems, interior electrical systems, heating, and cooling systems, and more. After the inspection, a report will be generated for you to examine.

  • How to Choose a Qualified Home Inspector  
    If you need help finding a home inspector, your REALTOR® can often suggest someone who has the proper credentials and experience. He or she should have certifications from groups such as the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NASH) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). That way, you'll know they meet ongoing professional standards.

    In addition, they should carry an insurance policy that protects you in case they're injured on the property you own. Experience in the local area is also a plus. That way, the inspector knows about local pest issues, soil conditions, and more.

  • What an Inspection Can't Do  
    While an inspection provides a great deal of information, it can't predict the future or give you a guarantee of how long a system will last. Instead, it can let you know about the age of important systems and provide a snapshot of their condition at the present time. A system that was working properly when it was inspected could develop problems. 

    And some areas of the property – such as inside the walls or septic tanks – may not be a part of a standard inspection. If that's the case and you'd like to have these areas inspected, your REALTOR® may be able to suggest someone who can do this more specialized job.

  • What Happens After the Inspection  
    After the inspection is completed, the buyer will be given a report detailing any problems. At this point, the buyer may decide to move onto another home or may choose to negotiate with the seller to either make some repairs or to lower the price to compensate for the cost of fixing the issues that were found.   

    If the seller has ordered the inspection and it reveals any serious issues, he or she might choose to make the repairs, since potential buyers may not want to deal with the hassle and time involved with significant repairs even if the home price is reduced accordingly.

Contact us to learn more about home inspections and how they can benefit buyers as well as sellers. And whether you're buying or selling a home in the Richmond area, our experience and knowledge of the local area can help make your transaction proceed smoothly.

June
22

What You Should Know Before You Remodel Your Kitchen

Kitchen Remodel

Summer is a popular time for kitchen remodeling projects. And with good reason! The long summer days mean you don't have to worry about limited daylight hours. Plus, if you're replacing your stove, the grill is just steps away. 

But no matter when you plan to remodel your kitchen, you'll want to keep these considerations in mind. 

A New Look Requires A Broad View 

What the finest Richmond homes for sale have in common is a consistent style. The changes you want to make to the kitchen should harmonize with the architecture of the rest of the house and any elements of the kitchen that you don't plan to change. If your living room is full of sleek leather and glass, a farmhouse kitchen will seem jarring. And if you plan to keep your mid-century style refrigerator, a dishwasher in a brushed chrome finish would create the wrong sort of contrast. 

Money Matters

The quotes and estimates you are offered may differ from season to season. The time it takes to complete a project and the availability of professionals changes throughout the year. If you got an estimate in the winter and you'd like to start your remodeling project now, ask the contractor what changes the weather might make in the budget. 

If you're just getting started with your remodeling plans, you can start by seeking estimates and making funding decisions after, or you can budget a specific amount before seeking estimates. The former offers the advantage of knowing what your dream kitchen will cost. The latter helps you stay within specific financial guidelines. Your kitchen remodeling plans may go through some revision, so you may try both approaches before settling on a final budget and plans. 

Something Bold Or Something New?

Some kitchen remodeling projects are all about the aesthetics. New cabinet fronts and appliances to match can make a world of difference for your home. But other remodeling projects are more about bringing your home up to date. Especially if your home was built prior to the mid-20th century, talk to an electrician about the wiring and a plumber about the water lines that newer appliances may need to work to the best of their capability. Their advice will help you save time and money during the remodeling process. 

Also, keep in mind your goals for the kitchen remodel. Are you remodeling to make your home more appealing to potential buyers? Or are you looking to make your kitchen more comfortable for your family? If you are planning on listing your home, keep in mind certain kitchen features that you like might do little to peak a buyer's interest. But if you are wanting to stay in your current home for some time, you can customize this space as much as you and your family want. 

Summer is a great time to update your kitchen, but any time of year is a perfect time to make your house more enjoyable to live in. Our real estate agents will be happy to talk with you about what a remodel could do for your kitchen. Contact us sometime soon.  

May
18

Improve Your Home's Air Quality with These 7 Tips

Air Quality in Your Home

Our real estate agents know many things go into choosing the perfect place to live. And once you find the perfect Richmond homes for sale, making your house a home is an ongoing process.

Keeping your space clean, neat, and organized helps a lot when it comes to comfort. But did you know that your air could also need a cleaning? Indoor air pollution can be a serious problem!

With its enclosed spaces, even the most modern home can develop indoor air more polluted than the air outside.

That said, it's easy to overlook the important ways you can keep your indoor air fresh and clean. While you're taking care of your home, be sure to check out these vital indoor air quality tasks:

  1. Change Your Air Conditioning Filter
    Your air conditioning filter works harder than any other filter in your home. Whenever your system is on, and air is circulating, the filter is in use. Luckily, most modern air conditioners are designed for quick and easy filter replacement. It extends your system's life, too.
  2. Replace Filters on Other Appliances
    Lots of other appliances can have internal air filters. The vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer, and kitchen vents may all use filters. Check them out on a regular basis, and be sure to change them. The owner's manual to your devices will let you know how frequently to do it.
  3. Clean Out Your Air Ducts
    Air ducts can be a major culprit when it comes to indoor air pollution. They distribute air through your home when your air conditioner or heater is on. In older homes, they can be very narrow. It is important to have them cleaned once a year to ensure they don't get clogged.
  4. Use Cooking Vents
    The kitchen is the epicenter of indoor air pollution in most homes. Gas stoves are significant sources of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. When you're cooking, always use your cooking vent or have a window open for better air circulation.
  5. Deep Clean the Carpet
    Pollutants that start in the air can easily migrate down into the carpet. They accumulate over time and cling to fibers. Then, ordinary foot traffic can stir them up all over again. Weekly vacuuming and annual deep cleaning will help keep your carpets genuinely fresh.
  6. Reduce Humidity in the Air
    Too much humidity creates the conditions for mold and mildew. Humidity can also make things harder for those with existing allergies or asthma. Compact, efficient dehumidifiers can be set up throughout the home for consistent lower humidity.
  7. Invigorate Your Air With Plants
    Plants are nature's way of clearing the air! Even small plants can be very powerful when it comes to indoor air quality. Ferns and lilies are just two of the many plants that bloom indoors.

Thinking about a new home this spring? Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more about Richmond homes.

April
13

6 Home Improvement Projects You Can Complete This Weekend

Home Improvement Projects

Stuck at home over the weekend with nothing to do? Our REALTORS® know how satisfying simple home improvement projects can be. Refresh your house with these easy DIY projects that can be completed in a day or two. 

  1. Replace a Window Treatment 
    Kitchen window treatments are frequently exposed to grease, food splatters, and other substances that quickly have them looking shabby. Instead of resorting to pricey replacements at retail, make an inexpensive but stylish Roman shade. Use your own choice of fabric, and you'll get a custom-made look at a budget-friendly cost. Consider making two or three sets so you can change them up when you want some variety.

  2. Paint Exterior and Interior Doors
    Doors are primarily considered functional, but their size and placement means they can make a big impact on style. The front door is a major element in curb appeal, which is an important factor with Richmond homes for sale. And after painting interior doors, you'll be surprised at the difference it makes. For best results, remove the door from the hinges and lay it flat. Don't forget to clean and sand doors before you begin. 

  3. Install Open Shelving
    Now's the time to find the solution to storing or displaying all those items you said you'd get around to "someday." Shelving comes in an endless variety of styles and colors to accent any decor. If you're feeling particularly creative, refinish some vintage shelves found at a flea market or resale shop. You could also go the extra mile and install floating shelves that don't have any visible brackets or braces.

  4. Organize the Garage
    Are you running out of room to store your car? Organizing the garage is a classic way to make good use of a weekend. HGTV and other home improvement websites are full of clever ideas to create storage using shelves, hooks, bungee cords, and other easy-to-install items. If you've always wanted to create a workspace in your garage, there's no time like the present. As a bonus, you'll be more motivated to work on other home improvement projects!

  5. Set Up a Home Office
    Technology has freed people from the constraints of a traditional office. Even if you don't normally work from home, everyone can use a dedicated spot for computer time and home administration tasks. Don't have a whole room to spare? All you need is an out-of-the-way corner, walk-in closet, or other areas that can accommodate a small desk and chair. Take advantage of wall space for shelving, baskets, and other organizational tools. Be sure to personalize the spot with a favorite piece of art or some framed photographs.

  6. Add or Renovate a Backsplash
    Backsplashes are one of the best ways to add visual interest to a kitchen or bathroom, and they're surprisingly easy to do yourself. There's a wide range of peel-and-stick options on the market to choose from. With a little research, you can come up with a "green" design to incorporate your style. Check Pinterest, Bob Vila, and other online sources for instructions on creating backsplashes from unconventional materials such as CDs, corks, recycled wood, pegboard, Mason jars, and bottle caps.

After years of experience, we've learned the best tips and tricks for adding value to a home. Contact us for more information.

April
6

7 Ideas for Your Unfinished Basement

Unfinished Basement Ideas

Homeowners often believe they have to spend big bucks to redo a basement, but in reality, you don't have to spend a lot to make your subterranean space an inviting, cozy space. An unfinished basement is a blank canvas with tons of potential, and most improvements will add to the overall value of your home. Our REALTORS® help property owners with Richmond homes for sale spruce up and stage their basements all the time. Here are a few ideas that can turn your basement into a whole new room to enjoy.

  1. Declutter
    Getting rid of stuff you don't need or use is a crucial first step before starting any project. It not only gives you more physical space, but it can also help you feel like you're making a fresh start. Take a look around your basement and decide what needs to stay and what can go. 
  2. Get Rid Of Moisture
    One reason a lot of people don't think their basement is an ideal place to hang out is because it may be musty and damp. Take care of any issues with water leakage or seepage, waterproof your basement, and invest in a dehumidifier to keep it nice and dry.
  3. Seal Your Cement Floor
    Unfinished concrete floors give off a fine dust that can get all over everything and result in more work when it comes time to clean. Sealing a cement floor is a relatively easy project that can be done in a few days. There are quite a few selections of sealers and stains available at home improvement stores. If you're considering an acid stain, make sure older concrete can handle it. If you're thinking of painting the floor, keep in mind that paint scratches and scuffs much more easily than a sealant or stain.
  4. Paint the Walls and Rafters
    Cinder block and poured concrete can be transformed with a simple coat of paint. If you have any exposed brick walls that look decent, leave them as-is for a cool, industrial/rustic look. Painting exposed beams can also make the space look more finished and modern. 
  5. Add Lighting
    Stringing lights in the rafters is a super affordable way to add a warm glow that makes your basement feel nice and cozy. Most basements don't have a ton of electrical outlets, so this type of lighting is ideal if you don't want to mess with installing more outlets or ceiling fixtures. If you decide to upgrade or add electrical outlets, seek the services of professionals who are well-versed in local building and safety codes. It's definitely worth paying an extra few bucks to make sure it's done correctly.
  6. Put Down Some Rugs or Foam Tiles
    Making a concrete floor comfy doesn't take much. Invest in some affordable area rugs that will brighten up your space and keep your feet warm. Foam tiles are great for kids' play areas and workout spaces, too. Don't hesitate to mix and match styles, colors, and décor. 
  7. Create Defined Spaces
    You don't need to use drywall to define different spaces in your basement. Hanging curtains from rafters or putting up folding screens will do the job just fine. If your basement's rather large, consider dividing it into a few areas. Do what makes you and your family happy, whether it's a workshop, home theater area, kids' playroom, or reading nook.

Ready to buy or sell a home in Richmond? Contact us to get started.

February
24

5 Tips for Improving Your Home's Smell Before Showings

Improving Scent for Open House

It's no secret that selling your home quickly requires a bit of effort.  

Our REALTORS® know from experience that tiny details can often make a world of difference with Richmond homes for sale. While everyone knows that curb appeal and cleanliness are important, the way a home smells can also make or break a deal. Luckily, it's easy to make your house smell amazing before your showings. Start with these five tips.

  1. Remove Bad Odors
    First and foremost, you'll want to hunt down anything in the home that's causing bad odors and neutralize them. This may require steam cleaning carpets and upholstery, packing away old shoes, bathing the dog, and removing pet beds and litter boxes from the main living area. You'll also want to wash bedding frequently, keep up with dirty laundry, wash dishes immediately, clean out your fridge every week, and take the trash out daily. Baking powder and vinegar are both excellent for neutralizing odors in the home, and it's important not to underestimate the power of opening windows to let in some fresh air.  
  1. Skip the Air Fresheners
    Once your home is clean and fresh smelling, you may be tempted to add some air fresheners to the mix. This is almost always a bad idea! Most commercial air fresheners create a heavy, "fake" smell that will turn off many home buyers. Instead of relying on chemicals, try natural options. 
  1. Use Your Stove or Oven
    There's a reason why agents recommend baking fresh cookies right before a showing. Not only is it a nice touch, but the smell it creates will make your home feel cozy and welcoming. When potential buyers enter the home, they'll be able to picture themselves and their family spending time gathered together in the kitchen. If baking cookies isn't your thing, try making a simmer pot instead. This is as easy as boiling a pot of water and adding cinnamon and cloves for a warm, "homey" feel or citrus peels for a fresh, clean scent. 
  1. Add Plants
    Not only do plants help to clean the air, but certain ones can also give your home a natural, light scent that's almost everyone finds appealing. Some of your best options include roses, lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus. If you decide to add some plants, make sure they look healthy and well-groomed, or else they could end up detracting from the overall look and feel of your home. 
  1. Diffuse Essential Oils
    Essential oils are another way to create a light, pleasant scent throughout your home. Try adding a few drops to your simmer pot or using a diffuser. Just be sure to choose your scents carefully. Avoid strong scents like patchouli or sandalwood and instead opt for scents like lavender, rose, bergamot, or grapefruit. You'll want to turn on your diffuser a few hours before the showing for maximum effect. You can also dilute essential oils in a spray bottle and lightly spritz bedding right before your potential buyers arrive. 

Whether you're thinking about buying or selling a home, we're here to help. Contact us today. 

January
13

7 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient in 2020

Energy Efficient Richmond homes

If one of your New Year's resolutions is cutting costs, there are a few easy changes that not only benefit your pocketbook but the environment. Our real estate agents are seeing more and more energy-efficient Richmond homes for sale, and are always discovering new ways to save on energy costs. These tips can help reduce your utility bills and put more money in your pocket.

  1. Adjust Your Thermostat
    In the colder months, lowering the temperature on your thermostat just three to five degrees can reduce energy use and severely cut down your gas and electric bills. Whether you're away from home during work or just running out to do some errands, lowering it 10 to 15 degrees will help you save even more. In the summer, turning the thermostat up just a few degrees can also provide significant savings on A/C costs.
  2. Seal Air Leaks
    Sealing air leaks around windows and doors in your home can help you stay warm by keeping cold air out and warm air in. Weatherstripping and covering windows with plastic and thermal drapes in the winter can help you avoid drafts. If your windows are old and drafty, consider investing in new, energy-efficient windows. Apply caulk to any cracks in walls or around windows and doors. Adding storm doors will also add an extra layer of protection. 
  3. Consider More Insulation
    Although insulating your home may seem like a big project, it can save you big money in the long run. A poorly insulated home means you could be spending significantly more than you should on heating and cooling your home. If you're worried about the cost, start with the attic and work your way down. 
  4. Conserve Water
    Small changes in water usage can add up to big savings. Taking shorter showers, shutting off the water when brushing your teeth, and making sure you run full loads of laundry not only cut down your water bill but electric costs. If you want to save even more, fix any dripping faucets and use only cold water when doing laundry.
  5. Turn off the Lights and Switch to LED
    It should go without saying that turning off the lights when you leave a room or the house saves energy and money. If you're the forgetful type, install timers or motion sensors that automatically turn lights on and off. Don't leave the lights on. If you're considering switching your lighting to LED, take the leap. LED lights are up to 80 percent more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent lighting. 
  6. Unplug Chargers and Electronics
    Chargers for devices and small appliances are energy vampires, even when they're not being used. Unplug electronic devices and laptop chargers when not in use can help you save up to 10 percent of energy costs. It's also a good idea to shut off the monitor on your desktop and turn off unused power strips.
  7. Replace Old Appliances
    Large appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, and dryers are serious culprits when it comes to wasting energy. Replacing older appliances with appliances that have the Energy Star label can save hundreds to thousands of dollars in energy costs.  

Are you ready to find a new energy-efficient home? Our experienced real estate professionals can help. Contact us today to get started.

November
18

5 Home Improvement Projects to Increase Value

Home Improvement Projects

Keeping your home updated is one of the best investments you can make in your future, whether you plan on selling within the next year or ten years from now. A total redo of your home can be overwhelming. But if you make little improvements over time and big ones every couple of years, the return on your investment can be significant. Our REALTORS® often advise clients who are listing their Richmond homes for sale to take a look around, prioritize, and make a few improvements. These enhancements can increase the value and allow you to enjoy it for years to come fully.

  1. Landscaping
    Upgrading landscaping and keeping the outside of your home looking neat helps with curb appeal. Keep the grass cut and the trees, bushes, and hedges trimmed. It's also a good idea to add some eye-catching color. When planting, mixing heights and colors of different flowering plants can create a dramatic effect. Hydrangeas are hearty perennials, easy to maintain, and they grow into large bushes that produce flowers in blue, purple, white, pink, and green. If you're fresh out of ideas, take a look around the neighborhood to see what's out there. Local garden centers often provide free design services, which can help spark your imagination and bring your vision to life.

  2. A Fresh Coat of Paint
    Painting is one of the most affordable ways to update your home inside and out. Choose neutral colors like beige, gray, and "greige" for the inside. White is still one of the most popular exterior colors, but colors like beige, brown, yellow, green, and lighter shades of grey and blue are also favorites. It's always best to do trim and shutters in a contrasting color. To make your home pop, consider painting your front door red or another dramatic color that catches the eye.

  3. Energy-Efficient Windows
    Nobody wants to live in a house with old, drafty windows. These days, low-energy vinyl replacement windows are an affordable option that can add tons of value to your home and help with energy costs. Not only that, they'll increase curb appeal and help make your home look its best.

  4. Kitchen Remodel
    Believe it or not, you don't need to gut your kitchen and spend lots of money to get a good return. Updating cabinets, countertops, and flooring will make your kitchen look fresh and modern. If you don't want to replace cabinets, painting them and updating doors and drawers with new knobs and pulls is an inexpensive way to modernize your kitchen. If you have hardwood floors that are in decent condition, consider refinishing them not only in the kitchen but throughout the entire house.

  5. Bathroom Remodel
    Just like the kitchen, a fresh, updated bathroom can really wow potential buyers, and it doesn't have to break the bank. Updating the toilet, tub, shower, vanity, and sink and decorating your bathroom with new towels and other décor can make a huge difference. You don't have to get deluxe (unless you want to). If you're thinking of major projects, consider widening doorways, installing a walk-in shower and support bars, and lowering light switches. 

Whether you're buying or selling a Richmond home, our experienced real estate professionals can help you maximize the benefits of your investment. Contact us to get started today.

May
24

5 great ways to get your home ready for summer

With Memorial Day almost here– giving way to the fast approaching summer - homeowners are encouraged to make preparations were necessary to ensure their homes are ready for the hot weather.

Here are five (5) tips to make sure your home and family will be in the best shape possible:

1) A/C Check and Maintenance

Whether your home has a central air conditioning system or window units you'll install when the weather gets a little hotter, you have to make sure they're in good shape, according to Insurance Hub. After all, if they're going to get dozens of hours of use every week for the next several months, having them in good working condition is a must not just so they work properly, but also so they're safe.

You'll also need to check and potentially replace the air filters on all units.

2) Clean your fans thoroughly

Along similar lines, if your home has ceiling or box fans you plan to use, you'll need to clean the blades carefully. That's because lots of dust builds up on them if they're not used throughout the fall and winter, and it can make them run less efficiently and propel dust around a home. That's not just a pain to clean, but lots of dust particles can also be a health risk if there's enough of it lying around.

3) Check the attic and basement

Spring is a time when a lot of moisture can build up in a short period, thanks to rain, condensation and so on. That can really do a number on your roof, foundation or both, so you'll need to carefully inspect these spaces for any sign of dampness. This may point to a bigger issue you'll need to fix, but that kind of check is vital to make sure problems don't get worse over the course of the summer.

Ready for summer4) Maintain your yard and the tools it needs

A big part of summer is tending to your lawn, garden, trees and so on, and you'll need to make sure you know how to properly care for all of them, according to Liberty Mutual. Of course, in addition to the know-how, you also have to have the right equipment, whether that's a freshly tuned-up lawnmower or gardening tools. If, after a long winter, they need to be cleaned, sharpened or otherwise better maintained, now is the time to do it.

5) Keep gutters clear

While April showers have already given way to May flowers, you're certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to heavy spring and summer rains. While you likely cleared out the gutters already, once winter came to an end, giving them another check well after spring has sprung is always a good idea. This can help you identify potential issues, including leaks in the gutters or downspouts, that make the systems less effective than they otherwise should be.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

May
15

4 home DIY projects for spring

If you're already doing spring cleaning, it might be wise to get out the toolbox and do some home improvement projects as well. A little maintenance can go a long way after the tough winter months.

Here are some crucial tips to making sure your home can recover from the winter.

1) Fix the roof

Damaged RoofThere's probably no part of your home that takes as much of a beating every winter as the roof, according to BobVila.com. After all, it not only deals with snow, sleet and rain, but also harsh winds, cold weather, water runoff and bearing the weight of snow and ice that builds up over the course of a few months.

With that in mind, it's quite common for shingles or tiles to crack, loosen or fall off during the winter. When the spring thaw hits, going up there once it's safe and checking everything carefully will give you an idea of how much repair work you have to do.

2) Look for leaks, fissures and cracks

Along similar lines to inspecting your roof, it can also be a good idea to look over your home's interior and exterior for any signs of wear and tear from the winter. Missing shingles can be a sign of leaks into the attic, so checking inside is always wise if there's obvious damage on the roof. The same is true of checking along windows and exterior doorways for any fissures, which can be fixed with caulk more often than not.

It's also smart to check your home's foundation for any cracks or holes that might have formed, and fill them with an appropriate patching substance as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

3) Check the deck and siding

While you may not realize it, painted, stained or even sealed decks can really get a lot of muck and grime built up on them throughout the winter, according to New Hampshire Magazine. That's also the case with siding, whether wooden or vinyl. Usually, turning a pressure washer on them can help unlock their real beauty once again, and renting this kind of equipment shouldn't carry too big of a price tag.

4) Examine the gutters

Finally, if your home has gutters, now is the time to check them out. They might have taken a bit of damage (especially if there was ice buildup) or clogged with tree debris over the winter. Just checking to make sure they're in good shape before all those April and May showers arrive is a great idea.

Of course, no one knows your house better than you do, so if there's an issue that seems to crop up consistently every year, working on ways to permanently address it is always the smartest way to start your home DIY efforts. Otherwise, just doing routine checks and maintenance to make sure everything is as it should be will help you avoid bigger problems down the road.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

March
4

Your Guide to Spring Home Maintenance

Spring Home Maintenance Guide
Spring might feel like it's a long way off right now, but it has a way of sneaking up on you. And as a homeowner, you know that it's never too soon to start planning ahead for spring maintenance. Our REALTORS® are here to offer some tips for getting your house ready for spring. 

Spring Maintenance Checklist

Every house is unique, and depending on your location and climate, your home maintenance checklist for spring may look a little different from this one. Still, for most areas across the U.S., the arrival of spring brings a similar set of challenges for your home. Here's how to get your house ready when spring arrives:

  • Roof: Shingles often wear out, detach or become damaged during winter. If you feel comfortable doing so, climb up on a ladder for a closer look. If not, do a visual inspection from ground level and contact a roofing professional for a more detailed inspection.

  • Siding: Give your home's siding a good cleaning with a high-powered hose or pressure washer to keep mold and mildew away. Check for peeling paint and fix as needed.

  • Gutters and downspouts: Clear all leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts, and reattach any sections that may be loose, sagging or disconnected. Run a hose on the roof to check for leaks and make sure water is draining properly. Fix any leaks you find. Adjust downspouts if necessary to ensure that water flows away from the foundation. 

  • HVAC: Spring is an important time to have your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit serviced and cleaned. Call a professional to schedule your annual maintenance, and be sure to have a supply of clean air filters handy. 

  • Concrete: Walk around your house and check all concrete – including sidewalks, driveways, steps, and walkways – for cracks and other damage that may have occurred over the winter.

  • Windows and doors: Inspect all windows and doors for air leaks, worn-out caulking, and cracked weather stripping. Repair or replace caulk and weather stripping to reduce air leaks. Check for damaged window and door screens. Repair or replace the screens.

  • Outside faucets: Check exterior faucets for freeze damage by turning each one on and using a finger to block the opening. If this is enough to stop the water flow, you may have pipe damage.

  • Decks and porches: Check your deck for damage, including peeling paint and worn-out finish. Hammer in any nails that may have worked their way out over the winter, and make sure the steps and railings are secure. If needed, powerwash the deck and apply a fresh coat of finish. 

  • Basement and attic: Inspect the walls and floors for leaks, puddles, mold and other signs of water damage. 

  • Landscaping: Rake your lawn and remove leaves, twigs, branches and other debris. Tidy up shrubs and hedges, and prune any bushes that require spring pruning, especially if they brush up against your house. Apply a fresh layer of mulch as needed. 

  • Foundation: Visually inspect your foundation from the outside and inside if possible, and identify any cracks or disturbances that have appeared as a result of the ground shifting during winter. 

  • Hot water heater: Lubricate the circulating pump and motor, and schedule additional maintenance if necessary. 

Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more about maintaining your home throughout the spring and beyond as well as for all of your homeownership needs. Whether you're searching for Richmond homes for sale or you have a house that you're ready to sell, we're here to help. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/20/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/20/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CVRMLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 1:07:52 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 12:54:02 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Joyner Fine Properties may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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Agency License Information: Joyner Fine Properties and its agents are licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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