Homes of Distinction Realty

Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 3/2/2018

Being a homeowner can be a bit overwhelming at times. It can easily become difficult to juggle your homeowner responsibilities with your family and work obligations while still taking time for yourself to relax. It's a problem made even more difficult when you don't plan ahead for things like home maintenance. Aside from keeping your home in good condition, some maintenance issues are also safety issues, making them all the more important to find time to tend to. So how can you make time to complete maintenance tasks and ensure you don't forget about them? In this article, we'll help you make a maintenance calendar that will help you hold yourself accountable to keep your home safe and in good condition.  

What should be on your calendar?

Each home is unique and will require different types of maintenance. But in general, most homes share characteristics that can be applied to your situation. We'll break up maintenance into two categories: safety and upkeep. Safety For the well-being of you and your family, be sure to add these items to your list:
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors checked (monthly)
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide batteries changed (every 6 months)
  • Fire extinguisher checked (every 12 months)
  • Test door and window locks (every 12 months)
Upkeep Many items in your home will stop working properly if you don't practice good maintenance. Some of the most important items to practice maintenance on are:
  • Inspect your HVAC filters (every 3 months)
  • Clean the drains of your sinks and shower (every month)
  • Test seldom used objects like spare bathroom sinks and toilets (every 2 months)
  • Clean refrigerator coils and vent (every 6 months)
  • Replace water filters in refrigerator, sink, etc. (every 6 months)
  • Clean your gutters and drainage system (every 12 months)
  • Repair ripped window and door screens (every 12 months)

Seasonal maintenance

If you live in an area that has significant climate changes throughout the seasons, then there are an whole host of maintenance tasks required to prepare for the change of weather. Some common tasks include:
  • Turning off outdoor water to avoid frozen pipes
  • Replacing door screens with glass
  • Cleaning, installing, and uninstalling air conditioners
  • Sealing or repaving walkways and driveways
  • Cleaning chimneys
  • Dusting off heaters
  • Inspecting your roof shingles

Creating your calendar

Now that you know what to put in your calendar, its time to decide how you're going to make it. If you carry your smartphone with you everywhere and check it constantly, it might be a good idea to use a good calendar app, preferably one that syncs with your other calendars (work, Facebook, etc.). Google Calendar allows you to categorize calendar events by colors, sync between accounts, and invite others to events (such as when you need your family's help with something on your list). If you're not big on technology, you could always keep a calendar attached to your refrigerator or in a frequented spot in the house that you and your family will remember to check often. Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to find one that works for you so that you don't forget these important items to keep your house, home, and family safe.    

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 4/9/2017

If you have a list of home contractors that you use and are satisfied with, consider your yourself lucky!

Many homeowners find themselves in the unenviable position of having to blindly search online for reputable contractors, sort their way through dozens of miscellaneous reviews, and then hopefully find a handful of promising candidates to interview.

Even after all that, there's no guarantee you'll be 100% satisfied with your choice!

Although picking a contractor may sometimes feel like a gamble, there are strategies for lowering your risk factor.

A personal recommendation from someone you know and trust is usually the most reliable method of finding the right person for the job. If a relative or friend has had a positive experience with a roofer, bathroom remodeler, or plumber, then there's a good chance, you'll be satisfied with them, too. It's still a good idea to get two or three contractor estimates, but a good starting point is to have at least one recommendation from someone who has your best interest at heart.

Do Online Reviews Help?

Online review sites can also provide helpful information and feedback, but they're not always the "unvarnished truth". In spite of efforts by review sites to discourage biased reviews, some are probably going to slip through. For example: Have you ever read a review that sounded like it was an advertisement for the contractor? Sometimes when the praise sounds just a little too glowing and over the top, you can't help but wonder if those reviews are genuine and unbiased. Although the majority of online reviews are probably legit, the best way to view them is with a healthy dose of skepticism.

When it comes to the occasional scathing review by a disgruntled customer, one has to put it in context and look at "the big picture." There are some customers who are literally impossible to satisfy and will always find something to complain about. However, if a contractor has more than one or two negative reviews online, and they're not offset by a couple dozen positive ones, then that could be a potential red flag. Since you don't know the reviewers personally, and the reviews are often posted anonymously, the credibility factor is much lower than if you got a recommendation from one of your parents, a close friend, a next-door neighbor, a sibling, business associate, or your real estate agent.

The point at which you should be able to separate the "wheat from the chaff" is during your face-to-face meetings. If a contractor gives every you indication of being professional, honest, knowledgeable, experienced, ethical, and customer-service oriented, then they're probably a good prospect for the job. Other factors include the price they quote, their Better Business Bureau rating, and their willingness to provide references, proof of insurance coverage (such as general liability and Workers' Comp, if applicable) and direct answers to all your questions

Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 12/15/2013

Life can be busy and tending to houselhold items can often times be overwhelming. Doing the little things will help prevent big problems later on. Here are five quick and easy fixes you can do around in your home in a just a few short hours. Do the Little Things Walk through your home and make a list of any broken electrical plates, locks that need lubrication, sinks or tubs that need caulk. Take a quick trip to the home improvement store and get all of the items to finish up these little jobs. That way you can get it all done in one concerted effort. Rotate Your Mattress Flip, spin and vacuum your mattress. This helps keep your mattress lasting longer and may also help you catch some more Zzzz's. Clean One Closet Choose an easy one to clean at first and pick a day to do it in. Pull everything out and start from scratch. Make a pile of things to give away or donate. Things that are stained or torn can be used for rags. If you haven't used it in the last year get rid of it. Conduct an Energy Audit It would be great to see if you could save money on your utility bills. Call the utility company and ask for an energy audit. They will make recommendations to help you improve the efficiency of your home. Clean the Dryer Vent To achieve maximum energy efficiency and to prevent a fire hazard clean the dryer  vent twice a year. Remove the tube that attaches to the machine and clear out the lint. Don't forget to clean the outside vent, too. It is the little things that add up, so keeping the easy tasks under control will have you more prepared to tackle a bigger task. What are some quick and easy things you do to keep your home working smoothly?