Archive for the ‘Home Makeover’ Category

Home Trends: How to Clean and Repair Gutters

Home Trends: How to Clean and Repair Gutters

 Cleaning roof gutters is a small task that can prevent big problems. Every spring and fall, thoroughly cleaning your home’s gutters will keep them working like they should. Leaves can build up and clog the downspouts, which can cause water damage to your roof and fascia (board behind the gutter). All that water pouring over the gutters can end up next to your home’s foundation, and maybe in the basement or crawlspace. Follow these simple steps for cleaning your home’s gutters and making simple gutter repairs.

Select an appropriate ladder to clean gutters. Use a step ladder if possible. For a two-story home, you may need an extension ladder. For all ladders, make sure the legs are set on a solid and level surface.

Removing Debris
Begin cleaning the gutter near a downspout. Remove the large debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) with a trowel and dump it in a bucket. To clean out finer materials, flush the gutter lengths with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. Alternatively, you can use a gutter-cleaning attachment on a hose. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer, and clean as necessary. If gutter water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged.

Check the drain end. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe as needed. Install a small nozzle on the hose and lock it at full pressure. Turn on the water and feed the hose up from the bottom of the spout. If this doesn’t clear the downspout or the nozzle is too big, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the blockage. Reattach the downspout.

Repairing Gutters
After flushing the gutter, if there is still standing water, the gutter may not be sloped correctly and will require adjustment. The length of the system should decline at least ¼” every 10’ toward the downspout. If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach the hangers and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly, then reattach. It may be easiest to work on small sections at a time to prevent the entire gutter system from falling. Inspect the gutter for obvious damage and missing parts. Support hangers should be spaced every 2’ along the gutter.

Repair any leaks in the gutter. Identify gutter leaks by filling the gutter with water, but make sure the gutters have dried before repairing. To repair leaks at the seams, make sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints. To repair leaks at the end caps, add sealant along the inside of the joint. To repair holes in the gutter material, ask a Lowe’s associate for products designed to repair aluminum or fiberglass gutters.

Apply gutter touch-up paint to cover any blemishes as desired. If necessary, repaint some or all of the gutters in the home’s exterior color.

This article is excerpted from Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine. For more information, please visit www.lowes.com

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

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New-Home Design Trends Amp up Creativity but Cut Costs

New-Home Design Trends Amp up Creativity but Cut Costs

 The hottest design trends in new homes this year incorporate creative use of materials, layouts and features that provide maximum utility and beauty while being cost-conscious at the same time, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In celebration of April’s New Homes Month, NAHB shares the following top trends highlighted by leading home builders and architects during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla., this past February:

-Reworked Spaces: New homes are being designed to allow plenty of space for family interaction in high-traffic areas such as the kitchen, and to eliminate rooms such as formal dens and home offices that aren’t frequently used. Small spaces devoted to home management, also known as “pocket offices,” are being included in large pantries or spaces nearby the kitchen or family great room. Window seats and alcoves are being used to provide an area for private time, without taking up a lot of space. A popular and efficient location for laundry facilities is now added onto the master bedroom’s walk-in closet.

-Expanded Amenities: Multifamily development designs are increasing the number of resident amenities in order to compensate for smaller unit sizes. Gyms and media rooms have been common for years, but facilities such as libraries and business lounges with individual workspaces are now being offered as well.

-Multigenerational Living: Many families are all living under one roof due to increasing cultural diversity and the state of the economy during the past few years. New single-family home designs reflect this with “shadow” units that are built alongside a home, or separate living units that access the main floorplan through a door, or homes with at least two master suites—often with one located on the ground floor to be more accessible for elderly occupants.

-More Impact, Less Cost: Rectangular home designs are more cost effective, so new homes no longer have the formerly-popular feature of multiple roof lines or the resulting unnecessary interior volumes they created. But home designs now include innovative modifications that are still visually stimulating, such as using two windows in a corner with mitered glass to allow unobstructed views and maximum light to come in. Another example is using a mix of materials in the home’s façade such as metal, wood and stone to give the home a modern look.

The latest new home design trends that support modern lifestyles are just one of the many reasons to buy a newly-constructed home. Safety, energy efficiency and near record-low interest rates and competitive prices make today’s new home market an attractive opportunity for many families.

For more information, please visit www.nahb.org

Joel Thompson 303-877-0060 joelathompson@hotmail.com

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