GDR Spotlight on Real Estate / December 03, 2021

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VOLUME 2, ISSUE 38


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Spotlight on Real Estate, Friday, December 03, 2021

A lesson in building a backyard retaining wall Flat, even landscapes are often coveted in backyards. However, flat backyards are not always so easy to find. Fortunately, varied terrain does not mean that certain landscaping plans are entirely off limits, especially for homeowners willing to build retaining walls. Retaining walls help turn steep slopes in a yard into terraced focal points. They also can reduce soil erosion in hilly areas and can be used for aesthetic purposes, like raised planters, or to create more usable space within the yard. When an inground pool or pond is cut into a backyard hill, a retaining wall helps keep the remaining portion of that hill from collapsing into the cut-away area. When contemplating retaining wall projects, a lesson in physics and engineering may be needed. A sturdy and long-lasting retaining wall needs to be built in a way that will take into consideration the force of the soil and the point at which the soil will begin to slide away, advises the experts at The Family Handyman. If these calculations seem beyond the scope of your ability, installation of a retaining wall is a job best left to a professional. If you are ready to forge ahead, these tips can get you started. However, it's important to note the potential benefits of working with others who have already built a retaining wall.

Safety first: Call to have underground utilities plotted and marked before beginning any excavation. Map out your trench and begin to dig. The trench should have a level, compacted base as it will be the foundation for which the retaining wall materials, be they blocks, bricks or wood, sit in. A crushed stone base will help anchor the courses and serve to promote drainage. The Family Handyman says to bury the first course of the retaining wall one-tenth the height of the wall to prevent soil behind it from pushing the bottom out. Check for level. When placing blocks or timbers, make sure they are even with the first and periodically check for level as you go, advises the home improvement retailer Lowes¨. Stagger and set back. The next row of blocks or material should be positioned so that the joints are staggered for blocks, bricks or wood. A masonry blade will be needed to cut the harder materials; a circular saw will cut timber. Also, work against gravity by setting the second course slightly back from the first to help push back against the soil that is trying so hard to push forward. Repeat the process as each level is placed. Many retaining wall products are made with a lip to create this set back. Go with the grade. For especially steep slopes, a gradual step-up design may be more secure and

more appealing than a very tall retaining wall. Each against the retaining wall, advises The Home Depot. level of a stepped design should be done like the first. Retaining walls serve different purposes in a Backfill with stone for drainage. Using a layer yard. Building such a wall requires planning and of stone behind the retaining wall can help careful execution to ensure the job is done correctly successfully direct water away so it will not increase - Metro Content the weight of the soil behind the wall and push

Simple ways to incorporate reclaimed wood in your home DON’T SETTLE FOR AVERAGE. Homes come in many sizes and styles. But whether your home is a palatial postmodern masterpiece or a cozy farmhouse, reclaimed wood can be utilized to create an awe-inspiring interior. Reclaimed wood serves both aesthetic and practical purposes. Visually stunning, reclaimed wood also is a great way to make use of old-growth forest wood. Why is that significant? According to the United States Forest Service, just 3 percent of old-growth forest has survived into the second decade of the 21st century. Old-growth forest wood like that from long leaf pine trees has long been touted as excellent building material, but the pine utilized today comes from trees that are cut down when they're young. Reclaimed wood taken from old or demolished homes built with old-growth forest wood offers access to this highly valued building material while also providing the environmental benefits that come with reusing existing materials. Reclaimed wood can be incorporated into a home's interior rather easily, and the results are often stunning. Accent wall: Transforming a wall into an accent wall with reclaimed wood is a simple project that won't affect the existing design of a home's interior. A living room or home office can be given a whole new look with the addition of an accent wall made from reclaimed wood. Homeowners

who want their bedrooms to give off the vibe of a rustic retreat can consider adding an accent wall made of reclaimed wood. Furniture: Reclaimed wood also can be put to use, or reuse, as furniture. A home office desk made from reclaimed wood can be both stunning and sturdy, while end tables and coffee tables made from reclaimed wood can add some unique character to a living room. Kitchen islands: Homeowners who aspire to have a farmhouse kitchen can consider reclaimed wood when creating their kitchen islands. Reclaimed wood can be used to make the body of the island, complete with cabinets and drawers, that sits beneath the countertop where cooks will prepare their meals. Storage beds: Guest rooms tend to be smaller than other rooms in the house, and that means little room for furniture like dressers. Rather than cramming lots of furniture into a small room, homeowners can utilize reclaimed wood to create storage bed frames. The frames won't take up extra space in the room, reassuring guests that they won't be spending a weekend in cramped quarters. And the rustic look of reclaimed wood storage beds can be an instant stunner when guests arrive. Reclaimed wood can be incorporated into a home in myriad ways. This stunning, eco-friendly design choice can add instant appeal to any home. - Metro Content

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3BR/2.5BA stunning NEW CONSTRUCTION HOME situated on .35-acre lot. Home features many upgrades. Beautiful kitchen with center island, tile backsplash & granite countertops. Cathedral ceiling in family room with fireplace. Home has an expansive area that can be used as an office or formal dining. Large laundry room. Gorgeous master suite w/his & her walk-in closets & lavish bath. Finished Bonus Room. Call Peggy 320-3832. MLS#100280413.

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Spotlight on Real Estate, Friday, December 03, 2021

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Why is my house so dusty and what can I do? Spring is a season of rebirth and renewal. As trees and flowers bloom anew, many people get renewed vigor to tackle projects in and around the house. Spring cleaning projects can take on many forms, from garage overhauls to washing the interiors and exteriors of windows. According to the 2019 American Cleaning Institute National Cleaning Survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 77 percent of households surveyed commit to spring clean projects every year. Dust is a formidable foe during spring cleaning projects. Dust is unsightly and dust mites can trigger allergic reactions. But many homeowners lament that, once they dust, dust returns in a flash. Dust may seem like a never-ending nuisance, but there are some ways to mitigate dust for more than just a few hours.

Vacuuming carpets can release and resuspend dust and allergens that were trapped in carpeting and throw rugs, advises the Queensland U n i v e r s i t y o f Te c h n o l o g y. Traditional vacuums may toss that dust into the air rather than remove it. However, vacuums with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters can catch particles at .3 microns in size or larger at an efficiency rating of 99.97 percent. Another solution is to switch to hard-surface flooring, which is less likely to trap dust.

CHANGE THE AC UNIT FILTER According to Kadi Dulude, owner of the New York-based Wizard of Homes cleaning service, HVAC filters are supposed to trap particles that flow through the air and the heating and cooling system. Inadequate or dirty filters cannot do that job as thoroughly as new filters. Check the filters INVEST IN A BETTER VACUUM in both window and whole-house CLEANER AC or heating units and replace

according to the recommended schedule. Consider filters with a higher MERV rating, which can catch smaller particles, suggests Ragsdale Heating, Air & Plumbing company. USE LESS CLOTH AND LINEN The cleaning service Maid to Shine Cleaners suggests that textiles trap more dust, particularly synthetic fabrics. Replacing items around the house with leather or wooden furniture may alleviate some of the dust problem. TAKE OFF SHOES Dirt and debris from outside can contribute to dust in the house. Remove shoes when entering the house to reduce the accumulation of dust. of the dust problem. Washing and grooming pets regularly may put a KEEP PETS BRUSHED AND dent in the dust situation. GROOMED In addition to these suggestions, Pets bring many positive things to getting a whole-house filtration a home, but no matter how short system, increasing wet dusting their coats, pet dander can be part and checking for leaky ducts that

* E a c h o ffic ffi c e i s i n d e p e n d e ntly tl y ow w n ed d and d operated t d

can be sucking dust from attics, basements or garages are some other ways to reduce dust in a home. - Metro Content

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Spotlight on Real Estate, Friday, December 03, 2021