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Fall Home Improvement

FALL

Home Improvement October 6, 2011


THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Two

Fall Home Improvement

Walk And Eat Chili Dogs At The Same Time With Soul Friends The affection and companionship displayed by a dog has the power to heal. Soul Friends, Inc. is a non-profit organization, founded in 2003, that has come to the rescue of thousands of children across Connecticut with the help of therapy animals. The organization uses the human-animal bond, especially the humandog bond as an intervention to help children recovering from varying traumatic situations and losses.

the love from an animal friend to help children cope with major life circumstances, to help change behavior and to try something new to bring about hope,” said Kate Nicoll, MSW, LCSW, executive director of Soul Friends. S o u l Friends’ motto is f i t t i n g l y, “healing the hearts of children, one wagging tail at a time.“ The organization supports several programs including: *Interactive Individual Play

“We believe in the power of

Therapy - Child and adolescent psychotherapy with a short-term focus to improve motivation and behavior *Heeling Hearts Program - An eight-session group therapy program for at-risk children, proven to improve empathy, hopefulness and peer relationships *Come Follow Me - A program of social skills development and dog training for special needs children *Horses Inspire - An equineassisted psychotherapy program for children. On Saturday, Oct. 29, Soul Friends will team up with the Cheshire Dog Park for a 1.5-to 2-mile walk or run with your dog to benefit Soul Friends and all of its programs. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cheshire Park on Route 10.

The walk/run will feature free chili dogs, a costume contest for children and their dogs, children’s arts and crafts, State Police K-9 demonstrations, agility and search and rescue dog demos, and a blessing of the dogs. Several dog rescue groups and shelters will also be present to help find new loving homes for dogs and cats in need. In addition, NBC Connecticut’s Keisha Grant has been selected as the walk’s honorary chairperson. Grant, who is the main anchor of NBC Connecticut’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts, will also emcee the day’s events. “We’re extremely excited for the Chilly Dog Walk and Run and all of the great activities that will be happening at the event,” said Nicoll. “It promises to be a wonderful day and the best part is that

proceeds go to helping children and our community.” To register for the Chilly Dog Walk & Run, visit one of the following websites: www.active. com, www.soul-friends.org or www.cheshiredogpark.com. Any participating dog must be leashed, vaccinated, and social. Soul Friends provides animal assisted therapy programs for atrisk children statewide. In the past eight years, the organization has served over 5,000 children and is recognized as a proactive researcher in the healing benefits of the human-animal bond. The Cheshire Dog Park was founded in 2008 by volunteers who recognized the need for an off-leash dog park in Cheshire. For more information on the Cheshire Dog Park, visit www. cheshiredogpark.com.

Follow These Helpful Hints To Keep Your Home’s Exterior Looking Good

Feel like cheating? Forget what the inside of your home looks like for just a bit and focus on your home's exterior. "The exterior of your home makes a lasting and daily impression on your friends and family, along with your neighbors," says Mark Clement, professional

contractor and host of MyFixItUpLife home improvement radio show. "While the weather is good, my advice is to get outside and fix up problem areas, work on the landscaping, and invest in products that make your home's exterior not only look great, but work great."

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Three

Fall Home Improvement

Want A New Interior Look? Updating Your Door Might Be The Key With minimum remodeling savvy and a modest budget, it's possible to change some items in the home to be more in tune with personal style. Although many homeowners gravitate toward new paint colors or furnishings to revamp the look of different rooms in the home, replacing tired-looking doors is another affordable option. The switching out of doors can be a highimpact project for little cost. Think about the room in the house where the door(s) add little appeal. Perhaps a bathroom door has been marred with holes from a former towel rack. A bedroom with simple, flat doors may lack panache. Some doors have been warped by moisture or have been damaged. These eyesores can be replaced. A trip to the hardware or home improvement store can yield a number of options in new doors. Hollow core doors are typically more affordable than solid wood doors. If cost is a factor, select among the various styles in hollow designs.

Switching out a door can be a challenging endeavor and is often easiest as a two-person job. Some people simply use the old door as a template for the new door. Remember, not all doors are the same size (width and height) as the existing door opening. Therefore, some cutting and fitting will be necessary. Here are some steps to follow. 1. Measure the width and height of the old door. Many doors are a standard width of 13/8 inches, though older doors may be different in width. 2. Doors are sold as pre-hung doors or door blanks. Pre-hung ones are surrounded by a jamb. When using these doors, measure accordingly taking the jamb under consideration. Blanks are simply the door with no holes for hinges or locksets already included. 3. Remove the old door by taking out the hinge pins, starting from the bottom and working up. You may need a screwdriver and a hammer to tap out stubborn pins. Keep the pins in a safe spot. 4. Lay the old door on top of the new door and trace the dimensions for cutting. Be sure to line

up the lockset edge so things will line up. There should be 1/8 inch clearance on the sides of the door and 5/8 inch clearance on the bottom. 5. Use a circular saw to cut the door accurately. If only a little needs to be removed from the door, consider using a hand plane instead. If you need to remove more than 1 inch, take half off the bottom and top of the door so it will be even. 6. Place the old door back on top of the new. Mark the location of the hinge mortices (the recessed area and holes where the hinges will fit) with a utility knife and straight edge. 7. Lightly chisel out the hinge mortices so that they are the right thickness to house the hinge hardware. Test the hinge in the mortice. 8. Test the door's fit within the opening to ensure all cuts are accurate. Plane areas if there is anything that is off or if the door rubs. 9. Mark and drill the space for the lockset and doorknob. Test the fit. 10. Attach the new door and interlace the hinges. Have a helper put in the hinge pins. 11. Put in the knob and be sure the entire set up works correctly. 12. Enjoy the new door.

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Four

Fall Home Improvement

Ready To Begin Your Remodeling? Try Starting In The Kitchen If you cannot wait any longer to make some much needed changes in your home, you are not alone. Americans are once again getting ready to begin the home improvement process. This pent-up energy often begins in the kitchen, a room that gets a lot of wear and tear but also seems to go out of fashion more quickly these days. This time around, you will be more cautious like many consumers are with their choices and costs ... and yet you want to make observable changes. The most obvious change is installing a new countertop. Remember that countertops represent 30 percent of the color in any kitchen. Create new excitement by simply replacing your tired, scratched or stained counter surface with one made from the latest generation of premium laminate. The latest additions to the popular Wilsonart HD High Definition

design series reflect new interest in natural, classic and tumbled marble, limestone and travertine. The good news is this fashionable look is available without the high cost of stone or the constant maintenance those stones require. These lighter, less patterned laminate designs are perfect for today's hectic lifestyle. In fact, the new cost-efficient countertop can be installed within a few hours and without disrupting family life. They also give an existing kitchen the promise of a whole new look that's universally appealing. That equals a big change for small change. All of these new designs are available in a new surface effect of a lower matte-gloss sheen that seems almost glazed. The "Glaze" texture is actually a layering of matte features over a glaze of semi-gloss. This creates a timeworn result that is less reflective

and more restrained. It's a perfect balance for the sophisticated dramatic materials that are part of today's kitchen: stainless steel, chrome, copper, and even glass. Wilsonart patterns benefit from AEON Enhanced Performance technology. AEON brings four times the scuff and scratch-resistance of conventional laminate, as well as five times the wear resistance to the surface. Unlike granite, the surfaces of these new laminates are non-porous and never need to be sealed. Here are some other remodeling ideas that will have high impact without high expense: * Replace your old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model. Look in the big box stores for floor models or even those with a little dent on the side, which will never be seen. * Refresh your cabinets with a coat of paint, and change all the cabinet hardware in the process.

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This makes everything look new. * Swap out your old ceiling light fixture and install under cabinet lighting as well. A little light can make a dramatic difference. * Change your sink or sinks. Consider a new Wilsonart(R) HD sink when adding a laminate

countertop. These sinks were designed to be mounted to a laminate surface. Still puzzled by the process or need more help choosing the right color or pattern for your countertop? Visit www.WilsonartHD. com for many good answers.

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Five

Fall Home Improvement

Make Sure Your Bank Account Can Survive The Winter Months The return of winter weather marks the return of many things, including winter coats, mornings spent shoveling snow and, for many homeowners, higher utility bills. Home heating costs have a long history of being the enemy of homeowners who want to keep their homes warm in the winter. Over the course of a typical winter, homeowners can expect to spend as much as $2,000 to keep their families warm, and unfortunately, there's no guarantee those costs won't increase this winter. Fortunately, there are several ways homeowners can easily reduce home heating costs no matter how harsh the weather becomes this winter. * Address those leaks before it's too late. Fall is an ideal time to get around to all those pesky home improvements you didn't

have a chance to get to this summer. If not addressed, leaky windows and doorways are destined to produce high home heating bills. Cold air that enters the home through such leaks, creates drafts that are costly as the homeowner turns up the thermostat to get rid of the chill. Before winter arrives, seal any existing drafts around windows and doors, using caulk or weather-proof tape. More information about discovering and fixing air leaks is available at www.greenwoodusa.com/leak. * Replace old appliances. Older appliances might not work as efficiently as they once did, requiring more energy and fuel to get the job done; causing a spike in utility costs along the way. However, today's Energy Star appliances are required to have a high performance with up to 15 percent

Check Out The Cheshire Herald Website If you just can’t get enough Cheshire news, make sure to check out our website at www.cheshireherald.com. There you’ll find our daily photo and original content. You can also access our E-Edition of the paper, which is perfect for the on-the-go Cheshireite who wants to get their fix of what’s happening in town, whether it be in the office or on the train.

greater energy efficiency than their predecessors, significantly reducing your home energy costs. * Consider renewable energy heating appliances. Today's solar and biomass/wood heating appliances are a far cry from those available as recently as three years ago. These products may offer automated operation with wood pellets or other convenient

features like self-cleaning. Products like the Greenwood Frontier Series Wood Gasification Boiler are specifically designed with families in mind to improve heat efficiency to save homeowners money. Helping homeowners trim more than 70 percent from their home heating costs, the Greenwood Frontier Series boiler converts

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Six

Fall Home Improvement

Express Your Personality By Adding Color To Your Home’s Exterior The growing trend of homeowners staying in their existing houses longer due to economic challenges has had a colorful effect on homes. People are taking the opportunity to personalize their homes more with colorful exterior accents and they're not stopping with just a splash of paint. According to national color expert Kate Smith, homeowners are taking steps to express their personalities by adding color to everything from their roofs to

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Seven

Fall Home Improvement

Enjoy These Quick And Easy Fall Crafts For The Whole Family As leaves turn and the fall weather cools, nature becomes a playground for imagination with its deep reds, oranges, and yellows. And, of course, many children start planning their costumes early, using every excuse to dress up before Halloween actually rolls around. With these quick and easy craft projects, the whole family can enjoy celebrating one of the most colorful seasons of the year. *Leaf Book Craft: With a few easy-to-find supplies, you and your kids can preserve the riches of cheerful outdoor foliage with this handmade leaf book that can be pulled out again and again over dreary winter days. What you'll need: - Bag to collect leaves - Clear contact paper - Ruler - Scissors - Construction Paper - Stapler or Hole Punch and Twine - Glue Stick (optional) Instructions: Collect colorful leaves in a bag and spread them on a newspaper when you get home. Place your favorite leaves on the contact paper, peeling the back off of one piece of the paper. After you carefully arrange the leaves, peel the back off the second piece of contact paper and carefully lay it on top of the first piece. You may need to use the ruler to push out any air bubbles that come up. Repeat these steps as many times as you like to make multiple pages. Take two pieces of construction paper, placing one on top of the stack of leaf pages

- Crayons - Glue (non-toxic) - Tape - Ribbon - Yarn - Glitter - Newspaper Instructions: Download the various costume designs from www.paddywhacklane.com, including a Princess Crown and Wand, Bumble Bee wings, and a Pirate's Hat. Print out the designs on your cardstock paper. Lay out newspaper on your kitchen or dining room table to help keep messes to a minimum. Using all of your markers, crayons, and glitter, have your child personalize each costume piece. When finished and dry, follow the instructions on each design to create the finished look. Each costume piece is sized to match that of a child ages 3-7. *Balloon Ghost: This adorable and easy ghost craft is perfect for Halloween decor in your home.

What you'll need: - One White latex balloon per ghost - Scissors - Two white grocery bags per ghost - Tape - Black marker Instructions: Cut the handles off the white plastic grocery bags. Leaving the seam at the bottom of the bags together, cut the bags into strips. Blow up a white balloon. (For home decorating purposes, you might want to pick up helium balloons at the party store so they fly). Tape the two plastic bags around the end of the balloon, leaving a few inches at the bottom, leaving the tied section of the balloon at the top if you blew it up yourself. (If you purchased helium balloons, keep the tied side down.) Using the black marker, draw two eyes and a mouth on the balloon, making any face you wish. If you blew up the balloon See FALL, page 14

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and one on the bottom. Staple the sheets together on the left side to make a book or punch two to three holes and tie the pages together with twine for an outdoorsy look. Take any additional craft items such as glitter, markers or crayons and make a colorful design on the front to complete your book. *Costume Creations: Halloween is in the air and with it every costume you can imagine. With these paper costume designs

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the cheshire herald, october 6, 2011

Eight

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Nine

Fall Home Improvement

Main Components To Home Improvement Can Spell Success Every home project begins with an idea and ends with the culmination of the job. In between, there are three main components of an improvement project that can mean the difference between success and frustration: planning, permits and protection. Planning The initial stage of a renovation is the planning stage. Planning is when a homeowner works through the concept of the project and determines what is necessary to complete the task. Many people find it helpful to write out plans and draw up the concept on paper. This doesn't require expensive architectural software. A simple piece of graph paper plotted with measurements and a sketch is often sufficient for small projects. If the job will be expansive and require an architect or engineer, he or she will often provide a technical drawing. If the project focuses more on decorating than building, some find it helpful to create a design board. This is where fabric swatches, paint color samples, pictures of furniture and accessories, and any other components of the room are put together. Having a design board enables the homeowner to go to the store with board in tow and match up items to things in the store. Another part of the planning stage is establishing a budget and determining the project's financing. It can be helpful to make a list of all income and expenses and find out how much funding is left over for a project. When getting estimates on the work, whether it will be done by a contractor or a DIY project, the homeowner should then make a list of

approximate costs (rounding up) and then compare it against the available funds. Permits Many projects, especially those involving building, demolition, electrical work, or mold remediation, require permits issued by the town, province or city in which the work will be taking place. The purpose of permits and subsequent inspections is often questioned by homeowners looking to circumvent the system. However, building permits are required to ensure public safety, health and welfare as they are affected by building construction, structural strength, zoning, and code requirements. In essence, building permits are how the government regulates safety and protects both current and future residents of the property. In many cases, homeowners will need to visit the municipal

building in their respective towns and apply for a permit. The permit may not immediately be issued. Oftentimes, there is a waiting period during which the project's legality and safety is examined. Once the project is approved, the applicant will be able to file for the actual permit(s). There is usually a fee or fees for permit application, which covers any clerical work. Work should not begin until a permit is received, and then the permit generally has to be placed in plain sight, such as in a window of the building. Depending

on building codes, inspections of the work may need to take place after all of the project is completed or during certain phases. For example, the building of a

deck may require inspections after footings are installed and secured, and before the upper portions of the decking materials are attached. If an inspection takes place afterward, the inspector will be looking for key code issues to determine whether the work was completed successfully. If a contractor was used, he or she may have to be present at the time of the inspection. If the work passes, an approval will be given and put on record. If the work fails, applicable repairs will have to be made and a re-inspection will be scheduled. Should a home be put on the market, all permits may need to be on file or in the homeowners' possession in order for a certificate of occupancy to be issued to the new buyer. Failure to have permits can hold up the process or result in fines. Protection See EQUIPMENT, page 15

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Ten

Fall Home Improvement

Establish Your Budget Before Tackling Any Renovation Projects Home

improvement projects have become de rigueur for today's homeowners. Be it a kitchen remodel or the ever popular man cave project, home improvement projects remain a goal for many homeowners. As enticing as a home improvement project might be, no project can be successful until a budget has been established. The right budget will keep homeowners from going deep into debt when improving their homes, ensuring that, upon the project's completion, they can fully enjoy their revamped castles without the specter of significant debt hanging ominously over their heads. Before beginning a home improvement project, homeowners can take the following things into

consideration. * Personal finances: It sounds simple, but homeowners must examine their finances before starting a home improvement project. Just because a bank will loan out money for a project doesn't mean the project is affordable. Homeowners should compare their monthly expenses with their incomes, and then determine what's left that might be able to go toward a project. Monthly expenses include everything from groceries to mortgage payments. When the comparison between monthly expenses and monthly income has been made, homeowners can get a grasp of just what they can and cannot afford. * Credit score: Many homeowners finance home improve-

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ment projects with loans from the bank. Particularly in the current economy when banks are being forced to tighten lending requirements, securing such loans isn't easy. Homeowners with significant credit card debt should eliminate such debt before beginning a project. Doing so serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, eliminating outstanding debt will free up more money to allocate toward the project. Eliminating debt will also make loan applicants more attractive to prospective creditors, increasing their chances of securing a loan and a lower interest rate. * The project's priority: Budgeting a home improvement project also involves being honest as to just how necessary the project is. For example, a man cave ing toward the man cave should list to determine if they are more might be a dream project, but probably be allocated to replac- deserving of immediate attention Ad#:1066304 Pub:RJ over Date:07/16/08 STONE Last projects. the roof Size:2X9.75 instead. If aCust:SUPERIOR project and funds than vanity should it be a priority other ingDay:WED Edited By:BTRACY on 7/10/08 11:38 AM. Salesperson:116 Tag Line:SERVICE GUIDE Color the priority list but high * Overrun costs: Not every things around the house? If wear is low onInfo: on the want list, re-examine those home improvement project will and tear is taking its toll on the 1066304 - Composite roof, for instance, the money go- projects higher up on the priority come in at or under budget. Many, in fact, go over budget due to a host of factors. Homeowners TAY OME HIS UMMER ITH OURshould AMILY! not be caught off guard SUPERIOR STONE can help you reconnect with your family this summer withgoes over budget. when a project • Pruning • Tree Installation a beautiful new patio, outdoor kitchen area, tranquil sitting areas, pool decking Instead, plan for the project to •and Lawn Work • Privacy Plantings more. go over budget and expect such •For Weed Control • Mulching frustration. extra money the price of a typical vacation, you can create your own vacation spot Allocate and •have Brush Removal Bobcat Workyard for the same inprice. the original budget for overmany years of enjoyment in •your own back run costs. This will reduce stress • Landscaping • Snowplowing/Firewood and frustration, and if the project comes in under budget, then 37 years in business there's extra money when the David Benjamin (203) 272-3735 project is completed.

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Eleven

Fall Home Improvement

Limit Your Carbon Footprint At Home When many people think of pollution, among the first images that come to mind are crowded highways with gas guzzling big rigs spewing exhaust into the air. But oversized trucks hauling loads don't have the pollution market cornered. In fact, many homeowners might be contributing to air pollution every time they work on their own yards. Emissions from lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, and other outdoor power equipment account for a significant amount of pollution. What's more, such emissions might be contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone, which can compromise human health. Natural ozone in the upper atmosphere shields the planet from harmful radiation. But ozone at ground level, which can form when certain outdoor power equipment emits hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, can impair lung function, help produce smog, and even in-

hibit plant growth. Homeowners concerned about the environment might feel as though they're caught in a Catch-22. Protecting the environment is likely important to them but so is taking care of their property. However, it's possible to do both; it just requires taking a few preventative measures when working out in the yard. * Don't spill the gas. Small gasoline spills can damage the yard, leaving dead spots wherever gas came into contact with the yard. But even the smallest of spills can cause the gas to evaporate and pollute the air. When refilling the gas tank, do so on the driveway and not in the yard to avoid damaging the property. Use a gasoline container that's easy to handle and use a funnel or spout to reduce the likelihood of spillage. Once the tank has been filled, make sure the caps on both the power equipment and the gasoline container have been closed tightly, and store the container out of the sunlight, ideally

in a cool, dry place. * Go manual. Some lawn maintenance requires the use of gaspowered tools to get the job done in a timely fashion. Homeowners with large yards, for instance, will likely need a gas-powered mower to cut their grass in a reasonable amount of time. However, in lieu of gas-powered tools to trim hedges and trees around the yard, use a traditional manual hedge clipper instead. Many of today's manual hand tools are designed to be user-friendly and, as a result, are much lighter and less bulky than the tools of yesteryear. Homeowners with smaller yards might even consider using reel push mowers that don't generate any emissions whatsoever. * Cut down on cutting. Instead of cutting the grass every weekend, visit the local lawn and garden center and ask if there are any grass and flower seed mixtures that will make the grass grow more slowly. This often depends

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Twelve

Fall Home Improvement

Remember To Address The Key Areas Of Your Home’s Outside continued from page 2 ery year -- the roof, the windows, and the entry door. Those are key areas because, along with being visual focal points of the home, they help protect a house from severe weather. And, if you have problems with older windows, doors, or roofing tiles, you're looking at higher energy bills and growing problems that can affect your wallet long-term." Clement offers these recommendations for keeping your home exterior in top shape: Roofing Tips: 1. Check your roof yearly (from a ladder or from a neighbor's home with binoculars) to determine the condition of your roof. Look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may be "flapping" in the wind. These are all indications that a new roof may be in your future. 2. Don't forget to check the sides of your roof. The southern exposure weathers significantly faster than the other sides of the roof, so make sure to carefully examine this one. Also, shallower pitches weather faster than steeper pitches. So, again, if your roof

has a shallow pitch -- like a shed dormer -- make certain you can clearly see it to get a true indication of the condition of your roof. 3. If you're in the market for a new roof, investigate polymer roofing tiles as a good option. These impact-resistant slate and shake tiles are man-made in a wide variety of colors. Some tiles, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes that Clement chose for his home, have a 50-year limited warranty and are ideal for all types of weather conditions, including hurricanes and hail. 4. Since the installation of a new roof exceeds the capabilities of most homeowners, make sure to research and hire a professional roofer. Check to make sure your roofer is insured, licensed and certified. Ask for a written job estimate and references along with warranty information for both the roof you select and his installation services. Entry Door Tips: 1. If you can see light around your main entry door from the inside, the door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it's time to consider a new door. 2. Even if you can't see light,

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air may be moving through gaps in the weather stripping at a surprising rate. On a very cold or hot day, hold the back of your hand an inch or so away from the bottom and perimeter of your door. If you can feel air moving or a significant cold spot, that's a signal your existing door could benefit from better sealing. 3. Determine what role you would like an entry door to play on your home's exterior. Do you want it to be a focal point with a splash of color? Is it important that you have decorative glass in the door system? Will you need vented sidelites to allow more light and air into your home? Search the web for "Door Designer" and "My Saved Door" online tools to help visualize how a new door will look on your home. 4. Think about the weather conditions your home's door faces along with your energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing your entryway with a high-performance fiberglass door (which has four times more insulation than wood doors). You can also request features such as the Tru-Defense Door System from Therma-Tru Doors that features enhanced weatherstripping, corner seal pad, door bottom sweep and profiled sill that all work together to provide strength and stability in your entry door. Window Tips: 1. Evaluate the functionality

and decorative appeal of your current windows. If you have condensation between glass panes, the windows are hard to open or close, your energy bills are soaring or if there are drafts coming in around the window units, then it's time to seriously consider replacement windows. 2. Vinyl framed windows are the category of windows with the highest growth rate in the country. Why? These frames are extremely energy-efficient and some of the best have fusion-welded corners and multi-chambered construction. Plus, maintenance hassles are so low you'll forget the horrors of rotting frames, scraping and repainting that come with wood windows. 3. Investigate your window options and stick with a national manufacturer that can stand behind a long-term warranty. For his renovation project, Clement selected Simonton vinyl windows. The award-winning company impressed him with its 65-year history and return-on-investment with their ENERGY STAR qualified windows. 4. Remember that a thermallyefficient window is sealed tightest when it's locked. So, to keep your energy bills lowers, don't just close your windows, make sure to

lock them.

Trim Tips: 1. If you have the opportunity to replace your entry door or windows, make sure to finish off the job with stylish window and door trim. Lightweight and easy to install, weather-resistant synthetic mouldings, shutters and entryway surrounds from Fypon are a definite do-it-yourself project for any homeowner. 2. Take an eagle's eye look at your home. Most houses have louvers placed high above the attic or garage space to allow ventilation in those areas. And, most houses have wooden louvers that can rot with time. Replacing louvers with insect-resistant and rotresistant synthetic louvers can improve the home's appearance and functionality. 3. Wrap it up. Clement recommends that if you have unsightly porch posts you can easily transform them into showpiece parts of your home by using Column Wrap Kits. The decorative synthetic pieces can be installed in less than 15 minutes around existing structural posts and columns to give an upgraded look to any home. For more home improvement tips, visit www.myfixituplife. com.

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Thirteen

Fall Home Improvement

If Siding Is The Answer, Make Sure To Choose What’s Best For You Seemingly from the moment a home is purchased, its new owners start envisioning ways to transform their new pad into their dream home. Once they turn their key for the first time, homeowners enter an empty home and see a blank slate on which they can improve. But even before homeowners enter their new home, chances are the home's exterior has inspired a few improvement ideas as well. One of the more common home improvements is changing

a home's exterior siding. Many new homeowners want to change their home's appearance with siding but might not be sure which option is the best fit for them. * Vinyl: Vinyl siding is a popular choice among homeowners who don't want to break the bank to change their home's exterior look. Vinyl siding is one of the more affordable siding options, and many homeowners are attracted to its durability and reputation as a very low-maintenance siding option. Seamless vinyl

Eco-Friendly Ideas Offered

continued from page 11 on the region and the type of grass that thrives in the region, but it can help reduce the number of times the lawn needs to be cut and reduce emissions as a result. * Plant more trees. Planting more trees around the property can be advantageous for a number of reasons. If the yard has more trees, that means it will have less grass, decreasing the amount of time it takes to mow the yard, and thereby reducing emissions from the mower. Another eco-friendly benefit to planting more trees is that, if planted strategically to provide shade, energy usage, in addition to cooling costs, during the hot summer will decrease. Homeowners who plant native wildflowers and

plants also can reduce the time it takes to maintain their yard, as such plants typically require little to no maintenance after planting. * Don't allow equipment to deteriorate. Just like an automobile, gas-powered maintenance tools work more efficiently when they're well maintained. If filters aren't replaced or machines are allowed to fall into disrepair, they won't operate with much efficiency, meaning they'll burn more gasoline and produce more emissions. In addition to the environmental benefits of maintaining equipment, homeowners can also save money by taking care of their equipment, increasing the tools' life expectancy while improving fuel efficiency.

attracts homeowners because of its aesthetic appeal. In general, vinyl siding is wind-resistant and unlikely to rot, scratch or blister, and vinyl siding does not attract insects nor is it susceptible to mold or mildew. However, some vinyl siding cannot withstand extremely cold weather. * Solid wood: Wood siding can last for decades and many homeowners love its old-fashioned appeal. However, homeowners who don't want the hassle of worrying about their home's exterior might be better suited to other options, as wood siding can be difficult to maintain. Because wood will expand or contract depending on the season, wood siding is prone to cracking or splitting, and especially humid climates might foster mildew in wood siding.

Wood siding typically requires restaining or repainting every few years, and such maintenance is necessary throughout the siding's lifespan. Proper and routine maintenance of wood siding can also help reduce the risk of termites or mold. * Aluminum: Durable and affordable, aluminum siding is easier to maintain than wood, though many homeowners still choose wood over aluminum on the basis of aesthetic appeal. Many homeowners often come down to deciding between aluminum and vinyl siding, and environmental concerns might come into play when making that decision. Aluminum siding is considered by many to be the more eco-friendly option, as some feel vinyl siding is bad for the environment and

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might even negatively affect human health. Aluminum siding is generally wind-resistant and homeowners enjoy its status as a relatively low maintenance siding option. * Stucco: Many homeowners prefer stucco siding because of its unique makeup that allows them to choose a design and color uniquely their own. A manufactured product made up of cement, lime, sand, and water, stucco is easy to maintain and can last a very long time. Stucco installation, however, is an intricate process and homeowners can expect to pay more for stucco's installation than they would with other options, even though the installation can be finished very quickly, particularly when compared to wood siding.


THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Fourteen

Fall Home Improvement

Many Superstitions Around Halloween Many different superstitions abound, some of which are tailor made for Halloween haunting. * If a candle goes out on its own on Halloween, it is thought a ghost has come to call. * A burning candle inside of a Jack-o-lantern on Halloween keeps evil spirits at bay. * You invite bad luck into your home if you allow a fire to burn out on Halloween. * A person born on Halloween can both see and talk to spirits. * Seeing a spider on Halloween could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching you.

* If you hear footsteps behind you on Halloween, don't look back because it could be the dead following. * Carry a lump of bread in your pocket when walking in the dark to serve as an offering to ghosts. * Don't look at your shadow in moonlight on Halloween night. Otherwise, you will die within a short period of time. * When a person lived a good life, flowers will grow on his grave. If he was evil, weeds will grow. * Never slam a door; otherwise, you could hurt a ghost and risk haunting.

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* Holding your breath while driving by a cemetery keeps evil spirits from entering your body. * If a bat flies around a house three times, it is a death omen. * Ringing a bell on Halloween will scare evil spirits away. * Knock on wood to keep bad luck away. * A bat that enters a home may have been let in by a ghost.

Fall A Great Time To Enjoy Activities

continued from page 7 yourself, tie a string to the top and hang from the ceiling or mantle. If you used a helium balloon, tie a string to the bottom and let it float through the air. Fall is a great time to take advantage of so many wonderful natural resources, from overflowing pumpkin patches to bursting apple orchards. A few supplies and a little planning go a long way in keeping kids busy, using their imagination and creativity throughout this delightful season.

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Signs Of A Change In Season

October may have just begun and the warm weather of the summer is still fresh in our minds. However, with October comes autumn and many of the trees in Cheshire have already begun to not only change color but also coat the floor of the woods around the area, including near Mixville park.

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THE CHESHIRE HERALD, OCTOBER 6, 2011

Fifteen

Fall Home Improvement

Avoid Injuries When Attempting To Do It Yourself Around The House Tough economic times call for even tougher measures -- and for many homeowners this means getting hands-on with home improvement projects. Although DIY projects can save money in theory, they also may result in a trip to the hospital if safety precautions aren't followed. According to recent statis-

tics, 85 percent of homeowners are tackling projects around the house rather than hiring outside contractors. In this difficult economy, emergency rooms are seeing an influx of people coming in with injuries ranging from lacerations to puncture wounds from nail guns. John and Jane Do-It-Yourself-

Equipment Provides Protection continued from page 9 Homeowners about to begin a project also need to emphasize safety. There are a number of things that can be on hand to make a work environment safer. These include: * Eye protection: This is especially important when working with flying debris, cutting items, mixing caustic chemicals, etc. * Respirator or face mask: Cover the nose or mouth when there is dust or debris in the air that can enter the lungs. When working with toxic fumes, such as when using spray paints or chemical lubricants, a respirator can offer clean air. * Boots: Proper footwear ensures protection should an item fall on the foot or when walking where nails or other sharp items are located.

* Fire extinguisher: A fire extinguisher should be nearby in the event of a mishap. * First aid kit: An abrasion or cut may occur, requiring prompt care. * Gloves: When the hands need to be protected or extra traction on surfaces is required, gloves can be a necessity. * Headphones: Safety headphones can protect the ears against loud, consistent noises from power equipment and tools. * Locks: A locked cabinet can store tools, paints, chemicals, and other improvement supplies so that young children or pets won't have access. When homeowners take the time to plan, obtain permits, and secure the needed protection for a job, they help ensure a safer job that is done correctly.

er has easy access to home-improvement supplies and tools at the local home center. He or she also may be inspired by any of the myriad shows on television instructing individuals to give renovations a try. However, many homeowners are not schooled in proper safety procedures or do not know how to use tools correctly. This is a recipe for injury. Common injuries include: * falls from ladders or scaffolding * hand and finger injuries -- including amputation -- from power saws and grinder/sanders * nail gun injuries; since 1991, these injuries have increased by 200 percent * eye injuries and breathing difficulties. Homeowners should consider the risks of improvements before beginning. They should also take precautions to do improvements in the safest manner possible. * Always read the manufacturers' safety information and usage guidelines for any tools before the are put to use. * Turn off electrical current to rooms and outlets prior to doing any electrical repairs. * Wear proper safety equip-

ment, including goggles, dust masks or respirators, boots, and gloves. * Store chemicals in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf out of reach of children and pets. * Be cautious of power cords. Always unplug tools and turn off the switches when the item is not in use. * Do not climb past the top rung of ladders. Do not use furniture or stacked items as a ladder. * Jobs such as electrical work,

roof work, gas projects, or major plumbing issues are better left to a skilled contractor. * Make sure drill bits and saw blades are sharp. Dull tools can result in injuries. * Keep fire extinguishers and a good first aid kit readily available at all times. There is no cost savings that make risking a disability worth it. If a project is beyond an individual's scope of ability, hire a professional instead.

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creative talents of our local community.  Music by   The Sawtelles & The Bennett Family  Enjoy the colorful fall bounty of Cheshire    Wine tasting by  Nursery and Flower Shop including South End Spirits  Bresnahan Handcrafted Reproduction            Furniture. Tasty Tidbits by                           The Funky Monkey, Bagelicious  Find the perfect holiday gift for a friend or DONATION $5.00  treat yourself at The Cheshire Art League rint -   Show & Sale. ramed p ing   f lly fu ti u a   tom Fram     win a be ry & Cus hance to lle  c a m.     a Enjoy fresh floral interpretations by local  e  G k ’s a T 14 at 8 p arbara t  c  B y  O  b ., ri d designers.    donate e held F  Gallery   Learn about our wonderful local resource,   Boulder Knoll Farm, through photographic  exhibits of the farm and its educational  programs.    Discover the many opportunities for  instruction available at ARTSPLACE .                

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from The  ARTSPLACE Clothesline. on Friday evening       Barbara’s gallery will frame it   FREE

                

Enjoy samples from GIFFS ORIGINALS and COCOASHAK


the cheshire herald, october 6, 2011

sixteen

Style?

WHAT’S YOUR

Style is such a personal thing. It can revolve around shapes and sizes, colors and textures, simplicity and complexity. It can also reflect a preference for masculine or feminine, romantic or practical, understated or obvious. Which style are you? Let’s find out... Perhaps you like a style that’s forward thinking

On the other hand, you may like a style that pushes

and cutting edge, with ultra sophisticated lines and

traditional thinking into a more up-to-date expression.

designs. With the Star Light, Star Bright bed as

In that case, you’d be drawn to Space for 2 as a bedside

your starting point, you might choose Glam as the

partner that offers two full-size drawers and a handy

companion nightstand. Add Dressed to a T for

pullout shelf. Dress Her closed storage is a handsome

generous closed storage, and you’re staying true to

way to continue your theme of darker wood veneers

a look that’s sleek and sensual. Show more heart

and rich, brass accents. A textural, chocolate rug

by including the graceful Love Knot mirror. Now

maintains a masculine foundation, while a dark

top things off with a soft, fur rug and bright white

fur throw adds visual weight to the bed. As a final

linens. Welcome to a soft contemporary room that

touch, add a Looking Glass mirror to catch the light.

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Fall Home Improvement 2011  

Fall Home Improvement 2011 Special Section

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