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STEP UP YOUR
BY HIRING A HOME WATCH SERVICE You’ve definitely heard of, and might even have, a home security system. You’ve likely also heard of services that come in and take care of a pet or walk them while the home owner is away. But what about hiring someone trustworthy to keep an eye on the entire property?
That’s where a home watching service comes in, and they are becoming a prolific business, which calls for some heightened awareness on the part of the consumer. Well-meaning neighbors and friends may be happy to check on things while you’re away, but a home watching service does a lot more than bring in your mail and turn the lights on and off. A home watch service is especially important and helpful if someone has a vacation property or rental property they visit only seasonally.
Exterior signs of damage, wear and tear, and animal/pest intrusions.
Landscaping, exterior lighting and patio/ porch areas to ensure everything is in its right place and working correctly.
Second home owners and rental property owners who are away from their properties (such as in another city or state) for extended periods of time would especially benefit from someone keeping a close and watchful eye on the property. Home watch firms provide myriad services while they’re watching your home, and even inspect your house for things that might not have happened during their watch, checking out areas such as:
The interior of your home, paying special attention to ensure your appliances, HVAC units and water heater are in good condition.
Test lights and replace bulbs if needed. Thoroughly inspect the attic, garage and crawl spaces.
Signs of wood rot on the house. Length of trees to ensure they are trimmed away from the house.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and home security system if installed.
Paint condition. No leaks in the house, especially in the attic and around windows.
Ensure the property is properly secured and protected.
Some home watch professionals also offer prearrival home preparations and cleanings, postdeparture cleaning, hurricane and flooding notifications, storm preparations and more. So, upgrade the security of your home near or far by contracting a home watch service. If you do decide to contract a home watch
service, consider one that is accredited through the National Home Watch Association (NHWA), which sets standards and provides accreditation for home watch services in the U.S. and Canada. Visit their website, to find a trusted home watch service near you.
property caretakers that give owners peace of mind & freedom from worry. Home Watch Home & Estate Management Rental Property Assistance
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Stone Connection Granite Interiors
Local, Personalized Service From their Family to Yours
Your unique touch is what turns your house into your home. So when it comes to building or renovating your space, why not find someone who will approach your project as personally as you? Stone Connection Granite Interiors is a local, family owned company based in Zirconia, NC. Owners John and Kelly are personally involved in every project, and pride themselves on providing the following benefits to their clients:
1) They meet your schedule. Stone Connection abides by the creed “If we say we are going to be there, we better be there.” They understand the intricacy of a builder’s schedule and know other trades are depending on their promptness. 2) They make you look good. Quality is of utmost importance at Stone Connection. Their shop uses a digital templating system along with a Slabsmith program making it possible for the homeowner to see what their countertops will look like before they are cut, and utilizes CNC machinery with old world, hand-polished craftsmanship. 3) They do the job right. Their quality is unmatched and comes with a guarantee of 1/16th inch seams and 1/32 inch leveling. Stone Connection installers are dressed in uniform, conduct themselves in a professional manner and don't leave until the job is done. They are fully insured and carry workers compensation. Stone Connection's work comes with a lifetime guarantee on both materials and craftsmanship. 4) They equip you. Stone Connection insists on educating homeowners on all of the options available for a project, including the pros and cons of each choice. Every job receives a Welcome Home Package, including stone cleaner and instructions for maintenance and cleaning guidelines.
5) They care about the community. Stone Connection makes it a priority to be environmentally friendly. They recycle 100% of the water used in their shop, use LED lighting, run energy efficient machines, promote using environmentally safe chemicals and cleaners, replace cardboard and plastic templates with digital templates and do not put their trash stone in the landfill. Because they are a part of your community, they care about your community. Choosing Stone Connection Granite Interiors grants you the peace of mind that your project will receive the quality and care that you would give it. Call (828) 692-0451 to experience the benefits of working with a family in your community.
Awe Inspiring Man’s greatest achievements stand as a testimony to his imagination, and creativity. We utilize the world’s natural wonders to bring timeless beauty into your home.
STONE CONNEC TION GRANITE INTERIORS, INC. 417 Kingdom Place • Zirconia, NC 28790 (828) 692-0451 • www.scgigranite.com Pictured– Onyx Travertine
BENEFITS OF INSTALLING A TANKLESS WATER HEATER
You might think the old water heater in the garage is fine – after all, you’re able to take hot showers and those things are expensive to replace. But as is the case with most appliances and electronics, modern technology can create massive improvements. This goes for tankless water heaters. They take up less space, are leak-free and can save you money on your water bill.
Top benefits of taking the tankless plunge include: SAVING MONEY ON YOUR ENERGY BILL If you’re going to shell out money for a new water heater, you better be getting some back, right? Well, a tankless heater will save you from constantly heating and reheating water. With a conventional water heater, the hot water is stored inside the tank. In theory, this keeps a ready supply of hot water on hand for immediate use, but in fact the hot water just sits around when not being used. After some time, the heat will dissipate, and the water heater will need to reheat the water all over again. And guess where this waste of energy shows up? On your utility bill. NO LEAKAGE Leakage is one of the biggest problems with conventional water heaters. No matter the model, they will begin to leak eventually, as they are being constantly filled and drained of water every day for years. Because the tankless heater doesn’t store water, it won’t have any to leak.
YOU WON’T RUN OUT OF HOT WATER A tankless water heater doesn’t store hot water for later use. Instead, a tankless water heater only produces as much hot water as a person needs. In other words, when the hot water faucet is turned on, the tankless unit provides the exact amount of hot water dispensed until the faucet is turned off. You can leave the hot water faucet on for hours and the tankless water heater will continue providing hot water. So, you’ll never need to worry about running out during a shower or conserving so someone else in your home can take a hot shower after you. SMALLER FOOTPRINT One of the best things about a tankless water heater is how little space they take up. A tank water heater can take up an entire utility closet or feet of space in your garage. On the other hand, standard tankless water heaters are generally no larger than a computer tower.
When it comes time to replace your water heater, tankless ones are your best option. If you’re tired of running out of hot water, having higher bills and dealing with messes, contact your plumber to install one today.
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Lawn Care Tasks to Complete Now
for a Spring Payoff Now that fall has rolled around, the desire to be outside working on your yard is probably long gone. There are leaves on the ground and football on the TV. But if you can muster up the energy to take on a few more tasks can be well worth your time, as the yardwork you complete now can make a big difference when the ďŹ rst signs of spring emerge next year.
Fall gardening and lawn projects involve more than planting bulbs or fertilizing. Other important tasks include mowing, mulching, aerating, trimming and patching bald spots in your yard. With that in mind, put the following tasks on your fall lawn to-do list:
Mow regularly. Just because you’re not spending as much time hanging out in your yard doesn’t mean your grass can go without mowing. Grass that’s too high may attract field mice, whereas shorter grass is more resistant to disease and traps fewer falling leaves. Cutting the grass low also allows more sun to reach below the grass, so less will turn brown in the winter. That said, cutting off too much at one time can be damaging, so never trim more than a third of the grass blades off in a single cutting. Put mower blades on the lowest setting for the last two cuts of the season. Fill in bald spots. Finally, if you have bald spots in your lawn, now is the time to fix them using an all-in-one lawn repair mixture that includes grass seed, mulch and fertilizers. Water every day until the unsightly spot is filled. Aerate. Compressed soil can have a negative impact on your grass, so be sure to aerate your lawn, which punches holes into the soil, paving the way for a free flow of oxygen, water and nutrients. Try using a walk-behind aerator (you can rent them), or better yet, get an attachment to pull behind a riding mower. If you have a larger yard (more than three acres), and don’t feel like you can do it all yourself, you might want to consider hiring a landscaper. Fertilize. If you only fertilize your lawn once a year, make sure it’s in the fall. Applying fertilizer now will deliver essential nutrients for the grass to grow deep roots, while storing some for a healthy start in the spring. In the mid-to-late fall, completely cover your lawn with a dry lawn fertilizer using a broadcast spreader or drop spreader. Again, if you’re lawn is larger, or you have a hilly or tough terrain, you can bring in the professionals. Knock out these fall lawn projects now to reap the benefits in the spring. The mowing part is easy, but it’s possible to get other projects taken care of all at once by a landscaping professional if you don’t feel like doing it yourself. This will allow you more time to enjoy fall activities.
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‘Tis the Season
TO PRE PARE YOUR H OME FOR CO L D WE ATHER AND PREVENT AN INSUR ANCE CLAIM Fall will soon be turning into winter, which means it’s time to start preparing for the cold weather and snow that winter brings. Approximately one-fifth of homeowners insurance claims are brought on by damage caused by water or cold temperatures—much of which comes as a result of snowy conditions, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Although standard homeowners and renters policies cover winter-related damage, such as that caused by pipe bursts, ice dams and wind, as well as damage caused by either the weight of ice or snow, there are a few steps homeowners can take inside and outside of their home to protect them before winter kicks in. These include:
CLEANING OUT THE GUTTERS. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris so melting snow and ice can flow freely, which prevents damming, a condition in which water seeps into the house, potentially damaging ceilings and walls. Weighed down gutters can also rip away from the house, causing damage to the exterior of your home. INSTALLING GUTTER GUARDS. This prevents debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground. TRIMMING TREES AND REMOVING DEAD BRANCHES. Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car, or injure someone walking by your property. ADDING EXTRA INSULATION TO ATTICS, BASEMENTS AND CRAWL SPACES. If too much heat escapes through the attic, it can cause snow or ice to melt and then refreeze on the roof, resulting in an ice dam that can cause significant roof damage. Well-insulated basements, crawl spaces and unfinished rooms, such as garages, protect pipes from freezing.
PROVIDING A RELIABLE BACK-UP POWER SOURCE. In the event of an electrical outage, continuous power will help prevent frozen pipes. Consider purchasing a portable generator to ensure your household’s safety. Keep in mind that coverage for flooding, including flooding caused by melting snow, is available from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and from some private insurance companies. Remember also that melting snow can overburden sewer systems, causing raw sewage to back up into the drains in your home. Backed up sewers can cause thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Sewer back-up coverage can be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to your homeowners or renters policy.
Speak to your insurance provider to make sure that your homeowners policy will protect you in case of unforeseen winter damage. But as a precaution, be sure to prepare your home to avoid a costly claim!
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Your protection needs are unique. Shouldn't your insurance coverage be just as well? I am committed to learning what you need. And, just as important, what you don't. Call me or stop by to get a quote today.
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Personalized service. Trusted advice.
How to Maintain and Care For Hardwood Floors Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition that raise home value and last a lifetime. In order to ensure your hardwood floors pay back their investment, it is important to clean and maintain them properly. These tips will help you reduce the risk of damage and enjoy immaculate hardwood flooring for years to come.
Daily Care Hardwood flooring requires daily care to stay in top condition. These chores can be done quickly in your spare time throughout the day. A dry microfiber mop is the best way to pick up fine hairs, dust, and dirt. Microfiber draws small particles into the cloth, so it is ideal for preventing a buildup of dust and fine debris. A broom can be used to sweep up larger messes and dirt that collects around doorways. After sweeping, follow with the dry mop to ensure the floors are completely clean. It is important to complete these daily care steps to prevent scratches resulting from dirty floors. Vacuuming Hardwood Floors Once or twice a week, depending on your needs, run a vacuum over your floors to pick up dirt you might have missed with the dry mop. Be sure not to use a vacuum with the beater bar down because this can scratch and damage floors. Opt for a soft brush attachment instead. The wheels of the vacuum can also affect the hardwood, so a lightweight weight vacuum is a good option. Mopping Hardwood Floors After running the vacuum, wipe over the floors with a wet mop. Avoid using too many cleaning products on your hardwood because it can leave behind a residue. The floor should only be slightly damp as you use the wet mop. Be careful to avoid using too much water when mopping to avoid floor damage. For this reason, twist mops and steam mops are not generally recommended.
Spot Cleaning For spot cleaning, wipe up the mess with a damp microfiber cloth. Wipe up excess water after the area is clean. The area between planks can be cleaned with a small toothbrush to scrub away dirt that collects in the cracks. Donâ€™t forget to clean corners and areas the vacuum canâ€™t reach. Protect Flooring In addition to cleaning, you need to take some precautions to protect your hardwood floors. Avoid walking on your hardwood floors while wearing dirty shoes. Adding door mats are a good way to prevent dirt from being tracked inside. You should also use protective caps or padding under heavy furniture. This will protect the floors when the furniture needs to be moved and it also prevents denting. Devoting some time to daily care and cleaning will keep your hardwood floors in top condition. Take some measures to protect your flooring from excess dirt being tracked in and use padding beneath heavy furniture. Proper hardwood care will ensure your floors retain their quality and decrease chances of damage.
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Fall Home Considerations to Make Before Winter While the spring is the standard time to clean and declutter your home, fall is also a great opportunity to examine areas you may have overlooked, refresh any spaces that feel dull, and consider safety measures. Get softer lights. Shorter days and colder weather mean we’ll be spending a lot more time indoors. Switch to light bulbs that have softer light that is easier on the eyes. Poor quality or bright light can cause unneeded eye strain. Use this time to make the switch to LED bulbs if you haven’t already – they last longer and are cheaper than ever. Refresh. Give rooms a facelift by switching out the old carpeting or area rugs. Opt for a hypoallergenic option to help you enjoy the comfort of the carpet, while not worrying about its allergens, microbes and odors. Give your bedroom linens a refresh as well, by making the switch to warmer flannel sheets and blankets that will keep you warm and cozy in the night. Safety first. October is Fire Prevention Month, and it is the perfect time to take stock of your home’s fire safety by testing alarms to ensure that the devices and batteries are functioning properly. Replace any alarms that are outdated and install new alarms in your home. One should be located on every level and in every bedroom of the home. Fire deaths are often caused by dead or missing batteries or no alarms at all – so keep your family safe. And if you don’t have any, it is now the time to install carbon monoxide detectors as well. Speaking of cozy – keep that way during the long, cold months ahead with a basket in the living room and den filled with comfy throws and blankets. You’ll want to reach for one on those colder nights when all you want to do is curl up with a book or a movie.
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and Save Money With These Heating Tips Year after year, many homeowners find themselves surprised when their first heating bill arrives. Now that colder weather has arrived, it’s time to find some ways to stay warm while saving money. The frugal-minded tend to turn to extra blankets and multiple layers in lieu of paying expensive heating bills, but at the end of the day, you should be comfortable in your own home. With a little knowledge and a few behavior tweaks, you can heat your home much more efficiently, without sacrificing your comfort or your hard-earned paycheck:
By setting your winter thermostat to 68 degrees while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home, you can save up to 10 percent a year on heating costs. Just simply turn your thermostat back anywhere from 7-10 degrees for approximately eight hours a day.
year on heating costs! If you have pets in your home, your filters are probably even dirtier - changing them once a month is recommended. Taking this step will not only save you money, but also likely prolong the life of your furnace. Have your local heating and air company regularly service your furnace to make sure things are running properly.
CHANGE YOUR FILTERS
SEAL CRACKS AND DUCTS
Dirty air filters restrict airflow and increase your energy use. Changing the filters on your furnace or heating unit at least every three months can save you anywhere from 4-6 percent a
Windows and doors account for a large amount of heat loss in homes. In fact, installing weather-stripping or caulking leaky doors and windows can save you up to 10 percent on heating
TURN DOWN THE TEMPERATURE
costs. Ducts are another culprit of heat loss, accounting for 25-30 percent of heating costs in the average home. Consider having your HVAC company inspect everything before the really cold weather hits to test the tightness of your ducts and repair any leaks or restrictions. USE YOUR FAN
While ceiling fans are excellent tools for staying cool in the summer, they can also be adjusted to help you stay warm in the winter. Many fan models have a switch that allows the blades to spin clockwise, which will push warm air that rose to the ceiling back down into the room.
KEEP YOUR CHIMNEY CLOSED
If your home has a fireplace, remember to keep the damper closed when itâ€™s not in use. Consider a chimney balloon (an inflatable device that goes in the chimney) to further keep the cold air out and the warm air from escaping.
Follow these tips and reach out to your local heating and air company to give your system a cold weather check-up to save money and stay warm this season.
Don’t Wait for Winter
Service Your Furnace or Boiler Now Late fall or early winter is the time most of us begin to crank up our heat, hoping to get toasty right away. But if you have a boiler or furnace, that heat could not be working come the chilly part of the year. That’s why it’s important not to wait until the last minute to service your heating system.
L ots of homeowners have good
intentions when it comes to scheduling maintenance, but it’s easy to forget things like tune-ups when your equipment is still operating correctly. It only becomes an issue when something breaks or fails. The last thing anyone wants however, is to be without heat when the temperatures are below freezing. So, while its on your mind now, schedule a tune-up for your furnace or boiler. You’ll also beat the crowd in getting it done now, as opposed to waiting until the weather cools. Additionally, there’s many other reasons to tune up your system: Prevent frozen pipes. It’s not unusual for homeowners to lower the thermostat while they’re away from home. However, residents should maintain a regular temperature in their home—around 65 degrees—to avoid bursting or frozen pipes.
It prolongs the life of your furnace. Regular maintenance can keep your furnace working at maximum efficiency and actually lengthen the life of the equipment. And you might not know this but skipping annual maintenance can often void a manufacturer’s warranty. So not only are you hurting the system, you’re potentially hurting your wallet. It helps you stay safe. Most furnaces are gas-burning, which produces carbon monoxide. A leak could prove dangerous or even fatal. During routine maintenance, a technician will take preventative measures to ensure this can’t happen, such as changing the filter and giving the furnace a thorough cleaning. Install a carbon monoxide detector as well if you don’t have one already. So, before the cold weather comes in the coming months, contact your local heating company to come perform a furnace or boiler check-up. You’ll thank yourself later.
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POWER THROUGH YOUR CLEAN-UP LIST WITH A PRESSURE WASHER
Do you have a lot to clean this summer and not a lot of time to do it? Consider pressure washing (also known as power washing). Pressure washers aren’t just for cleaning your home’s exterior before painting or getting gunk off the roof – they can be used to clean much more. While not cheap, you can purchase or rent one, or reach out to a local pressure washing service to do it for you.
Clean patio furniture. Has your deck or patio furniture built up pollen or grime this summer? Forget the scrub brush, soapy water, and elbow grease and make quick work of cleaning wood and iron furniture with a pressure washer. Just don’t spray too close. See that the washer tip is held a few feet away – otherwise it can strip paint or other finishes. Banish weeds and dead plants. If you have deep-rooted weeds or dead grass entrenched between pavestones, slate tiles, or concrete cracks in your yard or on your patio, don’t bust your knees bending down to pull them out or risk spraying harmful chemicals. Blast them with a pressure washer to remove weeds right down to the root. Restore the shine to glass. Remove the film and stains that accumulate on outdoor glass tables or windows with your power washer, making it sparkle like new again.
Make stonework gleam. While you’re removing weeds, blast the pavestones and tiles with a pressure washer to remove dirt from them as well. And quickly remove dirt and mildew from stone or concrete planters, birdbaths and garden statues by hitting them with the pressure washer as well. Clean your deck or patio. Has your deck or patio been in high use this summer? Give it a mid-season refresh with a pressure washer to get rid of stains from things like grease from the grill. If you need to really spruce up the deck, pressure wash those fading stains away, and re-stain it. Spend more time this summer actually enjoying the weather by hiring a pressure washing service or renting one yourself. You can check off more boxes on your To Do list and even tackle your home’s exterior or roof as well.
Make Your Home’s Property Look New Again!
Got well water? No problem – we bring the water on-site for your cleaning project.
No job is too big for us to handle! Cleaning services include: • Decks • Walkways • Driveways • Siding • Roofs • Fencing • Playground Equipment Contact us for a free estimate!
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WHY GET TING A HOME INSPECTION IS A MUST BEFORE YOU BUY You’re anxious to close on the home of your dreams, and soon you’ll be cutting a lot of checks for things like real estate agent commission or lawyer fees, not to mention the taxes and closing costs. So, it can be tempting to skip a home inspection to save some money. After all, you’ve looked at the house a lot, you’re sure it’s the right one and it looks great. Well, don’t skimp – getting an inspection is one of the most important things you can do.
Let us protect what you value most. AUTO | HOME | BUSINESS | LIFE | FARM
Contact me today to get started. GREGG ARVEY Arvey Insurance Agency, Inc. 1506 Spartanburg Hwy. Hendersonville, NC 28792 (828) 693-9990 firstname.lastname@example.org Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies. Columbus, OH. Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ÂŠ 2017 Nationwide 5145677
HERE’S WHAT AN INSPECTION CAN DO FOR YOU: Discover Hidden Flaws Not all flaws in a home are easy to spot by the untrained eye, and an experienced home inspector can look for problems that could cost you later. Small cracks in walls and surfaces and problems with pipes and other plumbing components can be looked for during the inspection. If the home has a crawlspace, the inspector can also check its condition and inform you of any problems. A trained inspector will also check the condition of a home’s attic and foundation and look for signs of damage. Any issues that are discovered can be negotiated into a potentially lower purchase price.
Provide an Accurate Home Valuation Speaking of a potentially lower purchase price, a home inspector will help you determine whether the listed price is too high or too low, so that you can negotiate to get the fairest deal. Even if the seller says they had an appraisal in the past, you’ll want to confirm with your own advisor, as property values can of course fluctuate.
Establish Your Property’s Boundaries Just because you think the property boundaries are set, it might not be the case. Just looking at the size and layout of the house and yard isn’t the best way to determine the property boundaries, and a knowledgeable home inspector can tell you exactly where the property begins and ends. Your property might be bigger or smaller than you thought and knowing this information can help you establish agreements with the neighbors and possibly avoid conflicts. You’ll also know exactly what you’re liable for if damage occurs within or beyond your property line. After a property line has been officially established, you should mark it for future reference in case you want to build a fence or make changes to the home that may come close to that line. Finally, if anything that comes up in an inspection makes you uncomfortable, it could provide one last chance to get out of a deal. Hiring a trusted home inspector is extremely important, as they can reveal the inner workings of the property and inform you of all the perks and problems of the property you are about to buy.
Helping to Make Your New Home Move-in Ready! Specializing in Post-Construction Clean-Up Services for new Homes or Those Under Construction
Our services include but not limited to: • Cleaning cabinets and drawers inside and out. • Cleaning counter tops and sinks, fixtures polished and removing labels or other packaging.
New home construction comes with lots of dirt, dust and debris. After the building is done, let us take care of the clean up so you can focus on what’s most important – enjoying your new home!
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• Cleaning bathtubs, shower stalls, toilets, and shower doors. • Mirrors and all glass cleaned and polished. • Vacumming of all carpets. • Washing all windows, interior and exterior, and cleaning all tracts.
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