Pocono Home Magazine

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LOOK INSIDE - Spring Cleaning - Featured Hardscapes - Home Buying T ips - Featured Home - Garden Planning



Local expertise. National reach.

KW Commercial, The Daniel Perich Group is a team of real estate professionals who specialize in commercial, industrial and investment real estate. With a combined 80 years of experience and hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions, The Daniel Perich Group has become the premier commercial real estate company in the Poconos and surrounding

markets selling over $118MM in commercial real estate since 2015. Their alliance with

community as is evident by their dominance each year over the competition.

KW Commercial gives them a national platform while their local roots connect them to the


Letter from Pocono Home

• Publisher SBC Publishing • Business & Marketing Amanda Kuhn • Creative & Graphic Design Kelly Slinger • Copy Editor Robin Kuchinski • Distribution Tina Nicholas • Contributing Writers Kimberly Blaker Heather Hanson Amanda Kuhn

Why does it feel like home issues come in pairs? First your furnace breaks and then the next day your washing machine stops draining. Your well pump goes and then a new leak springs from your faucet. Homeownership comes with all kinds of unexpected, and expensive, surprises. When these problems arise, and you know they will, it’s important to know who to call. We’re proud to introduce to you Pocono Home, a seasonal publication created to help Pocono residents know who to call and where to turn when faced with home related projects or issues. From interiors to exteriors and everything in between, we’ll talk to the professionals in our area and get the scoop on topics that pertain to anyone who owns a home or is thinking about buying a home in the Poconos. We hope you enjoy this issue. Be sure to visit us online for more information.

• Contributing Features F & F Paving Grant Hilfiger Contracting


Mountain Landscaping R.W. Buff


Whether you’re a life long resident, permanent transplant, or seasonal vacationer - owning a home requires a team of experts. From navigating the real estate market to servicing the major systems in your home, it helps to know where to turn for trusted advice or solutions.

Pocono Home Magazine

Pocono Home Magazine is a local resource designed to inform and

PO Box 431

educate the Pocono community on all aspects of homeownership.

Cresco, PA 18326 P: (570) 807.6810 Amanda Kuhn (570) 807.6810 amanda@poconohomemag.com

Published seasonally, each issue of Pocono Home Magazine will feature professional advice, real estate exclusives, local projects, design tips and more. We will collaborate with local professionals to bring you useful and engaging information relevant to the unique Pocono landscape.

Kelly Slinger (570) 807.6823 kelly@poconohomemag.com

FOLLOW US Website PoconoHomeMag.com Facebook PoconoHomeMag Copyright 2020 Pocono Home Magazine is owned and published by SBC Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, including and without limitation to advertisements, art, photo, design and editorial pieces, without the written consent of SBC Publishing.

on the cover RW Buff Inc. New Home Construction



• Starting Home Remodeling


• Featured Home


• Pocono Home Show


• Home Buying Tips


• Featured Hardscape


• Featured Remodel


• Bringing the Indoors Out


• Ultimate Kitchen


• Becoming a Homeowner


• Spring Cleaning 101


• Featured Upgrade


• Livable Oasis


• Garden Planning


• Tick Prevention


• Pocono Paradise Rentals


• Bigger ROI

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Starting a Home Remodeling Project TIPS FOR CHOOSING A QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR Outside of the home itself, remodeling is typically one of the largest investments you can make as a homeowner.

Ask for Licenses & Insurance

While some projects can be tempting to tackle yourself,

Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed,

many larger-scale projects may require hiring a qualified

bonded and insured. Ask for copies of licenses and insurance


certificates for any remodelers you're considering to make

Because remodeling your home is a big undertaking, it's important to take steps to ensure the professional you hire to perform the work is qualified to complete it to the highest standards of quality and integrity.

sure they're current. Most states also require contractors to carry worker's compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance for their crews. Contact your state or local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor meets the minimum requirements.

Consider these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to help you make an informed decision when hiring a remodeling contractor.

Check References Once you've narrowed your list of potential contractors, ask

Get Recommendations

for a list of references you can contact and a portfolio of

One of the best ways to find qualified, professional help is

dates as well as the customer's name, address and phone

through word-of-mouth referrals. Ask your relatives, friends, neighbors or co-workers - particularly if they've recently renovated their own homes - if they have any previous experience with companies they would recommend. Also consider searching online for reviews of companies in your

work. A typical reference list includes 10 or more jobs with number, and a portfolio should also contain at least 10 projects with photos of the space before work began, during the project and after completion. If possible, also consider visiting a current job site to see first-hand how the contractor operates.


Search for Violations or Complaints Stay Local It's often best to consider established local remodeling companies first, as they are typically more compelled to perform high-quality work, which allows their businesses to thrive and remain in the community. Local professionals are

Because you can't always rely on a portfolio or references, it's important to also check with your local consumer affairs office or the Better Business Bureau to ensure there are no complaints on record for the contractors you're considering, which may help further narrow your list.

also likely to know permit requirements and building codes in your city or county, which can change from year to year.

Compare Apples to Apples

Follow Your Design Aesthetic

While a number of different factors goes into every

Whether your home features a mid-century modern,

bids from are using the same scope and quality of work

contemporary or farmhouse design style, it's critical to choose a remodeler who is knowledgeable in the construction and design of the style of your home. Additionally, a company that specializes in remodeling kitchens may not be suited for a bathroom or bedroom project.

remodeling project, be sure all contractors you solicit requirements. Discuss any significant variations in price or timelines and be wary of any substantially lower estimates. Find more tips for selecting a contractor at remodelingdoneright.com.  By Family Features

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Photos by Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay

Remodeling is typically one of the largest investments you can make as a homeowner. While some projects can be tempting to tackle yourself, many larger-scale projects may require hiring a qualified professional.

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Greater Pocono Home & Outdoor Living Show

@ Kalahari Resorts & Conventions The Greater Pocono Home & Outdoor Living Show takes

variety of support groups including a breakfast club, lunch

place at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions March 28 & 29.

bunch and an evening group. Breast Friends also assembles

The home show will be one of the first public events to take

Chemo Kits.

plane in the newly expanded convention center at Kalahari. Innovative and cutting-edge building and remodeling services and products for spring 2020 will be featured at this year’s show. The show is made possible through the generous support of our sponsors: R F Ohl, Advanced Concrete Manufacturer of Superior Walls, Erbs Landscaping, Liberty Homes Custom Builders. Get a jump start on your next building project. Home Show vendors can provide expert advice on building a custom home, starting an addition, kitchen or bath remodel or installing a new HVAC system. Talk with finance professionals to assist you in funding your project. See the largest display of landscape exhibits and largest number of builders and remodeler vendors of any home show in NEPA. The home show features over 150 vendors booths making this the largest show of its kind in NEPA. Consumers will be pleased as the 2020 home show features a number of new vendors and interesting exhibits in the show. Vendors also offer show deals and specials. Make sure you ask vendors for details on their show specials. Pocono Raceway is this year’s prize sponsor. Consumers visiting the show can complete raffle tickets and be eligible to win 300 Level tickets for Saturday June 27th. Two lucky winners will receive 4 (four) 300 level tickets. The day also includes a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race in the morning followed by a NASCAR Cup Series race in the afternoon. Breast Friends of PA has been designated as the 2020 home show non-profit organization. Breast Friends is dedicated to improving the quality of life for female cancer patients. The organization provides services to women affected by breast cancer or any women’s cancer. The organization hosts a

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This year visitors coming to the home show are encouraged to bring the following items needed for the Chemo Kits: chap sticks, cross word puzzles and coloring books and crayons, playing cards, reading materials, journals, blankets and any items that can keep women busy during chemotherapy. The Market Place, an area of the show designated to cash ‘n carry products consists of merchants presenting unique and interesting products. From wood sculpture and jewelry to pottery and linens, the Market Place is a nice break in the show to pick up interesting gift items and merchandise. The home show committee is proud of its family friendly atmosphere. So, bring the kids. “Bob the Builder” will be available for photos. Bring your cameras and post your pics on Facebook and share in the excitement of the home show. Children accompanied by their parents can participate in the annual Scavenger Hunt, a seek and find type puzzle that spells out a phrase that relates the Pocono Mountains to the Kalahari Desert. There will prizes awarded each day of the home show. Parents can pick up scavenger hunt quest sheet at the registration area at the entrance to the home show. Visitors to the show will receive a show guide, compliments of Happenings Magazine. The 2020 edition of the Pocono Builders Association’s membership directory and buyers guide will be available. This directory is a must-have compendium of qualified builders, remodelers, tradesmen, artisans and material and building products suppliers. The How to Hire a Reputable Contractor will also be available. Professional and dedicated staff and volunteers will make your home show experience the best it can be. The Monroe County Chapter of the American Red Cross Volunteers serve as the show’s Welcome Committee. 

The Greater Pocono Home & Outdoor Living Show is presented by the Pocono Builders Association.

Show hours

The association was chartered in 1970 and is

Saturday, March 28th

Sunday, March 29th

dedicated to the collective creation of value for

10am - 6pm

10am - 5pm

its members. The association is the unified voice of the Pocono Mountain’s building industry. The organization promotes economic development while respecting the environment and community.

admission $5.00 (general admission) | Free (children under 18)

For more information visit: www.PoconoBuilders.org or call (570) 421-9009.

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featured hardscape • What are some key factors I should consider when deciding to add an outdoor kitchen or fireplace? The biggest decisions when adding outdoor living space are features, size and location. These three factors will help determine an accurate budget for your project.

• Will you help me with the design? Whether a small or large project, our team will help you create a design for one or more outdoor living features that will be both functional and cost effective.

• Does an outdoor fire pit or kitchen improve the value of my home? An outdoor living space such as a patio, fire pit or kitchen can absolutely increase the value of your home. In the 10 |

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event you decided to sell your home, potential buyers will be attracted to usable outdoor space to enjoy with family and friends.

• What is the maintenance like? While our company offers a broad range of maintenance services, most fire pits or kitchens can easily be maintained by the homeowner.

• Where should I begin? Set up a time to discuss the project and check out the space? The first step in creating your dream outdoor living space is to call our office and schedule a time for one of our team members to come out to your property. We can discuss features, location and budget which will allow us to begin the design process.

MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPING (570) 646-5335 | 115 Route 423 • Pocono Pines, PA & 6302 Route 191 • Cresco, PA | www.mtnlandscaping.com

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2020 outdoor living trends are all about enjoying your backyard alfresco - but with the comfort and ease you expect from your indoor spaces. Today's outdoor spaces are transforming into an extension of the home. The current outdoor design also takes into account the look and feel of your entire home, including the interior and exterior, building materials and surroundings. 12 |

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Connecting with nature: Biophilic design. design. Biophilic design is achieved when natural elements are incorporated into the space, helping people feel connected to the natural environment. It creates a calm, tranquil space and reduces stress. Biophilia makes sense for indoor urban environments needing to bring the outdoors in, but how does it work when you're already outside? Biophilic design for outdoor spaces means integrating natural elements with constructed elements to create a harmonious space. A plant wall or raised garden bed can integrate greenery and pops of color with the built elements

Modular, sectional pieces with clean lines and streamlined design can be arranged and re-arranged to accommodate any natural elements you want to incorporate in your space, or to handle different numbers of guests when entertaining. The minimalist approach to furnishings also allows the natural elements around you to take center stage.

Multifunctional spaces. spaces. Whether your home is in an urban area with limited green space, or you want to optimize your outdoor living, get creative:

of your outdoor space. It also means using natural materials,

• Add vertical planters

like wood and stone, to complement the surrounding

• Hang hammocks for lounging


• Create built-in seating

Create greener, more sustainable spaces to celebrate the

• Build raised garden beds

environment, which can help encourage pollinators, grow

Here's where some of that modular seating can come in

healthy food and forge a cohesive outdoor space. You can

handy, too. Some homes make good use of their front

also use materials such as Belgard's permeable pavers,

porches and yards, instead, which invites more neighborhood

which allow water to drain through the surface, replenishing

engagement and a feeling of community.

the soil and aquifers beneath your path, walkway or driveway.

More than just a grill.

Entertaining both night and day. Regardless of the time of day - or year - you and your family

Today's homeowners want much more than a grill in the

can relax comfortably in your outdoor sanctuary, thanks to

backyard. With aspirations to cook and entertain guests

modern technology and the latest outdoor installations:

outdoors with everything the best outdoor kitchen can offer, the possibilities are endless - from grills to cooktops and ovens or even a wine cooler and an outdoor bar. Homeowners also have many options when it comes to the design and price point of their outdoor kitchen. Some may lean toward a grill island, adding prep and storage space to their grilling station, while others might create a full-on outdoor kitchen with a grill, smoker, refrigerator, sink, seating area and more.

Sleek, modern design. While it may seem contrary to the more organic approach of biophilic design, the contemporary trend toward sleek, modular furniture can enhance your outdoor space.

• LED lighting is installed in a variety of ways. You can install strips of light and/or spotlights, even using multiple colors, to add flair at night. • In the harsh sunlight, large umbrellas and movable shade walls or screens can keep your space cool and more comfortable. Whether you have a straightforward vision for a patio or dream of elaborate outdoor living spaces, these ideas can help you create your oasis. For more information on how you can upgrade your outdoor space, visit Belgard.com.  By Brand Point

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Looking to Buy a Home? 2 0 2 0 M AY B E Y O U R Y E A R

If buying a home is on your near-future to-do list, experts say

Khater stresses that while mortgage rates are an essential

that 2020 may be a good year to make it happen. Mortgage

factor to consider in the home-buying process, there are

interest rates are near historic lows, providing you with the

other important items to think about as well as you lay the

opportunity to finance a new home purchase at a much lower

groundwork for your purchase. These include getting a


firm handle on your finances, knowing your credit score

According to a new forecast from Freddie Mac, mortgage rates will stay in the 3-4 percent range for all of 2020 and 2021, giving prospective homeowners substantial time to plan their purchase. This, combined with modest inflation

(and taking steps to boost it if necessary) and familiarizing yourself with down payment options. For more information and tools on home buying and homeownership, visit myhome.freddiemac.

and a solid labor market, makes for good climate to buy a

Whether you are making the jump from renting to owning,

home with a fixed rate mortgage. For those who are already

or looking for a home that better meets your current needs,

homeowners, refinancing now may be a good idea.

now may be a great time to consider making your real estate

“For those serious about homeownership, today’s sub 4 percent mortgage rates should not be taken for granted,” says Freddie Mac chief economist, Sam Khater. “For comparative purposes, in 2000, rates averaged eight percent; and in the 80s, they spiked to 18.5 percent.”

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dreams a reality. Today’s low rates could save you money for years to come.  By State Point

Empowered to Build. Empowered to Renovate. Put the power of the ESSA Mortgage Team to work for your Construction or Renovation Loan! Betty Gambucci, Mortgage Professional NMLS# 454164 570-688-9345 bgambucc@essabank.com

Barbara Marchette, Mortgage Professional NMLS# 414187 570-422-2571 bmarchet@essabank.com

Elizabeth Burda, Mortgage Professional NMLS# 1646722 484-661-5090 eburda@essabank.com

Meredith Chimock, Residential Mortgage Sales Manager NMLS# 697201 570-408-8024 mchimock@essabank.com

Eleanor Miller, Mortgage Professional NMLS# 527958 610-849-4029 emiller@essabank.com

Be Empowered essabank.com/Mortgage

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Serving the Pocono since 1978, F&F Paving & Excavating offers a variety of asphalt maintenance services. From construction of a newly paved driveway to removal and replacement of an existing driveway or parking area, F&F has the experience needed to complete any type of residential or commercial project. Also offering seal coating, line striping and general asphalt maintenance, the experts at F&F are equipped to help you maintain your investment.

featured upgrade

F&F PAVING AND EXCAVATING INC. (570) 629-4537 | 108 Learn Road • Tannersville, PA | www.ffpave.com

If you’re considering this type of exterior upgrade to your

same spot over long periods of time. This reduces the heavy

home or business, F&F can answer all your questions and

loading on a typical residential driveway and can reduce the

help you prepare for the project ahead. Here are some tips

occurrences of oil or gasoline spills which can be harmful to

these pros gave us to get you started.

your driveway.

• What are some key factors to consider?

• What can I expect price-wise?

Key factors to consider when making the decision to pave

Driveway pricing can vary considerably on a case by case

and/or replace your driveway include the following:

basis, which is why it is always recommended for a paving

• Increasing the "curb appeal" of your home, a neater/cleaner outside means cleaner inside i.e. less mud, dirt, dust, etc. into the home

• Less maintenance over time especially during the winter

months makes for easier snow removal, snow blowing, etc.

• Paving provides the best overall value for your money when it comes to driveway options

• Is paving with asphalt the best option? Paving with asphalt is the best option because it gives the best overall value for a driveway. It allows for a lasting product at a reasonable investment. Other options such as concrete can be more durable but the drawbacks are the considerable amount of work for installation, and it can be extremely expensive in comparison. Paver blocks may look

professional to come out and see your driveway in person and meet face to face. We offer free onsite estimates to customers and in most cases can provide pricing on the spot. Whether your driveway is existing asphalt, existing stone base, grass area, or concrete can all effect the amount of work which is required to prep your driveway for proper asphalt installation. However when the time comes to price the driveway, know what to look for and what questions to ask. If your driveway is already paved, if unknown, find out when the last time it was paved, and by whom? Also, in this case ask for two prices; one to completely remove the old asphalt and one to go over the existing asphalt. Ask what the plans are for any deteriorated areas, potholes, etc. Tip: It is always recommended to remediate those bad areas prior to repaving.

• How can I prepare for our first meeting?

more aesthetically pleasing however the cost can be similar

On any driveway, a paving professional is always going to

to concrete or even more with less of a life span especially in

measure the square footage area of the driveway to figure

winter conditions. Stone is by far the cheapest option but the

out their materials needed which is the basis for pricing.

maintenance is constant especially in the winter.

If possible roughly take these measurements beforehand

Though asphalt paving is still an investment of your home, it is by far the best value for its function.

• What’s the maintenance like? With general maintenance of crack sealing and seal coating, a driveway can last upwards of ten to fifteen years in the right conditions. Also the initial maintenance of the driveway edges after installation is important. Backfilling the edges creates support to the weakest area of the driveway and will reduce the onset of cracking over time. Another good tip for extended maintenance is to try and limit the amount of large heavy truck deliveries or parking vehicles in the

yourself to compare your measurements to theirs. Ask questions about water drainage, if its not obvious ask what their plans for proper drainage will be? Ask how long they have been in business, if there are other jobs in the area they can see prior to making their decision. Talk to friends, neighbors and colleagues and get their recommendations. It is tempting and easy to just rely of a quick search engine result but try and educate yourself beyond that. The point is to educate yourself as much as possible as you'd do in any major purchase in life, with the result of you being happy and satisfied with the work done. Rely on the experience of the contractor and recommendations and try and refrain from bargain shopping, the result most always ends up being "you get what you pay for".

Home Upgrades

Home Upgrades

that are good for the environment Consumers today are more mindful about the environmental impact of everything they do, from driving and traveling to

Upgrade your heating & cooling system

energy usage in their homes. Fortunately, there are a few

Heating and cooling your home uses the most energy, so

simple steps homeowners can take to save energy and help

investing in Energy Star certified HVAC products can make a

the environment.

big difference when it comes to cutting energy costs and your

Boost your insulation

home's impact on the environment.

You may already know what areas of your home are poorly insulated, simply by how you feel when it's cold or hot outside. You can have a professional home energy audit conducted to help pinpoint areas that need improvement. Many energy companies provide an audit free of charge. Start with the attic: If your attic is insufficiently insulated, you could be losing a lot of heat over the winter, which means your home is wasting energy - and money. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that boosting attic insulation can save 10-50 percent on heating costs.

For a new HVAC system in a variety of styles to fit any dĂŠcor that can be easily installed by a contractor, you might consider wall-mounted duct-free systems from a trusted brand like LG. They offer a variety of ultra-quiet "Art Cool" options (the sleek Mirror, stylish Premier and unique Gallery, which looks like a picture frame and allows you to display your own artwork). These systems are smart-enabled, allowing homeowners to adjust the temperature from their LG ThinQ app for Android and iOS users, or with simple commands via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The most eco-conscious consumers will want to look for "Energy Star Most Efficient" HVAC solutions. For example,

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the Art Cool Mirror earned the 2019 designation and also features advanced "Reliable to Extreme Degrees" LGRED, heating technology that delivers 100 percent heating capacity down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit and continuous heating down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep you warm and comfortable all winter long with remarkable energy efficiency.

Replace doors & windows You may be losing a lot of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer through your doors and windows, especially if they're older. The latest energy-efficient models of windows and doors not only reduce leaks around the frames, but they're made from materials that enhance insulation. Doors: According to EnergyStar.gov, energy-efficient doors not only fit better and have improved weather stripping to reduce air leakage, but also use improved core materials for superior insulation. Where glass is used, they reduce heat flow via double- or triple-paned insulating glass. Windows: Energy Star qualified windows use superior framing materials, including multiple panes of glass, with air- or gas-filled space between for additional insulation.

› Paving › Excavating › Screened Dirt & Fill › Commercial Site Work › Septic & Sewer Installations › Topsoil & Stone Delivery › Parking Lot Paving › Parking Lot Maintenance › Material Hauling › Pipe Installation

108 Learn Road, Tannersville, PA 18372 P: 570.629.4537 / F: 570.629.8655 www.ffpave.com / sales@ffpave.com

They're made from Low-E (low emissivity) glass, with special coatings to reflect infrared light. Warm edge spacers keep the glass panes the correct distance apart reducing heat transfer through the window.

Go solar While most people are aware that solar power harnesses the sun's energy to create electricity, many don't know how easy and cost-effective it is to go solar. The newest technology behind solar energy has made it increasingly accessible and appealing for homeowners. For example, new energy solutions such as LG's "NeON R ACe" are high-efficiency solar panels that incorporate a built-in micro-inverter (that converts DC electricity to AC) instead of a separate traditional inverter. Recessed into the frame of the solar module, the micro-inverter simplifies the installation process and allows more flexibility to create a solar array that looks attractive on your roof. When going solar, it's important to seek out a brand you trust, one like LG that offers solar panels covered by a 25-year limited product, part and performance warranty.


Choosing just one area to upgrade will save energy, reducing your home's carbon footprint. You'll also feel more comfortable throughout the year, as you better regulate the temperature of your home.  By Brand Point

Carpet • COREtec • Hardwood Vinyl • Tile • Blinds (570) 595.7066 | info@sunshineflooringpa.com 984 Route 390, Cresco, PA 18326

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By: Heather Hanson

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We’ve made it past the point when a furry, brown

variety should get on the seed packet or plant marker. Two

meteorologist named Phil emerged from Gobbler’s Knob and

other big factors include space and soil quality.

let us know that winter’s icy grip may soon be loosening. For some – particularly those who have grown so weary of drab scenery that if someone mentions even one shade of gray again we might lose it – thoughts turn to happier, greener times and spring gardening. We start daydreaming about the fresh salads and juicy tomatoes that summer will soon share. But before we can harvest that bounty, there is a lot of prep and consideration to put into planting the summer garden. Here are some tips and tricks to getting you on your green-

when thumb way.

Space factors are a huge consideration when planning your garden. Not only do many popular crops – like summer squash, tomatoes and eggplant – need to be planted with at least two feet of growth space to produce well, a more spacious garden will also require more time for tending. Not to worry, even those with very limited space or time can enjoy homegrown goods by trying their hand at container gardening. In fact, many leading seed and plant companies, like Burpee and Bonnie, now carry special varieties of favorite vegetables specifically bred to do well in container environments. Soil factors and their importance are going to largely depend on the type of plants you are growing. Many vegetables, like

To start your garden you first need to decide whether it will

tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplant, prefer soil with

be from seed or with the garden-ready plants found at most

a pH level between 6 – 7. A good mix of organic materials

garden centers. When starting from seed, you have more

(i.e. composted material), minerals, and microscopic life

control over the selection and variety of plants you will be

are also vital to plant health. Some of these may be less

growing. On the other hand, starting with garden-ready plants

attainable in particularly sandy or clay-heavy soils. You may

is a bit more foolproof, particularly for the beginning gardener.

also deal with very rocky soil in mountainous regions. If your

Starting from seed will require that you begin sooner and most likely indoors. The general rule is that you start seeds sprouting 6 weeks prior to the last average frost in your area. This is to allow the plants ample time to sprout and build strong root systems before they head out in the unpredictable spring weather. You can find your last frost date from The Old Farmer’s Almanac or from Burpee’s interactive growing calendar which allows you to put in your zip code for specific information. Most places in Pennsylvania consider mid to late April as the time in which the last frost will occur.

area has less than ideal soil, you may want to consider raised bed gardens, which will allow you to fill them with high quality soil, enable the soil to warm quickly, and limit pests and weeds from overtaking your crops.


Though this is probably the first thing you thought of when you began daydreaming of green things during the depths

Start with plants you will begin planting around, or slightly

of winter, it truly should come after plans for space and time

later than, the previously mentioned last frost date. Some

commitment have been made. If you are having a hard time

particularly warm-loving crops like tomatoes and peppers fall

whittling down the list of all the things you want to plant, here

on the later end of the spectrum, especially in cool climates

are a few plans of action to consider.

like that found in Pennsylvania.


The first thing to consider when deciding on location is the amount of sun your crops will get in any given area. Anyone that remembers elementary school science recalls the magic of photosynthesis and the need of most vegetable-bearing crops to get as much sun as possible. This varies more for

Themed gardens can pack a powerful punch in a small space perhaps a layout that includes all of your favorite salad veggies. Or plant a garden that includes the tomatoes, peppers and herbs required in fantastic Mexican or Italian dishes. You can also consider companion planting , in which planting certain varieties together is thought to aid each in growth and pest control. One such garden is called the three sisters and was taught to European settlers by the Iroquois Indians. In such a garden, corn, pole beans and squash or pumpkins benefit from the close planting of one another. 

flowers and herbs, with indicators to the type of sun a certain

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Looking for an alternative to a hotel or resort? Pocono Paradise Rentals offer a selection of perfect homes away from home. Living, raising a family and owning businesses in the Pocono Mountains, the owners of Pocono Paradise Rentals enjoy all that the area has to offer and they’re ready to share it with their guests. From hiking, mountain biking and ATV's, the State Parks and National State Forest are the perfect playground for an upcoming getaway.

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It all started in 2015 with the Cozy Cottage, a comfortable, quiet, serene place to getaway. This lakefront home has been completely remodeled with modern amenities and everything needed for maximum comfort. Small and cozy with vaulted pine ceilings it feels like a large lakefront home. During the Spring and Summer months the loons, geese and even a Bald Eagle are daily visitors. The Treetop Bungalows consists of two vacation rentals, Birch Creek and Willow Creek, these units are perfect for couples, families or friends who want to have a fun weekend or are looking to make memories of a lifetime. They can be rented separately or combined for one large 4 bedroom unit. Located on a country road in Paradise Township in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, this country chic spot is a raised ranch making you feel like you are in the trees, overlooking a stream from the large deck. Fire pit area perfect for storytelling, roasting marshmallows or listening to nature at night and star gazing. Pack your hiking shoes or your mountain bike to enjoy the many hiking trails that are within 1 - 10 miles away. If trying your luck at the slots is your thing Mount Airy Casino is only 5 minutes away! The Lazy Log Cabin is a quaint, authentic log cabin waiting for your escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this log cabin is the perfect escape Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. A true Pocono gem, with wood throughout, a loft living area, fireplace and deck overlooking large pond. Hoping to escape the Poconos? Pocono Paradise Rentals has property in Florida too! St Pete Beach was named the #2 beach in the US by Trip Advisor. Slather on the sunscreen, slide on the flip flops, pack your beach

• Full service landscaping including design, installation and maintenance • Hardscape installation including walkways, patios, retaining walls and fire pits • Excavating, grading and drainage solutions • Lakefront and beach renovations and installations • Driveway repairs and improvements

bag and enjoy some time at the beach. This townhouse

• Driveway snow removal and ice control

is just a short walk to the main St. Pete Beach entrance,

• Spring and Fall cleanups

enjoy a cocktail, have some lunch at any of the local beach resorts all within a 1-mile walking distance. Our homes are just minutes from many of the Pocono Mountains attractions - skiing, hiking and biking trails, State Game Lands, shopping, wineries, kayaking/ canoeing all within a short 1-8 mile drive. It’s a perfect spot to experience all the Poconos has to offer. For more information about these properties and to book your next stay visit poconoparadiserentals.com. 

Think Outside The House Logan R. Evans, President (570) 646-5335 info@mtnlandscaping.com www.mtnlandscaping.com

Mountain Landscaping is a full service design,

POCONO PARADISE RENTALS (570) 872-4374 | www.poconoparadiserentals.com

installation and maintenance landscape and hardscape contractor.

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| 23

featured home The owners’ longtime dream to build a cottage for their

balusters and custom-made barn style pantry door the home

retirement finally came true in this beautiful craftsman styled

welcomes you to come in and visit. The well-planned kitchen

2,500 sq.ft. custom home appointed with many architectural

with large granite bar is open to the dining and great room so


the cook is always part of the action. The master suite on the

This craftsman styled 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath home with timber frame great room and front porch was designed from a photograph the owner had been dreaming about for quite some time. As you approach the home you are welcomed by a beautiful knotty alder front door with leaded glass beneath a grand timber frame and stone front porch. Upon entering

first floor just off the great room is well designed with his and her walk-in closets and a bath with custom tile shower. The second floor has two bright guest rooms, a full bath and an art studio. The home also boasts wide plank hardwood floors, a large mudroom and laundry, a two-car garage connected by a breezeway and a full basement ready for finishing.

the home, you are immediately taken by the warmth and

For all its charm, this house is a modern, highly efficient

charm of its craftsman styling in the dining entry and great

structure that includes insulated Zip wall sheathing, high

room. From its heavy timber frame trusses and large stone

efficiency windows, Hybrid dual fuel HVAC system, on

fireplace surrounded by tall windows to the classic white

demand gas hot water and low maintenance composite

painted crowned case work, natural pine doors, iron railing


R.W. BUFF INC. (570) 476-5437 | 50 Storm Street • Stroudsburg, PA | www.rwbuff.com 24 |

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Find Your Perfect Home Home Buying Tips to Avoid a Costly Mistake By: Kimberly Blaker

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Buying a home is often a highly emotional experience. It begins with the exciting prospect of finding your perfect home and the exhilarating idea of new beginnings. But as the hunt progresses, it can become an emotional roller coaster. After viewing many homes, you might fear you'll never find the right home. You may experience anxiety over whether you'll find a home within your budget – or because you've fallen in love with a home that's outside your budget. When you find the perfect house, you'll be dealing with frustration if another buyer beats you to the punch. When you do make an offer, you may be worried you offered too little or too much. You'll also experience disappointment if your offer is rejected. But once you've closed on your home and you're confident you made the right decision, you'll rejoice – and bask knowing it was worth every bit of the turbulent ride. Still, there's no greater stress than making the mistake of

wants, you should prioritize what's most important to you. As you begin your search, you can always add to your list or amend it. But it serves as a blueprint to narrow your search and help keep you on track. When you find a home that wows you, look at your criteria to make sure the house has all or most of your must-haves. If it doesn't, maybe you'll decide your criteria have changed, and this home is just what you want. On the other hand, it might also bring you back down to earth and encourage you to continue searching for a home that better suits your needs.

How much of a home can you afford? Determining this is a two-step process.

buying a home that, for any number of reasons, you come to

First, prepare a budget and figure out how much you can

regret. So follow these recommendations to get you started

comfortably spend each month on mortgage and interest

on the right foot and help you stay on course in finding your

payments, property taxes, and homeowner's insurance. Also,

perfect (or near-perfect) home.

consider whether there'll be a substantial difference in your monthly utilities. Include an allowance for home repairs and

Before you begin shopping The first thing to do is to make a list of your objectives. Are you trying to reduce your work commute? Is there a particular school district you'd like your kids to attend? What about proximity to shopping or recreation? Also, think about the specific features you want in a home. Would you like a larger garage, finished basement, fenced yard, low maintenance lawn, a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a walk-in shower, an updated kitchen, ample closet space, or a home that's turn-key ready? Make your list

maintenance as well. Second, you need to get pre-qualified through your bank or a mortgage company. Despite what you think you can afford, a lender will ultimately determine the maximum you can afford. So don't risk getting your hopes up on a particular home until you know how much a lender will loan you. Another reason to get pre-qualified is that most realtors won't show homes to prospective buyers until they've been prequalified.

as detailed as possible.

Getting started in your search

Now, go through the list again. Next to each item, mark if it's

Now you're ready to find a realtor. Working with a real estate

a must-have, prefer-to-have, or nice but not necessary.

agent has multiple advantages. First, realtors have access

The reason for creating this list, and then breaking it down, is two-fold. First, buying a home is a significant investment. The home you ultimately choose is going to affect your lifestyle. Since there's seldom a home that has every feature a buyer

to the MLS system, the database in which all homes listed by real estate agencies appear. They're only able to access the MLS for listings within their own MLS region, however. If you're moving to a new area, choose a realtor in or near the city where you'll be relocating.

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Another important reason to work with an agent is so you'll

being uncovered during an inspection, which could cause a

have someone to represent you and advance your interests.

sale to fall through.

It's true if you find a home and want to put in an offer, in many states you can ask the listing agent to write up and submit your offer. In states that allow this arrangement, the agent becomes a dual agent. A dual agent is required to treat both parties with fairness and honesty. But in this capacity, the agent cannot be loyal to you or advance your interests. That's because the agent is also working for the seller. When choosing a realtor, a couple of factors to consider are customer reviews and whether the real estate agent is willing to sign an Exclusive Buyer's Agency Contract. We just talked about dual agency above. Under an exclusive buyer's agency

So do your homework before hiring an inspector. Ask about their qualifications and how long they've been in business. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau and online reviews. A knowledgeable, skilled inspector will look at every aspect of the home, including windows, foundation, attic, roof, plumbing, electrical components, and much more. Your inspector should alert you to all defects, big and small. He should also note any aging components that could require repair or replacement in the not so distant future.

contract, the realtor is representing you, the buyer, rather than both buyer and seller. When you meet with an agent, make sure the agent feels like a good fit for you. The agent should ask plenty of questions

Tips to ensure you don't make a decision you regret

to gain a solid understanding of what you're looking for in a

Regardless of what the bank says you can afford or an

home. Also, find out if the agent is available to show homes

agent tries talking you into, you 're the best judge of what's

during your normal hours of availability. Finally, be cautious

really within your budget. Don't make a decision you're not

of high-pressure tactics to get you to sign an exclusive

confident you can afford. Remember, your financial well-

contract. Ultimately, you'll want to do this when you find the

being and lifestyle are on the line.

right agent. But if you're not comfortable with the agent, be prepared to say you need time to think about it and stand your ground.

The home inspection

Don't get impatient. Sometimes it takes a while to find just the right home. Although you may never find a home that has everything you've ever dreamed of, make sure it meets enough of the right criteria so you can live happily in your home for some time to come.

Once you've made an offer, getting a home inspection is a

When you do find the perfect home, don't drag your feet.

crucial step. This will help ensure you're making a sound

If it's a buyer's market in particular, or merely a desirable

buying decision. Unfortunately, too many homebuyers learn

home, it might get snatched up before you act.

the hard way that inspectors are neither required to be licensed nor to have any special skills or training in many states. You can ask your agent for a recommendation. But unless you're confident your agent is someone you can trust, this may not be the best option. Unfortunately, a few agents favor less thorough inspectors to avoid the risk of too many issues

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If you see flaws that'll require costly repair, weigh it out carefully before making your offer. Finally, once you make an offer, try not to get your heart too set on the home until it's been inspected. That way, if the report comes back reflecting costly repairs, you'll be able to make a wise decision on whether to proceed or back out. 


R E N TA L S v Financing A

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Financing Available!


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Dana Perich


Certified Negotiation Expert Listing Specialist

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Cell: (570) 807-0362 Email: janetferraro@kw.com GAF Weather Stopper® 3-Part Roof Protection System gives you the best protection against a variety of all-too-common roofing problems. 50 year warranty - 100% coverage on entire roof system! Specializing in additions, renovations, new home construction, septic systems, light excavating & snow removal.

(570) 807.0447 | www.ghilfigercontracting.com 984 Route 390, Cresco, PA 18326

404 Park Avenue Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Office: (570) 421-2890

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featured remodel Since purchasing Walker Plumbing in 2005 from Bill & Kathy Walker, Grant has grown his team, reputation & services. Along with his expert team of over 20 employees, Grant has gone on to establishing Grant Hilfiger Contracting in 2013. Starting with a few small renovation projects when out meeting plumbing customers, Grant has grown his business into a full blown contracting company specializing in all aspects of construction including new home construction, remodels, additions and much more.

Bathroom Remodel A bathroom remodel consisting of more than simply replacing various fixtures in the bathroom. This remodel involved a different design layout, relocation of existing fixtures and adding a tile walk in shower with custom glass doors and free standing tub.

GRANT HILFIGER CONTRACTING (570) 807-0447 | 984 Route 390 • Cresco, PA | www.ghilfigercontracting.com 30 |

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Plan the


A kitchen serves as command-central of most homes, so

your shopping habits could change, allowing you to become

it's also one of the first rooms homeowners choose when

a bulk shopper or at least increase the time between

it's time to make upgrades. When approaching your kitchen

shopping trips.

remodel, it's important to keep your family's lifestyle at the forefront of your planning to create a space that fits the way you like to live.

Be realistic about mealtime. If your family's activities have everyone eating at different times, you may benefit from a feature like a warming drawer that keeps dinner warm until

Get the most livable space and enjoyment out of a kitchen

each family member makes it home for a meal. Think about

remodel with these tips from the experts at the National

features that would make the table space more practical,

Association of the Remodeling Industry:

such as task lighting so kids can tackle homework at the

Make purposeful changes. A desire to bring your kitchen's

table or convenient access to power for laptops.

style up to date is plenty of motivation for a renovation, but

Choose appliances with care. It's easy to get carried

to get maximum benefit from your new space, spend time

away with all of the design elements that go into a kitchen

considering what functional improvements you can make,

renovation, but at the end of the day, remember the

too. Do you need more cabinets for storage? Is there enough

appliances are the true centerpiece of the space. Be sure to

counter space for meal prep? Does the overall layout suit

leave room in the budget to select the best appliances for

your family's needs? Even if you chose the original layout

your needs so you have all the functions, features and space

and floorplan, chances are good that over time you've found

to make using your new kitchen as enjoyable as possible.

a few things you'd change given the chance to do it again.

Think into the future. A kitchen renovation can be a costly

Consider physical space. If yours is a family that cooks

venture, so it's a good idea to project years down the road

together, or if guests tend to congregate in the kitchen when

as you consider your needs. Are there features that would

you're entertaining, a renovation is the perfect time to make

enhance the safety if a baby (that soon will become an

adjustments that accommodate more bodies in the kitchen.

inquisitive toddler) joins the family? Are there elderly family

You might want more work zones for multiple cooks or an

members may benefit from a lower or higher work station

island or peninsula set away from the high-traffic zone for

down the road?

guests more interested in snacking and chatting than getting hands-on.

Find more expert tips to inform your renovation planning at RemodelingDoneRight.com. 

Evaluate your shopping style. You may be in the habit of doing your grocery shopping to fit your available space.

By Family Features

However, with a larger refrigerator and more pantry space,

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Throw open those windows, tear off the sheets and mattress coverings, roll up your rugs and get ready, because spring is in the air and you know what that means - it’s time to clean.

By: Amanda Kuhn

4. Wipe down walls, baseboards, lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, etc. Start by getting those cobwebs in the corners of the room

After being cooped up all winter nothing feels better than a

using the crevice tool on your vacuum. Then, using the same

clean home with a cool breeze running through it. Whether

combination of water and dish soap, take a cloth and quickly

your spring cleaning involves sterilizing every inch of your

run it over the walls and baseboards to remove any dust. If

home with a toothbrush or simply washing your floors for the

you have ceiling fans, grab a stool and thoroughly clean the

first time in 6 months, the tradition of spring cleaning is sure

lighting fixtures and each of the fan blades.

to help you shake that winter funk. Here are a few tips and tricks for spring cleaning your home and a few homemade, eco-friendly cleaning products for you to try.

1. Clean the windows & then open them! For a streak-free shine, wash your windows with a combination of two gallons of water and one teaspoon of dish washing soap. Using a sponge and scrubber, wash each of your windows. We’re not just talking about the panes either; be sure to open the windows and clean your window frames as well. If you want to get really crazy, take out your screens and hose them down too.

5. Show your floors some love. If you have hardwood or laminate floors, be sure to vacuum or sweep them first and then use an appropriate floor cleaner with minimal water. If you have rugs or carpets, vacuum both sides, as dust and dirt can also accumulate underneath rugs, then shampoo.

6. Clean your appliances, inside & out. Time to throw out all those half empty bottles of salad dressing that have been sitting in your refrigerator for the last two years. Using water and dish soap, scrub the inside of your microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.

2. Wash curtains or window coverings.

Your spring cleaning doesn’t need to end there. You can

Remove your curtains or drapes and throw them in the

reorganize your bathroom cabinets, recycle your collection

washing machine. If you have blinds, there’s no need to take

of old magazines and then, once you’ve conquered the

them down. Clean them using the brush attachment on your

inside of your home, move outdoors and get started on those

vacuum and wipe them down with a damp cloth.

flower beds! While the task of spring cleaning may seem

3. Move the furniture. Dressers, beds, couches, and anything you normally clean around, need to be moved. After you move a piece of furniture, break out the crevice tool on your vacuum and clean all the hard to reach places you normally avoid.

tackle all those junk drawers you have around the house,

overwhelming, the satisfaction of having a clean home will help you enjoy the warm weather even more. Visit BrightNest.com for a few DIY household cleaner recipes, an online resource for all your home maintenance needs. BrightNest provides expert tutorials on everything from cleaning your countertops to cleaning your drinking water. 

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Pocono Home

Photo by: Amie Freling Brown and Kristin Leitten of Meme Hill Studio


Livable Oasis Once the domain of lawnmowers and gardening tools,

“I’m obsessed with the tiny living concept and the she-

today’s backyard sheds are being repurposed into

shed movement,” says Freling Brown. “When we decided

unique, functional spaces (think: she-shed, bunkhouse or

we needed more sleeping space for our 750 square foot

even a bar pub) complete with plumbing and electricity.

lake house, we knew it was time to create our own tiny

Here are tips from the experts on how to turn a simple shed into a backyard oasis. “Quite often, we are seeing that homeowners are adding electricity to backyard sheds and using decorative interior lighting to make a statement, just as lighting would be used in the interiors of a home,” says Jennifer Kis, director of marketing communications for Progress Lighting. Backyard sheds are widely available at garden centers, hardware and home stores in a variety of architectural styles, from traditional to modern. Sheds range in size, from small (under 80 square feet), medium (approximately 90 to 120 square feet) and large (ranging from 144 to 288 square feet.) Choose a size appropriate for the use -- for example, a gardener’s getaway or sheshed may be on the smaller size. A bunkhouse or bar shed will need to be larger. Decide whether this will be a DIY project from the ground up, or whether a prefabricated shed best meets your needs. Check with your local planning department to comply with codes and guidelines. Decide if the shed

house.” Choosing a 10 by 12-foot classic backyard shed with a gambrel roof, gable vents, transom windows and 7-foot walls to give top campers in the bunk beds more headroom, Freling Brown transformed a simple shed into a bright, nautical farmhouse-inspired bunkhouse, complete with electricity for an overhead light, two wall lanterns and electrical outlets. The hand-painted wood grain texture of its overhead pendant inspired Freling Brown’s choice of reclaimed wood paneling for the ceiling, creating an unexpected décor detail. She added vinyl plank flooring that would stand up to sandy, wet feet from the lake. Beadboard paneled walls painted in a semi-gloss white make the most of the reflected light, adding to the small space’s open, airy feeling. As a contrast to the light palette of the bunkhouse interior, she used color in coordinating bedding, nautical decor and navy furniture, as well as accessories make it warm and inviting. For more lighting tips, trends and inspiration, visit Progress Lighting at progressltg.com/Lighting.

will mirror the architectural features of your home. Keep

By transforming a shed into a livable oasis, extending

in mind that because sheds are not tall, the roof will be

your home’s living space is both trendy and easy. 

visible and should be considered as part of the design.

By State Point

When turning a backyard shed into a dream bunkhouse at her lakeside home, designer, artist and owner of Meme Hill Studio, Amie Freling Brown put this to the test.

“Quite often, we are seeing that homeowners are adding electricity to backyard sheds and using decorative interior lighting to make a statement"

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BEST of PESTS Tick Prevention Guide By: Heather Hanson

A mole? Dirt smudge? It moved. …Eek, it’s a tick! Living in Northeast Pennsylvania we all have a story or have heard one about dealing with the squirm-inducing experience of realizing you're playing host to an uninvited guest. Tick bite prevention is no laughing matter. As carriers of Lyme disease, the most commonly reported vectorborne illness, a bite from an infected Blacklegged Tick (also known as the Deer Tick) can send the sufferer into a fit of flu-like symptoms. In 2011, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed 4,739 cases of Lyme disease in Pennsylvania, making up approximately 19% of the total confirmed cases in the US. Left untreated, Lyme can have a permanent and damaging effect on the nervous system, heart and joints. Here are some tips on how to keep you and your loved ones tick

PREVENTION • The Yard: The forested mountains that we love are also the ones that ticks prefer to call home. For this reason, certain landscaping elements can help to eliminate them lurking in your own backyard. The CDC suggests clearing tall grass and brush from lawn edges and putting in 3 foot wide mulch or gravel around lawns, patios and play equipment near wooded areas . • For Pets: Fido and Felix have just as much chance of getting an unpleasant illness from a tick bite. Beyond the prescription and over-the-counter tick and flea prevention regimens available, the best prevention is keeping the areas your animals frequent as tick-free as possible and doing daily tick checks when time is spent outside.

free and happy as the summer heads into

• For You: The CDC recommends using

full swing.

repellents that contain 20% DEET or more. Other common sense suggestions include staying away from heavy brush and high grass and bathing within a few hours of spending time outdoors. The full body tick check is also key to catching hitchhikers early on.

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DETECTION • What type of tick: Though there are several types of ticks that frequent Northeast Pennsylvania, including two types of Dog Tick, the Blacklegged Tick is the one known to carry Lyme disease. A handy chart for identifying ticks made by researchers from the University of Rhode Island can be found at: http://www.tickencounter.org/ tick_identification • Removing the tick: If a tick is found clinging to you, a loved one or pet, the best course of action is to remove the tick as quickly and efficiently as possible. Though old wives remedies might suggest burning or suffocating the tick with petroleum jelly, the CDC suggests that leaving the tick attached leave more time for illness to be contracted. The tick should be removed by grasping with a set of fine-tip tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pulling upward. This should be completed without jerking or twisting the tick and the bite should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol . • Signs and Symptoms: If a tick bite has been detected, careful monitoring for a rash in the area should be undertaken. Any fever or chills, headaches, muscle aches or fatigue that is experienced within the 3 weeks following the bite should also be monitored

Those seeking more

and evaluated by a healthcare provider .

information on tick prevention and detection, Lyme disease and the detection and treatment of such illness should visit the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.html, to learn even more.

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m o o r y revamp Pla& Office


I was in dire need of a revamp at home. I share my work

close the doors when I'm not working

space with 2 little ones in our office/playroom. Needless

and the girls could have a run of the

to say there isn't much space for me.

room without little hands getting

I had put myself in the corner, to say the least, and they slowly took over. In "our" room there is a closet that became a place for me to toss things that I simply didn't want to look at or that I didn't have a particular place for. This is where I started. I simplified and got rid of or donated things that I haven't even looked at in years!

curious about my computer the second I walk out of the room. I also made the room a little more fun for them by adding a chalk wall, pictures, storage for all the new toys and some wall art! Take a look at my office revamp!

Why? Well... this closet was going to become my new office! I would regain some office space plus have extra storage for the things I use. As an extra bonus, I could

my pinterest inspiration


Have a diy project you would like to share? share? Show Us Send pictures of your DIY project and be featured in an upcoming issue of Pocono Home. Pictures can be sent to amanda@poconohomemag.com or via facebook @PoconoHomeMag

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Homeowners and renters remodel, redesign and

bring a strong return. A new door may be an opportunity

restructure their homes for a variety of reasons. Even

to create a new look for your home, but it's also a way to

a newly constructed dream home needs improvements

improve the function of a worn-out door.

over time.

• Updated Siding: Enhancing an architectural element

Common renovation projects include upgrading worn-

like siding is another way to improve your home's

out surfaces, finishes and materials, or adding features

aesthetic appeal while making it easier to maintain. Be

and improving livability. Other homeowners invest in

thoughtful in selecting your materials, though; fiber-

remodeling simply because they're ready for a change.

cement siding brings a slightly higher return than vinyl

However, many find the idea of taking on a remodeling project too overwhelming to attempt. Thirty-five percent of U.S. homeowners would rather move to another home than remodel their current home, according to research by the National Association of Realtors.


INTERIOR UPGRADES Although many improvements inside the home tend to be based on your personal tastes and lifestyle, you can

What those homeowners don't realize is that taking

still reap the benefits of undertaking certain high-return

on projects is often worth the investment and time.


The same study showed that among those who did undertake a home improvement project, 75% had a greater desire to be in their home when the project was completed. Others reported increased enjoyment in their home and a major sense of accomplishment. Satisfaction aside, there are financial implications that may influence how you prioritize renovations in your home. Learn which interior and exterior upgrades are likely to bring the biggest return on investment with the leading in-demand projects identified by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Realtors.

EXTERIOR UPGRADES Generally speaking, improvements to your home's

• Wood Flooring: Refinishing existing wood floors or installing new wood floors is likely to bring at or near a 100% return on investment. The project improves a home's aesthetic appeal and eliminates possible signs of wear while bringing a more modern feel to the living space.

• Sustainable Considerations: Also high on the list are projects that improve a home's energy efficiency, such as upgrading insulation. Not only does improved quality or quantity of insulation help reduce energy bills, it's an investment you can expect to recoup a large percentage on. Similarly, replacing the HVAC may be a necessary project if the old unit is failing to perform, but it can also improve energy efficiency and result in better functionality and livability for the home.

structural features and exterior elements drive the

• Livable Spaces: Adding square footage always helps

greatest returns on your renovation dollars.

a home value, especially when you can convert unused,

• New Roof: Your home's roof takes a real beating from the elements, and upgrading this protective feature is one of the greatest investments you can make for your home with an estimated 109% return on value. There's a reasonable expectation for long-lasting results and

unfinished space like a basement into a comfortable, cozy living area. Another place where you can expect a big return is on a complete kitchen remodel, which will allow you to improve function while adding modern touches and upgrading outdated and worn features.

you're likely to see some improvement in your home's

Find more advice to maximize the value of your next

energy efficiency.

home improvement project at remodelingdoneright.com. 

• Garage Door: Proving that curb appeal counts, a new

By Family Features

garage door is another exterior feature that's likely to

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Business Listings F & F PAVING AND EXCAVATING Offering a variety of asphalt maintenance services. Services


include new construction of paved driveways, removal and replacement of paved driveways or parking areas, seal

A premier construction services company. Our friendly

coating, line striping and general maintenance of any

attitude is what makes us stand out from the competition.

asphalt area.

All projects are managed with excellence and efficiency. (570) 856-2368 cpconstruction-nepa.com 3480 Spruce Cabin Rd. Cresco, PA 18326


(570) 629-4537 ffpave.com 108 Learn Road, Tannersville, PA 18372

GRANT HILFIGER CONTRACTING Full service contracting company. Specializing in all aspects

Critical Systems is a backup power generation company

of construction including new home construction, remodels,

serving NY, NJ and PA. Whether your needs are residential

additions and much more.

or commercial we are the best choice throughout the Northeast PA and Northern NJ region. (570) 643-6903 csgen.com

(570) 807-0447 ghilfigercontracting.com 984 Route 390, Cresco, PA 18326

301 Miller Road, Stroudsburg, PA 18360



Keiper Plumbing has both the knowledge and the experience

Helping you buy and sell real estate in the

to solve even the toughest issues in plumbing, heating,

Pocono Mountains.

and air conditioning.

(570) 421-2890

(570) 646-3222



404 Park Avenue,Stroudsburg, PA 18360

5204 Route 115, Blakeslee, PA 18610



KW Commercial, The Daniel Perich Group offers real estate

Full cleaning services, residential and commercial.

for sale and lease in northeast Pennsylvania, representing clients and customers on their commercial and investment real estate needs.

(570) 223-3657 joannahabe89@gmail.com

(570) 213-4900



Whether you're looking to buy equipment for your farming

744 Main Street, Second Floor,

operation or simply need to rent a piece of equipment for a

Stroudsburg, PA 18360

home project, we want to be a part of your success. Let us know how we can help you by visiting us or by giving

ESSA BANK & TRUST Convenience, friendly service, and competitive rates, these are usually right at the top. We believe these are important as well, however we also believe you should be able to bank with confidence in knowing you will be transacting business with someone who has confidence in themselves and who puts your needs first.

us a call. (570) 895-4884 marshall-machinery.com 1819 Route 611 N, Swiftwater, PA 18370

MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPING Design, installation, and maintenance landscape contractor

(570) 421-0531

with offices in Cresco and Pocono Pines. We are committed


to quality craftsmanship and outstanding customer service.

200 Palmer Street PO Box L, Stroudsburg, PA 18360

(570) 646-5335 mtnlandscaping.com 115 Route 423, Pocono Pines, PA 18350

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POCONO BUILDERS ASSOCIATION The Pocono Builders Association is the unified voice of the Pocono Mountain's building industry. Members receive value created through targeted benefits.Visit our website for more information. (570) 421-9009 poconobuilders.org 745 Main Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360


Maid in

Mountainhome • CLEANING SERVICE •

JOANNA HABE, OWNER (570) 223-3657 joannahabe89@gmail.com

Vacation rental homes offering comfort and ease for vacationers looking for an alternative to a hotel or resort. Our homes feel like your home away from home. (570) 872-4374 poconoparadiserentals.com

QUINN'S PAINTING Full service painting company, handling all phases of exterior and interior painting.

New Construction Additions Renovations Kitchens

(570) 730-9669 joshquinn1977@outook.com facebook.com/quinnspaintingpoconos

R.W. BUFF From traditional, to contemporary, to the latest in Green technology, our home design and build are places where people love to live. Our custom home builders pay attention to every detail for results that are truly stunning.

Bathrooms Masonry Electrical Plumbing

Siding Hardwood Windows Drywall

Our friendly “work with you� attitude is what makes us stand out from the competition. All projects are managed with excellence and efficiency - from start to finish. PA HIC #084836

(570) 856-2368 | cpconstruction-nepa.com 3480 Spruce Cabin Road, Cresco, PA 18326

(570) 476-5437 rwbuff.com 50 Storm Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360

SMALL INSURANCE Small Insurance is an independent insurance agency, offering auto, home, commercial and life insurance. (570) 812-1922 smallins.com 37 Crystal Street,East Stroudsburg, PA 18301

SUNSHINE FLOORING Providing top quality flooring and professional installations. Offering all flooring options including carpet, hardwood, laminates, vinyl and tiles. Residential and commercial . (570) 595-7066 984 Route 390, Cresco, PA 18326

WALKER PLUMBING Serving local homes and businesses with plumbing and heating repairs, replacements and installations. (570) 595-3440 walkerplumbingpa.com 984 Route 390, Cresco, PA 18326

(570) 812-1922 Visit us online at www.smallins.com 37 Crystal Street • East Stroudsburg, PA

Pocono Home

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Check for roof damage. Clean out the gutters.


Check outside faucets.


Touch up paint where needed.



spring home maintenance checklist

Inspect & service ac units. Give the deck some attention. LOOK INSIDE - Interior Design

Repair & reseal woodwork.

- Kepp War m - Featured Home - Stove Inserts



Inspect windows & doors. Prune shrubs & trees. Remove lawn debris.









Fertilize the lawn. Power wash exterior. LOOK INSIDE

Test outdoor lighting.


- Fall Cleaning

- Spring Cleaning

- Preparing for Winter

- Landscaping Do’s

- Featured Home

- Featured Home

- Bathroom Renovations


- Preparing for Guests

FALL 2020

Clean outdoor grill. Check for cracks in concrete.


A local guide to home improvements, real estate and design.

Spring Issue March - May

Open the windows. Clean windows & screens. Inspect the basement & attic. Check all home detectors. Check fire extinguishers.

Summer Issue June - August

Fall Issue September - November

Winter Issue December - February

Check for pests. Clean sump pump.

Published seasonally, each issue of Pocono

Replace water filters.

advice, real estate exclusives, local projects,

Home Magazine will feature professional design tips and more. We will collaborate with

Clean out dryer vents. Clean the furnace filters. 46 |



Pocono Home

local professionals to bring you useful and engaging information relevant to the unique Pocono landscape.

We Sell Service.

PLUMBING • HEATING AIR CONDITIONING Serving the Pocono Plateau Since 1969

Residential • Commercial Plumbing • Heating • HVAC Water Heaters • Well Pumps Septic Pump Repairs



570.646.3222 5204 Route 115, Blakeslee, PA

www.keiperplumbing.com PA#102112