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Fall 2015

Inspiring Ideas for York Homeowners

Cooking Up Some Great Kitchen Ideas Pet-Friendly Homes Holiday Decorating

Contents: 5 Antiques: In the Eye of the Finder by Joel Murphy

Fall 2015

9 Winter Projects:

York House2Home is a quarterly homeowners magazine that offers inspiring ideas and useful tips from local experts. Each issue provides stories regarding home building, renovation, design, and ownership. Articles feature new trends and timeless strategies to help homeowners navigate every area of home décor, product selection and maintenance to create exceptional and functional indoor and outdoor living spaces. York House2Home is committed to helping homeowners transform houses into homes. 

by Brenda Hager, RF Hager Construction

Start in Your Kitchen

York House2Home is distributed throughout greater York County using an integrated strategy that includes print, online and event outreach. It is read by more than 40,000 York County residents and homeowners. York House2Home publishes in January, April, July and October.

Didn’t get your own copy? Read York House2Home online at or pick up a copy at one of advertisers’ locations. Tracy Hoffmann: Publisher Cindy Kalinoski: Editor Mike Shirk: Designer

14 Your New Kitchen Centerpiece:

Not the Stove You Grew Up With

by Cindy Kalinoski

18 Dressing Up Your Table to Celebrate by Caroline Morris, Kimman’s Co.

21 Top 5 Lighting Trends of 2015

by Amy Tawney, Schaedler Yesco Lighting Design Center

24 Thinking of Selling? Top Changes to Make Your Home Shine

by Marie Arcuri, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

27 Great Fall Perennials

by Patricia Gramling, Rockelman’s Nursery

28 Plan for a Showy Fall with

Great Outdoor Decorating Ideas

by Susan Shelly

31 Are Your Heating Costs

Flying Out the Window?

by Deb Kearse, Kohl Building Products

32 Is Your Home Pet-Friendly– and Pet-Safe?

by Cindy Kalinoski

34 Be Prepared: Getting Your The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction of print or digital articles without written permission from Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc., is forbidden.

Snow Blower Ready for Winter

by Jay Hawn, Hawn’s Outdoor Power Equipment

36 Tips for Saving Money on HVAC from YORK International

37 Winter’s Coming: What’s a Deck To Do? by Jason Reider, Waterdog Restoration

Publisher: Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. 610.685.0914 2921 Windmill Road, Suite 4 Sinking Spring, PA 19608 10% Post Consumer Waste Please Recycle

Advertising To advertise, contact Sherry Bolinger at 610-685-0914 x202 or

From the Editor: Homeowners rejoice! There is now a quarterly magazine devoted especially to you. And this, our first issue, is full of inspiring ideas as well as practical tips for caring for your home as the seasons change. It is our pleasure to present the premiere issue of House2Home, the inspiring resource for York County’s homeowners. 

Your New Favorite Room: Looking for a way to update your kitchen without redoing the whole room? Local expert Brenda Hager details small winter projects that can transform your kitchen into a room you really love. Two other local companies share what’s new in cooking technology, such as powerful induction burners and smart ovens that calculate your temperature and time for you.  Decorating Ideas: We’ve made sure this issue brings you beautiful ways to decorate your home for the upcoming season, from showy perennials and front door scenes to dressing up your holiday table. Local writer Joel Murphy clues us in on how to incorporate antiques into your home’s décor. Reading ahead, discover what’s new in lighting that can make your home shine. Plus, real estate expert Marie Arcuri explains which upgrades—and which room edits—will help your home sell. 

Your parents want to stay in the place they call home. We can help.



717-741-9999 / HOMEINSTEAD.COM Each Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office is independently owned and operated. ® 2010 Home Instead Inc.


York House2Home Fall 2015

Prepping for Fall and Winter: As the apples ripen and the geese fly south, it’s time to get the jackets out, but that’s not all. It’s also time to make sure your deck and outdoor equipment are ready for the next season. You’ll find easy how-to articles on these topics inside, plus ways to save energy and lower your bill. 

Pet-Friendly Homes: Check our list of do’s and don’ts to make sure your pet is safe and can thrive. I know I learned a few things to make sure my Labradoodle—and the calico cat he’s obsessed with—can relax and enjoy a pet-safe environment and pet-safe toys.  With all that goes into taking care of a house, it’s great to have recommendations from local service providers about yearly tasks that can help protect your biggest investment. We’ll be back every season with more ideas and advice you can use. So dig in and enjoy your new magazine, as we help you transform your house into a home. 

Cindy Kalinoski, Editor    

Call For Articles: If you’re a local professional who offers services to York County homeowners, we’d love to have you write about your specialty. Simply email with your ideas.

Antiques: In the Eye of the Finder

By Joel Murphy

Maybe it started when you inherited that charming corner cupboard from your grandparents’ house. Maybe it was when you discovered that cedar linen chest left behind in the attic of your first house. Or, maybe it was when you realized that the valuable antique chair being discussed on TV looked similar to the set you just picked up at a yard sale.

Inspiring Ideas for York Homeowners


Don’t miss...

The Original SemiAnnual 165th York Antiques Show and Sale” • September 25 - 27, 2015 • York Fairgrounds and • Convention Center • Memorial Hall East • 334 Carlisle Avenue, York, PA


How it began really doesn’t matter. The fact is, you now have a growing curiosity about antiques. You’re interested—a little intimidated—and brimming with questions. With only one piece, how do you go about decorating your home? How do you find antiques? How do you know what to look for? Does it all have to match? How you answer those questions depends on what you want to accomplish.

Antiques as Decor If what you’re after is purely the look and character an aged piece of furniture brings to the room, you can buy with virtually no restraints. “I like to find something I can use, not just something to sit around and look at,”

“Know what you’re going out to buy. Reading about it is good, but hands-on is the best way to learn.”


York House2Home Fall 2015

says Richard Cisney, owner of the New Oxford Antique Center and President of the New Oxford Antique Dealers Association. “I think a primitive style works nicely when you’re piecing a room together.” Cisney encourages creativity. “Something like a dry sink makes a great rec-room bar.” If the decorating mission is to use antiques for a style and character, then the key is to not over-think it. “Shop for something that you like and that fits your tastes,” Cisney advises. “I believe if you’re going to spend the money, you might as well spend it on something that is useful to you.” As you shop, you’ll find that every antiques store has its own flavor. Cisney’s store in New Oxford tends to sell a lot of primitive pieces: plankbottom chairs, blanket chests, dropleaf tables. “Not everybody can fill a room with $10,000 pieces of furniture,” he says, “so just mix and match.” The end table you find this weekend in one store may be the perfect complement to the reading chair you found last month in another store.

look & lingo Understanding the Look & Lingo:

You don’t have to become an antiques expert to appreciate their beauty and style. It’s really just a matter of learning what you like: the utilitarian, flat style of Early American, the tapered legs and contrasting veneers of a Hepplewhite, the simple beauty and sparse ornamentation of a Shaker piece. But you’ll also begin to line things up in your own mind. By making combinations in the right setting, you may find that many of these different styles were made for each other!

Common periods & styles:

For Cisney, unique is nice, but functional is forever. “A one- or two-drawer stand next to your contemporary sofa or bed is as functional now as it was a hundred and fifty years ago.” Cisney also likes accessories, like mirrors. “You may find a mirror you love, but the frame has some damage.” Cisney says grab it, repaint it yourself, and very easily you’ve given your room the perfect accent.

The Only Rules Are Your Rules There really is no right way to do it, according to Laurie and Jeff Dennis of Dennis Antiques in York. “You don’t have to stick with all pine, or all walnut, or all cherry,” Jeff Dennis says. “They can blend together. If it looks good to you, that’s the only person you need to please.” A beautiful refinished table may go perfectly with a collection of painted pieces. The same is true when it comes to combining styles and periods of furniture. Remember, you’re creating

• 1600-1690 Jacobean

• 1780-1820 Federal

• 1640-1700 Early American

• 1780-1820 Sheraton

• 1690-1725 William and Mary

• 1795-1848 Duncan Phyfe

• 1700-1755 Queen Anne

• 1800-1840 American Empire

• 1700-1780 Colonial

• 1820-1860 Shaker

• 1714-1760 Georgian

• 1840-1910 Victorian

• 1720-1830 Penn. Dutch

• 1880-1910 Arts and Craft

• 1750-1790 Chippendale

• 1910-1930 Art Nouveau

• 1760-1795 Robert Adam

• 1960-1990 Contemporary

periods & styles

• 1765-1800 Hepplewhite

your own statement. Before you purchase, though, consider what it will take to care for your furniture. “A natural grain finish can be more difficult to take care of,” Dennis says, “Stains and clear-coats are much easier to care for, as an example, because damage and chips can be easily touched up.” It’s really all about the combinations; maybe the only thing that curio cabinet in your living room needs is the simplicity of a hall-tree coat rack. That framed painting you found in the second-hand store may bring out the charm of a washstand. The same is true for a set of brass candlesticks and a

“If you simply want to use antiques to add some charm to your home, you can find very good quality for a relatively low price.”

beautiful, weathered sideboard buffet. Let your style and creativity bring it all together.

Antiques as an Investment If your desire is to acquire pieces that not only add some character to your home but hold their value as well, Dennis suggests doing everything you can to learn about antiques. “Know what you’re going out to buy,” he says. “Reading about it is good, but hands-on is the best way to learn.” Dennis suggests visiting some auctions and going to antique shows. By examining the pieces first hand, asking questions, and listening, you’ll begin to understand how they were put together. That understanding will help you in making your purchase. “In restoring and making repairs, some dealers will marry different parts and put them together. If you don’t spot that, you may not get your investment back.” — continued on page 8 Inspiring Ideas for York Homeowners


Antiquing Tip: You’re at the auction, you’re

in the gallery, or you’ve just pulled up to the garage sale, and you find something you absolutely fall in love with. The question is: will it fit in with what you’re trying to do? Feeling a little timid when the time comes to commit is understandable.

To remove some of that uncertainty, take pictures of what you already have before you head out the door. Then bring the pictures along for the ride when you shop. Visually pairing pieces together is a great way to get a “second opinion” and bolster your confidence.


York House2Home Fall 2015

For decades, antiques were a solid investment. But Dennis explains that when the bottom fell out of the economy around 2008, people lost their trust in antiques. “In the late ‘70s through the ‘90s, oak furniture was incredibly expensive. Everybody wanted oak: a round-top table and six press-back chairs would cost about $2,200 and $3,000. Today, those same pieces would go for $250-$300.”

A Buyer’s Market The good news is that if you simply want to use antiques to add some charm to your home, you can find very good quality for a relatively low price. “Antique prices are down right now,” says Dennis. Both Dennis and Cisney agree that today’s market enables you to buy solid wood for less than compressed-chip wood furniture in a contemporary furniture store. Styles and pieces that hold their value naturally have a higher asking price. That’s part of their attraction. But struggling to fill a room with that level of furniture can be difficult on the pocketbook. There’s really no need to do that. Selection and variety are everywhere. Whether you’re on a quest to find the perfect piece to finish out your room or you’re simply looking for a nice, little starter piece, you can do it without spending a fortune. So remember, true value is in the eye of the finder! n

Winter Projects:

Start in Your Kitchen

Thinking of remodeling? Focusing on the interior of your home during the Fall and Winter months is great for you and your home, and the kitchen is a great place to start.

Inspiring Ideas for York Homeowners




By Brenda Hager

R F Hager Construction


This often-used room gets updated, and it might feel like you have a new kitchen, even if some elements stay the same. Here are some changes that can bring your kitchen into the current century. If you like your existing kitchen layout and your cabinets are in great shape, consider a Kitchen Mini-Makeover.

Start with your cabinetry:

often the hardware can be updated to include slow-close hinges and drawers. Cabinet knobs and pulls can be changed to a more contemporary shape and finish. A good carpenter can adjust or make repairs to your cabinets if you have a few that need some care, and this may be necessary for those cabinets you use frequently.

Next countertops:

Many kitchens in homes built within the last 20 years have either solid surface countertops (manmade acrylic) or laminated tops. Upgrading to granite or quartz brings new life to your cabinetry and your kitchen as a whole. Granite is more affordable and readily available than it used to be. There are several different granite finishes that are available: polished, honed (matte), and leathered (textured).

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York House2Home Fall 2015


Once you’ve decided to replace your countertops, you know what happens next—you’ll need a new sink and faucet.

Sink options:

In the past, the choices in sink configurations and material wåere limited. Typically your choices were single bowl, double bowl in either stainless steel or enameled cast iron, or solid surface (man-made acrylic). Today there are many options, including granite composite sinks, which are my personal favorite. As far as shape, your choices are almost unlimited. But remember, the shape of your sink will depend on the size of your sink base. If you’re upgrading your countertops to granite or quartz, the sink will be under-mounted, another reason to take your time and choose your sink carefully, because once the countertops are installed, it’s challenging to remove and replace them. Do your research, and purchase a good quality sink in the configuration that makes sense for your family and how it will be used. Today’s sinks often have deeper basins,


which is nice for washing roasting pans and other oversized vessels. If you like to cook or entertain for bigger groups, consider the large, single-bowl sinks. On the other hand, if you’re cook primarily for your family and often wash dishes by hand, consider one of the double-bowl versions. Now that you’ve decided upon your sink, it’s time to check out the cool new options in faucets.

Faucets and accessories:

Today’s finish options, shapes and control mechanisms for faucets are quite varied. Depending on the style and look of your kitchen, you may decide on a single-handle modern faucet or a classic two-handle bridge faucet. For the many mini-makeovers we do, the addition of a water purification system with a pointof-use spout is often included. We also recommend one of the new, larger soap dispensers, and if our client wants a garbage disposal, we often incorporate a top- or flush-mounted switch for operating the disposal. That way, you’ll never mistake the garbage disposal switch for a light switch again. — continued on page 12

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LED Lighting... What Are You Waiting For? Make the Switch to LED Bulbs PROs • LED bulbs last a long, long time (think about often are you changing bulbs now?) • They save money on energy costs— and save energy • They outperform fluorescent bulbs • LEDs are safer than halogen and incandescent bulbs (incandescent bulbs can reach 200°, and halogens can reach 400°; does anyone remember the heating element in those Easy Bake Ovens?)




Adding a tile backsplash can complete the new look of your kitchen and add pizzazz. I recommend incorporating the tile backsplash without a 4” granite backsplash; it’s not wrong to add tile above the 4” granite backsplash, but in many cases the “all tile” backsplash gives height to the space between the countertops and the cabinetry. Don’t stop there. There’s one more thing that can add drama and highlight your new kitchen features: undercabinet LED lighting. We get more comments from our clients on how much they love the additional lighting. Many say they don’t know how they lived without it. Check out the LED sidebar for more about this small, but highly transforming feature. n

R F Hager Construction 50 South Strathcona Drive York, PA 717.843.8000

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York House2Home Fall 2015

• Manufacturers have developed “plug-in modules” for recessed lighting fixtures that screw into a standard base

CONs • LED bulbs are initially more expensive; however, most experts agree you will recover the initial investment within a year • As you can see, the Pro’s outweigh the Con’’s time to make the change!

WellSupported. WellSpan is working hard to improve the health of our community and everyone who calls it home.

From supporting local events to supporting your individual health goals, WellSpan is proud to be an active member of this community. In addition to finding innovative ways to help you feel your best, we’re also investing and partnering with others to ensure this is a vibrant and healthy place to live, work, and play for each and every one of us. Learn more about our efforts at

Your New Kitchen CenterPiece: Not the Stove You Grew Up With

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York House2Home Fall 2015

By Cindy Kalinoski


For decades, the choices for ovens and stovetops were fairly limited. You selected gas or electric, and, once harvest gold and avocado took the hint and went away, you’d choose from a lineup of mainly white or bisque. Along came black…and then stainless steel surged. A strong current trend is the new black stainless steel, but for the ultimate in color selection, you can’t beat Viking. One top model offers a choice of 24 colors. Intriguing colors like Lemonade, Iridescent Blue, Mint Julep, and Wasabi. But it’s not only the color options that have expanded; new features can turn your appliance browsing into stove lust. Kevin Miles of Miles Maytag in Shrewsbury has a favorite. “I like the dual-fuel models,” he says, “where you have a gas stovetop and an electric oven. Gas stovetops give you optimal control, and when you shut it off, it’s off. Electric ovens give you more even baking and roasting.” Miles says his customers have a new favorite as well. “What we’ve been doing in most new kitchens is a separate cooktop and double-wall ovens. The ovens are completely separate,

“For decades, the choices for ovens and stovetops were fairly limited...”

— continued on page 16

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which gives consumers two ovens where they can cook items at different temperatures. This option is so versatile and it offers more cooking space.”

Some Bells & Whistles Advancements in accessories can make choosing a stove more complicated—or more fun. Warming drawers offer new options. “Manufacturers have increased the high end temperature of the warming drawer,” observes Mark Geiselman of Appliance Distributors Unlimited, “so it qualifies as a slow cooker, which is great for slow-roasting meat.” Built-in meat probes add convenience, says Geiselman, “since not all foods are intended to be cooked to a time but rather to an internal temperature.” You can even set your oven to turn off once the ideal internal temperature has been reached. He says, “The newest probes are wireless, so without the cord that attaches to the sidewall of the oven, you have more flexibility for turning your roast.”

Downdraft cooktops add ventilation. Stovetops with built-in downdrafts are a natural for situations where an oven hood isn’t practical. “For example,” Geiselman states, “you might not want this in an island, where it’s expensive to install and it would break up the sight line of the kitchen.” He also likes so-called periscope systems. “These provide an element of height, which makes sense, since smoke naturally rises. At the press of a button, you can capture smoke and odors.” Griddles, which you previously had to research after you purchased your oven, are available as accessories for your model, ensuring a good fit. Other developments, such as infrared broiling, convection dehydrating, and convection defrost, are not highly sought after in our area, according to Geiselman.

Some Like It Hot An ongoing favorite, especially for combination ovens, is the convection method, which circulates fan-forced air to eliminate cool or hot spots. But another process, called induction, is soaring in popularity. “Induction cooktops use magnetic power, enabling you to boil water within a matter of seconds,” says Miles. “The magnetic power doesn’t heat up the burner; it only heats the pot, which makes it very safe, especially for kids. You get instant results when turning it up or down. Induction is also great for searing.”

Smart Cooking But what has Miles jazzed up is the Jenn-Air Culinary Center. “You just tell the oven what you’re cooking—whether it’s prime rib, salmon, or chicken—how you want it cooked (medium, medium rare), and what type of pan you’re using, and the oven figures out the time and the temperature.

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York House2Home Fall 2015

Caring for Your Ceramic Cooktop Ceramic, or glass, stovetops are beautiful and don’t trap foods, making them easy to clean. But they need special care and daily cleaning. Follow these steps to preserve their beauty.

caring cleaning

First, a few don’ts:

• Cookware—No copper, glass, aluminum, or cast iron, or pots with scratching bottoms, such as porcelain-enamel. Especially if you have an induction stovetop, don’t use glass, copper or aluminum. • Cleaning—No scouring pads, ammonia-based cleaners, or powder scouring scrubs. No knives or metal spatulas to scrape off surface. Don’t clean the stovetop until it has cooled for about a half-hour, except for sugar spills; scrape these off right away.

You can trust the oven; it knows what it’s doing. We’ve done several demonstrations, and it’s spot-on.” Remote monitoring for stoves is also becoming more common. Geiselman notes, “As we’ve become a technologydriven society, this works on the same concept as a smart phone. You can turn on your oven from a smart phone.” (Or turn it off in case you forgot.) If appliance developments have you confused, head to one of our local dealers. They can help you sort through the options depending on how you cook, what kind of layout or hookup you have, and whether you’re prioritizing convenience, safety, performance or value—or a combination of these. n

Miles Maytag Home Appliance Center

Appliance Distributors Unlimited

2013 Springwood Road York, PA 717.235.2097

2842 North George Street York, PA 717.845.6500

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• Surface—Don’t place stirring utensils, foil, heavy items, or hot glass bakeware from the oven to cool, on the stovetop. Take care not to spill sugary substances, as they can permanently stain the surface. Prevent moisture from dripping onto the stove when removing pot lids. Don’t spill cold water on the hot surface.

Cleaning and use steps & tools: • Wipe surface with clean, damp paper towel before using. • After cooking, let the surface cool, apply approved cleaners (or baking soda with a wet cloth), and let them sit. • Put on gloves. • Using a manufacturer-approved scraper, hold at a 45-degree angle and gently remove any food buildup. • Scrub, then remove residue from surface with dry paper towels. Wipe once more with fresh wet paper towels.

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Dressing Up Your Table to Celebrate By Caroline Morris

Kimman’s Co.


The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming! This realization can either delight you with visions of beautiful tables, family and friends, great food, fun music...or it can send you into panic because this is your year to host the family! If you Google “holiday table decorating ideas” it’s easy to come away feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Stop Googling, close the Pinterest pages and take a breath. As they say, “You’ve got this.” Here are some ideas to make it a little easier this year...

Use White as Your Foundation Most people start thinking about the holidays sometime around Thanksgiving, or for some of you in Central Pennsylvania, right after Halloween! If you want to keep it simple and make it flow all the way through New Year’s Eve,

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York House2Home Fall 2015

think white. Make white the base color of all that you do and then add a touch of color.

Write it down: This sounds so simple and obvious, but many of us have found ourselves running back to the grocery store for items we forgot because we didn’t write them down.

Figure out your menu: Full disclosure. I am not one of those hostesses who worries if I have never made a dish. If it sounds good, looks simple, and you want to try it, try it! If it fails, you will have a great story to share. Get the serving dishes out: Once you know the menu, choose your serving dishes and don’t forget the serving utensils. Gather them all on the dining room table and label them with the name of the dish they will hold. No lastminute scrambling for something to hold the cranberry relish or rolls.

Light up: Candles are available just about anywhere and at many price points. Look for soy and good quality wicks. Use them as an inexpensive way to dress up your home. (There are etiquette rules about when to light candles. Typically candles should not be lit until dusk, but if you want to light them before then, then go ahead.) Individual votives at each place can serve as place cards, a take-home gift, and a source of candlelight.

Tip: Don’t use scented candles around food. No one wants to smell pine while digging into your fabulous roast beef! Save those for other parts of the house. And remember, guests with allergies may be sensitive to heavily scented candles. Create a focal point: Centerpieces can make or break a table. They can also break the bank. Look around your house for things you already own. Bring out all of your candlesticks and put the same color candle in them for a quick and easy way to pull a table together. Then, try filling up any large glass container with cranberries and stick a green or white candle in the middle for a quick, easy centerpiece. Take wineglasses (hello dollar store), turn them upside down, and use the bottom to hold votives (make sure they’re not wobbly.) Use mason jars as simple candle holders. You get the idea. Pull from what you already have stashed in your cupboards. These centerpieces can carry you from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s. Bring it to life: If you want flowers, make sure they will fit the table. When using a centerpiece that’s tall, place it above seated guests’ eye level. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to see the person across from you. If placing florals on a buffet, go tall then, too. You don’t want them dragging in the crab dip. Or take your favorite container to your neighborhood florist, who will be happy to use it.

Add Texture with Fabric Dressing the table starts with the first layer: tablecloths and runners or placemats. If you are going with tableware/ pottery that is ornate, go plain on the cloth. Too many patterns can just look like a jumble. Runners can be a fun way to use your imagination and add color. If you have a pashmina, a plaid blanket or a favorite throw, use it running across the table to spice it up. A flannel throw can change a stuffy setting to a cabin feel. A pashmina can add sparkle to a plain white table. Placemats are a little trickier. If I have a large gathering, I tend to avoid them. With all of the plates and candles and food, they can make a table look disjointed. — continued on page 20

Switching Up Your Color Palette... • Thanksgiving—makes me think of the colors of leaves. Add green and deep autumn oranges. • Christmas—take away the autumn, leave the green and add gold, silver or red. • Chanukah—Keep the white and add silver and blue. • Kwanzaa—Keep the green and add red and black. • New Year’s—All white and silver is easy. If you had blue, keep it for a punch of color.

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Checklist for Saving Your Holiday Spirit! • Create your menu and write it down. • Start with white and add holiday-specific pops of color. • Choose your serving dishes and centerpieces ahead of time. • Use what you have. • Add texture with fabric.

Napkins can change up a look quickly and inexpensively. This is where you can use Google. Learn how to fold the napkins to make your table special. Or use this as an opportunity to do a craft with your children, making napkin rings as place cards. Set aside some quiet time to do this and enjoy the process. It will make the holiday special for your children, especially when everyone sits down at the table and notices their handiwork. Confession time. I come from a Southern heritage. I use cloth napkins because guests are special and this is a step that I just don’t skip. It really won’t kill you to wash and iron them. Pretend you are being “green.” Relax. Stop, breathe, and enjoy your guests. Above is a quick checklist of ways to set the stage for your holiday celebrations without losing your holiday spirit. Finally, accept help from guests—and have fun. Remember, your guests are thrilled to be at your house so they don’t have to clean their place. n

Kimman’s Co. 57 North Beaver Street York, PA 717.854.0440 Facebook: kimmanspa

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York House2Home Fall 2015

Top 5 Lighting Trends of 2015 By Amy Tawney

Decorative Lighting & Design Manager at Schaedler Yesco Lighting Design Center

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) Now more than ever consumers are very interested in saving energy. LEDs rank at the top of the list in both light output and cost savings. LED bulbs consume up to 90% less energy than the incandescent version and their lifespan is substantially longer, in some cases as much as 15-20x longer. Over the past few years manufacturers have worked hard to create LED bulbs with the same color and warmth of incandescent bulbs that we are all familiar and comfortable with.

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So where is the best place to begin making this transition in your home? The most popular gathering spot, the kitchen. Recessed cans are popular in the kitchen and use roughly 65-75 watts of energy per fixture. Replacing the bulbs in recessed cans with an LED bulb or a LED retrofit trim allows you to gain more light (lumens), and only use about 12-14 watts of energy per fixture.

Urban Renewal 20th century Industrial Revolution inspired pendants with vintage bulbs are still hot. Manufacturers are offering a wide array of lighting choices that utilize replicated old industrial pieces from the past like gears, wire cages, rebar, old glass electrical insulators for shades and cloth covered wire. Antique finishes include rust, bronze, corrugated metal and galvanized finishes.

Pantone Colors of 2015 According to Pantone, a leading color trend analyst: “This season there is a move toward the cooler and softer side of the color spectrum. An eclectic, ethereal mix of understated brights, pale pastels and nature-like neutrals take center stage as designers draw from daydreams of simpler times. Remembrances of retro delights, folkloric and floral art, and the magical worlds of tropical landscapes restore a sense of well-being as we head into warmer months.”

Mini Chandeliers “chandelettes” For several years mini chandeliers have been popular in bedrooms, closets and offices. Now the trend is bringing elegance into your bathroom by installing a mini chandelier over your toilet or tub. Whether it’s handcut crystal or a man-made product, the choices are endless. Manufacturers are offering a rainbow of colors to bring “wow” into any room. The trend is hand-blown and seeded glass and machine cut metal which create dramatic effects on the ceiling and walls.

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York House2Home Fall 2015

Schaedler Yesco Lighting Design Center 310 Lincoln Way East New Oxford, PA 717.334.0106

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We are seeing these colors in lighting fixtures as well. And they are helping to create fun yet soothing rooms. Shabby Chic is making its way back into lighting. Shabby chic styling can be best described as French inspired vintage pieces that are usually white or pastel with distressed affects. They have a romantic, feminine feel as if you were living in an old country cottage. n

Pantone Colors of 2015 Aquamarine Scuba Blue Lucite Green Classic Blue Toasted Almond Strawberry Ice Tangerine Orange Custard Yellow Marsala Red Glacier Gray

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Thinking of Selling? Top Changes to Make Your Home Shine By Marie Arcuri

(1) Outdoors: Trim, weed, power wash and paint. Get the

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front of your home looking fantastic so those drive-bys turn into showings. Stage (style and make them neat and welcoming) all of your outside areas, such as patios, decks, walkways, and gardens. Outdoor living spaces are hot items in today’s market.


When people meet me and find out that I’m in Real Estate sales, there are inevitably two questions that follow. The first is “How’s the market doing?” (We won’t get to that one today.) The second question is some version of “What can I do to increase the value of my home?” Or “What would the value be if I _________?” (You can fill in the blank—“remodel my kitchen,” “add a sunroom” or “finish my basement”.) And of course I always follow with a question of my own: “How long do you plan to live in your home?” Here’s why I ask. If you are planning to be in your home for 8, 10, or even 20 years, you can do anything you’d like cosmetically to your home—add a room, remodel whatever you want, put up flowered wallpaper, paint your daughter’s room purple and pink. Because if you are doing improvements and plan to live in your home for a long time, you are getting enjoyment out of your home, and that’s what is important! But often I get asked this question because someone is thinking of moving within the next year or two, and then home improvements are really being done for the benefit of a potential buyer. And that’s when it matters—a lot—what you do and what you don’t do! Here are five things you can do to prepare your home for selling in the foreseeable future:

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(2) Kitchens and baths: These truly sell homes, and everything has to be spotless in both areas. Clean out every cupboard and drawer and store away half of what’s in there. Make sure your appliances are in working order and “show” like new. New linens and throw rugs are in order in both areas. Replace or reface dated countertops and cabinets, but don’t overdo it in cost. You will not get a dollar-for-dollar value from your redo’s even in these rooms. However, if you have extra funds to spend, these are the rooms that will benefit the most.

(3) Throughout: Neutralize colors in all living spaces; paint works wonders. The newest colors have cool undertones, such as grays and steels, which appeal to younger buyers vs. the tans and earth tones of yesteryear. (4) Floors: Remove carpets if there is hardwood underneath. If not, consider replacing carpet in the main living areas. If there is no money in the budget for something new, be sure all flooring is thoroughly cleaned (professionally if necessary.)

(5) Declutter, declutter, declutter: The fewer items sitting and lying around in your spaces, the larger the spaces will feel. Get rid of all personal photos, etc., and leave no

more than three items per surface in your home. Goodbye, knick-knacks, no matter how cool you think they are. Okay, so you’re on your way with five changes that can make a big difference. Here are three no-no’s that you should avoid:

(1) Get rid of odors in your home. If you have pets, take them out of the house for all showings. Be ruthless with odors in your home. Ask someone who loves you enough to tell you the truth as to whether he or she can smell unpleasant odors in your home. If so, don’t try to mask the odors with air fresheners or candles, etc. Get rid of the odors, no matter what it takes.

(2) Don’t expect to get back all the money you’ve put into your improvements. Staging will absolutely net you the highest price possible, but you will not get a 100% return on your investment if you remodel a room. People like to choose their own colors and look. (3) This is not the time to try to hide your home’s imperfections with rugs, strategically placed furniture, etc. If your home has a few “blemishes”—and they all do— eliminate them if you can and disclose them if you cannot. The purpose of staging isn’t to deceive the buyer in any way but to highlight the best features of your home. One final note, ask your realtor about a consultation with a professional stager. Many of us work with stagers and some will provide a staging report as part of the listing contract. n

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York House2Home Fall 2015

Great Fall Perennials By Patricia Gramling


Rockelman’s Nursery As summer draws to a close, the days get shorter and summer color in the garden starts to wane. Some people think that it’s time to hang up the rake, shovel and other various garden tools; it’s over for gardening until next spring. Not so fast! Autumn is the perfect time for adding some pop of color to your yard. It is a great time to plant since the soil is still warm from the summer sun, allowing the roots to expand and develop. While the options are virtually endless, here are four perennials and one shrub that are easy to grow and will spice up your garden with eye-popping color. When planting these or any plants, remember to dig the hole twice as wide as the root ball of the container and the same depth; you want the top of the root ball level with the ground. Remember to water well right after planting and a couple of times during the few weeks ahead, unless of course there is a heavy rain. So break out those garden gloves and give your yard the gift of color! It will be a feast for your eyes! n

Amsonia Hubrichtii: Beautiful, steely-blue flower clusters are followed by soft but bright yellow needle-like leaves in the Fall. A true show stopper. The seedpods can be cut and used in dried flower arrangements. Grows well in sun to light shade.

Heuchera Autumn Leaves: Four seasons of beauty! Pink foliage in the spring, rich taupe in the summer that turns brilliant red in the fall and stays evergreen in the winter. Plant in full sun to full shade.

Brilliance Autumn Fern:

Aster Woods Blue:

Callicarpa Purple Pearls:

Intense orange and copper foliage. The mature fronds are a shiny, rich green that provide a shower of color. A shadeloving plant.

A compact aster that matures to about 12 inches in height, sporting medium-sized blue flowers with gold centers that offers color from August through October. Requires full sun.

This shrub, also know as Beauty Berry, gets its name from the dainty, pinkish-purple flowers in mid- to late-summer, which turn into gorgeous purple berries in the fall. Not only will it add color and interest to your garden, the birds will love it too! Plant in full sun to light shade.

Rockelman’s Nursery 2711 South Queen Street York, PA 717.741.1832

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Plan for a Showy Fall with Great Outdoor Decorating Ideas By Susan Shelly Americans love to decorate their homes—both inside and out. We get ideas for decorating from websites, social media, television shows and magazines, and spend a lot of money on décor. And, while the winter holidays are still the primary season for outdoor decorating, there’s an emerging trend of dressing up our home exteriors for every season— including autumn. York County garden centers and farm stores are stocked with mums, straw bales, corn shocks, Indian corn, pumpkins, gourds and squashes, wreaths and other specialty items to get you started with your outdoor fall decorating. We talked to two in-the-know garden center managers about outdoor decorating trends and what York Countians are looking for when it comes to decorating this fall.

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Here’s what Tim Willard, the general manager of Stauffers of Kissel Hill East York, and Diane Miller, retail manager of York’s Miller Plant Farm, Inc., had to say. It seems that more people each year are decorating outdoors for the fall and Thanksgiving seasons. Why do you think there’s so much interest in outdoor decorating? People are increasingly social, and inviting friends and family into their homes, Willard said. Decorating the front of the home makes it inviting—it makes people want to come in. “Decorating is another form of saying hello, and welcome to our home, Willard said. “It invites people in and tells them that something special is going on here.”

outdoor areas are people most Q: What likely to want to decorate? Entryways, lamp posts, porches, mailboxes, front doors and outdoor entertaining areas are likely areas for decorating. You could do a fall-themed wreath for the front door, or a pumpkin topiary for the porch. Be creative, and place your creative decorations where they are most likely to be seen and appreciated, Miller advised.

sorts of materials are most Q: What popular for fall decorations? While pumpkins and gourds are the most widely used materials, you do not need to be limited to them. Fall plants

such as mums, fall pansies, grasses such as annual purple fountain grass, and ornamental kale and cabbage can be used creatively for stunning displays. Straw bales can be covered with brightly colored cloths and used as seats, tables or shelves on which to exhibit decorative objects. Colorful leaves, polished apples, Indian corn, wheat and corn shocks can be combined for notable arrangements, particularly when partnered with colorful ribbons, swatches of burlap or bows.

about lighting Q: What for outdoor areas? More and more people are incorporating lighting into fall displays, Miller said. LED lights last longer and use less energy, but can be a bit pricey. LED lights are recommended, however, if you’re going to be stringing them into dried grapevines, wheat or corn shocks, Willard advised. “The newer LED lights stay very cool to the touch and can be safely mixed with your dried materials,” Willard said.

“It seems that more people each year are decorating outdoors for the fall and Thanksgiving seasons.”

He advised that, for a softer look, you purchase LED lights labeled “warm white,” which will help you avoid the glaring bluish light that some “white” lights produce. Silicon-tipped bulbs, which produce a soft light and warm glow that are reminiscent of candlelight, can set a nice, soft tone.

Orange and amber lights also are popular for fall decorating, as well as lights designed to look like Candy Corn. “People tend to like those in the fall,” Willard said. “They are festive and set a fun and festive mood.”

Regardless of what type of lights you use, be sure they come with a UL listing, which assures a safe, quality product.

would you recommend to someone who wants Q: What to decorate outdoors early in the fall and have those decorations extend right through Thanksgiving?

Use durable items such as corn shocks and straw bales, Miller advised. Planted grasses are long lasting, and pumpkins often will remain usable from early fall through Thanksgiving. When buying mums, look for those that still have buds, rather than ones already in full bloom. This will keep them blooming further into the fall. Decorations with a fall theme, such as wreaths decorated with autumn leaves or fall flowers, have more staying power than those that focus just on Halloween. “Those sorts of decorations can be used until it’s time to decorate for Christmas, as opposed to having to be taken down after Halloween is over,” Miller said.

other thoughts for extending the Q: Any usefulness of your fall decorations? Willard suggested choosing a rich vineyard look that can take you from fall right through the winter holidays. Inspiring Ideas for York Homeowners

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Create a framework with grapevine garland, weaving in golden accents and fall-colored foliage for fall color. You also can nestle small pumpkins¸ Indian corn and gourds into the grapevine. Incorporating lights can assure that your decorations can go from early fall right into Christmas, Willard suggested. “Use warm light bulbs or amber lighting, as those will transition well for Christmas,” he advised. When it’s time to decorate for the winter holidays, simply replace the fall-themed objects and accents with jewel toned ornaments and ribbons to create a warm, Tuscan-themed holiday look, Willard said.

are some ideas for decorating Q: What for fall on a budget? Decorating can get expensive, but there are steps you can take to keep the costs down. Willard recommended using fairly inexpensive objects like straw bales and corn shocks to fill in large spaces and create visual impact. You can add fall color and texture by adding ornamental grasses and plants such as coral bells. In addition to providing color now, they can later be planted in your garden to grow and bloom again the following year. Large, colorful mums provide a big, showy pop of color and can last for weeks. Willard advised against buying white mums, as they tend to fade to a purplish blue color. Finally, if you’re working to stay within a budget, think about buying three or four quality, attractive items and focus on their placement for maximum impact. “Keep it simple, but elegant,” Miller said. “Sometimes, less is more.” n

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heat in and cold out or vice versa. Inert, colorless, odorless gases, such as argon or krypton, are blown into the glass cavity on windows to increase efficiency.

Are Your Heating Costs Flying Out the Window? By Deb Kearse

Kohl Building Products


Drafty winter breezes have your drapes swaying? Tired of climbing ladders to clean windows and hassle with storm sashes? Agonizing over rising energy bills? Certainly replacing your old, inefficient windows will address your woes, but do you know what to look for? The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates the amount of energy lost annually through windows and doors is $35 billion. So, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Energy Star® program to help taxpayers save money and help the environment through energy efficiency. Energy Star enlisted the National Fenestration* Rating Council (NFRC) to test, rate and label every window manufactured by Energy Star partners. All Energy Star windows display an NFRC label verifying these window energy properties. This helps make sure that the efficient windows you are being sold are truly what the salesperson says they are.

Window Label Lingo: Don’t be intimidated by these terms shown on

the window labels; following each set of initials below are explanations to help you. You won’t become an expert overnight, but it can’t hurt to learn more about this important investment.

U-Factor: Measures how well the window prevents heat from escaping the home. The lower the number, the better. Most of Pennsylvania, in the Energy Star Northern Zone, was given a one-year grace period to comply with U-Factor requirements. Today, the U-factor must be .30 or less; after January 1, 2016, the U-factor must be .27 or less. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): Measures how much heat from the sun is blocked. A higher number is better in northern climates, capturing solar heat gain in the winter and reducing heating costs. The range is zero to 1, with 1 being the maximum amount of solar heat allowed through a window, and 0 being the least.

Visible Transmittance (VT): The amount of light that comes through the glass is expressed as anywhere from zero to 1 VT. A higher number indicates a greater argon or krypton, potential for letting light in. Air Leakage (AL): Indicates how much

Kohl Building Products 860 Wesley Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 800.793.5645 205 Roosevelt Avenue York, PA 877.407.5645

air comes through the product overall. The range is 0.1 to 0.3, with a lower number preferred. Air leakage labeling is optional; manufacturers may choose not to report this measurement.

The Look You Want All this technical jargon is helpful in getting the best value for your investment, but you don’t have to compromise the aesthetics of your home. Exterior color choices are practically unlimited. Weather Shield and Eagle brands offer exterior windows in over 60 designer colors, including metallic. Interior woods come in so many species now besides pine, such as oak, cherry, mahogany, alder, maple and fir. Tailor your window style even more with an array of grille options to accent your home. Low-maintenance vinyl windows have gone far beyond plain vanilla. A top choice of builders and remodelers, Simonton Windows offers a variety of exterior color choices, including Cream, Brick, Pine, Chocolate and Bronze. Interior finishes to match your woodwork include Antique Cherry, Maple or Contemporary Oak, accented with hardware options in oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel or antique brass. The type of window you choose may have an effect on energy savings, but the style of your home may dictate the unit and how it looks. A casement window typically gives you better protection against the elements. The window is hinged on one side like a door, allowing you to crank it out for ventilation. Sash locks draw it in snugly for closure and a tighter seal. Double-hung windows are two panes of glass that slide up and down, allowing ventilation from top and bottom, with a full screen. Closure is at the center where the two sashes meet; these can be locked for safety and energy efficiency.

Your local window sales office can help you wade through the many selections and offer expert advice. Still, doing a little research before you purchase your Low-E: This refers to a coating on triplewindows can prepare you to ask the or double-pane window panes that keep right questions—and make the right decisions—especially when it comes to * Fenestration: a technical term for how windows saving energy. n and doors are arranged on a structure. Inspiring Ideas for York Homeowners

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near you without breaking any rules,” Hazenstab explains. “Cats also need vertical space, especially if they don’t feel safe crossing the room.” Dogs, visitors, and small children can cause stress if cats don’t feel like they can get where they want to go. Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist and the host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” believes cats should be able to navigate around the entire room without touching the floor if there is an issue. (Cat towers and special shelves can help with this.)

Is Your Home Pet-Friendly– and Pet-Safe?


By Cindy Kalinoski

If you’re a pet lover like I am, chances are you’ve learned at least a few things about your pet’s needs. Still, are there important things we don’t yet know? We spoke to a local expert to help fill in any holes in our knowledge when it comes to the most popular pets: cats and dogs. According to Wendy Hazenstab, a Vet Tech at Shiloh Veterinary Hospital, pets need certain basic things. One starting place is the five freedoms for livestock, developed by British medical scientist Roger Brambell. Similar to the needs of indoor pets (and to our own, if you think about it), these are:

• Freedom from hunger and thirst • Freedom from discomfort • Freedom from fear and distress • Freedom to express normal behavior • Freedom from pain, injury and disease

Some of these may seem obvious, such as providing fresh water and food. Or letting a dog be a dog (mine will always try to smell my cat’s, well, rear.) Other pet needs, says Hazenstab, can be less intuitive. She categorizes their needs more in terms of safety and comfort, but also points to mental stimulation, exercise, a healthy diet, and positive reinforcement. Let’s start with a kinder, gentler style of correction.

Clear Direction: For mental and emotional comfort, Hazenstab says, “Pets need to feel safe as far as not getting in trouble for things they don’t understand.” (Such as not leaving your favorite socks lying around…or not leaving the hamburger in the car with the dog while you walk up to the ATM.) Hazenstab is a fan of redirecting pets when they get into things they shouldn’t. “Verbal correction doesn’t have to sound threatening,” she says. “Just ‘Whoops, okay, we’re not going to do that. Let’s go over here.’” (She’s not a fan of the methods of Cesar Millan, of the “Dog Whisperer,” preferring youtube videos from Victoria Stillwell, Kikopup, and Jackson Galaxy.) For dogs, Hazenstab advises setting them up to succeed. “Good training focuses on showing them what we want them to do, instead of saying, ‘Don’t do this, stop doing that, I’m going to hit you,’ This causes a lot of anxiety, (especially when) people’s timing is way off.”

Inviting Places: Pets also need a variety

of resting areas, especially if you don’t want them to live on your couch. Pet beds are great for this, and more is more. “For cats, being in the same room is being sociable, so it’s helpful to have a designated perch where they can sit

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If your puppy or dog isn’t ready to go free range in your home, use baby gates or, when unsupervised, a crate. The crate should be large enough for her to turn around and lie down in. A crate pad or blanket, if it won’t get chewed, can also help make her comfortable. A critical safety concern is keeping pets away from the road. “Physical fences are much easier for most families,” says Hazenstab, “especially with small children who might forget to close doors.”

Safe Toys and Surroundings: Not all toys are safe for pets to play with or chew on. Some can shred, allowing pets to swallow items that could require surgery or even cause death. For dogs, provide hard rubber toys or food-dispensing toys (one brand is Kong) where you place treats inside. For cats, who have been known to swallow Lego toys and hairbands, provide a grass plant or toys approved for cats. Just like baby-proofing your home, you’ll want to be sure that anything your pet can get to is safe (see sidebar for unsafe houseplants and other items.)

Comfort: Another basic right, says Hazenstab, is that dogs shouldn’t have to wait too long to go to the bathroom. She pays a pet sitter to stop by while she’s at work. For cats, they need appropriate litter boxes: “Veterinary behaviorists say cats need options for using their litter boxes, so they suggest one more box than you have cats.” So if you have one cat, that would be two boxes. They shouldn’t be side by side, and they should be big enough so cats can easily turn around in them. Likening an unclean litter box to an unflushed toilet, Hazenstab suggests cleaning them at least once a day. “I don’t want my cat to think it’s easier to go on

the couch because the couch is clean,” she jokes. “You want to encourage your cat to use the litter box.” If he stops using the litter box, rather than getting angry— or getting rid of him—find the source of the problem and fix it. No one ever said owning a pet was all fun and games. If your pets aren’t comfortable with other people’s pets, don’t force them to mix. Not every dog wants to go to the dog park, and not every cat needs “company.” When mixing pets with children, provide close supervision, teaching the kids to invite the pet to come toward them. Letting a child charge at a dog can cause a misunderstanding—and a potential dog bite. Finally, Hazenstab says we need to learn the true needs of our pets. “A lot of people think, ‘My dog is so lucky; he gets to sleep on the couch all day,’ when maybe he’d rather be outside, but he has no choice because the person’s not available.” By taking the time to learn what pets really need, we can provide a home that’s safe and engaging for our pets and the humans in their lives. n

Keeping It Safe for the Four-Footed Guys Whether your pets tend to like to chew on plants or not, it’s good to be informed about which ones can cause them harm—in some cases, very serious harm. Here’s a list of some common, dangerous houseplants along with a few that may be found in your yard. • aloe • amaryllis • asparagus fern • azaleas • corn plant or dracaena • cyclamen (can be fatal) • dieffenbachia

• elephant ear/caladium • heartleaf philodendron & golden pothos (Epipremnum) • lilies (can cause kidney failure in cats) • jade plant • mums • yew

Note: Many bulbs and tubers are unsafe for pets, so be careful if your dog likes to dig, and don’t leave these lying around before you plant them.

Other items that should NEVER be accessible to your pets include the following. Make sure cabinets are secure and can’t be opened by your pets.


• trash • medicines • cleaning products

• rodenticides or pesticides • antifreeze*

* Every year, more than 10,000 pets die from antifreeze poisoning, which has an enticing scent and a sweet flavor. Serious illness and even death can result from just a few drops. So clean up any leaks or spills right away, and watch pets when they’re in locations that may contain spills.

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Be Prepared: Getting Your Snow Blower Ready for Winter By Jay Hawn

Hawn’s Outdoor Power Equipment Inc.


Now is a great time to take your snow blower to a local dealer for any needed maintenance or repairs. Once snow falls, their shop will be extremely busy, which could result in long delays. And there’s nothing more frustrating than suiting up as the snow piles grow, retrieving your blower from the garage, and having it fail to start. If you’re planning to do your own maintenance (or just want to see what we recommend), follow these tips, which will help ensure your snow blower is ready for winter. Always have the blower off and cooled before touching any of its parts. Check your operator’s manual for further details on your particular blower and required maintenance.

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Fresh Fuel (less than 30 days old) Gasoline starts deteriorating over time, and fresh fuel ignites more easily. Old fuel can leave harmful deposits in your blower’s fuel system. Today’s gasoline does not have the same chemical makeup as years ago. Testing has shown that significant deterioration can begin in as little as 30 days. The first sign of old gas is that it makes starting more difficult. This is because the most volatile components of the fuel are the first to deteriorate, and they are the ones that help an engine start easily.

Fuel Stabilizer Fuel stabilizer is designed to help keep the fuel fresher longer. It has to be added the day the fuel

is purchased; otherwise it will not do the job. And it can’t work magic: it will not make old fuel fresh again. (Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the stabilizer regarding the amount of fuel and how to add to it.) It’s a good idea to wait until the cool fall weather season arrives before purchasing gasoline for your machine. Gasoline is re-blended to suit the season, and although the difference isn’t as great as it once was, wintergrade fuel will make cold weather starts easier. Starting will be better if the spark plug is in good condition. If in doubt, replace it. A new spark plug will better ignite the fuel air mixture within the engine. Make sure the spark plug wire securely attaches to the spark plug.

If you have a 4-cycle model (fuel and oil are separate) and didn’t change the oil last spring, now is the time. Even if you only run the machine a few hours a year, the oil should be changed. Oil in a small engine does not break down very fast; however, it does become contaminated. Moisture from the air and small amounts of combustion byproducts (exhaust) will build up in the oil within a very short time. This contamination will result in increased wear and can even eat away at internal parts over time. Following the recommended schedule for your snow blower will prevent expensive repairs.

When it comes to maintenance, it is important to review the starting procedures in your operator’s manual, especially to learn the proper operation of safety features on your snow blower. In York County, you never know how much snow we’ll get, but it’s best to prepare ahead of time so you can take care of whatever comes—and be free to enjoy the beauty of winter weather. n

Hawn’s Outdoor Power Equipment Inc. 2220 Carlisle Road York, PA 717.764.4025 717.764.1138 Fax

H2 H

Give Your Mower a Well-Earned Rest– the Right Way By Jay Hawn

Hawn’s Outdoor Power Equipment Inc. When the last mow of the season is (finally) finished, don’t just stash your mower away without giving it the care it needs to overwinter well. Preparing it properly now means it will be ready to go to work for you in the spring. Check your owner’s manual for specifics for your model, but these basic steps will prep your mower for the winter. You can take the mower to a shop that services them or do the maintenance yourself. Most important is safety: always have the mower off and cooled before touching any of its parts. And don’t be a hero if you’re not familiar with things like spark plugs and sharp blades; you should delegate if mower maintenance isn’t your thing.

Grooming a Clean Machine • Check the blade and engine mounting fasteners to make sure they are all tight • Clean/replace the air filter • Drain and refill the engine crankcase with fresh oil; start it up to allow the engine oil to warm up (4-Cycle models), then turn it off and let it cool before performing any other actions   • Clean off built-up grass clippings and dirt; make sure to remove grass clippings and debris under the belt cover and drive belt as well (self-propelled models) • Grease all fittings on the mower if applicable (refer to your owner’s manual) • Sharpen or replace the blade

Preparing Your Fuel System • Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel in the tank • Run the engine to distribute the stabilized fuel throughout the system • Stop the engine, allow it to cool properly, and drain the fuel tank or run it dry • Restart the engine and run it till it stops • Attempt to restart the engine and run it until it stops, then repeat until the engine does not restart • Dispose of the gasoline properly and recycle containers per local codes (shops that work on small engines or automobiles will typically take old fuel and dispose of it for you for a small fee) • Do not store stabilized gasoline for longer than 90 days

Prepping Your Engine • Remove the spark plug and add about one tablespoon of oil through the spark plug hole • Slowly pull the starter rope several times to distribute the oil • Replace the spark plug but DO NOT connect the spark plug wire (do this at the beginning of the mowing season)

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Tips for Saving Money on HVAC From YORK International It’s Energy Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to test your knowledge. Did you know that most Americans are paying more for electricity and natural gas than they did four years ago? With the average household utility bill now about $1,900 each year, the Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that heating and cooling account for about 56 percent of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. This means it is the largest energy expense for most homes. To reduce these costs, experts recommend the following steps:

Adjust your thermostat: By raising your thermostat just a few degrees in mild temperatures and lowering it in cooler temperatures, you can help your heating and cooling system work less to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Programming your thermostat to accommodate your family’s time away from home and sleeping schedules will also help to ensure your system is operating only when you need it.

Perform regular maintenance: Clean air filters and make sure the areas around your system are clear of obstructions. Evaluate your home’s insulation. Check your existing insulation; proper insulation can improve the efficiency of your system by as much as 20 percent.

Have your system inspected and serviced: A qualified technician will make sure it is working properly and at peak efficiency. If needed, he or she will be able to recommend a new, more efficient system. ENERGY STAR®−qualified equipment, such as the York® AffinityTM Series YP9C modulating gas furnace, meets strict EPA and DOE efficiency guidelines. You can lower your monthly expenses by just the five measures listed above. After all, besides being more ecoconscious, wouldn’t you rather spend your money on other things? n

Install a dehumidifier: Humidity can make the air feel hotter and heavier in warm weather. By removing the humidity, the air will feel drier and cooler, and you will be able to rely less heavily on your HVAC system to make the air comfortable.

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York House2Home Fall 2015

Winter’s Coming: What’s a Deck To Do? By Jason Reider

Waterdog Restoration


If we have a winter like last year—and the Farmer’s Almanac says we will—it’s time to prepare for it. One of the things many people don’t realize is that caring for your deck properly is what will make it last and keep it looking its best. What does it take to prep your deck for winter? Here’s what I’ve learned by caring for and restoring hundreds of decks. I’ll call them the three C’s of good deck care.

Clearing the Decks The two main culprits in degrading your deck are sun and moisture. Of the two, moisture is the main problem during winter in the Susquehanna Valley. Excess moisture leads to rotting and decaying boards on your horizontal deck surfaces. So the key for winter maintenance is to limit deck moisture as much as possible. Start by removing all of the following: planters, pots, mats, area rugs, etc. All of these trap moisture, increasing the rate of rotting wood and thus decreasing the life span of your valuable deck. Other moisture problems involve leaves and snow. Remove all leaves from your deck by simply blowing or sweeping them off. Also, shovel the snow from your deck as soon as possible. Use a plastic shovel, shovel in the direction that the floor boards run, and go easy. This helps minimize scrapes or gouges.

Cleaning Your Outdoor Room One of the best maintenance tasks you can do for your deck is to clean it every year. We come across several main categories of decks in York, Adams and Cumberland Counties. Composite decking—When cleaning this type of deck, manufacturers recommend using a simple solution of

water, soap and common household bleach. Combine one part bleach with two parts water and add a small amount of a detergent in a pump-up sprayer. Apply the cleaning solution, let it dwell, and rinse with low pressure. A scrub brush may be needed, depending on the severity of the mold and grime that’s built up. Wood decking (usually pressure-treated) that has been stained within the past two years—This type of material can be cleaned using the method described above. Wood decking that has not been sealed or stained (or the old stain is failing and needs to be restored)—Typically, we use a professional cleaner/stripper and wood brightener. This effectively removes the mold, mildew, algae, dirt, graying and old coatings to prepare your wood surface for sealing or staining. After cleaning these decks, we neutralize the wood with a brightening agent that works in two very important ways: 1) it brings back the natural color and tone of the wood; and 2) it opens the pores of the wood, allowing for better adherence of the coating. But the project will look only as good as the preparation that is put into it, so follow the steps carefully.

Delegating…or DIY? We recommend hiring a professional for your deck as opposed to DIY due to the possibility of damaging your deck and because of the many deck products touted as the ultimate in deck care. Choose carefully when selecting a company to care for your valuable asset, as damage can be frustrating and costly. Many cleaning and painting companies offer “deck cleaning or pressure washing” as a service and may not be aware of the proper methods for restoring wood. Professional versus “Others”—When restoring exterior wood, follow a 90/10 rule. To preserve the wood’s integrity—and keep from damaging it—remove at least 90% of any existing coatings and issues. This leaves 10% to be addressed by sanding or other means when it’s time to seal or stain

*Industry representatives often recommend a pressure range of 300—1200 psi on wood surfaces.

— continued on page 38

Inspiring Ideas for York Homeowners

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the wood. At times we use a pressure washer as a tool; in other instances, we may use a garden hose, sanders, or a combination of tools and equipment. Be aware that pressure washers do not restore wood. They are used only for rinsing restorative agents from the surface.*

Coating Your Deck It can be overwhelming when trying to choose a product to coat your deck. Many manufacturers try to design a product that can beat Mother Nature. The fact is, Mother Nature will always win, and many of these new products cause more problems than they solve. We recommend staying away from “deck over” or “restore” products that are being promoted in the big box stores. You cannot simply apply a thick product like these onto your deck and expect it to look new again. These products tend to trap moisture in the deck and can accelerate rotting. They also tend to bubble and peel within the first year. The same goes for solid deck stains. Peeling and flaking are all too common within a year or two. Beware of products that list benefits like 5-, 7-, or 10-year protection. This is a marketing gimmick that is not realistic. Realistic expectations for deck stains are 2-3 years for horizontal surfaces and 3-5 years for vertical surfaces. Each deck is different due to its environment and construction and therefore will offer different results.

Transparent sealers work well for protecting your deck from moisture, but they don’t protect it from the sun. Remember, it is moisture and sun that cause a deck to degrade. Protecting from one and not the other won’t give your deck the longest life possible.

Our Picks We recommend a quality oil-based stain that is either a semi-transparent or a semi-solid. These tried-andtrue products offer great penetration into the wood, fantastic protection from the environment, are resistant to peeling and flaking, and are easy to maintain. We use Armstrong Clark and TWP 1500 stains. Other quality stains are Baker’s Gray Away and Ready Seal. These stains are not found in big box stores in our area, but can be purchased online. Of the stains offered locally in the big box stores, our pick would be Cabot’s line. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when applying sealers and stains. We prefer china bristle brushes for applying oil-based stains. Sprayers can make the project go faster, but be sure to back-brush after spraying. This helps drive the stain into the wood and give an even coat and appearance. Always protect siding, glass, pavers, concrete, etc., during the staining process. Cleaning and staining decks is hard work. It is timeconsuming and can cause a lot of headaches. If you want to maximize the life of your deck without all of the headaches, contact a local deck restoration company and get on a 2-3 year maintenance program. Admit it, deck cleaning, staining or sealing is not your favorite job, but it is essential for preserving your deck and the large financial investment you put into it. Take care of your deck with regular maintenance so you can enjoy your beautiful outdoor room for many years to come. n

WaterDog Restoration 840 Detters Mill Road Dover, PA 717.891.8558

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