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home & Garden

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MASTERING GARDENING WHAT’S NEW IN HOME DECOR

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SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

MARCH 13, 2015

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MARCH 13, 2015

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

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Welcome to the 2015 Peninsula Home & Garden Expo By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

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elcome to the 2015 Peninsula Home & Garden Expo at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The three-day show includes more than 120 exhibitors in the Kitsap Pavilion and about 50 in Presidents Hall, as well as several outdoor exhibits. In the VanZee building, Kitsap Habitat for Humanity will have a building surplus sale. Among the exhibitors will be home repair and improvement companies, cabinet makers, painting companies and contractors, heating and cooling experts, roofing companies, and fence builders. Additionally, there’s a number of exhibitors who can help you with design elements for your home, and experts on gardening who can answer your questions as the spring gardening season gets under way. Appliance dealers and real estate agents are among the vendors, as well as professionals who can give you information about how to prevent injuries while work-

Gardening is a large part of many homeowners favorite passions for spring and summer. Inside learn about the Kitsap Master Gardeners and organic gardening. ing on your home and yard, energy conservation, decks and greenhouses.

home & Garden

is published in spring and fall by Sound Publishing. For information about upcoming special publications, call 360-779-4464. Publisher: Lori Maxim Special Publications Editor: Leslie Kelly Contributors: Sheila Taylor Advertising Director: Donna Etchey Sales Representatives: Jennifer Zuver, Frank Portello, Annie LaValle, Billi Jean Gurnsey, Michael Wilridge, Marleen Martinez Creative Services Manager: Bryon Kempf Marketing Artists: Mark Gillespie, Kelsey Thomas, John Rodriguez, Vanessa Calverley Sponsors: Hanley Construction, Peninsula Paint, Air Masters, Floor Decorators and Quality Heating Copyright 2015 Sound Publishing

Throughout the three days there will be seminars on trends in home design

offered by many of the vendors and local experts. Don’t miss the special features of this year’s expo, including the Garden Art Walk and the second Lego Brand Building Blocks Challenge. The expo begins March 13 at 2 p.m. and will close at 8 p.m. Hours on March 14 are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on March 15, the show will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults. Teens age 13-17, active-duty military, and senior citizens get in for $5. There is a $10 pass that will admit you for all three days. Plenty of free parking is available. Be sure to check it out at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, 1200 Fairgrounds Road NW, in Bremerton. Be sure to check out our sponsors’ booths at the Home & Garden Expo: Air Masters, Peninsula Paint, and Hanley Construction. And take time to stop by the Master Gardeners’ booth and say hello to Peg Tillery and Gayle Larson, sources for information in this special section.

Now’s the time to buy or sell a home By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

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he real estate wave is hitting Kitsap County. That’s according to Frank Wilson, managing broker at John L. Scott in Poulsbo. “We call it the ‘wave,’ ” he said. “It starts in Seattle, and then moves to Bainbridge Island, and then to the rest of Kitsap County.” The “wave” is the shortage of housing on the market for buyers to consider. And Wilson only expects the inventory to get tighter as spring and summer arrive. “Our inventory right now is about 800 homes on the market throughout Kitsap County,” Wilson said. “As we get into spring and summer, more homes will come on the market because historically, it’s the time when sellers list. But even with that, there’s such a pent up demand, that homes will get absorbed quickly.” When the inventory is low, it’s more likely that there will be mul-

tiple offers and that can make prices escalate, Wilson said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed that things will stay sane and that it won’t get crazy out there,” he said. What’s most important for anyone thinking about buying or selling a home in the comings months, is to be educated about the process. Wilson suggests interviewing several real estate brokers before selecting who you want to work with. “Make sure that you work with someone who you communicate with well,” he said. “And make sure your personalities match. Take your time.” Just as with a lawyer, a contractor or any other professional, Wilson said talk to two or three. And find one that knows the local market well. That’s the key to success. He added that since July 2010, all real estate agents in Washington state go by the title of broker. “You can troll the internet and

look at what the large networks like Zillow are saying,” he said. “But you need to work with a broker who has the hyper-local information.” An example, he said, is that local brokers who have worked in Kitsap County know things like neighborhood reputations, whether a hill has a history of slides and whether the area where you are looking will best fit your needs. If you are buying, meet with your broker in the office and lay out what your expectations are. “You shouldn’t be looking at houses the first time you meet,” Wilson said. “You first need to understand how the process works. In this market, buyers can get disappointed if they make an offer and don’t get the house. Buyers need to know the realities of today’s market.” If you are selling a home, Wilson said you need to walk out to the curb and turn around and look back See REAL ESTATE, Page 5


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SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

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Organic gardening: It’s not as hard as you may think Take time to plan — and make sure you have good soil with all of the right nutrients By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

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rganic gardening is all about working with nature, not against nature. That’s the message from Gayle Larson, a Master Gardener and certified professional horticulturalist who lives in Kitsap County. “Gardening of any kind is tough if you’re a control freak,” Larson said. “You’re going to have some things that don’t work. The important thing is to keep learning.” Larson is part of a team of Master Gardeners that works with Kitsap County and annually gives a four-week class in gardening the organic way. Her own gardening experiences began when she caught the “gardening bug” from her husband after they moved to Kitsap County 16 years ago. “My husband had grown up around gardening,” she said. “I had not.” But soon, she was getting a degree in landscape design and began her company, Dancing Raven Designs, where she coaches and designs edible gardens. The real difference in organic gardening and any other kind of gardening is “looking at the big picture,” she said. “Think of your garden as part of the overall ecological system,” she said. “Choose methods with that in mind.” It’s easy to think about using a pesticide when you see a critter in the garden, she said. But there’s a better way. “When you see an aphid on the broccoli, think about the fact that if you spray it with a synthetic pesticide that will affect other creatures, beyond the aphid,” she said. “And [the pesticide] may or may not break down in the water system. It can have lasting effects in the environment.” An alternative method is to squish bugs or spray them with water. But it’s best to start at the beginning. When planning an organic garden, think about where you plan to put your garden, Larson said.

A garden container is filled with fresh organic herbs. Growing organic in containers and in raised beds takes a bit more preparation and soil amendments. Contributed photo “Analyze the site,” she said. “How much sun does it get? What’s the drainage like?” Most vegetable crops need six hours of direct sunlight, she said. You can do with less, but the vegetables won’t be as luscious. If your site is too wet, you’ll need to think about drainage amendments, she added. For beginning gardeners, plant raised beds. Next, think about what you like to eat. Determine what crops you want to plant. “And do a lot of planning,” she said. “Most hobby gardens are about four feet by eight feet. A zucchini plant needs three to four feet of space. So, you’d only get three or four zucchini plants in that garden and nothing else.” An important step is to check your soil. Larson suggests that you take a sample of your soil for a complete analysis. That costs only about $50, she said and there are companies in Kitsap County that will do the testing. “Most of the time, the soils in our backyards are fine,” she said. “But with the tests, you’ll be able to see what nutrients you need to add for the best results.” If you need additives for your soil,

such as nitrogen, a local nursery can help. Also, in off seasons, consider planting a “cover crop” like crimson clover that is then tilled back into the soil. Consider buying your seeds from local seed catalogues, places like Territorial Seeds, Irish Eye Seeds and Uprising Organics. Use your plans and space allotments to decide how much and what crops to plant. Another option is to buy plant starts at Master Gardener plant sales or at local farmers markets. Easy crops for beginners include lettuce, radishes and tomatoes. “One important thing is to make sure that the maturation season isn’t too long,” she said. “Check the seed packet to see that it’s within the 60-day window of the typical growing season we have here.” Gardeners also need to plan for the amount of time they want to devote to their gardens, Larson said. “Are you going to give it an hour a day or an hour a week,” she said. “Planting is just the first step. There’s lots of time involved in watering and weeding and harvesting. Make sure you’re going to be able to keep up with whatever you plant.” Once the garden is planted, do your

watering and weeding. At the first sign of trouble, ask for help. “If you see that there’s something eating your plants, observe your garden,” she said. “Look at it at various times of the day. If you can see the insect or critter that’s at work, capture it and put it in a plastic ziplock bag, refrigerate it until you can take it to a Master Gardener for help.” If you don’t see a bug but see holes in leaves on your plants, take those leaves to a Master Gardener. “That’s why the Master Gardeners are at the local farmers markets,” she said. “They want to help. Or call the county extension service and find out a time when you can bring in your sample.” If all else fails, Google “holes in tomato plants in the Pacific Northwest,” she said. Help is also available in many online publications of the WSU Extension Service, she added. An example, she said, were the problems she had with her potatoes last summer. “Something was eating them,” she said. “We narrowed it down to flea beetles. But those critters can fly and hop. So what I did, rather than spray, was to cover my plants with row cover fabric.” And, she said, this year, she’s going to plant earlier to avoid the flea beetles which come out at the end of the potato growing season. “Those are the kinds of things that people need to consider instead of using chemicals,” she said. “And consider that organic vegetables aren’t going to be the perfect looking produce you may see in the grocery store. But really, who would want to eat anything that the bugs don’t want to eat anyway,” she joked. And remember that pests usually are there for a reason. “There’s a balance in nature,” she said. “Take aphids. If you eliminate all of them, then the ladybugs have nothing to feed off of. So sometimes just being patient and waiting is the key.” Look at how things grow naturally and imitate nature, she said. “Things grow all jumbled up together,” she said. “So think about that as you plan what vegetables and flowers you’re planning to plant and where.” To contact Larson, go to www.dancingravendesign.com. To find out more about organic gardening classes, email kitsapvegclass@gmail.com.


MARCH 13, 2015

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

Organization is key to regaining space in home By SHEILA TAYLOR

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any of my clients become frustrated with the level of disorganization in their homes and they enlist my services. Here are a few organizing tips that you can use to bring organization, efficiency and calm to your home environment. First, start off small. Try organizing a few drawers or cabinets, rather than the entire room. Plan out when, where and what you will organize, and stick to it. This process is great for those who are easily distracted, and also for those who do not have solid blocks of time to devote to organizing. When organizing, remove all items from the area, say a drawer. Sort them with like items, for instance, shirts in one pile, pants in another, etc. Now, evaluate each item. When was the last time you used it? Do you have multiples of the same item that you may not need? Be honest with your answers and don’t be afraid to let something go if you can’t remember the last time you used it. From the questions above, you can sort your items into four different categories: keep, throw away, sell or donate. When returning your keep items to the drawer, put them away neatly, which will entice you to keep a neat drawer going forward. For the items you wish to donate, bag them up and put them in your trunk. Add to your to-do list to drop off at the charity of your choice. If you are not the creative type and need

Real estate

Continued from page 3 at your house. “Have your broker with you,” he said. “We call it ‘zero-based thinking.’ Maybe it’s that broken step that you don’t even see anymore. Or maybe you need to put down some beauty bark. These are the things that the broker will see when you don’t.” Inside the home, improvements can include clean carpets, new paint, or fixing doors that stick. “You don’t have to redo your kitchen,” Wilson said. “Or add another bathroom. Typically that’s not what’s needed. Improvements don’t need to be expensive.” Think price, staging and pick the right broker before you sell. “Homes need to look good, feel good and

ideas on how to containerize items, google “organizing ideas” or “organizing pictures.” There are some very inventive ideas that you may be able to easily incorporate into your home. For example, an over-the-door pocket shoe organizer can be used for more than just shoes. Use it on the mudroom door to hold hats, gloves, scarfs, sunglasses, dog leashes, keys and wallets. Or use it on the back of a child’s bedroom door and store small toys, as well as arts and craft supplies. If you lack storage in your bathroom, cut the shoe organizer in half and glue to a rod, and hang it inside your bathroom cabinet. It can offer a home for nail polish, floss, deodorant, perfume, lotion and much more. To increase the efficiency of your household, run weekly family meetings where each person’s calendar of activities is recorded onto the family calendar. Take note of work commitments, sporting events, school clubs and any other activities. Once all events are noted on the family calendar, parents can discuss and coordinate plans for the upcoming week. Hold the family meetings on a night when all family members are normally at home, and set aside 30 to 45 minutes for the meetings. — Sheila Taylor is a professional organizer and the owner of Clutter Controllers LLC. Contact her at 360-917-9004, cluttercontrollers@hotmail.com, or go to www.cluttercontrollers.org. smell good,” he added. For buyers who are in the market at a price range of $250,000 to $350,000, homes will go fast, Wilson said. “That’s where most of the activity is happening,” he said. “Those homes will get taken up pretty quickly.” Waterfront homes have been the last to recover from the slow real estate market. “There are great deals on the waterfront —- Dyes Inlet and along the Hood Canal,” he said. “That’s really the area that’s been the last to recover and they are lagging behind in appreciation.” If you’re thinking of buying or selling, Wilson recommends: “Step back and assess what you want in your life. If owning a home or moving up to a larger home is what you want, now is a good time. Interest rates are low and you’ll get a good return on investment.”

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SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

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MARCH 13, 2015

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MARCH 13, 2015

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Roofing business is all in the family for the Hanleys By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

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organ Hanley was only 8 years old when his father, Oliver, had him up on a roof, helping out. So it’s no surprise that roofing runs in the family. Now, with 35 years in the business, Hanley Construction is a father and son operation. On any given day, they have from five to 10 projects underway. Hanley Construction began in 1980 and specializes in all types of roofing projects — small and large, residential and commercial. The company has 42 employees and a large fleet of trucks — red trucks. In fact, they’re known for the bright red trucks with the yellow and black “Hanley” logo that travel all over the Kitsap Peninsula for roofing work. “I’m not really sure how the red trucks started,” said Morgan Hanley, who is vice president of the company. “But my dad always loved red vehicles ever since he was a child.” Oliver Hanley, a Vietnam War veteran, was a teacher by profession and retired from the Port Orchard School District in 1999. In the 1980s, he started buying homes to remodel and lease as rentals. When he couldn’t find someone good to re-roof his rentals, he began doing that himself. “A year or so later, another guy with rentals asked my Dad to roof his house,” Hanley said. “And Dad just decided he liked roofing.” So, for years, Oliver would teach and roof weekends during the school year and roof during the summer. Morgan helped out when in high school and during the summers while he was in college at Washington State University. When Morgan graduated in 2000, he came to work for the family business full time. While he admits that roofing isn’t something that excites people, he thinks it should. “It’s the first thing people see when they see your house,” he said. “Making sure you have a nice looking, good quality product is really important. Don’t forget that your roof protects everything inside your home and for most people their home is their biggest investment.” With any roof and any product that Hanley installs the owner gets a lifetime workmanship guarantee. “We like to say that we’ll provide the last roof you’ll ever need,” he said. “Anything that goes wrong, even leaks, we’ll be there.” One of the ways Hanley sets itself apart form other roofing companies is that they hand-nail all roofs.

Hanley Construction is known for its red trucks. This tow truck was renovated by owner Oliver Hanley and is shown at car shows and home shows in the area. Contributed photo “Quality is important to us,” he said. “And our employees are paid by the hour, not by the job. That means they know they can take the time to do it right.” The company has long term employees and they are trained on new products continually. They aren’t seasonal employees. Employees are background checked and under go drug testing, as well. Safety is key for the company. “Our foremen conduct daily safety meetings at each site before the work begins,” Hanley said. “And we have weekly safety meetings here at the office. We have a field superintendent who also makes unannounced visits daily to all of our job sites and performs a formal safety inspection.” Hanley Construction recently was named in the top five roofing companies in North America for 2014 by CertainTeed Materials Corporation and also received the Platinum TrackRecord ™ Award. “That’s important to us because it shows that we do the job right the first time,” he said. “We’re always on the cutting edge. We want to set the standard and be the leader in our industry.” One of the largest roofs the company has done is the Marine View Beverage Company office and warehouse in Poulsbo. It has about 100,000 square feet of roof. A current project that Hanley is excited about is the expansion of the Salvation Army Building on Sixth Street in Bremerton. They got the roofing work by competitive bid. Because of the growth in the company during the past few years, they’re moving the office to a new location at 250 Bethel, the

former Port Orchard Signs building. They expect to be in that location by July. “We look forward to having a showroom where customers can visit and view the

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many products that we offer,” he said. The current office is on Fircrest Drive, just next to the first rental house his father ever purchased. The warehouse and trucks will remain at that location. And still today, Oliver Hanley is very active in the business and still gets up on roofs. “He does all the final inspections,” said his son. “And he takes care of all the buying and maintenance of our fleet of trucks. He also recycles all the old metal from roofs we work on.” Soon, there may be a third Hanley in the business. Morgan’s brother, Joseph, is now in college and has been roofing during his summer breaks. “He’s expressed an interest in the business as well,” he said. But don’t count on Morgan’s kids being on a roof anytime soon. His daughters are only 2 and 4 years old. Visit Hanley Construction at 1750 Fircrest Drive SE, Port Orchard, or call 888-8345015. Find them online at wwwiroofit.com. Services: Commercial roofing, residential roofing, roof repair and maintenance, Duradek waterproof deck membranes.

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SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

MARCH 13, 2015

They’re the comfort masters in and around Kitsap By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

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or years, they were competitors. But now they’re a winning combination. In 2010, Steve Krecker and Mark Timmerman, combined their heating and cooling businesses under the name of Air Masters, Inc. And that’s just what they are — the masters of keeping us cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. Krecker began his business in Port Orchard in 1986. He grew up in New York, but after serving in the U.S. Navy, a Navy buddy of his convinced him to visit the Pacific Northwest and once here he knew he had to stay. For a time, he worked at Bangor as a mechanic before beginning his own business. “I got into the HVAC shop at Bangor and I found it to be a fascinating trade,” Krecker said. “There are just so many facets to it. I just ate it up.” So after 10 years there, he started his own company, Air Masters Inc. It was in 2010, that the Timmerman family and the Krecker family decided to join forces and merged their two companies to better

Steve Krecker, left, and Mark Timmerman serve their clients and their employees. Timmerman’s company Mark Air had been in business in Kitsap County for 10 years. “It just made sense,” Timmerman said. “We came up with a strategy for our business and we retained the best employees and our best practices. And by combining our companies, we reduced overhead.”

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BECU is a not-for-profit and locally owned credit union.

Their personalities complimented the others and they both had the same goal — to be the premier HVAC contractor on the Peninsula. “It can be difficult to maintain that,” Krecker said. “But good customer service is what we strive for and that is what keeps our clients returning to us year after year. Whether it is for replacement of their current system, annual maintenance, or repair — they know we have the integrity and professional serLeslie Kelly photo vice that they deserve.” The company does residential and commercial heating and cooling work. With residential, much of their business is maintenance and repair. They also retrofit new products in existing homes and businesses and they do install systems in new construction. While they carry several name brands, Air Masters is the only premier Lennox dealer in Kitsap County. “Our repeat customers are the backbone of the business,” Timmerman said, noting that they will work on all equipment they sell and on what others have sold to customers, as well. They service all makes and models of heating and cooling equipment. About the only type they do not work on is oil. “Oil heat as a whole has been being phased out not only for its inefficiency and cost. Also, it is a fossil fuel and not a green choice or product to offer our environmentally conscience clientele,” Timmerman said. One of their largest commercial customers is Kitsap Bank. “We go on lots of ‘comfort calls,’ where an office is either too cold or too hot,” Krecker said. “Kitsap Bank really cares about their employees and they want them to be comfortable in their working environment.” In addition, Air Masters does quarterly maintenance of all heating and cooling equipment in each of the 16 Kitsap Bank locations. “Our service techs literally touch every piece of equipment in each of those banks every three months,” he said. “Lynae Goodwin, our service coordinator, does an excellent job and exceeds customer’s expectations with her exceptional customer service. She makes every service call happen without any hiccups. If there are any issues, she is quick to rectify and come up with reasonable resolutions for the client. We can always count on her.” A typical residential service call is “someone who doesn’t have heat in the winter,

or air conditioning in the summer,” said Timmerman. “We go out and introduce ourselves and find out what is going on with their system,” he said. “We give them a (written) quote for the repair and then we let the customer decide whether to move forward. All of our work is flat rate priced and everything is up front before we do any work.” Heat pump systems are definitely the most popular, Krecker and Timmerman said. “They are the norm,” Timmerman said. “They are popular because they use electricity, and don’t use any fossil fuels for the same amount or less energy cost.” Additionally, the new ductless heat pump technology is popular. “The ductless technology is new,” Timmerman said. “But it’s gaining a strong foothold. In the next five years, we’re going to see it become a substantially larger part of the industry.” Both Krecker and Timmerman said their one key piece of advice is to hire a licensed, bonded, and insured company to do any work within your home. “Get someone with a good reputation,” Timmerman said. “Heating and cooling systems are a lot more complicated than you might think. If you hire someone who is not properly trained to do the work, things could be installed improperly. Heating and cooling is a substantial investment. Improper installation or a system that is not properly sized could make the system run harder, making replacement a sooner reality than any homeowner would like. Make sure it’s done right.” The company has 12 employees and four owners. They see community service as a big part of what they do. In December, they helped eight children with holiday gifts through the South Kitsap Project Holiday program. They do food drives for South Kitsap Helpline and they often do projects to support local schools. They are members of the Kitsap County Homebuilders Association and their operations manager/marketing director, Lena Price, was recently named Associate Member of the Year for her volunteer work. “It is important that we support the community that supports us,” Timmerman commented. “We encourage our employees to be involved in the community, their family’s churches, and local volunteer organizations. Volunteering has many intangible benefits that no one person can know without experiencing it themselves.” Air Masters, Inc. is located at 3210 SE Mile Hill Drive, Port Orchard. Call 360-895-2527, or go to www.airmastersheating.com.


MARCH 13, 2015

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

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SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

N O R T H

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MARCH 13, 2015

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

PAGE 13

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PAGE 14

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

MARCH 13, 2015

Peninsula Paint: Local company that keeps on growing Adding a fresh coat of paint to a room is one of the least expensive ways to bring it up to date

understating their customers’ needs. Ray and Diane say that their employees are trained to interview each customer to understand the project, so they can recommend the best products for that project. “We continue to educate our employees on what we sell,” Diane said. “We have online courses and factory representatives that come in and train our employees.” Customer service is something that Ray and Diane stress with their employees. They often refer to the book “The Customer Signs Your Paycheck” and the 10 Commandments of Customer Service. While working as a married couple can have its challenges, Ray’s stayed on the operations side and Diane on the administrative side of the business and it seems to work. They have two daughters, Michelle, 23, works for the company, and Kerri, 25, lives and works locally. They are involved with the community and often provide paint for community service projects. They now have five locations to serve customers: Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Townsend, and Gig Harbor. Go to www.peninsulapaintco.com to find store hours and location information.

By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

I

f you ask Ray and Diane Donahue what they know, they’d say paint. So, it only makes sense that they own and operate five Benjamin Moore Paint stores under the name of Peninsula Paint Centers. As a former sales representative in the paint industry, Ray knew retailing and paint products, while Diane had a background in accounting and knew the business end of things. In 2004, they started with three stores in Port Townsend, Sequim, and Poulsbo. While they felt the recession and closed the Sequim store in 2011, they were able to sustain their business and in 2012 added a store on Bainbridge Island (formerly Winslow Paint Co.) and this year added Gig Harbor and Bremerton (formerly Nayer Paint). But just what’s kept them in business even through the last recession? Great products, great customers, and great employees, they say. “Benjamin Moore is the only national paint company that primarily goes to market through independent dealers, like ourselves.” Ray said. “We are privately-owned businesses selling high quality products.” They also belong to a national buying group, made up of independent paint dealers, which helps them, purchase better and keep them competitive with the big national chains. While Benjamin Moore isn’t the least expensive product on the market, the Donahues know it’s a quality product line. “Customers often use less paint,” he said. “There’s story after story of customers who tell us that they were able to cover with one coat, or were able to re-coat after an hour, or it didn’t take as many coats, or as many days with lesser quality paints. He added that they carry a “full menu of price options.” One of the important aspects of the paint they sell is that most of the products are “green.” Benjamin Moore has been on the forefront of creating low V.O.C. (volatile organic compounds) paints for many years. “These are environmentally-friendly paints without compromising the Benjamin Moore quality.”

Keys to painting a room Diane and Ray Donahue have owned and operated Peninsula Paint since 2004. Today, they have five stores including new stores in Bremerton and in Gig Harbor. Leslie Kelly photo All paint products have changed over time due to federal regulation, he said, but even with that, the quality of the Benjamin Moore paints has stayed superior. For anyone looking for help in making their paint decisions, Peninsula Paint Centers have design centers where they can come peruse design magazines, color brochures, look at paint samples, and talk with sales people about their individual projects. They now have portable color scanners available in each store to match your items to the nearest Benjamin Moore color. “We have the tools they need to make decisions,” he said. If they prefer professional assistance we can refer them to local designers or contractors that we work with in the individual markets. The Historical Collection is a tried and true color collection that has been around for many years, includes earth tones and colors from nature. This collection is very popular in the Northwest. The Williamsburg collection is a replication of many centuries-old East Coast historical colors.

When a customer is deciding on color, they can check out larger color sheets to tape up on their wall or they can buy a pint sample for $6.99 and paint a section of their wall. “It’s well worth taking the time to test a color.” Ray said. “Because paint looks different under different lighting, and can look different depending on the surroundings, it’s a whittling-down process. Painting is one of the least expensive ways to transform the look or feel of a room.” While residential customers make up a large part of their business, commercial contractors are also a big part of it, too. “We have many contractors that start out their day with us. They come in, have some coffee, get their paint, and head out to whatever job they’re doing.” He said one contractor, who recently retired, came in and sat at the same stool at their front counter every day for years. “He was kinda like Norm from ‘Cheers,’ ” he said. An important part of their business is

Clean ceiling and walls: Remove dust, dirt, and grease spots with water, a little mild dishwashing detergent, and a cellulose sponge. Beginning at the corner of the room, use a two-inch or 2.5-inch trim brush to “cut in,” applying a three-inch strip of coating along the perimeter where the wall and the ceiling meet. Cut in a section at a time, alternating between cutting in and painting the ceiling to maintain a wet edge and prevent a visible line between the cut-in area and the rest of the ceiling. Before you begin painting the ceiling, remove excess paint on the roller by slowly rolling it back and forth over the ridges of the paint tray. Start painting near the corner of the room, blending the coating into the ceiling line painted previously. Paint across the width of the ceiling, rather than the length. Once your ceiling is dry, use a trim brush to carefully cut in along the wall-ceiling line. Extend out two to three inches from windows, doors, and moldings. Use a roller to fill in the field. Once the walls are completely dry, place painter’s blue tape where the trim meets the wall. Paint the moldings, baseboard and the door and window frames with a two-inch angled brush. Paint your baseboards last.


MARCH 13, 2015

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

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Home gardening: A great way to grow your own food ers, if you’re gardening for the first time. If not, assess the soils in your previous gardens and determine if you need to ust about everyone aspires to have a add new soil and more fertilizer and/or garden. But many times, they don’t compost. know where to begin. “Ask the expert at the garden center or That’s when the help of others comes soil place in handy. Just to suggest ask Master the mix Gardener Peg you need, Tillery. depend“The best ing on thing is to do what your homeyou’re work first,” growing Tillery said. and the “Read a book, drainage,” or take a class, she said. or go and talk Once to an expert you have at the local the beds gardening cenand conter.” tainers It’s not Contributed photo ready, cheating to consider Flowers can be planted to show a mix of color. ask for help, planting especially for starts that beginning you purchase from garden clubs. gardeners, she said. And in this area, it’s Tillery said you can start from seeds, necessary so that you’ll get region-spebut that takes much more care. cific information that gives you the very “You have to babysit them,” she said. best chance of success. “If you grow your own starts from seeds, If you’re looking for a book to help start you out, try the Seattle Tilth garden- you’ll need a place where you can control the moisture and the temperature. And ing book, which is available online or at then, once you plant them outdoors, to local gardening stores. Tillery also sugbe successful, you’ll need a sheltered gests taking classes offered by the WSU area, such as a cold frame or hoop Extension Service Master Gardeners. house.” “We have a lot of really good experiToo, she said, think about sharing with enced gardeners around here who know another gardener, because most times the various parts of Kitsap County and you’ll grow way more starts than you can what will grow well in specific areas,” ever plant and care for. she said. “Don’t be afraid to ask them for “Most gardeners only start seeds if help.” they know they won’t be able to find Whether you plan to grow vegetables those specific varieties in starts elseor flowers, in your yard, raised garden where,” she said. beds or in containers, the first step after Once you begin to plant the starts in studying is to decide how much time, pots or raised beds, think about lettuce, effort and money you are willing to spinach, radishes and snap peas. They spend on gardening. will do well in spring when crops need “Start small if you are just beginning,” cooler temperatures. she said. “And think about plants that Summer crops can be anything from won’t need a lot of daily care if you don’t have that kind of time to devote to them.” tomatoes to peppers, squash, beans, kale and other root vegetables. Her suggestion is to grow what you “My favorite veggies are ones I can like — whether it’s varieties of flowers or plant directly from seed — carrots, vegetables. “Don’t grow peas or beans if you’re not lettuce, peas, beans, beets and even squash,” she said. “The major mistake going to eat them,” she said. “Grow what that happens with seeds not sprouting is you like to eat.” Early spring is the time to place a good that the seeds are planted way too deep. Carrots and lettuce seeds are so tiny that soil mix in your raised beds and contain-

By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

J

you just barely sprinkle soil over them and press them flat to touch the soil and they magically sprout. Carrots when they first sprout look like two sprouts of teensy grass blades and then the ferny leaves come next.” Tillery said another tip is that the leafy plants — lettuce, chard, kale — all can be cut back to eat but leave some leaves still on and these plants will re-sprout. Broccoli re-sprouts continuously too, just cut off the flower part and at every part where you cut the broccoli off, it will re-sprout with smaller broccolis - all summer long, she said. “It’s way cool,” she said. “Sometimes if plants go to seed (i.e. start sprouting long stems with flowers on them) that part is delicious cut up and stir fried or put in salads.” And if you plant a summer crop to harvest in the winter, try kale, chard, broccoli, beats and carrots. “If you’re going to grown a winter crop, be sure to study up on how to do that,” she said. “Try a book called ‘Winter Gardening’ by Chris Smith.” For the beginner, know ahead of time that you are going to have failures. “Every gardener tries every thing at

Here’s what to plant and when March: peas (that grow up a teepee), lettuces, kale and chard May/June: one more batch of lettuce, broccoli starts, spinach and direct seed the bush beans (a selection of purple, green and yellow beans) July/August: (usually closer to mid to late July and early August) — some from seed and some from starts, kale and chard from starts but also do seeds; carrots from seeds (the ball-shaped carrots called Parisiene Market carrots.) They freeze really well. Blanch by putting boiling water for two minutes, then put directly into ice water with ice and drain and freeze). Try broccoli starts and beets from seed.

least once,” she said. “If it works, great. If not, you have something more to add to your compost.” If you’re going to grow in containers, consider smaller quantities. Peas do well and can grow up trellises. Tomatoes do well in pots, too, she said. A hint is to alway look at the instructions on the starts or seeds when purchasing them. “Make sure they have a 60-day or less maturing season,” she said. “Otherwise, we may not have enough warm days to get a mature crop. Rarely do we have 90 days of hot sun in this area.” When buying starts, look for those that aren’t “leggy.” “You want starts with short stems,” Tillery said. “Otherwise, they’ve been too long in their small containers.” If you’re going to be trying flowers, think about how much sun your beds or containers will get. “Again, grow what you like,” she said. “Go for a walk around your neighborhood and see what grows well in your area. Look at the display gardens at the local nurseries.” Bulbs are easy to plant and don’t take a lot of care, she said. Fuchsias grow well here, as do dahlias. But again, Tillery suggests beginning with starts purchased from local garden clubs. If you are wanting to try gardening, but not quite ready, Tillery suggests renting a space in local pea patch garden. “It’s a good way to get your hands dirty,” she said. “It’s possible for $40 to $50 a season. And then, you’ll have others right there to ask questions of and to help you out.” Pea patch gardens are available in most Kitsap County communities. Find out more from local parks and recreation departments. And remember, if you grow more than you need, local food banks want your extras. Check with them to determine how they want freshly grown vegetables packaged. To learn more. go to www.kitsapgardens.org. Also, visit the Heritage Garden at Kitsap County Fairgrounds behind Presidents Hall, by the log cabin. WSU Kitsap Extension Master Gardeners are there every Tuesday morning to show people how to grow both food plants and decorative plants.


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SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

MARCH 13, 2015

This family business can cover all your flooring needs There’s nothing nicer than a brand new floor, — whether it be wood, tile, vinyl, or covered with new carpet By LESLIE KELLY

Lkelly@soundpublishing.com

A

lot has changed since Mike Paulson’s grandfather opened Floor Decorators in 1921. Back then, the typical Kitsap County home sold for a under $1,000. Today it’s more like $252,140. Throughout the years, styles too have changed, from hardwood floors to shag carpeting to low-pile carpets, with wood floors accenting some rooms. But one thing has stayed the same. The Paulson family has owned the business and they’ve dedicated themselves to making customers happy. “It’s never been about us,” Mike Paulson said. “It’s always been about having good employees who really care about quality service to our customers.” In the early days, the company was headquartered in Portland, Oregon. In the 1940s, the family began stores in Washington state. Mike’s dad took over for his father and, when he retired in 1989, Mike took over for him. Today, he has a store in Bremerton and Tacoma and splits his time between the two. The Bremerton store opened in 1975 and is just now celebrating its 40th anniversary. In those days, the typical home cost $39,300. “We’re the oldest flooring store in Kitsap County,” he said. “We’ve accomplished that by really caring about our customers.” The company carries a variety of name brand floor coverings including wood, vinyl, stone and carpet. They work on new commercial and residential construction. But the bulk of their business is in residential remodeling. And Floor Decorators is the only Carpet One dealer in Kitsap County. Paulson said that’s important because it gives the consumer many advantages. “Some customers think that going to the big box home centers is a way to save money,” he said. “But being a part of Carpet One allows us to buy and market with other Carpet One stores. It’s a co-op. We’re still a locally-owned store, but this gives us nation-

Mike Paulson is the third generation of his family to own and operate Floor Decorators which has two stores in Western Washington, including the Bremerton store. Leslie Kelly photo wide buying power to save money and that savings we pass on to our customers.” As a part of Carpet One since 1985, it also brings customers the “beautiful guarantee.” What that means, Paulson said, is that the store will replace any carpet purchased from them with another of equal value, with no extra installation cost, if the customer decides against their original choice. “With paint, you can do a wall before deciding if it’s what you want,” he said. “You can’t really do that with carpet. Most people will take the time to make the right choice and take home a large sample to try. But once in awhile, someone will get the entire room done and decide it’s not right.” In that case, they get another chance and another pick. The other Carpet One value is called “healthy living installation.” That’s a process where Paulson’s installers will remove the old carpet and pad, use a HEPA-filter vacuum process to eliminate all dust and particles that have been trapped under the carpet over the years. Then they apply a anti-microbial spray, which eliminates the mold and mildew. It also retards the future growth of mold and mildew. “All of that is done prior to installing new flooring,” he said. “No one else does that. It’s so important because so much stuff filters down through your carpet over the years.” In his years in the floor business, he’s seen a lot of color and style trends come and go. Today, he said, the popular floor coverings are natural floors — hardwoods, linoleum, stone and ceramic. “Hardwood is the preferred product,” he

said. “But it is more expensive. Customers who know that they will be staying in their homes for years to come will do hardwood, while those who are only going to be here a few years before they may be deployed elsewhere will chose something less expensive.” The company offers flooring options in the medium to high end prices. They don’t often work with the least expensive products just because they know the value for the customer is compromised. Installation prices are the same regardless of the product. Natural earthy tones are still the most popular, Paulson said. And with carpeting, most customers will choose natural fibers, but there are less expensive man-made fiber carpet options that “look and feel like wool,” he said. Lowloop carpets are still popular because they are easy to care for and often have a multifleck look. Man-made flooring can be easier to clean and therefore is often the better option for homes with young children and pets, he added. Customers also are given suggestions about products. “We’re the kind of place where people can come in and have a cup of coffee and walk around and just look,” he said. “There’s no high-pressure sales here. And we don’t expect everybody to make up their minds the first time they come in.” In fact, he encourages customers to take home samples and see how they actually look in their home before deciding. His employees say Paulson is what makes the company great.

“He takes care of his people,” said Joe Brown, manager of the Bremerton location, who has been with the company since 1994. That must be the case because of the 17 employees at the Bremerton location, most have been with the company 10 years or more. One salesman, Tom Ellingboe, started with the company when it opened, retired, and now at 79 still works part time. Too, all of the installers are highly trained and are very particular about working carefully in customers’ homes, Paulson said. The store’s motto is “Number one in selection and number one in price. Come in and let us prove it.” “We really live by that,” said Paulson. “We want to be around another 40 years or more.” Find Floor Decorators at 4535 Auto Center Way in Bremerton, or call 360-479-3463. Online: www. FloorDecoratorsCarpet1Bremerton.com. Some hints from Floor Decorators Changes in home décor trends are more subtle than fashion, but they do change from year to year. Keeping a home on trend could be as simple as updating a paint color or it could mean a complete overhaul. It’s up to a home owner how much they want to update their home to align with the trends. Carpet One worked with interior designers and product experts to compile 2015 design trends for the whole home. Colors Beautiful indigo blue is making a splash in home décor and works with many different design styles. Much of the color inspiration for 2015 is drawn from nature making designs feel comfortable and natural. Floors Look for a more relaxed outlook in carpets and area rugs with distressed and striated patterns. Hardwoods are getting more relaxed, too, with reclaimed looks. For vinyl, styles that look like wood are popular for 2015. Cabinets In cabinetry, convenience is the name of the game for 2015. Clever and functional tools make busy lives a little bit easier. There are also more open concept cabinets and shelving available that show off beautiful dishes and accessories. Lighting Beauty and function combine in 2015 lighting trends. Outdoor lighting that accents architectural features is becoming more and more popular and will help highlight the beauty of a home’s exterior well into the night.


MARCH 13, 2015

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

PAGE 17

So you think you want to become a Master Gardener By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

J

ust what is a Master Gardener? In Kitsap County, the Master Gardener Educational Program consists of a 12-week course that begins in January. Training is a combination of online and inclass study on Fridays through mid-April. The Master Gardener core curriculum includes basic botany, horticulture, soil science, sustainable garden management, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), plant health care, pesticide safety, entomology, insect pest management, plant pathology, plant disease diagnosis and control, weed identification, tree fruit and small fruit production. In Kitsap County, there is a sign-up list to join the Master Gardener program. Applications are mailed on Oct. 15 of each year. About 50 students are selected after an mandatory interview process held in November. Fees are $70 for the online portion and $155 for in class supplies and materials. Scholarships and payment options are available upon request. Master Gardeners in their first year of training must complete 50 hours of volunteer time in order to be certified in the program. Of these 50 hours, interns must volunteer 12 hours in an assigned clinic site, eight hours at the extension office clinic, 10 hours in a selected learning garden and 20 hours of approved educational outreach. In their second year and beyond, certified Master Gardeners are required to participate in 16 hours of approved educational outreach for the public, complete nine hours of clinic time and 10 hours of continuing education for a total of 35 hours yearly. Master Gardeners are considered volunteer educators in their community. Individuals who are seeking education for employment or only for personal reasons and don’t want to volunteer in the community will want to apply for a Certificate in Horticulture Basics and pay $70 for the online portion and $350 for the materials and course certificate. To apply: To get your name on the list, call the Extension office at 360 337-7157. For more information about the Horticulture programs at Washington State University Kitsap County Extension, contact horticulture coordinator Colleen Miko at 360 307-4378 or cmiko@co.kitsap.wa.us. About the Master Gardener Foundation The mission of the foundation is to promote the long-term environmental health

These container gardens are from Peg Tillery’s yard last summer. through sound and sustainable horticultural practices. The purposes of the non-profit foundation are solely educational and charitable to enhance and supplement the effort of the WSU Master Gardener Program and thereby provide education and information to the citizens of Kitsap County. The group is all-volunteer, consisting of 180 Master Gardeners who raise funds for the program in Kitsap County. If you’ve ever talked to a Master Gardener at a farmers market diagnostic clinics, then you’ve seen the foundation at work. It’s the foundation that pays for the handouts and reference materials, and the tent and the chairs. While WSU Extension provides the training and expertise for all certified master gardeners, the foundation provides the funding for all the clinics across the county, and also at the Kitsap County Fair and the home shows. Likewise, if you’ve enjoyed the learning gardens at Anna Smith Children’s Park, Poulsbo’s Raab Park, Bremerton’s Blueberry Park or Kitsap Fairgrounds Heritage Garden, or the Olalla Food Production Garden, then you’ve also seen the foundation at work, because it’s their fundraising that makes these activities possible. Last year, Master Gardeners delivered nearly 2.5 tons of fresh organic fruits and vegetables to Kitsap’s food banks, all produced at learning and demonstration gardens. Master Gardeners are onsite tutors for the P-patchers at Blueberry Park and Raab Park. Write to Master Gardener Foundation of Kitsap County, PO Box 3077, Silverdale 98383, or go to www.kitsapgardeners.org.

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PAGE 18

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

MARCH 13, 2015

Daikin Air Purifier is a top seller for Quality Heating By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

Q

uality Heating, Electrical & Air Conditioning of Silverdale has more than 20 years experience and is the source for all your heating, cooling and electrical needs. From simple beginnings, when the company began in the back of a garage, it has become an award-winning powerhouse in leading-edge systems, customer service, and installation expertise. With three managing partners and 19 employees, the depth of HVAC and electrical services it offers throughout the West Puget Sound is substantial: installation, service and maintenance of air conditioners, heat pumps, air filtration systems, gas furnaces, ductless heat pumps, humidifiers, and duct sealing. Quality installs geothermal systems, air to water chillers, and ductless heat pump systems using advanced inverter technology. “I remember exactly how it all started,” CEO and co-owner Scott Park said. “In 1994, I was getting ready to retire from the Navy and I asked my family to give me a dream sheet of where they wanted to go. It

wasn’t long before we decided that we were already here, so I started Quality Heating that November in the back of my garage and a 1989 Aerostar Van. We’ve been growing ever since.” Soon partnering with co-owners, Quality Heating, Electrical & Air Conditioning quickly developed a reputation in business ethics, sales, quality installation and customer service. Quality has received endorsements from the Silverdale Rotary Club, Chapman University and the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce, among many others, and has received top industry awards from leading national brands — Coleman, Daikin, and American Standard. “We’re not your average company,” said co-owner Mike McElroy, a 33-year industry veteran who specializes in technical services. “We’re proud of our heritage and commitment to remain leading edge in offering system features, functionality and efficiency. This always translates to more value for every dollar customers spend on their quality comfort systems.” With 27 years of specialized HVAC experience, co-owner William Farrell manages installation operations and service.

“We’re very focused, working as a team across the entire organization and developing an organization that exceptional employees are attracted to,” Farrell said. “We are all like family here and the great value we put in mentoring, training and developing our people directly reflects in the superior customer service we give.” This year’s newest and most popular product is the Daikin Air Purifier. “I put this in my kid’s room and OMG this really works,” said Farrell. “Everyone needs to own one of these.” The Daikin Air Purifier is compact, lightweight and portable with user friendly features and functions, Park said. Contaminants, dust, odors, pet hairs, pollen and other allergens are removed and destroyed to provide a cleaner home environment. The product sells for $499 plus tax. Park said sales people and service technician are ready to answer any questions about it. No matter whether a customer is looking to install a new heating or cooling system, or repair an old one, Quality’s NATE-certified technicians staff a full service HVAC shop and have the expertise and resources to

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MARCH 13, 2015

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

PAGE 19

COMFORT FOR LIFE COMFORT FOR LIFE

A Pro Who Knows Comfort! AIndoor Pro Who Knows Indoor Comfort! A Pro Who Knows Quality has all the tools needed find the Your Heating local Daikin brand dealertohas all best the tools needed to high efficiency, energy-saving Daikin brand ductless Indoor Comfort! find the best high-efficiency, energy-saving Daikin brand heating and cooling system for you.

Your localheating Daikin and brand dealer has allfor the tools needed to ductless cooling system you. Daikin find the best high-efficiency, Streamer energy-saving Daikin brand Discharge Air Purifi ductless heating and cooling system foreryou. “I put this in my kid’s room and OMG this really works! Everyone needs to own one of these!” The Daikin Air Purifier is compact, lightweight and portable with user friendly features and functions. Contaminants, dust, odors, pet hairs, pollen & other allergens are removed & destroyed to provide a cleaner home environment.” ~ Bill

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COME SEE US AT THE 2015 SPRING HOME & GARDEN SHOW. We will have two booths one for our heating & cooling and the other for our electrical division. Our continuing commitment to quality products may mean a change in specifications without notice.


PAGE 20

SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE• 2015

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