spring 2017 • complimentary
home • spring 2017 • 1
Simon Hill Road - Effingham | $479,900 66 acres overlooking Province Lake Nicole Shamlian - 603-340-1025
44 Eaglemere Road - Tuftonboro | $1,488,000 Old school feel on a beautiful waterfront lot Peter Travers - 617-823-1794
7 Brewster Road - Tuftonboro | $1,198,000 Sunny location - fantastic sunsets - Lake Winnipesaukee Fae Moore - 603-833-0644
201 North Main Street - Wolfeboro | $1,089,000 4+ acres, pool, guest house and a 3 story barn Jodi Hughes - Emerson - 603-455-9533
375 South Main Street - Wolfeboro | $798,000 with additional lot, stunning grounds, pool, and golf right next door Jodi Hughes - Emerson - 603-455-9533
9 Eagle Trace - Wolfeboro | $498,000 Custom built home, walking distance to beach Fae Moore - 603-833-0644
25 Blueberry Hill - Wolfeboro | $839,900 Dramatic views - 5.2 acres with barn Jodi Hughes-Emerson - 603-455-9533
369 Middle Road - Tuftonboro | $298,000 Perfect for entertaining - timeless and welcoming Fae Moore - 603-833-0644
22 South Main St., Wolfeboro, New Hampshire • 603-569-6060
©2017 BHH Afﬁliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Afﬁliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®. Equal Housing Opportunity.
2 • home • spring 2017
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home • spring 2017 • 3
with Frase Electric Photos courtesy Frase Electric By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
hen anyone mentions solar, thoughts of a “back-to-nature, off-the-grid” lifestyle from the 1970s comes to mind. It used to be, when we saw a house with unwieldy solar panels affixed to the roof, we would shake our heads and think it looked unattractive and confusing. What the heck was solar, anyhow and did it even really generate enough power to make all the fuss worthwhile, we might ask ourselves. Turns out, solar has come a long way over the ensuing years and today is a great way to bring down heating and electrical bills. For those who want to know more about solar power, reading up on the subject is a good way to determine if this method of powering a home is for you. It is also helpful to speak with someone who knows a lot about solar. Kim Frase, owner of Frase Electric in Sandwich is an expert at solar installations and has been working in the field for a number of years (he has been an electrician since 1977). Spend a few minutes talking to Kim about solar and it is quickly apparent he finds the subject fascinating – he says he is constantly learning about new solar technology, such as battery back up. “I started Frase Electric in 1991,” he says, “and I am a licensed electrician. I have a staff of 11 employees and we do new construction electrical for general contractors, and some commercial work. We also sell whole house generators and we do solar work, which is a growing part of the business,” he adds. When asked how he became involved in solar work, Kim says like most of us, he had seen solar panels and he has worked on homes with solar and likes the idea of energy from the sun. Around the Sandwich, NH area there were some off-the-grid houses with solar. Kim was intrigued, but he also knew solar back then was expensive to install. With tax credits and state rebates, the price of installing solar went down and the numbers made sense to Kim. He says it became worthwhile for him to invest time and money to learn about Solar PV (photovoltaic) and start installing it. Today, Frase Electric installs solar photovoltaic for both residential and commercial clients.
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How does Solar PV work? According to Frase Electric’s website (www. fraseelectric.com), “Sun strikes the cells made of silicon, a semiconductor and knocks electrons loose from their atoms, which flow through the material to produce electricity. This DC electricity is then converted to AC electricity through the inverter and then is used by the customer and excess energy is exported to the grid.” Frase Electric is upfront about the process of solar installation and whether the site may be good for solar. It gives the customer the needed information to either proceed or realize solar may not be the way to go. “If you have a roof where the snow slides off easily in the winter, the snow will also slide off the solar panels. If you have a roof with not much of a slope you might need to remove the snow from the solar panels. If you have a house with a lot of tall trees nearby, you may have to take the trees down to eliminate the shade,” Kim says. (Eighty percent sun is generally the lowest level you want; the ideal situation is a structure with good sun from 9 am to 3 pm, year round.) The panels that go on a roof are not particularly heavy: a 280-watt panel is about 40-in. wide and about 65-in. tall. Such a panel weighs only about
45 pounds. The warranty on the panels from the manufacturer is 25 years. Kim says the training for becoming a solar installer was a bit different than doing standard electrical work, but one does need to have an electrical license. “Training is necessary,” he adds. Although there are hundreds of solar manufacturers, Kim tries to stay with panels that are made in the United States. According to www.fraseelectric.com, the meter for solar is a bit different. “Your present meter will be replaced (at no charge) with a Net Meter, which will have the ability to go forwards or backwards, depending if you are making more power than you are using. You will not get paid for excess power that you produce; it will be banked as KWH’s until you need it. For example, you typically will make more power during the day than you are using, so at night you are basically buying back the power from the power company that they just gave you credit for that day. You generally do not want to bank more power in the course of a year than you would normally use because they don’t pay you for the excess power. Presently, you can bank power for years and years and then you can use up this banked energy if your electrical needs increase (electrical vehicle,
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Published by The Smiley Publishing Group, LLC, P.O. Box 119 Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896 | 603-569-5257 | thelaker.com Publishers of home, The Laker and Dining Out in the Lakes Region. Smiley Publishing Group, LLC. assumes no financial responsibility for typographical errors. Advertisers will please notify the management immediately of any errors which may occur. © 2017 All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in part or whole without express written consent. Cover Photo Courtesy of Sue Bradley
PUBLISHER & EDITOR Dan Smiley ADVERTISING Jim Cande Christie Pacheco PRODUCTION MANAGER Gina Lessard PRODUCTION Yvette Bohn Kathi Caldwell-Hopper CIRCULATION Kathy Larson
heat pump). The NHEC Net Metering program is slightly different and not full retail credit for exported energy (KWH). Eversource will soon be going to a similar program so getting in the queue before the change is very important. Frase Electric installs roof solar panels, and also ground-mounted and pole-mounted panels. A ground or pole mount will usually produce more power because it can be located in a spot with less shade and at the perfect Azimuth (orientation your house faces) for the best production. Eventually the ground or pole mount will become more cost effective after it has paid for itself. Kim Frase says solar has been gradually catching on in the area; he now estimates he will do between 80 and 100 solar jobs this year. These customers will certainly see a difference in their power bills. Frase Electric information says that solar is not going to solve all our energy needs, but it is an important part of the energy puzzle. When making the decision to install solar, Kim and his crew are there before, during and after the installation. When issues come up, such as doing paper work and learning about tax credits, Kim is there and plans to be into the future to help his clients as any changes in regulations may arise. While solar is not for every homeowner, for those who are interested, it is certain Frase Electric would urge becoming as educated as possible. Learn about the advantages and what makes solar workable on various homes and other buildings. Talking to an expert, such as Kim Frase, can help a homeowner make the decision about solar. The Frase Electric website is a helpful resource as well, with many photos and a question and answer page. Solar has indeed come a long way since the early years. These days, any homeowner who wishes to save money and to reduce their power usage, (something that benefits everyone), will find that going solar just may be the best way to go. For information, visit www.fraseelectric.com or call 284-6618; Frase Electric is located at 789 Whittier Highway in Sandwich, NH.
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Permitting • Custom Dock Welding • Dock Hardware • Mooring Hardware • Ladders and Stairs home • spring 2017 • 7
Is Your Water Well? Find Out By Testing Your Private Well
he New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services encourages residents to get their private well water tested. Clean water is fundamental to good health. But where does your well water come from? And how do you know whether it is safe to drink? Think of your well like a straw poked into a cup. The groundwater is the contents of the cup. Your sipping at the straw is the well pump. By testing your water regularly, you can sip your water with the security of knowing that it is safe to drink. In December, a fuel truck rolled over on Route 28 in Londonderry, spilling gasoline and diesel fuel. This spill was cleaned up professionally, preventing the spread of pollution. But when spills are not cleaned up, they can pollute the groundwater, which moves slowly in the cracks and crevices deep beneath our feet. In New Hampshire there are also naturally occurring pollutants. As groundwater flows, it picks up naturally occurring toxins like arsenic and radon from the rocks as it travels to fill your private well. These two contaminants are common in New Hampshire well water. In fact, one in five private wells in New Hampshire exceed federal health standards for arsenic. Arsenic causes cancers of the bladder, skin, kidney, liver and lungs. It also affects developing fetuses, infants and children. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the leading environmental cause of death in the U.S. Many contaminants, like arsenic and radon, cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. A laboratory test is the only way to detect their presence. This is why, as a private well owner, you should test your well water every three to five years. You can find more information and instructions for testing your water by visiting the DES website at www.des.nh.gov, click on the A-Z List and choose Private Well Testing Program. Once you receive your water test results back, return to the Private Well Testing Program page and click on the NHDES Be Well Informed web tool. This interactive tool will help you understand your water quality test results and identify options to treat your water, if necessary. Regularly testing your private well is an easy way to protect your family’s health. Visit www.des.nh.gov to learn how and Sip Free and Live!
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It’s not the Paparazzi
o, you’ve purchased a beautiful home on or near the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. It’s the place you’ve been dreaming about for years. Finally, you’re going to have peace, relaxation and most of all, the privacy you’ve been longing for. But wait. What’s this? Despite being on a private road that clearly says “Residents and Guests Only,” you keep seeing people in front of your place taking pictures. Should you call 911? Or grab your peacemaker? Nah, the people you’re seeing out front are probably real estate appraisers using your home as a comp. “Comp?” What’s that? “Comp” is the abbreviated version of the word “comparable.” Admittedly, there’s no place that quite compares to your new digs, but the price you paid for your home is integrally linked to the ability for someone else in town to finance or refinance their home in the next 12 months. Real estate lenders need to document these “comps” to rationalize lending money for others to buy the property of their dreams. Such appraisals are sometimes used to settle estates and tax issues as well. A real estate appraisal is an objective analysis of the value of buildings and land. The licensed appraiser looks at the unique characteristics of the property in relation to supply and demand, taking into account the property’s acreage, location, and the buildings and their characteristics. Just as anyone might stop by and take photos of a home for sale for comparisons with other properties, real estate appraisers compare homes with others that are on the market or have recently sold. Similar to real estate agents who recommend that a home for sale be representative of “home,” not
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necessarily your home, appraisers like to take photos that have no identifying human presence. “Most real estate appraisers will go out of their way to ensure that no people are seen in the photos they take of the comparable home,” says Lisa Smiley, a New Hampshire licensed real estate appraiser here in the Lakes Region. You may see the same car drive by a few times while you’re out working on the flower beds, but it doesn’t necessarily mean someone is stalking you. They may be just stalking your home for a quick snapshot. Spying an appraiser taking a photo of your home is probably the only visible sign you will have that your home is being used as a comp. The appraiser’s task involves substantial research and analysis you will never
see. She or he will evaluate the features of the property and analyze their value relative to demand and sales in your region. Know someone who paid over $2 million for a three-bedroom ranch house on .2 acres in Silicon Valley or $60,000 for lakeside waterfront in Alabama? Don’t expect your similar home to be valued similarly in the Lakes Region. In the words of the cliché, it’s all about location, location, location. There are exceptions, of course, especially if your property is exceptionally unique, but generally the good news is that after just 12 short months, your home will no longer be used as a comp. Ahhh…that’s when you can return to the peace, relaxation and privacy that drew you to your home from the start.
Evaluating the Values It seems pretty straightforward. When a real estate appraiser, the town’s tax assessor and your insurance agent give values for your property, shouldn’t they all be the same? No! Real Estate Appraisal: A licensed real estate appraiser consults data to determine the market value of this property at this time in this location. It usually includes a site visit. The appraisal is used by lenders to determine how much risk they will agree to in financing the property. It can also be used by attorneys in estate settlements and the IRS in tax cases.
Tax Value: A tax value is put on the property for assessment of town property taxes. Tax value is determined by an assessing firm hired by the town. It usually includes a site visit. Taxes due the town are based on this tax value multiplied by a municipality-determined assessment ratio. Insurance Value: An insurance company determines the value of the structures and contents of a home using actuarial tables for payout in the event of a loss. It may or may not include a site visit. Land is not considered part of the insurance value.
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n o i t era
n o i s r e v e Con
s a coastal-city gal raised on tap water and the white noise of traffic, I appreciated lakeside towns from afar. For me, “the lake” was a place of summer camps, pontoon boats, moose-motifs and grandparents. The lake sounded like creaking docks and loons. It smelled like pine needles and Banana Boat. The lake was precious and peaceful, but it was not my home. My home consisted of salty air, over 200 restaurants, and public transportation. What it lacked in space (I could reach out my window and high five my neighbor) it made up for in excitement. On any given day I’d spot a seal or a celebrity; as a child I once made over $300 at my lemonade stand due to a traffic backup and tourists who carried only twenties. During the summers of my teen years, I worked as a sailing instructor and a mansion docent. The local St. Patty’s Day parades made national headlines, and one of my first memories involves waking one morning to find a pile of drunken 20-somethings passed out on our front lawn. At the time, I thought they were just very tired and wasn’t sure why my mom called the police. Life was never dull. Thirteen years ago while living in another coastal town, I married a lake-town boy. He grew up in Readfield, Maine, a town named after a man who liked to read in a field. When we were dating, I’d sit rapt, listening to his stories about well water and an aluminum boat. He grew up playing kick the can and collecting fireflies! This fabled place seemed so distant to me that I was a bit stunned the first time he took me to Readfield, where we went out in the storied aluminum boat. I was disappointed by the well, having pictured a bucket, a hand pump and a stonewall. Still, the town was idyllic. I could see how it had shaped my husband, and I was grateful. I was also grateful when that visit was over,
so that we could return to my natural habitat. My husband and I debated lake towns versus coastal cities playfully for years, in the same way we would debate chocolate versus vanilla. However, about five years ago he began a covert campaign: Operation Lake Conversion. It started when he took me to dinner in Wolfeboro for our wedding anniversary. It was my first visit to the town, and I was onto his scheme before we even parked the car. Here was a place with a vibrant downtown (for me) and the lake (for him). I can’t remember where we ate, but it was a classy affair. We followed dinner with a walk along the docks, and I congratulated him on a well-played attempt. We returned to our lives on the coast, where I framed a photo of the two of us beaming in Cate Park. After my husband had planted the seed, he waited patiently as it grew roots. He waited as I arranged day trips to Conway, Freedom, Meredith, and the town that started it all, Wolfeboro. He waited as our vacation destinations shifted from tiny cottages on the Atlantic to cabins on Winnipesaukee and Chocorua. He waited as I bookmarked Lakes Region real estate listings online. He waited as the life we had built on the coast began to feel stagnant. We were tired of sitting in traffic for 30 minutes to drive five miles, jockeying for space on the beach, and waiting two hours for a table. We had been stuck in the same “starter home” for over a decade and we spent way too much time inside. Then one day last winter, my husband interrupted my Netflix binge and suggested a hike. It was February, arguably the gloomiest month on the coast, and we bundled up for a trip to Moose Mountain in Brookfield. Hours later we stood on the shore of Mountain Lake, in what must have been the only sunny spot in New England. We stayed in that spot for over an hour, watching an osprey soar over the frozen landscape. No crowds,
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Island Real Estate
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WOLFEBORO // Prestigious Winnipesaukee Waterfront Estate, 180° views, 4.5 private acres, 6 bedrooms, entertaining kitchen, Great Room, full mahogany covered deck, sandy beach, 2-slip covered docking Call 569-3128 and sunsets! $4,295,000 (4446155)
MOULTONBOROUGH // Wonderful Winnipesaukee waterfront 3 bedroom, 2 bath seasonal cottage with detached garage and year round guest quarters, views, 4-bedroom septic, new L-shaped dock and shed. $1,050,000 (4620507) Call 253-9360
MEREDITH // Low maintenance Lake Winnipesaukee waterfront with 2 bedrooms, 3-baths year-round home and 1-bedroom, 1-bath seasonal guest cottage. A unique offering in the desirable town of Meredith! Call 253-9360 $819,000 (4620301)
Island REAL ESTATE Thank you to our islanders for another successful season! We are here year-round, so please contact us at 603-569-3972, or stop by one of our three ofﬁces.
ALTON // Winnipesaukee, Western Exposure, Double Crib Dock with Canopy. Open Concept Living, Dining & Kitchen with Cathedral Ceilings and a Wall of Windows to enjoy the views. Call 875-3128 $610,000 (4607655)
WOLFEBORO // Perfect lakeside cottage with lovely sandy beach, large deck, screened porch, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths on crystal clear Crescent Lake located a short walk to downtown. Call 569-3128 $549,000 (4621675)
WAKEFIELD // Lovell Lake – Brackett Road - Cottage and Boathouse. 0.46 AC Waterfront and 0.85 AC Back Lot Included. Natural Woodwork, Soaring Brick Fireplace, Long Views. Call 875-3128 $449,900 (4610494)
OSSIPEE // Breathtaking lake and mountain views, sugar sand beach, two - 2 bedroom year-round homes on Ossipee Lake, great investment for large families, rental income or both. Call 569-3128 $429,000 (4487660)
OSSIPEE // Enjoy all that the Lakes Region has to offer from this centrally located vacation paradise. This home is turn-key with all updated appliances. You can move in today! Call 569-3128 $425,000 (4617863)
WOLFEBORO // PRICE REDUCED - Wonderful waterfront cottage at Piping Rock Resort with glorious sunset views across Winter Harbor, 2-bed, 1-bath, screened porch, assigned dock slip and a sandy beach. Call 569-3128 $295,000 (4451175)
MOULTONBOROUGH // Beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee access 3+ bedroom home within a few minutes walking distance to a great sandy beach, picnic area & boat launch. Enjoy all Suissevale amenities, thru all 4 seasons! Call 569-3128 $399,000 (4620918)
LAND and ACREAGE
WOLFEBORO // WATERFRONT LOT – Build your dream home on this peaceful and tranquil 1+ acre parcel with 160’ of waterfront on Sargents Pond. Call 569-3128 $89,500 (4048863) NEW DURHAM // Nice wooded 1.5 acre building lot with beach rights to crystal clear Merrymeeting Lake. Build your dream home or camp here and enjoy the quiet. Call 875-3128 $54,900 (4426256)
WOLFEBORO // Excellent building lot with water access to pristine Lower Beech Pond, beach rights, tennis courts. Call 569-3128 $50,000 (4610410) OSSIPEE // Welcome to year round resort living! Build your dream home in the coveted Indian Mound Property Association and beautiful Ossipee Lake. Call 569-3128 $27,000 (4435829)
MaxﬁeldRealEstate.com • IslandRE.com Maxﬁeld Real Estate has been bringing people and homes together for over 60 years. Explore the thousands of properties now being offered in the Lakes Region and beyond from the comfort of your own home. MaxﬁeldRealEstate.com is the go-to-site for buyers and sellers, with a wealth of information and resources to meet all your needs. Just one more reason why Maxﬁeld is “simply the best.”
Wolfeboro: 15 Railroad Avenue • 603-569-3128 Center Harbor: Junction Rtes. 25 & 25B • 603-253-9360 Alton: 108 Main Street • 603-875-3128
ALTON // Choice location with 150’ frontage on Hills Pond. Two-Bedroom cottage has a rustic interior, new shakes for siding, new bath & detached garage. The water’s-edge deck leads to the 40’ dock. Great sunset views. Call 875-3128 $229,900 (4616806)
home • spring 2017 • 13
no cover charge. I didn’t want to go home. The day after our hike, my husband unfurled his master plan: there was a house for sale in Brookfield, NH. It was near Moose Mountain, it was within our budget, it was three times the size of our starter home on the coast, and it was close to downtown Wolfeboro. We booked a showing immediately. After spending three months in real estate purgatory (the details of which I will skip for fear of triggering traumatic flashbacks), we drove the packed moving van up the winding driveway to our new home near Moose Mountain. That night we ate pizza while sitting on the floor of our dining room. We gazed at our new view; the alpine glow lit up the mountains and birches as we
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toasted to a new life. We fell asleep to the calls of the resident barred owl. Operation Lake Conversion was complete. In the few months since our move, I have made several astute observations (or as my husband calls them, very basic facts about small-town life). Every person we pass on our road waves. The local mail carrier is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. I can walk up the road to buy fresh eggs and yogurt. People refer to our house by the last name of its prior owners, and are familiar with its history. Residents hold multiple titles (the egg/yogurt supplier is also the code enforcement officer and the plow guy). We are considered “the new young couple” though my husband just turned 42. Most notably, people seem authentically happy to welcome us. This is in stark contrast to the cramped coastal town vibe, where a new resident means a longer wait at the restaurant and one less parking spot. Of course, not every adjustment has been smooth. I struggle with the bugs (why do deer flies exist?) and I worry that one of our Jack Russell Terriers will get picked off by an owl, coyote or bear. For the first time in my life, I have to explain where I live. On the sweltering summer days, I miss the sea breeze. I’m not sure where to get good sushi, or which pharmacy is best. Most of my die-hard coastal friends ask me why I moved here, usually after they see my bug-bitten legs. My husband and I still work on the coast and commute two hours a day. But when I am driving home, right around mile 30 on Route 16, the mountain view reminds me that I am headed in the right direction. And when my coastal friends question our move, I have learned not to answer; I invite them for a visit. Then they get it.
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home • spring 2017 • 15
Gardeners By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper Courtesy photos
o be a successful gardener, it is helpful to have specific personality traits: A bit of hard heartedness when a plant dies, an independence of spirit when faced with garden weeding and watering on a hot summer’s day when everyone else is at the beach, and a good sense of humor when a plant you didn’t think would make it suddenly overpowers everything else in the flower bed. Some curiosity and a bit of daring would help as well. Dick and Sue Barr of Gilmanton have those personality traits, and many others that aid them when they tend to their extensive gardens. Known locally as ambitious and talented gardeners whose property has all sorts of flowers and trees and other growing, green things, the Barr’s spend a lot of time in their gardens each spring and summer and into the fall. During the winter months, they plan for next year’s garden, while sharing another passion/hobby, making whimsical and beautiful hooked rugs by hand. They sit and work on rug hooking projects in the evening after a day’s work, and it is then that they chat about what plants did well last year, what new things they would like to plant in the coming year, and of course, they share an excitement about their latest project, a small but efficient greenhouse Dick installed on the property last summer. How did the couple get into gardening? “In travels for my job,” explains Dick, “I sometimes visit public gardens in my free time. I would come home and tell Sue about the gardens I toured and how beautiful they were.” The couple began to visit gardens and shows, such as the Big E in Massachusetts as well as historic homes with traditional flower and herb gardens. Along the way, Sue took a course and became a Master Gardener. Education, both Barr’s say, is extremely important for someone who wants to get into gardening. “You have to be willing to hire someone to
16 • home • spring 2017
do your gardening, or you have to read, read, read if you want to do the gardening yourself,” says Sue. “You need to have some knowledge before you begin if you want to be successful.” For those who are getting started, and not sure if gardening on a full scale is for them, Dick suggests container gardening or starting with a window box of flowers. “Get your soil tested; you can send a soil sample to the UNH Cooperative Extension. The test results will tell you what you need to do to have good soil for gardening.” Dick and Sue laugh when they recall one misadventure in their gardening education. “You will hear it said that you can’t use too much lime, so we used a lot! But it turns out you can indeed overdo it with lime. When I cut back the amount of lime I was putting in the soil, the earth worms came back, which is important if you want good soil,” Dick explains. Once bitten by the gardening bug (as Dick and Sue were some years ago), you can plan your garden space in a number of ways. The couple says they build their gardens in “rooms” like historic estate gardens at places like Winterthur in Delaware. Certainly a walk through the Barr’s property reveals all sorts of little secret “rooms” - garden spaces with a small pool of water or a rustic bench under a tree that invite the visitor to sit for a while. “We have 1.76 acres here,” Dick says with a smile. “And we have crammed a lot of garden in that space!” Sue nods in agreement, and says anyone with an interest in gardening can accomplish the same thing and that you do not need acres upon acres to have a successful garden. While it seems unlikely the average person would have the Barr’s passion and energy for growing things, the couple are willing to share what they have learned along the way. First and foremost, they say if you want to have beautiful gardens, you have to learn to toughen up! “On average, 30% of plants will die. You can’t get too attached,” Sue
Photos of the red cedar greenhouse on Dick and Sue Barr’s property.
home • spring 2017 • 17
explains. The couple admits they do get attached to some trees and plants, and even though they are experienced gardeners, things die on their property now and then. Sometimes they can figure out why a plant failed to thrive but other times it remains a mystery even to them. One unusual garden area grew out of Dick and Sue’s curiosity to see if they could grow cactus in New Hampshire. “We took it as a sort of challenge,” Dick recalls. “We replicated the conditions that cactus grow in when in a hotter climate, and we placed the cactus bed in the sun where it could get a lot of heat.” They placed rocks around the cactus because the rocks absorb heat from the sun. How did they create the cactus garden that continues to thrive each summer? They did it by reading and researching and visiting gardens in hotter climates where cactus thrives. As they would say, right plant, right place (in other words, choose the right location for a plant and help it grow.) A typical summer’s day for Sue and Dick starts by going out into the garden with their coffee every morning. They suggest talking to the plants (!), and checking for any flowers or vegetables that might need extra care. Then they get to work, first by feeding the plants and removing any pests and then watering, which is a big task. As organic gardeners who are mindful of their environmental footprint, the Barr’s have rain barrels set up around the exterior of their home. The rainwater gathers in the barrels during a storm and it is this “recycled” water that is used to give the garden plants a drink each day. “The plants like water at ambient temperature and we take it out of the barrels in gallon jugs and water the gardens that way,” says Dick. “We don’t use pesticides. We always go by the rule to plant more than we need, because it is sure some plantings will die. On a typical summer’s day, we divide and conqueror
when it comes to tending the gardens.” “I love to weed,” Sue says. “But it is time consuming.” To alleviate some of that weeding, Dick set a goal to create flowerbeds that would deter the dreaded weeds. For example, they took out lily beds and put in vegetable gardens; changes like this knocked down about 50% of the weeding. This past winter, the couple has enjoyed something new on their property: a greenhouse. Like everything else they do when it comes to gardening, Sue and Dick planned ahead and tried to be mindful of going easy on the environment. “Last summer I saw a greenhouse in a magazine. It was a greenhouse in England and I fell in love with the way it looked,” Dick recalls. He decided, after some thought and planning, to take the plunge and purchase a small greenhouse, which is every gardener’s dream because it creates a warm place to nurture plants even when the temperature drops and the snow falls. The 9 by 12-ft. red cedar greenhouse arrived on pallets and took just about 21 hours to build over three days. A foundation was dug and heated with a method Dick researched and planned for before the greenhouse arrived. The couple were concerned that heating the greenhouse would take up a lot of energy, so Dick devised a method of heating the structure with water storage. He explains, “It has propane heat and 850 gallons of water in the foundation acting as a thermal collector. There are 16 water barrels in the foundation and the heat of a sunny winter’s day is stored in the water barrels (water has the highest Btu storage of any material). During the cold night, a fan circulates the warm air from the cellar storage up to the plants, thus reducing the need for excess fossil fuel.” The method works well; warm air coming up through the floor
Continued on page 20
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Continued from page 18 creates a moist, almost tropical atmosphere in the greenhouse, with a and the Gilmanton Year-Round Library). The Barr’s extensive group of temperature around or above 90 degrees in the middle of the winter. original handmade hooked rugs were placed strategically around the Growing in the greenhouse this past winter were geraniums, basil, garden. The unique event was very well attended and raised funds for the Food Pantry and the Year-Round Library. Sue says, “It was fun; we cilantro and rosemary, among other plants. should think about doing it again!” Dick says he loves to sit in the greenhouse after When asked what their personal favorite plants the sun goes down and look up at the night sky and might be in their gardens, Sue mentions a fir tree stars through the glass roof. It is a truly magical she prunes by hand (it takes a day and a half to retreat, just steps from their backdoor. prune). She recalls the nest of mourning doves “We aren’t doing anything original here,” Sue she discovered in the branches and how amazing stresses. “We just look at what others have done.” it was to see the baby birds. Their friends and neighbors would beg to differ and Dick says his favorite would be the asparagus most of us can appreciate the time it takes to create plants in their garden. “I like asparagus because and tend the flower and vegetable gardens on the it comes back yearly and every year I try to see Barr’s property. how many pounds of asparagus we can get from In an effort to share their love of gardening with the plants. I think the asparagus is a proud plant.” others, they have created a community garden at a To be a successful gardener, one might do well triangular road intersection in their neighborhood. to follow the example of Dick and Sue Barr. They It was just a bit of dirt and grass by the street’s would deny that what they have accomplished is intersection, but with a plan in mind, Dick dug a big deal and modestly say anyone can create up the soil and composted it and then he and Sue gardens such as theirs. planted blueberry bushes, squash, peas and other Dick Barr in the garden But it takes dedication, a willingness to face plants. Now, when neighbors stroll by the spot, they failure with a plant now and then and above all, one must have a good can enjoy some veggies or admire the growing things. “It’s fun to see things grow,” Sue says with a smile. Another advantage attitude. Gardening keeps the Barr’s fit and is perhaps the key to a of the gardens is the many birds the flowers and vegetables attract, and successful marriage. “We don’t disagree very often,” Sue adds with a laugh. But if they do, Sue speaks fondly of the wide variety of birds that now thrive on the any disagreement can be settled by going out and digging in the dirt and property. Indeed, the couple shared even further by opening their extensive sharing the many amazing gifts the plants give up, season after season, and beautiful gardens one summer’s day a few years ago for a fundraiser year after year in the glorious gardens. called Hooked Rugs in the Garden (to benefit the Gilmanton Food Pantry
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Buying a Home? What to Know about Down Payments If you're in the market to buy a home, your down payment is probably top of mind. However, it’s important to understand all your options, particularly if you’ve heard the rule of thumb that you shouldn't pursue homeownership unless you can put 20 percent down. “In today’s market, misconceptions about down payments are some of the most common, unfortunately,” says Danny Gardner, Freddie Mac vice president of Affordable Lending. “And this discourages many prospective buyers from even leaving the starting gate.” Gardner points out that a growing number of homebuyers are putting down between five and 10 percent, and even as little as three percent through products like Freddie Mac's Home Possible Advantage. This is important to keep in mind when determining how much home you can afford. Prospective homebuyers concerned about down payments should also be aware that there are nearly 2,500 homeownership programs across the country that can help with down payment and closing costs, and an estimated 87 percent of U.S. homes are eligible for one or more of these programs, according to research by DownPayment Resource. The down payment
program benefit most frequently found is about $10,000, making researching these options and discussing them with your lender and real estate agent a worthwhile step. To determine your eligibility and learn more about down payment assistance, visit downpaymentresource.com/ are-you-eligible. Of course, home buyers should not forget that there are benefits to putting more down initially – this will lower your monthly mortgage payment and reduce the amount you will owe the bank. Additionally, those who put down at least 20 percent don’t have to pay Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI), an added insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. However, if putting 20 percent down will deplete all of your savings and leave you with no financial reserves, it's probably not in your best interest. What’s more, you can cancel your PMI once you’ve built equity of 20 percent in your home. Don’t assume the dream of homeownership is beyond your reach. Get savvy! There are numerous programs and products available that can help you afford your down payment and beyond. (StatePoint)
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Rental Properties: The Good and The Bad By Nathaniel Sillin Maybe your financial house is in order. Your debt is manageable or paid off. You have an emergency fund and now you’re looking for ways to grow your wealth. Or, perhaps you’re planning ahead by learning about different investmentoptions. Have you considered becoming a landlord? Rent prices tend to rise over time, providing an inflation-protected income into your retirement years. You also might be able to cash in big later if the unit’s value increases. It doesn’t always work out that way, though. Some landlords wind up with a trashed property after evicting a tenant or lose their savings in a natural disaster. In between the extremes of easy, hands-off income and total ruin are the everyday concerns, benefits and risks that most landlords face. A few risks you could face as a landlord: Investment property mortgages tend to be a little more difficult and costly to secure than primary residence mortgages. It can also be harder to take cash out of investment properties – either with a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit. In other words, you might not have access to the money during an emergency. Owning a rental property outright can be risky as well. Especially if you’re placing a significant amount of your savings in a single investment, the lack of diversification could put you in a precarious situation. Those aren’t the only risks you could face when owning a rental. Finding and keeping good tenants: Landlords learn from experience that it’s worth leaving their rental empty for a month or two rather than pay for an eviction or expensive repairs later. You can pay for professional tenant screening reports or credit reports and call an applicants’ references before offering a lease. Covering your expenses: Between taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance and mortgage payments, the monthly and one-off costs can quickly stack up. Some landlords lose money because their rental income doesn’t cover their expenses, but they won’t be able to attract tenants if they raise it. If the housing and rental markets drop, you could be stuck losing money each month or selling the property at a loss.
The time or cost of managing a rental property: Becoming a landlord is often far from a hands-off job. When the phone rings in the middle of the night because the roof is leaking, you’ll need to figure out how to solve the problem. You may be able to hire a property management company to take on this work for you, but they often charge about eight to 12 percent of your rental income or a flat monthly fee. Even with the risk involved, there are countless examples of successful landlords. Many find the experience so rewarding that they purchase additional investment properties. Set yourself up for financial success. What separates the successful and sorrow-filled landlords? Luck certainly comes into play, but you can also take steps to get started on the right foot. Try to determine a property’s capitalization rate, the estimated annual return, before making an offer. To calculate the capitalization rate, divide the annual net income by the property’s purchase price. Your net income will be your rental income, which you can approximate based on rental prices for similar properties, minus your costs, such as maintenance, upgrades, vacancies and emergencies. You may need to consult an accountant to understand how your new tax situation can affect your costs. Cap rates tend to change depending on the area and type of property. But regardless of what’s considered “good” in your area, you can use this formula to compare different investment opportunities. Bottom line: Many people focus on the positives of owning investment property. An extra income and potential to build equity with their tenants’ money seems too good to be true, and it just might be. If you’re going to be successful, you should acknowledge the risks that come with the territory and plan accordingly. Nathaniel Sillin directs Visa’s financial education programs. To follow Practical Money Skills on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PracticalMoney.
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im Huston’s on the other end of the phone, but I don’t need to see him to hear the admiration in his voice. Jim’s been doing work at the Isaac Adams Homestead in Sandwich, laying brick floors, fitting new cellar windows into the old stone foundation, topping stone posts, doing granite work under the centerpiece chapel. One day he was working on a slab of granite long abandoned on the property. It was “10 feet long, 16 inches high, and six inches thick,” he says. “I moved it with my Kubota tractor,” and realized “someone didn’t use a tractor the first time around. It was hard work back in the day when they had oxen. It’s impressive...” In those days, all they had was a star drill and a 10-pound hammer to split granite. “Now we have electricity. We can cut a piece of granite with a drill and rotary hammer.” I can’t see Jim, but I sense he’s shaking his head. Shaping form from rock has always been labor intensive and dangerous work, especially in the mid- to late-19th century when the original stonework was done at the Homestead. Yet the stone masons who carved that slab and Jim, today, find gratification from “taking a product and turning it into something that’s aesthetically pleasing,” he says. While you’re driving around this week, take a few minutes to examine what you usually take for granted. This is just the season to admire the stonework around you. Melting snow and spring shadows highlight the fine craftsmanship of stone walls, foundations, chimneys, fence posts and patios. Before the inevitable greenery of spring overtakes and summer color overwhelms, reflect on the efforts of our stone mason forefathers and dream your own projects. The first recorded building of a stone wall in the “New World,” was in 1607 in an area just north of Portland, Maine, but you may be surprised to learn stonework was not common in New England until
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the 19th century. Apocryphal stories are often told of colonial settlers laboriously clearing land of trees and rocks, and marking property lines with the rocks they cleared. According to Jim-Manuel Andriote in “The history, science and poetry of New England’s stone walls,” however, it was actually the very act of clearing the land that triggered rocks’ rise to the surface. First settlers found rich, fine soil, inches deep on the surface of the land, “The region’s stones lay deep in the ground, buried under thousands of years’ worth of rich composted soil and old-growth forests, just waiting to be freed by pioneers clear-cutting New England’s forests—a process that reached its peak across most of New England between 1830 and 1880.” By 1822 rocks were so plentiful and such an eyesore to some that New Hampshire’s State Board of Agriculture advised, “Almost all farms have stone enough to make a wall for every necessary division and enclosure…Labor used in this way answers a double purpose; it secures the fields from the ravages of stock, and improves them
Photo courtesy Isaac Adams Homestead
by removing rocks which are not only useless, but inconvenient and injurious in their natural situation. A farmer ought to consider it his proper business, as he has means and opportunity, to secure his lands by stone walls” [emphasis added.] And so New Hampshire and her sister New England states built stone walls and stone posts and stone foundations and stone Continued on page 27 fireplaces and embellished their
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Tips for Growing and Cooking Your Own Produce Nearly 50 percent of fresh fruits and 20 percent of fresh vegetables in the US are imported, according to FoodSafety.gov. This means that your food traveled long distances to get to your plate. To better enjoy fruits and vegetables, many families are now growing their own at home. Want to know exactly where your food is coming from and have the freshest possible flavors within arm’s reach? Bring “farm-totable” dining into your everyday life by creating your own garden. Follow these tips to grow and harvest fruits, veggies and herbs at peak ripeness to enjoy in simple, healthful meals. Room to Grow When starting a garden, it’s important to have a plan. Find a spacious area with plenty of sunlight to help plants take root and flourish – whether that’s in your backyard or a nearby community garden. For cooler climates, raised garden beds are highly recommended. These allow fruits and vegetables the space needed to expand their roots and hold in water. For hot, arid climates, create an in-ground garden, as it holds in moisture better, requiring less irrigation. Selecting what to grow is your next challenge. Herb gardens are perfect for those with limited experience or limited space. Herbs
like basil, cilantro and chives are easy to maintain. Most herbs can withstand changing climates, meaning you can cook with fresh herbs year-round, adding them to nearly any meal to increase depths of flavor and allow you to “play” with your food. Farm with Flavor Having access to a variety of fresh produce lets you expand your menu at home while keeping it healthy. Many items found in simple salads, like carrots, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce and other leafy greens are considered “beginner crops.” Certain berries are also easy to cultivate. If you’ve ever tasted a ripe, just-picked strawberry or a fresh, juicy tomato, you’ll know that it’s worth the effort to grow these items yourself! Mix it Up Having a high-quality blender, like the Vitamix A3500, can make transforming your harvest into vibrant meals easy. Vitamix machines can be used to chop, purée or juice any ingredients that may come from your budding garden. Put new spins on old family recipes. Next time your kids ask for spaghetti and meatballs, try Spaghetti with Roasted Vegetable Sauce. Made with fresh, garden ingredients, including Roma tomatoes, carrots and fresh basil leaves, this robust sauce will become a staple in your weekly meal rotation. You might even want to try it on top of spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles to take advantage of more nutritious, fresh-grown produce. Try something new and create Sweet Potato Soup with Seared Tomatillos using fresh jalapenos, poblanos and tomatillos from your garden. Or dress up a less-thanexciting salad with a brightly flavored Strawberry Vinaigrette, using fresh strawberries and herbs. Growing greens (plus reds, yellows, oranges, purples and blues) gives you peace of mind in knowing exactly where your meals come from, and the pride of nurturing something wholesome. (StatePoint)
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properties with stone. After the great migrations West, precipitated by poor growing seasons here, and the lure of easy money in city factories, easy farming in the Midwest and easy riches in the West, much stonework fell into disrepair or was even lost as pastures returned to forest and farmhouses were abandoned. However, the craft experienced a resurgence in the colonial revival of the mid-20th century—think Williamsburg and Sturbridge Village, and again in the return to the land movement of the 80s. Many of today’s stone masons learned their craft at the knee of family members. Kevin Gardner, author of The Granite Kiss, learned from his uncle Derek Owen, and Jim says summers spent at the side of his father, Robert Huston, were pivotal in his career choice. After he graduated UNH with a business degree, he turned his hand toward real estate for a few years, but soon went to his father, saying, “I want to work with you until I figure out what I want to do.” Well, he laughs, “I never figured it out.” Today’s masons have electricity and drills, forklifts and tractors, but masonry remains a thoughtful art. Not only is the craftsman putting together a jigsaw puzzle of his own device, but he must understand physics to allow dense, heavy stone to stand strong against gravity and shifting grounds. Jim is quick to point out that despite time-tested techniques still in use, masonry practices are not static. He tells of a novel alternative to cultured stone, a synthetic material composited from cement. With diamond saws, a thin veneer is shaved off natural rock and adhered to foundations, walls and even fireplaces. The beauty of natural stone is retained without the need to build footings to support its massive whole weight. Depending on the application, the natural veneer can save project leaders substantial time and money. “Oh,” says Jim. That was another of his projects at the Isaac Adams Homestead. Did I see it when I stopped by? A brick fireplace in the kitchen was painted at some point, and then someone tried to undo the damage by sandblasting it—which made it worse. Jim’s solution was to face it with the one-inch natural stone. Did I see it? I did. It was striking. No doubt it will be admired for years. Stone mason Jim Huston can be reached at 603-393-8680. Additional information for this article was found in “Stone Walls” from the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources and the “Stone Wall Initiative” at stonewall.uconn.edu.
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All the Fun of Vacation. All the Comforts of Home.
50 Lighthouse Cliffs, Laconia, NH | 888-559-4141 | MeredithBayNH.com 28 • home • spring 2017
Owning a home at Meredith Bay means never having to choose between vacation and life. Because life is vacation here, and the vacation lasts all year long. Plant herbs and vegetables in the community garden, hit the hiking trails for some exercise and gorgeous scenery, relax by the pool, take up yoga or tennis with our first-class instructors, enjoy the lake at the kayak launch and swim platform, find fun in the cold at the winter skating pond and maple sugaring hut—the possibilities are endless. You’ll also enjoy spending time with friends and neighbors at family-friendly activities and events throughout the year. What’s more, your vacation doesn’t end at the lake! Residents also enjoy privileges at all of Southworth’s clubs and resorts around the world in places like The Bahamas, Scotland, Cape Cod and Northern Virginia. Whatever vacation means to you, you’ll find it at Meredith Bay.
FEATURED HOME The Pinehurst - 3 BR, 2.5 Bath with 1st-Floor Master Suite - $585,000 Charming single-family home within steps of the community’s expansive walking trail network featuring exercise stations, community garden, swimming pool, tennis courts, and more. The perfect home to make your vacation last all year long.
Properties offered exclusively by Meredith Bay Lighthouse Realty, LLC. The townhomes are part of The Townhomes at Meredith Bay, a condominium. The Lodges are part of Bluegill Lodge at Meredith Bay, a condominium. This is not an offer to sell property to, or solicitation of offers from, residents of NY, NJ, CT or any other state that requires prior registration of real estate. Prices and terms are subject to change without notice.
home • spring 2017 • 29
Working With Wood
By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
When you talk with master woodworker Phil Eisenmann, the word “custom” comes up a lot. Once you see a few of the pieces Phil creates at his studio in Gilmanton, NH, you can understand why the word “custom” is used with such frequency. The furniture and other items Phil creates are true pieces of art, and they mix function and form incredibly well. Each piece is a labor of love for Phil, and he says taking his time and doing it right are very important. “I came to be a woodworker in a round-about way,” Phil explains. “I am originally from the Cincinnati area, and I went to the University of NH (in Durham) for college. That is where I met my wife, Danielle. I thought I wanted to be a doctor and I was premed, getting a bachelor of science in biology.” After getting his bachelor’s degree, Phil knew medical school would not be his chosen path. “I come from an engineering family and we think logically. But I knew I just wasn’t passionate about being a doctor.” After moving back to the Midwest, Phil started working in construction and realized he enjoyed the sense of completion he got when making things. After Phil and Danielle married, they decided to settle in New England. The Brick House in Gilmanton was opening, with an emphasis on country décor items. Phil and Danielle managed the store for the owners with the idea that Phil would make furniture to sell via the business. But the store took up a lot of their time and Phil, who knew he wanted to pursue woodworking, was time strapped. By 1999, he took the plunge and went out on his own. Certainly it was a brave and some might say, risky move. However, the customers that commissioned pieces made by Phil knew quality when they saw it; by the year 2000 Phil was working full-time as a craftsman at his
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shop. “There are ups and downs of running your own business,” he reflects. “But I value relationships with my clients and it has worked out well.” Phil’s commute is very short – from his kitchen, it is a few steps to the barn studio where his woodworking is done. (The couple reside in a circa 1813 home in Gilmanton’s historic district.) “We are a custom shop and we specialize in Early American Country formal furniture. Some pieces are Shaker inspired, and we create primitive pieces and contemporary as well,” he says. (According to www.eisenmannworking.com, “Eisenmann Woodworking is dedicated to creating the highest quality furniture and cabinetry, possible. We build our furniture and cabinetry by using traditional joinery with mortise and tenon frames and doors, dovetailed drawers, hand-selected hardwoods to match patterns, and color. We also hand-apply our finishes.” With the changing times of Millennials moving out of parent’s homes and renting or buying their own homes or condos, tastes have changed. No longer as popular with younger buyers are the Early American pieces Phil might create for a Baby Boomer-aged client. Instead, with an intuition that he would need to create new styles for changing tastes, Phil also does modern handmade wooden pieces and things in the Arts and Crafts style for younger clients. Changing technology has also meant the things Phil designs have changed as well. “I used to make a lot of computer desks, but these days laptop computers are more portable and not as many people need a big desk with lots of spaces for hard drive towers and paper files.” Phil still does entertainment centers and wet bars and kitchens, all custom pieces. He loves many kinds of wood and says recycling old wood into new pieces is a popular option for those who like the upcycled look. “Today many of my customers are looking for functionality,” Phil adds. “They want things that are custom and well made, but can serve more than one purpose.” That is good news for Phil, someone who thinks logically and enjoys the challenge of creating unique, multi-functional wooden pieces. “I also want to build things to last for many generations that can be passed down through the years. These days I am also getting calls from clients asking me to create hidden rooms and secret drawers to hide things in, which is interesting,” he says. Phil says he personally likes “figured woods” when asked what his favorite type of wood might be. He runs his hands over a long wooden table runner that has a smooth finish showing the darks
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and lights and the pattern of the wood, while retaining its rough bark edges. “I like to see the patterns and the activity in the burling of wood.” He names walnut and cherry as among favorite woods to work with in the creation of anything from a table to a night stand to kitchen cabinets. Caring for wood, once someone orders a custom piece, is not
• All we do is irrigation and sprinkler work. • 8 fully stocked service vans for quick response. • Currently servicing over 3,000 customers. • Family owned and operated for over 20 years. home • spring 2017 • 31
difficult. “It depends on the wood,” Phil says. “I use a lacquer finish which makes it easy to clean. I get wood from a number of sources, some local and some from other states.” With two teenage children, and a busy schedule, Phil has no immediate plans to move into a bigger shop. His studio suits his needs and keeps him close to home for all the commitments that raising children requires. Danielle has stepped in to help Phil with marketing, which he says is not his strong suit. He knows aspects of marketing, such as social media, are very important, but with Danielle to help with that end of things, Phil is freed up to meet with clients and to work out and create custom pieces that can range from an entire kitchen to a simple night stand or a Shaker inspired chair. Customers learn about Phil’s shop usually by word-of-mouth or a potential client will see something Phil made in a friend’s home.
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His clients are people who appreciate finely crafted furnishings and understand that it will take time to create the piece they want. From smaller wooden pieces to full-scale kitchen cabinetry or a dining room table and chairs, Phil loves the challenge of making custom pieces. Those who want to talk with Phil and see his work, should plan to visit his studio, located near Gilmanton Four Corners. The wooden sign by the driveway alerts the traveler they have arrived. (Phil says it is best to call ahead to make an appointment.) Call 267-7912 or visit www.eisenmannworking.com.
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Creative Gardening Tips for the Spring Season Gardeners often focus on the science of their hobby: how much water and sunlight their plants need and how to improve soil quality and keep pests at bay. But there can be a lot of artistry behind the craft as well – from how you harvest and enjoy flowers to how you convert unused spaces of your home into a viable indoor edible garden. Put your creativity to good use this spring season by gardening with style. Indoor Gardening For those who don’t have an outdoor garden or yard, the dream of enjoying your own freshly picked fruits and vegetables may seem out of reach. However, the nooks and crannies of your home can be creatively rendered into productive growing zones. And experts say that nearly all homes can support indoor gardening. “Whatever the size of your home, there will be a selection of edible plants you can grow indoors, as long as you have some natural daylight filtering in,” says Zia Allaway, author of “Indoor Edible Garden: Creative Ways to Grow Herbs, Fruit and Vegetables in Your Home.” “The areas where plants will grow can be windowsills, beneath a skylight or even in a dark, unlit area if you install grow lights.” In “Indoor Edible Garden,” a highly visual guide full of practical tips and stylish ideas, Allaway offers step-by-step directions for everything from creating suspended shelves and hanging jars for growing herbs to mounting edible orchids onto bark and displaying them on walls. She points out that those embarking on indoor gardening should first evaluate the level of time they can commit.
“Just remember that unlike other projects in the home, such as decorating and cooking, all gardening projects require some aftercare. So, if you have a busy schedule, choose crops that will tolerate less watering and feeding.” Flower Arranging While your flower garden is likely a beautiful work of art in and of itself, you can spread the joy by harvesting your flora and bringing the beauty indoors. Floral arrangements add vitality to any interior space. For me, every arrangement starts with the container. Think about what mood or style you want to evoke, and remember, anything can be a container as long as it can be made watertight,” says Rachel Siegfried,” author of “The Flower Book: Natural Flower Arrangements for Your Home,” which explores 60 flowers, bloomby-bloom in portraiture, including quick-reference profiles and tips. Siegfried recommends that, when selecting flowers for your arrangement, pay attention to shapes, textures and colors to achieve good balance. Start with a primary focal flower and build out with a couple of secondary focals, a final flourish, and foliage. For her part, she relies on instinct. “I get a ‘buzz’ when I find a good combination,” she says. From flowering bouquets to spicy pepper plants, apply creativity to your gardening this spring. (StatePoint)
home • spring 2017 • 33
A Beautiful Lawn in Less Time For homeowners looking to create a more inviting outdoor living space, it all starts with a beautiful lawn. But without the right routines and tools, achieving and maintaining a top-quality yard can be time consuming. One of the best ways to save time and get the lawn you want is to invest in better lawn care tools. Now is a great time to take stock of the tools in your garage. “If you’re spending more time than you’d like maintaining your lawn, you might consider some key equipment upgrades,” says Jamie Briggs, product manager at Exmark, a leading manufacturer of mowers and other lawn care equipment.
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“Choosing the right mower is more than just an investment to beautify your property,” Briggs said. “A newer, faster mower will give you more free time to enjoy the outdoor living space you’ve worked so hard to create.” With that principle in mind, here are some insights about what to look for when replacing an older mower with a newer, more efficient model. • Maneuverability: The ability to easily maneuver between flowerbeds, trees and other landscape features allows you to mow closer to these features. As a result, you’ll spend less time with a string trimmer. • Cut quality: Some mowers deliver a better quality of cut than others. It’s one factor to consider when upgrading your mower, especially with respect to the type of grass of your lawn. • Durability: Look for features with increased durability, such as welded, fabricated cutting decks, commercial engines, hydro drive systems and heavy-duty welded, tubular steel unibody frames. Briggs recommends homeowners take a look at the equipment used by the professionals. “Landscape professionals earn their living efficiently maintaining beautiful properties. It’s safe to say the zero-turn riding mower has become their tool of choice,” he says. Zero-turn riding mowers from Exmark, for example, are offered at a variety of price points and provide solid productivity, performance and durability. For more information, visit Exmark.com. This season, give yourself more time and energy to enjoy the outdoor living space you’ve created, with an upgrade to newer, faster tools. (StatePoint)
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G e n e r a l Co n t r ac t i n g R e n ovat i o n s I n n ovat i o n Co m m e r c i a l C u s to m H o m e S i d i n g R e s i d e n t i a l R o o f i n g Q ua l i t y F r a m i n g G e n e r a l Co n t r ac t i n g 34 • home • spring 2017
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Gilford: One of the last remaining traditional lake houses on Lake Winnipesaukee. Stunning views and +/- 180’ of waterfront. Docking includes a breakwater sys., two 30’ slips, and a mooring. Includes additional lots with lake views! $899,900 MLS# 4514054
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Moultonborough: Spectacular views from all 3 levels! Classic 4 BR waterfront cape in Moultonborough. 100’ of water frontage, with granite retaining walls and a walk-in sandy beach. Att. 2 car garage + a 3 car garage across the street. $1,149,000 MLS# 4620935
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Alton: Private Winnipesaukee access home with your own private dock for a 38 ft boat. Great for swimming. First f loor master and detached garage. Snowmobile from your driveway. 10 minutes to Gunstock Ski Resort. Spectacular! $639,788 MLS# 4500598
Meredith: STUNNING PROPERTY WITH OVER 17 ACRES! 3 BR, 3 bath cape w/ farmer’s porch, large back deck & f lowing open concept layout. First f loor master suite. Includes 1 BR guest house, and an exquisite 36 x 36’ 4-stall pine barn! $535,000 MLS# 4612333
Lake Winnipesaukee, Laconia: Totally refurbished ground level waterfront condo. Great views of Meredith Bay from your screened in patio. New wood f loors, granite counters & bath. Beautiful sandy beach, and 24’ boat dock with a breakwater. Priced to go! $319,000 MLS# 4622916
In 2016, the sales of $161 million and 584 transaction sides represents Roche Realty Group’s highest year in total sales volume in the company’s history. * Statistics obtained from NNEREN 1/1/16-12/31/16.
T he R e a ltors® at Roche R e a lt y Grou p set the standard for service in all segments of real estate. Our knowledge of the market, experience, and dedication provide our clients with greater insight and a richer perspective on a truly unique marketplace. To learn about real estate in the Lakes Region, please call or stop by one of our two offices in Meredith or Laconia, or visit our comprehensive website:
www.RocheRealty.com For our Significant Sales Report, or for a complete guide to our marketing program, please call us today! Meredith Office: 603-279-7046 • 1-800-926-5253 97 Daniel Webster Hwy. (One mile south of Rte. 104 on Rte. 3)
Laconia Office: 603-528-0088 • 1-888-214-0088 1921 Parade Road (At entrance to South Down Shores)
home • spring 2017 • 35
Why HOME Matters By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
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“There’s no place like home,” Dorothy chanted, hoping to find her way back to her family in the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz.” After a series of adventures, Dorothy (and the viewer) learn the walls that make up a home are less important than the people that inhabit the space we call our residence. It was a hard-learned lesson for Dorothy, and I think it is a hard-learned truth for many of us. Lots of people will say they couldn’t wait to leave home, to strike out on their own as a young adult. They were eager to have their own place, with privacy and the freedom to decorate it in any way they saw fit. I felt the same in my youth. I had my first apartment while attending college in Portland, Maine and although it was small, it was mine. I didn’t have to risk my mother’s disapproval if I hung a picture she might not like or decided not to make my bed for three days in a row. What did I miss about my mother’s home? Not all that much, I thought. Of course I missed my family, but I would have proudly said it was great to be on my own, in my own space. I did not realize it then, but there were many things about my childhood home that I missed. The comforting things have stuck with me down through the years. Looking back on it now, when I went home for a visit, I was always assaulted with a variety of smells. The ones that stand out most are beef stew simmering on the woodstove in my mother’s kitchen and the lingering, yeasty scent of the bread she made the day before. I am sure there were many other things to remember about my mother’s house, but it is the scents I recall that take me back and give me comfort. When I think of that house, it is always chilly October, with brightly colored leaves dancing across the lawn and a sharp wind making the windows rattle in the cold-air assault. The kitchen is forever warm, the heat coming from a woodstove and producing the kind of come-on-in-
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and-sit-a-spell comfort that only wood heat can produce. My mother’s house was quite old, and she was forever involved in a fixer-upper project. She worked during the day and spent evenings and weekends painting walls, scraping old paint off floors and caulking around windows and door frames to keep the mean winter cold at bay. I also well recall the scents of paint and varnish and sawdust when I arrived home for a visit, making me sneeze and my eyes water. And if my mother wasn’t immersed in home improvements, she was doing a getting-ready-for-winter project, such as making grape jelly to take advantage of the many Concord grapes that grew wild around the house. Or in the springtime, she was tending to her old-fashioned flowers, such as the lilacs and wild roses. To this day, the heady scent of lilacs, lush and blooming, remind me of that house. But I often grew impatient with coming home, a know-it-all youth full of college bravado. It was good to get back to my studio apartment, where I called the decorating shots after a visit to my mother’s historic house. “How can you stand this?” I asked more than once when standing in the middle of my mother’s living room or kitchen. She was busy rubbing chestnut wood stain on a doorframe or taping sheet rock or ripping down an old horsehair plaster wall. As always when involved in making something or involved in a project, her look of concentration was complete and she half heard my question. “What?” she might have asked, as she pushed her glasses up on the bridge of her nose and stretched her arms for a moment before continuing her project. I saw the gleam of determination in her eyes, a look I knew well. It was the same way she looked – involved in a creative project and a bit removed from the day-to-day world – when she was painting a landscape or sketching a new design for a rug she was about to braid. For her, the old house she was living in and fixing up was just an extension of her other creative projects. She enjoyed chopping wood for the stove, tending those lilac bushes, planting tiger lilies around the edge of the lawn,
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making curtains for the windows and tackling many other projects. Admittedly, I couldn’t see much sense in it all. An old house, full of dust and big spiders in the summer and wind whistling through cracks in the winter was a money and energy pit. Why bother with such a place, I asked her many times. “Because,” she would have said, “a house is important. I own it and it is mine to do with, as I want. You just wait and see; it will be a beauty when it’s finished!” Not long after, my mother fell ill and when I graduated from college, I lived in the house for a while and learned the true ups and downs of residing in an old house. My first job was to paint the entire exterior of the house with the gallons of paint my mother bought before she got sick and had to move temporarily to another, easier to manage home. Our tastes were different and I opened the first gallon of paint with a bit of trepidation. My mother loved the colors burnt orange and deep green, hues that were popular in the mid to late 1970s. As I pried open the paint cover with a screwdriver, I didn’t know what to expect. Of course, the yellowish oil in the paint had risen to the top over time, but when I stirred the liquid, swirls of butterscotch yellowy paint was visible. “Hmm…not too bad,” I muttered in relief. My mother had restrained herself in her exterior house paint choice and as I slathered on the paint, I was surprised to see how well it matched the Cape Cod architectural style of the old house. I recently came across a photo taken by someone when I was in the midst of house painting. I was perched high up on a ladder, waving with one hand while in the other I held the gallon of paint, a devil-may-care grin on my face. “Wow, it’s a miracle I didn’t fall off and hurt myself,” I said as I peered at the photo. “But didn’t I look proud of myself?” The house took a while to paint, but I did finish it, in between tending to the lilac bushes, and mowing the lawn and as July slid into August and the evenings grew duskier earlier, I was also cleaning the woodshed.
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Soon enough, I would be ordering a cord or more of wood for the winter’s heating and the shed was directly off the kitchen with its big woodstove. As anyone who owns a house – especially an old house – can tell you, it’s always something. The tasks never end. So it was with the cord of wood I ordered. Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one early September day and saw the pile of wood dumped on another part of my property instead of near the woodshed as I had instructed the deliveryman. When I called to ask what had happened, he said, in his slow drawl, “Well, I’ll tell ya, I just couldn’t get near the shed with the load. It would’ve messed up my truck somethin’ fierce.” I could hear him take a draw on his cigarette and waited while he exhaled and coughed to clear his throat. “So I unloaded at that little patch of land over the other way a piece. Shouldn’t be too much work to get that little pile into your shed.” (“Over the other way a piece” was in actually about half a football field from the shed by any stretch of the imagination.) I wanted to yell and threaten to cancel his check, but I somehow restrained myself. I can still recall venting my frustration and anger by moving the wood, piece by piece, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow load, until it was finally where it should have been all along – ready to be stacked in the shed. The wood was indeed a necessity, but it didn’t stop the pipes from freezing that bitterly cold winter. I remember carrying water and even inviting my boss and her daughter to dinner during that cold spell. I seemed to have shrugged off the lack of running water and just carried on with my life, as the youthful among us are more inclined to do. Everything about that old house was a challenge and I cannot say I ever really embraced it, although I came to understand why my mother took such pride in her fixer-upper projects. I too found myself checking the curly vines near the edge of the property to see if the wild grapes were ripe and then hunting in my mother’s plastic recipe box for her tried-and-true grape jelly instructions. I savored the
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scent of the purple lilacs (to this day, their old fashioned, slightly spicy scent reminds me of the old house.) And every time I came home after work, I looked at the exterior paint job of the house with pride. I haven’t been back to the house in years and I live elsewhere now. My college-age bravado and know-it-all attitude about having my own place has morphed into the desire, as the years move on, for a smaller house, a more easy to maintain abode. When I mention the desire to downsize to friends, they look at me as if I am crazy. “You mean to say, you want to live in some teeny little apartment or house? But you do so many projects, where would you put it all? You’d surely miss the house.” I think about it for a minute, and then I know for certain I wouldn’t miss it. It would be a relief to let someone else plow the driveway and shovel the roof; to free myself of the worry that the roof might leak or the winterization around the door will need to be replaced, among other tasks. Why am I so sure I would be able to move on without missing a large house? Because I have my memories, so easily evoked: The scent of beef stew, the chill of a bright October day with crackling leaves emitting that bruised, end-of-season smell and the scent of smoke from a neighbor’s woodstove take me back to my mother’s old house and comfort me. And the sound of a distant motorboat on the lake or the wind sawing through mammoth pine trees on a winter’s day, will take me back to life in my present home once I move on. I may have learned the trick of letting go and moving on and the true definition of home from my mother, although she passed away over 15 years ago. It is odd the way human nature works: as time goes on, I remember her features less clearly than I do the scents and warmth and comfort she created in her house. And I remember the self-esteem boost all of her fixerupper projects gave her. All of it – comfort and warmth and feeling loved – are what home really is. And it is why home matters.
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The Drew Farm Subdivision in beautiful Brookfield offers the best of all worlds. This former farm land is accented with century old rock walls, mature trees and provides luxurious yet affordable home sites in a quintessential New England setting. Quiet and peaceful yet near everything. Located in the highly regarded Gov. Wentworth school district and close proximity to highly acclaimed private schools, Brookfield allows you many of the amenities of beautiful Wolfeboro without the crowded summer congestion.
603-340-0340 603-340-0341 home • spring 2017 • 39
gion His e R t es House Tours
By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
Laconia, NH 603.293.4000 docksource.com
ew Hampshire is a state steeped in history and among the places that saw early settlement. Part of that history is the many old homes, built in the late 1700s to 1800s that have stood the test of time and been lovingly tended. Some homes are now the property of nonprofits, run by worthy groups such as historical societies. If you like old houses and are looking for ideas to restore an old home, there are home tours you can take right in the Lakes Region. You will see old barns constructed many years ago, fashioned from huge beams and modest, yet solidly built homes that sheltered large families. There are many homes open for tours during the spring through fall in the Lakes Region. Plan now to take a historic home tour! In Wolfeboro, the Clark House is well known to local residents. You cannot miss the complex of buildings that are overseen by the Wolfeboro Historical Society at 233 South Main Street. The Clark House is indeed historically significant, and was built about 1778. If you have an old house and have been studying its architecture and foundation, you will enjoy a visit to the Clark House, which sits on its original foundation. Joseph Clark was an early owner of the home and he used the structure as a tavern where weary travelers could get a meal and a bed for the night. The enterprising Clark also was a skilled cabinetmaker. His family continued to reside in the house for a number of generations. After the property was willed to the town of Wolfeboro in the early 1900s, the barn and ell were taken off. The property, when given to the town, was gifted with the idea that it become a living history museum. According to information at www.wolfeborohistoricalsociety.org, those who tour the property can see a truly old home, including a keeping room, dining room, parlor and bedrooms. Touring the home will give you an idea of how a historic New England home was laid out; in the olden days, spaces were planned for different needs than those of today. Docents can answer questions about how the building has been cared for over the years. On the museum property there is a wonderful firehouse with old fire
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equipment and a circa 1805 schoolhouse. Moved from elsewhere in Wolfeboro in the late 1950s, the one-room schoolhouse is a historic gem well worth seeing. Work is being done on a barn as well. For information on the museum, visit www.wolfeborohistoricalsociety. org or call 603-569-4997. (Please call ahead to plan your visit; hours vary depending on the season.) Want to see how day-to-day life was led on a New England farm over 100 years ago? Head to a gem of a historic site – the NH Farm Museum located at 1305 White Mountain Highway in Milton, NH. Once you step onto the property, there is a distinct feeling of being transported to the past. You can’t miss the buildings, painted an attractive yellow. The barn and homestead were once the property of the Plummer family, who worked the farm for many years. There are agricultural exhibits in the big barn and heirloom vegetables and gardens as well as other old farm artifacts on display. For those who want to see the décor and architecture of a true historic home, there are guided tours of the Jones Farmhouse on a regular basis during the months the farm is open to the public. According to www. nhfarmmuseum.org, “The Jones Farm and connected farm buildings extend 275 feet and range in date from the 1770s to the early 1900s. Each part of the connected farm structure tells a different story about rural life and work in the past. A tour of the Jones farmhouse allows the visitor to walk through time from Joseph Plumer’s Revolutionary War Era cape, to Levi Jones’ early 19th-century tavern, into the Victorian parlor and dining room, and ending in the early 20th-century farm kitchen. In the Jones farmhouse you will find a vast collection of artifacts utilized in domestic production of textiles and preservation of food, furnishings and myriad household articles highlighting ‘Yankee ingenuity.’” Explore the Great Barn, which is an amazing three stories (104 ft.) tall. It holds a collection of farm tools, implements and machinery once used to clear land, plant fields, harvest crops, construct buildings, and maintain
area roads. The barn will show visitors how a hardworking farmer and his family tended their homestead. Also on the property is the John York Cider Mill, occasionally used for summer camp programs. According to www.farmmuseum.org, “The building was constructed by volunteers in 2001 and houses an apple exhibit and a massive horse-powered knob mill apple crusher that dates to the early 19th century. Cider was the most common table drink of early New England and most towns had at least one or two cider mills. The cider mill is dedicated to John York, one of the founders of the Farm Museum.” Other buildings at the NH Farm Museum include a blacksmith shop, a shoe shop and the country store. There is always something fun and educational going on, so call ahead for a schedule at 603-652-7840 or check the museum’s extensive website (www.farmmuseum.org). The museum and grounds are open seasonally, but other events take place at various times. We’ve all dreamed of being a millionaire and living in a mansion. One man that actually made his dream come true was Thomas Plant, who made his fortune in the shoe industry. With a lot of money and retirement years ahead, Plant fell in love with the Ossipee Mountains and the Lakes Region. It was in Moultonboro that he purchased a huge tract of land and designed a remote, very private mountain estate as his future home, which he named Lucknow. Lucknow, over time, became Castle in the Clouds and it is open for tours during the spring through fall. The castle, the carriage house and grounds see thousands of visitors each year who want an up-close look at the home Plant built in the early 1900s. (As the story goes, due to bad investments, Plant eventually fell upon hard financial times. The property was eventually sold and changed hands over the years. The Castle Preservation Society now is continuing the ongoing effort of restoration and upkeep of the buildings.) Visitors can (according to www.castleintheclouds.org), “revel in the beauty of the views, while taking in the magnificent features Plant had
home • spring 2017 • 41
installed in his home. Enjoy a self-guided tour as if time stood still in the early 1900s. Rooms are set up as if Tom and his wife, Olive, had just stepped out for the day, and vintage apparel adorns the house in closets. Experience life through the eyes of the Plants, image yourself living in the mansion with spectacular views from every room. Search for the innovations of the t i m e – central vacuuming, ammonia brine refrigeration, and intercom systems.” Learn more about the history, the architecture, the property and the rise and fall of Thomas Plant during your visit. Museum guides will answer questions. The property also features a café for lunch or snacks during open hours and special events are held as well as art exhibits, weddings DAVID M. DOLAN ASSOCIATES, PC Land Surveying - Consulting - Permitting
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and other private functions. Castle in the Clouds is located on Rt. 171 in Moultonboro; call 603-476-5900 for details and hours of operation. The Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth village is a fascinating place to visit, with events happening year round. Located at 58 Cleveland Hill Road in Tamworth, the museum was once the property of the Remick family (Dr. Remick and later, his son, also a doctor, owned the farm). These days, it is open for tours and events and is a great way to see the architecture and lifestyle of a country farm and to learn how the doctors managed to run the farm as well as busy medical practices. The property is, according to www.remickmuseum.org, “Comprised of a cattle barn, historic English barn, stable, milk house (part of Doc Remick’s Hillsdale Dairy business and the first milk pasteurization plant north of Rochester, NH), sugar house (where maple syrup is “sugared off”), woodshed, small ice house, farmhouse and the Captain Enoch Remick House (on the National Register of Historic Places.) The Museum buildings are open for self-led and/or guided tours, dependent upon the season; the Museum Center, housed in the farmhouse, is open yearround. Call 603-323-7591 or visit www.remickmuseum. org for hours and events. The Lakes Region and beyond have many historic homes, now open for public tours. Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury offers a glimpse at a community that believed in building things right and with simplicity, and the Canaan Historical Museum with 18th and 19th century historic homes in rural Canaan and many others are waiting for your visit. If you are restoring an old house and want to get old-time paint color ideas, architectural tips and restoration advice, it is well worth the time to take a historic house tour. You will come away with knowledge and have a lot of fun stepping back in time as well.
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Smart Home Innovations to Make Your Home More Comfortable Innovations in smart technology continue to make our lives easier -- and now that extends to appliances and amenities for added convenience and control. Here are three to consider. Multitasking Refrigerators Gone is the era when your refrigerator merely kept your dairy and produce chilled. These days, appliances like the GE Café and Profile series feature a Keurig K-Cup brewing system, so you can conveniently brew your morning cup of java without having to prepare the coffeepot or cue up an additional machine. For more information, visit GEAppliances. com. Smarter Fireplace Your typical fireplace adds comfort, coziness and warmth to one specific room, but sometimes you want to enjoy the ambience and aesthetic benefits without all the heat. Smart technologies can help you divert some of the thermal energy to other rooms. For example, Heat-Zone and Heat Duct Kits distribute up to 50 percent of a fireplace’s warmth to another room or within your home, allowing homeowners to enjoy the ambiance of their
fireplace throughout the year, no matter the climate. These heat management tools offer homeowners greater flexibility and control, giving them a truly customized fireside experience. To learn more about heat management options and how they open up possibilities for unique fireplace installations, visit HeatnGlo.com. Double-Duty Washers We all have days when we generate a small but mighty load of laundry -after a muddy soccer game is one example -- and new technology is making it easier to take care of those loads without wasting water, detergent or effort. Many manufacturers now offer separate compartments for small loads, while others have added convenience by introducing units that wash and steam clean clothes, eliminating a trip to the dry cleaners. When making home upgrades, first consider those that promise to make life more convenient and comfortable for your family. (StatePoint)
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Ways to Update Home Décor this Spring
Spring is the perfect time re-evaluate your home’s décor and color palette. After the long winter season, interiors often need a facelift. Get inspired to freshen up your home with these six 2017 décor trends from interior designer and DIY television personality, Taniya Nayak. 1. Add timeless touches. Tasteful updates can help create an elegant family room that will never go out of style. Display heirlooms and vintageinspired items, such as traditional candle holders or a vase, and pair with a modern color scheme such as white or navy, to achieve a tailored and timeless look in your living room. 2. Apply modern morphing techniques. Morph a wide-open space together with bold colors and patterns that help bridge the gap between rooms. Accomplish this with a large piece of geometric artwork or by utilizing color-blocking techniques to paint an accent wall, which tricks the eye as to where one room ends and another begins. Before painting an accent wall, it’s important to tape off windows, doorways and trim to prevent splatter. One of the most important tools
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for any painting project is a premium painter’s tape, such as FrogTape brand painter’s tape, which is treated with patented PaintBlock Technology to help ensure your work looks seamless and to deliver the sharpest transition lines between the newly painted accent wall and adjacent walls. 3. Interweave textures and bold patterns. Be bold and embrace this indie-meets-mid-century trend to add character to a space. An easy way to attain this look is by pairing patterned pillows with deep, intense colors from an area rug. Or, take it one step further and create a wall design comprised of overlapping paint using rich shades such as blue, pink or red, for a truly authentic look. 4. Create luscious layers. Allow yourself to feel wrapped in luxury with this emerging trend. When creating a peaceful nest, immerse yourself in layers by integrating different textures and soft patterns in colors, such as blush pinks, creams and soft grays. Start by adding blankets and sheer drapery. Place a rug on top of carpet. Finish the look with ruffled pillows or a faux fur throw for a space that is cozy and chic. 5. DIY haute homemade projects. Elevate your home with handmade personal touches that bring comfort and warmth into a room. Go bold and paint stripes on an area rug, or give flea market finds a chic update with metallic paint. If you want to start small, try transforming an ordinary basic into a fun planter by painting the bottom with fresh white paint. For professional looking results, you can use FrogTape brand painter’s tape to achieve a crisp line. 6. Incorporate nature’s influence. Integrate fresh flowers and surprising pops of color, like yellow or teal, with natural finishes, such as wood, to create an unexpected yet whimsical look. Or create a statement accent piece by painting a nature-inspired pattern like florals or feathers. All you need is paint and painter’s tape to DIY a look that brings nature’s outdoor influence inside. (StatePoint)
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Shopping Local Can Benefit You and Your Community If you have home improvement plans this spring, it’s important to consider where you will be doing your shopping. For many people, the first stores to come to mind are big box retailers because of the widespread assumption that chains can offer better selection and better prices. Keep in mind, though, that when it comes to items needed for your home projects – whether it be new flooring, paint or a kitchen renovation – more often than not, experts say that your local independent retailer can offer as good or better selection, be competitive with pricing, and provide a superior customer service experience. What’s more, shopping at local businesses can benefit your household and the community. At a locally owned store, you will be more likely to find interesting items and products that set your home apart. And more of your dollars will stay put when you give them to business owners who pay taxes locally, hire locally and may be more inclined to support community charities and organizations. You may also find independent retailers that can offer some of the same benefits as a large chain. For example, when small business owners belong to a cooperative, they come together to scale buying power, access goods and services at a lower cost, and create opportunities not available to them as individual businesses. For you, this can mean more and better choices of products and affordability. So, if you are looking to make home improvements this spring, check out your local retailers that not only offer great product selection, but also contribute to your community in a positive way. (StatePoint)
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y Uncle Howard used to say there was no tyrant like the reformed Finally, my husband and I decided it was time to clean out. Children smoker. He preaches the sins of tobacco, live away, retirement is sneaking up, and honestly, running and and endlessly and pitilessly boating and hiking and theater and skiing and harangues anyone held captive volunteering and, well, most anything(!) by the evil weed. is more fun than taking care of stuff. Well, ex-smokers There was just one question: By Barbara Neville Wilson move over. There’s Where to start? a new tyrant Experts say decluttering in town. The is least painful when reformed participants take time packrat has to think about goals arrived on the before starting: Why are scene, and I am you getting rid of stuff? one. How would you like For years, if your possessions to be there was a yard reborn? sale, an estate For us, we planned sale, a swap shop, a to move to a smaller, family member getting more casually decorated rid of treasures, a “free” home, so as we looked at our sign stuck on the side of the possessions, we first gauged their road…I was there. And why not? value by evaluating whether they would You never know when you might need that fit our new style. Then we asked our children, pair of skates two sizes too small, the third copy of what are things you want to have? We made lists, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, or the pretty etched juice glass just if there were things they couldn’t take now, we agreed to store them… like the ones loved so well by Grandfather’s second cousin twice removed. provided they were willing to share storage fees. One day, though, I woke up and realized I was held captive by my stuff. After our children made dibs, we were left with a whole lot of things that To use it I had to know where it was. To know where it was meant I needed needed new homes. We divided them into groups: things precious to us that a path to it. To have a path meant the way had to be clear. To have this stuff needed to find worthy owners; things others might find useful and could meant too much time dusting and vacuuming, organizing and agonizing enjoy; things of value that could bless others; and things that just needed about things I had stored “just in case.” And “just in case” never came. to be gone.
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We had about a half dozen items that were of sentimental but indeterminate economical value. Probably a nicer way of saying it is that they were “priceless.” For instance, our piano had entertained three generations, but with the advent of electronic devices and smaller living spaces, not many people want pianos. Advertising it seemed futile, but through Facebook we knew a young friend who had started taking piano lessons and had only a keyboard. We inquired if he’d like the piano (“Yes!”), arranged transportation and tuning with Tuftonboro’s Keith Hoover, and were rewarded with a personal concert via Facebook just a few weeks later! Digital communities were also key to sales of most of our biggest items. While consignment shops may have been an option in summer, we were selling off-season. Craig’s List was a great place for tools, motorized vehicles and “Boys’ Toys.” Facebook yard sale sites such as “Lakes Region Yard Sale” and “NH Vintage, Antiques & Collectibles” were great, but we also discovered the Facebook Marketplace, a nifty tool that can be found by tapping on the storefront icon at the bottom of your Facebook app. You simply hit “selling,” take a photo of your item, enter an image-evoking name, such as “Charming, Handcrafted Cabinet,” and a description (be sure to include dimensions, materials, details like age, how long you’ve had it, whether you have a pet-free or smoke-free home), and a price. The Marketplace lists items and you also have the option to cross-post on other Facebook groups. Pricing our items was often the hardest step of all. Yes, we may have paid X for that sofa when it was new 15 years ago, but we wanted to move it quickly. We listed it for less than it would be priced in a second hand shop. Sometimes we found comps for similar items on Facebook, Craig’s List or e-Bay. The advantages to getting $10 or $15 less than I might have liked? The folks came and picked up the items at our location; we didn’t have to transport them, and most things moved within just a few days. A bonus? We can’t even count the number of nice people we met during these sales. Some folks even sent follow-up pictures of our pieces in their homes!
Some items didn’t seem worth selling, but we didn’t just want to relegate them to the dump, so we listed them for little or no money. Sometimes these were the most rewarding trades of all! One memorable day, we gave away a curio cabinet and found out it would be used for “piano babies:” porcelain, near life-sized figures that reposed on grand pianos in Victorian homes. What a nice new life for a possession that met no needs for us! After our digital disposals, we gave away items with useful life to local charities and non-profits. We learned quickly, however, that all our junk is not necessarily all their treasure. It’s important to call ahead and see what they need on a given day. Sometimes we’d divide truckloads among two or three willing charities before taking final leftovers to the dump. Even there, some items got a last gasp at the Swap Shop before being trashed. Goal accomplished, we now live in a smaller, more casual home where life is less cluttered and more simple, and where I’m often heard preaching the sins of clutter, endlessly and pitilessly haranguing folks held captive by the evils of stuff. Perhaps I need more hobbies…
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Why Switching to LED Bulbs Makes a Difference I IF YOU CAN AFFORD YOUR ELECTRIC BILL...
t may seem like a small detail, but the way you light your home can have a big impact on the environment and your energy bills. Indeed, widespread use of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States, according to government findings. Add it Up Using at least 75 percent less energy and lasting 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, residential LEDs, especially ENERGY STARrated products, can help you significantly reduce the cost of lighting your home. And this is truer than ever, as the price of this technology has declined and the uses for it have expanded. Even LED decorative holiday lighting can be purchased these days, giving consumers more opportunities to light their homes and live efficiently. Community Efforts Community efforts are helping to make sweeping change and brighten lives. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Change the World Tour,” is a national program designed to motivate consumers to purchase ENERGY STAR-certified LED bulbs that bring energy-efficient lighting to communities in need. Leading the charge are forward-thinking companies, such as ProVia, a manufacturer of home renovation products, including energy-efficient entry doors, replacement windows, vinyl siding and manufactured stone. They have partnered with Thompson Creek Window and Fairfax County Public Schools to teach students the importance of changing to ENERGY STAR-certified LED light bulbs. ProVia is also donating LED light bulbs to Habitat for Humanity and encouraging their employees to get on board personally by making a commitment to purchase ENERGY STAR-certified LED light bulbs. With these kinds of efforts taking place nationwide, LED adoption in local communities is expected to continue to rise. To learn more about the campaign, visit provia.com/change. Take the Time Swapping out traditional bulbs for energy-efficient alternatives is a simple home project that requires no special skills or tools, just ais reme Quality commitment to lowering one’s carbon footprint. Take anlong afternoon aftertoprice is make this simple swap that promises to have a long-lasting and major Center Harbor impact. Actions taken by individuals may feel small, but on a collective 1/4 Page $600 scale, greening your per homeissue. means greening your community and the larger Lessworld. than(StatePoint) 2 cents per impression.
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Big or Small, I Sell Them All!
Thank you friends, neighbors and customers for a great 2016!
You don’t need to own a million dollar home to get million dollar service. Call Susan directly at 603-493-2873. home • spring 2017 • 51
Susan Bradley Here are some big ones...
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Susan Bradley Here are some smaller ones...
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Whether big or small, or just in the middle somewhere, I’d love to feature it in my 2017 Lakes Region Style.
List your home with me before April 26th and we’ll include your home in our magazine this coming season. 54 • home • spring 2017
What to Know Before Replacing Home Flooring Whether you are building a new house or making upgrades on a current home, there is a lot to consider when it comes to flooring. It’s important to keep in mind that the choices available have changed in recent years. Here are some things to know. Choose Style: When people choose flooring products, they may be ruling out a large swath of options because of the associations they have with specific materials. For example, you may not associate vinyl with luxury but new products on the market are redefining vinyl flooring, offering fashion-forward high-quality products in striking elegant designs. Ensure Durability: If you love the look of traditional hardwood floors, consider all of your options. New vinyl technologies are allowing homeowners to get the same elegant style engineered to withstand the wear and tear to which wood is susceptible. For example, luxury vinyl tile has a thick, rigid construction and planks that look and feel just like real hardwood, but are designed to resist scratches, scuffs and indentations, and maintain stability under heat and temperature change. Often, planks fit together to create an impenetrable lock so the floors remain waterproof and odor-free. Consider Maintenance: Make sure the flooring you opt for is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance. If you have pets, you may want to consider getting extra protection with a special warranty designed for pet owners which covers all pets and all accidents. Before making flooring decisions, get savvy and weigh all your
current options. These days, it is possible to find flooring products that combine style, durability and low maintenance. (courtesy StatePoint)
We’re All About Your Life Outside
Spring Tips for Healthy Lawns, Trees, & Landscapes Lawn & Soil Schedule your spring crabgrass and weed control to protect your lawn and make it lush and green.
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