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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

Tips To Reduce Home Heating Bills . . . 2 Is DIY A Recipe for Saving Money . . . . 3 Better Design Does Exist, Despite Obstacles Lika a Carousel Horse . . . . . . . . 5 Think “FRESH” When Selecting Roof Colors . . 7 Things To Consider When Budgeting Your Home Improvement Project . . . . . 9 Fall Lawn Care. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Tips For A Healthier Bathroom . . . . . . 12 The Hidden Cost Of Convenience . . . . 14 Stuck In A Color Rut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Plan Of Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Stop Clogged Home Gutters . . . . . . . . 20 Paint and Primer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Not All Painter’s Tapes Are Created Equal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Pretty, Pretty Pathway. . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Follow The 3P’s Of Home Renovation . . . . 27 New Trends in Home Décor. . . . . . . . . 29

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P.O. Box 58, 145 W. Pennsylvania Avenue Southern Pines, NC 28388 Copyright 2011

Tips To Reduce Home Heating Bills

As the thermometer drops, the cost of heating your home will rise. But you can avoid a spike in your blood pressure with a few smart moves that will help you save on those energy bills. The average American household spends at least $2,000 a year on energy bills – over half of which goes to heating and cooling, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Program. Luckily, there are several ways you can save on your energy bills this season: • Install a programmable thermostat to help ensure that you do not forget to adjust the temperature in your home throughout the day. Regulating your thermostat can amount to real savings while keeping you warm during the winter months. • When replacing appliances around

your home remember to ask about natural gas models. Natural gas water heaters and other appliances are typically much more efficient than other versions and will help cut energy costs during the winter heating season. • Make sure to have all furnaces, flues and chimneys in your home or business inspected every year by qualified industry professionals to ensure their efficiency and safety. These are items that will no doubt be kicked into gear during the cold winter months, so it’s important they’re all in working order when the temperatures drop.

• Keep the areas around all natural gas appliances clean and unblocked to allow for proper air flow. • Don’t forget to insulate your attic floor. Installation should be 16 to 24

inches deep in temperate climates. This simple home improvement will keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

• Look for the blue flame. If pilot lights and burners have a steady, blue flame, they are operating correctly. (Decorative gas fire logs are the only exception. Their flame is usually yellow.) • Anytime you make changes to your home, from servicing a fuel-burning appliance to changing your windows, always have a licensed expert make sure that all your equipment is operating properly – safety is important all year round. Just a few of these changes will help reduce your impact on the planet – and your wallet.

For more information on how you can save on home energy bills, visit www.comfortableresponsible.org.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

?

Is DIYa recipe for

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

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saving money

Installing a new deck may be a project best left to the professionals because of the skill level required.

Many homeowners or renters wrestle with the question of whether to tackle a project as a do-it-yourself venture to save some money or simply leave it to a professional. Each situation is unique, but there are certain factors that must be considered regardless of a homeowner’s particular situation. On the surface, a DIY task can seem

like a very good way to save some money. After all, a large percentage, sometimes as much as 50 percent, of the cost of hiring a contractor goes toward labor. For a DIY job with no such costs, the final financial tally can be substantially less. Although labor can be expensive, that cost is often justified. People who hire carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and the like are paying for the workers’ experience. They’re also paying with the expectation that the job will be done correctly. With jobs that require a building permit or must be done to specific code, the contractor often puts his reputation on the line and will be held accountable if the

work doesn’t meet requirements. That isn’t to say an untrained individual can’t tackle a specific job around the house. There are some guidelines that may make such projects go more smoothly and, as a result, more affordable.

* Read up and learn as much as you can about the particular work to be done. It’s easier to make mistakes if you do not know where to start.

* Talk to others who have also done the work. They may have some tips or advice that can save you time and money. You may also want to ask if

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they can help and show you the ropes.

* Be sure to obtain all necessary permits before starting any work. Don’t risk a fine for doing work without permits or having work inspected. * When applying for permits, find out if there is a list of code-specific requirements that you can follow – a cheat-sheet of sorts. It may list rated materials required and any techniques. See if you can speak to an inspector who will be visiting your property later on to find out what he or she looks for specifically.

* You must feel confident with the endeavor. If you are unsure about anything, you may risk injury or make a significant mistake and be forced to hire someone to clean up your mess. * Consider reputable sources for information. While it’s easy to go online

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

and scour message boards for pointers on certain tasks, not all of the information is accurate. Trust only content from sources that are licensed or backed by certification in a certain area. These things being said, there are a number of DIY projects that regular people can try. Starting off small and building up as skills are developed are good ways to begin. For example:

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

* Tile a small kitchen backsplash before tackling an entire bathroom shower enclosure or floor. * Build an outdoor potting stand before attempting furniture or cabinetry work in a main room of the house.

* Change out a ceiling fan or lighting fixture before re-running electrical lines through the home. * Succeed in repairing a leaky drain pipe before taking on a more advanced plumbing issue.

Use regular painting There are many different things individuals can do themselves that stretch beyond routine home maintenance. From manicures to pool upkeep, the potential to save money when budgets are tight can be a powerful motivator.

techniques first before experimenting with a trendy faux finish or plaster application.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

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Better Design Does Exist,

Despite Obstacles Like A Carousel Horse We just can’t seem to

make our living room work, and we have

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an antique carousel

horse that we’d like to display more

prominently,� my

client complained. “We need help!�

Upon visiting their home, I could see that their living room had some inherent challenges. It’s difficult to arrange furniture in a room with an angled fireplace, plus having to step down into this room created a choppy transition between the other spaces. And, you were forced to walk in front of the fireplace to get from one room to another. The built-in cabinets added storage but also made it difficult to create a satisfying arrangement. Our challenge was to create a more natural-looking seating area, to rearrange their accessories and to show off their prancing horse.

BEFORE

• Two chairs blocked entry into the room.

• The furniture looked as if it were placed willy-nilly. It’s usually best to aim your seating area facing the focal point (the fireplace on the right), but here the focal point seems to have been ignored. • The horse sculpture was corralled off in the corner and couldn’t be appreciated. He also was too close to the tea set, causing both to “jockeyâ€? for our attention. • There were many beautiful accessories here, but they needed to be repositioned.

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AFTER

• How can you feel invited into a room if the furniture won’t let you in? We had to clear a path into this living room. Since there were only three people living in the house, we could remove one of the chairs and still have enough seating. Moving the other chair away from the entrance created an even wider opening.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011 • We angled the couch and matching chairs to face the focal point (the fireplace is out of view on the right). The U-shaped seating arrangement is better for conversation and adds some much needed symmetry to the room. The new arrangement also improved the traffic flow. • The prancing horse now has more space in which to cavort. He is a delightful greeter and adds lots more personality to the room now that you can see him.

• By rearranging the accessories we were able to create more balance in the room and to show off some of the owner’s favorite possessions. We repositioned the tea table under the window to give it more prominence and found artwork to place on either side. We added prized art books to the coffee table and pushed the library ladder against the cabinetry.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

Think “FRESH” When Selecting Roof Colors

Thinking about a new roof for your home? Then think “FRESH.” That’s the advice national color expert Kate Smith recommends for homeowners considering a new roof. “The acronym FRESH stands for fixed features, regional colors, environment, style of home and historic colors,” says Smith, president of Sensational Color. “Considering these five elements can help you select the perfect roof color.”

FRESH Approach

* Fixed Features – These are the permanent design elements of the home that need to be considered a constant feature of the house, such as the foundation, partial stone or brick facades, pathways and retaining walls. Each feature may be of a different material, but they usually will have a common color or color cast. Once you identify that common color, you can find a roof tile with a similar color or undertone that will work well for the overall home. For a home with slate tile walkway in shades of gray, Smith recommends a combination of three tones of gray in a

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slate blend. A predominantly white brick house may look best with a solid slate black roof ... or with a Milano blend of grays with a tinge of purple.

* Regional Colors – Each region of the country has prevalent colors based on the housing styles, available materials, natural surroundings and the quality of light. Determine the colors in your area (mostly those you see a great deal of on other homes) to stick with regional colors. According to Smith, a southwestern style home in the desert may look best with a slate roof comprised of a Sonora blend of medium and dark terracotta colors gently mixed in with light and dark clay colors. Or, homeowners seeking the feel of real wooden shakes, but the advantages of fire-resistant polymer shakes, can benefit from color blend of light, medium and dark mountain tones. * Environment and Surroundings – Is your home in a rural setting or a downtown? Are you near the waterfront, a desert or a mountain? Temper the colors

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to complement your surroundings and the natural colors around you. The goal is to stand out while still fitting in. Consider a mountain blend of multiwidth shake tiles that complement wooded settings or a Chesapeake blend of oceanfront grays for coastal area homes. * Style of the Home – Remember that

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

This Slate polymer roof includes a combination of tan, gray, violet and amber tones to create the Vineyard blend that highlights the style of this home.

colors support the home’s style and architecture, not the other way around. So, determine your home’s style (are you a Ranch? Tudor? Art Deco? Greek Revival?) and then research to determine what colors are most associated with your style of home. For a Craftsman style home, Smith recommends considering a natural looking shake roof in a cedar or weathered gray color. And, while you can’t go wrong with an elegant solid black roof, she rec-

ommends softening the appeal of the roof by considering a combination of neutral tones, such as medium tan, dark gray and light stone to create a warmer roof appearance. * Historic Colors – If you live in a historic district, check for local guidelines and/or restrictions on adding colors to your home. More traditional colors, such as whites, browns, and shades of blue and green, work well on historical homes.

Match them up with a Tahoe blend of shake roofing tiles with five varying shades of brown and you have a stunning house decor. Smith suggests “playing” online with the free DaVinci Color Design Program to determine the color roof that works best for your home. There are roofing colors and 28 standard color blends available at www.davinciroofscapes.com to make the roof color decision easy for everyone.


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Things to consider when budgeting your home improvement project Home improvement projects have become de rigueur for today’s homeowners. Be it a kitchen remodel or the ever popular man cave project, home improvement projects remain a goal for many homeowners.

As enticing as a home improvement project might be, no project can be successful until a budget has been established. The right budget will keep homeowners from going deep into debt when improving their homes, ensuring that, upon the project’s completion, they can fully enjoy their revamped castles without the specter of significant debt hanging ominously over their heads. Before beginning a home improvement project, homeowners can take the following things into consideration.

* Personal finances: It sounds simple, but homeowners must examine their finances before starting a home improvement project. Just because a bank will loan out money for a project doesn’t mean the project is affordable. Homeowners should compare their monthly expenses with their incomes, and then determine what’s left that might be able to go toward a project. Monthly expenses include everything

from groceries to mortgage payments. When the comparison between monthly expenses and monthly income has been made, homeowners can get a grasp of just what they can and cannot afford.

* Credit score: Many homeowners finance home improvement projects with loans from the bank. Particularly in the current economy when banks are being forced to tighten lending requirements, securing such loans isn’t easy. Homeowners with significant credit card debt should eliminate such debt before beginning a project. Doing so serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, eliminating outstanding debt will free up more money to allocate toward the project. Eliminating debt will also make loan applicants more attractive to prospective creditors, increasing their

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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

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chances of securing a loan and a lower interest rate.

* The project’s priority: Budgeting a home improvement project also involves being honest as to just how necessary the project is. For example, a man cave might be a dream project, but should it be a priority over other things around the house? If wear and tear is taking its toll on the roof, for instance, the money going toward the man cave should probably be allocated to replacing the roof instead. If a project is low on the priority list but high on the want list, re-examine those projects higher up on the priority list to determine if they are more deserving of immediate attention and funds than vanity projects. * Overrun costs: Not every home improvement project will come in at or under budget. Many, in fact, go over budget due to a host of factors. Homeowners should not be caught off guard

when a project goes over budget. In stead, plan for the project to go over budget and expect such frustration. Allocate extra money in the original budget for overrun costs. This will reduce stress and frustration, and if the project comes in under budget, then there’s extra money when the project is completed.

Before beginning a home improvement projects, homeowners should construct a budget to ensure the project is a success.

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FALL LAWN CARE

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to aerate it as well. Applying a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen can help foster strong root growth. Also, keep up on removing leaves that have fallen. Not only will they stifle the lawn, but they may cause excessive moisture and mold to grow while inhibiting sunlight from reaching the grass as well. Before winter arrives, take the time to sow some grass seeds into the bald patches, if any. By late fall the lawn will stop taking up nutrients in preparation for winter.

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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

While most people can tolerate some clutter and dust in their home, a grungy bathroom is another story. Ironically, the room devoted to personal cleanliness is often rife with bacteria, mold and mildew -- even if it looks spotless. Bacteria and mold not only affect the air you breathe, but the structural integrity of your home, say experts. There are several things you can do yourself, as well as efficient home upgrades, to make your bathroom healthier.

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• Clean your shower. Not just once a week, but daily. Use a squeegee to wipe down walls, or spray an eco-friendly white vinegar solution after each use. If you use a shower curtain, wash or change it regularly (depending on how “hard” your water is, but usually every one to three months). Cooler, drier air will also reduce mildew in grout between tiles.

• Unclog showerheads. If a showerhead becomes clogged with mineral deposits, fill a plastic bag with undiluted white

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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

It’s important to make sure bathroom ventilation systems are properly installed. Detailed information is available online, on such websites as www.panasonic.com/ventfans.

vinegar and place it over the head and seal tie it off with a rubber band. Soak overnight and then scrub it with a toothbrush. • Circulate clean air. That musty smell is a sign your bathroom isn’t properly ventilated and is ripe with mildew and other airborne mold spores. To control it, try a ventilation fan with a motion and humidity sensor, such as Panasonic’s WhisperSense, which turns on when someone enters the bathroom and automatically shuts off 20 minutes later. When you shower, a humidity sensor overrides the timer and continues extracting moisture until the humidity is back to a pre-set level. This will help eliminate that musty smell and prevent excess moisture from ruining expensive fixtures and cabinetry.

• Keep toothbrushes apart. Germs can spread from person to person when the heads of toothbrushes touch. Also, make sure you put down the lid when-

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ever you flush the toilet. Bacteria-filled mist can travel several feet, landing on porous surfaces like toothbrush bristles.

• Don’t let paint blister. Paint blisters are caused by moisture that helps mold grow. A typical shower adds half a pint of water to the air. Scrape and re-paint blisters. To avoid future growth, replace moist air with dry air by ventilating properly.

“The most important thing you can do to keep mold, bacteria and mildew out of your bathroom, is to properly ventilate it,” says Anita So, an executive with the Panasonic Home & Environment Company. “Indoor pollutants are virtually impossible to eliminate completely by just opening a window, creating the need for a second step to improve air quality. A vent fan can remove stale, moist, polluted air and replace it with fresh air.” By practicing safe bathroom practices, you’ll breathe cleaner air and prevent structural problems that can decrease the value of your home.


PAGE 14

The Hidden Cost of

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

Convenience

With so many different devices deemed necessary these days, people often are unaware of the amount of energy used and the costs associated with keeping these devices running. While there has been a lot of discussion on “vampire” devices, electronics that continue to consume power even when in the stand-by position, it seems that many other everyday hidden costs are overlooked. Take a refrigerator that was purchased ten or more years ago. It may still be running today just as strong, and appear that is does not need replacing. But did you know that the refrigerator technology has improved energy efficiency fea-

tures and offer better performing motors to help save electricity? According to the California Energy Commission (www.consumerenergycenter.org), older refrigerators could be costing you up to $280 a year in electricity. A newer, more efficient model could pay for itself in a year or two. Similarly, if you have an older television with the classic cathode-ray tube in it, even if just as a secondary TV in the bedroom, it still may be consuming more energy than you think. A study done by Cornell University found that a similar size LCD monitor compared to a CRT monitor used nearly 69 percent less energy (25 watts (LCD) vs. 80 watts (CRT)), including 40 percent less when in standby mode. With the energy difference in

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mind, it might be the last evidence you need to justify buying a new TV for the bedroom. A more everyday example that might not be considered as often is batteries. Batteries power all of our portable devices, and without them, we are powerless to use them -- quite literally. Standard alkaline batteries may last a long time, but we constantly need a supply of them on hand and they can be expensive. When you stop to add up how many AA or AAA batteries a standard home uses (all those remote controls, wireless keyboards, mice and game controllers, not to mention the loud toys for the little ones), the hidden cost of replacement batteries can surprise you. Luckily, there’s a solution that’s more efficient and costs less over time. Rechargeable battery technology has improved in the last five years that gets rid of many of the questions of using rechargeables. One example of these batteries is the ‘eneloop,’ a pre-charged rechargeable battery that you can use out of the package and recharge up to 1,500 times. It also keeps its charge, up to 85 percent after two years of non-use. Because the eneloop is ready to use and has low self-discharge (meaning that it holds its charge for a long period of time), they are more appealing and more cost-effective than ever before. If they are able to meet the demands of our remotes and alarm clocks, the only thing that holds us back is either not acknowledging the hidden costs associated with our portable power needs or our lack of awareness of the

new technology that could save us money in the long run and lower the total cost of ownership of our favorite portable devices. We know rechargeable batteries are convenient for our cell phones, music players and readers, but we don’t usually stop to think about them for other everyday items. When we become aware of hidden costs and how they affect our pocketbooks over time, we become smarter consumers and realize that a little up front investment can often mean less money paid out over time, saving us more money to buy the things we want.

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PAGE 15


BEFORE

AFTER


Stuck in a

COLOR RUT

PAGE 18

For years now, youve been too timid to buy those pumpkin-tinged dinner plates for your dining room table. As it turns out, you’re not alone. A recent study conducted by May Department Stores International found that most homeowners are tied to a whiteout. Forty-five percent of bedrooms use white or beige for their bed linens; 60 percent choose white or beige for their everyday dishes; and 34 percent havent changed color schemes in more than five years. Professional decorators often recommend a palette of at least three or four colors to make a room look pulled together, but thats where it becomes tricky for people to figure out how to decorate on their

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

own, says Carol Williams, president of May Department Stores International. Bold colors, despite their aura of permanence and tackiness, can make a fashionable statement in any home as soon as people figure out which colors to use and how. We know that orange has been out there, said Lee Eiseman at her color forecast seminar at Chicago’s International Home and Housewares show. We have seen it come over to other areas, as in the gates in Central Park. Eiseman says such bold displays help reinvent a colors many shades and also lengthen the dramatic tones trend. Television has done its part as well. With the rising popularity of home decorating shows, weve noticed more interest

from readers on how to decorate rooms themselves, says Mark Mayfield, House Beautiful magazine’s editor-inchief. House Beautiful recently unveiled a line of home products in to solve the color conundrum with unexpected color pairings that help remove the guesswork. We receive questions everyday on how to use color creatively, says Mayfield. Color is a cause of concern for decorators mainly because most doubt their abilities. The May study also found that 31 percent of respondents owned-up to having the worst taste of anyone they know, followed only by their next-door neighbors. Kitchens and master bedrooms proved to be the DIY designers biggest obstacles.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

As you move toward a more colorful kingdom, try these tips from the designers of the House Beautiful Home Collection: • Update a white bedroom by adding shades of blue and modern accent colors; • Mix plain white towels with reversible towels, in complementary colors such as bright pink and orange; • Complement white dishes with colorful glass accents in a different shape like square bowls in bright green.


Planof ATTACK

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

When tackling any home organizational project, the first move is often the most important - it sets the tone for the remainder of the chore/activity, and if done right, it can actually make it feel like less of a chore and more of an activity. In the kitchen, it’s best to start on space that will have the strongest impact as it’s a room that affects everyone in the house. “The counters are definitely the first place to start in the kitchen clean-up process,” explains Tracy Morris, who runs a self-named design firm in Bethesda, Md. “In the direct line of sight,

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

they present you with a surface that is easy to clean and visually appealing.” Morris suggests leaving the three most used small appliances out on the counter and grouping together other everyday tools like spatulas and whisks in a favorite garden pot or vase. “This way everything is together and it will look great, too,” she adds. “I think the countertop is where we start because it’s where all the clutter is,” says Jennifer Mirich, principal at the Carmel, Calif., branch of the Halcyon House interior design firm. “Obviously it’s really easy to let things pile up on horizontal surfaces and

kitchens have the most open, usable horizontal space in the house. If you think about it, if the kitchen is where we do most of our living, almost everything from mail to shopping bags to kids’ backpacks passes through that room and some things get stuck,” she points out. “Clearing off the countertops also makes a whole kitchen look brighter and cleaner,” she adds. Sara Pedersen, professional organizer at the Shoreview Minn.based Time to Organize firm, suggests using the countertop to group like items when organizing cabinets, drawers and other spaces in the kitchen. “Make piles of ‘keepers’ on the countertops, avoiding

PAGE 19

unnecessary stooping to place items on the floor,” she says. “Having clear counters gives us instant organizing gratification, because every time we pass by the kitchen, we can revel in its neat and tidy appearance.” Diane Gordy, of Diane Gordy Interiors in Bethesda, Md., points out that countertops may have been created to serve as work spaces, but have evolved into repositories. “Human behavior is such that many of us work horizontally, the problem being that once all horizontal space is used, the effect is one of counterproductivity.” Next up, the junk drawer!

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Stop Clogged Home Gutters

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

Faced with the prospect of another season spent precariously climbing a ladder and reaching inside to clear out debris and leaves, many homeowners are considering the installation of a gutter protection system.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

And with so many different types available, finding the right fit is always so easy. A gutter protection system is a cover or barrier that prevents leaves and large items, such as twigs or blownaround matter, from lodging in a home’s gutters and eventually preventing rain runoff from draining effectively. Clogged gutters and downspouts have been known to contribute to rainwater pooling around the foundation of a home, potentially causing seepage issues. Blocked gut-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 21


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20

ters can also be a haven for stagnant water, which breeds mosquitoes and other insects and potentially harmful bacteria. To combat these issues, manufacturers have come up with a series of protection systems that allow water to enter the gutter while keeping debris out of it. Gutter protection systems range from do-it-yourself options to professionally installed products. There are a few different styles, and each offer their share of pros and cons.

Screen

A mesh or screen system consists of a screening material that fits inside or over the gutter. It serves as a sieve, allowing the water through but blocking leaves and debris. This system is affordable and can be a DIY project. But over a period of time the mesh itself can be blocked with a build-up of

debris and will need periodic cleaning. Also, in some screened systems water can freeze up in the screen openings, causing ice dams.

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

PAGE 21

Aluminum covers

There are many different aluminum options. Some work with a small crevice along the top that is narrow enough for the rainwater to enter but not allow debris inside. They may not allow as much water to enter as a mesh system because they cover a greater surface area over the gutter. Closed systems also may provide an area for insects to make nests.

Foam inserts

A relatively inexpensive protection system is a foam insert. These pieces of porous foam are fitted inside the gutter, allowing water to flow through (albeit a little more slowly) while keeping leaves out. Foam inserts are an easy do-it-yourself project and can serve as a test of the efficacy of

gutter systems before a more expensive system is purchased.

Surface tension products

These are closed plastic or aluminum products where the water entry holes or channels are on the bottom and sides of the product. This way nothing can ever get clogged from above. The system works by water surface tension; the rain-

water will adhere to the product and then flow into the bottom or side holes. The nose of these products may have to be kept clean or the surface tension may not occur. When it comes to gutter protection systems, there are a number of options to consider. Homeowners can experiment with different low-cost systems to see if one works before contracting to have a permanent guard put in place. TEMPUR -Contour ÂŽ

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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

Painting is a job that requires preparation and the right equipment. Oftentimes homeowners are unsure about whether they need to use primer before painting or if just paint will do the trick. Although there are no firm rules, there are certain cases where one or the other will be adequate. Consider a room where the walls have been heavily stained, either by moisture infiltration, rust or another factor. Deep-set stains may bleed through regular paint, therefore a primer should be applied to help block and lock-in the stain. When a room had previously been painted in a very dark color, like red or purple, a primer can

help cover the color quickly without the need for multiple applications of regular paint. There also are specialized primers that can be used in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms that often contain a lot of moisture. These primers inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on painted surfaces. Primers also may be used on materials, such as metal or plastic, to help the colored paint stick to the surface of the item. If a room is only to be painted white or tinted slightly with color, then a primer alone can be used. Certain primers seal porous wall surfaces so they do not absorb paint, requiring more coats for coverage.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

Rooms that are being painted that are already white and free of stains or other surface abnormalities may be painted sufficiently with just a coat of regular paint. If skipping primer, look for a high-quality, thick paint that boasts good coverage in one or two coats. There are new products today that offer primer and paint all in one combination. The jury is still out on the efficacy of these new items, but homeowners can experiment with these paints to see if they work for them. Keep in mind that the cost of a combination product may be more than traditional paint and primer.

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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

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Four qualities to look for that will assure a superior paint job

Whether you’re an experienced DIYer or painting your first apartment, one of the most important decisions you can make in assuring a quality paint job is the choice of painter’s tape. The right painter’s tape can make all the difference in achieving clean, straight paint lines, and protecting surfaces that you don’t want painted, such as glass, woodwork, wallboard, ceilings, and carpeting. Before you buy your paint and painting tools, do your homework on the variety of tapes on the market. Read package labels carefully before making your selection. For most surfaces, a premium-quality painter’s tape will do the job. Here are four essential qualities to consider: Resistance to “bleeding.” One of the biggest problems painters face is paint seeping under – or “bleeding” – beyond tape edges. This can cause messy lines and uneven workmanship, and result in the need for frequent touch ups. Flexibility. If you have many architectural features or curved surfaces to paint around, consider tapes with fine crepe paper backing which bend and “drape” easily around light switches, moldings, window sashes, and door frames.

Ease of removal. A low-adhesive tape allows for easy removal, without leav-

PAGE 23

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Don’t overlook the importance of painter’s tape when planning your next paint job. ing any residue or damage to the surface to which it is applied. It’s a good idea to test your tape to make sure it doesn’t pull off the paint; if it does, you’ll need to purchase one with less adhesive.

UV resistance. Look for ratings that indicate the number of days the tape can be left in place and in direct sunlight. This is important to know to avoid adhesive transfer from the back of the tape to the wall surface.

It’s essential that you educate yourself about the characteristics of painter’s tapes and understand the surfaces you will be working with before you make your tape selection. It’s a decision that will go a long way towards helping you achieve a quality painting job.

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Pathway

PAGE 24

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

Pretty, Pretty

Curb appeal is more than putting out the welcome mat on your doorstep. Its about creating an inviting pathway into your sanctuary.

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your door to commend you on your presentation. Landscaping can add a look of lushness. Prune shrubs, then plant. Trees surrounded by fresh mulch create focal points, tall shrubs can frame and accent interesting features of your house and

CONTINUED ON PAGE 26


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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24

yard, while low plants and groundcover tie everything together. Brightly colored flowers in the foreground and along the pathway can make a yard look lively. If the yard itself needs revitalizing, fertilize, de-thatch or aerate to get it looking great. To maintain the look, edge sidewalks and remove vegetation growing between concrete sections and bricks. Once the green is set, accent pieces like Adirondack chairs, birdbaths, fences, a front yard garden or potted plants on the porch can be incorporated for more effect. Make sure that patio furniture, if in front, is in good shape. Let there be light. Allow your pathway to shine in the evening as well as during the day by installing lights alongside the walkway to your door. Home improvement centers carry a variety of low-voltage lighting kits that are easy to install. Painting the exterior of the house, or even the front door or trim on the windows, can enhance appearance. If the paint is peeling or cracking, scrape it off and apply fresh paint. Remember the

front door is one of the first things guests see when they come to visit, so if you feel that your door does not hold up to scrutiny, consider replacing it. If painting is out of reach, wash the siding of the house. Speaking of washing, scrubbing windows can add sparkle just as much as cleaning other items in the front of your house. Sweep the walkway frequently, polish the front-door handle, stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools, pressure-wash a dingy porch, trim tree limbs that are near or touching the roof. Remember, you can punch up your path by changing the material of your walkway from brick to stone and in doing so you can set the tone of your homes style. You also can find creative ways to display the street number of your house, like displaying it in your flowerbed. Getting a new mailbox can even add more wow. You can achieve dramatic results on a realistic budget if you know where to invest your dollars, says Burcheri.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

Follow the 3P’s of Home Renovation

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

Planning

Before starting any project, be sure to consider the 3 Ps. Every home project begins with an idea and ends with the culmination of the job. In between, there are three main components of an improvement project that can mean the difference between success and frustration: Planning, permits and protection.

The initial stage of a renovation is the planning stage. Planning is when a homeowner works through the concept of the project and determines what is necessary to complete the task. Many people find it helpful to write out plans and draw up the concept on paper. This doesn’t require expensive architectural software. A simple piece of graph paper plotted with measurements and a sketch is often sufficient for small projects. If the job will be expansive and require an architect or engineer, he or she will often provide a technical drawing. If the project focuses more on decorating than building, some find it helpful to

PAGE 27

create a design board. This is where fabric swatches, paint color samples, pictures of furniture and accessories, and any other components of the room are put together. Having a design board enables the homeowner to go to the store with board in tow and match up items to things in the store. Another part of the planning stage is establishing a budget and determining the project’s financing. It can be helpful to make a list of all income and expenses and find out how much funding is left over for a project. When getting estimates on the work, whether it will be done by a contractor or a DIY project, the homeowner should then make a list

CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


PAGE 28 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

of approximate costs (rounding up) and then compare it against the available funds.

Permits Many projects, especially those involving building, demolition, electrical work, or mold remediation, require permits issued by the town, province or city in which the work will be taking place. The purpose of permits and subsequent inspections is often questioned by homeowners looking to circumvent the system. However, building permits are required to ensure public safety, health and welfare as they are affected by building construction, structural strength, zoning, and code requirements. In essence, building permits are how the government regulates safety and protects both current and future residents of the property. In many cases, homeowners will need to visit the municipal building in their respective towns and apply for a permit. The permit may not immediately be issued. Oftentimes, there is a waiting pe-

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. riod during which the project’s legality and safety is examined. Once the project is approved, the applicant will be able to file for the actual permit(s). There is usually a fee or fees for permit application, which covers any clerical work. Work should not begin until a permit is received, and then the permit generally has to be placed in plain sight, such as in a window of the building. Depending on building codes, inspections of the work may need to take place after all of the project is completed or during certain phases. For example, the building of a deck may require inspections after footings are installed and secured, and before the upper portions of the decking materials are attached. If an inspection takes place afterward, the inspector will be looking for key code issues to determine whether the work was completed successfully. If a contractor was used, he or she may have to be present at the time of the inspection. If the work passes, an approval will be given and put on record. If the work fails, applicable repairs will have to be made and a re-inspection will be scheduled. Should a home be put on the market, all

permits may need to be on file or in the homeowners’ possession in order for a certificate of occupancy to be issued to the new buyer. Failure to have permits can hold up the process or result in fines.

Protection

Homeowners about to begin a project also need to emphasize safety. There are a number of things that can be on hand to make a work environment safer. These include: * Eye protection: This is especially important when working with flying debris, cutting items, mixing caustic chemicals, etc.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011 * Respirator or face mask: Cover the nose or mouth when there is dust or debris in the air that can enter the lungs. When working with toxic fumes, such as when using spray paints or chemical lubricants, a respirator can offer clean air. * Boots: Proper footwear ensures protection should an item fall on the foot or when walking where nails or other sharp items are located. * Fire extinguisher: A fire extinguisher should be nearby in the event of a mishap. * First aid kit: An abrasion or cut may occur, requiring prompt care. * Gloves: When the hands need to be protected or extra traction on surfaces is required, gloves can be a necessity. * Headphones: Safety headphones can protect the ears against loud, consistent noises from power equipment and tools. * Locks: A locked cabinet can store tools, paints, chemicals, and other improvement supplies so that young children or pets won’t have access. When homeowners take the time to plan, obtain permits, and secure the needed protection for a job, they help ensure a safer job that is done correctly.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

New Trends In Home Décor

THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

Americans are spending more time than ever at home with family and friends. Eighty percent of consumers say they are entertaining at home these days, according to new research from the NPD Group, a consumer market research company. And alongside this newfound enjoyment of their homes, families are re-discovering an appreciation for home décor that enhances their living spaces without busting their budgets. There are several new trends in home décor that can cost-effectively liven up your living spaces. Ser ve & Protect

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PAGE 29 preserve that expensive couch from food stains and pet hair, you know grandma’s plastic couch covers are a serious fashion faux-pas. Fortunately, you can now get quilted sueded furniture covers that add extra cushion to your sofa, loveseat or favorite chair while preventing spills from reaching the upholstery. Best of all, such covers are machinewashable.

Go Black

Always been an admirer of sleek high-end furniture, but constrained by a low-end budget? You don’t necessarily have to sacrifice fashion for price. There now are many affordable options, that let you have a living space that looks like it was plucked from a design magazine, but without the hefty prices. And if you’re like most Americans and use one room as a living, eating and entertaining space, consider lad-

CONTINUED ON PAGE 30


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THE PILOT — SOUTHERN PINES, N.C.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2011

woman. Drape it with fabrics and jewelry for extra panache.

Creative Storage

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29

Liven up your living space with affordable home décor.

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Wrought Iron

A popular trend this year is the use of wrought iron as accent pieces in homes. Try spicing up a drab wall with a scrolled metal wall medallion. The graceful curves and simple design produce a calming effect. Or add a little vintage flair to a bedroom with a vintage dress form in the shape of a

Cramped for space? Some trendy additions can help you conserve space and organize your most frequently used items. For example, the hanging jewelry organizer from Lakeside.com has 72 see-through pouches for earrings, necklaces and bracelets and hangs in your closet, allowing you to quickly get what you need. And if you’re all out of bedrooms for visiting relatives, try turning a spare room into a livable space with metal storage solution racks. Consider a Clothes Organizer that features a hanging rod, shelves for shoes, socks and accessories, and a top shelf for hats, sweaters and more. A little design sensibility can help you decorate your home to your liking without hurting your wallet!

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Fall Home Improvement 2011  

Fall Home Improvement 2011