The roof is one of the most essential features of a home, yet it’s commonly overlooked when it comes to regular maintenance. A roof can sustain some wear and tear, but if a homeowner wants to avoid costly repairs, they should conduct frequent checks. Here are five ways to keep your roof in good condition.
Check for leaks. To prevent a major roof leak, regularly check for water damage in your attic and on your ceilings. Some telltale signs of roof leaks include moldy smells, liquid stains on the ceiling, or interior wall bulges.
Trim those trees. A tree can do a great deal of damage if it falls on a roof, but it’s also important to make sure no branches are scratching your shingles. Over an extended period of time, this can damage the protective top layer, so make sure to trim the trees around your house.
Check your shingles. One of the most important parts of roof maintenance is making sure your shingles aren’t deteriorating. If you see any shingles that are missing, cracked, or curved, it may be time for some repairs.
Clean your gutters. Although it can be one of the most dreaded household chores, cleaning your gutters regularly can help preserve your roof. Gutters filled with debris can prevent water from draining properly and result in liquid seeping under your roof. This can affect the roof’s integrity and cause water stains.
Hire a pro. If you want to go above and beyond in your roof maintenance and make sure you aren’t missing any problem areas, call a professional roofer to complete an inspection.
Houseplants are great natural decoration pieces to occupy a corner, window sill, table, or shelf, but they also offer many health benefits that can enhance your physical well-being.
Air quality. In the late 1970s, many buildings were constructed with limited fresh air exchange and ‘superinsulation’ in an attempt to minimize energy costs. However, occupants began to report various health problems. This phenomenon, known as ‘sick building syndrome,’ was caused by the lack of fresh air entering the building and emissions of ‘various organic compounds’ from synthetic insulations. In 1989, NASA conducted a study to counteract ‘sick building syndrome’ and their results were nothing short of remarkable. They found that certain houseplants can absorb pollutants in the air through their soil and improve air quality dramatically. The study found that plants, such as Chrysanthemums, peace lilies, English ivy, and ficuses, do a great job combating indoor air pollution.
Decreasing stress. According to a 2015 study conducted by scientists at Chungnam National University, interacting with plants “can reduce physiological and psychological stress.” During the study, half the participants completed a task on a computer while the other half repotted a plant. They found that working with plants inspired comfortable feelings and reduced more stress compared to completing the computer task.
Sleep. The 1989 NASA study discovered certain plants have the ability to remove pollutants from the air and this natural process could improve your sleep. We release a lot of carbon dioxide when we are sleeping, but plants like aloe vera or snake plants can absorb that carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen.
Minimalism has been a dominating theme in design and architecture over the past few years. What started as an art movement in the 1960s has become a mainstay for interior designers that creates peaceful, eye-catching spaces with limited furnishings and selective decorative pieces. Minimalist decor is focused on the concept of ‘less is more’ and this idea places a lot of importance on functionality, tidiness, and organization in the home. Here are a few tips to bring minimalism into your home.
Eliminate the Clutter. There are many things homeowners keep around the house on the off-chance they are needed, but usually they never are. Take control of your space by throwing away any loose papers, magazines, or trinkets that aren’t getting any use and do a weekly check to see where clutter is piling up.
Choose Decorations Wisely. It’s a natural inclination to try to fill all the empty space on a wall, but in many cases, this design style can become a bit overwhelming and noisy. Instead, try to find a defining piece of art or decor that can act as a focal point or centerpiece. Then, the empty space surrounding it will accentuate the piece.
Focus on Function. When you’re deciding on whether or not to keep something in your space, just ask yourself, “Do I actually use this?” If it’s an item that is used daily, it makes sense to keep it, but if you can’t remember the last time you used it, it might be better to toss it. If something is used intermittently, you can still clear your space by finding a cabinet or drawer to keep it out of sight.
Lighting is such a crucial aspect of your home and can affect the ambiance, energy, and vibe in each room. However, sifting through the various styles, bulbs, and placement options can feel overwhelming. Here are a few tips to get you started!
- There are three different types of lighting. Ambient lighting (or general lighting) fills the room, accent lighting is used to highlight something, such as art, and task lighting is used to help you complete various tasks, such as desk lamps and vanity lights. It’s recommended you have at least two types in each room.
- Start with selecting task and accent lighting in each room. Many times, the combination of these two provide enough light in a room so overhead lighting may not be needed.
- To ensure lighting fixtures will mesh well together, try placing images of the fixtures on a Word document to see the full picture before purchasing.
- Light bulb selection is equally important as fixture selection. By choosing incandescent or halogen bulbs, you can add a warm, sunny feel to a room. Fluorescent bulbs can provide warm white, cool white, or daylight color temperatures and radiate light 360 degrees around the bulb. Finally, LED bulbs can range from blue-white to neutral white to yellow-white and are the most energy efficient option.
- Factor natural lighting into your light design by mapping out where the sun falls and how it moves across the room. Then, place lighting in darker areas.
With the right lighting, you can transform any room in your home and help you create your desired atmosphere for your home.
Purchasing a home comes with many tangible and intangible benefits. One that is commonly overlooked until the start of the year rolls around is the deductions you get on your taxes. As a homeowner, you’re likely able to deduct most, if not all, of your home mortgage interest resulting in a lower tax bill.
Interest paid on a loan that was used to buy, build, or complete substantial renovations on your primary or secondary home falls into the deductible mortgage interest bucket. The property can be a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, house trailer, or co-op. The amount of interest you can deduct does cap out at $750,000, although most homeowners do not reach that threshold.
At the end of each tax year, your lender will provide you with a mortgage interest statement, or Form 1098, that states the total amount of interest paid for that year. You are responsible for reporting an accurate total of interest paid when you file. This requires you to itemize your taxes. If you have purchased a home with one or more people, each homeowner can deduct the amount of interest they personally pay.
There are a few others payments that may count as mortgage interest and could be added to your deductible amount. These include mortgage points, late payment charges, prepayment penalties, interest on a home equity loan, and certain mortgage insurance premiums.
By deducting mortgage interest from your taxes, you are reducing your taxable income. As a result, you have less tax liability and reduce the amount of taxes you owe which is more money in your pocket!
From our team to you and yours…Merry Christmas! We hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, laughter, love and great food!
Home technology has greatly improved over the last few years, helping to increase convenience and energy efficiency. But some smart home features carry more value than others. Here are some that will not only help you enjoy your home more, but will also help increase its appeal to buyers and potentially drive up the sales price when you are ready to sell.
Smart Thermostats. Smart thermostats can be controlled with your smartphone and allow you to schedule temperature adjustments based on your family’s schedule. Not only does this help you maintain ultimate comfort in your home, but helps you save on energy costs since heating and cooling will be reduced when appropriate. The Nest Thermostat has earned glowing reviews and almost universal praise, so it’s one of the surest bets for your home.
Automatic Lighting. Lighting is an overlooked part of home security—leaving the lights on in the evening can deter burglars because the lights suggest someone is home. With automatic and smart lighting systems, you can program your lights to come on in the evening or use your smartphone to turn on the lights before you arrive at home.
Smart Alarms. Gone are the days of controlling your security system from a panel inside the home. Now you can turn them on and off, view camera footage, and even speak through the system to your family members or visitors from anywhere using your phone.
Solar Panels. Although they are a bit of an investment up front, solar panels are a great way to create an energy-efficient home. Aside from saving you money on your energy bills, solar panels are great for the environment. Plus, they also look attractive as far as roofing goes.