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February
15

Richmond Indoor Garden

If you have plans for a garden this year and prefer to save money and start your own plants from seed, now is the time to start those seeds indoors. Even if you're planning on selling your home this year, our real estate agents advise moving ahead with your normal gardening plans, as adding pretty flowers to your landscaping or to pots around the front door and porch can dramatically improve your home's curb appeal. Here are a few tips to help you successfully start seeds inside.

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February
9

Gallery Wall Tips

The traditional way to decorate your walls is to hang a few select pieces of artwork or mirrors, leaving a lot of empty wall space. If this seems a little boring to you, you'll love an alternative approach we often see in well-staged Richmond homes for sale: the gallery wall, which is where you hang many pieces of artwork together for a collage-like effect. While some of these gallery walls might look haphazard at first glance, usually they're well planned out with a theme and with an eye for balance and design. They're great for family photos or eclectic displays of artwork. Here are a few tips for bringing this savvy look into your own home.

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May
24

With Memorial Day almost here– giving way to the fast approaching summer - homeowners are encouraged to make preparations were necessary to ensure their homes are ready for the hot weather.

Here are five (5) tips to make sure your home and family will be in the best shape possible:

1) A/C Check and Maintenance

Whether your home has a central air conditioning system or window units you'll install when the weather gets a little hotter, you have to make sure they're in good shape, according to Insurance Hub. After all, if they're going to get dozens of hours of use every week for the next several months, having them in good working condition is a must not just so they work properly, but also so they're safe.

You'll also need to check and potentially replace the air filters on all units.

2) Clean your fans thoroughly

Along similar lines, if your home has ceiling or box fans you plan to use, you'll need to clean the blades carefully. That's because lots of dust builds up on them if they're not used throughout the fall and winter, and it can make them run less efficiently and propel dust around a home. That's not just a pain to clean, but lots of dust particles can also be a health risk if there's enough of it lying around.

3) Check the attic and basement

Spring is a time when a lot of moisture can build up in a short period, thanks to rain, condensation and so on. That can really do a number on your roof, foundation or both, so you'll need to carefully inspect these spaces for any sign of dampness. This may point to a bigger issue you'll need to fix, but that kind of check is vital to make sure problems don't get worse over the course of the summer.

Ready for summer4) Maintain your yard and the tools it needs

A big part of summer is tending to your lawn, garden, trees and so on, and you'll need to make sure you know how to properly care for all of them, according to Liberty Mutual. Of course, in addition to the know-how, you also have to have the right equipment, whether that's a freshly tuned-up lawnmower or gardening tools. If, after a long winter, they need to be cleaned, sharpened or otherwise better maintained, now is the time to do it.

5) Keep gutters clear

While April showers have already given way to May flowers, you're certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to heavy spring and summer rains. While you likely cleared out the gutters already, once winter came to an end, giving them another check well after spring has sprung is always a good idea. This can help you identify potential issues, including leaks in the gutters or downspouts, that make the systems less effective than they otherwise should be.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

May
15

If you're already doing spring cleaning, it might be wise to get out the toolbox and do some home improvement projects as well. A little maintenance can go a long way after the tough winter months.

Here are some crucial tips to making sure your home can recover from the winter.

1) Fix the roof

Damaged RoofThere's probably no part of your home that takes as much of a beating every winter as the roof, according to BobVila.com. After all, it not only deals with snow, sleet and rain, but also harsh winds, cold weather, water runoff and bearing the weight of snow and ice that builds up over the course of a few months.

With that in mind, it's quite common for shingles or tiles to crack, loosen or fall off during the winter. When the spring thaw hits, going up there once it's safe and checking everything carefully will give you an idea of how much repair work you have to do.

2) Look for leaks, fissures and cracks

Along similar lines to inspecting your roof, it can also be a good idea to look over your home's interior and exterior for any signs of wear and tear from the winter. Missing shingles can be a sign of leaks into the attic, so checking inside is always wise if there's obvious damage on the roof. The same is true of checking along windows and exterior doorways for any fissures, which can be fixed with caulk more often than not.

It's also smart to check your home's foundation for any cracks or holes that might have formed, and fill them with an appropriate patching substance as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

3) Check the deck and siding

While you may not realize it, painted, stained or even sealed decks can really get a lot of muck and grime built up on them throughout the winter, according to New Hampshire Magazine. That's also the case with siding, whether wooden or vinyl. Usually, turning a pressure washer on them can help unlock their real beauty once again, and renting this kind of equipment shouldn't carry too big of a price tag.

4) Examine the gutters

Finally, if your home has gutters, now is the time to check them out. They might have taken a bit of damage (especially if there was ice buildup) or clogged with tree debris over the winter. Just checking to make sure they're in good shape before all those April and May showers arrive is a great idea.

Of course, no one knows your house better than you do, so if there's an issue that seems to crop up consistently every year, working on ways to permanently address it is always the smartest way to start your home DIY efforts. Otherwise, just doing routine checks and maintenance to make sure everything is as it should be will help you avoid bigger problems down the road.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

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