Home Based Projects to Keep you Busy and Spruce up your Home

“We recognize these are very hard times for everybody.  Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, and those who have suddenly found themselves unemployed. We can’t imagine how you must be feeling. We are doing our very best to provide reliable service under unusual circumstances, and hope our world can get back on its feet as soon as possible.”

Now that we are in lockdown and have a new found amount of time on our hands, we may want to spruce up our home, get to those jobs we’ve always been meaning to get to, do some long needed maintenance, clean or just plant a garden.  Here are some ideas to keep us very busy during these difficult few months.  Let’s make lemonade out of lemons and come out with a fresh new home.

Cosmetic Improvements for your Home’s Exterior

Regardless of whether you are listing your home this summer or not, improving the exterior of your home is never a bad thing.  Chances are portions of your home’s exterior have been neglected and could use some attention.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Perhaps the best way to improve your home is to give it a fresh coat of paint.  A freshly painted house gives the appearance of a home that is well cared for and makes any prospective buyer want to take a closer look.

If your home cannot be painted or you do not want to invest the time and money into this task, another option is to paint the front door.  If you really want to make a statement, choose a bold colour such as turquoise, yellow or bright red.  If you are looking for more of a sophisticated look, go with the standard white, grey or black.

Update the Patio Furniture

You can never go wrong with updated patio furniture.  Not only does new furniture make your home look more attractive, you also get to keep that furniture and enjoy it in your new home, so it is essentially a win-win situation.

This summer’s patio furniture trends:

  • Oversized, modern chairs and table silhouettes.
  • A citrus colour pallet with plenty of green tones.
  • Matching streamlined furniture sets to reflect your home’s unique patio and exterior.

Add to the ambiance of your new patio furniture with garden boxes, hanging flower pots, bright citrus throw cushions and blankets as well as trellises and planters.

Add Exterior Accessories

Adding some eye-catching exterior bling will make your home more appealing. Additions such as trendy bronze or chrome house numbers will make any home shine.  Exterior home lighting is another thing that adds to the allure of your home.  Outdoor lighting can highlight your home’s landscaping or new coat of paint.

A few added touches to the exterior of your home can go a long way.

If you have been thinking about listing your home or would like more information on how to make the exterior of your home more appealing to prospective buyers, please contact me today.  

Preparing your Home for Summer

Indoors:

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Nothing will ruin your summer faster than a broken air conditioner.  Before the dog days of summer arrive, make sure that you get your air conditioner properly serviced to ensure that it is in good working order.  It is also advisable that you do the following maintenance:

  • Flush out the lines with a cup of bleach to keep them from getting plugged or clogged.
  • Clean or replace your unit’s filters.
  • Trim or remove all vegetation such as shrubs from around the outside portion of your unit. This will allow your air conditioner to properly breathe and not overheat.

Check your Ceiling Fans

If your ceiling fans have a directional switch, make sure that the fan blades are spinning in a counterclockwise position.  This will allow the airflow to be pushed downwards rather than upwards and help cool your home.

The Right Thermostat

Consider replacing your traditional thermostat with a “smart” version.  A “smart” thermostat will not only save you money on your monthly energy bills, it will also allow you to cool your home more effectively and efficiently.  With a “smart” thermostat, you can divert air to rooms that are occupied and increase the air conditioning during the warmest parts of the day.

Outdoors:

Green up your Lawn

It is never a bad idea to re-seed your lawn.  A well seeded lawn not only is aesthetically pleasing it is also a healthier lawn and will keep weeds at bay.  Less weeding means more time for you to enjoy the summer.

Here’s the deal:

When reseeding your lawn, do not forget to put down a thin layer of topsoil to protect the grass seed.  Keep your lawn well irrigated for up to 2 weeks to ensure proper seeding.

Mower Maintenance

Once you have re-seeded your lawn, you will want to ensure that all your yard equipment and tools are in fine working order.  Before mowing your lawn, be sure to:

  • Change the oil in your lawnmower.
  • Check and clean or replace your mower’s spark plug.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your mower.
  • Sharpen your lawnmower’s blade.
  • Check your other yard equipment to make sure that it is in safe working condition.

This quick list of preparation tips will have your home ready for summer in no time.  A well-prepared home will allow you to spend more time enjoying the summer and less time doing household chores.

Plant a Family Flowerbed

A bright and colourful flowerbed is a great addition to any yard.  Not only does it complement the landscaping, it is an engaging family activity that will get your kids outside.  As the premier agent for all your NOTL real estate needs, I would like to share the following tips on how to get started on your family’s flowerbed today.

A Fresh Start

Weed free and debris free soil is a must if you are going to grow a vibrant and healthy flowerbed.  Before doing any planting, take the time to remove weeds or other plants and sift through the soil to remove rocks, sticks or other items.  Now it’s time to add a bag or two of topsoil to provide extra nutrients.

Pick your Plants

Once you have properly prepared and weeded your bedding soil, it is time to go to your local nursery to pick out the flowers and plants that you will be adding to your bed.  Try to choose a wide variety of flowers so that you will not only enjoy a host of colours, you will also be able to admire your flowers throughout the spring and summer.

Remember:

As soon as you have unloaded your flowers from your car, be sure to thoroughly water each flower as any type of transportation will add stress to your delicate plants.

Proper Planting

When planting your flowers, pay specific attention to each flower’s tag.  This tag will provide the following important information:

  • The total size the flower will grow to – this is important because you will want to plant the larger flowers in the back of your bed so that they do not overcrowd the smaller flowers.
  • How much sun and water each flower needs.
  • Proper planting space and depth.

By following the instructions on these tags, you should be able to plant and enjoy a healthy and vibrant flowerbed for the entire summer season.

Family Fun

After planting your flowers, it is important to water your flowerbed.  Transplanting flowers can be hard on the delicate root systems, so to give them a head start and make sure that they have ample water.  Once the initial work has been completed, you can put together a routine that includes the entire family.  This routine should include:

  • A regular watering schedule.
  • A consistent weeding routine.
  • Any other sporadic maintenance that may be needed such as removing dead flowers.

A flowerbed is a great way for you and your family to get outside and enjoy your yard this spring.  It will teach your kids responsibilities and foster a sense of ownership and accomplishment.  If you would like other tips on how to create a fabulous flowerbed or are interested in viewing some of the new and exciting properties that abound in NOTL, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 Maintaining a Concrete Driveway

A concrete driveway is a welcome addition to nearly any new home. It adds that finishing touch on the exterior of a home and definitely adds value to the house as well.

Although concrete driveways are almost hassle-free, they still need routine care and maintenance from time to time. We here at Bosely Real Estate feel that this timely upkeep will help preserve the life and the look of your driveway allowing you years of enjoyment.

Why Concrete?

Concrete may be the longest lasting material for a driveway. Although the initial price point is higher than other materials, concrete is very durable and will last for many, many years. Cleaning your driveway and applying sealer is the best way to keep your driveway looking like new and to extend its life.

The amount of traffic your driveway sees and the type of elements it is exposed to will determine how often you seal your concrete driveway; more traffic and harsher weather means your driveway will require a sealant more often.

It is recommended, however, that you apply a sealer at least once every two years or when the finish begins to show signs of wear. You can find concrete driveway sealant at your local hardware store. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the sealer.

Harsh Conditions

Winter can be particularly hard on a concrete driveway. It is recommended to never use de-icer on your driveway as the chemicals can react with your driveway; instead, use sand for traction. De-icer can also cause unwanted cracking by speeding up the freezing and thawing process, allowing moisture to seep into the pores of your concrete driveway.

Also, take great care when plowing or using a snow blower on your driveway. You want to avoid scraping the concrete with any type of metal blade, which may chip your driveway.

Some final recommendations to keep your driveway looking like new is to always remove stains, such as from gasoline or oil spills. Over time, these products can begin to erode your driveway. Finally, remember that your concrete driveway does have weight limits. Avoid parking moving vans or other heavy vehicles on the driveway, as it is not constructed to manage such weight and may crack.

A concrete driveway is an ideal foundation that encourages basketball games, skateboarding, street hockey games or other activities that can be enjoyed by the neighbourhood kids.

If kids or activities are not your thing, a concrete driveway also offers an aesthetically pleasing look and adds value to your home. By following these few steps, you should extend the life expectancy of your driveway and keep it looking like new. If you are looking for a new home, be sure to visit our listings page.

 A Bathroom Makeover?

In any home, the bathroom is usually one of the smallest rooms, but one in which you tend to spend more time than you think. From showering and bathing to scrubbing and primping, that small room gets a lot of use.

Everyone wants a bathroom that they feel comfortable in and that is an appealing place to spend time. Here are a few quick tips from us at Bosley Real Estate to help give your bathroom that personal feel that won’t blow your budget.

New Layer of Paint

Probably the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to give any room in your home a complete makeover is to add a few coats of paint. You would be surprised what a new colour may do for your bathroom. Don’t be afraid to repaint the cabinets, drawers or other fixtures in the bathroom. Visit your local paint store for colour ideas or hire an interior designer to help you make the right colour choices.

Change It Up

Another quick way to totally change the ambience of your bathroom for very little money is to replace a few items. It very well may be time to replace your bathmat, your towels and your shower curtain anyway.

By changing these three items, you can quickly change the appearance of the whole bathroom. Your shower curtain takes up a lot of space in your bathroom so think of a curtain with a pattern, a texture or colour that will bring out the best in your bathroom. Try matching the towels and mat to the colours in the curtain for a uniform look in your bathroom.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Your bathroom mirror is the other fixture in the bathroom that stands out. If you have just a glass mirror, consider adding a frame to it. Frames come in different thicknesses and colours. If you cannot find the colour that is just right for you, paint it! You will be surprised how much this simple frame will change the overall appearance of your bathroom. If you are just sick of the old mirror and do not mind spending a few dollars, perhaps it is time to replace it. Try thinking out of the box and maybe go with a round mirror or a mirror framed in iron or another decorative metal.

Cleaning is Key

Sometimes, the answer you are looking for is the simplest one of all. Perhaps your bathroom just needs a solid and thorough cleaning. A sparkling toilet, shower and counter all make a bathroom much more appealing. Book off an afternoon, roll up your sleeves and go in and declutter and scrub that bathroom until it shines. You may be amazed at the outcome.

With these tips, we feel that you are sure to like your new and improved bathroom. A colour change or new towels, a new shower curtain or a mirror with a different and unique look will help transform your bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary. For more tips on making your house shine, especially if you plan on selling soon, visit our sellers page.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

The trees in bloom mixed with the warm weather and longer days make spring in Niagara a special time.  Spring is also a great time to get to those cleaning tasks that you have been putting off.  Make sure to take full advantage of this season and give your home a proper spring cleaning.

As the premier Niagara on the Lake real estate agent, I would like to offer you this spring cleaning checklist.

Kitchen

Your kitchen may be the busiest room in your home and is always in need of a thorough cleaning.

Remember:

A proper spring cleaning addresses more than your usual weekly clean.

Here are some cleaning suggestions for your kitchen.

  • Clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator and freezer. Make sure to wipe out the drawers and discard any freezer burnt food.
  • Polish the stainless steel in your kitchen. Use the proper cleaner to remove fingerprints and smudges, so that your stainless steel sparkles.
  • Degrease and clean the elements on the stove.
  • Clean your oven.
  • Wash and vacuum cabinets, drawers and shelving in the kitchen.
  • Mop the floors and scrub down the counters and island tops.

Bathroom

Once you have finished in the kitchen, shift your attention to your bathroom.  Keep in mind that you want to do a deep cleaning of this room, so take your time and be thorough.

  • Scrub the toilet, sinks, faucet and bathtub with the proper cleaners and a disinfectant.
  • Polish and clean the walls, ceiling and floor.
  • Clean the mirrors and windows in the bathroom.
  • Scrub tile surfaces with the proper cleaners as well as an anti-mold cleaning agent.
  • Clean the shower doors and apply a waterproof agent such as Rain X to prevent any water streaking or soap scum from sticking to the doors.
  • Wash rugs and towels or cloths in the bathroom.

Bedroom, Family Room and Living Room

Typically, your bedroom and living rooms are tidied weekly, if not daily (especially if you have young children) so these rooms should be relatively easy to clean.

  • Dust surfaces including ceiling fans, bookcases and shelves.
  • Vacuum and steam clean carpets, if applicable
  • Vacuum and steam clean upholstery.
  • Wash linens, throw pillows and bedding.

The Entire House

There are other cleaning jobs that may not apply directly to the previously mentioned rooms, but are important pieces included in a thorough spring cleaning.  These include:

  • Sweep and mop floors in your home. Apply a sealant or protective layer to flooring when you are mopping.
  • Remove and wash window screens in your home with warm water and a gentle detergent.
  • Wipe down walls and baseboards with warm water and a gentle detergent. Dry with a soft, clean towel.

These cleaning suggestions will have your home looking like new in no time.  A spring cleaning is not only an important aspect of a clean and healthy living space, it is also a great head start if you have been thinking about putting your home on the real estate market.  A clean home is a great first step when it comes to showing your home and ultimately selling it.