Alysha Glazier's Blog
126 Sandy Pond Rd, Ayer, MA 01432
Many first time home buyers simply don’t think too much about home maintenance during the purchasing process. The challenge is that once you’re in the home, regardless of whether you’ve thought about it or not, your home’s maintenance needs only increase. And if there’s a hidden problem lurking somewhere, the result of ignoring it means it only gets bigger, more difficult to repair and could potentially cause other issues.
Invite an Inspection
During the purchase process, you should have had a home inspection. On it, a certified inspector lists any areas with potential maintenance needs in the foreseeable future. Read through the inspection list to see what’s upcoming. Will you need a new roof in a few years? Does the exterior paint need some TLC? How old is the water heater and how long is the warranty on it? Did the inspector notice any weaknesses in the foundation or cracks in the supports? Minor issues likely weren’t enough to stop a sale since every home has some blemishes. But knowing the potential issues means you can keep your eye on them and stop something from developing into an expensive issue needing major repairs.
Do an Annual Review
Make a list and check it twice. Each season walk through your home, crawl in the attic space and under the floor joists to check things out. Look for evidence of water leaks, mold, or build-up of condensation. Check for dripping faucets, hissing or running toilets or loose fixtures. Tighten water valves and check for moisture inside sink cabinets and bathroom vanities.
If your house has a fireplace, have the chimney swept before you use it in the fall or winter. During the summer, birds and small animals often build nests in the chimney that can catch embers and cause house fires. If your chimney does not have a screen or cap, talk to your fireplace professional about installing them. Your fireplace isn’t the only thing that needs screens. If your gutters continually clog with leaves and debris, they can back up and cause significant water damage to your home. In areas with snow or ice, clogged gutters can overflow during a melt and damage the gutters, soffit and even the foundation. A gutter contractor can install screens that let the water in but keep the debris out.
Other areas that need consideration are windows and doors. If your dual-paned window steams or frosts on the inside, the seal has broken, so you won’t reap the benefit of energy savings. Drafty door jams and frames allow frigid air in and cause your furnace to run longer. Ask your public utility company to do an energy survey of your home and caulk, repair or replace when necessary.
Your professional real estate agent is the best resource for a home inspector, referrals for a handy contractor and how to contact your public utilities for a review. Reach out today for information.
7B Old Colony Drive, Westford, MA 01886
7B Old Colony Drive, Westford, MA 01886
To dress up your front porch, all you need are two tall flowerpots filled with gorgeous plants. Choosing an ideal combination of flowers, grasses and other plants is the key to creating the right aesthetic. To help you find the best mix, use this guide on the top six plants for front porch flowerpots.
With their bright flowers and interesting foliage, marigolds instantly capture your gaze and fill your heart with cheer. Their flower looks a lot like a carnation but comes in rich yellow, orange and red tones. You can find many different types, ranging from six inches to over two feet tall. The compact varieties work well in the middle of the pot while taller ones serve as a stunning backdrop for the other plants.
As indicated by its name, Fountain Grass features plumes of foliage that burst outward in an amazing display. At the top of each blade, the grass has a beautiful foxtail-like flower that blooms in late summer and remain through the fall months. This grass comes in green and purple varieties, both of which can reach nearly four feet tall. With its immense height, it works best along the back of the flowerpot.
Fuchsias feature two-tone tropical flowers that hang from the branches like little bells. The dark green leaves frame the blooms, helping their colors pop even more. There are over 105 different types in all different shapes, sizes and colors. The most popular trailing varieties are used in hanging baskets and work well draped over the sides of your flowerpots. You can also select the bushier type as a vivid centerpiece.
Angelonia look a lot like Snapdragons, but bloom for many months longer to constantly fill the air with their delicious fruity scent. Their flowers come in a picturesque array of pinks, blues and purples, which stand out perfectly against the narrow green leaves. They reach nearly two feet in height, making them an excellent flower to put in the center of your pots.
Sweet Potato Vines
Grown for its breathtaking leaves, Sweet Potato Vines look incredible trailing down the sides of tall flowerpots. Depending on the variety you select, they have a wide range of leaf shapes. Some have heart-shaped foliage, while others look more like a maple leaf. There are even three lobed varieties that are a delight to gaze upon. This trailing plant happily grows down the side of the pot to create a waterfall of color all the way to the ground.
Since they come in such a wide range of color combinations, Coleus is a really fun plant to grow. There are many different types on the market today, all featuring green, red and purple tones. The leaves are streaked, splashed and dotted with multiple colors in various intensities. They grow upright to over three feet in height, making them a perfect addition at the center or back of the pot.
No matter what plants you choose from your flowerpots, do a trial run before settling on your final arrangement. Fill the planters almost all the way up with soil, then place the plants inside without removing them from their nursery pots. After that, move them around until you are satisfied with the placement to find the perfect aesthetic.