Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 8/12/2012

With warmer weather comes greater lawn-care responsibilies. If you want your yard looking top-notch this spring, then adequate hydration is key to keeping your lawn green, healthy, and growing. During warmer months, your lawn should be soaking up about an inch of rain a week to ensure adequate root hydration. Unfortunately, New England doesn't always provide rain like clockwork. When this happens, it's up to us to guarantee our lawns the proper amount of water. A good sprinkler system will keep your lawn hydrated and happy. But before you run out and buy a few old-fashioned sprinklers, take a moment to consider other options, like a time-controlled sprinkler system. While they are more expensive, they take a lot of the guesswork out of your watering. Below, I'll list the various types of sprinklers and sprinkler systems, and the types of yards they are most effective in. Fixed Sprinklers - Ideal for small lawns, shrubbery, or ground cover, these sprinklers spray a fan of water in all directions at once. This type of sprinkler is also very useful in areas that are hard to reach with conventional watering methods. Impact Sprinklers - These sprinklers spray a jet of water that gets slightly interrupted every few seconds, causing water to cover more ground, and effectively mimicking natural rainfall. These are the types of sprinkers that make the "clicking" sound that we are used to hearing. While not as widely used as they once were, they are still in use in many lawns that are too cumbersome and large to be taken care of by a fixed sprinkler. Another great advantage of the impact sprinkler is its resistance to clogging, which makes it the ideal candidate for homes that use well water. Drip Hoses - These are ideal for long strips of lawn, raised vegetable or flower beds, and irregularly-shaped lawns, with the added bonus of being environmentally friendly. Because of evaporation and runoff, most sprinkler systems use more water than they need to. Drip hoses release water directly into the ground, putting water where its needed most; the roots. The drip hose is generally laid out in a pattern, and waters your lawn and garden through small holes spaced throughout the hose. The water pressure generated is also very low, which adds a bonus to people who live in areas where water use may be restriced in the drier months. In-Ground Sprinklers - While this option will cost more to install, the aesthetic benefits of an easily-concealable irrigation system cannot be denied. In-ground systems can vary from simple layouts with fixed times, to sophisticated systems that utilize many different types of sprinklers, and operate on a need-for-water basis. If you were to decide to install the system yourself, you'll first need to obtain the layout of the pipes and lines in your property before digging your ditches. Doing the installation yourself will generally save you about 60% in total costs, but will require a fair amount of work on your part. For more information on how to self-install an in-ground sprinkler system, as well as pricing, please visit the following link. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,641780,00.html





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 4/15/2012

A home's curb appeal is the first thing a potential Buyer sees. It can be a make or break decision before even entering the home and sets the tone for the whole experience. Enhancing your home's exterior with colorful accents is an easy way to boost curb appeal. Whether you want to add a little color or a lot, these ideas from Better Homes and Gardens promise to give your home a whole new look. 1. Pick Up a Paintbrush Painting your home's exterior is one of the most cost-effective ways to update its look. When devising your color scheme, consider your home's architectural style -- elaborate Victorian homes might be able to handle four or five colors, while Colonial styles look best with two or three. Also consider colors that can't be changed, such as stonework on the home or in the landscape, roof color, and the palette of surrounding homes. 2. Update with Colorful Siding Vinyl siding was once offered in only a handful of neutral colors, but today's products provide nearly unlimited color choices so it's easy to find siding to complement your home's exterior. 3. Make a Statement with Windows Cladding, the aluminum wrap on an exterior window frame, lets you have the beauty of wood inside and a low-maintenance covering outside. Manufacturers offer cladding in various colors, so you can make your windows stand out or blend in with existing siding. 4. Coordinate Hardware and Lighting Entrance hardware, door knockers, house numbers, mailboxes, and porch lights all add character to your home's exterior. Choosing the same color or finish for these elements creates a sophisticated look. 5. Create a Welcoming Entrance Your front door is a great place to add a dash of bold color -- and boost home value. If you want to add color, look for doors that come ready to be painted and opt for a high-quality acrylic latex paint, says Sara Theiss, a Therma-Tru spokesperson. Decorative glass inserts offer additional color and complement a range of house styles. 6. Add Shutters Whether operable or decorative, these accents add color and bring a historical touch to a Federal or Colonial home. For easy maintenance, look for fiberglass models, high-density PVC, or composite wood materials; they offer the look of wood but don't crack, split, or rot. 7. Set It in Stone The natural colors of real stone enhance any style of home. Stone veneer, a lightweight alternative, makes it even easier to add the appeal of this natural material to exterior walls. 8. Consider Roof Color It might not be sexy, but this practical aspect can have a big impact on your home's overall look. For cohesiveness, choose a tone in the same color family as the paint or siding on your home -- or pick out a color that repeats hues found in the brick or mortar. 9. Go Glam with Copper The eye-catching metal comes with a high price tag, but the finished look can be worth the cost. For example, copper gutters transform an overlooked feature into a design element. "If you have a bay window with a copper roof or a porch with a copper roof, and you couple that with copper downspouts and gutters, it can be very handsome," says Washington, D.C.-based architect Bruce Wentworth. 10. Stain Concrete Curb appeal extends from the front door to, well, the curb! By staining existing concrete, you transform a drab patio, sidewalk, or driveway into an eye-catching surface that resembles stone, wood, or leather. Acid-base stains are available in earth tones, such as tan, brown, terra-cotta, and soft blue-green, while water-base stains expand the color palette.