We, at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals, wanted to remind you that an ounce of prevention can save you big bucks on the maintenance of your home! Because what may be a small, inexpensive problem now could be a huge, costly problem later! Neglecting to clear a leaf-chocked gutter could result in wood rot and the spread of mildew. A poorly maintained heating system may eventually spew toxic fumes or stop working entirely on a cold day. And cracks in walls and windows (besides creating nasty drafts) are an open invitation to pests and water.
Yearly fall maintenance is more than convenience; it’s also a smart investment strategy. Many homeowners get their homes professionally inspected in the fall, so they can keep a running record. Everyone should have a history of their home, and when you go to sell, having one could make or break the deal. It helps perspective buyers see evidence of the repairs you’ve made over the years. Every time you make repairs or renovations, it’s a good idea to take a video or photo of the results and save the details to your computer.
Although you should really call a specialist for certain jobs, here are some jobs you can do yourself.
Clean Gutters and Drainage Spouts.
Protect yourself first by always wearing gloves – animals or insects can hide in gutters. A gutter scoop is a convenient tool for removing leaves and other debris. Then place the garden hose in the downspout to flush it out.
Inspect Your Roof.
Look for signs of deterioration (loose shingles, rotting wood, cracks, etc.) Carefully trim heavy branches that are hanging over your roof. ( A falling branch could hurt someone, cause a blackout or damage your roof. If you’re using your chimney, flying sparks could possibly ignite overhanging branches.) If the branches are near power line, call a professional tree-trimming company to do the trimming; they may need to contact your power company to temporarily disconnect your power before they start working.
Check All Windows and Doors.
Remove summer screens and install storm windows and doors. Inspect and repair any loose or damaged windows or door frames. Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to reduce drafts, too. If you discover signs of deterioration, such as moisture on surrounding walls or dry-rot damage, call a certified home inspector or restoration specialist immediately.
Clean Your Heating System.
Replace the filters in your furnace. You should do this monthly if you or any one in your family has allergies. Check for air leakage around the joints. And consider having an air conditioning and heating specialist check your entire system before winter sets in. If you don’t already have one, install a carbon monoxide detector near all appliances that burn fossil fuel, but be sure you install it in an area where you’ll hear the alarm if it is triggered.
Check the Smoke Detector.
Some people wait until they reset their clocks during Daylight Savings Time to inspect their smoke detectors, but if you missed it in the spring, don’t wait another month – check them now. Press the button to make sure it beeps and replace batteries if necessary. Most smoke detectors signal with an automatic beep when the battery gets low, but it’s always good to check on an annual basis. Smoke detectors should be replaced every six months.
Secure the Cracks.
From skunks to insects to other critters, your home can fall prey to unwanted invaders. Before they start seeking shelter from the cold, inspect the perimeter of your home for cracks or holes where they could enter and then seal them well. Clean and lubricate the garage-door hinges, rollers and tracks to make sure the door closes securely. If you detect evidence of animal activity, such as urine odors, unexplained gnaw marks, feces or footprints, consult an exterminator.
If I can help direct you to a local professional inspector. Please contact me here or directly at 850-393-7106.
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As temperatures drop, we at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals wanted to share some general and safety information pertaining to space heaters.
Everyone wants to save money on heating cost. One option is to use space heaters. They can add warmth and comfort to your home, as long as you use them safely. Space heaters have been known to cause fires, if not used properly.
There are two basic types of heaters: convection and radiant. Convection heaters provide warmth by blowing or pulling air over a heated surface. These heaters are designed to heat an entire room. Radiant heaters direct heat at an object.
Convection heaters are either fan-assistant or fan-less. These heaters are priced on average from $10 to $400.
Ceramic heaters are some of the newest convection heaters on the market. These heaters have ceramic plates and aluminum baffles. When electricity passes through the ceramic, it is heated. The heat is then absorbed by the aluminum and a fan blows the hot air into your room.
Ceramic heaters are easily portable and give off a great deal of heat from a small box. These heaters tend to be more energy efficient and safer than many heaters, so even though they heat up quickly, their plastic casings stay cool. A great use for this type of fan would be in a small office or tabletop.
The some Ceramic heaters range from $15 to $100 dollars. Delonghi’s Ceramic Heaters can be viewed at delonghi.com. Another company that carry’s a variety of them locally is Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. Their selections can be viewed at lowes.com.
Heater fans use a standard metal-coil element that is placed in the fan to help distribute heat to the room. These convection fans provide a minimal source of heat for a small areal, but not an entire room. Heater fans usually have a good price point and often are available in a variety of sizes and color. The heat element can also be turned off, so this fan can be a great choice in both the winter and the summer.
The average price range for heater fans is $10 to $400. Go to lowes.com for selections to view.
The radiant heater is one of the most common type of space heaters. However, this type of heater has been updated with more features and temperature controls, keeping safety in mind.
Most of these heaters use a glowing quartz or some type of metal element and reflector to provide heat to a specific area. Radiant heaters quickly provide heat to those closest to the heater, rather than providing heat for an entire room.
Radiant heaters range in price on average from $30 to $100. See a consumer search review of some available at consumersearch.com.
Oil-filled radiators look like old fashioned radiators that are found in many older houses. However, these are radiant electric heaters that are permanently filled with oil. Many of the models available come with wheels so they are easy to move around your home. This type of heater provides a steady heat source for an entire room.
The price of some oil-filled heaters range from $50 to $110. Honeywell’s HZ 709 is priced at $90. Visit honeywellstore.com for it and other heater selections.
Another option for additional heating in your home is using either a gas or kerosene heater. Both of these heaters give off a great deal of heat and come in handy when there is no power, since they don’t require electricity. However, always be careful when using them and be sure to follow the manufacture’s guidelines.
Propane gas heaters are among the newest ways to provide additional heat to your home. These heaters can provide heat for almost six hours on one-gallon tank of propane. Prices range on average from $10 to $300. See Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heaters at mrheater.com or visit The Home Depot at homedepot.com for available models.
Since natural gas is so plentiful in many parts of the country, natural gas heaters are another great option. You’ll have to connect this type of heater to a gas source; however, you can still disconnect the heater to store elsewhere during the summer.
Fireplaces are the most popular source of additional heat in many homes. They can give off a lot of heat and provide warmth to a room. Fireplaces are becoming so popular, you now find them in bedrooms, kitchens and even bathrooms! However, if your home doesn’t have a fireplace, the costs of adding a chimney and/or gas line can really add up quickly.
The electric fireplace is one of the newest products on the market. Not only does this fireplace add warmth to a room, but it’s attractive and can become a focal point. See Home Depot for available models at homedepot.com. The price of some electric fireplaces can range from $50 to $300.
Space Heater Guideline:
1) Only purchase a heater that has the UL mark, which stands for United Laboratories. (It’s an independent testing lab.)
2) Keep at least three feet from combustible items.
3) Turn off before leaving a room or before going to sleep.
4) Always supervise children and pets when using a heater.
5) Only plug into wall outlets; don’t use extension cords.
6) Don’t use it to dry clothes.
7) Cool down completely before adding fuel.
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Pensacola Real Estate Professionals is delighted to offer some fresh ideas for decorating the family Christmas tree.
Create an opulent feel without overwhelming the space by decorating your Christmas tree with a limited color scheme of silver, gold and bronze.
The plan is simple: strands of tiny white lights, glass icicles, and medium-to large-size ornaments in shades of gold and cream.
Cascading Ribbon Tree
Decorate your Christmas tree with long, cascading tendrils of colorful ribbon, rickrack, and pom-pom fringe. Search the remnants section of a fabric-and-trim store for good deals on pieces that are at the end of a roll or odd-sized, and collect throughout the year. Attach ribbon directly to an embroidery hoop and then simply slide over the top of your tree.
Use warm colors and nubby textures to make a rustic tree. Burlap unifies the look with homespun stockings on your fireplace mantel, an oversize bow topping the tree, and gifts wrapped in woven material. Cool mercury glass ornaments add a touch of shimmer.
A petite white fir tree, heavily flocked at the tree lot, makes a big statement in a small room. Flocked trees may be a retro thought but look thoroughly modern when paired with a crisp white-on-white color scheme. Bursts of peacock blue and sea-foam green pop against the clean backdrop, and a sculptural weathered urn makes a perfect base.
A Fraser fir, with its symmetrical shape, coordinates nicely with classical architecture. A Southern magnolia wreath hanging on a nearby window by strips of fabric used elsewhere in the room, and red and gold ornaments play up a traditional bells and holly theme. Strands of large, clear glass bulbs usually used to light a patio, give this tree and ethereal glow at night.
Classic Red and Silver
The common color of old and new silver ornaments makes this tree elegant; different shapes and sheens make it interesting. Red beads mimic cranberries without the mess. Vintage-look white bulbs cast a calming glow. A Fraser fir holds lots of ornaments.
Colorful Tabletop Display
If you are tight on space, try a tabletop tree planted in a sculptural garden urn. Dripping with antique ornaments and beaded garland, it’s a festive way to display your treasures.
Organic and Shimmery
Skip the ubiquitous metal tree stand, and give your tree a unique base by anchoring it in a large container. Adjust the vessels to your style: fancy urns for an elegant look and rustic baskets for a casual one.
Sand dollars, sea stars, and shells make ideal ornaments, since we live by the coast. Collect them all summer to bring a warm smile to the holidays.
For the ultimate twinkling tree, dress each branch with white lights. It can be tedious, but the glow is worth it. Minimal ornaments in a limited color scheme show off the tree.
Colorful and Coastal
Shades of aqua, turquoise, and white create a crisp, festive holiday vibe. Glass pinecone ornaments reflect the area’s indigenous conifers and bring a traditional holiday motif to the tree. Extend the unconventional color scheme to the giftwrap paper you use under the tree to carry through the fresh look.
Use silver and gold to decorate the tree, basically neutral, but with a little bling. Glittered ornaments and mercury glass balls lend a glimmering, glamorous feeling. Skip the tree skirt for a clean and simple look , and to let the lower limbs of the tree brush the floor. Place packages around the outside of the tree to make it look larger.
Nostalgic Red and Gold
Nothing is more traditional than a red and green holiday palette. Give it a twist by using only red and gold ornaments on the tree, so that the pine needles, gift ribbons, and threads of green in a tartan blanket tossed on a sofa nearby are the only green elements. This look proves that a nostalgic color scheme can be updated for a fresh and modern look.
Green and Gold Tabletop Tree
If you have small children, we suggest a small, tabletop tree to keep fragile ornaments and alluring packages out of reach. A wide burlap ribbon will look pretty festooning this tree, cascading down the branches with casual elegance.
Fashionable Fresh Greens
The trick to keep this graphic look punchy, and not ho-hum, is choosing the right shade of green. A crisp apple hue pops perfectly — anything darker or lighter would fade into the tree. To keep the holiday look fresh and bright, choose all-white ornaments for their modern feel and bold contrast. A playful, paper lantern is a cute tree topper, and trailing garland and ribbons can echo the same color palette.
Many of us love to decorate with blue, so why not incorporate it into a holiday palette? Offset the rich colors with plenty of sparkle. Pile on silver and glass ornaments, disco ball-esque garlands and a quirky topper.
Whimsical Snow White Tree
Let your Christmas tree reflect or carry through a white-wall color palette. Find a tree that is white or looks like it has been dusted with snow. Use candy-colored ornaments and garlands that look like jewelry. In lieu of a traditional skirt or stand, place the tree in a sculptured garden urn.
Compliment a colorful living room with an all-gold tree. Pair antique ornaments with modern ones for a more “collected” and less “designed” look.
Whatever way you choose to decorate the family Christmas tree, remember to have fun and rejoice for the gifts received, not just at Christmas, but everyday.
If I can help you find a new home for the holidays, or if you would like to start the new year in a new home, please contact me here or directly at 850-393-7106.
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This past May, Shane’s Rib Shack opened in Pace, Florida. It is a spectacular, family-friendly barbecue restaurant serving lunch, dinner and carry out meals! Pensacola Real Estate Professionals gives it a big thumbs up for the mouth-watering pulled-pork, ribs and chicken wings, to name just a few of Shane’s menu items.
With Thanksgiving a few days away, and family members gathering, why not head to Shane’s Rib Shack for a family barbecue before the big Thanksgiving feast?! It is well worth the trip! It is close to Stonebrook Village, Cottonwood, Covington Woods, Winners Gait, Hammersmith, Abernathy, Plantation Woods and Ashley Plantation. Their central Pace/Milton location puts them in close proximity to these neighborhoods, as well as the many others in the area.
There are also locations nearby in Gulf Breeze, Florida and Mobile, Alabama.
Shane Thompson built his business around hard work, family support and out-of-this-world food. He believes in giving people more than what they pay for and he believes in treating everybody like family. Family comes first, but darn good barbecue is a close second in his opinion. We heartily agree!
His dream started in the Atlanta, Georgia area, when he dusted off his grandfather’s secret recipe and opened his first shack in 2002. Shane’s Rib Shacks can now be found across America. We are lucky to have three in our general vicinity.
Try Shane’s chicken wings. They are so moist and delicious, they just fall off the bone! The Big Dad’s pulled-pork sandwich is to die for, too! The french fries are crisp and flavorful and their salads are full of the freshest ingredients! It doesn’t seem like you can go wrong with any selection off of their varied menu!
The Pace/Milton Shane’s Rib Shack is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. They serve lunch and dinner. Contact them at 850-736-8851, if you need to have an event or special occasion catered. They do that, too! Yum! Stop by and let them know that Pensacola Real Estate Professionals sent you!
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We, at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals, want to share some good news to encourage all our neighbors from Pace, Milton, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola, Florida and any other surrounding areas to give thanks by sharing with those in need.
Episcopal Day School
Episcopal Day School, Manna Food Banks and Coastal Moving and Storage are sponsoring the “Fill the Mayflower” food drive in downtown Pensacola in front of Christ Church on Palafox Street on Friday, November 22 and Monday, November 25 at the Cordova Mall.
A 26-foot Mayflower van will be parked on Palafox Street in front of Christ Church beginning at 7:30 a.m. this coming Friday Morning.
Donors are encouraged to bring canned and dry goods for Manna Food Pantries to the truck until 3:30 p.m. Some examples of donations include canned fruit and vegetables, rice and pasta mixes, cereal and other ready-to-eat breakfast items, as well as dry baking goods, such as flour, powdered or brown sugar, nuts, etc.
Most needed items include: peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, canned fruits and vegetables and individually packed breakfast items.
Donors dropping off before 8 a.m. or between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m should park behind Christ Church to avoid the car line for Episcopal Day School.
Pensacola Catholic High School
A Thanksgiving Food Drive is also under way at Pensacola Catholic High School. This began November 1 and runs through November 22, 2013. Non-perishable food items that are donated will be distributed to those most needy in the area through the St. Vincent dePaul Society distribution centers, the Alfred Washburn Center and St. Joseph’s Food Pantry.
Pensacola Catholic High School is located at 3043 West Scott Street, Pensacola, FL 32505. If you have any questions about this drive, please call 850-436-6400.
Shaggy’s Restaurant on Pensacola Beach is sponsoring a Thanksgiving Food Drive to help those less fortunate, too! Guests are encouraged to bring in $5.00 worth of food donations. Those that do, receive 10% off of their dining bill. Donations collected will be given to the Santa Rosa Kids House. Shaggy’s is located at 701 Pensacola Beach Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32561. Call them at 850-934-4852 for additional details.
Little Flower Catholic School
Little Flower Catholic School located at 6495 Lillian Highway, Pensacola, FL 32516 is sponsoring its own Thanksgiving Food Drive. Donations are being accepted through November 22, 2013.
Many area churches and schools take part in collecting non-perishable food items during the holiday season. Please check with your local parish or school district and help those less fortunate by giving what you can. Thank you for caring and sharing! Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals.
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