C r o s s r o a d s W e l co me H o me . co m
July 18, 2010• Issue 66
H O M E S • R E N T A L S • P R O P E R T I E S • R E A L T O R S A N D B U I L D E R S
The perfect combination of location and quality! An oversized
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kitchen. $695,000 Call Dawn for appt. at 652-1746. Woolson Real Estate. Victoria . MLS #210315 $79,900. Tina Jacob with Jacob Realty 361-649-0892.
Page 2, Victoria Advocate, Crossroads Welcome Home, July 18, 2010
Smart ways to save
Practicle Upgrades...................Page 4
Protect your home from
termite damage........................Page 5
Victoria Advocate, Crossroads Welcome Home, July 18, 2010, Page 3
• DIY - If you have any handy talents, you can save a lot of
money by doing the project yourself, or by only contracting out
part of the work where a professional might be required. If you
aren't certain about installing a wood floor in your living room
or are in need of landscaping ideas for around your back porch,
head to your local library and check out several books on the
topic for background knowledge.
• Negotiate work agreements with your friends - Having more
hands on deck to help with the work will make the job go much
faster, but you don't have to hire the help. Offer your friends a
trade - maybe you'll take them out for dinner. Or volunteer your
services on one of their home improvement projects. Just make
sure they understand the trade before the work gets started so
you don't abuse your friendship.
• Put cash back in your pocket when purchasing supplies
- You can find great deals on supplies from leading home
Smart ways to
improvement retailers including Home Depot, Ace Hardware,
American Blind, Lumber Liquidators and many more using
online coupons and discount codes through Ebates.com. And
at Ebates.com, not only can you get discounts for free
shipping, or reduced prices at more than 1,200 online
stores, but you will also get a check back in the mail
for a percentage of what you purchase online.
home • Look for contracting specials - If you do need to hire a
contractor to help you with your project, look online to find
specials being offered this summer. You can also find coupons
for discounts in home improvement newspaper tabs or in the
back of the phone book. Some of the more popular coupon
topics include insulation, siding, windows and doors and
• Stage your project over time - You might discover your
project is too much to handle - both physically and financially -
With summer in the air, you're just itching to get that in one season. The best recommendation is to break it down
home improvement project going. It's a great time to install a into mini projects. For example, if you want to landscape the
rain garden, improve storm-water runoff in your yard, redo your entire yard, consider concentrating first on a vegetable garden
windows or siding, or even change the look of one of the rooms or a flower garden that outlines the house. One advantage to
inside your house with new paint and furniture. breaking down a huge project is it allows you to discover how
much maintenance and upkeep work you need to do on a
yearly basis. You may discover you want to revise later
No matter what project you have on your summer to-do stages of the project and make them maintenance free.
list, you're going to be shopping for supplies, and depending on
how large your project is, the price can add up quickly.
As the summer gets started, fast forward your imagination to
Here are some tips to get your home improvement this fall where you are enjoying that new room inside the house,
projects going, while keeping a bit of extra cash in your or are sitting on your refinished deck and admiring your
pocket: backyard with its fresh gardens. And you should feel a smile
spreading across your face as you remember how much
money you saved on your project.
Page 4, Victoria Advocate, Crossroads Welcome Home, July 18, 2010
No matter how big your bathroom feels to you, there's no downside in making
it feel bigger. Use mirrors to make the room appear larger than it is. Wall-to-wall,
counter-to-ceiling mirrors, free of frames or bevels, fit with contemporary styling and
can make a modestly sized bathroom feel much larger.
Sink into it
Sinks play a pivotal role in the usability and desirability of both bathrooms
and kitchens. In baths, replace dated, single-basin vanities with dual-sink models,
which are in high demand by homebuyers. For kitchen sinks, which are on display in
your home 24/7, opt for a blend of practicality and beauty. Kohler's Vault family of
fabricated stainless steel sinks blend form and functionality. The sinks can be installed
as undermount or self-rim, so they work with virtually any decor. Log on to
www.kohler.com to learn more.
There's a place for us . . .
Storage is a significant issue in virtually every American home, and both
and home buyers are acutely aware of how much - or how little - storage the average
bathroom or kitchen has. In both rooms, adding cabinets and shelving can improve
the room's livability and practicality. Storage is so important, you may want to consider
replacing a powder room pedestal sink with a modestly sized vanity. If you really
want to make a storage splash in a bathroom, add a shower storage unit.
And speaking of showers . . .
Practical A great shower isn't just a luxury, it's a practical concern as well. Americans rely on
their showers for more than just cleanliness - a shower is also a spot to relax and
decompress. It pays to shell out a few more dollars for touches - like a good shower-
head such as the Kohler Flipside Showerhead -- that will turn your shower space into
a more welcoming experience. Shower surrounds have made it particularly easy to
upgrade an existing shower. Sterling has introduced the Accord seated shower, with a
seat that is movable and removable. The seating area is the largest available to con-
sumers, and allows you to relax in a seated position, leaning against the shower wall.
off in kitchens
Log on to www.SterlingPlumbing.com to learn more.
Practical pays off when it comes to kitchen and bath renovations. Gone are the
days when virtually every kitchen or bathroom remodel involved top-of-the-line luxury
upgrades and a budget big enough to fund an Ivy League education. Today's home-
owners want more value for their remodeling dollars, and that means turning to im-
provements that make both functional and fiscal sense.
If you're contemplating a kitchen or bathroom remodel, here are some pointers for
keeping it practical:
Be like the Swiss . . .
That is to say, stick with neutrality in both the bathroom and the kitchen.
Choose neutral colors for the walls and for parts of the room that might be especially
costly to change later if your taste in bold colors doesn't play well with the preferences
of potential buyers. Keep fixtures such as sinks and toilets, tiling and flooring
in neutral tones and use accessories like shower curtains, towels, artwork and small
appliances to put your personal color stamp on the room.
Victoria Advocate, Crossroads Welcome Home, July 18, 2010, Page 5
Protect your 3. Eliminate wood-to-soil contact. Any wood that simultaneously touches the
soil and the home can provide termites with direct access to the structure.
4. Keep mulch or soil from being piled against the home's siding. Soil or mulch
allowed to pile up against the home can hide termite activity.
5. Avoid storing items in the crawlspace. Pieces of scrap lumber, boxes or even
books can serve as a food source for termites.
6. Maintain adequate ventilation in crawlspaces. Termites prefer moist condi-
tions. Eliminating moisture can help make the environment less suitable to
7. Use a mesh screen on all windows, doors and ventilation openings. Screening
will help prevent winged termites from entering the home.
As Americans head outside to tend to their lawns and repair their 8. Schedule an annual inspection with a trained professional. Prompt treatment
houses, it's just as important to consider what might be happening out of sight, and regular inspections can save thousands of dollars in damage repair.
deep inside the home.
Termites, which are found in every state except Alaska, live in colonies
that eat continuously. These wood-destroying pests eat homes from the inside
out, making their presence difficult to detect. Termites annually cause more
than $5 billion in damage, and the destruction termites cause is not normally
covered by homeowners insurance, leaving owners to pay an average of $3,000
in out-of-pocket costs for repairs, according to Terminix.
"In most cases, it's easy to tell when a house is in need of repair. Either
the paint is chipping or the roof is leaking. But that's not usually the case with
termite activity," says Paul Curtis, a Terminix entomologist. "Because termites
are often active in the least visible areas of a home, it can be difficult for the
homeowner to tell whether they have a termite problem or not."
Usually, homeowners will only be able to tell they have a termite infes-
tation during swarm season. That's when winged, reproductive termites leave
their colonies and establish new ones.
A swarm can be identified by the large number of flying termites and
by the discarded wings they often leave near doors and windows.
"Termites do not discriminate. They eat wooden framing, support
beams and the wood flooring inside your home the same way they would a tree
in the forest," Curtis says.
While swarming only takes place during certain times of the year, ter-
mite colonies never stop eating, even to rest or sleep. Unless evidence of a
swarm is discovered, or damage is severe enough to be noticed, a trained pro-
fessional will most likely be required to identify the presence of termites within
Although eliminating termites requires the help of a trained professional,
homeowners can take the following proactive steps to make their homes less
inviting to these wood-destroying pests:
1. Fix the roof or plumbing leaks. The moisture from these allows termites to
survive above ground.
2. Clean and repair gutters. Gutters that do not drain properly can allow water
to accumulate near the foundation.
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