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Articles Tagged "home maintenance"

The Watson Blog Home
August
2

Florida Architecture

If you're planning on buying a Florida home or upgrading to a different Florida property, you'll find that there are a lot of architectural styles to choose from. Our real estate agents understand that having so many options can feel overwhelming, especially if you aren't sure exactly what you're searching for in a home.

We recommend learning about the different architectural options so that you feel more comfortable when you're shopping for a home. Here are some of the most popular Florida home styles. 

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September
2

Litter Box Tips

September is officially Happy Cat Month, so take some extra time to appreciate your feline friend. Cats make wonderful pets, but there's one part of cat ownership that everyone dislikes - the litter box. Its appearance isn't attractive, and no one wants to have its odor or the sounds of a cat scratching away in the box invading your home's common areas.
  
With a few tools, some time, and a little bit of effort, you can hide your cat's litter box while still leaving it easily accessible for them. Check out these tips to help make your cat's litter box out of sight and out of mind.

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July
30

Front Door Paint

Once you have your dream house, the next step is to make it your own. And the best place to start is with the front door. It's the first thing people see before they walk in; it should make a decorative statement about who you are and what kind of home this is. Here are some paint options to consider.

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April
1

Watson List Your Home

Listing your home for sale can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first time. One of the best ways to sell your home quickly and increase your sale price is through proper home staging. Home staging is both an art and a science and often takes a good bit of experience to pull it off just right. Our real estate agents are experts at home staging and are always willing to offer tips to help you through the process.

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January
20

Ready to reimagine your kitchen? Or tackle that backyard project? Or maybe you're just finally ready to declutter and reorganize. Perhaps you don't even know what it is you want to do with your house; you just know you want change. Never fear! We've got New Year's resolutions for your home to inspire you.

Give Your Stuff a Home

Over the course of a year, we tend to accumulate lots of stuff. If you don't keep a handle on it, you can find your drawers, cabinets, closets, and counters overflowing with heaps of stuff that maybe doesn't belong there. Make it a resolution to give all that homeless stuff a place where it can live comfortably – preferably somewhere neat, tidy, and out of the way. Decluttering in this way not only frees up useful space, it'll make your home feel even roomier than before.

You'll likely have a lot of stuff that doesn't make the cut after this process. Instead of just tossing it, consider donating it to a local organization that will give it to those in need.

Restock & Organize Your Pantry & Fridge

Unless you're hyper-diligent when putting away groceries, chances are you've got a lot of clutter in your pantry, cabinets, fridge, and freezer. Dedicate some time to reorganizing theses pivotal kitchen spaces: sort out the items you'll use/eat from the things you won't, store frequently used items like flour and sugar in airtight containers to minimize the amount of unwieldy bags taking up space, and reorganize what remains in a clean, sensible fashion. It'll make cooking feel like much less of a chore when everything you need is where it should be.

Make Your Home Safe

We mean safe in two ways: safe from intruders and safe for yourself.

First, intruders. If you don't already have one, maybe this is the year to have a security system installed. They're incredibly sophisticated these days, allowing you to control many features remotely from your phone. Pair it with a smart doorbell and cameras and you'll feel safer than ever in your home.

Speaking of feeling safer in your home, sometimes it's the unseen threats that you should worry about. Invisible invaders like radon and carbon monoxide can endanger everyone living in your home. Check for radon with an inexpensive testing kit from your local hardware store. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every bedroom floor as well to monitor this deadly gas.

While we're on the topic of unseen threats, have you cleared out your dryer lint lately? Not the relatively paltry amounts caught in the trap inside the dryer, but rather the lint in the vents and ducts behind the machine? With even just a reasonable amount of lint buildup in those areas, you could be looking at a major fire hazard.

Deep Clean

New year, fresh start – what better time to give your house a deep, deep clean? Go room to room and scrub, dust, vacuum, wipe, and just generally sanitize every nook and cranny you normally glance over during your regular cleaning sessions.

Be More Eco-Friendly

Going green at home doesn't have to mean installing solar panels (though that doesn't hurt). It can happen in smaller but just as impacting ways, like recycling more than just your soda cans. From compost to cardboard and glass to grease, organize your recyclable materials into appropriate bins and dispose of them properly – your local recycling center can help you figure out the best way to approach this.

Going green can also save you money on your power bill, and who doesn't want that? Seemingly little things like turning the lights off when you're not in the room or cutting off your AC when you're gone can help the environment and your wallet. Installing LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads that use less electricity and water, respectively, are other beneficial ways to save money and the planet.

July
8

You're probably familiar with the concept of winter home maintenance. Floridians don't exactly have a lot to worry about in winter, but summer? The brutal heat and humidity summer brings can affect your home in unsuspecting ways. Keep your house protected during the hot months with this inclusive summer home maintenance checklist.

Inspect Air Conditioners

Start your summer home maintenance checklist by tending to your home's biggest ally against the sweltering sun: the air conditioner. If you have a central AC unit, a professional servicing may be in order. Check, clean, or replace filters for both central units and window units. Be proactive to ensure your AC doesn't fail mid-summer.

Clean Fans

Airflow is crucial in keeping your home cool during summer months, so give your ceiling and room fans some love. Use a damp rag to wipe down the blades. For room fans, remove the casing and dust away the detritus that blocks airflow.

Treat Your Windows

Applying a sun-blocking window screen or cover keeps your home cooler in an energy-efficient way. They also help to keep summertime bugs and dirt outside where they belong. While you're at it, re-caulk the seals on your windows and doors to boost your energy efficiency.

Inspect Your Home's Exterior

Keep an eye out for rotting or loose siding – it can be a haven for dust, sap, dirt, bird droppings, and any number of things that can spell trouble in the long run. If you have brick or concrete, give it a good power wash. Heat can also do a number on paint, so check for peeling, fading, or chipping in your exterior paint. Refreshing with a new coat not only protects your home, it also pumps up your curb value!

Give the Grill a Bath

Summertime is grilling season! To clean charcoal grills, empty all charcoal and ash, then wash it with hot water, a scrubber, and soap. Let it dry fully before using again. For a gas grill, turn the heat up high and let it cook with the lid closed for half an hour. Once it cools, scrape the grill with a sturdy brush. Wipe down the exterior with a damp sponge and cleanser and empty the drip pans.

Vacuum Vents

Clogged exhaust fans annoy with their loud wheezing, but they can also reduce airflow. Simply remove the covering and use an attachment to vacuum out the dust.

Check the Roof

Summer in Florida also means lots of thunderstorms. Give your roof a thorough inspection for any missing shingles, cracks, sags, or other structural concerns to prevent a much larger accident.

Refinish Your Deck/Patio

Just like the sun's damaging effects on your home's paint, your deck and/or patio can take a lot of hurt from the heat of summer – not to mention the wear and tear of near-daily thunderstorms. And since you'll likely be using your deck more in the summer, it's a good time to give it a good power wash and maybe a new finish.

Take Care of Your Yard

Regular landscaping can help your yard stay strong and healthy even in the punishing summer heat. Pull out weeds and mow regularly to reduce potential infestations and encourage healthy growth. Adding new layers of mulch can also help choke out weeds and retain moisture.

Clean Out the Gutters

Summer storms can put a lot of strain on your gutters with lots of water and debris. Make a point to regularly clean them out to prevent leaks and further damage.

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