22 Ways for Growing a Successful Vegetable Garden

Spring is fast approaching, so are you planning to grow a healthy and beautiful vegetable garden that will help beautify your home’s outdoor and be a place of relaxation? Growing your own fruits and vegetables in the yard lets you spend more time outside, at the same time saves your money for buying organic food.

24 Fun Ideas Bringing The Christmas Spirit into Your Kitchen!


As we know, we are only one month away until Christmas Eve, and now is the right time to start to preparing for the Christmas party. Christmas is always the most happiest time to decorate your home. Every year we try to outdo ourselves in decorating holiday home that would instantly catch our guests’ eyes. When it comes to that time, you can have a lot of fun in putting up the holiday decorations. We decorate everywhere but we always forget to trim the kitchen. Continue reading


It’s time to get your house ready for winter!


Give your home an once-over and tend to winter preparation tasks and repairs before the year’s first frost. “Getting the exterior of the home ready for the cold winds, snow and ice is critical for keeping Old Man Winter out and keeping it warm and toasty inside,” says Reggie Marston, president of Residential Equity Management Home Inspections in Springfield, VA. By being proactive, you’ll lower your energy bills, increase the efficiency and lifespan of your home’s components, and make your property safer.


Windows and Doors

Check all the weather stripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss. Replace weather stripping, if necessary.

Replace all screen doors with storm doors.

Replace all window screens with storm windows.

Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing to maintain structural integrity.

Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping.

Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.


Lawn, Garden, and Deck

Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage or a power problem.

Aerate the lawn, reseed, and apply a winterizing fertilizer to promote deep-root growth come spring.

Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary.

Clean and dry patio furniture. Cover with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from the elements.

Clean soil from planters. Bring pots made of clay or other fragile materials indoors. Because terra cotta pots can swell and crack, lay them on their sides in a wood carton.

Dig up flower bulbs, brush off soil, and label. Store bulbs in a bag or box with peat moss in a cool, dry place for spring replanting.

Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter to prevent cracks, preserve their shapes, and prolong their life. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.

Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.

Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage and treat, if needed, to prevent further deterioration over the winter.

Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.

Inspect outdoor lighting around the property. Good illumination will help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night.

Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured.


Tools and Machinery

Bring all seasonal tools inside and spray them with a coating of lightweight oil to prevent rust.

Weatherize your lawn mower by cleaning off mud, leaves, grass, and debris.

Move your snow blower and shovels to the front of the garage or shed for easy access.

Prepare the snow blower for the first snowfall by changing the oil and replacing the spark plug.

Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels to make sure they’re ready for another season of work.

Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand for steps, walkways, and the driveway.


Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning

Inspect the firebox and flue system to ensure that they’re clean of any soot or creosote and that there aren’t any cracks or voids that could cause a fire hazard or better yet, let your heating Company send a technician to service and tune your heating system.

Check fireplace for drafts. If it’s cold despite the damper being closed, the damper itself may be warped, worn, or rusted. Consider installing a Chimney Balloon into the flue to air seal the area tightly.

Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality.

Clean your whole house humidifier and replace the evaporator pad.

Bleed valves on any hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency by releasing air that may be trapped inside.

Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.

Remove air conditioners from windows or cover them with insulated liners, to prevent drafts.

If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save on heating costs.

Install foam-insulating sheets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls to reduce outside airflow.

Make sure fans are switched to the reverse or clockwise position, which will blow warm air down to the floor for enhanced energy efficiency and comfort.

Flush a hot water heater tank to remove sediment, and check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order.

Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant to plug up any leaks.


Gutters, Roof, and Drains

Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.

Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.

Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.

Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snow melt.

Clean leaves and debris from courtyard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages.

Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

Done? Congratulations!  You’re officially ready for winter.

23 Attractive and Practical Gabion Ideas To Enhance Outdoor Space


Fall is a charming season and you would want to decorate your outdoor living space at this time. Have you ever wondered you can bring gabions into your outdoor area?  I love them! It is a great way to decorate your garden or yard with gabions. Gabion has created a fun way of holding stones […]

Source: 23 Attractive and Practical Gabion Ideas To Enhance Outdoor Space

Insurance FAQs for First-Time Home Buyers

You’ve just made a huge investment. Make sure you protect it.

By Shannon Ireland

Buying home insurance for the first time is overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to go it alone.

Before shopping for coverage, review these common insurance questions to make sure you’re armed with the knowledge to find the best policy for your needs.

Do I need a policy before buying a home?

Technically, no.

Most states require drivers to possess auto insurance before taking the car off the dealer’s lot. But home insurance is different. You can legally own a home sans insurance.

However, if you need a loan to buy your home, your lender will likely require you to purchase home insurance as a way to protect its investment.




The One Thing You Must Do Before Listing Your Home for Sale

Think you’re ready to go on the market?

If you haven’t taken care of this task, you’re not.

When it comes time to sell your home, you know you’ll need to spend some time cleaning the carpets, decluttering, and landscaping for maximum curb appeal. But there’s another key task to add to your to-do list: checking in with your local government to be sure it has accurate information about your home.

No matter the type or size of your home or where it is, your local municipality has documentation on it. Both the building department and the town assessor will have a record about your home. But those records may not match your home’s reality — and any issues you don’t resolve could hold up your sale or even kill the deal altogether.