Danny Resendes' Blog
Chimney maintenance and repair is incredibly important. You need to complete certain tasks to ensure that your fireplace is working safely and effectively. There’s no better time than the off season to get these tasks in order.
Remember that you should only burn dry wood in your fireplace. Although fireplaces aren’t high on the technology spectrum, they do require some effort to keep in working order. Failure to do so can result in smoke and even a chimney fire. Soot build up can put a damper on the proper ventilation of the chimney. The soot is partly a result of creosote- a combustible, tar-like substance. It’s a natural by-product of wood that has been burned. With reduced ventilation, the creosote will cause potentially dangerous build up.
While creosote itself is not flammable, it can cause the chimney to clog and structural damage could result. It’s important to properly maintain your chimney in order to prevent dangerous oil build-up that can cause a chimney fire.
A professional can come and inspect your fireplace and chimney. They can check for damage, obstructions, build-up, or soot. The inspector will be able to determine if you need a sweep of your chimney. The inspector will be able to do the sweep on the spot in most cases. An inspection of your chimney should take place every year.
There are different levels of chimney inspections that occur. Basic inspections are a visual look at anything that could be in your chimney from soot to a bird’s nest. More complex inspections could involve taking the chimney apart and physically reconstructing the structure. This would occur after some kind of a natural disaster like a hurricane or a tornado. The cost of these inspections depends on how extensive they become.
You can improve your fireplace’s functioning with a few basic steps. Fist, you should only burn dry wood. Logs should be split and dried for 8-12 months. You should also burn certain types of wood especially hardwoods like hickory, oak, beech, maple and ash. These woods burn the longest. The most important thing about wood to be burned in the fireplace is that it is dry.
Burn Only Wood
It can be tempting to throw things into your fireplace to burn, but you should keep away from burning construction wood, plastics, or other things that could let off odors. Even burning paper can be dangerous because of the embers that result as the fire burns.
If you keep on top of your scheduled chimney maintenance and replace parts as needed, you’ll be able to have lovely fires all winter long with peace of mind.
Let's face it – buying a home can be difficult, particularly for those who are exploring the real estate market for the first time.
As a homebuyer, it is your responsibility to learn about the ins and outs of the housing market. By doing so, you can understand what differentiates a high-quality house from a subpar residence and proceed accordingly.
Furthermore, an informed homebuyer will know how to evaluate a home's exterior properly.
What does it take to conduct an in-depth assessment of a house's exterior? Here are three questions that every homebuyer should consider as he or she examines a home's exterior.
1. How do I feel about a home's exterior?
For many homebuyers, finding a house with an awe-inspiring exterior is a top priority. However, it is important to consider how you feel when you see a home's exterior for the first time.
A home's exterior should impress. At the same time, you need to evaluate a house's exterior in conjunction with other home features.
For example, a home may boast a massive kitchen and other dazzling interior features. On the other hand, a home's exterior may leave much to be desired.
Consider the pros and cons of a home's interior and exterior as you determine whether to submit an offer on a house. And if you need extra help along the way, be sure to consult with a real estate agent.
2. Will home exterior repairs be needed in the near future?
Examine a house's driveway, walkways and lawn as you conduct a home exterior evaluation. This will allow you to review the condition of these home exterior areas and determine whether repairs may be needed sooner rather than later.
Home exterior renovations sometimes can be costly and time-intensive. Thus, if you notice home siding that is cracked or other exterior issues, you will want to consider the time and expenses that may be required to fix such problems.
3. How much time will I need to commit to home exterior maintenance projects?
A home may have a beautiful exterior. In order to keep a house's exterior looking great, you'll need to conduct regular maintenance.
Consider what you will need to do to maintain a house's dazzling exterior as you explore all of the options at your disposal.
Will you need to hire a landscaping company to mow the lawn and trim the hedges? Or, are you willing to commit the time and resources necessary to perform assorted home exterior maintenance tasks on your own? These are just a few of the home exterior maintenance questions to consider as you review a property.
Of course, if you need guidance during the homebuying process, real estate agents are available to provide expert assistance.
A real estate agent possesses comprehensive housing market knowledge and can offer real estate insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble examining a house – both inside and out – and making an informed homebuying decision.
It is necessary to ask some crucial questions from the seller of your new home. No house is 100% perfect for you at the point of sale. You must, therefore, seek to learn whatever issues the house may have so that you can appropriately weigh your options before deciding to buy and be adequately prepared to handle them if you choose to buy it. While some sellers may volunteer that information, it is not incorrect to assume that most will not, hence the need to ask these questions:
- Is the house or neighborhood flood-prone? Issues like flooding, water pipe-burst, or water poisoning sometimes never go away permanently. So, it is best you are aware ahead of time. Some neighborhoods are more prone to flooding during raining season and knowing these details might be crucial to your convenient stay. Knowledge of previous occurrences will help you keep an eye out for repeat situations so that you can address them early enough.
- When was the house roofed and how does the material age? Older portions of the structure such as the roof may be quite expensive to replace. On the average, an asphalt roof may last as long as 10 to 15 years before needing repairs or replacement, so factor in the age of the roof before you decide to make your offer to the buyer. Find out about the material used to make the roof too, as some are more expensive than others when it comes to replacement. You should also ask for documentation about repair work done on any part of the house, so you have it for future references.
- How is sewage disposed of in the building? Does the house have a septic tank or is it connected to the local sewage system? You need to be aware of that. A home with a private septic tank needs to be pumped out averagely every 4 to 5 years, so knowing the last time they had it pumped will give you an idea of when you might need to pump it again after you move in.
- How does the neighborhood look? Buyers sometimes assume that they are only interested in the property since they will be paying for just the house, however, you are buying more than that. You are obtaining the value of the neighborhood too. So you should ask questions about the type of community it is. Do drugs and gangs overrun it? Is the public school system good enough for your kids? Is it too close to the freeway?
Seeking answers to each of these questions will help you to make informed decisions when buying a house.
120 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA 02451
Many people find it difficult to find the time and energy to prepare meals at home. Cooking at home may seem like another task on your to-do list for the day, but it carries many benefits for you and your family. It not only benefits your wallet, but it will also create lasting memories with your loved ones.
Before you make the leap and decide to quit eating out so often, it is essential to prepare for this new lifestyle change. The initial thing to do is come up with a plan of action. Meal planning can ensure your success. Start by planning which days of the week you would like to start cooking on. These days can be reoccurring in your schedule each week. For example, you can cook on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings and eat leftovers or takeout on the other days of the week. Pick days in your schedule that are not jam-packed with activities. Once you decide upon the days you would like to cook at home, begin to make a recipe list for that week. Find recipes online and print them out so that they're easy to access when you're ready to cook them. If you're not a huge fan of at-home cooking, try to find one pot meals that can go a long way for you and your family.
After you have your recipes for the week, create a shopping list for those recipes. Try and steer clear of buying unnecessary ingredients that will go bad before you use them. Stick to your list as much as possible. If you’re too busy to find time to make it to the grocery store, utilize the free pickup option that many grocery store chains now offer.
Fall in love with cooking
A love for cooking may not be something that comes naturally to you at first, but do not fret, before long you will be enjoying the benefits of utilizing your kitchen more. To develop a love for cooking, you need to make it as stress-free as possible. Now that you have your meal plan operating make sure you have the right tools to make it work for you. Look into tools like a pressure cooker or a food processor to cut down the tasks of preparing your meals. If chopping veggies are going to add stress to your prep time, opt for pre-cut vegetables in the frozen food section.
Make it an event
Food often brings people together. Cooking can become a family activity that you enjoy throughout the week. Involve everyone in the family by assigning tasks to each person and work as a team to create a delicious meal. Invite your neighbors over for a family dinner and get to know the neighborhood. If cooking for a party seems too overwhelming, ask others to bring a dish.
Once you get the hang of cooking for your family consistently, enjoy the quality time you now get to spend with your friends and family at your dinner table. Invite your neighbors over for your next homemade meal!