Home Maintenance Tasks You Need To Tackle This Fall

Fall is officially upon us. And while it’s important to take the time to enjoy the changing leaves, mild temperatures, and all-things-pumpkin-flavored, it’s also important to keep in mind that winter is right around the corner.

Fall is the perfect time to tackle the home maintenance tasks that will protect your home when the temperatures dip into freezing territory. According to a recent article from Realtor.com, there are six maintenance tasks homeowners should plan to tackle in the fall to prepare their homes for the winter, including:

  • Properly store your yard equipment. You won’t be mowing your lawn in the snow—so before it gets too cold, make sure to properly store your lawn equipment for the season.
  • Protect your pipes. Pipes can burst in the freezing winter temperatures—so fall is the perfect time to take steps (like wrapping your pipes in foam insulation and closing foundation vents) to protect your pipes.
  • Clear out your crawl space. If you have a crawl space, now is the time to clear it out—so that if your pipes do happen to burst in the winter, you can access them more easily.
  • Close your vents. Leaving your crawl space vents open during the winter can lead to cold floorboards—which is not exactly a comfortable way to start the day.
  • Start a compost pile. If you’ve been thinking about composting, fall—with all the dead leaves and plants—is the perfect time to start your compost pile.
  • Protect your trees. If you have thin-barked trees, winter temperatures can cause their bark to crack. Take precautionary measures (like wrapping tree trunks in paper tree wrap) to make sure your trees make it to spring.

Bottom line? You want to winter-proof your home before winter actually hits—so tackle these maintenance tasks before fall is over.

5 Home products designed with your worst germ fears in mind

   

We’ve all become a lot more sensitive to germs and being cautious about what we touch—even in our own homes. Try as you may, it can often feel impossible to keep your home clean and germ-free for long. If you’re someone who flinches at the very thought of bacteria-laden surfaces inhabiting your abode, you may find comfort in knowing there are products designed to put your mind at ease.

No matter how much and how often you clean, sometimes the best solution is to minimize what you touch, and how often you touch them. Well, these gadgets ensure that you can do just that, and give you an edge on staying healthy.

1. Hands-free soap dispenser and faucet

Sure, you’re washing your hands frequently, but what germs are you leaving behind on your soap dispenser and faucet handles before you lather up?

With a sensor soap pump, you can wave those worries goodbye. This hygienic and hands-free solution has a sensor that dispenses the right amount of soap without requiring even a gentle touch. Simply wave your hand and voila! It’s perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. Plus, it’s easy to refill. By soaping up your hands before you touch your faucets, you’re minimizing the spread of germs.

If you want to go the extra mile, install a touchless faucet, which senses your presence, and even shuts off automatically when you remove your hands to reduce water waste.

2. Self-sealing, voice-activated trash cans

Taking out the garbage has to be one of the grimiest household chores out there. But with a self-sealing, self-changing trash can, you can breathe a little easier on garbage day. The Townew garbage can was created, not surprisingly, by a founder with a slight case of germaphobia. This self-sealing and self-changing trash can uses infrared sensors to prevent overfill, and most importantly, seals in odors.

Or, opt for a voice- and motion-sensor trash can which recognizes three commands, including “open can,” “stay open,” and “close can.” If your hands are full or covered in bacteria from touching raw meats, this prevents the spread of germs and saves you from cleaning yet another surface. And, hey, if nothing else, you know at least something in your home will listen to you.

3. Washable keyboard

If you spend large amounts of time at your computer (and possibly even eat any or all of your three meals beside it or over it), you may be wondering what nasty germs are lurking beneath and between those keys. A washable keyboard can put your mind at ease. Designed to be hand-washed or even submerged, these officemates are ideal for anyone who’s not only worried about germs but may have also dropped a drink or squirted ketchup between the keys. And if you’ve ever dreamt of typing from the tub, here’s your chance.

4. Smartphone sanitizer

A smartphone often feels like a lifeline, but in addition to storing tons of contacts and information, it may also be storing plenty of germs. To ensure your phone is getting the deep clean it needs, consider a UV sanitizer that kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses without the use of chemicals or mercury. Rid your phone of germs in just one minute with the help of two UV-C germicidal LEDs. Then dial, text, and swipe with confidence.

5. Touchless toilet flush

Not only is an automatic flush toilet more sanitary, but if you have kids and you’re expecting guests, you’ll never be embarrassed by an unpresentable surprise in the powder room again. It’s easy to install and you won’t have to worry about germs coating that handle any longer.

You’ve got enough to think about and worry about, let items like these cut down on some common germ-catchers in the home.

The Biggest Landscaping Trends of 2020

It’s a new year, and with every new year comes new design trends—including in landscaping.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals recently released their picks for the top landscaping trends of 2020. Some of the biggest trends poised to take over lawns across the US this year include:

  • Multi-season landscape design. As homeowners become more cost and environmentally conscious in 2020, expect to see more versatile choices in landscape design—including choosing plants and other elements with multi-season functionality and the ability to thrive in a variety of temperatures and climates.
  • All things blue. With different shades of blue being chosen as the color of the year by a variety of design outlets (including Pantone and Sherwin-Williams), the hue is going to be everywhere in 2020—including in landscape design. Expect to see pops of blue (think sculptures and water features) to show up in on-trend outdoor spaces in the upcoming year.
  • One-click irrigation systems. Properly irrigating your lawn used to be an expensive, time-consuming process. But thanks to new technology and more high-tech irrigation systems, in 2020, homeowners have the ability to control their irrigation system remotely, delivering the perfect amount of water at the perfect time with the click of a smartphone app—saving time, money, and water in the process.

What does this mean for you? If you’re thinking about selling your home in 2020, you want to make sure your landscaping feels timely and on-trend—and now that you know the top landscaping trends for 2020, all that’s left to do is get outside and get your yard up to par!

Top Flooring Trends For 2020

A new year is officially upon us—and with a new year comes new design trends. If you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending in the interior design space and what buyers are looking for—and that includes flooring.

In a recent article from realtor.com, design experts outlined the flooring trends they predict will be all the rage in 2020, including:

  • Porcelain tiles that look like other materials. Porcelain tiles are a go-to for homeowners thanks to their versatility and durability. But if you don’t like the look of porcelain, you’re in luck! One of the biggest flooring trends of 2020? Porcelain tiles that look like other materials—particularly wood and marble.
  • Waterproof vinyl floor planking. Like laminate, vinyl floors can give you the look and feel of wood—but because vinyl is waterproof, it’s much more durable. Expect homeowners to embrace waterproof vinyl wood floor planking in their bathrooms and kitchens in 2020.
  • Stained concrete. Modern, industrial design is set to be a major interiors trend in the upcoming year—and if that’s your style, stained concrete is a great way to carry that trend through your flooring.

What does that mean for you? Flooring is one of the most noticeable design features of your home—so if you’re thinking about selling your home in 2020, make sure your flooring speaks to today’s on-trend buyers.

This Family Transformed Their Home Into A Star Wars Lovers’ Paradise

When it comes to sci-fi, there are all sorts of fan clubs. There’s plenty of costumes, role playing, and giant Comicon conventions. Each genre has members that live, eat, breathe (probably some other activities I don’t want to mention) around their obsession. But on occasion, you get some fans who create a real marvel with their home. And that’s what you’re about to see now. Behold, the home that transformed into a Star Wars style starship…

That's quite a house to begin with!
Someone REALLY likes Star Wars. I like Star Wars too, but this takes it to a whole new level.
Behind these doors is the home’s main feature: a Death Star theater.
The hallway makes me wonder if some fans are actually trying to show up George Lucas.
The detail is amazing and intricate. I bet it must feel like you’re flying through space while watching a movie. It belongs to Vic Wertz and Lisa Stevens, who used to run the Official Star Wars Fan Club. They went so far as to commission Doug Chiang, a designer who worked on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones, to help design the theater.
Here’s what the initial concept looked like. They definitely nailed it.
The surround sound is probably so good that you have to check for cracks in the drywall after a lightsaber battle. (The films are projected from a Runco VX5C 3-Chip DLP Projector installed in the back of the room.)
See the guy on the left? That’s either a replica of the frozen Han Solo, or the last guy that got too sucked into the scene. Told you the sound was good.
With this bounty hunter keeping an eye on things, good luck getting in without an invite.
I know a lot of Star Wars fanatics. But few are as imaginative with their obsession as this couple. Their costume parties must be a sight to behold.