Category: home

How to Organize Your Garage

The leaves are falling and the nights are turning colder. Before you know it, there will frost on the ground and dare I say it…snow! Every year, as the first snow begins to fall, people everywhere scramble to fit their car in the garage. They open the doors and stand back in awe as they wonder how in the world it got so cluttered.

In the summer, we tend to use out garages as storage and then come winter, we are stuck out in the cold! Don’t let this happen to you! Here is a great video on cleaning, decluttering and organizing your garage. Do it now and you wont be one of those people stuck out in the storm!

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Fall Maintenance Tips

Fall is here and winter is just around the corner. We all want to make sure our home and family are safe this winter and there are many ways to do that. Here are just a few….

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  • Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a professional
  • Replace your furnace filters
  • Insulate water pipes that are exposed to colder areas
  • Inspect your roof, gutters and downspouts
  • Caulk around doors and windows
  • Caulk around toilets, sinks and showers
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned
  • Inspect and clean the dryer vents and exhausts
  • Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries
  • Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible, filled and ready for operation

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How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

Ahhhh!! Is anything more frustrating than trying to fold a fitted sheet? Everyone I know admits they just don’t know how to do it. Every time I go and stay at friends houses. I reach in the closet for a towel and there it is… The rest of the linen closet looks nice and neat but that fitted sheet looks like a wadded up ball. Well no more!

Here is a short video on how to do it. They use a table, but I use my bed. Whatever works. Now grab your sheet and let’s get to folding. Good luck!

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Winterizing your Lawnmower

Earlier this week I posted a checklist on getting your home ready for Winter. One of the things on the list was winterizing your lawn mower. Since that post, I have had people come to me with questions about how to do it. I did a little research and found this video from Consumer Reports on exactly how to do it. It actually offers an easier way to do it without having to drain it. I’m all for easier! Good luck!

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Small Home Improvements That Make A Big Difference

Times are tough but that’s no reason for your home not to look it’s best. There are several small home improvements that can make a big difference and make your home look like you invested big money. Here are just a few….

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DOORS

This is an easy DIY project that can can improve your home’s curb appeal, energy efficiency and security. Try painting it a bright color to really draw the eye! Add a wreath or decoration to cozy it up.

LIGHTS

There are so many ways to add light to your home. Lighted stepping stone or solar lights along walkways. What about a spotlight on something or a rope light under your eves? Even a new lamp post at the end of your driveway could add a lot of curb appeal. Lights on a home always draw the eye.

STAIRCASE

Try adding a new railing or remove the runner to expose wood. You can update your balusters for little money and add finials to make an even more grand statement. If those don’t work for you. try painting the risers. Maybe a bold color or paint you favorite quotes or words. Make it your own.

FIREPLACE

Painting your fireplace is the easiest. There are a variety of paints that have stone/brick textures. Also try painting the mantle. Don’t have a mantle. No worries. Create one. Check out second hand shops for materials or even Habitat for Humanity! You can add a mantle, some tiles and a fireplace screen with some candles behind it an no one will ever know it’s not real!

KITCHEN

A complete overhaul can cost more than I care to tell you but there are some small things that you can do to make it look like you went all out. Try changing the wall color. Change the faucets or cabinet hardware. Lighting under the cabinets. If your cabinetry is old, you can give it a face lift with some paint. There are many techniques out there that can give you the illusion of new, upgraded cabinets. They other thing you can do is your floor. Just doing that makes a world of difference. Depending on how much you want to spend, there are a variety of materials to accomplish this too.

BATHROOM

Home improvement stores now carry these vanity in a box things that come with everything from sink to faucet. Some even include mirrors! As with anything, they range in cost. If that’s too much, try just replacing the faucet and maybe painting the vanity. Paint the walls. Add a newer toilet. At the very least, replace the shower head with a nice one. That way you at least get the feel of a brand new bathroom!

ATTIC/BASEMENT

Try making these spaces more user friendly by making them into bonus rooms. You can go as far as you want with these. Maybe just add a little insulation and some furniture for the kids to hang out or add walls and carpet and make a retreat for yourself. Go all out. At least if you can’t afford the house of your dreams, you have someplace to escape and pretend you can!

CLOSETS

Organization is the key. They sell a variety of units to organize your closets, most with the “do it yourself-er” in mind.  They have units to hang or ones that sit on the floor. The possibilities are endless. Of course you could always add hardware, hampers, drawers, baskets and other accessories. Have you been to the Container Store? If you haven’t. be forewarned! When all else fails, hire an organizer. Just keeping it that way may be enough work.

So there you have it. Some little ways to spruce up your house on a variety of budgets. Don’t forget, home remodeling can be stressful so have fun with it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Good luck!

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Solar Energy

Right now we are offering a Summer special. We are giving a $300 referral fee for each new contract that’s signed for the installation of a solar panel system. Do you know anyone who could benefit from this? Refer them and this could be yours! Hurry though, it’s ending soon!

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The rest of the world is going solar & now you can too!

Do you like the idea of saving money and the planet at the same time? If you’re a homeowner, then you owe it to yourself to consider going solar. Not only will you save a bundle on your energy bill, you will add resale value to your home and be saving the environment. What are you waiting for?

Some of the great benefits of installing solar now

  • Free Installation.
  • All maintenance included at no additional cost for the life of your contract. That includes any necessary repairs or replacements.
  • Locked-in low rates that can be significantly less than what you pay now for your electricity.
  • No paperwork: We will take care of all permitting and arrangements with your utility company.
  • Increases value to your home
  • Fully transferable

~It’s the smartest energy choice under the sun~

Call today (978)-657-7274

FYI: We also offer solar hot water panels as well. ( as shown below ) Solar water heaters can be a cost effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use — sunshine — is free. 

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Garage Door Problems

If you have a garage on your home, than you know what I mean. There always seems to be something that’s going on with them. While some of the issues can be serious and should be done by a professional, some of them are a simple fix.

Here’s just a few….

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Noises

There are so many moving parts in a garage door. To stop noises, always make sure the wheel tracks, hinges and bearings are always well lubricated.

Springs

Springs are supposed to be tight wound to work properly. Over time, they tend to wear or even break. This one you might want to call professional. It seems simple but people get hurt this way more often than not.

Cables

Make sure the safety cables are properly installed and well maintained. These can be a life saver. If you have an older garage and you don’t have safety cables, you may want to look into them.

Track Misalignment 

Over time, the tracks can become warped, bent, etc.. This makes opening the doors next to impossible. Depending on your skill level you may be able to do this yourself. When in doubt, call someone!

Sensors

Sensor issues just happen. They malfunction on your car and they malfunction on your garage doors. This is something you’ll most likely have to call someone in for.

The basic need to open and close a garage door is something that many people only think about when repairs are needed. Don’t wait for something to happen. Act now!

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STOP ICE DAMS IN THEIR TRACKS

In New England, we are very familiar with the problems and costly repairs ice dams can create. Newhouse and Sun has partnered with Bylin, a manufacturer that provides a product that eliminates ice dams. Our ice melt products melt away snow and ice from critical areas of the roof stopping the formation of ice dams.

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We have many satisfied customers that didn’t have to worry about ice dams during the 2010-2011 winter since the heated panels were installed.

UNDERSTANDING ROOF ICE PROBLEMS

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Ice dams and icicles occur as a result of: Snow buildup on the roof Heat loss from the building Through insulation Through chimneys Through roof vents Winter temperature fluctuations – freeze/thaw cycles Solar heating during winter days with below freezing nights As roof snow accumulation increases, ice dam and icicle formation likewise increase. Subsequent water ponding can lead to roof leaks, internal building damage and possible mold issues. Falling icicles can create lower roof damage, deck damage and people safety issues.

Ask us how to keep your driveway and walkways free from ice and snow!

CHECK OUT SOME BEFORE & AFTER PICS OF OUR RIM SYSTEMS

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Stop Ice Dams Before They Start

How to Prevent Ice Dams if you Live in Massachusetts

Ice dams usually form close to the lower edge of the roof. Massachusetts building code states that the affected area for ice dams is 3 feet inside a heated wall. This is why today’s roofers install ice and water shield on all lower edges, on all new roofing installations in New England. Ice and water shield comes in a roll that is 3 foot x 50 feet. If you do not account for the soffit area, and only use the three foot length, you will leave the affected area exposed.

Why Ice Dams Form on Lower Roof Edges

Due to poor insulation and ventilation to0 much heat escapes the living space (poor insulation), then it gets trapped against the roof (poor ventilation). Once heat escapes the living space, it should be vented out of the house. Once the escaped heat melts roof snow, water hits established dams, or creates new ones, and water backs up under the shingles. Older roofs do not have ice and water shield underlayment, so the water comes into the dwelling.

Ice Dam Prevention

  1. Get the snow off your roof; do not allow it to sit there. Either remove the snow yourself, or hire a roofing company to maintain your roof.
  2. Remove the lower 6 rows of shingles and install ice and water shield.
  3. Make sure you have good air flow from your soffit to your ridge vent (good ventilation).
  4. Make sure you have adequate insulation, and that your insulation does not block your ventilation.
  5. Install metal standing seam roofing.
  6. Install rooftop de-icing system.

Other Common Areas Ice Dams Form

  1. Dormers: It is difficult to insulate and ventilate most older dormers, and they tend to be low sloped. These should be completely covered in ice and water shield.
  2. Bay and Bow windows: again for the same reason, poor insulation and ventilation.
  3. Walls: Older homes with blown in insulation, insulation settles and allows to much heat to escape through the siding.

As one of the nation’s leading distributors and installers of innovative and high quality rooftop de-icing products, we make problems with ice dams and icicles a thing of the past for homes and businesses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. At Newhouse and Sun Construction, we create customer solutions that will prevent and get rid of ice dams and icicles on your home or buildingFOREVER. Adding more insulation, ventilating an attic, installing zig-zag cables, application of heat tape, or even putting on a new roof will not get rid of ice dams; it just puts a band-aid on the problem, and the ice dams will always come back.

If you would like to discuss your roof and ice damn issues, or would like an insulation and ventilation inspection, we would be glad to audit your home. Please call 978-657-7274 or email us at newhousesun@comcast.net

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How to Remove Stains From Carpet

I don’t know about you but I hate a dirty carpet. With things like kids, pets and daily traffic, you just never know what’s in ground in there. I recently had new carpets installed and it’s so crisp and clean…and I want to keep it that way! I bought a steam cleaner for overall cleaning but what about those stains? Those impossible little patches that scream to you every time you walk in the room? Well here is a short video from DIY Network that has just the trick.

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