Keep Pests at Bay

29 Jul 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Keep Pests at BaySpiders and roaches and flies, oh my! If bugs give you the heebie jeebies, you definitely don’t want them in your Loft. Not only can they be unsanitary, some pests can actually cause real damage. And then there are the insects that sting and bite, like wasps or scorpions. Obviously they’re not welcome!

While it may feel like bug proofing your Loft is a battle you’ll never win, there are some things you can do to stem the flow. Here are our tips for keeping pests at bay.

Keep spiders out of the basement

If spiders are a problem, you can seriously reduce their population by using a dehumidifier. Maintain a humidity level of 40 percent and regularly clean out the cobwebs from the ceiling and windows. In just a few weeks you’ll see a noticeable reduction in your eight-legged friends.

Starve the roaches

There’s nothing worse than flipping on your kitchen lights at night and seeing roaches skitter under the cabinets. The best way to banish them forever is to starve them out. Be vigilant about cleaning up every crumb of food from floors, countertops and inside cabinets. You must also remove their access to water, so fix leaky faucets and keep pet water dishes elevated. There are also a variety of roach killers on the market to help you tackle this particular problem.

Seal doors and windows

Gaps around doors and windows make it easy for tiny pests to enter your Loft. Install a threshold under each door to the outside and add weatherstripping around doorframes and windows. Make sure all windows have screens and patch any holes no matter how small they seem. The bonus? You’ll also save on energy costs.

Plug gaps and cracks

Check the exterior of your Loft for any gaps or cracks that insects and pests can climb through. This includes cracks in the foundation, holes in grates and missing shingles on the roof. Seal openings with wire mesh, sheet metal, mortar or even steel wool.

Keep a lid on it

Trash and recycling cans can be a huge magnet for pests of all kinds. Make sure your cans have tight fitting lids and clean them regularly.

Maintain your yard

Remove debris from your yard and patios and get rid of standing water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitos. Keep your gutters clean so then can work effectively. If you have a pool, make sure it stays clean and chlorinated. Regularly clean and refill birdbaths to keep mosquito eggs from hatching in them.

Keep drains clear

Drains in sinks and showers can accumulate some pretty serious gunk, which is attractive to many pests and gives them the perfect place to breed. Regularly clean all sink and floor drains, especially in the basement or laundry room.

By tackling the conditions that invite pests into your yard and Loft, you’ll be well on your way to reducing their populations and preventing a simple nuisance from becoming a real problem.




How To Pick the Perfect Paint Color

22 Jul 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

How To Pick the Perfect Paint ColorDoes choosing the perfect paint color for your Loft feel a little bit like finding Bigfoot – mythical and elusive? Do you stare at the racks and racks of paint chips at the hardware store and break out into a cold sweat? Are you worried that you’re going to pick a color, paint the walls and end up hating it?

Don’t worry – we’ve all been there. Color can have a big impact on the feel of a room, so it can be a little intimidating if you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are some pointers to get you started and to ensure you’ll have a finished product that you love.

Choose an inspiration piece

Do you have a favorite throw pillow? Did you happen across a picture in a magazine that speaks to you? Maybe you have a dress that makes you feel really special every time you wear it. Chances are, the colors in those pieces have a lot to do with why you’re drawn to them, so why not use them as inspiration? Choose a color or two from the palette and go from there. In fact, Sherwin Williams has a great online tool called Snap It that lets you turn any online image into a personalized paint palette so you can easily match the colors at the store.

Start small

If you’re new to the color game, then it’s probably not the best idea to dive in by painting your biggest room first. Why not practice on a smaller space? Give your powder room, a hallway or even a closet a makeover with a fresh coat of paint. You’ll have a better idea of how certain colors affect the feeling of a space and how the light in the room can change the color depending on the time of day.

Determine the mood you want to set

There’s no denying that color and mood go hand and hand, so think about the mood you want to create in a room when you choose what color to paint the walls. Do you want to evoke a cozy feeling in the bedroom? Maybe you want the foyer to be bright and cheerful? Do you want people to feel sociable in your dining room? Choose colors for those rooms that evoke the feeling you’re hoping to create.

Incorporate what you already have

If there are aspects of the room you cannot change – for example, that beautiful wooden heirloom dining table from grandma or the custom slate tile in your bathroom – make sure you take those existing colors and finishes into account when choosing your paint colors. Let these pieces help guide you in your choices so that the room is coordinated once its complete.

White is perfectly acceptable

If choosing new paint colors is stressing you out, remember – white is a perfectly acceptable color that goes with everything. It’s absolutely okay to skip the endless deliberations and go with something classic and easy. Sometimes the best way to add color is through furnishings such as pillows and throw rugs, which require less work and commitment.




Make Your New Loft Feel Like Home

17 Jul 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Make Your New House Feel Like HomeYour Loft isn’t just a financial investment or the place where you keep your stuff – it’s where you live your life. And moving into a new Loft can feel a little disorienting at first. It takes awhile to get settled in – there are all sorts of new sounds and smells and sights that can feel foreign for the first few weeks or months.

If you’re feeling a little out of sorts in your new place, there are things you can do to get it feeling like home in no time. Here are some of our favorite suggestions.

Give yourself a cozy place to sleep

Moving is exhausting – packing and unpacking and a million little details to remember, like when the cable is being set up and making sure you get the mail forwarded. Do yourself a favor and get your beds set up first thing. Even if it means simply having a mattress on the floor – put on your nice sheets, have plenty of pillows and set up a light next to it so you can read a little before drifting off to dreamland. There’s nothing more revitalizing than a good night’s sleep.

Set up the bathroom

Another top priority is getting the bathroom set up. This is the room where you begin and end your day, so it’ll set the tone for your mornings and nights. Give it a good scrub, hang up a shower curtain, put out your fluffiest towels and stock plenty of toilet paper and toiletries. Pamper yourself a little with an aromatic candle and bust out the good soaps – you know, the ones you got on your vacation three years ago that you’ve been saving for a special occasion. This is that occasion.

Get the pets settled

Moves can be stressful on your pets, so help them get settled in. Choose a place for their beds and litter boxes and get them on a regular feeding schedule as soon as possible. If you have a dog, take him on a walk and introduce him to the neighborhood. Setting up a morning and evening walking routine will help you both get settled in more quickly.

Stock the kitchen

While there is a certain charm to eating pizza off of paper plates for a few nights in a row, your Loft will feel more like a home when you can prepare a meal there. Go to the market and stock up on fresh foods. Get the coffee maker set up and brew your morning cup at home. If you don’t have your table set up, designate a spot where you eat your meals – like a stack of boxes – and dress it up a little with a pretty cloth and a candle.

Plan a party

Unpacking everything can drag on and on, so give yourself a deadline by scheduling a Loftwarming party. This will motivate you to get settled and get you over that uncomfortable hump more quickly.

Spend time there

There’s a reason why people often say “time heals everything” – it really does. That’s doubly true for making your new Loft feel like a home.  Make it a priority to spend time in your new place reading, cooking and hanging out. Pretty soon, it’ll start to feel like yours.

 




Loft Inspection Red Flags

11 Jul 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Home Inspection Red FlagsA Loft inspection conducted by a professional is a typical part of the process of buying a Loft. It’s an opportunity to evaluate the property and understand any issues that may need to be addressed. Sometimes the inspection uncovers problems that can be repaired. But how do you know which problems are minor issues and which ones are deal breakers?

If you uncover any of these flaws, they could be potential red flags that may make you reconsider your purchase.

Electrical problems

If your inspector alerts you to some electrical problems in the Loft, you should pay attention. Faulty wiring is a common cause for residential fires. While some issues, like reverse polarity, are relatively easy to fix, some may not be. How many electrical outlets are there? Is the wiring up to code? Find out if the issues you’ve encountered will be costly to repair or dangerous if left as-is.

Lead paint

If you’re buying an older Loft, it could contain lead paint. This can be especially concerning for families with young children as lead paint can cause serious developmental problems if ingested. It can also be expensive to have lead paint removed.

Asbestos

Along with lead paint, if the Loft was built before 1989 it may contain asbestos. Asbestos must be removed by a professional and can also be a costly repair.

Old HVAC system

A standard part of the Loft inspection process will include the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The inspector should be able to tell you how long the condenser should last based on the serial number. Most condensers last up to 15 years. Anything older than that will require replacement in the near future.

Water damage

Be sure you get information from the inspector about any water damage found on the property and find out what the potential causes may be. Is it possible the basement could flood, or are there rusty pipes that need to be replaced? Is the surrounding land properly graded so that water flows away from the Loft and not to it? Any water pooling near the foundation can cause cracks over time, which could lead to expensive repairs.

If you’re in the process of buying a Loft, be sure to carefully consider any issues that come up during the inspection. If you encounter any of the red flags listed above, you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to take on the headache and expense of what could turn into costly repairs down the line.

 




How To Stay Cool at Home

1 Jul 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

How To Stay Cool at HomeSummer has just begun, but temperatures are already rising! Are you ready for a heat wave? Take advantage of these tips to keep it cool at home during these hot summer days.

Shut the shades

While you may be tempted to let the sun shine in on pretty summer days, you’ll keep your Loft cooler and save on energy costs by keeping the blinds and curtains closed. Nearly 30 percent of the heat inside your Loft comes from the windows, so you may be surprised at how effective this can be. Don’t want to close them all and sit in the dark? Focus on the west and south facing windows.

Utilize fans

Ceiling fans can be used strategically to help keep you cool on warm days. In the summer flip the switch so the blades turn counter-clockwise. This blows a cooling air down onto you. You can also place box fans inside your windows facing out to draw hot air outside the Loft.

Change the sheets

Be sure to swap those cozy flannel sheets you love in the winter for something a little lighter during the summer. Cotton is the best choice this time of year. Want to take it a step further on those really warm nights? Pop them in the freezer for a few minutes before going to bed. Just be sure to put them in a plastic bag first so they don’t smell like frozen broccoli.

Limit appliance use

Ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryer can generate more heat than you may realize. Wait until evening hours to run heat-generating appliances. If you haven’t already, make the switch to LED lights around your home, as they don’t kick out heat the way incandescent lights do.

Cool body heat

Nothing beats the heat like a nice cold shower, which is especially refreshing right before bed. Sip cool drinks throughout the day to keep your internal temperature low and don’t be afraid to slip an ice pack under the sheets at night.

Close off unused rooms

Have a room or two in your Loft that isn’t regularly used? Shut the vents and close the door to that room. No need to cool it if nobody will be inside it.

Clean A/C filters

Your air conditioner works hard in the summer months. Make it easier for it to get the job done by keeping the vents and ducts clean and changing the filters frequently. Save money on your cooling costs by using a programmable thermostat and turn the temperature up during those times when you’re out of the house. Just remember to keep it cool enough for pets that may be home during that time.

Take it easy

As tempting as it may be to get some home improvement projects completed over the summer months, don’t overdo it. Pay attention to weather reports and plan to take it easy when a heat wave hits. It’s summertime – give yourself permission to slow down, take a break and sip a glass of ice-cold lemonade on the porch.