Home Maintenance Projects to Do this Fall

As summer comes to a close, this time of the year is ideal for homeowners to establish a fall home maintenance checklist.

1. Turn off exterior faucets.  Undrained water in pipes can freeze easily which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than 10 to 15 years typically don’t), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.

2.  Remove leaves around your outside air conditioning unit and clean your gutters.  The HVAC unit is likely your home’s largest operating system so keep it cleaned!!   Leaves clogging your gutters can cause big problems any time durning the year, and during the cooler months, leaves can potentially cause water to backup into your attic and even your basement, so get them cleaned out.

3.  Schedule a furnance tune-up.  A furnance tune-up not only includes cleaning that keeps your furnance running efficiently, but it also catches small problems before they turn into big problems.  Also a good idea to check your batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detector in your home.

4.  Cover any landscaping that needs winter protection with mulch

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Tips for New Sod

How to Care for New Sod

First 2 Weeks

The key to establishing new sod is to keep it properly watered for the first month. Immediately after installing sod, water thoroughly making it spongy to the step. The new sod should be kept thoroughly wet to a depth of 4″ to 6″ and watered 3 to 5 times a day during the first 7 to 14 days depending on the season. Lift a corner of the sod to determine the depth of moisture. In the first week, it is very important to keep the new sod damp. During this time stay off the sod so it can take root and you do not sink in and leave depressions from your foot steps. During hot weather, sprinklers should run several times a day so the new sod never dries out. If allowed to dry out, the sod will shrink, brown, and can die. The roots of your new sod will penetrate the soil faster and root down sooner if properly watered. At the end of week 2, dry up the yard enough so you can mow.

Weeks 3 & 4

The following 2 weeks are used to transition from frequent daily watering to fewer cycles per day and increase the number of days between waterings. During week 3, reduce waterings to 1-3 times per day and skip a day between watering if the new sod is not drying out. By week 4, water 1 to 2 times every other day. After week 4, your new yard should be ready to go 2 to 3 days between watering. Water your lawn in the evening or early morning when less evaporation occurs. To reduce run-off on hills and promote deep root growth, reduce watering times in half. One hour later, run the irrigation cycle again and apply the rest of the water. This allows the water to soak into heavy soils.

Rest of the Season

Your new lawn will need more water the first growing season and especially the first 6 months. As it roots deeper over the course of a year, it will need less water. If your lawn looks dry, it probably needs watering. The key to new sod care during this time is deep watering less frequently. This will help the roots grow down and develop a deep root system that uses less water. It is ok after the first two months to stress your lawn a little. This means let your yard dry out a bit and when you see signs of stress starting to appear, make sure to water. This will also allow you to fine tune the sprinkler system and adjust heads for proper coverage and change nozzles for more or less water in certain spots.

Mow if Grass exceeds 3.5″

Your new lawn should be mowed at the end of week 2 or if you lawn exceeds 3 1/2″ tall. Back off on the watering so the turf is dry to the touch and firm enough to walk on without sinking in. If your new lawn reaches over 3 1/2″, mow off a third of the length even if it has not been two weeks. Do not cut shorter than 2″ for the first few times you mow. Exercise caution the first time you mow so you do not damage or pull up the sod. If some of the sod does move around, don’t worry. Just put it back in place and it will grow in.


Read more: http://gvt.net/turf-care/new-sod-care

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The Home Building Process












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Pre-Approved vs Pre-Qualification

Why it’s good to get pre-approved:

  1. You find out how much you are approved for.
  2. You will know how much you need for a down payment.
  3. You will know what your monthly payment will be.

Differences between pre-qualification and pre-approval:

Pre-qualification does not require an application; pre-approval does.

Pre-qualification does not require income verifications; Pre-approval does. This would include W-2 and pay stubs.

Pre-qualification does not require asset verification; Pre-approval does.

Pre-qualification does not require underwriting approval; Pre-approval does

You will get your credit checked whether you are getting a Pre-approval or a pre-qualification.

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Three Little Numbers: Your Credit Score and Why It Matters

You’ve heard the numbers: 690, 740, 805. Three simple digits that can seem mysterious, abstract, or both. However, in the real world, your credit score largely determines what type and how much credit you can obtain, what interest rates you’ll pay — and, sometimes, whether you’ll land that great new job you desire.

Do we have your attention now? Thought so. Understanding how the big three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) calculate your credit score is key to learning how to proactively manage your credit and safeguard your all-important three digit credit score.

Your score allows businesses to assess your ability to repay money you borrow. Checking your credit score, and taking steps to improve it if necessary, are key steps in buying a new home.

As the saying goes, no pain, no gain. Investing time now to understand your credit report and credit score will pay big dividends throughout your life.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The big three credit bureaus primarily focus on what you owe and your repayment history.
  • The most commonly used credit score — also referred to as a FICO score — has a range from 300 to 850.
  • Standards can change — and in some cases, have increased for mortgage lenders — as to what’s considered a good credit score.
  • There’s consensus among experts that 720 is a good score. 740 or higher will typically earn you the lowest interest rates and the best terms.
  • Your score helps businesses predict the odds that you’ll go 90 days past due (or default) in the next two years on money that they lend you.

Your FICO score is based on five factors, weighted as follows:

  • Your payment history: 35 percent of your score.
  • Amount of debt you owe: 30 percent of your score.
  • Length of your credit history (generally, longer is better): 15 percent of your score.
  • Amount of new credit you request (too many requests for credit, especially in a relatively short period of time, is a negative): 10 percent of your score.
  • Types of credit you use: 10 percent of your score.

Lenders for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards use your score to help understand your ability to pay debt, based on your past payment history. Some newer credit models factor in your income and job history. However, the old saying remains true: The best predictor of future behavior (in this case, paying bills on time) is past behavior.

You may be thinking, it feels like credit scoring is all about rating or even judging me. While there’s an element of truth to that, credit scores benefit each of us as consumers, in important ways:

  • Quick credit approval — Your time at the car dealer felt anything but fast, but give credit (pun intended) where due. Powerful computer networks turn around a credit score and an answer on a car loan or a department store credit card in minutes, saving you time.
  • Unbiased — Computers feel impersonal, but that can be a good thing since they treat everyone the same. Race, religion and gender are not considered. Only your past credit history.
  • Consistent — We’re all evaluated by the same formulas and guidelines.
  • Lower prices — When businesses reduce their bad debt, consumers usually pay lower prices.

How to check your credit:

  • Consumers are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months.
  • The three credit bureaus support a website, http://AnnualCreditReport.com, for that purpose. Use that site. Be wary of others.
  • Your credit report will contain detailed information. You should look for errors and correct them.
  • Your actual credit score may cost a nominal fee, such as $10, but it’s a worthwhile investment.

Steps you can take to improve your credit score over time:

  • Pay your bills on time.
  • Reduce your debt.
  • Find and correct any errors in your credit report.
  • If you have bad debt, pay it off and ask the debt be marked as paid on your credit report.
  • Be patient. None of these steps are instantaneous. However, experts agree that they will work over time.

Now that you understand your credit score, perhaps you’d like to discuss your SAT score, cholesterol level or weight? Ah, thought not! However,with your new credit score knowledge and the steps above, odds are good you can get the new home, car or job you desire, without a credit score standing in your way.

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Improving Traffic Flow on Residential Streets!! Ensure the street is passable for emergency vehicles, school buses and other large delivery trucks.

Preferred Parking Guidance
City Municipal Code Section 355.050 states, “No person shall park any vehicle upon a street, other than an alley, in such a manner or under such conditions as to leave less than 10 feet of the width of the roadway [available] for free movement of vehicular traffic.”

Residential streets are somewhat narrow, measuring 26 feet wide from the back of curb to the back of curb. This design is arranged to permit eight-foot wide parking lanes on both sides of the street with a 10-foot single driving lane in the center. Compact and mid-size cars fit within the eight-foot wide parking lane if the driver parks with the tires very near to the curb. Full-size pickup trucks and full-size SUVs must park very close to the curb and may need to fold in the driver’s side mirror to remain within the eight-foot parking lane. When possible, full-size vehicles should avoid parking across from another vehicle to ensure the street is passable for emergency vehicles, school buses and other large delivery trucks.

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Here are 6 ways to keep gross smells and other nuisances at bay this Summer

YIKES! That funky smell has got to go! Here’s how.

Sometimes summer stinks – literally. Here are 6 ways to keep gross smells and other nuisances at bay.

When did hanging out on your patio with that privacy wall you DIYed back in May stop being fun? All you can see is that rusty grill staring at you, and bird poop piling up on your outdoor chaise while you sweat and fight off bugs. And, eeeew, what is that you smell? Summer’s great — but, boy, can it turn on you when the dog days set in.

Don’t start job hunting in Alaska just yet. You can take back your summer. Here’s the worst of what it can inflict on you (in no particular order) — and how to fight back.

Stop a Stink Bug Invasion With Caulk

Squish a stink bug, and you’ll quickly learn how they got their nom de pee-yew. While the brown pests may be harmless, your family’s noses will be happier without them.

*Use caulk or sealant to close up cracks a sneaky stinker could use to enter your home. *Look around windows, doors, vents and outdoor faucets for any openings.
*Stick a nylon stocking over your vacuum’s hose to suck up stink bugs into the stocking     instead of the vacuum bag.
*Drown these nasty visitors by dumping captured ones into a bottle filled with an inch of soapy water. No tiny cement shoes necessary.

Kill Mildew with a Dehumidifier

Hot, humid summers create an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew, which your nose knows isn’t right. At the first whiff of these funky fungi, strike back hard.

  • Keep things clean and organized. It’s the best defense against summer’s musty aroma. That allows air to move around, keeping moisture (mold and mildew’s best mate) at bay.
  • Dry out your home with dehumidifiers and air conditioners — or at least increase air circulation by adding fans.
  • In rooms that tend to get that musty smell, line closet walls and drawers with cedar for a sweet smell all year long.
  • Waterproof your basement concrete and masonry with cement paint to prevent damp walls — and the sneaky mold that comes with them. But be sure to figure out the cause of the dampness before waterproofing. It only works if the moisture is coming from the soil outside.

Prevent Gross Garbage Funk with Baking Soda

Summer’s heat waves make the stench of garbage 10 times worse. Keeping trash cans clean (duh) is your first line of defense. But there are a couple more things you can do.

  • Yes, scrubbing out your garbage can is disgusting, but it helps control the stink and pests. Give it one good clean when your stomach’s feeling strong, and then quickly wipe it out each time you empty. You’ll never have to face that throw-up smell again.
  • Dust the bottom of the clean, dry can with baking soda to suck up future pungency.
  • Or slip a dryer sheet or two underneath the bag when you change it out.
  • Cat litter in the bottom of the can also works to absorb garbage odors.

Stop Excessive Bird Droppings with Netting

Not even the most dedicated bird watchers want to watch droppings accumulate on their porch and outdoor furniture.

The easiest and most humane solution is to install some yard art — the kind that moves or makes a racket. Think wind socks, chimes and fun whirly sun catchers.

If, however, the birds are barn swallows that have nested (you’ll know because their nests are made of mud instead of twigs), you mustn’t shoo them away, no matter how gently. Barn swallows are federally protected. Instead, install a flat board below it or place a newspaper on the ground to prevent droppings from ruining your porch. Then next year (because they will come back — and they will bring friends) install bird netting between your eaves and the side of your home before nests are built.

Eliminate Rusty, Greasy Grill Grates with a Drill

You never really got around to cleaning your grill at the beginning of the season, and now that you’ve invited some new work colleagues over for a barbecue, you realize your grill isn’t going to stir up any appetites with all that rust and grime.

  • Vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice are all natural rust eliminators. You can use individually or create a paste between wet and dry ingredients. Apply and let soak overnight. Then a little elbow grease should do the rest. Try these combinations: vinegar and baking soda; lemon juice and baking soda; or lemon juice and salt.
  • If the rust is really, really tough, do the above but get a wire brush attachment for your drill and use it to scrub the rust away.
  • Once clean, season the grates by rubbing with vegetable oil and heating them.

Keep Uninvited Homesteaders Out By Thinking Like a Critter

Snakes at the zoo: super cool. Snakes around or (gasp!) in your house: NO. NO. NOOOO. Snakes might be the worst intruder (or is it bats?), but any unwanted rodent or animal in your home is gross. Your best offense is defense. But if they break through, call a professional exterminator.

  • Cover holes more than a quarter of an inch wide (snakes don’t need much). Check behind gutters and roof flashing.
  • Trim trees to keep pesky animals, such as squirrels, from getting on your roof and into your attic. Keep branches at least eight feet from your house.
  • Eliminate any food sources — like a garbage bin with an askew lid — that might tempt a scavenging pest. The closer they are to your house, the more likely they are to find a way in.
  • Get rid of yard debris, such as piles of leaves and twigs, and mow frequently to eliminate hiding spots.
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Spring Home Maintenance Tips

With Spring just around the corner, it’s good to keep up with the maintenance on your home.   Some seasonal tips for the Spring include:

1.  Re caulk and paint exterior as necessary.

2.  Inspect and repair roof and gutter systems.  Damage usually caused by snow or ice.

3.  Plant annuals and Perennials.

4.  Feed and seed your lawn.  Now would be a good time to contact your local nursery for lawn care/landscaping advice.

5.  Inspect driveway for damage due to winter weather and repair if necessary.

6.  Inspect all screens for any damage and repair if need

7.  Finally, sit down, relax and enjoy your home.

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DIY Upgrades for Under $100! Check These out!!

Invest a little cash and get a big improvement in how your home looks and feels.

Plant an Evergreen Screen

How to do it: Plant an evergreen screen on the north side
of your house to block winter winds. Arborvitae ‘Green
Giant’ can climb 3 feet in one year.

Hook Yourself Up

How to do it: Wall-mount a row of hooks above your kitchen counter to keep dish towels and measuring cups at the ready.

Turn a Closet Into a Home Office

How to do it: Unhinge the door and trade hanging rods for shelves—a deep one for the desktop and two shallow ones above for storage.

Tone Down Brassy Hardware

How to do it: Take the gleam off like-new brass hinges and doorknobs with a simple rub of a darkening solution

Doorway Display

How to do it: Add a shelf above a doorway, paint it to match the trim, then use it to display pottery.

Brush On a Welcome Mat

How to do it: Make this diamond-patterened ruglike mat on your stoop by mapping the design with painter’s tape and using a
roller to put colors in their places.

Give Your Porch Some Space

How to do it: Paint your porch ceiling sky blue to create a more spacious feeling.

Add a Ceiling Medallion

How to do it: Highlight a hanging light fixture with some decorative interest at the ceiling.

Hang a Mirror

How to do it: Hang an oval-shaped mirror like a pendant from a decorative chain for an elegant look in a bath, bedroom, or foyer.

Add a Stainless Backsplash Behind Your Stove

How to do it: Nail an easy-to-clean panel on the wall or right over tired tile.




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Next Door Wright City. The private social network for your neighborhood. Learn more!!

Join your neighbors! Keep up with the who, what and where of Next Door! Each area has its own personal site to exchange info with or help out your neighbors!!

Nextdoor is the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips. There are so many ways our neighbors can help us, we just need an easier way to connect with them.

go to http://www.nextdoor.com

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