Get Spring Cleaning Right in Less Time

花火8You may procrastinate when it comes to spring cleaning because it is time consuming and not always enjoyable. Here are a few useful tips to make this job less painful to complete in a short amount of time:

Kitchen
One of the biggest areas for spring cleaning is the kitchen. Cleaning a refrigerator both inside and out doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process as long as you plan ahead. Slowly remove items as they’re used – without replacing them – so that there’s less clutter to take out.

Once your fridge is decluttered it will be a lot easier to remove all of the shelves and drawers and give them a good scrub without having to spend a lot of time removing and replacing food and drink items.

Bathroom
The bathroom is another area that requires a deeper clean over a given time. For showers with grout, it may be wise to first rub the affected areas with a high-grit sandpaper to clear off the top layer, and then carefully apply bleach to those stained areas to ensure there’s no leftover mildew. Once this is done, allow some time to dry and then apply sealant.

For faucets and shower heads covered in soap scum, scrubbing with balled-up aluminum foil will clear off debris with ease, without scratching the metal.

Unexpected Places
Spring cleaning isn’t just about getting at the “problem areas.”  You need to address less-considered parts of your home as well. For instance, countertops and cabinets can get a little dirtier than people might expect and cleaning them off with a high-power cleaning product, then sealing them, can help them stay much cleaner for years to come.

Here is a tip on cleaning windows: clean them on a cloudy day. Sunlight won’t dry out cleaners when applied, making the wipe-down more effective.

Need help with your spring cleaning efforts? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put you in touch with local vendors to help get your home clean top to bottom.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

Home-Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your home on a regular basis not only keeps it in its best shape, but will also make your home more desirable when it is time to sell. Here are some maintenance tips to follow:

Air Conditioning Repair

HVAC
Heating and cooling systems should be professionally maintained twice yearly. On a monthly basis, be sure to check the filter to see if it needs to be replaced.

Drains
Maintain a clear pathway in your drains with this monthly activity: Pour one tablespoon of salt down the drain, then slowly pour one quarter cup of white vinegar. Let this set for one hour and then flush with hot water. For more serious clogs use a drain snake to pull debris out. Be sure to flush thoroughly with water.

Garbage Disposal
Flush out the disposal on a monthly basis with hot water and baking soda. This will eliminate odors and avoid chances of clogs in the system. To clean the teeth of the grinding blades, drop in a half dozen ice cubes along with a couple of lemon wedges. Run cold water into the disposal for a minute until the wedges are ground up. The ice will clean the grooves of the blades and the lemon freshens the disposal.

SmokeDetector

Smoke Detectors
Replace smoke detector batteries twice a year.

Hot Water Heater
Flush the buildup in your hot water heater twice yearly.

washing machine

Clothes Dryer
Remove lint from the exhaust duct once a year.

Refrigerator
Once a year, vacuum the refrigerator coils underneath this appliance.

Fireplace Chimney
The chimney should be inspected and cleaned every year.

Need help with your home-maintenance needs? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

 

Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home

Frozen Water Connection
It is getting cold outside so now is the time to make sure you take steps to prevent frozen pipes in your home. Pipes usually break when there is constant freezing and expansion which causes water pressure changes. Here are six tips to follow:

1. Turn off the water supply to external spigots and leave the outdoor spigot open during the winter. Ice forming in a closed spigot can cause interior pipes to freeze even if the interior space is heated. 

2. If you are planning on traveling for a few days, you can lower your heat, but be sure to keep sink cabinet doors open so pipes do not freeze. Keep the heat at 55 degrees or higher.

3. If you have exposed pipes, wrap them with insulation.

4. Caulk and seal any holes in exterior walls or foundations that are near water pipes. Check the outside wall where television, cable and telephone wires enter the home.

5.  Keep garage doors closed if water supply lines are located there.

6. If you are planning an extended vacation during colder months, be sure to have your home professionally winterized by a plumber. You will need to keep the heat on in your home. The temperature should be no lower than 55 degrees F.

7. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate near the plumbing.

See more about preventing frozen water pipes here.

Need help with getting your home winterized? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services and they can connect you to plumbers or other vendors who can professionally insulate your home.

HVAC: The ins and outs of this home warranty coverage

Air Conditioning Repair
Are you prepared the next time you need to repair or replace the heating, ventilation or air conditioning in your home? The average cost of an air conditioning unit repair is $320 – with some repairs costing as much as $900. The replacement of entire HVAC systems can can cost an average of $3k-5k.

With a home warranty, however, homeowners can offset many of the costs of HVAC repair and replacement. HVAC is an expensive part of the home. When homeowners tackle this project, they aren’t just paying for the replacement or repaired unit alone – they are paying for the labor as well.

While a standard home warranty covers many expenses associated with homeownership, there remain certain HVAC-related components that could be uncovered.

These include:

  • Permit to install a new unit
  • Connections between outdoor HVAC components and indoor ones

For complete protection, homeowners should purchase the Premier Upgrade Package. PUP extends basic home warranty coverage to include additional HVAC elements, so the homeowner will be less likely to encounter non-covered charges when repairing or replacing their HVAC units.

From malfunctioning pumps to high electric bills, blown fuses and leaks, the complicated HVAC systems we’ve come to rely on can lead to serious headaches for homeowners. With an HMS Home Warranty and additional PUP coverage, though, HVAC repairs and replacements won’t break the bank.

If you need more information about home warranties, contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put you in touch with the local contact for HMS Home Warranty.

Brought to you by our preferred Partner, HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. 

Which Kitchen Design Elements are Best for Buyers?

KItchen
Homeowners and sellers who hope to upgrade their kitchens should bear in mind design trends for 2016.

The kitchen is a storage space, cooking area and a gathering place. Its myriad purposes make it one of the most important rooms in the home, and therefore it’s one that should be well-designed. Whether you intend to remain in place for the next decade, or sell in the near future, the kitchen is the one room in your house that you’ll probably want to look stunning all of the time. Essentially, the style of your entire home depends on your kitchen. In addition to maintaining its aesthetic integrity for cosmetic reasons, the kitchen is also one of the most important rooms with regard to return on investment. Below are a few trends to think about when remodeling a kitchen in 2016:

1. Simple and streamlined
This year buyers will be looking for kitchens that are sleek with smooth lines and an efficient use of space. If you plan to replace your cabinets, countertop or appliances, look for materials and products that are streamlined and subtle. Simple, yet elegant, design elements can be a sign of luxury. This sort of modern look can go well with a pared down color scheme. A minimalist kitchen with sleek lines, a neutral color scheme and simple features will attract plenty of buyers in 2016.

2. White, grey and black
Speaking of minimalism, white, grey and black will be the kitchen colors of 2016. Pair your sleek kitchen with simple colors to get the most out of the minimalist designs that will be popular among buyers. Painting the room with neutral colors requires minimal spending and work, and can substantially improve the appearance of the space. This can be a great option for someone who doesn’t want to completely overhaul the kitchen, but would like to update the kitchen with minimal investment.

3. Focus on function
A neutral color scheme may be the least expensive way to update the kitchen, but pairing a fresh coat of paint with function and efficiency will make the kitchen even more attractive. For example, look for ways to add storage to your kitchen, or use kitchen organizers to reset the pantry making it appear more spacious and easier to find ingredients for meal preparation. Additionally, you may want to find ways to subtly integrate technology into your kitchen. Smart homes are the wave of the future. If it is a pragmatic addition to the kitchen, and is in keeping with the simple and sleek design elements buyers in 2016 will love, then consider working it in with your cabinets or countertop.

Design elements that came about during the recession, such as open cabinets and reclaimed wood, are no longer appealing to buyers. This year kitchens will grow more streamlined and increasingly functional. This is the sort of kitchen that homeowners and sellers should be striving for, to get the most interest and best return on their investment. In fact, as far as home selling tips go, giving buyers what they want out of a kitchen is a big step toward a sold sign on your front lawn.

Need help with your kitchen remodel? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

Brought to you HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com/

Save Money this Season with ‘Green’ Home Tips

Kilowatts
Winter is fast approaching, which means the annual stretch of the year with higher monthly energy bills as the heat is turned up. It is possible to cut into those payments each month by “greening” up your home and cutting your energy usage.

By reducing your electricity usage and making the heating of your home more efficient, you can reduce monthly energy bills. Every tiny change that cuts even one or two percent off of your monthly energy costs is useful. For home sellers, some of these changes may make their homes stand out from other properties on real estate listings as well. Below are a few of the ways that you can save by going green this winter:

  1. Light up your home more efficiently
    A significant portion of your monthly energy costs go to lighting your home if you’re not already taking advantage of energy-efficient bulbs. Light emitting diode and compact fluorescent lamp bulbs use much less energy than the standard incandescent variety. Additionally, they last much longer. Another bonus is that some utility companies offer programs that will allow you to get these bulbs for free or at a discount.
  2. Give the thermostat a break
    Cranking up the thermostat as it gets colder may make your home feel more comfortable, but it is also an expensive way to stay warm through the winter. For example, try layering up with sweatshirts during the day and blankets at night to protect yourself from the cold. Another solution may be a programmable thermostat that can lower the temperature when no one is home, which will cut down on monthly energy usage substantially.
  3. Look into low-flow
    Cutting your water usage will also help you save monthly, and one way to do that is to install low-flow showerheads and toilets. A low-flow showerhead will also reduce your energy bill, since it won’t put nearly as much strain on your home’s water heater. Toilets, meanwhile, are the main source of water usage in most homes. A low-flow toilet will put a significant dent in your home’s monthly water usage, helping you go green and save money.
  4. Look into energy- and water-efficient appliances
    Look into replacing appliances in your home with Energy Star-labeled appliances, which will cut down your monthly energy and water bills substantially. These appliances may also be attractive to buyers if you put your home on the real estate market. Additionally, rebate programs may cut the cost of these appliances, which will help with saving money now in addition to down the road. (See Ohio rebates here. See Kentucky rebates here.)

Taking steps such as those listed above can go a long way toward “greening” up a home and reducing monthly energy bills.

Interested in Energy Star appliances or a new programmable thermostat? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for assistance.

Brought to you by our preferred Partner, HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

Design Build Cincy Showcase is October 30 – November 1, 2015 at Music Hall

DesignBuild
Need inspiration for new decor or a re-design for your home? Plan on attending the Design Build Cincy Showcase from October 30 – November 1, 2015 at Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine. This is the second year for this home-related event and will feature more than 135 designers, architects and contractors. You will find inspirational booths showing off some local talent.

See more information here.

And, if you need a referral for your home-related needs, please contact Sibcy Cline Home Services! From contractors to decorators to handyman services, we’ve got you covered.