Build Your Dream Home

Port Orchard, $95,000 - Image 1

Land listing in Port Orchard,WA

SE Lund Ave Port Orchard, WA 98366
MLS# 1297330

Build your dream home & bring your fishing pole for you have your own creek (Black Jack Creek) where the Salmon run through it. Lots of evergreens to sell if needed to offset your development cost. Appd driveway by City of Port Orchard . Appd water & sewer by the City of Port Orchard. PSE will extend electric Service to the site has been appd. GeoTech has been done on this property for building site. Buyer to verify to own satisfaction. Close to shops,schools, Highway16 & WA State Ferries.

Port Orchard, $95,000 - Image 2

Additional Information

Port Orchard, $95,000 - Image 5

  • Taxes$182
  • Lot Size4.91 Acres (213,880 SqFt)
  • Port Orchard, $95,000 - Image 6

School Information

  • ElementaryEast Port Orchard El
  • Junior HighMadrona Heights Sch
  • HighSo. Kitsap High

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What to Expect During a Home Inspection

Image result for pictures of home inspections

From finding an inspector to dealing with surprises — this is your guide to getting a house checked out.

The first thing you need to know about home inspection: You’ll feel all the feels.

There’s the excitement — the inspection could be the longest time you’re in the house, after the showing.

Right behind that comes … anxiety. What if the inspector finds something wrong? So wrong you can’t buy the house?

Then there’s impatience. Seriously, is this whole home-buying process over yet?

Not yet. But you’re close. So take a deep breath. Because the most important thing to know about home inspection: It’s just too good for you, as a buyer, to skip. Here’s why.

A Home Inspector Is Your Protector

An inspector helps you make sure a house isn’t hiding anything before you commit for the long haul. (Think about it this way: You wouldn’t even get coffee with a stranger without checking out their history.)

A home inspector identifies any reasonably discoverable problems with the house (a leaky roof, faulty plumbing, etc.). Hiring an inspector is you doing your due diligence. To find a good one (more on how to do that soon), it helps to have an understanding of what the typical home inspection entails.

An inspection is all about lists.  

Before an inspection, the home inspector will review the seller’s property disclosure statement. (Each state has its own requirements for what sellers must disclose on these forms; some have stronger requirements than others.) The statement lists any flaws the seller is aware of that could negatively affect the home’s value.

The disclosure comes in the form of an outline, covering such things as:

  • Mold
  • Pest infestation
  • Roof leaks
  • Foundation damage
  • Other problems, depending on what your state mandates.

During the inspection, an inspector has three tasks: To:

  1. Identify problems with the house
  2. Suggest fixes
  3. Estimate how much repairs might cost

He or she produces a written report, usually including photos, that details any issues with the property. This report is critical to you and your agent — it’s what you’ll use to request repairs from the seller. (We’ll get into how you’ll do that in a minute, too.)

The Inspector Won’t Check Everything

Generally, inspectors only examine houses for problems that can be seen with the naked eye. They won’t be tearing down walls or using magical X-ray vision, to find hidden faults.

Inspectors also won’t put themselves in danger. If a roof is too high or steep, for example, they won’t climb up to check for missing or damaged shingles. They’ll use binoculars to examine it instead.

They can’t predict the future, either. While an inspector can give you a rough idea of how many more years that roof will hold up, he or she can’t tell you exactly when it will need to be replaced.

Finally, home inspectors are often generalists. A basic inspection doesn’t routinely include a thorough evaluation of:

  • Swimming pools
  • Wells
  • Septic systems
  • Structural engineering work
  • The ground beneath a home
  • Fireplaces and chimneys

When it comes to wood-burning fireplaces, for instance, most inspectors will open and close dampers to make sure they’re working, check chimneys for obstructions like birds’ nests, and note if they believe there’s reason to pursue a more thorough safety inspection.

If you’re concerned about the safety of a fireplace, you can hire a certified chimney inspector for about $125 to $325 per chimney; find one through the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

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Make an Offer & Negotiate

Buy a Home: Step-by-Step

It’s Your Job to Check the Inspector

Now you’re ready to connect with someone who’s a pro at doing all of the above. Here’s where — once again — your real estate agent has your back. He or she can recommend reputable home inspectors to you.

In addition to getting recommendations (friends and relatives are handy for those, too), you can rely on online resources such as the American Society of Home Inspectors’ (ASHI) Find a Home Inspector tool, which lets you search by address, metro area, or neighborhood.

You’ll want to interview at least three inspectors before deciding whom to hire. During each chat, ask questions such as:

  • Are you licensed or certified? Inspector certifications vary, based on where you live. Not every state requires home inspectors to be licensed, and licenses can indicate different degrees of expertise. ASHI lists each state’s requirements here.
  • How long have you been in the business? Look for someone with at least five years of experience — it indicates more homes inspected.
  • How much do you charge? The average home inspection costs about $315. For condos and homes under 1,000 square feet, the average cost is $200. Homes over 2,000 square feet can run $400 or more. (Figures are according to
  • What do you check, exactly? Know what you’re getting for your money.
  • What don’t you check, specifically? Some home inspectors are more thorough than others.
  • How soon after the inspection will I receive my report? Home inspection contingencies require you to complete the inspection within a certain period of time after the offer is accepted — normally five to seven days — so you’re on a set timetable. A good home inspector will provide you with the report within 24 hours after the inspection.
  • May I see a sample report? This will help you gauge how detailed the inspector is and how he or she explains problems.

Sometimes you can find {{ start_tip 84 }}online reviews{{ end_tip}} of inspectors on sites like Angie’s List and Yelp, too, if past clients’ feedback is helpful in making your decision.

Show Up for Inspection (and Bring Your Agent)

It’s inspection day, and the honor of your — and your agent’s — presence is not required, but highly recommended. Even though you’ll receive a report summarizing the findings later on, being there gives you a chance to ask questions, and to learn the inner workings of the home.

Block out two to three hours for the inspection. The inspector will survey the property from top to bottom. This includes checking water pressure; leaks in the attic, plumbing, etc.; if door and window frames are straight (if not, it could be a sign of a structural issue); if electrical wiring is up to code; if smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working; if appliances work properly. Outside, he or she will look at things like siding, fencing, and Water: A Home’s #1 EnemyBesides drainage, ask the inspector about any signs of water damage. Water can destroy the integrity of the home’s structure. So a leaky gutter isn’t just annoying; it’s compromising your foundation.drainage.

The inspector might also be able to check for termites, asbestos, lead paint, or radon. Because these tests involve more legwork and can require special certification, they come at an additional charge.

Get Ready to Negotiate

Once you receive the inspector’s report, review it with your agent.

Legally, sellers are required to make certain repairs. These can vary depending on location. Most sales contracts require the seller to fix:

  • Structural defects
  • Building code violations
  • Safety issues

Most home repairs, however, are negotiable. Be prepared to pick your battles: Minor issues, like a cracked switchplate or loose kitchen faucet, are easy and cheap to fix on your own. You don’t want to start nickel-and-diming the seller.

If there are major issues with the house, your agent can submit a formal request for repairs that includes a copy of the inspection report. Repair requests should be as specific as possible. For instance: Instead of saying “repair broken windows,” a request should say “replace broken window glass in master bathroom.”

  • If the seller agrees to make all of your repair requests: He or she must provide you with invoices from a licensed contractor stating that the repairs were made. Then it’s full steam ahead toward the sale.
  • If the seller responds to your repair requests with a counteroffer: He or she will state which repairs (or credits at closing) he or she is willing to make. The ball is in your court to either agree, counter the seller’s counteroffer, or void the transaction.

At the end of the day, remember to check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling about all of this. You need to be realistic about how much repair work you’d be taking on. At this point in the sale, there’s a lot of pressure from all parties to move into the close. But if you don’t feel comfortable, speak up.

The most important things to remember during the home inspection? Trust your inspector, trust your gut, and lean on your agent — they likely have a lot of experience to support your decision-making.

That’s something to feel good about.

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Gig Harbor Gondola A romantic interlude

BY RUTH KINGSLAND Northwest Guardian Published:

01:53PM May 3rd, 2018


Imagine this — gliding across the water in an authentic Venetian gondola, sipping a cool refreshing drink, tasting a few appetizers and looking into your beloved’s eyes as a tenor gondolier rows and guides the boat and soulfully sings: “Che bella cosa na jurnata ‘e sole; N’aria serena doppo na tempesta,” of the classic Italian love song, “O Sole Mio.”

No, people from Joint Base Lewis-McChord don’t to have to travel across the globe for this amazing, romantic interlude. It’s available in the nearby waters of Gig Harbor.

Gondolier John Synco has been offering authentic gondola cruises at the Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard since 2015. A one-hour cruise is $85 for two people and $20 for each additional person, up to six. Appetizers are provided. An extended, 90-minute, cruise also is available for $30 more. Children 5 years old and younger are free. Synco recently added a 10 percent discount for service members and veterans.

Although the cruise is an obvious choice for a romantic excursion, it’s also a great way to celebrate just about anything for a small group of family or friends.

“We bring a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the harbor and celebrate life’s special occasions on the water,” Synco said.

Nelly — Synco’s gondola — was built in Venice, Italy, in the 1980s and shipped to Southern California in 2008. It’s one of 30 authentic gondolas in America and the only one in the Northwest, according to Greg Mohr, president of the Gondola Society of America and a gondolier in Newport Beach, Calif.

Mohr said he’s happy for his friend of more than a decade in not only succeeding in the gondola business but also in being the owner of Nelly.

“John Synco is a wonderful guy and everyone loves him; he’s just the right kind of person to be in this job, he really loves what he does and it shows,” Mohr said. “I know it’s a boat, not a person, but this kind of boat is almost like a person — it’s like a beloved pet. And, Nelly is a really great boat.”

His degree in communications has served him well as a gondolier, since he uses his gift of gab to share the history of an area and chat with people from all walks of life about a plethora of subjects.

“I love chatting with people,” he said. “Through the years, I’ve learned a lot of history of Gig Harbor from people who take the cruise, and I’m able to share those stories with people now.”

His love of all things nautical began as a child when he’d paddle canoes and kayaks.

“Any time I could learn another watercraft, I’d jump at it,” he said.

He says he “fell into” a job with a gondola business in Long Beach, Calif., where he learned basic Venetian rowing.

“I fell in love with the job; I obsessed and it became a passion of mine,” he said.

He began watching videos, which is how he learned to row. He also traveled to Europe and improved his skills through observation of Italy’s gondoliers. That’s also where he picked up the craft of singing to his passengers.

“I’m not a singer, but people like what I do, and, in America, a gondolier has to sing,” he said.

Summer is Synco’s busy season, so if anyone has a specific date they want to book, it’s best to contact him two to three weeks in advance. However, most times, weekdays can be booked a couple days ahead of time, he said.

For more information or to book a cruise, visit or call 253-432-0052.


9 Surprising Things You Should Never Leave in the Bathroom


Just because you spend a lot of time in your bathroom—showering, shaving, putting on makeup, or even catching up on a good book—it doesn’t mean you need to store all your belongings in there.
Not only will that clutter a small space, but it can quicken the demise of certain possessions (best-case scenario) and potentially even mess with your health (worst case scenario).
Here are the unexpected items you need to move out of your bathroom, post haste.

1. Medicine

Let’s start with the category you know you should secure away, but probably store in your bathroom cabinets anyway: medications.

While it’s convenient to stash them above your sink, “it’s actually the last place you want to keep them,” says Morgan Statt, a health and safety investigator at “High heat and humidity from showers and baths can mess with their effectiveness.” And let’s not even talk about keeping them away from the prying eyes of visitors or the grabby hands of kids.

You’re better off storing any Rx you use in a bedroom nightstand. Temps will be cooler there and, unless you live with SpongeBob, it should be free of moisture. If you have kids around, you may want to keep them in a small lockbox or other secure location. If you’ve been faithfully keeping prescription or OTC meds in your bathroom and notice their texture, smell or appearance has changed, don’t continue to use them—they could make you sick. Contact your doctor instead.

2. Extra razors

Buying razor blades in bulk isn’t a bad idea. Just don’t store the extras in your bathroom. “Shower steam and the build-up of humidity can rust or dull the blades before you even get the chance to use them,” Statt says.

Can’t come up with a better place to store them? At the very least, put them in a tightly sealed plastic bag to try to keep out the moisture.

3. Makeup and makeup brushes

The best lighting to put on your makeup may be in your bathroom, but you really shouldn’t stash your products—or even your brushes—in there.

Thank the usual culprits: Higher temps. Steam. Humidity. All of these “encourage mold growth and make your products expire faster,” Statt says. “Not to mention your makeup brushes will be picking up germs that you then apply right to your face.” Gross.

4. Your toothbrush

OK, this one might be a shocker: “If you store your toothbrush in a holder on your sink, you can put it at risk for bacteria growth,” Statt says.

(Now’s a good time to also mention the aerosol effect of flushing toilets.)

“If you flush the toilet with the lid up, it causes germs and bacteria from the waste to spray throughout the air and right towards your toothbrush,” Statt explains. “Toothbrushes stored in a holder on the sink are also in the direct line of fire for germs that come from people washing their hands.”

Although it’s inconvenient (and maybe a little strange), consider storing your toothbrush in an open, dry space in your bedroom, like the corner of your dresser. Or just make a habit of putting the toilet seat down before you flush. On second thought, do that no matter what.

5. Paintings and antique painted wooden objects

Of course you want to decorate your bathroom. You spend a lot of time in there, so why not?

Still, “American folk art and painted furniture, such as your New England chest of drawers, Japanned mirror, or your Hitchcock side chair from the 18th and 19th centuries, are perfect examples of items that should not be stored in your bathroom,” says Kelly Juhasz, an accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers based in Chicago.

The No. 1 sign you’ve already got a problem? Cracking paint.

Fluctuations in humidity cause wood to expand or shrink, stressing the paint on such objects, which doesn’t have that plasticity. Instead, “it breaks and blisters, which causes the painted areas to crack, and the paint to lift off,” Juhasz says.

The only way it’s (mostly) OK to display this type of art in your bathroom? If your bathroom’s so large that mirrors don’t fog up when you shower.

Still, that’s no guarantee that humidity won’t affect your stuff. “It will just take longer for the effects to show,” Juhasz says.

6. Photos

Even under glass, photographs and limited-edition prints can get seriously compromised in a steamy bathroom. Humidity gets trapped between the photo and the glass, causing mold to grow, Juhasz explains. The result is brown spots on the paper (called “foxing”) or haziness on the underside of the glass. The paper can also start to cockle, which appears as ripples across the artwork.

If humidity builds up on the outside of the glass, you may also see water droplets dripping between the frame and glass—resulting in water stains and damage. Not how you want to treat your priceless family photos.

A safer way to decorate: Choose objects made of stone, ceramics, and glass.

“These are some of the most durable forms of art, and decorative objects not easily affected by humidity,” notes Juhasz.

7. Jewelry

The bathroom ain’t the place to store your favorite bangles. Honest.

“Unless your jewelry is pure gold, objects composed of various metals will react faster in humidity,” Juhasz says. That causes corrosion on less valuable objects, while silver-based objects tarnish. Plus, you run the risk of dropping your favorite pieces down the sink drain.

8. Books

No to your copy of “A Higher Loyalty.” And no, no, NO! to your copy of Shakespeare’s first folio.

“Humidity will cause paper to cockle, swell, and stick together,” Juhasz warns. It will also cause mold to start growing. Talk about reading the dirt!

9. Damp towels, mats, and laundry

Clean towels in the bathroom? Yes, please. Damp towels or dirty laundry on the bathroom floor? Please, no.

“They can trap in moisture and lead to a mold problem,” says Peter Duncanson, resident restoration expert for ServiceMaster Restore.

You should also pick up your bathmats after each use and put them somewhere to dry. Don’t forget to wash them regularly and dry them completely before returning them.

“This reduces a mold growth source, or potential damage to flooring from moisture,” Duncanson says.

To keep all your belongings as fresh as possible, do your best to keep your bathroom well-ventilated, Duncanson advises. Run the exhaust fan for at least 30 minutes after showering, to ensure the space has ample time to dry out.

If you don’t have a fan, open some windows or doors on opposite sides of your home to create cross-ventilation.

Leslie Sells Houses


Sun Salutation: 6 Sunroom Ideas to Help You Design a Haven for Relaxation




Looking for sunroom ideas to transform yours into an in-home oasis that rivals a resort? A sunroom can become an escape from life’s stresses, a haven for true relaxation. Sunrooms are typically spaces with windows or screens on three sides that, as the name suggests, let the sun shine through. Whether you want to shake up your current sunroom or create one from scratch, here are the questions you need to ponder to make sure you get it right.

Question No. 1: How can you optimize your area’s sunniness?

Your home’s location—or more correctly, the weather in that location—is the first piece to consider, since it plays a central role in sunroom design. Florida homeowners concentrate on heat and how to avoid sweltering temperatures, while in New Hampshire, the focus is more about avoiding cold, according to interior decor expert Kerry Spears, who has lived in both states.


Spears says Southern homeowners often use plants that enjoy hot and humid climates, brighter colors, and window treatments and blinds to block out the sun. Northern homeowners tend to prefer muted colors and plants that can withstand colder temperatures. They also need to winterize their sunrooms if they want to enjoy them between November and March.

Question No. 2: What’s the purpose of your sunroom?

If you’re looking to redesign a sunroom, you should figure out what you really want out of the room, says Linda Holt at Linda Holt Creative in Burlington, MA. Once you figure out its use, you can start designing your interior space.

Homeowners commonly use sunrooms as a:

  • Primary living room
  • Secondary living room
  • Dining room
  • Reading room
  • Craft room
  • Gym
  • Family game room
  • Music room

Question No. 3: Furniture and furnishings?

Sunrooms usually get a lot of direct light, so outdoor furniture is a wise choice. Holt says indoor wood furniture can crack if it’s left right in the brightest spot. Plus, the sun fades items, so consider outside performance fabric that is UV-resistant.

“A sunroom feels like an extension of the outdoors, so enhance that with your decor,” Spears says. She likes to go for furnishings and accessories in natural finishes like rattan, grasscloth, or exposed wood.

Other decorating must-do’s? Find an indoor/outdoor rug that fits the space. If you plan on using your sunroom as a dining room, window treatments are especially important. After all, you don’t want the setting sun shining in your dinner guests’ eyes.

Question No. 4: What colors should you choose?

Holt says color selection depends on the sunroom’s orientation. North-facing rooms are typically darker because they don’t get as much sunlight, so you’ll want to choose brighter colors that will reflect light better.

Of course, colors aren’t just what you put on your walls. Furniture, rugs, and accessories contribute to the room’s color palette.

Sunrooms typically have more windows than wall space, so the furnishings will play a large part in how colorful or muted your room looks.

“If you want to really connect with the nature just outside that sunroom, blues and greens blend well,” says Spears. “When done in lighter tones, those colors are also very soothing A sunroom, to me, always seems like a little slice of vacation in your home, so with that you want calm and relaxing tones.”

Question No. 5: How green is your thumb?

Holt says no matter what type of furniture and furnishings you add to your sunroom, there is one element that should be a part of every design—plants. Not faux flowers or fake trees. Real plants.

Holt says homeowners should figure out what plants will withstand the sunroom’s environment. Maybe your sunroom gets constant sunshine from 7 AM to 7 PM. In that case, you’ll want to choose plants that love the sun and heat. If the sunroom is in the shade for part or most of the day, then go with a plant that thrives in that environment.

“A good tip is to choose the same plants for your sunroom as you would for your garden,” Holt says.

Spears says some of her favorite sunroom plants are:

  • Fiddleleaf figs
  • Ficus trees
  • Orchids
  • Succulents
  • Ferns

Some of her favorites require indirect sunlight, but thrive in high humidity so place them in the room to avoid direct sunlight. For those in colder climates, you’ll need to make sure plants get enough heat in the cooler months.

Question No. 6: To TV or not to TV?

Whether to include electronics in your sunroom depends on what you want from the room. If you want a place to get away from the world, meditate and read books, then TVs and electronics don’t make sense.

Spears says sunrooms are typically a second living space, a place to relax. However, if you plan to use your sunroom as the main living area, you’ll likely want a TV. Spears says you can make them less conspicuous by mounting the TV and removing the console so it’s not the focal point of the room. “I also try and blend it in by having art or other interesting pieces surround it,” she says.

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8 Clever Ways to Store Books Around the House

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Here are 8 clever ways to store books around the house. Which one is your favorite?

Guest post by  Michelle Lee, Houzz

Although reading books can seem like a long lost art in the days of digital devices, there still remains something special about the smell of a brand new novel and being able to flip through physical pages. For dedicated bookworms with cherished collections, it can be a struggle to store and display your favorites without a dedicated home library. Follow along for eight ways to stylishly integrate books into any room in the house.

Photo by D-Max PhotographyMore kitchen ideas

In the Kitchen

This is not just limited to cookbooks. Any books you’ll want to read over a good meal or while waiting for the oven to preheat are just as applicable. There are many ways to add a homey vibe to your space by installing open shelves beneath a kitchen island or along a blank unused wall. Just make sure to keep the books away from appliances so the pages and binding don’t get damaged by heat.


Photo by Axis MundiSearch bedroom pictures

In the Bedroom

As we venture further into fall and winter, many bookworms will want to curl up under the covers with a hot cup of cocoa and a new novel. Keep your reading list at arm’s reach by storing books along a windowsill or stack them up in a corner of the room. For a more permanent solution, buy a new headboard or nightstand with built-in storage.


Photo by Rikki SnyderLook for family room design inspiration

In an Unused Fireplace

Fireplaces make a lovely focal point in many living rooms, but can be a hassle to maintain and use. You can breathe new life into this space by cleaning it thoroughly and stacking books in the empty space. The different bindings will create visual interest and bring color to the previously black abyss.


Photo by DecorexpatMore bathroom ideas

In the Bathroom

One of life’s luxuries is being able to read a good book in a relaxing bubble bath at the end of a long day. This can be done by building recessed shelves above a freestanding tub. For renters, there are plenty of budget-friendly over-the-toilet storage cabinets that accomplish the same purpose. Be sure to take proper precautions against warped pages caused by moisture with an exhaust fan.


Photo by Rasmussen / Su ArchitectsLook for home office design inspiration

Above a Desk

In many home offices, the space above the desk goes largely unused. Simply look up for more space. You can create a home for a decently sized collection of books by installing open shelves above your computer all the way up to the ceiling. The transitional Philadelphia space shown here illustrates the idea nicely.


Photo by TOTAL CONCEPTSSearch staircase pictures

Under the Stairs

If you still haven’t found the right fit for what to put in that little nook under the stairs, look no further. Bring in an asymmetrical or diagonal bookcase to house your collection or carve out an alcove to recreate a Harry Potter vibe. Bring in a comfy chair or cushions and you’ve got the perfect personal hideout space for the season.


Photo by The WorksBrowse living room photos

Around an Entryway

This one requires the expertise of a skilled woodworker or architect. Frame any doorway in your home with a gorgeous collection of novels that surround it left, right and above. Add a rolling library ladder to reach the highest shelves and bring rustic charm and character to any space, as seen here.


In Your Front Yard

If you’re really unable to squeeze any more space out of your home to store books inside, consider moving outdoors for a unique solution. The Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring communities together and share books with one another through a house-shaped box in their front yard. Fill it with a few of your favorites that you’re willing to share and encourage your neighbors to take one, leave one of their own or both. Although this is not quite a storage solution, it’s a great way to connect with your community and discover new reading material.

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Spring Home Health Check-Up: Three Areas to Examine Now

A step-by-step home check-up guide to find warning signs and advice on how to repair them

By David Baur, Product Manager, GCP Applied Technologies

Spring is here! Time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. It is also the ideal time to do a home health check-up, inspecting what winter left behind.

So, what are the three key areas of your home to examine and what do you look for? We have you covered from roof to deck. Follow this step-by-step home check-up guide to find warning signs and advice on how to repair them.

Roof: You’ve probably never thought about it, but your roof has to battle a lot of enemies: ultraviolet rays, rain, wind, snow and ice. But the good news is most new shingle roofs are designed to last about 20 years. Slate roofs and some types of tile and metal roofs can last even longer. The actual life span of your roof is determined by several factors, including environmental conditions, material quality, proper application and regular roof maintenance.

Warning Signs: How do you know when your roof is in trouble? Look for these warning signs:


  • Shingles that are warped, blistered, missing or torn
  • Shingles covered in moss or algae, which hold moisture and encourage rot
  • Loose material or wear around chimneys, pipes and other penetrations
  • Overhanging tree branches that could gouge the roof in a strong wind
  • Excessive debris (leaves, dirt, ice, roofing granules) in the gutters or downspouts, which block drainage


  • Ceiling spots or leaks
  • Cracked paint
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Mold, mildew or rot in the walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems
  • In the attic, look for signs of water infiltration such as staining, dampness, or mold growing on insulation/sheathing/rafters A poorly ventilated attic that shows signs of moisture, which promotes the roof’s decay. Sufficient attic ventilation can be achieved by installing larger or additional vents

Repairs Needed?Image result for Pictures of bad roofs

If repairs are needed, don’t skimp on quality to save a few cents. Much of the damage associated with serious storms results from water entering the home when roof coverings or siding is blown off. This is why it is imperative that you have a secondary layer of waterproofing protection underneath the shingles and siding. If proper protection measures are not taken, the resulting leaks are the main cause of interior damage, as well as potential causes of rot and mold. Rot and mold can lead to major structural damage and even potential health problems for homeowners.

Use Underlyaments: FEMA has published recommendations for the use of fully-adhered roofing underlayments, such as Grace Ice & Water Shield®, as an enhanced secondary water barrier for homes. In the event roof coverings are blown off or water manages to get underneath your shingles, these underlayments are the key to preventing water infiltration.

Windows & Doors: Beyond the roof, a home’s doors and windows can also become major leak zones. Even if the windows and doors are well shuttered in a storm, wind-driven rain can be blown into the house at these points, especially if they have not been properly flashed and weatherproofed.Image result for pictures of windows and doors that need repair

Warning Signs: How do you know when your doors and windows are in trouble? The following are some signs of water damage:

Inside & Outside:

  • Leaks or breaks in seams around window trim and sills
  • Uneven doorframes
  • Discolored plasterboard
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Chipped or cracked stucco finishes
  • Mold, mildew, or rot in the walls, insulation, and electrical systems
  • Missing, cracked, or blistered paint inside the home

Repairs Needed?

Use Flashing: Flashing is a critical part of your home’s weather barrier system. If not properly selected and installed, wind-driven rain, ice and snow, can leak and quickly cause damage to your home. Flexible flashings such as GCP Applied Technologies’ Vycor® Plus can be used to seal the most vulnerable spots, including windows, doors, corner boards, and other non-roof detail areas. It is designed to work in severe winter climates, milder climates, and in coastal areas where wind driven rain is common.

Deck: Last but not least, check the deck.A deck is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in the warmer weather. But, if your deck is not protected against the extreme weather, it can deteriorate and become unsafe. Decks, fences and other wood products should be routinely weatherproofed and cleaned to maximize their useful life. Weather combined with the treatment chemicals used for today’s pressure treated lumber means that the modern deck must be proper constructed to hold up.

Warning Signs: How do you know when your deck is in trouble? Look for these warning signs:Image result for Pictures of spring home on the outside maintenance

  • Warped boards
  • Cracked or split boards
  • Debris that is “clogging up” space between deck boards
  • Look under the deck for corroded joist hangers and other connectors
  • Soft wood
  • Mold and mildew

Repairs Needed?

Use a Protective Barrier: Even with today’s treated and high-tech decking products–which look great and last and last–preventing joist rot and decay, as a result of water accumulation under the decking boards, remains a major problem. Vycor Deck Protector® is a unique solution to significantly extend the useful life of decks. Vycor Deck Protector® helps prevent joist rot and decay and decrease the corrosion rate of connectors and fasteners.

By inspecting these three areas of your home and correcting any damage with the best materials, you will ensure your home will live longer. Not to mention your wallet will be happy too! Now, put on those shades and head out to enjoy the spring & summer activities with peace of mind!

David Baur is Product Manager at GCP Applied Technologies, formerly known as Grace Construction Products. He has step by step tips for homeowners, contractors and builders on building homes for extreme weather.

Leslie Sells Houses


Image result for pictures of home maintenance

What Is a Lazy Susan? How a Traditional Turntable Can Help You Tidy Up


What is a Lazy Susan? In its simplest form, it’s a spinning tray that sits atop a table or shelf. Add compartments, and it becomes a brilliant storage solution that makes everything from ketchup bottles to cotton swabs easier to reach. Lazy Susans are available in just about any material: wood, bamboo, glass, or acrylic.

Wondering how well a Lazy Susan would fit into your home? You can spin the concept a multitude of ways in just about every room. Here’s how.


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Lazy Susan for dining and entertaining

Photo by Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

You may have grown up with a Lazy Susan on the kitchen table. It probably made passing the salt or the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter buttery spread easier for everyone. But tabletop turntables aren’t just for “Brady Bunch”–size families. A Lazy Susan made of dark wood or marble ($99.95, can be a chic, convenient solution for a formal dining table.

Lazy Susan for pantry organization

Lazy Susans in the pantry
Lazy Susans in the pantryRia Safford/

“We use Lazy Susans, also referred to as turntables, all the time,” says personal organizer Ria Safford of RiOrganize. In particular, she likes them for hard-to-reach corners of pantries, “because they allow you to maximize the space, while also making all of your items easily accessible,” she says. Her company uses turntables in the pantry for items such as oils, vinegars, spreads, and sauces.

For pantries, she recommends the bamboo turntable from The Container Store ($10,

Certified organizer Amy Trager likes how a Lazy Susan can make use of deep corner cabinets.

“It’s just so much easier to reach and see what’s in there” with a turntable. She finds them less helpful in shallow cabinets, though.

“Putting a circle into a square or rectangle leaves corners unused on all sides,” she says. “It also means that items can’t be stacked, to take advantage of whatever height might be available in the space.”

Shortfalls of Lazy Susans

Photo by The Closet Works Inc.
Not everyone’s a fan, however.

“From an organizing point of view, I don’t like Lazy Susans,” says Ben Soreff of House to Home Organizing in the Northeast. “We see a lot of them in corner kitchen cabinets, and they never seem to work.”

It’s not easy for items to go in and out of those spaces. Worse, items such as container lids and spices can fall off the surface and get stuck underneath—Soreff calls these “Lazy Susan killers.”

That said, Soreff does recommend using a Lazy Susan as an appliance garage for juicers, mixers, and other “larger, bulky items that won’t fall over during the spin.”

Lazy Susan goes beyond the kitchen

A turntable makes sense of your personal items.
A turntable makes sense of your personal items.Ria Safford/

A Lazy Susan can be used in pretty much any space that needs more storage.

“Our favorite turntable to use all throughout the house is the Linus Divided Turntable ($16.99–$24.99,,” says Safford. “We use this product in pantries, medicine cabinets, and bathrooms. The divided compartments can hold loose items like cough drops and cotton swabs, and the raised exterior keeps them from falling over.”

Lazy Susans with compartments similar to these also work well under for under-the-sink storage.

Under-the-sink storage made more accessible
Under-the-sink storage made more accessibleRia Safford/RiOrganize
Leslie Sells Houseslazy-susan

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Five Things You Need to Know About Selling a Condo

How to Get Wood Flooring on Any Budget

Living Room for FB 04 2018

Hardwood flooring is often considered a must-have feature by new homeowners or those undertaking a remodeling project. Here are some of the best budget-friendly hardwood floor choices.

Guest post by Fran Donegan

Hardwood flooring is often considered a must-have feature by new homeowners or those undertaking a remodeling project. Wood is a natural, renewable resource, plus wood flooring complements all types of home decor, from traditional to contemporary. Hardwood flooring is often considered a must-have feature by new homeowners or those undertaking a remodeling project. Wood is a natural, renewable resource, plus wood flooring complements all types of home decor, from traditional to contemporary. The downside is that wood floors, especially solid wood floors, can be expensive. Some exotic wood species, such as Brazilian walnut, can cost more than $15 per square foot — and that doesn’t include installation labor. However, you can find alternatives that give you the look of real wood at a reduced price — some as low as $2 or $3 per square foot. Here are some of the best budget-friendly hardwood floor choices.

Calculating the Overall Price

The products listed below go from most expensive to least expensive, but there’s a lot of overlap among the categories. For example, some solid wood products are less expensive than some luxury vinyl tiles. Before you make your final decision, factor in the cost of professional installation, which can add as much as $3 to $10 per square foot to the total cost of a flooring project. Some of the items that can drive up installation costs include:

• Removing and disposing of the old flooring
• Repairing the subfloor when necessary
• The size and shape of the room(s)
• Stair installation

If you’re an experienced DIYer, you can save money by installing the floors yourself. Beginners should leave the job to the professionals, though — you may end up making mistakes that are even more expensive to fix.

Solid Wood

This is usually the most expensive option, but there are ways to reduce the cost, especially in the long run. When properly maintained, solid wood flooring will last as long as the house stands. You can freshen up the look at any time by sanding away the old finish and restaining and sealing the floor.

Some wood species are more expensive than others. Fortunately, many of the most common types, such as oak or maple, fall into the low- to mid-range of costs. Solid wood products can come finished or unfinished. If the floor is unfinished, the installer will stain and seal the floor once it is in place, which adds to the installation costs. On the flip side, the prefinished product may cost more up front.

Engineered Wood 

These products are constructed of multiple thin layers of material that are bonded together under pressure. The top layer is made from a familiar wood species — such as oak or maple — and is usually treated with a factory-applied finish that resists dirt and scuff marks. Engineered wood floors are less likely than solid wood to wrap and twist because of moisture and humidity, so they can be installed in basements and bathrooms. Some products feature click-in-place installation — no need for adhesives or fasteners — which is an easier, faster installation method perfect for DIYers. However, a vapor barrier needs to be installed or attached to the flooring.


Bamboo floors are manufactured to either look like traditional wood flooring or showcase their distinctive grass-like look. Some bamboo products are harder than solid wood flooring. They are strong and long-lasting, but are easy to scratch and are not recommended for areas prone to moisture. Bamboo is a type of grass and grows to maturity much more quickly than trees do, which makes it a sustainable, eco-friendly option. Click-in-place installation is available for some products.

Porcelain Tile 

New porcelain tiles can be made to look like anything, including real wood. Some products are available in planks that have a wood-like texture. Porcelain tiles are an inexpensive, easy way to achieve a “reclaimed” wood look — many tiles mimic the texture and color variation of aged planks. As with regular tiles, they are durable and can be used in wet areas, including bathrooms. They are also stain-resistant and much easier to clean than real wood — spills wipe up quickly, and using just water and a mild soap makes them shine. Porcelain tiles must be installed using mortar and grout.

Luxury Vinyl Tile 

As with porcelain tiles, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) can look like wood and come in traditional-style planks. LVTs are thicker and more durable than standard vinyl. They are usually waterproof, are easier to clean than true hardwoods, and can be installed in any room in the house. To prolong their durability, many LVTs are treated to resist color fading and scratches.


Laminate floors are composed of a high-density hardboard core protected by a melamine layer that can be made to look like anything — including real wood. The top layer protects against dirt and scuff marks, but the material should not be installed in rooms that are exposed to moisture. Click-in-place installation is available.

Hardwood flooring is a classic, timeless look that fits a wide range of design options. Thanks to today’s selection of flooring products, it’s easy to get a wood look at a lower cost. When making your final decision, be sure to include both the material costs and the installation costs. That way, you’ll get the look you want at a budget-friendly price.

Leslie Sells Houses

DIY author Fran Donegan has written several books, including Paint Your Home. He also writes for The Home Depot about homeownership and projects that add value to your house. To see a selection of hardwood flooring options like those described by Fran in this article, please click here.

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