Dick Stoner | Rockville Real Estate, Gaithersburg Real Estate, Frederick Real Estate


There’s a certain recipe for successful home lighting. Lighting can make a room feel smaller or larger. There should be a mix and match of about 4 layers of lighting throughout the house. These layers should be:

  • Ambient light
  • Task lighting
  • Accent lights
  • Decorative lights


These 4 layers of lighting are perfect to mix and match for a well lit room. Ambient lighting includes natural light sources like windows, pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures. Task lighting includes under-counter lighting, desk lamps and reading lamps. Accent lights include recessed lighting and adjustable lighting. These lights will highlight certain areas of a room. Decorative lighting includes chandeliers and other types of ornamental lighting. After you have your layers set up, you’ll want to use your lighting to the advantage of your home’s decor.   


Bring The Drama To A Room


You can highlight anything you wish in a room using the right kind of lighting. It can be a fireplace or a painting or a ceiling. Use a soft spotlight to highlight a painting. Uplighting adds a softer effect to the scheme of a room. You can create this effect with wall mounted sconces or rope lights. You’ll see quite a warm glow.  


Dimmers Are Your Friend


Installing dimmer switches on your light fixtures can help to save energy and will allow you to bring down rather bright ambient lighting or help you to create a different kind of lighting scheme with the flip of a switch. As a plus, a dimmer will extend the life of your light bulbs and will maximize the time you need to change lightbulbs that require a ladder to reach. 


Don’t Put All Of Your Lights In One Place


Don’t just stick one or two bright lighting fixtures in a room and say that it’s all set. You’ll get more shadows and glare than would be desirable. This is where our blend of lighting recipe comes into play. Using that 4 step-formula will help you to spread your lighting out accordingly. This way no type of lighting will be overwhelming. 


Look Outside


Remember to use the daylight. Natural daylight is the best type of lighting. It brings in fresh color and complements any landscape. You can add natural light to your home through installing skylights, widening windows or thinking about how to redress the windows that you already have.


Choose Quality Fixtures


High quality light fixtures are better all around. They’re clearer and the fixture will be more attuned to your home’s style. When choosing lighting make sure that you see if the shade covers any part of the light, is made of good materials and that the connections are sound. 


When it comes to creating a well-lit home, you need to look everywhere from the windows to the ceilings. You want to be sure that your lighting is set up to be energy efficient and practical. Consider the many different kinds of lighting that are available and plan each room to ensure that you’ll have all the light that you need.  

      

   





Many of us grew up with the chore of mowing the lawn or pulling weeds at our parents’ house. It can seem like common sense that grass mostly just takes care of itself.

However, there’s a lot more to growing a healthy green lawn than just mowing every two weeks. In this article, we’ll talk about some lawn care techniques that you might be forgetting that will help you maintain a healthy lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Cut length

Many people try to prolong the time between cuts by setting their mower to a short height. Others just like the look of their lawn when it is cut very short. The downside of this practice is that it isn’t healthy for the grass for a number of reasons.

First, tall grass is able to develop stronger roots, which you’ll need if you have kids, pets, or plan on using your lawn for anything other than looking at.

Another reason is that grass shades the soil beneath it from the sun. This helps the soil maintain moisture longer which, in turn, helps your grass grow better.

So, how much grass should you cut off? Experts recommend that you remove only the top third of the grass as a general rule. However, different types of grasses have a preferred height, so be sure to find out which type of grass you have if you plan on cutting it shorter than two inches.

Fertilizer is not optional

Soil nutrients are depleted over time. If you’ve noticed what was once a healthy lawn slowly deteriorating over the years, there’s a good chance you need to fertilize.

To determine the exact type of fertilizer you’ll need, it’s a good idea to test the pH of your soil. You can purchase a soil testing kit online and from some lawn care retailers, or you can send your sample to a lab to be tested.

Once you know the pH, you can buy the right fertilizer to help balance the quality of your soil and promote the growth of your lawn.

Aerate your lawn

Lawns take a beating over the years. Whether it’s from the stomping feet of children, the pressure of rain, or just the force of gravity, the topsoil of your yard will become compacted.

This makes it difficult for nutrients to reach the roots of your grass and it makes your lawn work harder to build its root network.

There are a few ways to aerate your lawn. You can buy a hand tool at a hardware store designed for putting small spikes into the ground. But, if you have a large yard you might want to consider renting an aerating machine that will save you time and blisters.  

Reuse your clippings

Most people collect the clippings from their lawn in a big pile and eventually haul it away. However, those clippings are filled with nutrients that your lawn could use to grow.

Grass clippings decompose quickly and if you disperse them evenly on the lawn they aren’t noticeable for long.


Robert Frost's poem, Mending Wall, poses an interesting question about whether "good fences make good neighbors."

On one hand, there are several advantages to having your property surrounded by a fence, especially if you or your neighbors have dogs or small children running around.

If you happen to have a vegetable garden or fruit trees in your backyard, a well-constructed fence can also help keep out ravenous deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and other wildlife.

There's no doubt that fences can serve a variety of useful purposes, ranging from privacy and safety to wildlife control and home security. While it can be beneficial to mark off your property boundaries and keep your backyard private, a question to consider is whether a large fence -- especially a new one -- sends the wrong message to your neighbors.  Striking the perfect balance between privacy and friendly neighbor relations can be tricky at times, but there are compelling reasons to stay on good terms.

  1. Security reasons: If you take the time to chat with your neighbors every now and then, they'll have more of a tendency to keep an eye on your property when you're on vacation or just away for the day -- especially if you ask them.  People tend to be more helpful, observant, and protective of others with whom they share a bond or have a sense of community. In contrast to that, if they don't even know your name and haven't exchanged more than a few words with you in years, they'll be less inclined to pay attention to who's on your property and whether they belong there or not.
  2. Sharing resources: Keeping the lines of communication open with your neighbors is beneficial on many levels. When you have a friendly, ongoing relationship, you won't feel reluctant to ask them for help when your car battery's dead and you're running late for work. Trusted neighbors can also provide you with valuable information, such the names of dependable home improvement contractors or how to arrange a free pickup of household clutter that you want to donate to the Salvation Army.
  3. Quality of life: When you're regularly greeted by friendly neighbors, your neighborhood will feel like more of a welcoming and upbeat place to live. It may be necessary for you to set the example or make the first move, but once a friendly atmosphere has been created in a neighborhood, it's relatively easy to keep it going.

So while you may not want your neighbors to get in the habit of stopping by your home to chew the fat, every day, it can be worth your while to greet them by name, offer help whenever possible, and be the kind of good neighbor you'd like them to be. Setting a positive example may be all that's needed to establish a cooperative relationship and possibly even a life-long friendship. And, if all else fails, keep in mind the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Love thy neighbor, but don't pull down your hedge!"


Your outdoor lighting is perhaps one neglected area of your home. For both safety and beauty, the outdoors deserve a certain amount of attention when it comes to lighting. There are plenty of ways that you can make your outdoor lighting both welcoming and practical.


Layer It


Just as you would inside your home, you should try to layer your lighting. To do this, you should include many different kinds of lighting especially lighting that brightens the outside walls of the home, highlights landscaping elements, and even some overhead lighting.


Use Decorative Lighting


Decorative lanterns and lamps are an easy way to add lighting to your outdoor spaces. You can let them stand on their own, spread them out, or you can group them and line them up in certain areas like a wall or a table. Candles are also a great way to multi-purpose practical lighting with decorative lighting. 


Light Your Steps


It’s important to provide adequate lighting on stairs and decks. Anywhere that people can trip is a place that needs adequate lighting. Solar powered lights are perfect for these uses.


Use String Lights


String lighting hung overhead can be perfect for courtyards, decks, roofs, or even trees and shrubbery. If you don’t have anything to hang string lights from, you can always get creative using posts and planters. This is a great non-permanent solution for you to have some pretty lighting available.


Don’t Draw Too Much Attention To Your Property


While you want adequate lighting on the outside of your property, you also don’t want to draw attention to an area of your yard. The whole neighborhood doesn’t need to know that you’re out on your deck, hanging out. Choose lighting that provides an inviting glow without an overpowering brightness.            


Use Table Lamps


You may have thought that table lamps are only for the indoors, but think again. Your outdoor setup can be the same as your indoor setup. Put table lamps down on your outdoor tables for adequate illumination. Be sure that the lamps you’re using are rated for the outdoors. 


If you use the right techniques and always be sure that you’re following safety protocols,  you can find success with your outdoor lighting scheme. When your home is properly lit, the best part is that you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors of your home much more thoroughly during seasonable times. You’ll also have an increased sense of security and comfort in and around your home. It’s well known that burglars are deterred from intruding on well-lit properties. Set up your outdoor lighting right and get the outdoor season off on the right foot.


There is no set amount of time that you will need to allocate to sell your residence. In certain instances, a seller can generate lots of interest in his or her house and receive an offer to purchase within one day of listing a home. On the other hand, a seller sometimes requires many weeks or months to stir up interest in his or her home.

Ultimately, you should strive to commit as much time as you can to sell your home. If you do everything possible to promote your residence to potential buyers, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.

There are many things that a seller can do to ensure a seamless home selling experience, and these include:

1. Improve Your Home Both Inside and Outside

Remove clutter from inside your home – you'll be happy you did. In addition to making it easy to show off the true size and beauty of your home, eliminating clutter could help buyers envision what life may be like if they purchase your house.

Meanwhile, your home's curb appeal can make a world of difference during the property selling journey. If your house boasts a stunning front lawn and other exceptional home exterior features, your home may be better equipped than ever before to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers.

2. Establish an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price

Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. In addition, evaluate the prices of recently sold houses in your area that are similar to your own. This housing market data may help you establish an initial home asking price that falls in line with the current housing market's conditions.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to conduct a house appraisal. With an appraisal report in hand, you'll have a property valuation that you can use to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is an expert guide for selling homes. He or she can help you list your residence, promote it to prospective buyers and much more.

Of course, let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides at each stage of the property selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you create a house selling strategy and put this plan into action. He or she will be ready to respond to any of your home selling concerns or questions too. And if you're unsure about how to proceed at any point during the house selling journey, a real estate agent can provide property selling recommendations and suggestions.

For those who want to add a house to the real estate market and streamline the home selling journey, it may be a good idea to hire a real estate agent. By collaborating with a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to quickly navigate the home selling journey.