Back to School

Ready or not – back to school season is upon us! In addition to those early morning alarms, your house will also soon welcome the paper piles, lunch prep and gym bags. It’s hard to keep up with it all, even if you’re blessed with a helpful child or teen (luck you!), and before you know it the holidays will be here. Yikes! So how can you get the family organized? Here are some tips.

Backyard Farms

You’ve probably started to notice the price of eggs has risen substantially. This is due to the Avian flu, and the worst outbreak of it in nearly 30 years. According to recent reports, about 50 million chickens and turkeys have died or have been humanely euthanized in 15 states as the virus has continued to spread. Because of this outbreak, many families have begun turning to local farmers markets for their egg needs. If eggs are a main source of your family’s daily diet, you might consider purchasing from local farmers, or even investing in your own chicken coop!

Decal Details

We’re always looking for ways to bring unique interior design techniques into our homes. One of the most recent finds we’ve stumbled on via HGTV, is the use of decals. Here are a few application techniques we love. Cabinet Door Decoration Remove the cabinet doors. If the glass panes are removable, take them out and lay them flat. Arrange the decals—these come in strips—on the front of the glass in a pattern you like, taping them down with painter’s tape. Apply the decals following the instructions on the packaging, removing the tape as you go. Cut away any excess around the glass edges with a crafts knife.

You Can't Kill it: Flowers

We discussed perennials a couple weeks ago, but this week we’re focusing on annuals – for those of us who like to mix it up year after year. Zinnia You can find Zinnias in nearly any color (except blue), and in a variety of heights. They work well in pots, planters, or in the ground, and can be planted in direct sunlight.

You Can't Kill it: Trees

You need them for shade and even perhaps privacy. They add a certain aesthetic to your home, and a little bit of personality… but you just haven’t been able to keep one alive long enough to enjoy these benefits. We’re talking about trees of course. So which ones can you plant that won’t require a ton of TLC? Here are a few to start with. American Hornbeam This low-maintenance tree thrives in the shade of other trees, so if your yard backs up to other trees or greenery, it’s a fabulous choice to lend some shade to your yard. The American Hornbeam has thin bark with a muscled appearance and maintains a beautiful look in the winter months. In the fall, leaf colors will turn to beautiful shads of yellow, red and orange. It will grow to about 20 feet tall by 40 feet wide.

You Can't Kill it: Perennials

We left off last week with a list of our favorite shrubs that even if you tried very hard, you’d have a difficult time killing. To compliment your favorite shrub choice, we’ve compiled a list of some beautiful perennials that you will have a hard time destroying. Ostrich Fern Named after its appearance, which highly resembles the feathery tail of an ostrich, the Ostrich Fern spreads aggressively, making it perfect for spaces in need of ground cover.

You Can't Kill it: Shrubs

Roses from your significant other. Potted plants from your mother. It doesn’t matter. You kill everything with your not-so-green-thumb. It’s OK, you’re not alone. That’s why this month, we’re featuring a series of blogs on plants you cannot kill (or at least you’ll have a hard time killing them). Don’t be “that house” on the street. Grab your gardening gloves and toss-around shoes. This week we’re featuring our favorite shrubs that you cannot kill.

Landscaping Mistakes

It’s that time of year to get outside and landscape. You have an idea of what looks nice, but we all have that neighbor who went overboard. Don’t be that neighbor and take note of some of these landscaping mistakes. 1. Excessive lawn ornamentation. Need we say more? Stick to a theme and make sure those ornaments fit the rest of your landscaping design. If you must, sick to one statement, as opposed to ten (or more).

Low Maintenance Plants

Even if there’s still snow on the ground, it’s still technically spring, so we are getting in the gardening mood here at Faber Homes! Whether you’re a new family with us, current resident, or thinking about building a new Faber Home, landscaping is probably on your checklist. Curb appeal is not only nice for passerbys, but everyone wants an attractive home on the (inside and) outside. You certainly don’t want to be “that house” with the overgrown, weed-infested lawn. Don’t have time for a full blown landscaping job this year? No worries. Here are some plants to start you out that are low maintenance and beautiful.

DIY: Walkways

Faber Homes recommends waiting a couple years after moving into your brand new home before building patios or walkways in order to accommodate for settling. Once that time has passed, stones and other poured materials have a better chance of staying where you put them. So you’re ready to get started? Here is an easy how-to guide on assembling your new stone path.

5 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

You’re ready to make the leap and start designing your dream home. The checks are signed, deposit is made, floor plan is chosen, but there’s just one thing standing in your way: your current abode. It needs some work, no doubt, but what are the most important things to update to get that instant curb appeal, setting it apart from other properties in your area? Here are five of our favorite easy updates that won’t break the bank.

The Time to Buy is Now

It’s been a buyers market for the last several years, with interest rates at all-time lows, but all of that is about to change, according to many recent reports, including this one from Reuters. In the article, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart states that the U.S. central bank intends to raise interest rates as early as June, barring a significant downturn in the U.S. economy.

Upcycling Furniture

Stop! Don’t throw that old furniture away! We’re about to list off some great tips on how to rehab that old dresser and make it new and functional again – no need to go buy something new when you can recreate something totally unique and beautiful. Convert a church pew into a headboard.

Growing Berries in NY

Did you know it’s totally possible to grow delicious berries in your backyard in New York? Many gardeners stick to the veggie staples like pumpkins, carrots, and peppers, but our temperatures are absolutely conducive to growing berries. You’ll want to get started on your garden soon, so here are some tips on growing these yummy fruit. Start with a healthy soil base. Deep, fertile soil containing high organic matter really helps to set the foundation for a healthy, prosperous garden. The garden site should also have excellent drainage year-round, and be prepared to address early spring frosts.

10 Things to do When You Move In

No one said moving into a new home was a fun process. What with packing boxes, unpacking boxes, living out of boxes… you get the idea. Not only are you busy settling in, there is what seems like a laundry list of tasks that need done as well. What needs done immediately and what can wait? Here’s a list of the top ten things to do when you move in to a new home. 1. Get your address changed. Or, if you don’t have the time after you move in, stop by your old post office a few days before you move and ask them for the paperwork to get things moving. Don’t forget to contact banks, the BMV, any mailed subscriptions you have to change your address.

Allergens in Your Home

You’ve been cooped up all winter, but with spring on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about a deep clean of your home. Even in the winter months, allergens can build up, and you might even notice dust flying around if you have pets. Here’s a condensed list from WebMD to keep dust mites and other allergens at bay: Air Do not use window or attic fans, which bring air containing pollen, mold spores, and other allergens into your home. Use air conditioning so you do not have to open windows. This will help reduce the amount of pollen and mold spores that enter your home. Use an air cleaner with a special high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This can help remove some allergens (such as pollen or animal dander) and tobacco smoke from the air in your home.

Upgrades that Pay Off

Building a home is a fun process. You get to pick each and every facet of your home from window placement to cabinet height to hardware colors. You’ll likely opt to upgrade some items in your home, such as vaulted ceilings or stone facings on the exterior of your home. There’s a lot of options, and with Faber Homes, the possibilities are endless, so what will you upgrade while you build, and what will you work on years down the road? It’s important to understand this distinction when you go to your preconstruction meeting, as there are certain upgrades that are easier done prior to the home being built and other upgrades that will immediately increase the value of your home. If you plan on moving in the next five to ten years, you’ll want to take your home’s resale value into consideration, so we’ve compiled a list of upgrades that will pay off at resale.

Battling the Paper Pileup

Bills. Coupons. Notes. Cards. Flyers. Junk. It all piles up quickly, and you add to it daily. That endless pile of paper cluttering up your counter space. It’s time to do something about it! Here are some tips to keep the paper mountain to a minimum—but remember, consistency is key with any organization tactic. Pick what works for you and stick to it daily. Sign up for online bill pay and email statements. You’d be surprised how much clutter you’ll eliminate with this. You’ll be nicer to the environment, too.

Feng Shui Tips

You’ve heard about Feng Shui, but is it legitimate? We think so – and in honor of Valentine’s Day (which is today, guys) we’ve assembled this list of our favorite Feng Shui tips to attract love and money (we can all use a little more of both, right?). To ensure supportive communication, it’s best to put at least the front legs of all furniture on a rug as opposed to around the rug. Also – try to keep some furniture away from the walls.

Last Minute Valentine's Day Decorations

You don’t want to be that house on the block that never decorates for holidays (and you probably also don’t want to be the “over the top” house, either). Valentine’s Day is just days away – so here are some quick DIY decorations sure to add some dazzle to your home. Garland. Grab some doilies (the bigger the better) from the craft box, ribbon and a red Sharpie. Fold the doilies in half and use double sided tape to adhere them to a long ribbon. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, grab some red craft paper and a paper punch to cut out small hearts, or simply draw red hearts on the doilies. Bam – simple, cute and quick!