Wasting Water

We use water to brush our teeth, wash our dishes, clean clothes, and so much more. Especially during warmer months when we run sprinklers and bring our muddy dogs inside for a bath, keeping water consumption under control can be a challenge. Did you know the average family member uses 100 gallons of water daily? Ouch. Try some of these tips to limit unnecessary water waste. Watering your lawn. Probably one of the largest water waste perpetrators, watering your lawn can account for hundreds of gallons of water each hour the sprinklers are running. Try watering your lawn before the sun rises and after the sun sets. This way, you’ll saturate your lawn quicker and reduce evaporation.

Keeping Deer Away

If you live anywhere near wooded areas, chances are you’ve seen deer out and about – no matter the season. They’re an annoyance in the winter when they run across the road in front of your car, and they’re a menace in the spring and summer when you’re trying to landscape your property. Before you invest hours of effort into your outdoor abode, there are a few precautions you can take to keep Bambi and his friends away. Did you know deer can’t stand the smell of humans? We’re not sure why, but we do know that if you sprinkle bits of your hair around your favorite plants, it will help to deter the deer. So the next time you get a trim, bring a bag with you. Deer are also not fans of the taste (or smell) of soap, so take a grater out to your plants and bring a couple bars of Dove out with you.

Tips for a Green Lawn

Our lawns are more than just decorative pieces to our home. They play host to yard games, picnics, parties, and barbecues for much of the year. The trouble is: how can you grow a lush, green lawn efficiently. A good first step is to assess the pH level of your land’s soil and know the quantity and availability of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This will help you pick the right seed blend and understand what types of treatment your lawn will need to grow to its fullest potential.

Cost Efficient Landscaping

11.jpg (1)
Landscaping is a daunting task. You know you want flowers, perhaps some shrubs, and maybe even a spot for a garden. But how expensive is it to get the job done? Obviously, it depends on the project, but there are steps you can take to minimize your trips to the store, and maximize your budget. First, it’s important to start with a plan. Sketch out your landscape design on engineering paper and know exactly what you need and where you’re going to put each item.

Plants to Stay Away From

11.jpg (1)
It’s almost that time of year for gardeners! If you’re new to horticulture, we thought we’d share this list of plants you should stay away from if children or pets frequent your yard. Rhododendron. Yes, the beautiful purple/pink flowering plant also known as both West Virginia and Washington’s state flower. Swallowing any part of this plant will cause you to drool, cause your eyes to water, and if that doesn’t get you feeling yucky enough, you’ll soon start to vomit. Stay away from this plant if you can.

Designing the Perfect Bathroom

When you build a new home, you start completely from scratch. With Faber Homes, you even have the ability to change our floor plans based on your needs. Not a fan of sharing a sink? Make it two. Don’t like to reach down to your counters? We can raise your cabinets and countertops. You can even upgrade windows to add more natural light to your bathroom space. But what are some of the other aesthetics you should take into consideration when you schedule your preconstruction meeting and design meeting at our Claridge Decorating Centre? Functionality. Ultimately, you need a functional floor plan depending on how many people will use the bathroom, and how often those using it will do so simultaneously. Also keep in mind, by International Residential Code, toilets must be at least 15 inches from any other bath fixture, wall or other obstacle. Always try to leave 24 inches of clear floor space in front of the shower, to ensure you have enough room to enter and exit safely. For roomier floor plans, you can always opt for taller toilets, wider doorways or even curbless showers.

Designing the Perfect Kitchen

You’ve been pinning ideas to your Pinterest boards for what seems like years, and you’re finally ready to put your dream kitchen together. You might know what color cabinets you want, but do you know what style? Will your ideal floor match those cabinets, and how can you select the right countertop to pull it all together? Here’s a few things to consider when you start building your culinary space – it is, after all, where you spend most of your day!

What's in Your Credit Score?

You may think your credit score is just a number, but to a lender, it can be the difference between offering you the best available market rate, and a much higher mortgage payment. Understanding what goes into your credit score is important. Short credit history can been seen as a negative on your report, as it reflects a shorter time period of financial responsibility—the less experience you have making (any) payment, the less likely you are to understand how to handle a larger payment, like a house. Late payments can put a damper on your credit score, too, as they reflect poor money management. Additionally, having a high debt-to-income ratio can impact your score, because it shows you are charging beyond your means.

Keeping Your House Clean with Pets

Hair. Dander. Slobber. While we love our dogs and cats, these are all common grievances of pet ownership. As the weather starts to turn (we promise it will happen soon), you’ll begin to notice less dander and more hair, as winter coats give way to warmer temperatures. Slobber, on the other hand, is a year-round ordeal. Whether you’re a new pet owner or a seasoned caregiver, there’s always a certain amount of vigilance that goes along with owning a furry companion and keeping your house looking (and smelling) like you don’t own a zoo. It is by no means easy work, but here are some tips on keeping your house fresh for all.

Spring Home Preparation

It was a rough winter—let’s face it. As Western New Yorkers, we’re accustomed to the bitter cold and consistent piling up of snow. Many of us enjoy it, and for those of us who don’t, we do our best to tolerate it. We plan for the season’s arrival each year, but we often cannot predict when the season will change over—after all, Groundhog’s Day is kind of a joke, right? Not knowing when the beautiful spring season will arrive can leave our wardrobes and our homes a bit vulnerable. While we can’t help you with the wardrobe conundrum, we can give some guidance as to how to prepare your home for spring after a particularly nasty winter.

Selling Your Home

You’re ready to build a home but there’s one thing standing in your way: your current home. It’s sellable, yes, but could some upgrades help you get it on and off the market quickly? Don’t worry, there are ways to increase the value of your home without breaking the bank. Some of the best upgrades you can make to your home are undoubtedly the kitchen and bathrooms. Unfortunately, these are often the most expensive rooms to upgrade. A full-blown kitchen upgrade can cost upwards of $40,000, and a bathroom remodel can cost more than $10,000.

Homemade Household Cleaners

The amount of chemicals that can be found in our household cleaners can be astonishing. While these chemicals do their job, they can be harmful to adults and pets, and especially harmful to children if ingested. Did you know you can save money and still keep your house clean by using common household ingredients in place of store-bought solutions? Lemons and lemon juice should be considered a miracle of nature and home cleansing. The juice works to clean and shine pans, is a natural bleach when combined with the sun, and is a natural degreaser. For example, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle it with salt: you now have a safe, abrasive cleaner perfect for wood cutting boards, dishes, and pans.

Choosing the Best Carpet

Chances are, you’ll likely have to select carpet in your new home. It might seem like an easy task, but choosing carpet is very important. Carpeting provides a soft, plush spot for children to play and even a slip-free surface for animals in your home. There are different textures to take into account, varying colors, and designs – so where do you start? With these top five tips on choosing carpet, we hope to help you select the best option for your family’s needs.

Don't Settle for an Old Home

Television shows like “Flip this House” or “Love it or List it” are fun to watch, and many believe they possess the true passion and expertise to renovate old homes. But in reality, it’s a much riskier game than some would lead you to think. Oftentimes with old homes, flooring jobs become structural nightmares, and creating more space in an old bathroom can mean thousands in unexpected plumbing fees. Simply put, old homes are unpredictable, and can lead a homeowner down a never-ending path of constant work and dwindling funds.

Make the Most of Claridge

It can all seem a little overwhelming: cabinet colors, cabinet height and arrangement, countertop options, flooring, hardware… The options are endless! So how can you make the most of your trip to the Claridge Decorating Centre? Faber Homes is here to help. When working with Faber Homes to create your dream home, keep in mind that you must pick each and every odd and end in your home. Before heading to Claridge, know where your furniture will be placed and where your outlets are, so when you plan your kitchen and bathrooms, you know where you’ll need to plug everything in.

Mortgage Rates Rising in 2014

You’ve likely seen the signs in your neighborhood of the market returning to stability. There are less for-sale houses, your neighbors are refinancing due to historically low interest rates, and some are even finally able to check items off renovation lists. While this apparent boom in activity seems fantastic, in reality, it’s not all positive. In June of 2013, the federal government announced intentions to eventually pull back on monetary easing, which caused an artificial spike in interest rates. While they are still “historically low” compared to 15 or even 10 years ago, over the past six months, interest rates have risen drastically—at times upwards of 1 percent. While this change will cause our economy to move in the right direction, it will only cause interest rates to increase.

Winter Wonderland Designs

We may not particularly like the cold temperatures, shoveling snow, and bundling up (okay, so maybe “hate” is a better word) – but you have to admit, wintertime can be so beautiful. If you’re a fan of cozying up from November to April, here are some design ideas for your home to make the most of the season. DIY Sweater Pillows. They may sound silly, but in the right room, they’re perfect. Check out these chic, preppy pillows from HGTV. All you need are unused sweaters or flannel shirts, an old pillow, and a needle and thread. Super easy.

New Year's Resolutions for Your Home

What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2014? Planning to lose some weight? Perhaps visit family more often? Donate your time to charity? These are all great resolutions, but don’t forget about your home! A recent article on HGTV cited five great resolutions for your home, and we just had to share them: 1. Streamline the stuff. We all become subject to a little clutter, especially after the holiday months – so why not declutter your home in the New Year? By scheduling regular purgings of your cabinets, basement bins, and under the bed crevasses (don’t deny it!), you’ll be able to live a cleaner, more organized life. Imagine being able to find that thing you were looking for, without having to spend an hour looking for it.

Energy Efficient Winter Home

Even the most energy efficient home can still see higher electric and gas bills in the winter months – it’s inevitable. To keep your home running efficiently, try some tips from our quick list! 1. Replace your furnace filter. Seems like an easy one, but a clogged filter can restrict airflow and increase energy use in your home. Replacing the filter once a month can really reduce your winter heating costs.

Away for the Holidays

The holidays are busy times with many parties to go to, family members to see and even some vacations during the break. If you’re planning to leave your home for any longer than a day, here are some tips to make sure you come home to the same beautiful abode you left: Set your heat between 50 and 60 degrees. This will help keep the house warm and protect your pipes. Use random-access timers for lights to make it seem as if you are home. Try to avoid automated lamps, as these are more likely to cause a fire.