Be Prepared… Spring is on the way!

The temperature flucation… 60 today… 30 tomorrow… is a sure sign of one thing in beautiful Ozark Mountain Country… Spring Is On the Way!! Here and there we are seeing a few daffodils and hyacinths start to break through the soil and even a forsythia blossom or two has popped out. While we really had a very mild winter, you can still hear the collective sigh of area residents as we start to see these first signs of rebirth in these Ozark hills.
It’s a great time to begin looking at properties if you’re in the market for a new home, prices are still very reasonable and interest rates are great! But what if you’re not in the market… what if you have a place you love… what can this sight do for you? How ’bout a few great home maintenance tips to start your spring out right. Tips that will carry you right through another Ozark Mountain Summer!!
Recently, while browsing Popular Mechanics website I found 3 great tips and now is a perfect time to pass them right on to you, so here goes… you’ll love these!

Tip #1 – Organizing Garden Hoses
 Keep the hose coiled in the garage (or outside) around a five-gallon plastic pail. Attach the base of the pail to the wall of the garage with a large-headed nail and wrap the hose around it—it’ll spin when you want to pull out the hose—or weight the pail with rocks and hide it standing up between shrubs near the spigot. When the hose is not in use, it’s wrapped around the pail. You can store garden supplies inside.

Tip #2 – Keeping Your Mower Unclogged
A smooth, clean deck surface is the best way to keep the mower in top cutting shape,” says Clark Oltman, senior service representative for the Toro Company. “Make sure the underside of your deck is clean when you start. Spraying the underside of the housing with cooking spray prior to mowing can be helpful,” adds Oltman. You’ll maintain your mower better and avoid these chokes if after you’ve finished mowing, you wipe off all debris with a rag or paper towel, then spray a thin film of light lubricant on the deck surface.

Tip #3 – Cleaning Your Gutters with Ease
Make gutter cleaning easier—and safer (no ladder required)—with a long spray wand made from a 1/2-in.-diameter by 10-ft.-long PVC pipe. Cut two 6-in. lengths of pipe. Then use PVC cement to join these short sections and two 90-degree elbows with what is now a 9-ft.-long pipe, forming a J-shaped hook. At the short end of the hook, glue on a solid endcap. Drill three 1/8-in.- diameter holes in the cap. Glue a threaded adapter onto the opposite end of the pipe and attach a garden hose. Place the short end of the J-shaped hook inside the gutter and turn on the hose. As you walk along the house, high-pressure streams of water will rinse the gutter clean.

Here’s hoping your Spring will be off to a great start and this year’s home maintenance is the easiest ever!

How to Prep Your Fireplace for Fall

“Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky, as lucky can be
Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when I shakes hands with you ” -Marry Poppins

This weekend I was watching Marry Poppins with my Niece, and as we watched, I remembered that it is getting to be that time of year again. The summer is on the down slide, and now instead of trying to keep the heat out, we will be fighting to keep in inside. I don’t know about you, but nothing says fall like a roaring fire place. Curled up with a warm blanket, a good book, and hot chocolate sounds like a perfect time to me! Even though we love to use the fireplace, it isn’t something that we always think about when it comes to maintenance. Here are three tips to help you prep your fireplace, or things to think about when you are buying a home…

1. Get your fireplace inspected. According to a survey, by National Fire Protection Association, last year  an alarming 42% fires in the country were credited to home heating fires. They suggest to have your chimney swept once a year to remove all of the soot and debris (building smaller fires will prevent build up in your chimney, and prevent cracking in the mortar). So make sure you call a local chimney sweep and have them come out to take a look, before you use your fireplace this fall. I have had some clients work with a local chimney sweep (Taney county area) R&L Chimney Sweeps and have had wonderful experience. They do professional work for a reasonable price!

2. Check chimney for cracks and loose bricks. Ash can escape through these cracks, and could potentially start a fire in or outside the home. The fireplace cap is located on the top of the chimney, and looks like wire mesh around the top, and on the inside rim. This is the part of the fire place that takes the most damage because it is always exposed to the elements. The chimney cap is there to make sure the air is filtered against rouge ashes, and to keep animals out of your home. This reminds me of the commercial for All State about the raccoon (mayhem) in the attic. Don’t let that be you!

3. Be sure that you are burning the right wood in your fireplace. Lets first start with the not to burn list. Do not burn freshly cut wood. This type of wood has more moisture, and produces more smoke than heat. Synthetic logs are a do not use because they can burn unevenly, and produce carbon monoxide. Which leads to my next tip. Make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector inside your home. The perfect type of wood to burn is “seasoned” wood (wood that has been stored in a dry place for at least 6 months).

Speaking of fireplaces, we have tons of homes on the market with fireplaces! One of my favorites is this gorgeous ranch style home in Branson Missouri.

Plenty of room in this 5 bedroom 4 bath home situated on 3+ acres backing up to conservation land, is only 10 minutes to Branson’s northside shopping! This beautiful home is located within the Branson School district. Beautiful brick front, and spacious living room with vaulted ceilings and cozy fireplace. Nice walkout basement, large walk in cedar closet, formal dining room, oak cabinets in kitchen, and 24′ x 24′ workshop. A must see for those wanting a little more space around them!

Double Deck

Double Deck

Cozy Living Room
Open Dining Space
Open Dining Space

Interested in seeing this home on person? Feel free to contact us and set up an appointment!

The Jim Robertson Team

Keller Williams Branson Tri-Lakes Real Estate
114 N Commercial
Branson, MO 65616