Home Help: 4 ways to pest-proof your home
TIP OF THE WEEK
It’s late and you’re in your favorite, cozy pajamas. You get in bed and pull up the warm comforter. You turn out the light and are just about to drift off to sleep when you hear a noise coming from the attic. You sit up to listen, but it quickly goes quiet again. You lay back down and close your eyes, and just as you fall asleep, the noise is back, this time it’s coming from inside the wall.
You have a visitor — an unwanted visitor.
As much as we all enjoy our cozy homes, they are also the perfect setting for pests like rats, mice and raccoons to snuggle up and escape the cold air, too.
Seal off entry points to stop rodents from squeezing in. Rodents can enter through holes as small as a dime, and will use any vulnerable opening to get in-from your foundation to your roofline. To keep these unwelcome intruders out, start by checking the perimeter of your home and repairing any small cracks or holes. In order to prevent rodents from chewing through these sealed areas, layer your sealing work by stuffing it first with a metal mesh, such as steel wool, and then sealing it down with caulk. This can also help keep summer pests such as spiders and ants at bay.
Secure food sources to eliminate the attraction. Pests are not picky eaters. Once they find a food source, they are notorious for overstaying their welcome (and inviting friends). While critters can thrive in even the cleanest of houses, homeowners should remove any temptations by sweeping up spills and crumbs immediately.
Clear up clutter in your yard. Stacks of firewood, old tires or other debris leaning against your exterior walls are a perfect, protected pathway around your house. Leave at least a foot of space between these items and your home, and move mulch away, too. Then, clean out your gutters and remove any dead leaves.
Know when to call in the pros. As with most home improvement projects, there are great do-it-yourself methods available to prevent pest control issues in your home. However, waiting until it’s too late to call in a certified professional can be dangerous and lead to major damage, costing you money and time.
Negotiating your price
When selling a home, negotiations are going to be a part of the process. Most buyers will be looking for a lower price, but as a seller, you’ll be looking to get top dollar for your home. One way to get the most out of your negotiations is to be ready to counter offer. First, as a seller, you probably won’t want to accept the buyer’s initial offer because it will most likely be lower than what they are willing to pay and will be lower than your list price. Although you might be wary of losing a potential sale, your counter offer to the initial bid shouldn’t be lower than your listing price. Instead, you should counter at your list price. A potential buyer will stay engaged in the negotiations if they really want the house, but if a buyer walks away, you’ll avoid wasting time on buyers who are trying to “lowball” your price.
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Sprucing up your home for Thanksgiving
When hosting Thanksgiving dinner, all the attention will most likely be on the table and the turkey, but you can add to everybody’s holiday experience by adding a few Thanksgiving touches to your home. Start the festivities off with a message board for guests to write what they are thankful when they arrive or you can set up a “Thankful Tree” for guests to write messages on paper ornaments to hang on the tree. You can also create an “family tree” out of vintage baby photos of the family and arrange them on a wall in the shape of a tree. If you have a mantle or fireplace, arrange an assortment of pumpkins and gourds an include a blackboard or two for your guests to leave messages. The presentation can also make for a perfect backdrop for family pictures.
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Automated window coverings can save money
Just a decade or two ago, home automation was still something of a novelty. Some homeowners might have had programmable thermostats in their homes, but many probably hadn’t thought of automating things like window coverings. Shades, drapes, blinds, and awnings can all help control the amount of heat and light that enter your home. Selecting window coverings to block out light and heat in summer, and admit light in winter, can help your home’s heating and cooling systems work more efficiently. Depending on the climate where you live, automating window coverings could yield energy savings of 11-20 percent, according to a study commissioned by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).