5 Ways to Get Your House Party-Ready for Labor Day

Summer always goes too quickly. With Labor Day just a few weeks away, here are five easy ways to get the exterior of your home party-ready, while adding value.

Whether you’re planning a rib fest with the neighbors or a potluck with your family, Labor Day is a great reason to complete outdoor projects that spruce up and add value to your home before a big get-together. Then, as the holiday weekend approaches, you can relax and focus on the food, music, décor, games, and other fun things.

  1. Power wash your house. Rent or buy a power washer and give your siding a thorough cleaning. Pay special attention to the eaves, overhangs, and the corners of entryways and porches. Unless the exterior of your house is extremely dirty, use plain water, which will benefit your shrubs, grass, and flowers. Bats often roost behind shutters, so take the shutters down, clean thoroughly, and wash the siding. To prevent bats from returning, add a layer of copper mesh and mothballs between the shutters and the siding.
  2. Wash and repair windows and screens. Wash your windows and glass doors with a cost-effective, chemical-free mixture of two tablespoons white vinegar and a gallon of water. Use newspapers instead of paper towels for a streak-free shine. Use a broom to clean your screens and rinse with water. If you have any broken windows or screens with holes in them, take them to the hardware store right away as it can take several weeks to have glass and screens replaced.
  3. Re-stain your deck and porch. Wash the wood and let it dry. Sand the wood lightly and apply several coats of all-weather stain in a modern light gray, dark charcoal, or other color. For added flair, give your porch ceiling a fresh coat of paint in glossy white, light gray, or sky blue. Clean the light fixtures and replace any burned-out bulbs with long-lasting, energy-efficient light bulbs.
  4. Style your seating areas. Hose off your outdoor furniture to remove cobwebs and dust and clean the cushions. Rearrange the furniture to create conversation areas, add side tables for food and drinks, and a colorful outdoor rug. If you have a fire pit, stock it with plenty of kindling, newspapers, and logs. If you’re planning to barbecue, make sure to give your grill a thorough cleaning.
  5. Add a pop of autumn color. Give your flowerbeds and outdoor pots a dramatic new look for fall with colorful autumn flowering plants. Look for flowering kale in white, purple, and green, and dahlias and chrysanthemums in sunny yellow, deep pink, dark orange, and rich burgundy. When Labor Day weekend arrives, welcome your guests with a vase of fresh sunflowers in the center of your patio table.
Britt Peltola

Britt Peltola

Marketing Director

Mortgage Payment Breakdown: Where Does Your Payment Actually Go?

Chances are you know exactly how much you make your check out for every month when you pay your mortgage, but do you know what you are actually paying for? As a company, we talk a lot about interest rates and closing costs when investigating a refinance or purchase, however, once all the paperwork is signed it’s easy to lose track of the exact terms of our mortgage. Let’s take a deep dive into exactly what your mortgage payment is allocated toward. Read on for a full mortgage payment breakdown.

Tips for that Quick Fall Fix

Fall… It’s finally (or already?) here. The leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping. There’s no denying that there’s just something about this season—in 2020 especially—that’s tempting to bring it within the walls of our homes. When it comes to decorating for the fall season, there are a few ways to easily incorporate that comfy, cozy feel you’re after. We put together some key factors that’ll give you that quick fall fix.

Get a Fresh Feel with a Budget That’s No Big Deal

Chances are, you’ve been looking at the same indoor scene more than usual as of late; it’s understandable if you’ve grown tired of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a refresh with minimal work and a small budget? You’re in luck... We’ve put together some ideas for giving your home a big update with little effort and minimal money.

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living Space

No matter if your outdoor space is a city balcony or a sprawling acreage in the country, having a space you love is key to enjoying the short summer months. Read on for tips to add some charm and charisma to your outdoor space.

Hop, Skip and Plant Your Way to Spring Curb Appeal

Throughout most of the country spring has officially sprung, even in the frozen tundra of the upper midwest (finally). Along with the spring sunshine comes new growth and blooming gardens that brighten up our homes and lives. To make sure your curb appeal is on point, check out these spring tips below.

Unknown Dangers Lurking in Your Home

Our homes are where we feel our most comfortable. We feel safe inside. Unfortunately, there could be some hidden dangers inside your house that can affect you and your family. Read on for what to look for to keep your home safe.

Tips for Maintaining a Luxurious Lawn

Summer means time spent outdoors and having a good-looking lawn creates the perfect space for play and lounging. Here are some tips to help you get and maintain a luxurious lawn.

Preparing for Spring Cleaning

The thought of cleaning before cleaning may seem odd, but making sure that your cleaning tools are in tip-top shape can save you time when you start your spring cleaning. Read on for ways to get yourself prepared to get cleaning.

Liven Up Your Space with an Indoor Garden

While the calendar may say it is spring outside, the weather doesn’t always cooperate. If you are getting tired of the winter blahs it may be time to spruce up your space with an indoor garden. Read on for tips to green up your digs.

Looking at a Fixer-Upper? The Benefits of a Renovation Loan

If you are searching for your dream home and are not finding what you are looking for, it may be time to consider a home that you can purchase and renovate into the home you’ve always wanted. If you don’t have the cash on hand to tackle a renovation after you purchase the home, consider a Renovation Loan. Here are more details and benefits of a Renovation Loan:

Spring Cleaning: 8 Places to Focus to Freshen Up

Winters can get long and homes can start to show the effects of being closed up for months at a time.  As the warm weather approaches, getting the house in tip-top shape jumps to the top of most to-do lists.  Here are eight places to focus to get your home feeling fresh.

Cold Weather Curb Appeal: Easy Ways to Winter-Ready Your Home

Now that the Halloween pumpkins have been relegated to the compost heap and the autumn leaves have all been raked and bagged, it’s time to think about spiffing up the exterior of your home for the holidays and beyond. Here are some easy ways to give your home a warm, welcoming vibe that lasts all winter long.

5 Ways to Landscape Like a Pro

Landscaping is a great way to create curb appeal and add beauty to your home. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are five simple, cost-effective ways to landscape your lawn and garden like a pro.

Ready. Set. Update! 5 Easy Weekend Projects

Ready to give your home a fresh new look? Pick a summer weekend, roll up your sleeves, and take on one of these simple, satisfying projects. If you’re better suited to playing creative director than contractor, enlist a local expert to help.

Designing with Houseplants: Green Thumb Not Required

Flip through any top interior design magazine and you’re likely to see houseplants, either in artfully composed vignettes or as centerpieces on dining room tables and dramatic sculptures in living rooms. If you weren’t born with a green thumb, growing houseplants is easier than you think, as long as you select the right kind for your home. To give you a head start, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite low-maintenance houseplants.

Get Your Garden Winter-Ready: 7 Easy Ideas for a Fall Weekend

Winter is a gardener’s friend, providing flowers, shrubs, and trees with a well-deserved opportunity to rest and rejuvenate after a lush, showy summer. To give your garden a jumpstart on next spring, spend a sunny fall weekend planting, mulching, and watering. With these autumnal preparations, your efforts will be rewarded next spring with a healthier, more beautiful landscape.

Getting Your House in Order: How to Build Your Own Home Repair Rolodex®

With cooler weather just around the corner, now’s a great time to get your personal Rolodex® of home service experts in order—before you actually need them. After all, the best time to call an electronics installer is before you buy the deluxe home entertainment system, and the worst time to find a friendly, cost-effective plumber is after your pipes have frozen. To help create your list of trusted home experts, here are some tips for finding the right people for each job.

When to Do It Yourself and When to Call in the Pros

Let’s face it: there’s no shortage of DIY home repair and renovation information on TV, in magazines, and certainly online. In fact, tune in to HGTV any time of the day or night and you can immerse yourself in home remodeling projects and the brave folks who attempt them.