Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016
WINTER HOME MAINTENANCE
Get your home ready for winter—with this handy checklist of cold-weather maintenance that you can perform annually.
REMOVE ALL OUTDOOR HOSES.
Winter freezes can split and damage hoses.
SHUT OFF OUTDOOR FAUCETS.
This prevents water from freezing in the pipes—and causing leaks in your basement. (For extra protection, turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.)
SERVICE YOUR FURNACE.
It’s worth a few dollars to have a professional service technician clean, repair, and examine your heating system before that first cold day of winter.
CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS.
Remove leaves, sticks, and other debris from your gutters to prevent clogs when snow melts.
PRUNE TREES AND SHRUBS.
Most trees and shrubs benefit from being cut back in the winter, but every variety is a little different. Check with your local garden shop (or search online) to see what works best for plants in your yard.
BUY WINTER GEAR.
It’s easier to buy ice melt before the first snow. Make sure you have a shovel or snow-blower on hand, too.
CLEAN OUT THE CHIMNEY.
If you burn real wood in your fireplace, have a professional clean and inspect your chimney. You don’t want a chimney fire!
Monday, October 10, 2016
EASY TRICKS TO KEEP YOUR HOME WARMER
If your home feels cold, don’t just turn up the heat—that can be expensive, and wastes energy. Before adjusting the thermostat, try these easy tricks to keep your home warmer in spring and winter.
GET A DOOR DRAFT STOPPER.
These handy little gadgets cost as little as $10, and fit at the base of a door to stop warm air from leaking out—and cold air from leaking in. Or make your own, using a rolled-up beach towel.
HANG THICK CURTAINS OR BLINDS.
Cover the windows at night with thick blackout-style curtains or blinds (either vertical or horizontal) that block the draft, and keep rooms cozy.
OPEN THE BLINDS IN THE MORNING.
Let the sunlight in during the day, to help warm your home naturally.
COVER YOUR FIREPLACE.
Fireplaces can be drafty when they’re not being used. First, make sure that the flue is closed. Next, buy a fireplace cover or screen that blocks the draft—or make your own, using a small blanket (or towel) and tape.
ADD WEATHER STRIPPING TO DOOR FRAMES.
This reduces the amount of frosty air seeping in around your doorframe, and can be completed in as little as one afternoon using self-adhesive rubber foam tape.
PUT AREA RUGS ON BARE FLOORS.
Sometimes, rooms feel colder because floors are bare. Inexpensive area rugs make “standing areas” warmer on wood floors, kitchen tile, or bathroom tile.
ADD CAULK TO WINDOW FRAMES.
Eliminate the drafts coming in around your windows in a single afternoon, using a can of caulk from your local hardware store.
TRY BUBBLE WRAP INSULATION ON YOUR WINDOWS.
If you have older, single-pane windows, your house can feel colder. Bubble wrap insulation can be applied very simply to these windows, using scissors and water—trapping the heat inside.
REVERSE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CEILING FANS.
By reversing the direction of your fans, you naturally draw down the warm air that rises to the ceiling.
TRY A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT.
While this is a little more complicated than the other tricks, it pays off in the long run—by giving you lots of heat when you really need it (for example, when you wake up) and then reducing heat usage when you sleep or work. Newer models come with an app that lets you adjust the heat from your smartphone.
Need help installing weather stripping or a programmable thermostat? Your ReeceNichols agent can recommend a home repair specialist near you. Contact us today
Thursday, September 22, 2016
5 FUN AUTUMN ACTIVITIES IN KANSAS CITY
This fall, explore the best Kansas City has to offer—with these 5 fun local activities.
Join the king, queen, and royal jester in their 16-acre village for jousts, rides, food, and 20 stages with live entertainment. Every weekend features a different theme—such as the Buccaneer Beer Fest; Witches & Wizards; or Wine, Chocolate, & Romance. A Kansas City tradition since 1977, theRenaissance Festival is open every weekend in September and the first 3 weekends in October.
Is it a high-tech driving range—or a swanky lounge? It’s both. Enjoy drinks and appetizers for the whole family—while you hit golf balls and score points from a 3-story outdoor structure. Colored lights make night play fun at TopGolf, while a DJ spins tunes on Friday and Saturday nights.
Every autumn, Kansas City descends upon the Louisburg Cider Mill for this popular weekend festival. See how apples are pressed into cider, sample warm cider donuts, and enjoy live music as you tour the old-fashioned Country Store. Kids love the pony rides, pumpkin patch, and 10-acre corn maze. Open during the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October.
Hauntworld calls Kansas City’s haunted houses some of the “scariest in America.” For serious thrill-seekers, there are 5 nationally recognized haunted houses to explore: The Edge of Hell, The Beast, Macabre Cinema, the Ghosts & Gangsters Tour, and The Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe. And don’t forget Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun, the Midwest’s largest Halloween event—with 500 monsters hiding among the rides in this 235-acre theme park.
WESTPORT ART FAIR
For 36 years, the Annual Art Westport fair has displayed the work of Kansas City’s best local art talent in a 3-day event. Walk the streets of historic Westport while you browse the original oil paintings, unique jewelry, household décor, and fine crafts—and sample food from one of the 30 restaurants and 25 bars in the neighborhood.
Want to buy a house in Kansas City? ReeceNichols.com is the #1 real estate brokerage website in the KC region, updated every 15 minutes with the latest new homes for sale.