O'Lori's Outlook

Summer News and House Tips for you

5 Easy steps for Indoor Outdoor Living on a Budget

1. Create a patio

You don't have to build an expensive deck or pour thousands of dollars of concrete to create a great patio that serves as the foundation for your outdoor room (literally). Pavers are a DIY project you can get done in a weekend depending on your energy level and the size of your space, and they're a favorite of experts, too.

"A patio can be created with many materials, but it's hard to beat one made from pavers for ease of installation and low maintenance," said DIY Network. "The initial cost may be higher than other options, but you'll save in the long run by not having to stain or seal it continuously. Plus, repairs are easier, one paver at a time."

2. Cover up

Shelter is key, not only for creating a shady spot where you can escape from the sun without retreating back into the house, but also because it helps to make the space feel complete. If your budget can't stretch enough to include a custom pergola or patio cover, a large, offset umbrella can be a great answer. This Garden Treasures offset umbrella from Lowe's is 10.5x10.5, covering a large amount of space for just $208, and it can be cranked up and down as needed so you can protect it - and your windows - on windy days.

3. Create an opening

Insufficient access from inside to out (and vice versa!)? That's fixable.

The most economical solution is vinyl or aluminum sliding patio doors, said Angie's List. "For a basic sliding patio door, including installation and hardware costs, you will probably invest anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 from a big-box store. The least expensive French patio door options are going to start between $1,500 and $2,000 at a big-box store."

Want to really commit to the indoor-outdoor experience - with or without an ocean view - with bi-fold or accordion doors? Expect to make a hefty investment. But if you've got the money or the skills, you, too, can have a house that's wide open to the outside.

"Accordion-style patio doors make the outdoors an extension of your home. They are typically used to open up an entire side of a living room, dining room or kitchen to the patio or deck outside," said KOMPAREIT. "Glass doors cover the length of the wall when closed and then fold up to completely to one or both sides when open. Accordion-style doors are expensive. They cost about $700 to $1,000 per linear square foot on average, which may or may not include installation, depending on the supplier. For a 12-foot opening, that works out to $8,400 to $12,000."

4. Comfy seating

Creating the ideal outdoor living space today is all about making it as comfortable as possible. That means cushy seating areas that are plush enough to entice you away from the TV.

This Corfu 4-piece seating group has the modern wicker look that's been so popular for the past few years, plenty of space for family and friends to gather, and also comes with an outdoor coffee table. Better yet, it's just $458 on Wayfair

5. Add in the extras

Just like you'd accessorize the inside of your home, the outside screams for a little attention to detail. An outdoor rug, a few throw cushions, and some decorative outdoor lighting can transform your space from "just OK" to "just WOW."

source: Realty Times

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Getting the house Summer ready--- 10 quick and easy tips

1. Execute an Air Conditioner check

If you haven't had to turn on your air conditioning yet this year, do a little self-congratulatory dance and then flip it on and make sure everything is working properly. You don't want to find out you need a new fan belt on the first hot and sweaty day of the year.

2. Check the area around your air conditioner units

If weeds or other plants have grown up around your AC units, you may want to trim them back. "Air conditioning units and heat pumps require plenty of air circulation to work efficiently, so it's important to keep shrubs trimmed back away from the unit," said Today's Homeowner. "Make sure there's at least 18" of room around the sides of the air conditioner, and three feet or more above the unit."

3. Do a ceiling fan once over

Now, go room to room checking all the ceiling fans to make sure they're in working order. But before you turn them on, note the dust level. If you haven't used them in a while, dust and dirt may be ready to fly off as soon as they get going. An old pillowcase spritzed with cleaner, then thrown over each blade and slid off is a great trick to get them clean without special tools.

4. Check the Air filters

Lastly - as it relates to your air conditioning - inspect your air filters.

If they're not changed out regularly, and, especially if you can see visible dirt, hair, or malformations because the filter is starting to pull into the unit, get yourself to Home Depot (and don't forget to measure first so you don't have to guess at the size while you're in the store).

5. Don't forget about your refrigerator filters.

Filters in your refrigerator and icemaker are usually supposed to be replaced every six months (but check with your manufacturer). If it's been at least that long, change them out. The fresh taste of your water and ice will be worth the effort!

6. Clean your refrigerator coils.

If you've never done this, you may be surprised by how gross they can get. But keeping your coils clean by shutting off the power to the unit and vacuuming the coils through the back can extend the use of your refrigerator and also save you money on your electric bill - up to $100 a year!

7. Refresh your showerhead.

If your shower isn't providing a strong stream of water anymore, it might not be your water pressure. Try cleaning the showerhead to remove mineral deposits. All it takes is a baggy full of vinegar tied around the showerhead and left overnight to soak. In the morning, run the water to see if it's made a difference.

8. Check your sprinklers

Lots of things can cause part or all of a sprinkler system to fail, and you'll want to know if you need to call a repairman because it's blazing hot outside. Today's Homeowner offers this tip for testing your sprinklers: "Place straight-sided tuna cans on the ground around the yard, and run your sprinkler as usual. If your irrigation system is set right, all of the cans should be filled to the same level."

While you're at it, check your hoses for leaks. Replacing leaky hoses can save water, and save you money.

9. Check your deck

Look over your deck for signs of rotting and hammer in any nails that are poking up," said The Nest. "Then, determine if your deck needs sealing. Sprinkle water on the deck's boards. If the water beads up, you're in good shape; but if it soaks right in, it's time to reseal that sucker."

10, Mulch it

A layer of mulch in your yard will help "keep weeds down and help the ground retain its moisture in the heat," said The Nest. More importantly, it's one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways to up your curb appeal - and that's important whether you plan to spend many more seasons in your home or you're thinking of getting ready to sell it.

Who I am, and why I do what I do!

I have spent 25+ serving others and learning to negotiate win-win scenarios. With a background in biology and secondary education I excelled in helping students overcome obstacles that stood in the way of achieving their goals. I have 10+ years of hands on technology education and training. When my husband and I moved to Texas 6 years ago, I realized that my experiences worked together to make Real Estate the perfect fit! I utilize the latest technologies, market research and business strategies to exceed your expectations. More importantly, I listen and work tirelessly to find the solutions that are tailored to you. My background taught the value of knowing what the objective is, understanding the goal, and crossing the finish line. My expertise allows me to help my clients reach their goal and realize their dream. At any time you are ready to buy your new home or sale your home, contact me so I can tell you more about how I can help! I appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and move you to the next stage of your life.

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