Pierre C. Rumpf | Manchester-by-the-Sea Real Estate, Effex Real Estate, Beverly Real Estate


Photo by John Paulsen on Unsplash

Adding a motion detector light outside your house contributes greatly to your home’s security.  Besides being able to clearly see any people or wildlife approaching your home, the sudden flash of a powerful spotlight turning on discourages intruders as they cannot be sure whether the light has a motion detector or was turned on by someone inside.  Motion detector lights deliver other benefits too, including safety and decoration.  For all the times you return home late at night or have guests over for dinner in the evenings, make safety easy and automatic with motion detector lights along your sidewalk or steps.  They can also be used to highlight features of your lawn like trees or flowers while your guests approach, and when no one is outside the lights will go out.

Fortunately, motion detector lights are inexpensive, easy to install, and customizable.  Where you direct the light will depend on your purpose for installing it.  Motion detection works via a mechanism in the detector that senses heat waves coming from moving objects.  Leave it on the sensor setting, or switch the sensor off during the times when you want to control it manually and keep lights on or off.  You can set a timer for how long you’d like your light to remain on after the sensor picks up something, and the sensor automatically stays off during the day.  You can also adjust the setting for the distance range of the spotlight.

Select the Right Light for Your Property

Motion sensor lights are available in a number of different options. You can customize your choice to the location and power source you'll be using. Motion sensor lights can be a purely utilitarian or decorative addition to your property. If you'd like to install one near your front door, you're likely to find a style that can blend seamlessly with the existing decor. Decorative motion lights usually use traditional light bulbs so plan on replacing those regularly. Keep in mind that these options do not function as floodlights.

Popular options are those that employ LED light because they last a lot longer and do not emit heat as traditional light bulbs do. These are very bright and powerful so they are a great choice if you're installing a motion light for security. Some options also include video capability so you can check into what activated the light without heading outside.

If you want to install a light but do not have a power source in that location, you can opt for a solar-powered set-up and avoid the fee for an electrician. This works best in a location that is not obstructed by trees or buildings. To illuminate an area that doesn't receive a lot of sunlight or have a hardwired connection, look for a battery-powered light.



 Photo by kalcommodore via Pixabay

Beautiful railings, including the railing that surrounds your deck, plays a major role in your home's curb appeal. Even when it's not visible from the street, a strong, sturdy deck and the railing that surrounds it can still raise your home's resale value. That's extra living space, after all. Even if it is outdoors. But even more important, your deck and its railing need to be structurally sound for safety purposes. You don't want to take a fall off your backyard deck, and you certainly don't want your family, friends or guests to have a mishap. For these reasons, it's vital to keep railings in top condition. Here's how:

Choose the Right Material for Deck Railings

Today's homeowners have multiple options for creating a railing around a wooden deck. More popular ones include:

  • Pressure-Treated Wood -- A popular choice for deck railing, wood is the most high-maintenance railing material on the market. Even pressure-treated lumber will need to be re-stained or re-sealed intermittently. This type of railing may also warp or twist over time, but for an upscale appearance, it's difficult to beat. 
  • Vinyl --Vinyl is lightweight and requires little-to-no maintenance other than an occasional cleaning with the garden hose. Vinyl won't rust or rot, but the color may fade over time. 
  • Aluminum -- Aluminum is a lightweight, durable material that can withstand corrosion, rust and rot. It can be painted any color and is typically cheaper to install than heavier options such as pressure-treated lumber. 
  • Composite -- Composite deck railing is made from PVC and recycled wood. It combines the best of both worlds because it's impervious to warp, rot and rust. It doesn't need staining or sealing, it's available in many colors and can easily be painted. 

Once you've decided on a material, professional installation is best. Unless you're confident in your construction abilities, weight-bearing structures, such as deck railings, should be built to code. You'll likely need a permit, as well. Adding a well-built, professionally installed railing to your deck will impress future homebuyers. It will also delight your friends and family when the weather turns friendly. 

Maintaining Deck Railing

The best advice for maintaining your deck railing over time is simply to inspect it regularly. Take a good, long look every spring, and if you see issues -- nails that are popping up, boards that are weakening -- have them repaired right away. Clean your deck and railings annually, regardless of their composition, and make sure to stain and seal wooden railings at least every other year. 

The condition of the trim around your home, including railings, affects your home's value. Take the time to keep them in top condition to maintain their value and their safety. 

 


Image by Breadmaker from Shutterstock

A fireplace is a cozy addition for a home that can add aesthetic value as well as warmth to your space. Whether you’re building new, retrofitting, or shopping for the perfect home there are options for most situations. You’ll find many design options as you start to shop but the initial consideration should be to determine a fuel source.

Wood fireplace

Wood-burning fireplaces offer the crackle of the fire, the fragrance of pitch, and the soft glow of coals. For some, there's nothing better than a perfectly lit wood fire. But along with the cozy flames and the perfect scent come some considerations. 

Potential for smoke: If the flue does not open correctly or if there is a blockage within the chimney, you may find smoke coming into your room instead of out the flue.

Chimney maintenance: The wood you burn and the temperature of your fire determines how clean your chimney stays. At least annually, have your chimney professional swept to remove the buildup of creosote that can cause house fires.

Ashes: You will need a plan for disposing of the ashes once the fire is out.

Natural gas

A fireplace that burns natural gas can either be open or closed. An open hearth appears to be the same as a wood-burning fireplace and requires a chimney. These are called "vented" fireplaces. You can easily convert a wood-burning fireplace to a vented gas fireplace if you have access to a gas line. 

An enclosed gas fireplace is a “ventless” unit. These require more intensive construction but are great to give you the “look” of an open fire without access to the flames. These can either operate on natural gas or propane.

Gel system

A gel fireplace doesn't require specialized installation. Canned gel burns in a special unit that does not need ventilation. Often available in modern, minimalist designs, these fireplaces do not need access to gas lines or electricity. They can be installed anywhere on any wall.

Electric

Outside of the gel unit, the most effortless option to incorporate is an electric fireplace. Rather than flame, they use heated coils to provide warmth and a fan to project the air into the room. They often include flickering lights and simulated flames. Electric fireplaces require no vents and can install anywhere within proximity to an electrical outlet.

No matter which fireplace you select, take care to install it properly and operate it by the manufacturer's instructions. If a fireplace is an important feature to you, make sure your real estate agent knows it's on your "must-have" list.


A sunroom is an attached living area to your property; it’s a beautiful renovation tactic that’s guaranteed to increase the sales value of your home. A sunroom serves as an additional room to a house that’s made with glass to allow natural light to penetrate the home.

If you are considering renovating your home, consider adding a sunroom. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, it will provide your home; it's also a place you and your family would enjoy spending most of your time especially during the sunny months. Below are the benefits you would enjoy from adding a sunroom to your property.

Reduces Your Electricity Bill

Introducing sunroom into your home means you get to enjoy long hours of daylight from the comfort of your home. Prolonged and constant use of the sunroom would reduce your consumption of artificial lights thereby reducing your electricity bill. Even on cloudy days, the sunroom would have enough light to keep you going. 

Natural Sunlight

Watching the sun rise or set is a beautiful site that anyone would want to experience over again. With the sunroom, you do not have to worry about taking a peek at the sunlight from your window; the whole room gets enough sunshine. You can bask in the sun for as long as you like. On cold days, you can allow the heat of the sun to warm you up without having to step out of your home. 

Extra Legroom

Sunroom increases your home size, giving you more room space to spread out. If you feel as if your home is becoming too crowded for whatever reason, consider adding a sunroom to your home to provide more leg room. A sunroom can also serve as a private space for you, your guest and other family members that would prefer privacy. 

Additional Luxury

The added luxury that comes with owning a sunroom is almost sinful. If you have been in a place where luxury wasn’t your best friend, owning a sunroom on your property is a great way to indulge yourself while basking beneath the sun. You feel safe and at peace, because you are in the safety of your home. It’s a luxury that is certain to boost your real estate investment.

Put Into Practice Your Planting Skill

For individuals who are plant lovers, this is the perfect opportunity to indulge and perfect your planting skills at no expense to you. Your sunroom provides enough sunlight to keep your plants lush and green all year round at a controlled temperature. 

Increases Your Home Value

A sunroom is an investment that’s certain to pay off in the long run. If you sell your property, the sunroom will boost the sale value of your home by a significant amount. And if you remain, you continue to enjoy the luxury and comfort of the sunroom. 

Adding a sunroom to your property is an investment that will keep you happy for a long time.


Deciding on flooring for your home sounds boring. No one wants to research and compare all the different options, but the floors get used more than just about everything else in your home. So, spending some time looking into what flooring will be the best value for you is a wise investment of time. Get ready to take on an adventure of comparing and sorting through all the different flooring options in today’s market. 

No Flying Carpets Here

Carpeting may seem like a simple choice, when in fact there is a lot to consider when it comes to wall-to-wall carpeting. Determine where you would like to use carpet, and how much traffic there will be on a daily basis. Some types of carpeting such as loped Berber handle high traffic flow well. Carpet made from nylon, a man-made material, is excellent for heavy usage areas. Other carpet materials such as wool and olefin are also high traffic area carpet materials that give you a good value for your dollars spent. The straight cut pile and plush styles of carpeting are both softer then loop and are great for bedrooms and lighter traffic areas. 

Knock on Wood; or Something Like It

If you or your family member suffer from allergies carpeting may not be the best choice; in that case, you certainly may want to look into hardwood or engineered wood. Hardwood, as the name implies, is durable wood planks. This option comes in lots of color and shade choices but can be costly for larger projects. Hardwood is easy to clean and a substantial long-term investment. Engineered wood is a durable choice and a bit less expensive than hardwood. Moisture can cause hardwood to warp over time, whereas engineered wood can handle the humidity a bit better. 

Not Your Grandparent’s Laminate

Laminate flooring is the least expensive out of the above choices can also be advantageous to a household with allergies. Also, easily cleaned and maintained, but resistant to fading, laminate comes in a wide selection and design options. You can acquire a laminate that looks like hardwood or other higher-end flooring materials while keeping within a modest budget. With laminate materials you can be creative with color and patterns, adding a custom look to any room. 

Look through open houses in your area and see what kind of flooring choices others have used throughout their homes.




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