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Category Archives: Homeowner

How To: Find Property Lines

For certain construction projects it is essential that the precise bonds between your property and your neighbors are determined. Unintentionally building an extension or fence in your neighbors yard may be very costly and damage good relationship with the folks next door. As the proverb says, "Good fences make good neighbors" and there are methods to figure out where the boundaries are. Some of those methods are low-cost, simple, and adequate to satisfy your concern. Others methods demand skills and will cost a fee and are most likely necessary for certain construction projects. Checking sidewalks and streetlights may provide you with visual clues of where the limits are. Visiting the municipal office that records plats, Local Zoning Department, will provide information on maps that show land division. For houses built more than 100 years ago it might be slightly different, but you can probably obtain a copy of your block and lot plat for a minimal fee. If you can retrace the original surveyor’s steps by locating the starting point, which will be labeled on the plat as either the “common point” or the “point of beginning”. With a long measuring tape, follow the plat, measuring your physical property for the exact dimensions of your lot. Your measurements should correspond with the ones on the plat. KEY TAKEAWAYS:
  • Visual clues are good indications of property lines, but if you intend to build or install something on your land, you’ll need additional verification.
  • Before you drive yourself too crazy with the metes and bounds survey, know that the only legally binding method to determine exact property lines is to have a professional survey.
  • If you don’t have a copy of your deed filed with your homeowner records, get one at the register of deeds office, often located within your county courthouse.
"The metes and bounds survey cites a starting point, located at one of corners of your property. From there, the survey will give you detailed directions and distances to help you locate the rest of the corners and boundary lines of your property. It’s similar to a connect-the-dots game, except you do it on foot, not on paper. You’ll need a long measuring tape, as well as a good quality directional compass, moving systematically from point to point." Original Source: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-find-property-lines/?

Quick Tips on Building Your House From Scratch

aadads Owning a house is every persons dream. This is one of the reasons why people wake up each day and work their tails off the rest of it. "Building your own house is a primal urge, one of those universal genetic drives like the need to provide for your family." -Kevin McCloud. Today, millions of families have decided that it is better to build their houses from scratch. Building the house of your dream has the potential to be easier than ever, particularly with so many developers offering a predefined set of floor plans and options. Building your own home gives you the flexibility to have things just the way you would like. Key Takeaways:
  • Plan ahead and execute thoroughly to avoid wasting your time, labor and skill.
  • Building a house from scratch can be dependent on your own skill level. Then it can be exhausting or satisfying or a little bit of both.
  • Research ahead. Learn from the experience of others.
You must honestly assess your skill level if you are to be successful.  Some things can be learned on the fly while others cannot. It’s also been a great cure for perfectionism. It’s impossible to hit every nail squarely, and it’s okay. It’s impossible to get every decision right, let alone control the decisions of inspectors and electricians and vendors, and it’s okay. It’s definitely not for everyone. There are a TON of aspects to building a house that are really not much fun at all, and that range from the simple pain of installing itchy insulation in the sticky summer heat to the equally painful task of navigating senseless bureaucracies.
Original Source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-design-and-or-build-your-own-house-from-scratch

Leaf Protection Confessions

I’ll be honest.  I used to be one of the biggest critics of leaf protection systems.  I thought that they were over-priced, ineffective, ugly, and completely superfluous. Until I bought my own home and cleaning the gutters became my responsibility. I live in a small home; however it’s surrounded by trees.  As pine needles, helicopters, leaves, walnuts, birds’ nests, tennis balls and all sorts of other interesting accessories collected in my gutters, it didn’t take long before they were full of water and overflowing with rancid, brown-colored ooze. So my Saturday would look a little something like this:  Haul the ladder out, strategically and carefully wrestle it around trees, shrubs, electrical meters, decks, and walkways,  begin removing a copious amount of black smelly gutter muck from the gutters and downspouts, and running a garden hose up the ladder to spray out as much of the debris as possible.  (By this time an audience of half a dozen or so neighborhood kids would be standing beneath my ladder, watching with particular interest).  By the end of the process, I’ve been dive bombed by angry, overly protective mother birds, nearly fallen off the ladder, and covered myself from head to toe in gutter muck.  (I suppose it is entertaining for the kids).  Now every time I reach for the ladder, I hear a neighbor kid yell, “HEY EVERYBODY, HE’S GETTING THE LADDER OUT!” It gets worse.  This is a process that requires constant attention throughout the year. To ensure that your gutters are draining properly, they need to be cleaned out on a consistent basis.  It doesn’t take but a handful of leaves (or 1 rogue tennis ball) to clog your downspout outlet.  One clogged outlet could result in a basement full of water or washed out landscaping. Turns out that leaf protection is quite functional and cost effective.  We offer a wide range of leaf protection products, all of them effective, affordable, and zero maintenance products. 6935265