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Update Your Welcome

by guest author Shawna Feeley

As the adage goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is something I learned from either a dandruff commercial or my Nana Ruth, (both, I think), but the message is sound.  Take a good look at your front door and see if you are maximizing your ability to wow and welcome your guests.  With new door paint, plants, container gardens, doormats, house numbers, wreaths and door knockers, there are many ways to spruce up your curb appeal.

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HomeSquare’s Summer BBQ Safety Guide

safety important when grilling, as shown in this photo of man charcoal grillingIt’s that time of year again – time to break out the patio furniture and toss some hamburgers and fresh veggies on the grill!

Grilling is an extremely popular pastime, with about 75 percent of households owning at least one charcoal or gas grill. But before igniting the coals or the burners, it’s important to refresh your memory regarding proper cleaning, grill prep and usage so your dinner doesn’t turn into a charred mess – or a painful lesson in fire safety.

Food certainly tastes great cooked over a smoky grill, but working with open fire invites some risk. Grilling causes nearly 9,000 home fires each year, accidents that occur most often during the peak grilling season in July. Grill accidents cause $118 million in property damage every year and send 16,600 people to the emergency room, more than half of those for burns.

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Deck staining, painting, and sealing: oh my!

clean wooden stained deck with attached pergolaThe winter months aren’t kind to your home. Heavy snow, harsh ice, strong winds and bitter temperatures can be particularly rough, cosmetically and structurally.

Of all the parts of your home that are regularly exposed to the elements, your deck is one of the most vulnerable. It’s not just about the deck staining or paint fading over time — cold weather can worsen existing problems, wood rot can crop up if the water protection wears off, and in extreme cases, the beams can warp.

Thankfully, you don’t need to think about old man winter for several months. Spring is here, the sunshine is pouring down, and if you’re anything like us, you’re itching to spend longer hours outside in warm, breezy weather. The deck, of course, is the perfect place to host a party, eat dinner, or just relax and read a favorite book.

But before you head out, it pays to take a closer look at your deck. If it’s not quite ready for its summer debut, read on to find out what your options are for a “facelift” and to learn about other deck repair services you may need during a regular deck check.

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Why do I need gutter cleaning services?

overflowing gutters rain water pouring off roofGutters tend to be out of sight and out of mind – until they stop working how they’re supposed to.

As rain flows down the slope of the roof, it takes leaves, sticks and other debris along with it. This junk and sediment ends up sitting in the gutter – the gallons upon gallons of water flowing off the roof isn’t strong enough to push the mounds of wet leaves through and out of the gutter system. Improper drainage isn’t the only problem, either — backup could become so intrusive that it could cause roof-damaging rot.

Fortunately, regular maintenance and care, starting with a thorough gutter cleaning every spring and fall, can keep your gutters working and your roof in good shape!

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Wanna Hang Out? Yes Please!

hanging sofa on house porchBy guest author Shawna Feeley

I bought a hanging chair with a stand last year in the hopes of recreating a moment from an amazing Costa Rican vacation house.  The stand was very cumbersome and swinging from the stand did not have the appeal I was hoping for.  I decided this spring that it had to be hung properly, from my porch ceiling, and that, my friend, has made all the difference.  The waterfall sounds more soothing and the moss is a bit greener in my neck of the woods.  Hanging swings, sofas, beds and lounge chairs are a great way to add a vacation feel to your home. Here are some of my favorite pins.

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