Our Bees are in danger, want to know what you can do to help?
Put up a mason bee house! Mason bee houses need to be maintained and cared for in order for them to actually work, so here is some information on how to host mason bees properly.
Mason bees are solitary bees that are busiest in early spring, pollinating early blooming fruit trees and ornamental plants. At the beginning of spring bees wake up and start mating and need a place for a nesting spot, which could be your mason bee nesting house!
The female bee gathers pollen from flowers, and brings it back to the nest hole, lays her eggs and then plugs the hole with mud. She does this until the chamber is full of egg cocoons. A mason bee can lay around one to two eggs per day for four to six weeks.
Pick the right type of house:
- Do not pick a house with plastic or bamboo tubes(they do not let enough moisture escape)
- Nesting holes should be within 4-10 mm in size and about 6 inches long
- Do not hang (the wind could rock the eggs to death)
- Choose a moderate size house- not too large (mason bees are solitary)
Here is a bee house that meets the criteria
How to place your bee house:
- Put it out in early March
- Mount on South side of a building for the morning warmth of the sun
- Place in a spot protected from the weather
- If there is no mud in your yard, add a pile of mud close by
Maintenance of bee house:
- Once all the holes are plugged with mud, place a mesh bag over the house so that birds do not eat the cocoons
- Take mesh bag off of the bee house in early spring when they start to emerge
- After a couple years throw out or clean and replace tubes (mites and mold cause egg death)
Call me if you have any questions or share with me your bee houses when you put them up! They are also great gifts if you want to buy the house, the mesh bag and I can give you a word document with care instructions if you want one, just let me know!
January is National Radon Awareness Month
What is Radon?
Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless radioactive gas. There is no way of knowing if a building has radon, or what volume of radon inside of it without testing for the gas.
When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer.
Nearly one in every 15 homes in the United States has elevated levels of radon, based on E.P.A. standards.
Radon tends to seep up from the ground into basements, crawl spaces, and under concrete slabs. Once in these the radon then passes upwards and through the floors and walls into the building itself. Once inside these areas radon can become even more concentrated, or even trapped in there. Then the radon passes upwards through the floors and walls into the building itself.
Even if you have tested for radon before, you should periodically test for radon.
Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. You can fix a radon problem if you find that you have high radon levels.
I will deliver a FREE radon test to the first 30 people to message me!
Let’s prevent lung cancer together!
Rick and Sara
Let me know if you want to list or buy a property, now is the time to do it!
There have been significant drops in mortgage rates over the last couple of months. Are you thinking about purchasing in the next couple of years? I would seriously consider doing it sooner than later. Windermere’s economist Matthew Gardner predicts that interest rates won’t be dipping this low again. This low of interest rates dramatically affects your monthly mortgage amount. With interest rates this low you can be eligible to buy possibly significantly higher dollar amount than what you think you can afford right now. Let me know if you want to look into what you qualify for and what your monthly mortgage amounts could be.
Here is a quick video about predictions for interest rates in the next year.
Summer is a great time to catch up on a few home maintenance tasks. When you maintain your house regularly this helps prevent big problems in the future as well as save you money!
Easy Summer house maintenance tasks:
- Clean roof if needed:
Clean roof by spraying moss and algae killer on the roof and then in a couple of days spraying off the moss with a hose. NEVER PRESSURE WASH A ROOF! (Don’t forget to clean the gutters after this)
- Use pressure washer to remove moss from sidewalks, driveways, decks, patios:
If you do not own one, borrow from a neighbor or rent one from local hardware store
- Have furnace serviced
Summer is cheapest time of the year to get your furnace maintained and you know it will be ready when the time comes to use it!
- Inspect for plants and bushes on fences and siding of house
Stake or tie back plants away from house and fences to prevent rot- this little task can save LOTS of money and headache in the future
- Seal your deck if needed
Spray water over your deck- if it beads the sealer is sound. If the water soaks in- it needs to be re-sealed. Sealing a deck and fence increases the longevity by protecting it from sun and water
Let me know if you want monthly tips on how to maintain and update your home and we can add you to our list to receive our Home Update Brochure!
The kitchen is the room in the house that most home owners would choose to remodel if they could, I am going to give you some tips on kick starting a kitchen remodel!
- Gather your thoughts: look on pinterest, houzze and magazines to get ideas
- Ask your self what you want out of your new kitchen: Do you want to serve meals in the kitchen?, Do you want to have an island? Where do you want to store things to maximize efficiency?
- Make a list of desired features from the answers
- Determine a budget: replacing cabinets is usually 40% of the budget (refacing is a less expensive alternative), make sure you can afford the kitchen you want, or make adjustments
- Find a contractor: Let me know and I can help you find ones!
- Prepare a temporary kitchen: use camping gear or use a utility sink
A client of mine (who happens to also be my daughter 😉) just recently updated her kitchen and used these steps:
- List of desired features: One big sink, garbage pull out, open up kitchen nook so that it could accommodate more people for entertaining, more storage space for kitchen appliances, display glassware, canned lights
- Determine Budget: $13,000 (this is an extremely small budget; average cost of kitchen remodel is $23,000 – $70,000)
- Find a contractor: Father in law who happens to be free! Therefore, being able to keep the budget
- Prepare a temporary kitchen: My daughter borrowed a RV and parked it in front of the house! This also allowed her to hang out in a separate space than the crazy construction zone that a house is in when a remodel is going on!
Here are a couple of before, during and near completion pics:
Cabinets from Lowes- had to make adjustments on cabinetry due to costs, but they turned out still loving them!
Countertops from Home Depot- they were having a 20% off promotion and this also included the sink. Precision countertops installed them, and they did a great job!
Tile from Home depot
Knobs from Target and Amazon: Love the look of the copper accents!
Kitchen near completion and clients couldn’t be happier!
Let me know if you would like more tips on kitchen remodels as well or a monthly newsletter with tips on how to update your home and ideas on how to increase value on your home.
See you next month on how to make easy updates to your house for guests that have access issues.
Spring is here- Selling and buying are trending up, contact me if you want specific information about YOU or YOUR home!