Enjoy the SCV Climate Year-round
September, 2011 - Issue #83
Plan Now for Four-season Fun
Mark Berrol, owner of MHB Landscape Construction, knows that there are few better places than Santa Clarita to call home. "We have such a nice climate with, usually, a short and mild winter. This is the kind of place where you can be outside enjoying your yard in every season." Of course, there are some improvements that can better make this plan a reality. Here are several ways to make your space a place for relaxation.

Get your Swim On
Mark wants to destroy one myth right now: Summer is not the best time to build a pool. In fact, says the pro, winter is often the best time to build so that your new relaxation-destination is 100-percent complete in time to enjoy a warm spring day poolside. The same goes for patio covers and the like. Start building these now; it will be next summer before you know it!

Solve Drain Issues Now
"Don't wait until it's raining cats and dogs to solve drain issues," says Berrol. Drains can be infiltrated with roots, dirt, silt and more. "Because drains are often 'out of sight, out of mind,' our phones ring off the hook when a heavy rain comes through. The problem is that, while we're happy to fix your drains any time, you might not notice an issue until water begins pouring into your home and destroying your carpet. In this case, prevention will save you an incredible amount of money and stress. Improvements can be as simple as flushing the drain and
performing small repairs. It's definitely worth it to get drains checked out now."

Create Smart Irrigation
A sprinkler tune up is a must to ensure that water is spraying your lawn instead of the sidewalk. But there are other advantages to fixing or replacing your sprinkler system that go beyond water conservation. For example, you'll save the wet stuff - and your sanity - by installing weather-sensitive watering systems. How many times have you run outside in a rainstorm to manually turn off your sprinkler system? Get drenched no more with programmable fixes that make watering brilliantly convenient.

Go Faux
If your sprinkler system needs to be entirely replaced - or requires major repairs - it may be financially prudent to ditch the sprinkler system all together and, instead, install artificial turf, says Berrol. "Some parts of the yard are just not ideal locations for sod," says Berrol, who recounts a client who resodded numerous times before determining that artificial turf would save him time, money and frustration in the long run.
MHB Landscape Construction; 297-5169

Be Safe Outside
Under California law, a homeowner is responsible for maintaining his or her home in such a way as to avoid injury to others. Some of the more common causes of injuries that occur at people's homes are loose, uneven or slippery walking surfaces; hidden holes in lawns; debris; dirt piles; jungle gym equipment and the like. Please remember that if young children are in the yard, supervision by an adult is a must. Tip courtesy of the Law Offices of Barry L. Edzant; 222-9929

Westfield Valencia Town Center takes Inspiration from SCV's Scenic Beauty
Westfield Valencia's stunning new outdoor oasis, known as the Shops at The Patios, has opened in sensational style. This intimate, upscale setting perfectly befits a most discerning and sophisticated clientele.

Taking inspiration from the Santa Clarita Valley's stunning scenic beauty, The Patios is punctuated by green landscapes, outdoor verandas, fountains, koi ponds, fire pits, organic materials, natural stone and sleek seating where visitors can revel in the setting's creative interplay between modern fashion and rustic simplicity.
Among the 40 new boutiques making their very first appearance in the local marketplace are brands like BCBG MAX AZRIA, Chico's, Michael Kors, Sephora, Soma, Swarovski, True Religion, White House | Black Market and Williams-Sonoma. New additions include Apple and Walking Co., with future months boasting the grand openings of Chronic Cantina, M. Fredric and Gymboree Music & Play.

Ask your Contractor to get Permits
by Scott Thompson
Anyone who's ever dealt with permits knows that the process can be tedious at best and maddening at worst. It's tempting, especially when working on ways to reduce costs, to attempt to get your remodel permit through the system yourself. And while some people have the time, skills and energy to pull off the permitting process without the slightest snare, that's an increased rarity in our multi-tasking, overworked society. A good contractor can usually expedite the permitting process because they have a great deal of practice in managing the system. The bonus is, while you'll have to pay your contractor for the time that he or she dedicates to prepping and filing your permit, the cost of the actual permit does not change. What does change is the likelihood that something may go wrong. Your trusted Realtor™ will be able to provide you with a referral to an experienced contractor and, further, will also be willing to chime in on the potential value-add (or deduction) of any remodel you hope to complete. Confidence in your Realtor™, your contractor and your plan will make the process a more pleasant one.
Scott Thompson is a broker and Realtor® with Regal Realty of California; 295-8715
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