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YOUR HOME   -   EXTERIOR LOOKS
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Plan now for four season fun in the SCV and a sneak peak at the design of the new Patios at Westfield Town Center!
The sound of water - tink, tink, tink - gently cascading around a bend. Birds chirping. You, lounging on a chaise that could pull double duty as a cloud, sipping your favorite beverage. It's 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, and you're in heaven. You're also in your own backyard.
Isn't it so much more fun to spend one's hard-earned cash on pretty things? I will choose new pillows over pipes any day. (Actually, that is what I did do, and it worked out great - until we had a pipe burst and drip plaster-tinged water all over the previously-mentioned pillows.) The moral of this cautionary tale? Home repairs might not be a glamorous use of funds, but it's a whole lot more attractive than sewage leaking into your home office (Yeah, that happened, too.). Let's get started!
Every parent has a "my kid did the funniest thing" moment. For Eric and me, ours usually begin with the phrase, "We were in the garden and..." There is the time that Olive, 2, couldn't detach a not-yet-ripe strawberry from the vine - so she bent down, stuck her head in the raised bed and gnawed it off at the stem. William, 4, and Kati, 11, once turned giant zucchini into makeshift swords. (We knew something was up when we heard Will yell out, "On guard!")
Are you Prepared for Theft, Fire, Earthquakes or Floods? Finally, there is a better, more efficient way for people to inventory their household assets. Now, when an emergency happens, you can expedite the reporting of your loss or damage to the police and insurance company.
Yes, it gets cold in the SCV. But even on the chilliest days, the weather is more than accommodating for backyard relaxation when you plan ahead.
No snooty "better homes" magazine is going to tell me that it's time to say "See ya!" to my backyard because the calendar has announced the near arrival of fall. I'm a California girl and I'm just getting started, Baby. Join me in making our exterior escape a year-round paradise (on the cheap, no less...).
Local experts answer your questions about making your backyard the perfect place for a "stay-cation".
Your home's value might be in the gutter, but that shouldn't mean that your rain gutter goes into disrepair. The old adage, "What goes up must come down," surely is inversely true when it comes to SCV housing. As you wait to see home values climb again, don't put off pragmatically (or aesthetically) necessary improvements. Because while your home may only be a good investment some of the time, it's the place you live all of the time.
When it comes to landscaping, getting the biggest "bang for your buck" means choosing the right changes to your yard. Recently, I met with a customer who was considering some changes to her space. She wanted to add some brick ribbons to her existing concrete, plus build some planters here and there.
Green Thumb Garden Center was started in 1946 by Dale Bergquist, who was followed in the business by his brothers Max and Bob. Bergquist family members are still involved in the running of the seven stores. Green Thumb Nursery in Newhall opened in 1970.
Classic Comfort, Rain or Shine
Santa Clarita's most popular deep-seating outdoor furniture set is made by Hanamint, a company known for its innovative craftsmanship. Customize your set with a wide array of cushions; there's a design available for every taste.
"Curb appeal" is the good impression or feeling made when looking at a home from the curb to the front door. It is taking the best exterior feature of the house or yard and enhancing it to the fullest potential. Believe it or not, it can be one of the most important factors to home buyers and many will choose not to view the inside of a home if the outside does not look up to par.
It's no secret that the garden can be a PLACE OF SOLACE, but there's much more than meets the eye. Fill your space with accessories that do more than decorate for a truly existential experience.
As boundaries between indoor and outdoor living areas continue to blur and the outdoor room concept grows, it's no wonder the realm of fabric choices offered to consumers has become increasingly sophisticated. You need to be picky when choosing your new cushions or umbrella to ensure it will hold up in our warm climate. Choosing the wrong material will be a costly mistake; your bright red umbrella will be a pale shade of its former self in a couple months.
Problem #1: You Need More Space but don't want to Move
Solution: by Greg Aliano of Top Construction 775-9945
When deciding between entering a struggling housing market or upgrading their existing home to work better for their family, many homeowners are selecting the second option. In these cases, "add ons" often are the solution.
Few people can muster much excitement about the process of home improvement. Images of plans, contractors, dust, hundreds of fabric swatches and new furniture dizzily circle through our heads when confronted with the potential task of revitalizing our space. Combine that potential stress with work, kids and "life" and it's no wonder why so many put off the task all together.
We live in an area where wildfires are simply a seasonal fact of life. Every year we hear about how we should do something to keep our homes safe, but it's so easy to let it slip down on the list of priorities. This year there was no avoiding the impact of those fires. Admittedly these extraordinary wind-driven fires overrode even some well-cleared areas. Sometimes, even the best preparation is not enough. But the fire department confirms that your chances of safely surviving a fire season by simply clearing brush and keeping to wise, fire-resistant planting can, indeed, tip the odds hugely in your favor. And there's another factor to consider: you can actually create a fire-resistant garden in any style that is just as beautiful as a non-resistant garden!
When's the last time your backyard party concluded with a fireworks show? If you're Marisa Robbins, you're answer would represent pretty outstanding frequency. After all, Robbins Westridge home, conveniently located on a view lot on a quiet cul de sac, provides VIP seating to Magic Mountain's nightly summer fireworks display.
If you are one of the thousands of SCV residents taking off for a night or a month away this summer, take heart - Santa Clarita residents enjoy crime rates that are well below the national average, meaning that your home and belongings are probably safe while you are gone. According to FBI statistics from 2003, the City of Santa Clarita experienced a total of 681 burglaries and 2,003 larceny or theft claims in a year.
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