First Things First

When remodeling your home, the yard is oftentimes left for last. Usually, major
room renovations like kitchens and bathrooms get addressed first, while the exterior of
the house goes neglected. Ironically, although the yard can be the most visually striking
part of the home’s appearance, most people often don’t realize the extent of attention it
actually requires.

It’s important to make sure the outside of your home is visually appealing
because it will be the first thing that prospective buyers see. If, before buyers even enter
your home, your yard is in disrepair, and your trees are overgrown and unkempt, why
would they want to come inside?

Once you’ve realized how important it is to care for the trees in your yard, there
are multiple aspects to consider.

The Difference Between Pruning and Trimming:

● Pruning ensures the protection of the tree.
● Trimming helps the tree grow in the perfect shape.
Reasons to Care for Trees:
● Appearance: Trimming and caring for your trees will improve their visual
appearance. In turn, this will make your house appear well-cared for and
therefore valuable and aesthetically pleasing.
● Health: This ties in with the appearance. Trimming and pruning trees help them
grow healthy, strong, and fruitful and produces trees that bring a lively aspect to
any home.
● Safety: A tree with branches that need to be pruned can lose its branches at any
time. There’s nothing like getting hit on the head by a branch when you’re house
shopping to seal the deal!
Tree Care:
● Trimming: Most trees need to be trimmed regularly in order to retain healthy and
vibrant foliage. Trees need to have their leaves and branches trimmed so they
can grow in a neat and clean shape.
● Pruning: Tree branches need to be pruned or removed so that light and rain can
reach the tree. Additionally, pruning removes dead branches from the tree that
can fall and cause accidents.
● Sickness: Spottiness, yellow leaves, and dead branches can indicate disease.
Most tree diseases can be simply rectified through the implementation of regular
tree care.
More specifically, there are nuances of tree trimming important to consider when
beginning to take care of your trees. It’s great to finally start caring for them—but to
incorrectly care for a tree is just as bad as not caring for it at all!
Important Things to Remember:
● Timing: There are certain times when it’s better to trim trees. The best time to
prune or trim is during dormancy—the winter time. The worst time to prune or
trim is in Autumn when trees heal slower from wounds and decay fungi is
● Repetition: Tree trimming services should be performed twice a year and pruning
should be annual.

Don’t let unkempt trees be the reason your house doesn’t sell. Start caring for
your trees today!

Home Improvement Tasks

As if owning a home is not a challenge enough, we’d like to introduce you to all the areas where you may want to turn your attention.

Many times, just one task on your “honey do” or “to do” list can be daunting, but just imagine if you had to look at every nook and cranny of your home.

This list is fairly comprehensive but there are always more, or less, depending  on your geographical location.

But here it is:

Air Duct Cleaning
Alarm & Security Company
Appliance repair & maintenance
Appliance installation
Artificial turf/grass installation
Aquarium Installation & Cleaning
Asbestos Inspection
Awnings & Canopies
Bath Tub & Sink Repair
Bathroom Fixtures & Accessories
Bathroom Remodeling, Tub and Shower
Bee Removal
Blind Cleaning & Installation
Bottled Water Delivery & Filtration
Cabinetry Manufacturer & Installation
Cabinetry Refinishing & Repair
Canvas & Awning Repair & Installation
Carpet Cleaning
Ceiling Contractors
Ceramic Tiles Contractors
Chimney Cleaning & Inspection
Closet Remodeling & Organization
Concrete Installation, Repair, Maintenance
Concrete Sawing & Removal
Construction companies
Construction Clean Up Services
Countertop Installation, Repair
Curtain Installation, Repair & Cleaning
Deck Building
Deck Repair, Sealing & Staining
Demolition Services
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Drywall Installation, Repair, Texturing
Dockage Repair & Installation
Door Repair & Door Sales
Driveway Clean & Seal
Dry Wall Contractors
Fencing Installation/Gate Repairs
Flood water restoration/repair
Floor Polishing & restoration
Flooring Supplies & Installation
Furniture Upholsery & Restoration
Foundation repair
Garage Door Repair & Service
Gazebo Building
General Contractor
Glass Installation (Mobile)
Golf Cart Rental & Repair
Gutter cleaning & replacement
Home Builders
Home Cleaning/ Maid Service
Home Inspections & Appraisal
Home Remodeling
Home Theater Systems
House cleaners/Maid Service
House painting
Home Staging
Hurricane Shutters Installation, Repair
Impact Windows
Interior Design & Remodeling
Junk Removal
Kitchen Remodeling
Landscaping/Lawn Care
Locksmith- 24 Hour Service
Luxury Landscaping
Marble Restoration
Outdoor Gazebos, Kitchen and Remodels
Pavers/Driveways & Pool Decks
Pest control & Exterminators
Pigeon control
Plumbers 24 hour service, broken pipes
Pool Care & Cleaning
Pool Deck Repair & Resurfacing
Pool Fencing
Pool & Spa Construction &Installation
Pool Leak Detection
Popcorn Texture-Ceiling Removal
Pressure Cleaning
Roof repair & Replacement, installation
Security Systems & Consultants
Solar Panel Installation
Spa Sales
Stump grinding & removal
Television Mounting
Tiki Huts
Tree Care
Water Damage, Mold & Fire Restoration
Water Leak Detection
Water softener
Wheelchair Ramp Installation & Repair
Window Installation
Window Tinting

These are just some of the areas where homeowners have to look to make sure their home is up to speed and safe in all these areas.

Feel free to use this list in your own home or add some new ones in the comments section.

Home Safety

One of the biggest concerns of homeowners is knowing when to address certain safety issues in the home.

One such issue is electricity.

It can be a killer especially when you have curious little children with exposed electrical sockets and outlets.

There are basic things every homeowner can do to protect themselves and their families such as childproofing the outlets with plastic inserts.

But what about the bigger issues such as faulty wiring, old, brittle wires, exposed electrical wires and outdated standards?

These can all be handled by a qualified electrical contractor in your area. We suggest that if you are concerned about electrical safety in your home that you contact a reputable electrician today.


Home Safety and Real Estate

Preparing your home for a quick sale can be a daunting task. But one of the most overlooked issues when it comes to doing this is home safety.

Safety in your home is often overlooked

When you are getting ready to put your home on the market, entertain potential buyers and have foot traffic moving in, our and around your property, you want to make sure that is it s a safe area for people to be.

Whether is be the outdoor structures such as the garage door, fencing, trees, gutters, swimming pool, telephone and television wires or your entire electrical “grid”, these are all things that need to be observed, evaluated and considered for repair or removal.

Many potential buyers will pass on a property that looks poorly maintained or has potential safety issues that need to be addressed. Oftentimes, these issues have been present for the homeowners and they simply do not see them as obvious concerns to a possible buyer. We get into our daily routines and the obvious becomes just a  part of the normal day to day life in our home.

For this reason, and the safety of all involved, we recommend proper home inspections by certified and experienced inspection companies who have a great reputation. As always we suggest doing your research and checking reviews of potential companies you may hire.

Every city has a company that provides home inspections and appraisals for people interested in selling their home. In the event that you are not selling your home and wish to have someone come in an assess possible dangerous issues that may arise, we recommend first starting with a pool inspector if you have one as pool are a leading cause of accidents and concerns among parents. There can be many issues lurking that you may not even be aware of.

A second point of concern should be the surfaces of your home including the garage, sidewalks, steps, flooring, stairs, etc. All the surfaces in which your family, visitors and potential buyers may walk can be area that need further attention in terms of safety. Some of these surfaces may need to be cleaned, replaced  or resurfaced due to normal wear and tear. A slip and fall by a guest can not only mean no sale for your home but a potential lawsuit. No, we’re not kidding.

In addition, a third area of concern is the electrical system of your home including inside and outside wiring. This is a potential silent killer as electrical issues can lead to electrocution, shock, and worst of all fires. For example, much of the wiring in older homes can be outdated and not up to code. This needs to be addressed and fixed as soon as possible.

For example, prior to selling a home we previously had, we noticed lights and outlets not working on a regular basis. Prior to selling we called an electrician in Fort Lauderdale to address this concern as well as do a complete safety check in our home. The end result was the replacement of much of the internal wiring, fixtures and outlets to meet the current safety standards by a local electrical contractor that you can visit here. The cost was well worth it as this could have killed the potential sale of the property.

We hope these tips help you prepare your home for sale as many of these issues can go without being repaired otherwise. One final note, when you are looking at a potential new home, take into account all these issues that could be present in your new home ad have them fixed prior to closing on a sale. Safety goes both ways as a selling and as a buyer.

Avoiding Bad Contractors

A dear friend recently had a horrible experience with a flooring contractor who was recommended by another friend of ours.

Referrals in the home services industry are much like getting dating advice from your Aunt Martha; you want to listen but know you’re going down a slippery slope that could end in bliss or disaster. This particular recommendation ended in disaster.

Fort that reason, we wanted to write quick article once again to help readers vet possible contractors properly. In the above scenario, the friend was given the referral and because it was from a trusted person, failed to do their homework and they paid dearly for it.

Some of the easiest and BEST ways to vet a local contractor are:

1) Google search

2) Better Business Bureau

3) Yelp

4) Google reviews

5) Angie’s list

6) Thumbtack

7) Bing search

8) Ask for past project photos

Taking these basic steps and doing a little bit of research can help avoid disasters like this one.

Take the time to vet EVERY contractor that steps foot in your house. A simple Google search would have provided plenty of ammo to “just say no” in this case and avoided a lot of headaches.

Best of luck!



Curb Appeal

We’ve all heard it a million times; “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. This statement has never been as relevant as it is with your home.

The first impression that is seen and felt about your property is first experienced at the curb; or directly in front of your home or property. This lasting impression can never be overlooked or underestimated. Nor can it be duplicated.

Curb appeal is so important that they made a show about it and it is never more important today; especially if you are looking to sell your property. We deal with hundreds of service companies and unfortunately, some should stay out of the service business, while there are others that are top notch and worthy of our praise.

Curb appeal refers that first impression that is left with the visitor to your home; whether it be a guest or prospective buyer. This lasting impression is left by the layout of your home; the landscaping, the paint, the roof, the fixtures and decor and oftentimes most lasting; the driveway, walkways, entrance ways, patio, pool deck and outdoor kitchen.

All of those areas need to be evaluated, planned, designed and completed by a professional landscape and brick and concrete paver professional who knows, understands and has experience in many different types of homes and how to best bring out that beautiful curb appeal. Fortunately for the homeowner, today’s online world is filled with companies and services to investigate their professionalism and aptitude; not to mention numerous fresh reviews served up at the click of your mouse. It is worth noting here, that we recommend looking for companies with numerous, recent reviews. Any company can get a few reviews from happy clients, but it is the service with the most reviews over the long haul, that are also recent, that carries the most weight. Don’t be afraid if a company has a couple bad reviews. Sometimes this happens and can also be the fault of the customer. In fact, we suggest you ask the potential company about the review and get their version of things. There are always two sides to every story so get their account of what happened.

In every city, you will find various companies that do “curb appeal” type of work, from basic lawn care and landscaping companies to higher end design firms that specialize in outdoor areas. The challenge for whoever you choose is to coordinate the entire scope of the project and the property so that the finished product flows together into an unforgettable, and gorgeous property.

The challenge of the homeowner or business owner is to know what they want and then find the best paver contractor to perform the work on time, on budget and in a manner that pleases the client. Many firms are a one stop shop in terms of design, installation, maintenance and service while others, like a lawn irrigation company, only perform one aspect of the job. We recommend finding a company that can do it all and get your project from”A-Z’ without the hassle of calling multiple companies to deal with. We have found companies that will do your driveway pavers and are also extremely skilled at completing that outdoor kitchen that you’ve dreamed about.

One such company is owned by a close friend of mine who specializes in driveway pavers in Fort Lauderdale. They are a one-stop shop for homeowners who want to address multiple needs on their property and are looking for one single, trustworthy company.

As we’ve mentioned, there are many facets of an entire paver design, installation and service project and finding the right partner to do the work is the challenging beginning. We suggest talking to neighbors and friends as well as looking at website/apps such as the following to find the right company:

  1. Home Advisor
  2. Thumbtack
  3. Nextdoor
  4. Angie’s List
  5. Twitter
  6. Best Pick Reports
  7. Put up a Facebook post asking for a recommendation
  8. Search Google in your local area


Once you decide on the right company to partner with, it’s important to ask many questions in terms of:

  1. How the process works?
  2. What is their warrant?
  3. What the exact costs will be?
  4. How long will the project take?
  5. Do they hire subcontractors or do all the work themselves?
  6. What are any potential concerns?
  7. Where can you cut or eliminate expenditures?
  8. How payment is handled?

These are just a few of the questions that need to be asked and many more will be revealed as the process moves along. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you see something that doesn’t look right, by all means, let the project supervisor or company owner know right way. Sometimes small mistakes or deviations from the plans can turn into huge issues or things that cannot be undone later on.

We hope this brief overview of paver installation and how it can have a big impact on your curb appeal was helpful and we wish you the best of luck on your project.

Post Script: We want to thank my friend at Fort Lauderdale Pavers who contacted me after this posting. We referenced his company in this article as we know they do fantastic work. There business has been booming and your feedback has helped them improve their services and customer service even more.


Power Your Appeal, Already From The Outside.

Reduce Elements.

Get rid of any decorative objects you have, for less is more, and it will give your visitors the opportunity to imagine the room as they would like it, and not how you wanted it.

Hide figurines, posters, old newspapers, clothes, etc., etc. and leaves only some decorative elements of the trend (a good art or decoration magazine, or a photography book, will give you the touch of sufficient tendency).

Neutralize the style of your home.

As we anticipated you, it is about making your current home look like your future home. That is why you have to remove personal things, such as family photos, vacations, religious pieces, very personal accessories, fridge magnets, etc.

Eliminate large furniture.

Not only do they reduce the spatial perception of the rooms, making them look smaller. Also, they will make your potential buyer believe that each room has less decorative possibilities than it has. Substitute large furniture for other small, to give a sense of spaciousness.