Tag: Exterior Maintenance

Curb Appeal. It’s ‘For You’, not just ‘For Sale’!

Curb Appeal. It’s ‘For You’, not just ‘For Sale’!

You hear so much about curb appeal in today’s world of home staging, a slower real estate market, and of course, on every social media and home improvement channel going! Don’t get me wrong, curb appeal is an absolute must if you are selling, but…

A Mini Porch Repair… Curb Appeal Love!

A Mini Porch Repair… Curb Appeal Love!

Not sure if you remember, but back when I shared our DIY BBQ Pad project I mentioned another project that was on our ‘to do’ list. A little porch repair… We had to wait out the weather (like 3 months worth of waiting!) before we could…

Rain Chains… More than Just Curb Appeal

Rain Chains… More than Just Curb Appeal

The weather is shifting and with that comes the need to pay close attention to your exterior maintenance and curb appeal. Are your gutters clean and running freely, and where is all that water going? Have you considered implementing a rain barrel (like I wrote about here)? And do you know about rain chains?

Rain chains? Pardon?

Rain chains are an ancient Japanese form of a down spout. The chain, sometimes linked with cups, hangs straight down from the corner of the eves and acts like a funnel for rain water . In Japanese they are referred to as “kusari doi” 鎖樋, which literally means “chain gutter.”

Here you see rain chains that are made up of linked cups.

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The cups are open on the bottom, which allows the water to flow through freely while being channelled at the same time.

And here you see just a simple double linked chain. Links like this are closest to the original form…

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One thing to note, chains tend to splash more than cups, but the downward channelling is still extremely effective. Isn’t a rain chain a beautiful thing? It’s such a great looking alternative to conventional down spouts.

Rain chains are typically made of copper, which allows them to age and patina gracefully.

Like this antique tulip cup rain chain.

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A little trivia on the side. Did you know that copper is the worlds most reusable resource, and because of that it also has the highest recycling rate of any other engineering material?

That’s an aside, but on the note of being environmentally conscious, did you know that rain chains tend to encourage water collection? They are often integrated into exterior vignettes where the chain falls down into a decorative container or area.

Like a rain barrel

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Or a water garden…

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Or a basin immersed in a beautiful garden…

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Basins are great because they not only catch water, but can be tipped and tilted to strategically direct the overflow.

Like this basin here.

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This is also a great example of a rain chain and basin fusion with a rain garden.

A rain garden is a planted or stone-covered bed that is designed for water to be slowly absorbed into the soil and help mitigate the effects of water run-off.

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Here you see another variation of a rain garden.

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This close-up shows the surface area of a miniature underground well that has been filled with river rock for drainage.

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It also demonstrates another valuable technique, anchoring the rain chain to prevent it from swaying in the wind, which of course also keeps the water channelled where it’s supposed to go!

 Rain chains come in many shapes and lengths. Here are a few of my favourites.

I couldn’t resist starting with this shiny new copper umbrella rain chain!

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It won’t stay this shiny for long, but to me that’s not a bad thing.

Because here you have an inverted umbrella that has started to dull down, and I think it looks more natural this way.

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Did you notice that the inverted umbrellas actually become rain cups on the chain?

Aren’t they great?

This honey bee rain chain made me think of Young House Love.

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Their thing is bees, and they are one of my favorite go-to blogs. Have you read their blog?

And these next ones are just a few random shapes in rain chains that appeal to me…

Like these double linked circles.

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These double linked diamonds.

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And these double linked tear drops.

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There’s definitely no crying in the rain if you own a rain chain!

And just in case you’re not convinced a rain chain is the thing for you or your curb appeal…

Would this rain chain fountain help you change your mind?

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I love this feature! And it would be so easy to make.

Do you have a rain chain in lieu of a traditional down spout? If not, would you consider hanging one???

Related Posts You Might Like To Read

Turning Rain Barrels into Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal: Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

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Landscaping Day 2 & 3: The End!

Landscaping Day 2 & 3: The End!

I promised to bring you day 2 of the landscaping saga, but I didn’t bank (literally) on a day 3 as well! But before I could get down to this day of weeding I went and bought a new pair of gloves. Leather work gloves.…

Landscaping… I’m Not Gonna Lie!

Landscaping… I’m Not Gonna Lie!

Okay, here’s the thing. Moving is exciting, and great, and all of those positive things. But when you inherit this… I’m not gonna lie… it helps you stand out on the block, and I don’t mean in a good way! Luckily we were approached and…

Staged Home: Sale Makes the Vancouver Sun!

Staged Home: Sale Makes the Vancouver Sun!

A property I staged in North Vancouver has made the Vancouver Sun!

This is the actual page from the paper… the on-line version doesn’t include the photographs, so I have red-circled the Berkley property. To read the article, click here.

Source: Vancouver Sun Section H2, June 4, 2011

The gist of the article is really about how the sellers did ‘everything right’ when adding appeal and value to their investment. The write-up doesn’t go into the staging aspect of the sale, but has a breakdown of the property’s appraised value, the listing price, and its selling price… over asking! Definitely worth the read. So I’m expanding on what the sellers did right in terms of actually preparing their property for sale beyond the renos and upgrades the article references.

Based on the initial staging consultation and my clients’ subsequent follow-through, there is no doubt they upped the ante for their property. And their follow-through definitely made my job to stage a lot easier. As they say, it’s all in the details, and my clients ‘got’ that completely.

Here is a close-up of the entrance you see in the photo red-circled above.

SZInteriors Photo

And here is a list of what was done to the main entrance to maximize its curb appeal:

  • Soffits, trim and walls – repainted
  • Gutters cleaned
  • Bench – scrubbed down
  • Hose reel & hose – removed (was mounted to end wall behind bench)
  • Exposed Aggregate – powerwashed
  • Planters – repainted and potted up with new plants
  • Doorbell – painted black (brass was pitted from weather exposure, and beyond shining up)
  • Light fixture – new (replaced dated and weathered brass fixture with one to match rest of exterior fixtures)
  • Door mat – new (replaced undersized, well-worn mat with a quality mat made of natural fibres)
  • Windows – washed
  • Brown railing above entry – repainted
  • Stucco wall behind railing – repainted (bottom of wall was stained from weather)

Remember, we’re only at the main entrance! But this area is critical to creating a lasting first impression.

I won’t go into all the intricate details of the staging, but this is a great example of what it takes to go from listed to this:

SZInteriors Photo

Did I mention the garage doors were repainted? And that all the windows were professionally cleaned? Oh, the fascia was touched up too! But one of the best business decisions my clients’ made was to replace the roof. It was showing some wear, however they could have opted to leave it alone since it wasn’t leaking. A professional inspection determined the roof was reaching the end of it’s lifespan, and with that my clients wasted no time in having this potential negotiating item taken off the table. A new roof after all is a selling feature!

Are you curious about what else was done to prepare this property for sale? We haven’t even gotten to the back yard, or the deck, or the garden shed, or the fence… oh, and then there’s the inside too! Have you read the article yet? Remember, these sellers did everything right!

It’s about selling your property. From coaching you through the pre-listing process to staging your property, when we’re finished you’ll be ready to list… Make the biggest impact by contacting me first. Creating a welcome home feeling is our goal; showcasing your investment is what we do!

Related Posts You Might Like To Read

Staging: To Paint or Not To Paint?

Listing Photographs: What Would You Do?

First Steps to Selling Your Home

Curb Appeal: What to Do About That Picture!

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Volunteering With Colour!

Volunteering With Colour!

My Dad is active in the local golf club, and recently helped oversee some maintenance and upgrades to the clubhouse. Like a new roof, re-routing some electrical, replacing the main door and mesh over the windows, ordering replacement signs… AND new colours were selected for…

Turning Rain Barrels Into Curb Appeal!

Turning Rain Barrels Into Curb Appeal!

I’ve read so many posts, tweets, and Facebook comments on our extended ‘wet’ season, and have certainly contributed to them myself, that I thought it was time for a positive twist on our rain situation. Rain barrels. Eco friendly, practical, technology old as the hills……

Curb Appeal: To Clean or Not To Clean Your Siding

Curb Appeal: To Clean or Not To Clean Your Siding

I was going to leave curb appeal alone for a while, but with all this incessant rain we’ve been getting, I thought maybe now would be a good time to talk siding, vinyl siding.

With the rain comes dirt, grime, and eventually an algae build-up if routine cleaning is let go. This is what you will encounter after a wet season (or two) like the one we’re currently experiencing…

Do you see the build-up of dirt the higher up the wall you go? The best way to tackle this grime is with a cloth or soft bristled brush and warm water. See here for full details on how to clean, and what to clean with. Pay special attention to the pressure washing information. Sure, it’s easy to pressure wash compared to scrubbing the siding yourself, but if you’re not careful you can do more damage than good, so these tips and suggestions are definitely worth heeding.

If you decide to opt out of routine cleaning, here is what the build-up will eventually look like…

Can you see the green coating of algae? The seasonal maintenance has been let go, and now the cleaning has become an overwhelming task.

The build-up on this siding is not only from the wet weather, but it has been left through the heat of the summer too, so now the dirt, grime, and algae have been baked on by the sun.

This siding, worst case scenario, is at risk of being permanently stained, and at best, will take a lot of hard work to scrub clean. And… with routine seasonal cleaning, these two factors could have been avoided.

Another reason for routine maintenance is to catch any repair items that come along.

Like this.

Do you see the hole in the siding? This hole is allowing water to get in behind the siding, which could potentially lead to decay. Even a small hole like this is worth the cost to repair.

Curb appeal speaks volumes to a potential buyer. And if you’re not selling, it’s still ultimately a reflection on you. Take the time to care for your investment, and your investment will continue to care for you!

What kind of siding does your home have? How often do you wash it down? Any tips or suggestions to share with others?

It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

Featured Image Source

Related Posts You Might Like to Read

Curb Appeal: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Curb Appeal: What To Do About That Picture!

Curb Appeal: Gutter Cleaning & Maintenance

Does Your Roof Have You Covered?

Did you enjoy this post? Click here to read more. Don’t want to miss a post? Be sure to subscribe to my RSS Feed on the side-bar. I’m also on Facebook , Twitter, and LinkedIn. Would love to see you there! Thank you for spending this time with me 🙂 And please don’t hesitate to leave a comment… it’s nice to know what you think.

Does Your Roof Have You Covered?

Does Your Roof Have You Covered?

There’s nothing that tops off your home better than a fantastic roof! It’s the feature that rises up first, and is seen last, long after all the others have faded in the distance. Your roof is one of the biggest investments for your home. So……