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An advertising supplement of the | Sunday News, September 18, 2011

2 SEPTEMBER 18, 2011

FALL HOME IMPROVEMENT

Lancaster, Pa.

Top tips for the best first impression(MS) Its called curb appeal, that good impression people get of your home when they pull up in a car, or when walking by. Real estate agents can be as pleased with exterior curb appeal as they are with a well-maintained house on the inside. When it comes to residential property value, this book is indeed judged by its cover. Exterior trouble areas include peeling paint; rotting wood on window frames; buckled roof shingles; overgrown shrubs; ignored lawns; and weeds growing through interlock paths, steps and the driveway. The lawns and landscaping that frame our home are as important as the quality inside, says Reinie Drygala, lawncare products manager for Clear Choice, a leading name in innovative garden products. And the good news is: when it comes to first impressions just a few little tips and tricks can make a big difference quickly. If youre frustrated about overgrown weeds, for example, the newest herbicide technology is tackling that, Drygala continued. Now there are alternatives to traditional herbicides that effectively kill weeds, but also provide the homeowner with options if they are looking for ways to have less impact on the environment. In addition to beautifying your lawn, try these quick tricks to give your home instant curb appeal:

* Scrape and spot-paint jobs, or larger jugs for a big problem areas. This might be a * Replace or paint rusty surface area. More information temporary fix, but even a touch fixtures like the mailbox, railings, at www.todaysclearchoice.com. up is better than peeling paint. house number, and more. * Install lighting along * Add colour by planting * Tackle pesky weeds on your walkways and steps, some annuals in the front yard interlock paths and driveway. or to spotlight the shape and flowerbeds. Use hand sprays for targeted architecture.

Budgeting for your home improvement projectHome improvement projects have become de rigueur for todays homeowners. Be it a kitchen remodel or the ever popular man cave project, home improvement projects remain a goal for many homeowners. As enticing as a home improvement project might be, no project can be successful until a budget has been established. The right budget will keep homeowners from going deep into debt when improving their homes, ensuring that, upon the projects completion, they can fully enjoy their revamped castles without the specter of significant debt hanging ominously over their heads. Before beginning a home improvement project, homeowners can take the following things into consideration. expenses include everything from groceries to mortgage payments. When the comparison between monthly expenses and monthly income has been made, homeowners can get a grasp of just what they can and cannot * Personal finances: It sounds afford. simple, but homeowners must examine their finances before * Credit score: Many starting a home improvement homeowners finance home project. Just because a bank will improvement projects with loans loan out money for a project from the bank. Particularly in the doesnt mean the project is current economy when banks are affordable. being forced to tighten lending Homeowners should compare requirements, securing such their monthly expenses with their loans isnt easy. incomes, and then determine Homeowners with significant whats left that might be able credit card debt should eliminate to go toward a project. Monthly such debt before beginning a project. Doing so serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, eliminating outstanding debt will free up more money to allocate toward the project. Eliminating debt will also make loan applicants more attractive to prospective creditors, increasing their chances of securing a loan and a lower interest rate.

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things around the house? If wear and tear is taking its toll on the roof, for instance, the money going toward the man cave should probably be allocated to replacing the roof instead. If a project is low on the priority list but high on the want list, re-examine those projects higher up on the priority list to determine if they are more * The projects priority: deserving of immediate attention Budgeting a home improvement and funds than vanity projects. project also involves being honest as to just how necessary * Overrun costs: Not every the project is. home improvement project will For example, a man cave come in at or under budget. might be a dream project, but Many, in fact, go over budget should it be a priority over other due to a host of factors. Homeowners should not be caught off guard when a project goes over budget. Instead, plan for the project to go over budget and expect such frustration. Allocate extra money in the original budget for overrun costs. This will reduce stress and Call on the Comfort Corps frustration, and if the project Humidifiers Heat Pumps Plumbing comes in under budget, then Air Conditioners Air Cleaners Sales, Service, Installation theres extra money when the project is completed. 136 Keller Ave., LancasterPA Home Improvement Contractor Registration # PA011703

Lancaster, Pa.

FALL HOME IMPROVEMENT

SEPTEMBER 18, 2011 3

Celebrating gardening inspires area homeownerBy Rochelle A. Shenk Special Features Writer Dennis Denenberg celebrates gardening and winter warmth in both his landscape design and home. A retired educator, hes also the coauthor of a book on heroes and when hes not in his garden, he spends his time speaking to education groups about heroes. Hes owned the Manheim Township home for nearly 15 years and has transformed both the ranch house and the gardens, which back into wetlands, into a lush oasis. Theres no grass to mow, only mulched paths and a multitude of garden areas. The perennial beds filled with daffodils, irises, lupines, columbines, hardy hibiscus, poppies and roses are quite spectacular in bloom and have color throughout the seasons. Some of the beds were established with the help of friends during planting parties. Many friends also shared a cutting of their favorite plant or bulb, and a bed of peony bushes along one side of the house contains a number of bushes from his family home. The gardens are constantly evolving. This year a custommade plant stand with a mosaic in the center was added to showcase the potted plants. Another project included converting a shed into a greenhouse to over-winter tender plants. A special rock garden is in the works in memory of his 15 years as a professor at Millersville University, hes collecting rocks from former students in as many different states or countries as possible.

Theres something special to see everywhere you look.

cactus and bird of paradise plants. Since its open to the living and dining areas, it also makes a great entertaining space.

Lower level living areas are often dark, but not in this home. A guest bedroom and bath, and exercise room share the lower level with the South Beach room. This themed area combines the owners love The gardens may be enjoyed of warmth and all things Art Deco from several vantage points. A including Miamis trendy South sunroom thats glassed in on three Beach area. sides extends from the rear of the house and opens onto a deck with a The centerpiece of the South custom-made cooking area/bar that Beach room is a mural along the Maintenance-Free surrounds an above-ground pool. back wall that was painted by David Energy Saving Ashley, an artist from York. The idea A tree in the center is lavishly of the mural is that youre on a patio Low-E Argon Glass bedecked with about 25 pounds of at a hotel or condo and looking out Fusion Welding Mardi Gras beads adding color at the skyline; the buildings are not Colonial, Beveled or Leaded Glass and visual interest year-round. The meant to be specific buildings but Tilt-In For Easy Cleaning Windows splash of water can be heard from the rather be representative of the Art Insulating Replacement cascading waterfalls that flows just Deco buildings in South Beach. Bay, Bow or Garden Windows below this fence into an ornamental fish pond rimmed with rock and The mural and the basic them of Vinyl Casements, Sliders & Basement-Hopper Windows edged with flowers. Frogs enjoy the room was completed in 2003, both this pond and another smaller but like the gardens and the rest of FUEL SAVINGS UP TO 48% pond located within the gardens. the house, its a work in progress. However, its infused with warmth, A recent addition dramatically and even on a gray winter day, the 1219 Manheim Pike, Lancaster 393-0859 changed the front of the house. The room sparkles. large atriums not only gives a sunny SHOWROOM HOURS MON-FRI 8AM-6PM SAT 8AM-1PM welcome to guests no matter what Homes and gardens should reflect EARNING YOUR TRUST SINCE 1963 the season, but its tile floors capture the personality of the homeowner, www.georgejgrove.com PA962 and radiate heat to potted plants such and this one certainly does! Your 10% Energy Tax Credit on Doors & Windows Available Now! as a large jade plant, showy clivias,

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4 SEPTEMBER 18, 2011

FALL HOME IMPROVEMENT

Lancaster, Pa.

12 Tips to get your home ready for winterBy Wendy Komancheck Special Features Writer There are 12 important tips that you need to know to prepare your home for winter. Bill Patrick, from E.G. Stoltzfus (www.egstoltzfus. com), 474 Mt. Sidney Road, in Lancaster, and Matt