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Create the Illusion of Indoor Space

December 7th, 2021 by tisner


Having space within the home is important to most homeowners. If everything is too small and cluttered, it can make an otherwise charming home seem claustrophobic and unpleasant. With that said, adding space to your home can be a significant ordeal that comes with a lot of cost; at the very least, adding space means a major remodeling project even if you don’t have to make major modifications like taking out a wall.

It’s often possible to create the illusion of space without actually making modifications to the home, though. The available options will depend on the layout of your house and a few other factors, of course. If you want to make your home seem a lot more open without making major changes or sinking a lot of money into remodeling, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Keep It Light

One easy way to make your rooms seem larger and create an illusion of indoor space is to lighten things up. Dark walls absorb light and make your room seem darker overall, which in turn creates the appearance that the room is smaller than it actually is. If you paint your walls and even the ceiling in lighter shades such as white, yellow, and light browns, then this will lighten up the whole room and make it seem a bit bigger overall.

Adding to this concept, eliminating a lot of the shadows in your room will also make things seem brighter and create your illusion of space. This includes large and dark shadows, obviously, but also smaller shadows such as those cast by popcorn ceilings and small tiles. That doesn’t mean everything has to be flat and covered in light to be effective, of course; large segments, shallow impressions, and similar concepts will allow you to add some contour and shadow to your rooms without ruining this effect.

Low and Open

Another great way to create an illusion of space in your rooms is to keep everything relatively low and unobtrusive in the center of your rooms. This gives the room a much more open look, letting the space flow freely and making it look like there’s more space than there actually is. This can be accomplished with furniture that lacks high peaks or complex designs that draw the eyes; keep everything attractive but favor minimalist designs over extreme complexity.

Of course, if everything’s at the same level then things are going to get boring pretty quickly. To combat this, put a few decorations on or near the walls so that they can draw the eyes of visitors. Not only does this make a room more appealing, but if someone’s line of sight is drawn to something on the far side of the room then it will help to create that illusion of space that you’re trying to achieve. The brain will register the items of interest as being farther than everything else, making it perceive additional distance even if your decorations or standing lamps are relatively close behind your furniture.

Watch the Clutter

Clutter is the enemy of space. Even large rooms can seem small if you’ve got something scattered everywhere. If you’re trying to maximize the amount of space that a room appears to have, avoid over-decorating and keep clutter on your surfaces and walls to a minimum. This is especially important when it comes to plants and similar items, as it’s easy to overdo it, and those plants are just going to get bigger as time goes by.

If you’re not sure how best to create an illusion of space in your home, HomeKeepr can help. Using the HomeKeepr app you can connect with decorators and interior designers in your area that can maximize your apparent space without breaking the bank. If you need to actually increase the size of your rooms at some point you can find a contractor to help with that, too. Creating an account is free, so sign up today.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Patio Heaters Warm Up the Winter

December 3rd, 2021 by tisner

Having a patio gives you a great place to hang out and enjoy the outdoors while you’re at home. Unfortunately, dropping temperatures often makes your patio all but uninhabitable once the fall and winter months come around. Cooler weather doesn’t have to be the end of your time enjoying your patio, however; there are many options available that can extend your time on the patio, including patio heaters.

There are several things that set patio heaters apart from other outdoor heating options like fire pits. Because they’re designed to spread heat out over a larger area, a patio heater might be the ideal solution to keep your patio area usable well into the winter. If you think that one of these heaters might be the perfect addition to your outdoor space, here are a few things to consider to help make sure that you pick the perfect heater.

How Patio Heaters Work

Patio heaters are designed to radiate heat outward, spreading heat over a larger area than you’d cover with a fire pit or other heat source that doesn’t have a cap or other barrier preventing heat from escaping upward. The amount of heat coverage provided by these heaters differs based on the type of heater, its size, and where it’s located on your patio. Some patio heaters include chimneys or other exhaust pipes to vent potentially harmful gases generated as their fuel burns, preventing those gases from being diverted outward by the same caps that redirect the heat.

Depending on your needs, you can find small patio heaters that can sit on top of a table or other surface, as well as larger free-standing units that sit on the patio floor itself. Most heaters include controls similar to what you see on indoor heaters, allowing you to change the amount of heat produced. This lets you adjust your heater for use when you just need to knock off a little chill or when you need to produce more heat on colder nights.

Patio Heater Types

Though there are several different types of patio heaters; the most common varieties are electric, propane, natural gas, and wood-burning heaters. Here is a little information on each type:

  • Electric heaters are similar to some of the space heaters you might have used indoors, offering benefits such as portability and heat production without creating fuel exhaust. Unfortunately, these heaters are not as energy efficient as other types, and often do not produce as much heat.
  • Propane heaters connect to a propane tank like you would use with a propane grill. They produce more heat than many electric heaters and are still relatively portable, though they should not be used in covered or enclosed areas.
  • Natural gas heaters are the most energy-efficient and convenient patio heaters, connecting to your home’s existing natural gas line so that you don’t have to swap out tanks or perform other maintenance. These heaters are not portable at all, however, and need to be professionally installed to ensure that there are no gas leaks.
  • Wood-burning heaters are the cheapest patio heaters to operate, but they also require more cleaning and maintenance. They also require more work to light and put out and can be fire hazards if left unattended.

Choosing a Patio Heater

Picking the right heater for your patio area depends a lot on how your patio is laid out and whether portability and maintenance are major concerns for you. Electric and propane heaters are best for those who want to be able to move their heater around easily, and wood-burning heaters are a good option for those who want a heater that operates cheaply and don’t mind emptying out ash and coals to keep the heater clean.

Natural gas heaters are the best options for homes where there’s already a gas line installed, and you don’t mind having a permanent heating option in place. They do require professional installation, but HomeKeepr can help with that. Sign up for a free account today and connect with pros in your area that can get your gas heater installed safely.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

November 30th, 2021 by tisner


Your house was no less than perfect when you first bought it, and now, after time and changes in your life, things seem to be getting tighter with every day that goes by! How do you know you have outgrown the space and need to think about upsizing? Here are a few tips to help you decide:
 

  • One indication that you are running out of space is clutter. Totes of stored seasonal clothing stacked in the bedroom corner, or maybe you no longer invite friends over because the clutter is embarrassing. It is either time to declutter or move! 
  • Another sign to look for is furniture that is crammed into any available spot. 
  • If it is hard to walk through the maze of pieces you have acquired over the years, they need to be displayed or set up properly so you can enjoy them. 
  • Probably the most aggravating thing about living in a house that is too small is having to wait for a bathroom! Even a bath-and-a-half may not be enough.  It may be time to find a house with two or more full bathrooms. 
  • If you are one of the millions that are working from home now more than ever, your home office has probably taken over previously public space in the house. A house with square footage for a home office will allow everyone to get back in their own room!  
  • In today’s world, it may be necessary for the grown and flown children to come back to the nest. Have you changed their bedroom into a craft room or knocked the wall out to enlarge another space? Other than putting the wall back up, find a new home with room for everyone. 
  • On the other side of the coin, do your parents need to move in? That will mean giving up your own space so they can have some independence and privacy.  Purchasing a larger home with an in-law suite would be a better solution. 

Remember: getting more room for you and your family may not necessarily mean having to spending more money.  Something as simple as changing neighborhoods or even surrounding cities can give more bang for your buck. Comb through your budget and schedule a time to talk to your Realtor® about looking for a larger but affordable new home!  

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Midtown Tulsa

Home Modifications for the Aging-in-Place

November 23rd, 2021 by tisner

When your elderly father has decided that he would like to live in his home as long as possible, or it is time to make the mother-in-law’s home a little safer, a few changes in the house need to take place.  While every family is unique, most needs of our aging parents are the same.  How can we make small improvements with a big impact on their safety and comfort? The following tips are a great place to begin: 

  • For the wheelchair-bound person or one who needs to use a walker, add an accessibility ramp to their most-used entry.  Contractors who specialize in ADA-compliant improvements can assist with design and added features.  
  • Outdoor lighting is essential for everyone’s safety, but there are many options for adding low-voltage lights to posts along ramps and atop porch rails, as well as pathway lighting along walkways. 
  • Wherever there are steps, handrails are a must, as well as anti-skid treads to minimize slipping. 
  • Change all doorknobs to lever-type handles for ease of opening for those with arthritis or other motor skill issues. 
  • Widening doorways is something that may be necessary if wheelchair use is a possibility in the future. Enlarging them to 36” is the general width for ease of use. 
  • The type of flooring in the home can impact whether it’s a fall risk for someone who has trouble getting around.  Low-pile carpeting or secure low-pile area rugs with double-sided carpet tape or non-slip rug padding is best. 
  • A walk-in or wheelchair-accessible shower with a “curbless” entry is a safe choice when remodeling a bathroom. A built-in shower seat and adjustable showerhead are other useful items that can be added to make bathing safer. 
  • If a total bathroom remodel is not affordable, simply installing grab-bars to the shower, bath, and toilet area walls will offer security for moving around in the bathroom. 
  • Changing faucets in the kitchen and bath to a single lever handle or installing motion-sensor or touch-activated units are perfect for ease of use. 
  • Electrical issues to consider:  light switches that can be pressed for turning off and on, electrical outlets placed higher than the standard height and adding more interior lighting. 

Download this handy publication from AARP for other ideas to assist with setting up your loved one with independent living.  Hopefully you and your much-loved senior will look at this stage of life not as a challenge, but rather as a way to keep a distant but watchful eye over them while they maintain their sense of independence and quality of life. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: ASA Generations 

Furnace Maintenance for Beginners

November 16th, 2021 by tisner


Getting ready for winter in advance is important to make sure that you don’t run into major problems once cold weather hits. There are a lot of places in the home that will likely need some maintenance or upkeep as part of your winterization process. Of these, your furnace is one of the most important; falling behind on furnace maintenance can result in problems at the worst time, and getting them fixed in the cold of winter can be both difficult and expensive.

Fortunately, a lot of furnace maintenance is fairly easy to do even for complete beginners. There are several things that you can do if you want to make sure that your furnace is ready for winter. While the specifics may vary depending on your actual home heating setup and the type of furnace you have, here are some of the basics of furnace maintenance that you should keep in mind both for winter and throughout the year.

Furnace System Cleaning

There are several cleaning tasks that you should do every two to three months throughout the year, but that are especially important heading into cold weather after your heating system has been off for the summer. Replace your air filter and clean your system’s humidifier if it has one. If your system has a burner, you should also clean it to remove any dust, lint, or other debris that could affect functionality. Take the time to open up your vents and vacuum out the registers and ductwork as well, as there was likely a lot of dust and other buildup that occurred during the summer.

You should also take a little time to clean and test various sensors around your home to ensure that they are working properly. This includes things like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, as they’ll be very important in case there’s some problem with your heating system. If you use gas heat, having a functional gas detector is also important. So if you don’t have one already, you should install one. If you do, make sure it is clean and working so that you’ll be alerted of any potential gas leaks before they can become dangerous.

General Maintenance

There are other basic maintenance tasks that you should perform in the lead-up to winter as well. Test your thermostat to make sure that your furnace is turning on and off automatically at the set temperatures. Check to make sure that blower fans can turn freely as well, and add a small amount of lubricant if needed to keep them spinning without grinding or hanging. Visually inspect the components of your furnace for signs of wear, rust, or damage; even small cracks can result in leaks or more significant damage once the furnace is in full operation.

Check out the function of your registers to make sure that they open and close as expected; this will help to ensure that the heat your furnace produces is going exactly where you want it to go and isn’t being blocked by a register that’s stuck closed. You should also turn on the furnace and let it run briefly to make sure that it is actually blowing warm air, since a heating problem is definitely something that you want to fix before winter comes. If you use a house fan as part of your summer cooling solution, make sure that it is turned off and closed for the winter so that you aren’t losing heat from your furnace as a result.

Getting a Pre-Winter Inspection

Depending on your furnace setup, there may be a lot of components that need to be checked to make sure that everything works properly. This can be a big job for beginners, which is why many HVAC companies offer pre-winter inspections that identify and fix potential issues before they can become major problems. HomeKeepr can help you find a company in your area offering this sort of inspection; sign up for a free account today to connect with HVAC pros and inquire about their pre-winter specials. Your furnace will be glad that you did.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Budgeting for Major Construction Projects

November 9th, 2021 by tisner


Maybe you’re adding an expansion onto your home, constructing a standalone storage building in the back yard, or undertaking some other major construction project. Whatever it is that you’re building, you likely already know that big construction jobs can carry big costs. If you haven’t budgeted for the job correctly, though, you might end up surprised at how big some of these costs can be.

Sticker shock for construction projects can be a problem, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of thought and planning you can make sure that you’ve got all your expenses covered in your budget before the job begins. While some of the costs involved will be very specific to the details of your construction project and where you live, these budgeting tips will help you to keep an eye out for things that can drive the price tag up, so you can account for everything.

Major Expenses

Some of the costs of major construction projects are obvious: You’re going to need money to cover things like lumber, siding, wiring, and other materials. You’re also going to have to pay your contractors and laborers for the work that they put into actually doing the construction. If you aren’t paying attention, however, these costs can get away from you and leave you with a bit of a surprise when the bills come due.

Many material costs fluctuate based on supply and other factors and may be affected by things like transportation costs as well. Lumber prices in particular are prone to fluctuation and can increase significantly if supplies are disrupted. If possible, get in a purchase order or otherwise get some sort of pricing guarantee before work starts so that you can lock in a price and protect yourself from price shifts down the road.

Easily Overlooked Costs

While changes to your material costs can be an issue, one problem many people have when budgeting for construction is that they forget to account for all of the smaller costs associated with this sort of project. Some of these costs (like getting a construction permit) may seem obvious, but they can be easy to overlook when looking at the significant costs of materials and other aspects of the job. These costs can also be significantly higher for large projects than they are for the sorts of projects you’ve tackled in the past, so keep that in mind.

A few aspects of the job that you might not consider which can significantly increase your expenses include things like putting down a slab or foundation, installing a roof on a finished building or expansion, renting a dumpster for the construction crew, and interior materials such as fixtures and appliances once the project is done. Even landscaping costs and a bit of extra funding to cover incidentals or unexpected situations should be considered. The last thing you want to do is to budget things precisely and then realize that a portion of your yard has to be dug up to replace some pipes or some of your existing wiring will have to be ripped out to get everything up to code.

Managing Your Project

There are a lot of moving pieces in any major construction project, and hiring a project manager can go a long way toward managing all of them. In some cases your general contractor may act as a project manager as well, but many times they’re there to do the job they’re hired for and the rest of the details are squarely on your shoulders. Consider bringing in a project manager or ensuring that you’ve picked a contractor who will manage the project as well will help with budgeting and cost tracking, while also making sure that you don’t forget some important part of the project that might otherwise come back to haunt you.

HomeKeepr can help you find the project manager or contractor who will keep everything in order. Just sign up for a free account today and start connecting with pros in your area. Once you find the right connection to help keep your project in line, you’ll find that everything else gets a lot easier moving forward.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Cleaning Your Toughest Patio and Deck Stains

October 27th, 2021 by tisner


After a long summer, it’s time to clean up around your home and get everything in good shape before the winter comes. Not only does this sort of fall cleaning help your home look nice after the rain and heat of summer, but it can also aid you in finding issues or damage that you might want to take care of as you winterize your home. Some areas that often needs particular attention during these cleanup periods are patios and decks.

Part of the reason for this is that many people use their patios and decks more during the summer than any other time of the year. Various spills, dripping grease and oils from grilling, and assorted other messes can end up on the wood, while changes in weather over the course of the summer can encourage the growth of things like algae and mildew. Knowing how to effectively clean up all of these stains and other issues will not only make your deck or patio look better, but can also result in them lasting significantly longer without needing repairs.

Deck Stain Removal

Effectively cleaning up the various stains that occur on your deck or patio becomes a lot easier if you know the source of the stain. Grease stains, sauces, and similar spills can usually be cleaned with dish soap and a stiff-bristled brush, followed by washing the area thoroughly before it has a chance to start drying again. Dish soap can also be used to remove stains from decomposing leaves; allow it to sit and penetrate for 10 or 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing the stains away.

Other types of staining may require different solutions, however. Rust stains may need to soak in a mix of water and white vinegar or specialized acid cleaners to remove the discoloration. Tree sap can also be stubborn and difficult to remove, often needing dedicated deck or patio cleaners or cleaning solutions such as liquid oil soap cleaners. Some stone patios may require specific cleaners that won’t damage the type of brick or stone that’s used as well.

Dealing with Algae, Moss, and Mildew

Discolorations caused by algae, moss, mildew, and mold are usually a bigger problem than other stains, even though the other stains may be more common. The problem with algae, mold, and similar growths is that they actually cause damage to the wood or stone of your patio or deck and need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Some growths like moss can be removed with soap, water, and a stiff-bristled brush, but things like algae and mold typically require a bit more.

Because these grow into the wood or stone and thrive in moist environments, you’ll need a cleaner that can actually kill them and prevent them from coming back. In some cases, a bleach/water mixture will do the trick, combined with some scrubbing and general cleaning afterward. Special deck and patio washes are also available that are formulated to kill mildew, mold, algae, and similar growths, helping to ensure that you take care of the problem without having to try out different DIY mixtures.

Professional Cleaning

If you haven’t had much luck getting your deck or patio clean or simply don’t have the time to dedicate to the cleanup, there are professional services available that can get the job done for you. They typically use cleaners that are designed for the types of cleanup you need, and may employ tools such as a power wash sprayer to really get into all of the places that are hard to reach with a brush or a broom. Depending on the service, they may apply new sealants or other protectants after your deck or patio is clean as well to help you weather the winter unscathed. If you’re looking for a patio or deck cleaning service, HomeKeepr can help. Simply sign up for a free HomeKeepr account to connect to pros in your area that can get the job done the way you need it.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Packing for a Move – Make it Green!

October 26th, 2021 by tisner

It is time to start packing for the move, and the thought of using rolls and rolls of plastic bubble wrap, foam packing materials, or new cardboard boxes that your moving company provides can fill the eco-conscious with dread. Sure, cardboard and paper are recyclable, but what can you do to even save that much? These tips will help reduce the volume of recyclables and throwaways you will need! 

  • Use what you have first. If you are already anticipating the move, hold on to any packaging your deliveries have come in. Stack them out of sight if your house is still on the market, or go ahead and pack non-necessities in them and hide them under the bed or storage area. 
  • Other items you have on hand to use: suitcases, duffel bags, trash cans, and reusable grocery bags can all be utilized to cut back on cardboard boxes. 
  • Produce boxes make great moving containers! They are very sturdy and some come with lids so you will not have to use so much tape to close them. Ask for them at local grocery stores and produce stands. 
  • Towels, sheets, and pillows can be used in place of packing material, and towels and sheets can be used for wrapping fragile items as well. Using them is a double win because you will have one less thing to pack! 
  • If it is within the budget, consider using an eco-friendly moving company. 
  •  Already contracted with a mover? Ask them about any green options they have in place for your move. 
  • It only takes a quick search online to find a company that rents clean and ready-to-pack storage containers. Many of them will deliver them to your door, then pick them up at the new house when the containers are empty! 
  • Another option is ordering a moving kit or just the boxes from UsedCardboardBoxes. The company “rescues” misprinted or in-almost-perfect-condition used cardboard boxes that are headed for a landfill, and ships them directly to you. 

Once your move and unpacking are complete, recycle what you can, or offer the items to someone local who is getting ready to move or needs storage boxes. Your efforts will help cut back on what you throw away and even save a few trees!

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: moving.com

Could Your Mailbox Use a Facelift?

October 19th, 2021 by tisner


Your mailbox likely isn’t a feature of your home that you think about very often, but it can actually have a big impact on how people view your home. This is especially true if your mailbox is rusty, damaged, or otherwise has obviously seen better days. Giving your mailbox a facelift can make a big difference in how your home looks, even if your mailbox is a standalone unit that sits up by the road.

How much work should you put into a mailbox refresh, though? This depends entirely on the condition your mailbox is in and what sort of revamp you’d like to give it. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some ideas that cover everything from basic retouches to your mailbox to entire rebuilds of your mailbox mounting to create a unique new look on your property. You might be surprised at how many ways there are to revamp your mailbox and completely change its look!

Retouching Your Mailbox

The simplest way to retouch your mailbox is to apply a coat of paint to it, or something simple like a magnetic mailbox cover. This covers and seals any rust that might be present, improving the look of the mailbox and preventing further damage by protecting it from the elements. Wash and dry the mailbox beforehand and use a wire brush or steel wool to remove any obvious rust, then wash it again just to be sure. Make sure that you cover the numbers and flag with painter’s tape before you start, or apply new numbers once you’re finished so that your house number is easy to read.

If your mailbox is in decent shape but just seems kind of dull, another option is to add decorations such as decals or other items that you can secure to the box. You can even swap out these decorations throughout the year, keeping them relevant to upcoming holidays or seasons so that the look of your mailbox stays fresh throughout the year. Just make sure that your decorations don’t obscure your house number of make it difficult for postal workers to deliver your mail.

Mailbox Revitalization Projects

Bigger mailbox renovation projects can include installing your mailbox on a custom wrought-iron post, a wooden mail station that the mailbox sits on, or inside something like a brick enclosure. These can be purely decorative or add functional elements such as a drop box for packages as well. Depending on the options you choose, you may even be able to match up the look of your mailbox area with the look of your home or other property features as well. Just keep in mind that depending on where your mailbox is located, there may be limitations on what you can install based on local ordinance.

When undertaking a project like this, you may also decide that you want to move your mailbox to a new location (such as removing it from the front of your home and installing it into an enclosure by your driveway.) This can be a great idea to improve the look of your property, but you’ll need to check with your local Post Office first. Moving a mailbox without getting it cleared by the Post Office can lead to a variety of problems, including fines and undelivered mail!

Need Some Help?

Depending on what you have in mind for your mailbox, it could be a simple DIY project, or it might be something of a larger scale. If you want something a bit bigger than what you can handle on your own, don’t worry. There are metalworking and woodworking shops that can give you what you want, and even bricklayers if you want some brickwork done. If you aren’t sure where to start, HomeKeepr can help. Just sign up for a free account today and get connected with the pros in your area who will help you get the job done the way you want it.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Year-Round Savings With Ceiling Fans

October 12th, 2021 by tisner


In general, people tend to think about air conditioners as a way to keep a home cool and heating units as a way to keep it warm. There’s nothing wrong with this line of thinking, of course. If you’re only relying on heaters and air conditioners to maintain the temperature, though, then you may be spending way more than you need to keep your home comfortable.

One key part of controlling your home’s heating and cooling costs that you might be ignoring is the humble ceiling fan. By using ceiling fans effectively, you can keep your home at more consistent temperatures throughout the year while spending a lot less on heating and cooling. If you like the thought of staying comfortable while spending less, here’s what you need to know about using your ceiling fans effectively.

Ceiling Fans Save Money

Modern ceiling fans are incredibly energy efficient, giving you a way to keep air circulating in your home without breaking the bank. In fact, the average cost of running a ceiling fan comes out to around only one cent per hour; compare this to 36 cents per hour or more to run an air conditioner, and you can see how big of a potential difference a ceiling fan can make. That’s not to say that you’ll be using a ceiling fan instead of an air conditioner, but using a fan in conjunction with air conditioning helps to create a windchill effect within your home that lets you set the thermostat a few degrees higher while maintaining the same comfort level in the home. This results in less overall time with the air conditioner on and lower overall spending on cooling.

A similar effect can be had during the winter. Heat rises, meaning that you’re spending a lot of money on heating in order to essentially heat your rooms from the top down. Having your ceiling fan going keeps the air circulating, preventing the warmest air from staying near the ceiling and making it easier to maintain comfortable temperatures without having to run the heat excessively. This can actually result in a more enjoyable heat as well, since the circulating air will help you avoid cool pockets and drafts near the floor.

Proper Fan Usage

If you’re using ceiling fans in your rooms throughout the year, it’s important to make sure that the fans are placed properly. Ideally you should have fans placed near the center of the room they’re installed in, hanging around 7 to 9 feet from the floor with around a foot clearance between the fan and the ceiling. Large fans are best so long as they work with your room layout and don’t interrupt your décor; as they have larger blades, they can move more air at once even when running at lower speeds and will save you more money than smaller fans.

During the summertime, you should have your ceiling fans spinning in a counterclockwise direction to create the desired windchill effect to keep things cool. When possible, you should also close curtains and blinds to prevent sunlight from heating up the air as well. Once temperatures start to drop and you turn on the heat, flip the switch on your ceiling fan so that it starts spinning clockwise to circulate the air without the windchill. Open up the blinds and curtains as well, letting in that free heat from the winter sun.

Installing Ceiling Fans

If you’re installing new ceiling fans in your rooms, you’re going to want to bring in an electrician to get everything wired correctly and make sure that the fans are hung properly. HomeKeepr can help with that; just sign up for an account to find electricians in your area who can get the job done. Creating a new account is free, so sign up today and get started.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
1170 Celebration Blvd
Suite 200
Celebration, Fl 34747

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