You Could Be Wrecking Your Home — And Not Know It (Yet)

First-time homeowners often make these 9 common — and avoidable — mistakes. Don’t be one of them.

You haven’t felt like this since you were a teenager. You have a crush on your new house. (You’re officially a home buyer — wait — owner!)

It’s soooooo great. You love its quirks. It’s your very first home, and you want to do everything right.

The feeling is fun, but also scary: You remember too well how badly you screwed up that first crush as a teenager (so embarrassing. Don’t ask).

Could you screw this up too?

No need to freak out. You can make this love a lasting one. For now, keep an eye out for these common no-nos that can result from good intentions.

#1 Using Bleach as a Cure-All

If bleach is your chicken soup for whatever ails your home, proceed with caution.

Bleach can:

  • Eat through the sealant on stone surfaces like granite
  • Discolor laminate and colored grout
  • Fade enamel and acrylic tubs
  • Dissolve vinyl and linseed-based flooring like linoleum
  • Corrode seals within the disposal

In addition, bleach kills mold on non-porous surfaces, but can feed future mold growth on absorbent and porous materials, like grout. Yep, whitening grout with bleach creates a mold feeding ground. Whoops.

Better options? Water and vinegar are all you need for most cleaning jobs. If you’ve got a heftier mold or mildew issue, apply a commercial anti-fungal product.

And to clean your disposal, just dump cold water and ice cubes down the hatch.

#2 Training Ivy to Climb Your House

You’ve dreamed of living in an ivy-covered English cottage since childhood. Well, sorry for this, then:

“Anything that climbs on the house will damage it,” says Marianne Binetti, a speaker and author who leads garden tours around the world.

The horticulture expert made the mistake herself.

“It looked cool for a while, but it dug into the siding so even when we pulled it off, it left damage. And it climbed up the drain pipe and tore the gutter off the house,” she says.

By sending roots beneath siding and shingles, ivy enlarges tiny cracks in brick and wood, introducing entrances for moisture and insects, says Jay Markanich, a certified home inspector based in Bristow, Va.

#3 Relying on Chemical Drain Cleaners

Clogged sink! Again! Pay a plumber more than $100, or grab a $10 product at the store? You can totally handle this one yourself, right?

Possibly. But the most common active ingredients in these solutions, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, can erode your pipes.

Even the old baking-soda-and-vinegar medley can result in cracked pipes, as the reaction causes a build-up of pressure.

Old-fashioned “mechanical” methods — your plunger, a drain snake, or a handy $2 gadget called the Zip-It — are safer and more effective, according to “Consumer Reports.”

And if that fails, that call to the plumber doesn’t sound so bad compared to an eroded or busted pipe, no?

#4 Using Glass Cleaners on Mirrors

Your newfound house crush has you scrubbing and spritzing everything. Look at you being so lovingly domestic!

But be cautious with your mirrors. Spraying can lead to what’s ominously called “black edge” — created when a liquid seeps beneath the reflective backing and lifts it.

Instead, clean mirrors with a lint-free microfiber cloth, dampened with warm water — especially mirrors in expensive, installed items like vanities and closet doors.

Avoid the edges and dry immediately with a second cloth.

#5 Planting Trees ThisClose to Anything

Kind of like adopting an adorable, tiny piglet on a whim, you’ve got to remember how a baby tree is going to grow, and what it’s going to require at maturity.

You probably don’t want a 70-pound pig digging up your daisies, and you definitely don’t want a tree root pushing through your driveway, sidewalk or — so much worse! — your foundation.

And watch out for evergreens. If planted too close to the house, they cast too much shade, encouraging mold growth, Binetti says.

Position trees according to its maximum height, crown size, and root spread. For perspective, even a small tree reaching less than 30 feet tall needs at least 6 feet of clearance from any exterior wall, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

#6 Using the Wrong Caulk

As a dutiful homeowner, when you see failing caulk, you fix it. But the term “caulk” is as broad as the word “glue.”

There’s kitchen and bath caulk, concrete caulk, gutter caulk, mortar caulk — and that’s just the tip of the caulk-berg. And just like you’d never fix broken pottery with a glue stick, you don’t want to pick the wrong caulk either.

Markanich sees plenty of damage done when the wrong caulk is used. Such as using silicone caulk (totally great on non-porous surfaces like bathtubs) on concrete or brick or other porous surfaces. It won’t adhere, and moisture can seep in, compromising the bond and the structure.

Before heading to the store, check an online buying guide to find the right match for the project you’re doing. Odds are there’s a specific caulk just for it.

#7 Over-Sealing Countertops

Take care of your countertop, but don’t smother the darn thing.

Applying sealant too frequently can create a cloudy or streaky appearance on surfaces like natural stone, concrete, butcher block, and glass, which typically only require occasional resealing to resist stains. (Quartz, laminates, and solid surfaces like Corian are best left sans-sealer.)

How to know it’s time to reseal? Drip some water on a high-use area of the countertop. If the water doesn’t remain beaded after 15 minutes, consider resealing.

But always defer to your manufacturer’s recommendations. Different materials can have different needs.

#8 Over-Mulching

Nothing feels closer to giving your home a hug than being elbow deep in a landscaping project. But when it comes to mulch (which is so great, for so many reasons), it turns out elbow deep is a little too much love.

A layer thicker than 3 inches can suffocate plants and prevent water from reaching roots, so spread thoughtfully.

#9 Piling Firewood Next to Your Exterior Wall

Your fireplace is the highlight of your home. You love it. That’s why you keep your firewood right outside the back door, for easy access.

Oops. Storing firewood against your home’s exterior walls is akin to opening a B&B for termites.

In fact, “anything that creates a dark, climate-controlled area near the house will invite termites” and other pests into your home, Markanich says.

In one of the worst termite cases he’s seen, he found an enormous termite colony on an exterior wall in a bathroom, which got its foothold in a pile of bricks outside.

Twenty feet is a safe distance from home for firewood — and still not too far to go to fuel your awesome fireplace.

8609 Attu Lane Louisville KY 40291

Beautiful Home
Lovely Master
Family Room
Pond
What a view for a wonderful sunrise or sunset!

If you are looking for peaceful living that showcases the beauty of nature, THIS HOME IS FOR YOU! Words cannot describe the outdoor living space. With a little over 7 acres, the property offers many quiet moments of solitude on any of its multiple decks with built-in seating and creek rock patio. As you drive up to the landscaped circular driveway, you will immediately notice and hear the waterfall from the pond and feel the tranquility. Walk down to the dock where the fish stocked from Kentucky Fish & Game will greet you. The one owner 3BR/4.5 BA brick home is perfect for multi-generational living with 2 separate open style living areas. Enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sunrise overlooking the property in the Florida room or main kitchen.

Throughout the home you will find recessed lighting, wainscoting, skylights and abundance of closets and storage areas. The living room has built-in nooks and the sitting room has built-in shelving. Both kitchens have granite countertops and all kitchen appliances remain. Appreciate the magnificent view in the main kitchen through the floor to ceiling Palladium window, as well as skylight in the cathedral ceiling. Picture friends sitting around the breakfast bar visiting as you prepare meals. The large master bedroom is a personal retreat in itself and allows for a sitting area where you can spend hours reading a book. The finished basement is sound proof with extra insulation in the ceiling. There is a bedroom, extended bar with bar sink, cabinets, refrigerator, additional laundry area, and 3 bonus rooms that can be used as an office, recreation room and additional sleeping quarters. One of the bonus rooms has a built-in desk and walk-in closet. The separate basement entrance is great for privacy. The full bathroom has a double vanity with built-in shelving. The 2+ garage is amazing and a handyman/welder’s dream. Wired for 220v electricity, this garage lacks nothing with its tall ceilings, oversized 8 ft garage doors, utility sink, cabinets, workbenches and an oversized work area. The back door leads to a second driveway that can be used to park an RV. Host many gatherings and cookouts using the cook shed featured with lights and electrical outlets. There is a barn and utility shed too. As you can tell, this unique property has so many features that can’t completely be covered in this description. Take a look at our pictures and find yourself dreaming when looking at the surreal seasonal pictures. Discover country living in the middle of Fern Creek only minutes from shopping, entertainment and restaurants. Schedule your private showing TODAY and be captured by this home’s beauty!

2301 WinterHaven Ct

Kick back for the evening at your beautiful bar
Making gourmet dinners in this awesome kitchen
Welcome Home
Kick back on the deck watch the sun go down
Beautiful Home
Huge First floor Master Bedroom
Beautiful Dining room

Price Reduction on this Amazing Home! Nestled in Paramont Estates this beautiful home as all the luxuries! The amentities of the association are nice as well. This home is one you do not want to miss, high end appliances, beautiful landscaping and an amazing deck! The $20,000 price reduction makes it an even sweetier deal! Call today let’s hang our hat here!  You will be amazed by the precise attention given to intricate details in the custom designed extra wide dentil and crown molding, wainscoting, inlayed hardwood flooring, built-in hutch, bookshelves, cabinetry and trim work throughout the home. The home is ADA compliant and has an elevator to take you from floor to floor. The doorways on the first level all have beautiful transom windows. The oversized windows provide an abundance of natural sunlight through the Plantation blinds. There is also new flooring throughout the home.  Featured are built-in stainless steel appliances including a 6-burner Thermadore stove, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and double oven. You will be quite impressed by the incredible glass front dining cabinet, granite countertops, custom designed cabinets with magazine rack, as well as the multiple countertops. These are just a few of the items that will entice you. Off the kitchen is a long hallway that leads to the walk-in pantry, 3+ car garage, mudroom/laundry room, 1/2 bath and drop zone where you will find cubbies and plenty of storage.  Enjoy the magnificent view while having a cup of coffee watching the sunrise on the covered side of the deck. The deck stretches the backside of the home and there is a gas line hookup perfect for hosting cookouts hassle free. The master bedroom envelops you with warmth and security under its recessed lighting and crown molding. Call us Today for your own private showing!

Price Reduction on Chenoweth Run Rd.

Can you Imagine drinking coffee from the dock?
Amazing view
Let’s take a dip!
Welcome Home!
Big Family room

Motivated sellers! This home is beautiful, has everything you can want and need! Call us today to check this home out! Enjoy peaceful living in metro Louisville in this 4BR/3BA brick home on 11.55 acres of nature. This home is equipped with all of life’s indulgences. Enter the surreal grounds starting with one of two stocked ponds to find an immaculately kept home beautifully landscaped. Open the custom designed front door with sidelights to be greeted by wainscoting, dentil molding, and a double closet in the foyer. The living room has floor to ceiling windows and built- in cabinets and shelving. You will love celebrating holidays in the festive ambience of the dining room with its floor to ceiling windows and precise detail of the wainscoting.

New Listing 2301 Winterhaven Ct, Prospect Ky 40059

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Home  Offering easy living in this 6BR/4 full/2 half BA home in Paramont Estates with all of the comforts of luxury. The circular front driveway takes you through the landscaped lawn to the custom designed leaded glass front door with transom window and sidelights. You will be amazed by the precise attention given to intricate details in the custom designed extra wide dentil and crown molding, wainscoting, inlayed hardwood flooring, built-in hutch, bookshelves, cabinetry and trim work throughout the home. The home is ADA compliant and has an elevator to take you from floor to floor. The doorways on the first level all have beautiful transom windows. The oversized windows provide an abundance of natural sunlight through the Plantation blinds. There is also new flooring throughout the home. Enjoy many holiday celebrations in the formal dining room’s festive atmosphere. Wait until you see the kitchen where the heart of the home is located. The massive eat-in kitchen is a chef’s delight. Picture friends sitting around the oversized island, with bar sink, visiting as you prepare meals in the state of the art kitchen. Featured are built-in stainless steel appliances including a 6-burner Thermadore stove, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and double oven. You will be quite impressed by the incredible glass front dining cabinet, granite countertops, custom designed cabinets with magazine rack, as well as the multiple countertops. These are just a few of the items that will entice you. Off the kitchen is a long hallway that leads to the walk-in pantry, 3+ car garage, mudroom/laundry room, 1/2 bath and drop zone where you will find cubbies and plenty of storage. The laundry room has built in cabinets, counter, utility sink, laundry shoot and hanging rod. Relax in the living room reading a book in front of the gas fireplace. A wall of windows with a French door leads you to the oversized deck. Enjoy the magnificent view while having a cup of coffee watching the sunrise on the covered side of the deck. The deck stretches the backside of the home and there is a gas line hookup perfect for hosting cookouts hassle free. The master bedroom envelops you with warmth and security under its recessed lighting and crown molding. There is an adjoining room with a wall of built-in bookshelves that can be used as a sitting room or library. The master bathroom is like going to the spa! Stunning marble floors granite counter tops, jetted tub, dual vanities and a custom designed walk-in closet with plenty of drawers. The marble shower has a built-in bench. There is a lot of personality in the 4 bedrooms on the 2nd level. Two of the rooms have extended storage space that has been finished with built-in desks so you will have no excuse for interruption when completing tasks. The bedrooms are extremely huge and 3 bedrooms have window seats with storage perfect for curling up with a good book or talking to best friends. One bedroom has built-in bookshelves and walk-in closet and adjoined to another bedroom by a “Jack and Jill” bathroom. The 2nd bedroom has a window seat the size of a twin mattress providing for more sleeping space with double storage drawers below. The 3rd bedroom has a built-in desk and bathroom that can also be accessed from the hall. The 4th bedroom was designed to be a playroom and the walls have many built-in storage drawers. The finished walkout basement is a home within a home and perfect for multi-generational living. The family room has an entertainment center with cherry finish that is the focal point. Wired for surround sound you need walk across the room to the kitchen with for a beverage and snack. The recreation room has a pool table that remains, gas fireplace and extended cherry finished bar. The cabinets are glass front with a built-in wine rack. There is a dishwasher, full refrigerator, tiled floor and double sink. There are oversized French doors that extend as tall as the ceiling that lead to a patio area. There is a separate area with private entrance that has a living room, full bath and nicely sized bedroom perfect for separate living quarters. A few more features of the home include a central vacuum system, 3 zones for heating and air conditioning, irrigation system, smart alarm that can be controlled by phone, intercom system and water purification system. Your children can attend the award winning North Oldham County school system. Surrounded by a beautiful quarry, the clubhouse offers many amenities such as paddleboat, racquetball, tennis, nature trail hiking, indoor heated pool and private event space. As you can tell there are a lot of features to this exquisite home and you will want to see them all in person. Priced to sell so call today for your private tour
Beautiful flooring and so much light
Large master
Imagine relaxing here

302 Green Acres Elizabethtown KY

Ready to move into. This 3 bedroom 1.5 bath home located on almost an acre is ready for you to call home. Great looking laminate flooring in the living room and hall with tile in both bathrooms and also the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, granite countertops and a full compliment of stainless steel appliances await the next Food Network star to be! Lots of countertop space and very open for large gatherings to watch the chef at work. Both bathrooms have been updated with Granite Countertops and have fresh paint as well. Good sized bedrooms compliment this home and have new carpet being installed this week. Add to this great first floor a walkout finished partial basement with new carpet and paint. There is also a 2 car rear load garage.

In the basement is also a built in hot tub that will remain. This large lot is ready for the gardening enthusiast. Make your appointment soon as this one will not last. PS Don’t forget to look at the upgrade sheet under other documents!!

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Open House 7920 Nature Way Louisville Ky 40218

nature-way-back-yard
Beautiful Backyard!
nature-way-living-room
Lovely Large Living Room
nature-way-front
Welcome Home
nature-way-kitchen
Look at those cabinets

Conveniently located in Orchard Lakes at Breckenridge this home has 3BR/2.5BA. Enter the home off the covered front porch and you will find a spacious open floor plan. This fall and winter the great room will offer many hours of relaxation in front of the gas fireplace. Have a few friends over to visit and you can still share time with them as you prepare meals in the large eat-in kitchen. Lots of counter space makes this a chef’s delight! Enjoy many holiday gatherings in the formal dining room. There is a powder room also on the 1st level. The master bedroom is complimented with cathedral ceilings and walk-in closet. The master bathroom has double vanities, garden tub and shower. 

 There are an additional two bedrooms, as well as a full bathroom on the 2nd level. Host many cookouts and gatherings in the large backyard. With shopping, entertainment and restaurants within minutes, you will find everything at your fingertips! Priced to sell! You do not want to miss this Open house! See ya there!

9813 Indian Falls

You will not want to miss seeing this 3BR/2.5BA home in pristine condition in the sought out neighborhood of Indian Falls. Off the covered front porch, enter the home through a front door with sidelights to be greeted by beautiful hardwood and tiled flooring that will lead you into a spacious open floor plan. The living room has vaulted ceilings and an abundance of sunlight through its transom windows. The formal dining room will absolutely create a festive ambience to celebrate holidays. The great room offers many hours of relaxation in front of the fireplace while overlooking the fenced in private back yard. Picture friends sitting around the Island visiting as you prepare meals in the large eat-in kitchen that boasts multiple granite countertops and cabinet space.

The master bedroom envelops you with warmth and security with its vaulted ceilings and decorative cutouts. The master bathroom has a custom tiled glassed shower with upgraded fixtures, garden tub and double vanity. There are two additional bedrooms on the 2nd level. The loft area offers an area for recreation or an office. The basement is partially finished and you will find plenty of room to entertain your friends. Host cookouts and gatherings on the deck off the great room or simply sit and unwind after a long day. In addition, the homeowners association includes park like areas and a subdivision pool for your use. Only minutes from shopping, entertainment and restaurants, this home is priced just right.

Schedule your private showing today!

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Welcome Home!
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Beautiful Great Room
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Gorgeous flooring!
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Beautiful
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Open Floor
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back Deck

 

Home Maintenance for People with Better Things to Do

Owning your own home shouldn’t mean an endless list of chores.

Weekends are meant for coaching a youth soccer team to victory, chopping your way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” or training for a 5K to help save the pandas — not working your way through a tedious, 30-item maintenance checklist. But then, taking care of the home you love is important, too.

So how do you have your fun and keep a well-maintained home?

It’s simple: Just be mindful of your home. You don’t need a rigid maintenance list. (They work best for Type A people anyway.) Instead, train your senses to warn you of these problems, and then act ASAP:

Your Dryer Seems Hotter Than Usual

If your clothes and your dryer are super, super hot or, conversely, your dryer is taking longer to dry, you could have a clogged lint vent, a leading cause of house fires. “Sometimes the dryer connection will wiggle loose going to the outside, causing all sorts of issues with lint,” says Jeff Devlin, licensed contractor and host of DIY Network’s “Stone House Revival and “I Hate My Bath.” Heat and packed lint make the perfect recipe for fire. To defuse that combination:

  • Pull out the dryer connection — this is the tube or pipe that connects the dryer to the window vent.
  • Suck out all the lint from the pipe and pipe connection with a vacuum attachment.
  • Re-attach, making sure it’s not loose or bent.

You can also hire a pro to do it.

You Smell Something Musty

Your nose knows what’s normal in your home. “If you go into a room and it smells musty, there’s something going on,” says Frank Lesh, executive director of American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). When you smell that mildew-y smell, you know you’ve got a problem, he says. What kind of problem? Read on.

You Can See Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew are the banners for moisture, your home’s No. 1 enemy. If you see them, you know moisture has broken through your home’s defenses and is bringing reinforcements. Find out where the water source is and eradicate it ASAP. Moisture is like cancer to a home. If you don’t catch it early, it will eat away at your home’s very structure, causing major damage to its foundation, walls, floors, and ceilings.

You Spot a Water Stain

You get it now. Water = bad. So even a faint water stain should light a fire under you. Zero in on the source before moisture can settle into your home’s bones. A water stain on the ceiling could signal a leak in your roof, or if it’s under a bathroom it could be a pipe that’s leaking. Stain under a window? Your window may need caulking.

Your Drain Is Really Slow (and It Gurgles)

Showering in water up to your ankles defeats the purpose. “A clean drain is a healthy drain,” says Devlin. If your drain makes odd noises and takes foreeeeeeever, you could be at risk of a sewer backup, which is not only a moisture issue, but one that ranks high on the stinky scale. If you’re lucky, it could be a simple clog, but either way it might be a good idea to put your plumber’s number in your cellphone’s favorites list.

You Hear Something That’s Alive

The pitter-patter of tiny rodent footsteps is enough to send shivers down your spine — and can quickly multiply into a mini stampede. One couple found out the hard way.

“We found that a squirrel had taken up residence in the attic and was chewing through electrical wires,” says David Bowers. By the time he and his partner, Sharon Bowers, (BTW, they co-authored “The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop”) got around to calling a pro, an entire squirrel family (with more on the way!) had settled in to dine on those wires — a costly fix that was also a fire hazard.

If you hear unwanted visitors, evict them quickly, then block the entry they used. With squirrels, it might be an overgrown tree limb, which they use to jump onto your roof and then slip through a hole under roof flashing or rotting fascia, or an open window. For smaller pests, keep in mind they can come in through the tiniest of holes. (Mice can squeeze through a dime-sized opening.)

Your Gutters Create Waterfalls

You may love the smell and sound of rain, but when it’s cascading off your gutters in torrents instead of traveling neatly through them … well, remember those warnings about moisture? Cleaning the gutters is home maintenance 101 for good reason. “It can lead to exterior damage, as well as water damaging the foundations,” says Bowers. If you spot a gutter clog, clear it. You’ll be happier for it. It’s probably the best thing you can do to protect your home.

Originally posted with HouseLogic.