Buying a home is most likely the single largest investment one will make in their lifetime. And we are not speaking about a small investment, even in these days of “lower” house prices. It amazes me how many people buy and sell real estate without knowing exactly what land is included with the home. If you had to, could you precisely locate the exact corners of your property? Where your property begins and ends. And do you know exactly who has a right to come onto your property and why. Unless you have a survey and your land has been “flagged” by a professional you probably can’t. You need the services of a licensed professional surveyor.

One of the most common reasons a landowner seeks the assistance of a surveyor, the location of boundary lines and other lines of occupancy or possession is a critical piece of information to have before you begin planning to build a swimming pool, install a fence, add a building addition, pave your driveway, or complete any modification that adds significant value to your property. This includes planting a tree, hedge or even a garden. All too often the survey shows that you and your neighbors were operating under the wrong assumption about the boundary line between your properties. Before you have that fence erected, you want to make sure it will be built on your property, not your neighbor’s. Plus today, most towns require an updated survey to obtain any building permits. Continue Reading »

Most all of us were affected from the damage that Hurricane Irene and the Halloween storm brought to the area.  To help limit localized damage on your property, here are some tips to address yearly before the next storm hits.
If you have large trees on your property call a professional tree surgeon to inspect the trees. They will identify limbs that may fall, trees in weak condition and the proper care needed to protect from large damage.

Prune all limbs of trees that overhang the gutters of the house. If you have a lot of trees, clean gutters twice in the fall. Once when leaves start to fall and second in early December before the heavy frost. If a large storm hits in the late fall your gutters maybe filled and back up causing water damage to the interior walls.

Any trees close to or along a roadway that you see are dead and could fall, call your Towns Department of Public Works. They do a routine drive by of the roads in town but they may miss a few or the trees perish after their visit. They may remove these trees at no cost to you and save you and your neighbors power outages in the future. Continue Reading »

Now that the hot summer months are behind us, many of us will focus again on outdoor entertaining again.
An outdoor terrace/ patio, porch, deck or gazebo provides the perfect space for a garden party, entertaining friends or family or just relaxed contemplation. The key to successful designing is making the space functional and inviting.
To begin the designing of an outdoor room, one must understand the key issues at stake. First, how you plan to use the space and at what time of day will it be in use. Secondly, how many people (on average) will need to be accommodated. This is usually broken into groups; small (2-8), medium (10-20) or large (20 or more)… Third, what elements should be included to make the area functional and inviting. Examples of these include: a trellis pergola structure for shade, a masonry sitting wall, fireplace/ fire pit for warmth and ambiance, the soothing sound of bubbling water, potted plants or an outdoor kitchen for ease in food preparation away from the interior kitchen.
Once we have answered these questions and understand the issues, we can begin to design the space. After careful thought about the traffic flow, scale and aesthetic appeal are completed, we turn our attention to choosing the materials for construction. This will be the time marry the construction costs and design elements together so the project is within a reasonable budget for the owner.

There are no correct answers to designing the perfect space, only what you dream of and the lifestyle wish to live.

Bill’s Gardening Tips

Perennials: Cut back all foliage as it begins to decline. Cut those perennials that have completely faded to the ground. Doing this before frost will help with the spring cleanup and keep your garden looking sharp.

Ornamental Grasses: They are in their glory now until December. Leave the foliage until December and then cut them back to within 6″ of the ground.

Lawns: Fall is a great time to do any reseeding that is needed. Now until mid October before the first frost. Chose a germination time fo 10-15 days for best results…

Spring Bulbs: Time to order and install these beauties of the spring. Installation now until ground is frozen. Don’t forget to add a dose of ‘Bulbtone” to each hole when planting.

With greater emphasis on the environment as well as higher energy prices many customers are using energy-efficient systems that incorporate environmentally friendly products. New technologies and smarter product designs allow us to make better environmental choices while enjoying lower lifetime costs. A “green” pool pays attention to energy, water and resource conservation. Going “green” for your in-ground swimming pool lowers the cost of operation and decreases time spent maintaining the pool-leaving you with more time to enjoy your investment. Some of the options available are: Continue Reading »