Whether you’re new to homeownership or a seasoned veteran who has raked her fair share of leaves or plucked weeds from the garden, home improvement can sometimes make your tummy feel “rumbely” as my four year old, George says.

Home Improvement is a big deal! If you’re like most homeowners, your home is your single biggest investment.  As a steward of your home’s health and value, you are responsible for making smart, informed choices that will maintain and ultimately increase its worth – in addition to making you and your family happy!

Please follow me on my  home improvement adventures and maybe pick up some useful information that will help you navigate yours.

It’s Simple | Understanding Steam Heat

Many homes in South Orange and Maplewood, NJ use steam heat, an outdated but very comfortable heat source is simple to understand, but requires routine attention for proper operation.

Steam boilers (not furnaces as they are sometimes called) can be heated by oil or gas which are called having an oil fired steam boiler or a gas fired steam boiler.

Think of a boiler like a pot of water on your stove with a flame under it.  

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We Nearly Sold No. 139 Maplewood Ave.

A perk of practicing real estate is the Broker Open. This is when agents debut new listings or listings with a recent price modification or renovation of some sort or another to their colleagues.  As a lover of historic homes, it’s such a treat. My husband calls it an occupational hazard.  I sometimes fall really hard and suddenly find myself daydreaming about selling No. 139 Maplewood Ave and moving.

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Successful Landscape Design is Child’s Play

When Carla approached me to write about landscape design, I was unsure of an approach. I could discuss Aesthetics, Function, Feel, Grading and Drainage, Privacy,  Lighting,  Water, Trees/shrubs/Perennials, Native Plants,  Sustainability, Play structures, Garden furniture/Ornaments, Firepits, Outdoor structures,  Vegetable Gardens, Decking/Patios, Retaining walls, Water features, etc.  I started writing down some ideas and then quickly scrapped them all.

While Landscape Design encompasses these topics, yesterdays visit with a client reinforced for me the importance of combining  children’s safety with the above. 

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A Bird Nest in a Tree? Yes! In the Attic? Not So Much

For two years, we’ve lived in our Victorian with her sharp angles, steeply pitched roof, and openings so small that only a tiny house sparrow could fly in. In each of those years, we’ve had had to hire an animal management company to remove those birds that set up a nest within the nooks and crannies of ours.

Lucca Fariello, a field supervisor from Got Wildlife?

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Torrential Rainstorm, Flooded Basement & Burned Out Sump Pump

The last week of March brought torrential rain to Maplewood, NJ, so much rain in fact, that at one point on Saturday, our one sump pump burned out.

Earlier in the morning, Gary was in basement doing laundry and by mid-afternoon,  a good 2 inches of water flooded the laundry room and the back half of the basement. It happened in a blink of an eye!

Basco Maliqi of Instant Plumbing &

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