Love Your Space, Inside & Out
From curb appeal to cleaning tips, the CBM Bay Weekly Home & Garden Issue is here to help you take care of your spring home goals. We turned to the experts for their advice on all the little things—and some big ones— that make your house feel like home.
With warmer days ahead, sprucing up both indoors and outdoors can help you enjoy the best of the seasons to come.
–compiled by Krista Prunder
Stay Cool All Summer Long
By Belair Engineering
Make sure you get your home’s air conditioning tuned up before the scorching summer heat sets in.
Change your disposable filters every month. A dirty filter slows down your airflow, makes your air conditioning run hotter and wastes energy—all things that cost you money. Dirt and dust from your dirty filter can cause air conditioning system failures, creating unnecessary and expensive repair issues. Many emergency demand service calls are due to clogged filters.
Air conditioners and heat pumps usually work well enough for 10 years or more. But a 10-year-old system is inefficient compared to recent models, as savings of 20 to 40 percent can be seen in today’s models.
Belair Engineering and Service Company Inc. is a customer-focused heating and air conditioning company that was originally started in 1962. They employ highly trained technicians to service HVAC, gas fireplaces, standby generators and provide plumbing services. The company specializes in designing, engineering, and installing complete comfort HVAC systems, standby generators and gas fireplace inserts.
15881 Commerce Ct., Upper Marlboro
Breathe Easier in Comfort
By Complete Home Solutions
Due to the pandemic, people are spending more time at home. Homeowners are starting to realize how inefficient and uncomfortable their homes truly are. The more time they spend inside, the more our customers are realizing how important it is to have a healthy, comfortable and efficient home.
Stuffy rooms and unwanted hot/cold spots are indicators of poor air flow around your home. This can cause problems for your heating and cooling systems.
Things to remember that can help: Keep your interior doors open, change the filter on your HVAC system, make sure air vents and returns are properly cleaned and not blocked. More than 50 percent of the air you breathe in your home comes from your attic and/or crawl spaces. That means mold, unwanted odors, pest feces (like mice droppings) and other contaminants are seeping into homes. Any ductwork located in these spaces also allow these things to enter into the HVAC system and filter throughout the entire house.
Complete Home Solutions specializes in fixing uncomfortable homes. Services include crawl space encapsulations, attic air sealing, insulation services, energy audits, heating and cooling services, roofing, siding, windows and doors—anything that helps improve the comfort of your home. Their home comfort specialists are trained and certified to diagnose your comfort concerns and provide cost effective solutions. Services improve indoor air quality and save you money on utility bills.
Complete Home Solutions
5463 Southern Maryland Blvd., Unit #5, Lothian
Step into Spring with a Fresh, Clean Start
By Cleaning Maid Easy
COVID-19 put everyone into overdrive when it comes to things being “clean”. Everyday surfaces are being cleaned over and over. It’s safe to say that we cannot wait until COVID-cleaning is a thing of the past, but on the bright side it really has instilled a habit of cleaning that has helped keep families healthier.
Spring cleaning? Mother Nature can’t make up her mind but you don’t have to tackle your spring list all at once. Choose one small task and go from there.
So, how much more cleaning could we possibly do? The short answer: A lot! Where hands go, we’re cleaning, and disinfecting.
Spring is the perfect time to start anew. Here are some ways to easily perk up your home:
- Open those windows and vacuum or wipe out your jambs. Warm weather, without the pollen, will be here before we know it.
- Clean out the cabinets. Have you held onto food in the pantry for too long? It’s time to toss, or donate what you can. Less is more.
- Replace those air filters. Your home’s breathing is important for your breathing.
- Wet-wash doors and window trim. It’s a big job, we know, but it makes a huge difference. While we love bleach, using white distilled vinegar and a drop of your favorite essential oil is also a good way to freshen up and disinfect.
- Switch out your comforters or bedding.
Besides preparing for warmer days ahead, the slightest change inside your home can make you feel like you’ve brought newness to your space, and we all know that fresh new starts are a huge benefit to mental health.
Cleaning Maid Easy offers residential and commercial cleaning, move out-move in, construction, industrial and church cleanings as well as disinfectant services and germicidal fogging. No contracts: Request a quote and we will schedule a quick walk-through at your property for an estimate. At that time, we go over all that we have to offer while listening to your family and home’s needs to ensure we will provide what’s best for you.
Cleaning Maid Easy
5851 Deale Churchton Rd.
Clear the Clutter—or Add a Treasure
By Second Wind Consignments
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned, perhaps you’ve found a few things you don’t need. Start sorting items into keep, trash and giveaway/sell piles.
Local consignment shop Second Wind Consignments in Deale lets you drop off items (by appointment) to sell—and gives you a commission check.
If you’re looking for any new items to spruce up the house, stop in and shop their treasures—they get in a few hundred new items every week.
Second Wind Consignments is open for business. Merchandise is inspected, cleaned, and displayed to inspire your inner designer while staying within even the tightest budget. Whether you are looking for original art, brand-name furniture, costume jewelry, books, cookware or a special gift, chances are, you’ll find it there.
Second Wind Consignments
661 Deale Rd., Deale
Don’t Forget the Walls
By Medart Galleries
“Sprucing up your house for spring?” asks Teresa Schrodel, manager of Medart Galleries in Dunkirk. “Remember your walls. Don’t forget how important they are.”
Medart Galleries offers floral prints on canvas by artist Richard Reynolds. “Reynolds has been photographing nature for over 40 years,” Schrodel says. “His art is a great way to welcome spring into your home.”
Medart Galleries offers a wide variety of local art, giftware, limited edition prints and original oil paintings. Custom framing is also available. Family owned and operated since 1979.
10735 Town Center Blvd., Suite 1
How to Hang and Best Display Art
By McBride Gallery
McBride Gallery in Annapolis shares their foolproof guide to displaying artwork.
Generally, fireplaces look best with one large bold painting. But if you have a well- matched pair or a diptych or triptych, (which looks like a single painting in two or three pieces), it will have a unified look.
Fireplaces with architectural molding nailed in place in a rectangle (or sometimes two rectangles) can greatly limit what can be hung. Two options: Remove the molding to create one large space or purchase or commission paintings, a pair or a diptych, that pleases you and works in the space.
For a less formal look above a fireplace, set the painting directly on the mantel. This placement is also helpful if the room has a lower ceiling and the painting is large. It gives the illusion of more space around the art.
Above a Sofa, Couch, Love Seat or Buffet
Carefully choose selected areas for a single painting or for groupings. Let the space, the nearby furnishings and the painting help you make those decisions. A large, bold painting can carry and entertain the eye over a sofa, buffet or fireplace. If smaller paintings are added, it will diminish the impact of the larger painting. Place artwork 10 inches or more above the back of a sofa so heads will not bump on the frames.
Hang the artwork so it will not be bumped by anyone walking up or down: Above shoulder height is recommended. At the top of a stairway or landing is the perfect place for a dynamic bold painting that can be seen and appreciated from a greater distance.
Bookshelves are a great place for small paintings. There is nothing more visually boring than bookshelves with only books. Move the books aside and place small sculptures or paintings in those spaces. It will be very inviting to come closer to enjoy smaller works of art at eye level.
McBride Gallery has represented fine artists since 1980. Art appraisals, restoration, home and corporate art consulting and gallery room tours are also available.
215 Main Street
Get Your Home Noticed
By the Nicki Palermo Group, RE/MAX One
Since we were rocked by the unexpected pandemic, home buyers’ “must haves” have drastically changed as to what they are looking for in a home.
A close commute to work has taken a back seat to buyers looking for more square footage and outdoor living space to enjoy. Most buyers are searching for homes online and want to tour virtually. We’ve sold more homes using Zoom calls and Facetime than ever before. We even sell homes to overseas buyers, using just the internet.
The latest trend is repurposing what was once a living room or dining room to use as a home office or virtual school room. We’ve noticed buyers appreciate more statement light fixtures and generous-sized mud rooms, and they are always hoping for a backyard oasis or swimming pool.
The exterior of your home is the first thing people notice. Power wash siding and sidewalks; change your air filters; clean gutters and downspouts; add colorful flowers. Paint your front door.
The Nicki Palermo Group, RE/MAX One—comprised of five agents all working on behalf of clients—is ranked as the number one RE/MAX One team in Annapolis, number 28 in the state of Maryland for RE/MAX and won Best of The Bay for 2020. Their list-to-sold ratio is 101.6%. For buyers, there is a list of homes and potential sellers waiting in the wings. At RE/MAX One, they have the legal backing of Davis, Upton & Palumbo law offices to overlook contracts and agreements to make sure clients are protected while buying or selling.
Nicki Palermo Group
5735 Deale Churchton Rd.
Create Curb Appeal
By RE/MAX One’s Margaret Tearman
Putting your house on the market? Take an honest look at the curb appeal of your home. Could it use improvement? Some sweat equity, a gallon or two of paint, and healthy plant material can transform a drab, dated exterior without breaking the bank or your back.
Here are a few DIY tips for sprucing up:
- Clean up planting beds. Remove dead or dying plants or those that are overgrown, especially if they block the walkway or windows. Snip off any broken branches, pull weeds, and add fresh mulch.
- Keep your lawn mowed and planting beds cleanly edged.
- Remove old or overgrown shrubs from foundation beds and replace them with fresh, healthy, and size-appropriate shrubs.
- Replace your mailbox and post.
- Replace or add house numbers.
- Replace outdated porch lighting.
- Add a new “Welcome” door mat.
- If your outdoor furniture has seen better days, either toss it or replace it.
- Power wash or hose down your exterior, driveway, and sidewalk.
- Give your garage doors a lift. Replace or paint hardware. If doors are dingy, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference.
- The same goes for your front door: A couple of coats of paint and updated hardware will make a big impact.
- Add a colorful porch pot with fresh, seasonal flowers.
With 195+ agents and six convenient locations, RE/MAX One serves all of Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s counties. They were named “Outstanding Maryland Brokerage” for 2020.
132 Main Street
Manage Risks for a Great First Impression
By John Tarpley, Schwartz Realty
Living in beautiful southern Anne Arundel County means we have very little top soil and an abundance of clay. This, coupled with our proximity to the Bay, results in an ongoing battle with standing water. You can hire professionals to regrade and raise your yard. You may want to also consult your neighbors because this option may result in worse flooding for your neighbors. By consulting with your neighbors, you can work out property line ditches and other ways to move the water away from your properties.
There are native plants that naturally drink up lots of water. It’s best to consult a landscaper or nursery that has in-depth knowledge of placement and requirements of plants in your yard. French drains or manmade riverbeds to funnel water to drainage ditches are another option.
This is the time to also touch up outside paint that freezing temperatures may have caused to peel or pop off of exterior surfaces—painting will also help you if a potential buyer is using an FHA loan because peeling paint automatically stops an FHA loan until fixed.
Schwartz Realty assists buyers and sellers of both residential and commercial properties. John Tarpley makes himself available to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He is committed to client satisfaction. “I have raced to a house to remove a client’s dogs and have had those dogs in the backseat of my vehicle for a last-minute showing, all to ensure that the house gets seen,” Tarpley says. “I have also grabbed my jacket at 10pm, walked out into a snowstorm to show a home to a client who wanted to see an empty property—using a snow plow to ensure entry to the property. My wife books our vacations and knows that my only rule is that I have phone and internet service in order to assist my clients who need me back home. To say that each of my clients have my full attention is an understatement. I know who I work for.”
Schwartz Realty is ready to assist you with purchasing a new home or putting your house on the market, renting, and property management.
5801 Deale Churchton Rd., Deale
Keep the Trees on Your Property Healthy
By Independent Tree Care
“Make sure to consult a certified arborist with tree concerns,” says Steve Graham, owner of Independent Tree Care. “We are trained to spot issues that are hazardous and could lead to property damage or worse. Once a property has been assessed, we can make recommendations for things like pruning or catch bad practices and maintenance issues before it’s too late and a good tree eventually has to be removed. We strongly recommend consulting with experts to avoid some of these issues.”
Arborists can tell customers what tree species they have on site which is helpful so homeowners can understand and implement long-term goals for their property.
Graham says to avoid over-mulching your trees year after year and reminds homeowners to remove excessive amounts of mulch, and keep it from piling on the trunk of the tree.
He also cautions homeowners to be aware when using sod, because sometimes sod projects can kill mature trees if done improperly. To avoid this, Graham recommends checking with an arborist.
Independent Tree Care specializes in helping clients achieve their goals of a safe yet beautiful landscape. With a team of certified arborists and Md. licensed tree experts, clients can be assured that industry standards and best management practices are of utmost importance.
Independent Tree Care
Untreated Water May Leave Stains
By Well Man Watercheck
Helpful hint: Before watering your lawn with treated well water make sure you have plenty of salt in the brine tank. Untreated water will cause staining to your house and sidewalks.
Well Man Watercheck is a local, family-owned business with over 30 years’ experience working on wells and treating problem water. Well Man cleans and repair wells, replaces well pumps and pressure tanks, installs and services water treatment systems to treat for iron, odor, low pH and more. They also offer water testing and delivery service. Well Man stands behind their work and only installs quality equipment. Service technicians are highly trained, professional and COVID-19-conscious.
Well Man Watercheck
1205 Central Ave., Edgewater
In the Driveway: Spring Can Cause Damage to Cars
By Wee Heart Autobody
Spring can bring many challenges to vehicle owners, from weather that causes tree limbs to fall to deer trying to cross the road. Damage can occur when you least expect it.
Each year the vehicles produced have better and more sophisticated technology on board for comfort and safety but repairs still may be needed. Wee Heart Autobody in Edgewater stays on top of the latest technology so they can ensure they will know how to fix your car if it is damaged.
In the Wee Heart facility, safety is first. Manufacturer recommendations and requirements are studied prior to starting any repair to make sure it is completely correctly and safely.
Cars can be a deadly weapon when improperly fixed. The goal at Wee Heart is make a vehicle safe again after an accident.
Wee Heart will make a car look like the accident never happened and takes pride in their customer service. From coordinating rental car services, to regular updates, everyone is always in the know on what’s happening to the vehicle. Repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle. Fixing your vehicle right the first time is the backbone and pride of their business.
Wee Heart Autobody services include everything from minor paint work like rock chips to repairs for high-speed collisions with suspension damage.
Wee Heart Autobody
223 Mayo Rd.