Brrrring! That’s the sound of the bell! It’s that time of year again and here come the early wake ups, test stress, and late nights studying. Thomsen Homes wants to make sure you and your kiddos get the best out of the school year by providing everything you need to create the best environment possible for your learners! Do your ‘home’work and see what makes a Thomsen Home the perfect place to learn and grow!
We all love our furry, slimy, scaly, small, large (you name it) companions. They bring a sense of comfort and joy to not only yourself and others, but to the home as well. A happy, wiggly greeting as you walk in from a hard day’s work. A meow and leg rub as you’re cooking breakfast. The simple gratitude knowing that these little ones love and depend on you. With that being said, what can you do to make sure your home is the best it can be? Here are a couple tips on making your home, the ‘purr’fect home.
Toys Are Your Friend: Sometimes our little friends can get bored. And when there’s a bored pet, there’s usually damage to your home that ensues. If your pet is a chewer we suggest sturdy, chewable toys like Kong brand items and bones. Rawhides are a good choice due to their chewiness and ease of swallowing, if that occurs. Rawhides, however, can leave residue on carpet and other fabrics so make sure to clean up as soon as possible! Feathers and balls are great for distraction too! Do you have a scratcher? We suggest carpeted posts and covers for couches/chairs if your cat or dog is persistent.
Home in a Home: Your pet also likes a little alone time. A good getaway for some peace and quiet is just what they need! This can be as simple as a bed tucked in a corner or as elaborate as a nook underneath the stairs. Need some inspiration for this? Check out Rodimel Dog House Project. Cat condos also create not only a place for cats to play, but to sunbathe and hide too.\
Green Can Be Mean: Remember when picking out plants that some, although pretty, can be toxic to animals. Aloe Vera is on trend right now but did you know it’s toxic to animals? We didn’t! Keeping these away from animals can also give you an excuse to decorate! A cute macrame hanging planter or a perched plant on a shelf keeps animals safe and your home cozy! Here is a full list of plants to keep out of reach of animals, Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.
Fine Feathered Friends: The bird’s the word around here, but they’ll be around for a LONG time. Remember that these guys can live over 30 years. Keep their cages away from windows with direct sunlight or breezy tendencies. A corner placement is preferred to make them feel secure. Do your research as some birds require companions which means a dual package. If you have a bird that mimics, such as a parrot or cockatoo, remember what you say… it can and probably WILL remember and repeat.
Tidy & Neat, A Good Feat: Some of these tips may seem obvious, but we will state them anyway. To keep a clean home, bathe your pets regularly if their breed requires it. Matching fabric color to fur color can hide noticeable shedding on furniture. Rugs are a good way to hide and prevent scratches in hardwood and laminate flooring. Decluttering keeps animals safe and also keeps them less prone to getting into things. Keep treats and food off the ground or keep food in a pet-safe container.
Life is easy when your pets’ lives are easy. Remember to do your research before purchasing a pet and know your limits! We hope your pet adventure is a long and filled love. Live long and prosper, pet owners!
No matter what stage you are in, in Motherhood, being a mom is hard work. Whether your littles are 30 years old or 3 years old, Moms have been the center of the home.
So, what about the different types of mom’s? – The mom that loves to cook, or the neat freak mom, the “mom boss”, whatever type of mom you are there are so many different things to think about when building your new home to suit your “mom lifestyle”. We picked 3 different types of mom’s that maybe you can relate to and different ideas when it comes to building a home to suit your lifestyle.
For the Empty Nester:
Kids are grown and out of the home. Maybe, you are looking to downsize or have grandchildren. Whatever kind of empty nester you are when building your new home here are some things to consider:
Do you need extra space for visitors? – Whether the grand kids come to stay, or you have your grown kiddos stay. Think about any extra bedrooms and a floor plan that maybe allows for that extra space for guests.
Or maybe you want a floor plan with all main level living? Look at different slab-on grade plans that are low maintenance.
Turn a bedroom into a closet, have that space you always dreamed of for your hobbies, clothing, trinkets or whatever you want!
For the Neat Freak:
No matter what stage you are in this neat freak stage maybe kicked in before motherhood or afterwards, either way it doesn’t matter. When it comes to building your home there are things you can do within your floor plan to make sure those messes can be tidy and organized!
Think about different storage options, maybe invest in an over-sized mudroom with built in- lockers to keep the family organized.
This can trickle throughout the home whether it’s additional pantry storage, or a built- in buffet in the dining area to keep all those platters and items that may not fit within the kitchen cabinetry.
For the Chef:
The kitchen can be the heart of the home and if you are a mom that loves to cook this room in the home is especially important! When building think about what kind of counter space you want. Maybe, consider an over-sized island, or a pot filler for ease of access to the stove. Pantry space, custom niches or open shelving to display cookbooks or dishes the options are endless!
Need more ideas? Head on out to our Open Houses every Sunday to get inspired! This is a great opportunity to hone in on what is important to you and what you want in your home to fit your lifestyle. Happy home building mamma’s!
“The kitchen is the heart of every home. It evokes memories of your family history.” – Debi Mazar
Indeed the kitchen is the heart of the home, or at least we like to think so here at Thomsen Homes. The kitchen is one of the most personal parts of the home, giving life to a person’s style and uniqueness. Kitchen style is forever changing year after year. 2019 is bringing some new trends that some will be sure to love!
One trend carrying into 2019 is custom-painted cabinets. This enables you to transform your kitchen like never before. Instead of staying within the boundary of stains, painted cabinets give you a plethora of colors to choose from. Literally endless! Are you a white, chic kind of person? Or perhaps you’re bold and like your cabinets to be a statement, maybe going with a blush or navy hue. Whatever your choice, here are a couple colors trending in 2019.
- Warm Grey
- Blues (robin’s egg, navy, almost-black blue)
- Greens (think forest green, sage or a deep teal)
- Beige (yes even the “boring” colors aren’t so boring anymore)
Another new trend is the mixing of materials in the kitchen. Gone is the cliche that you can’t combine gold and silver or brushed nickel. How dare we? Well we say, “We dare you!” We recommend no more than two different metals in your kitchen. Be sure to make sure your fixtures coordinate well with the cabinetry/counter tops you choose in your home! If you aren’t sure, our designers will point you in the right direction!
What does your kitchen say about you? “Kraft your new kitchen” today with Thomsen Homes!
Among dieting and exercising as the top new year’s resolutions, 2019 may bring a new kind of resolution and it has to do with your home.
Whether you rent, own, are looking to buy or renovate, having a new year’s resolution for your home can be one that may be easier or more fun to stick to than a diet (wink, wink).
Setting realistic expectations for your home
The tricky thing about resolutions is that sometimes the expectations we set for ourselves are unrealistic and not achievable, or we just stop and don’t continue moving forward with them. When it comes to your home, try to set timelines and expectations for these resolutions so you can achieve them.
For example, if you rent your home but are looking to own, set a resolution to start the wheels in motion to move towards that goal. Maybe you need to start with seeing what you qualify for, or maybe you need to knock off some debt before doing that. Set an end date to do these things by and try and keep yourself accountable for doing so.
Are you in an existing home that maybe your family has grown out of? Look at different options on how to find a home to accommodate your family and your lifestyle. Maybe consider new construction and look at different floor plan options that would work for you.
Do you have house projects that you just never have gotten around to doing? These can add up quick. Try and limit yourself to a couple. Maybe you want to put up a kitchen back-splash, or get new shades? no matter what the resolution is set realistic expectations, so you can achieve it.
Do your research
Remember no matter what the resolution is from diets, to home resolutions, do your research. In the long run this will help you. Look at your options, what you can afford, consider new and existing construction and weigh your options. Try not to limit yourself and do the research up front. Find inspiration through Instagram, Pinterest and blogs to start to get excited about your new home resolutions.
Each year over 350,000 homes catch fire. The National Fire Protection Association’s campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire – and how to escape safely in the event of one:
Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could only have minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
Learn two ways out of every room. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
Cooking is the leading cause of house fires.
Pay attention to what you are cooking.
If you have to leave the room, turn off the stove.
Don’t cook if you are sleepy or impaired.
Clean your stovetop frequently to avoid grease build up.
Keep flammable items away from heat sources. (potholders, towels, clothing, etc.)
Close before you doze.
Sleeping with your bedroom door closed could be the difference between life and death.
The today show recently posted this demonstration video showing what happens to a bedroom with a door open vs. a door closed during a fire. After watching this video hopefully it will change your night time routine.
For more information on ways to keep your house and loved ones safe all year round please visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website. https://www.nfpa.org/
Life is lived in moments. Stay alive for them!
Now that you have officially said goodbye to summer and you’ve brought your thick blankets and stockings out of storage, it’s time to also prepare your home for the winter months! Everyone enjoys a lower energy bill every month, right? Well, Thomsen Homes is here to give you a couple tips and pointers on how you can save money and make the best of your home in the winter.
- Winterize Air Conditioner & Water Lines: This one is a simple and easy task and can actually save you money when the temps outside warm up again! You just need to drain your hoses and A/C pipes of any excess water. If you have an air conditioner with a water shutoff valve, turn it off. You should also turn off any outside water spigots and store your hoses away.
- Turn Down the Water Heater: If you’re anything like me, you like a good hot shower in the winter. Liking your water hot doesn’t mean you have to run your heater temperature high. During the winter you can turn your temperature down about 20 degrees, saving you 5-10 percent on water heating costs. You’ll still be able to enjoy your relaxing shower and save money on the side!
- Change Furnace Filters: This is another quick and easy tip. Ideally you should replace your filter every month or so. Clean filters reduce energy demand. We suggest either a electrostatic or HEPA filter.
- Put Up Window Plastic: Now you may think this is old school and an eye sore, but if you install the plastic properly, it’s nearly invisible! This will help your home hold in the heat. Kits are available at your local hardware store such as Lowes or Menards.
- Insulate Your Pipes: Have you ever heard of someone’s pipes freezing? Yea, it’s not good! All you need to do is touch your pipes. If they’re warm, they should be insulated. You can easily buy pre-slit insulation that you simply cut to size and duct tape around the pipe. No more frozen pipes!
- Reverse Your Ceiling Fans: By reversing your fan’s rotation, the warmer air that gets trapped at the ceiling gets pushed down and circulates through the room.
- Block Drafts From Under Exterior Doors: This can be easily done with a rolled up towel, a DYI project or you can purchase a draft snake online.
- Open Blinds and Curtains During The Day: Having your blinds/curtains open eliminates air trapped and reduces freezing on windows. Wipe any condensation you see on the jambs and woodwork.
- Salt or No Salt?: Only use salt on sealed concrete. Salt will eat away at stone, brick and concrete resulting in chips and pockets on your driveway and sidewalks.
- Winterize Your Sump Pump: Watch the video below as Niels explains how to winterize your sump pump:
All of these tips and trick shouldn’t take more than a couple hours and soon you will be on your way to an energy efficient home! Check out our Homeowner 101 Page to explore more ways to make your home the best it can be. Now grab some hot coffee (pumpkin spice or not) and get to it!
Spring is right around the corner and with warmer temps, that means preparing your home for the warmer months ahead. Below are a few tips from our Client Relations department on how to prepare your home for spring.
After the winter months, it is important to check that your sump pump is in proper working order. Make sure your sump pump is plugged into the designated GFCI outlet. To ensure your pump is working, pour water into the sump pit. The float-arm attached to the pump should raise and the pump will turn on and pump water out. If your sump pump is not running correctly, please refer to your Homeowner Maintenance Manual. Also, replace the exterior PVC downspout that you installed before winter with an extension hose running to the back of your lot or towards the street. If your exterior sump pump hose is trenched, disconnect the PVC downspout and re-connect the black extension hose that leads underground.
Ensure your downspouts are down and leaned away from the foundation to channel water away from your home. We recommend using downspout extensions to move water even further away.
As the snow continues to melt and upcoming April showers, it is important to make sure that you are laminate floors are kept dry. Wipe up any spills and moisture immediately. If you need to wash your laminate floors, we recommend a non-abrasive cleaner and a damp cloth/cotton mop. If moisture is left on your laminate floor, this can damage the floor and cause serious issues with buckling.
Spring is a good time to replace your furnace filter; although, you should replace your filter every three months. A clogged furnace filter can slow airflow and reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.
There are endless maintenance tips that can be completed in the spring and the above are simply recommendations. Read our Homeowner Maintenance Manual for more suggestions.