1212 Hemingway Drive, Unity Twp, PA 15601 | Unity Twp Real Estate

Hardwood Flooring

Property Description

Breathtaking views from this Regis Pisone crafted, 4 bed, two-story, boasting a fulling landscaped private yard backing on green space in Glenn-Aire Phase II. This home was built for the entertainer. An impressive two-story family room with a gas log burning fireplace is adjacent to the to the exquisetely appointed kitchen, with leather finish granite counters and stainless appliances. The generous eating area opens to the large oversized screened porch & very spacious deck. Both overlook the back yard with in-ground saltwater pool & Laurel Highlands view. On summer evenings, fireworks from many areas can be seen from the back yard. Every detail was designed with convenience in mind – with a 1st-floor laundry, 1st-floor den and a first master suite featuring a luxurious bath & 2 walk-in closets. The walk-out lower level features a 2nd kitchen, massive game room with fireplace, a hobby or exercise room & a full bath. Hardwood flooring and molding accent each of the rooms.

This content was originally published here.

We Spent $3892.57 Managing our Kids’ Dust Allergies – and They’re Not Even Close to Under Control Yet

Hardwood Flooring

When my oldest son Paul was in first grade, we moved to a new house.

It was fall, the time of year in Michigan when everyone flocks inside and shuts up the house. I began noticing that when he was sitting in silence, it seemed like he was constantly clearing his throat.

Just a little under the radar sound. Nothing too overt.

But definitely something that made me wonder if his throat was irritated. I asked him all the time, “Is your throat sore buddy? Are you having trouble breathing? Do you need to cough?”

It never seemed to bother him and he wouldn’t complain. But it definitely grated on my ears and worse, made me start worrying about what was going on inside.

About a month after we moved in, my husband woke up one day and just couldn’t stop sneezing. He must have sneezed 200 times! (That’s what first prompted me to look into air purification.)

I immediately started shopping for an air filter, but the combination of those two experiences got me questioning our new indoor air quality.

Sneezing and Throat Clearing: Allergies or Indoor Air Quality?

Paul’s throat clearing lasted at least until spring break the first week of April. I felt like it started to clear up at that point which made me wonder about the school’s indoor air. We didn’t travel for spring break, so he was just at home more and I thought, maybe it’s not our house, maybe it’s the school. I remember trying to ascertain if his throat clearing was less severe on the weekends.

The school he was in was certainly not a new building, and it seems like there’s always some weird smells in schools, doesn’t it?

When summer came, of course, there’s lots of outside time and outdoor air, and I didn’t really notice the throat clearing issue crop up again, so I didn’t pursue it further.

Even so, anytime someone in the Kimball family had an unexplained ailment, my head went to air quality and in particular mold.

Could Mold Impact our Indoor Air Quality and Our Health?

Our windowsills get pretty gross, and you can see visible mold growing where the glass meets the wood.

I even asked Renee from MadeOn Lotion to send me some beeswax that first year with the intention of resealing all the wood around the windows and the entire house. Now eight years later, technically that’s still on my list because I never tackled the project. 🙁

I just sat around worrying.

We even had our house tested for mold just before baby number four, Gabriel, was born.

It was a home test where I had to vacuum in a couple of rooms and collect the dust in containers then send it off by mail for testing. The results were a bit confusing because they showed a slightly elevated level of a couple of kinds of mold, but some quick research seemed to determine that those types of mold weren’t that dangerous.

Here in West Michigan because of the winds coming off Lake Michigan from the west, I understand that, in general, our air quality is pretty poor because of some sort of mold coming off the lake.

So even though the results showed some problems, they were so ambiguous and so confusing that I honestly never did anything about it.

If the results had been all the way over into the red zone, clearly dangerous, I would have paid to have a professional come in and take a look. If the mold species had been clearly dangerous, I would have had a mold specialist come in to take a look.

Yet I did nothing. #momguilt

As it turns out, the EPA says that indoor air quality can be up to 100 times more toxic than outdoor air, which means my worry was not unwarranted. But what was I to do about it?

My kids are generally pretty healthy. We don’t get more colds than other people. Other than a few sniffles and weird throat clearing (which by the way also happened to Kimball kid number two, my daughter Leah, when she was in fourth and fifth grade), we didn’t have any other distressing symptoms.

The pediatrician would look in their noses and say, “Oh boy, I see some inflammation there. Do they seem to have a lot of sneezing or sniffling? Or sore throats very often?” That never seemed like a very big deal. But finally in the fall of 2018 we had two of my boys, Paul, age thirteen, and John, age seven, tested for allergies.

Environmental Allergy Testing Results Incredibly High for Dust

The results coming back were astounding. Not only did both of them have multiple environmental allergies, but when it came to dust, they were literally off the charts.

Dust allergies are measured as an IgE response in the blood on a scale of one to 100 points. If you’re over 100, that’s a class six dust allergy, the worst you can get.

Paul measured at a 93 and John was over 100 so they stopped even counting. John’s total allergenic load was over 600 which is basically the measurement of all of his allergies flaring up at once and adding together. This was huge!

D pteronyssinus and D farinae are two species of dust mites, if you’re wondering. 

I had a pretty serious conversation on the phone with our pediatrician, and she talked me through some measures we could take to control the dust in our environment.

Note: that “total number” I talked about is “total IgE level” and our ped said about it: “This is basically an indicator that his immune system is quite activated reacting to allergens. One big mechanism is by mast cells releasing histamine that cause allergy symptoms, such as swollen nasal passageways and increased snot production.” Paul’s total is 428, John’s 645.

My Kids’ Dust Allergy Symptoms

The crazy part is it neither of my boys had very severe symptoms. They weren’t sneezing all the time. Their eyes weren’t itchy. Their noses weren’t constantly plugged enough to make them miserable, and they didn’t have sore throats.

What they did have was nasal inflammation that only the pediatrician could see, and they both breathe through their mouth at night.

It turns out that mouth breathing has a lot of health hazards that weren’t really acceptable to me. I knew we had to do something about this as well. Like anything in the human body, there are so many confounding factors that it was tricky.

Could we manage our environment enough to keep dust away from them? And if so, how could we tell?

Paul, my oldest has random sniffling mostly in the morning. He’ll do a big schnock! through his nose, but he can’t really blow his nose often. However, if you ask him to breathe through his nose, he can’t actually do it. (All all. It’s crazy.)

In fact, as we moved through this process of exploring the allergies, he confessed that he was shocked out of his mind to learn that people can actually get a full breath through their nose! He just thought everyone breathes through their mouth and the nose had this tiny little passageway to let some air in, or maybe out when blowing your nose. He had no idea the nose was made for breathing, because he’s always so plugged up. I just couldn’t hear it, so I didn’t know how serious it was.

On the flip side, John is constantly sniffly, especially in the mornings. He’s always sniffling, and I will tell him to go blow his nose and he will and then he’ll sniffle some more. But he was never sneezing like crazy! His nose wasn’t running all over the place and looking disgusting, and it really didn’t impact his or my quality of life!

So again, even if we made a great impact by managing our environment, how would we know? Would they really be able to breathe better enough that we could even tell?

When the results came back, I made two initial decisions when it came to action.

One was that our first line of defense was not going to be Claritin, or any sort of prescription.

I know from all the interviews I do with experts that food allergies often go undiagnosed. So even before the blood test, I made Paul go a month dairy-free to see if that made any difference.

His sister came along with him because of her little throat clearing episodes. And lo and behold, we discovered that she does in fact have a dairy sensitivity. Paul, on the other hand, had a cold the entire month so we couldn’t learn anything from his external symptoms! (Go figure.)

We ended up going with the blood test because we hadn’t learned anything. And those dust allergies were lurking.

That brings me to decision number two: we were going to tackle the dust in our environment with a plan of destruction and go on a dust mite killing spree with all of our might and all our education and intellect behind us.

Your New Cleaning Routines to Kill and Remove Dust Mites

Your first focus needs to be on the bedroom.

And in case you haven’t dusted every nook and cranny weekly, as part of your regular routine, that’s going to change. Honestly, I knew about the hygiene theory of allergies, that perhaps because we live in such a clean society and kill all our germs, our kids are becoming more allergic. So ironically, I took it as a bit of a point of pride that I didn’t keep things too clean.

I felt that that was one area of housekeeping in my life that I could cut myself a little slack on in order to keep my sanity. Sorry Katie, no dice on that one. Going to have to spend seven hours a week cleaning now.

What You Need to Know About Killing Dust Mites

Dust mites aren’t exactly insects because they have eight legs, so they’re more like a cousin to a spider. But if you can think about killing them like you might kill insects, you’ll be on the right track.

  • Spray poison (sort of)
  • Create an environment unfriendly to dust mites (like we do when we pour out kids’ sand buckets of water to avoid mosquitoes in our backyard)
  • Boil them to death
  • Get rid of them

What’s most important to understand, however, is that a dust allergy is also an allergy to the dust mites, poop and carcasses, so you can’t just kill! You must also remove or quarantine anything that’s left behind.

4-Step Process to Keep Dust Mites Away to Reduce Allergy Symptoms Immediately

So what did we do about those dust mites?

Here’s our plan of attack organized into four phases of what you need to do, plus a list of what you may need to buy.

Step One: CLEANING

Weekly cleaning becomes a necessary evil! Here’s the short list:

  • Wash all bedding at 130F
  • Surface dusting with a damp cloth
  • Weekly carpet and hard floor management
  • Vacuuming furniture
  • Contain or freeze the stuffed animals
  • Stop making your bed

Step Two: AIR QUALITY

This is all about creating an unfriendly environment for the buggies:

  • Keep the house below 70 degrees F
  • Control the humidity to 55% or below
  • Use an air filtration unit

Step Three: ORGANIZATION/DECORATING

Yes really! You want to make the environment easier to clean while keeping as many dusty surfaces expelled from your living spaces as possible.

  • Ditch anything plush or that will hold a lot of dust
  • Buy containers for your stuff
  • No pets in the bedroom

Step Four: PERSONAL HYGIENE

  • End-of-day showers
  • Nasal rinses

You’ll find similar lists on every helpful site about dust allergies – but what I’m know for around here is making healthy habits DOable and practical. If that list seems obscure and/or overwhelming, you’re not alone!

Consider this your dust-allergy-mom support group — I’ll walk you through the nitty gritty of how to make your home as inhospitable to dust mites (and therefore as safe for your loved ones’ allergies) as possible while keeping your sanity intact. 😉

Step 1: Cleaning Routines After Dust Allergy Diagnosis

Weekly Washing of the Bedding

When I heard that I would have to wash all my kids’ bedding, from the mattress pad to the comforter, once a week with water over 130 Fahrenheit, I was quite dismayed.

I actually had “wash sheets” on my monthly cleaning list, and “wash blankets” on my seasonal cleaning list (meaning that it got done only two to four times a year). I’m pretty sure I only washed comforters either at that time or if somebody threw up or urinated on them. *cringe*

This sounded like a lot of work and a huge weight on my shoulders! Immediately after hanging up with the pediatrician, I rushed to my washing machine fully expecting there to be no “sanitize” cycle because we bought the most basic brand and unit we could so that there weren’t as many buttons to break.

I was right.

Not very many buttons means no sanitize cycle. What was I going to do?

I first set up a system with my friend down the street that at least once a month we could have an evening date, and I could wash all the bedding in her washing machine while we sipped wine and chatted. It sounded less like a chore this way, eh? 😉

Now that I think about it, this plan has an obvious hole in it because in the evening my children are in their beds! #facepalm At the time, it seemed like a pretty decent problem solving solution…

Luckily my husband and I realized that perhaps we could just make our water over 130 degrees Fahrenheit. We turned up our water heater, two clicks from where it was, waited about a half an hour, turned on the kitchen tap, burned our fingers, marveled at the steam rising toward the ceiling, and used our instant read meat thermometer to determine that yes, in fact, that was all it took to get over 130 Fahrenheit.

We built it into our routine that every Tuesday morning we would wake up, turn up the water heater, set the timer for 30 minutes and begin the long process of washing all the bedding. This takes at least four or five loads for just the two beds in question. Of course, comforters and blankets take up a lot of space and mattress pads, being so thick and heavy, often take two dryer cycles as well. #lotsoflaundry !!!

I’ve now shifted our routine a little bit so that instead of dusting and floors on one day and sheets on another, I do one room at a time. I feel like this is the best way to control the dust.

Best Laundry Practices for a Dust Mite Destruction (Learn from My Mistakes!)

There are some nuances to washing at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

For example, I learned the hard way that although drying on the highest temperature sounds like a great idea, when it comes to a waterproof mattress pad; it’s not exactly best practice. They kind of start melted together and get holes in them, and then they’re not protecting your children’s noses from the dust mites.

Learn from me and wash your waterproof items on warm and dry on low. Drying is definitely going to take two cycles so be sure to set a timer if you’re someone who tends to ignore the dryer buzzer like I am.

You’ve got to really be disciplined to get everything through in one day. And if you work out of the home, this is going to have to be a weekend project almost certainly. Now that I’ve learned my lesson, I do the pillowcases and mattress pad together so I get the dryer cycle right. I think I will be brave and try to wash them on hot again, but always dry on low.

It can actually get kind of expensive to do all this extra laundry. So I highly recommend using soap nuts as your detergent.

They’re a completely natural product, literally right off the tree, and they do a great job of getting things clean. By the way, clean smells like nothing, it doesn’t smell like flowers or fabric softener. 🙂

If you have a child with environmental allergies (or adult family member for that matter), it’s really important to reduce their overall toxic body burden. More on this later, but suffice it to say that the more natural your laundry soap is, the better off everyone becomes.

What I love about soap nuts is that you put five of these little nuts into a muslin bag, and then you can reuse that same bag for four to five washes. For me, that’s perfect because that’s exactly how many washes I need to to to get through all this bedding. So I just use one batch of nuts and then dump them out at the end of the two day process. It’s much more frugal than other detergents!

– I’ve enjoyed them for nearly a decade now! Get my favorite brand from Naturoli’s store.

Dust All Surfaces With a Wet Cloth

Dry dusting won’t cut it here folks! That’s just stirring up the problem and spreading it around. I recommend using a microfiber cloth to really pick up the dust as best you can.

I’ve taken to spraying with Greenbug, which uses natural cedar oil to kill insects. This is my “kill and remove” plan.

I dust everything from the tops of furniture, to the fan blades, to the shelves, to the tops of any toy boxes that are around, to the window coverings and blinds.

Now for some bad news: this takes a really long time!

In fact, the first time I decided to really tackle the blinds in Paul’s room, I timed myself.

Using a wet cloth and going back and forth back and forth pinching each little piece of blind between my fingers and the cloth took 15 minutes — and that was just a single window! He has two. 🙁

Plus I broke one or two of the pieces along the way! This is not sustainable, so a shade that is not vinyl and not fabric but is completely flat is high on my list to purchase. I know I could take the blinds down and put them in the bathtub…and maybe I’m just lazy, but that sounds like one of the circles of hell for me to do every week! Plus better to have a flat shade that can’t really collect dust all week, because you know the DAY after you dust, it’s really all starting to accumulate again anyway…

After that disheartening experience, I took to the 80/20 route. The blinds could not be my singular focus. I would spray them with Greenbug and quickly wipe them down all one direction or try to keep them open, at least in times of year where the sun is not waking up my children.

For now it’s the best I can do.

Side note: I just told you to buy microfiber cloth but I’m conflicted about that because they’re made of plastic and release micro plastics into the water every time you wash them. I think any old towel, rag or t-shirt cut in half will probably do fine as long as you make sure it’s nice and moist to really pick up all the dust mites and their junk.

Caring for the Floors in a Dust Allergic House

If you are fortunate enough to have hard flooring already in a bedroom or main living areas, use the same strategy. Wipe down with a moist cloth or mop at least once a week. Some sources say white vinegar may kill dust mites, or you could make a solution with some eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil. Please read this post on child safe oils first if you have kids under the age of 10.

If you have carpet, our pediatrician told me not to overdo it. Try to vacuum once or twice a week, but make sure that you have a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

Your family member who is allergic to dust should not do the vacuuming unless they have a mask. They definitely shouldn’t empty the vacuum cleaner if at all possible.

We ordered a few different brands of masks (Here’s our black one). My kids look pretty cool in them, don’t you think? 😉

I asked Paul how they felt, and he very emphatically and quickly shared his review of the black mask versus the red one. He says the black is much nicer because the red doesn’t smell very good, makes his face feel hotter, and is somehow harder to breathe through.

Some recommendations say that you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the carpet, leave for a few hours and then vacuum it up. This is also possible to do on mattresses and furniture, although I would spot check first because even though DE is dry, it may leave a mark on some upholstery. This one comes with a “duster” tool for applying. Note: While laying down and vacuuming DE, all people should wear a mask. You don’t want to be breathing in this dust!

I have yet to try this, but I love the idea because it’s so natural and safe. You can even ingest it, food-grade only, as part of a parasite cleanse protocol! 😮 Diatomaceous earth is basically like sharp knives for any insect or arachnid walking over it, and it should really help to kill the dust mites so your vacuuming efforts can remove them. Off to the garage to get mine!

Vacuuming dust

Time to Vacuum Your Furniture

In my sloppy housekeeping, vacuuming furniture was something that might get done every few years or so. Suddenly, because we do have upholstered furniture and aren’t ready to go buy a new couch and armchair quite yet, vacuuming every bit of the furniture is on the weekly chore list. Sigh…

My husband (bless his heart!) took that upon himself. I pretty much take care of the bedrooms and he vacuums and dusts our living room. (In case you’re wondering how much time this all may take, I’ve recorded our actual time expenditures below.)

One neat tool I found is a Housmile UV anti-dust mite cleaner that uses heat and UV rays to kill the dust mites. I thought it would be great for furniture in particular, then my weakness kicked in.

I have a strange phobia of new things and reading instructions, which is why, for example, my Instant Pot link stayed in its box for six months to a year before I opened it. This neat little tool is unfortunately still in its box…but now that I’m writing this post, I have at least put it in my way so maybe I have a chance of breaking it out and trying it! Oops…

If you are fortunate enough to already have furniture made of leather or plastic or wood, you can just wipe them down with a wet cloth just like you would dust anything else. If you do have that upholstery, steam cleaning is another recommendation, but for me it was just too much for the to-do list to handle.

Speaking of the to-do list, if it would help you at all to have a structure, here’s how we get the house (bedrooms especially) clean to get rid of what I feel is the maximum level of dust mites:

Our Weekly Routine to Attack Dust Mites in the Kids’ Bedrooms

  1. Dust everything with a spray that kills dust mites from top to bottom. Be sure to get the blinds, fan blades, then all the surfaces. You’re stirring up a lot of dust so it’s good that the dirty bedding is still on the bed.
  2. If you have any upholstered furniture in the bedroom, DE them and vacuum thoroughly. (You may want to ditch extra furniture in bedrooms!)
  1. Vacuum or wet mop the floor. You may want to wait an hour between dusting and vacuuming to really let all that dust settle back onto the floor so you have the best chance of getting the most out of there.
  2. Strip the bed and begin the process of doing laundry. We always wash from the bottom up. In other words, the mattress pad first, then the sheets, then the cozy top covers. That way if we get behind a load and something isn’t finished, at least kids can lay down and sleep and we can grab a blanket from another room to cover them for one night.
  3. Remake the bed and tuck in the clean children who have hopefully just had their baths.

On yet another day of the week, we tackle the main living area(s) of the house top to bottom as well.

Stuffed Animals and Other Things you Didn’t Even Know Were Hazards

When you look around your child’s bedroom, suddenly you will see all sorts of things (like millions and millions!) that can gather dust and are making your child sick. It’s an awful pit of the stomach sinking feeling.

The worst part for many families is that stuffed animals are perhaps the most hazardous of all because they’re nearly impossible to wash and they often sleep right in the bed with your child breathing in dust mites and poop right off their favorite stuffies.

Best practice is to simply remove them from the bedroom entirely, and better yet, from the whole house. If that’s just not going to happen, which is the decision I made, there is an alternative.

You can freeze the stuffed animals for 24 hours then take them outside and have a dance party (i.e., shake them vigorously to get all the dust mites and excrement off!).

Unfortunately, skin cells will continue to get on the stuffies, dust mites will continue to feed on the skin cells, and you will continue to have to do this practice on a somewhat regular basis. Have an “eat down the freezer week” so you can make space! I’ve also taken to spraying Greenbug on the stuffies as at least a very mild form of attack.

Finally the Good News — Don’t make your bed.

This one is so funny because our mothers all taught us to make our beds and it certainly makes the room look nicer and more put together.

But when it comes to dust mites, it’s actually better to leave the bed unmade.

This allows moisture to evaporate and it can be a little easier to just shake things out before you climb in bed in order to get the dust mites on the floor apparently. Which is why (see above) you are regularly cleaning that floor with a wet cloth!

What’s the deal with dust mites and moisture? Let’s dive into the next section.

Step 2: Managing the Air to Improve Dust Allergy Symptoms

Let’s talk a little about a dust mite’s two best friends (aside from human skin cells): heat and humidity.

Dust mites thrive in moist, warm conditions. So if you can control heat and humidity, you get a leg up.

Keep Your Thermostat Below 70 Degrees and Make Those Dust Mites Downright Uncomfortable

I love this tip for the winter, because of course it’s a budget saver as well. If you set your thermostat below 70F, you are creating an environment that is unstable for dust mites. Haha! Exactly what you want!

We keep ours at 68F anyway and just wear nice thick socks and sweaters. In the summer, this is not so exciting because it costs more to bring the temperature down. But again in the summer your windows can be open and the air circulating will help dissipate the dust mites anyway.

Humidity can be controlled by using a dehumidifier in the bedroom. Again in the summer, we just kind of let things roll with whatever is happening outside because I appreciate fresh air so much.

But in the winter, we bring our dehumidifier up from the basement and put it in Paul’s room where he has carpet. John, our eight year old who also has a dust allergy, actually has hardwood floors in his room because the previous homeowner had a child with serious indoor environmental allergies. (Go figure! This sort of brings me back to worrying about my household air…)

If your dehumidifier has a percentage sensor, you can set it to run below 55%. Ours does, so that’s easy. Here are hygrometer to measure humidity and keep it below 55%.

If your child is old enough and strong enough, emptying his or her own dehumidifier bucket regularly can build responsibility.

Filter That Dust Right out of the Air

Once you’ve controlled temperature and humidity, you can still do more to clean the air and make it safer for your allergenic family member.

First, make sure that you have extra heavy duty filters in your heating and cooling unit. Everyone buys filters, and I always used to buy the $5 cheapest kind.

Now the ones we have to buy cost almost five times as much, but at least the whole house is being filtered much more effectively.

Look for a HEPA filter with an MERV rating of 11 or 12. You’ll notice that these are generally thicker than what you’re used to, about three or four inches thick. We bought these are also good but most cost efficient.

You can take air filtration up another level by installing portable air filter units, particularly in the bedrooms and in main living spaces. We have five air filters in our house, one in each bedroom and one in our office on the main floor.

AirDoctor is our preferred brand right now, and I love them because they have extremely powerful HEPA filters and beyond. And rather than having to set a calendar reminder to clean or change the filters, the unit tells me when the filter needs to be changed.

There’s even an extra feature to ionize the air which can add another layer of protection. You should see how the automatic fan speed kicks up when I’m dusting, spraying hairspray or cooking up a storm in the kitchen! It’s both scary and comforting to know that (1) my air quality is getting pretty bad, and (2) at least I’m doing something about it! (The boys like when it’s on high because it will float balloon forever!)

When I first purchased the air filters, I was really curious how I would know if they were working.

At night, I would close the boys’ door, then a few hours later come back and specifically pay very close attention to how the air felt. I would take a deep breath out in the hallway and focus on the smell, taste and feel of the air. Then I would open the door quickly, sneak into the room and take another breath.

I know this is incredibly subjective and a data set of n=1, but I’m telling you I could feel that the air was cleaner, I could smell it. I’m really happy that we have these going at all times in the bedrooms!

Get rid of dust allergies isn’t as simple as dusting once a week…or even once a day. Download the printable list of baby steps you can take to kill dust mites and start removing them from your home!

CLICK HERE TO GO ON A DUST MITE KILLING SPREE

Step 3: Reorganizing a Room to Prevent Dust Mites From Being in Control

Obviously adding an air filtration unit in each room will “reorganize” things and redecorate a little bit.

I also propose that many of our habits as Americans with all of our stuff can be very detrimental to those with environmental allergies! The photo above is my little boys’ room before we learned about the dust allergies. No WAY could I control dust in that space!

Tomorrow’s post will share some of the strategies that we used right away to try to reduce the surfaces on which dust could gather, basically a “toy organization for dust allergies” tutorial.

The quick summary?

Pare down what’s in the room and then make everything dustable, flat, without extra grooves to waste your weekly cleaning time.

It was a tub extravaganza!

Step 4: Personal Hygiene that May Relieve Dust Allergy Symptoms

So far we’ve talked about some ways to kill the dust mites, how to remove them through cleaning routines, how to get rid of absorbent materials that can’t be washed, how to think about reorganizing the nooks and crannies of your bedroom.

Now we get to talk about actually getting the dust off of and out of the person.

Before Bed Showers May Help

This is quite laughable in my house because generally my kids have no idea how many days it’s been since their last shower, but it’s a great idea nonetheless! 🙂

At the end of the day, when you’re covered with literally the dust and grime of the day, why not take a shower at that point? Now you’re clean just before you put on clean (or fairly clean) pajamas and climb into your bed, which of course has no more than six days of accumulation. Of course, a bath would suffice as well.

Rinse Out Your Nostrils to Expel the Dust Mites

It’s quite disgusting to think about all that gets caught in our nose hairs, isn’t it? But that’s what they’re there for their our own little personal air filter. Unfortunately, when you’re allergic to something, the dust and pollen that’s trapped in your nasal passages can be exacerbating your symptoms all night long. It’s a wise habit to use a nasal rinse daily or every other day and it can really alleviate your symptoms overnight.

Even if you can’t get into daily habit, you may particularly want to rinse out the nasal passages, if you have been dusting with or without a mask or have environmental allergies to animal dander or pollen and have been exposed because of some fun romps with pets or outside in the grass.

My kids will tell you that at first, the nasal rinse was absolutely awful, and some of them still have a distaste for it more than others. But after a while, you kind of get used to it, and it can just be part of the routine like, “Go potty, brush your teeth, squirt water through your nose.”

There are extra packets of saline solution).

The way these things work is that you squeeze a soft plastic bottle full of a slightly saline solution into one nostril. And it goes up and over out the other nostril. Obviously you’re leaning over a sink. Have a tissue or handkerchief handy.

What You Need to Buy to Reduce Dust Mites

The first focus is always on the bedroom, because that’s where we humans spend the most time.

Here at Kitchen Stewardship our focus has always been on balancing the budget along with your health and time, so trust me when I say I’ll never recommend that you purchase something unnecessary.

These items are a first line of defense against dust mites and pretty much obligatory if you get a dust allergy diagnosis:

And to be honest? If you’re a human with nostrils who breathes air, you should probably start protecting your beds like this, because dust mites (and other nasties that live and grow in mattresses and pillows) aren’t really good for anyone!!! Links provided below and full waterproof/dust-mite-proof mattress cover and pillowcase review coming soon — they haven’t all lasted the year, and as usual, I bought MANY brands to test out for you!!! 

  • Get hypo-allergenic pillows with a dust-mite proof cover on them (no more than 0.1 millimeters space between the weave). See my review of which ones lasted and which ones melted, coming soon!
  • Put hypo-allergenic covers on all mattresses in the room (zippered closure that completely encases the mattress is best). Note that not all hypo-allergenic covers are waterproof, but we DID go with waterproof in addition for our little boys who are still in the “mattress wrecking” phase of life as far as bodily fluids go.
  • Comforters should have hypoallergenic fill, which usually means polyester.

What You May Decide to Buy Later (Advanced Defense Against Dust Mites)

If you get really serious about reducing the dust in your home, there are some BIG changes you can make that signify a bigger investment.

If you’re remodeling or buying new furniture anyway, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Non-upholstered furniture is ideal, so keep that in mind if you refurnish a room.
  • Buy flat shades instead of blinds and get rid of any upholstered curtains that you can’t wash regularly (or aren’t willing to) — especially in bedrooms for both.

How Expensive is it to Manage a Dust Allergy?

I’m a bit flabbergasted by how much all these little changes have added up financially, not counting any furniture or flooring decisions. In the interest of telling the full story, I kept careful track of how much we spent, and I’ll share it here.

Note: Even when I link to a product, the price is simply what I paid for in late 2018/early 2019. You may end up spending more or less on the same products, and I was often able to shop locally but will link you nationally.

One-time costs:

  • Tubs to store toys etc: $121.28
  • New nightstand (because Paul had open shelving): not yet!
  • Hardwood flooring: Coming…many thousands of dollars!
  • New blinds? Coming…
  • Norwex spray + mitt with neighbor discount: $42.90
  • Total one-time costs: $1514.76 (and truly so much more will be spent as we tackle the larger, one-time items…)

Recurring costs:

  • Norwex spray: (not sure I’d continue this though)
  • I bought 4 years worth of filters – so that will run ours for 1 year and a bit b/c we have 4: $497.90
  • (before even tackling any regular Homeopathics or allergy shots/drops to actually cure these allergies!)

Time spent per week:

In my book at this phase in my life, time is even more valuable than money. This has been exhausting, and I’m not always great at keeping up — and then the mom-guilt kicks in because I feel like I’m hurting my kids every time I walk past a surface that’s visibly dusty (every hour!) or think about whether I’m a few days overdue on the weekly cleaning.

When I assessed all I would have to do weekly, I guessed that it would be many hours, so I kept track. I was right:

  • Washing bedding: 45-60 minutes
  • Vacuuming room well: 15 minutes
  • Sweeping and wet mopping: 45 minutes
  • Vacuuming upholstered furniture (only 2 pieces): 45 minutes+
  • Wet dusting entire house: 90 minutes
  • Wet Dusting blinds well – 15 minutes per blind, plus I broke 1-2 each time
  • Vacuuming common areas 2x/week: 1 hour more than we used to spend
  • Emptying dehumidifier bucket: 10 mins.
  • TOTAL WEEKLY TIME: approximately 5 1/2 to 6 hours per week!

Initial time spent:

  • 45 minutes picking up Paul’s floor
  • Paul organizing room…so much time!
  • Tub shopping – 2 hours (measuring too)
  • Reorganizing toys for the boys…3-4 hours?
  • Research on pillowcases and mattress covers: 30 mins.
  • Other research including calling about drops: 2-10 hours?
  • Going to allergy appointment: 4 hours including travel time 25 minutes one direction, plus another 2 appointments to come for 3-4 more hours.

It’s been an interesting year to say the least, and I’ve had a pretty massive learning curve.

The worst (or best?) part is that when it comes to people buying my kids toys, I find myself saying, “They really can’t keep that in their room – dust allergies.” It’s a wee bit sad for them, but I’m not crying to have less clutter! I also would say that phrase over the summer on vacation about knick knacks and decorative items they wanted to buy for themselves.

Overall we’re getting into a routine, falling out of it, reminding ourselves that it’s important, trying again…and ultimately raising the white flag. (More on that in another post.)

Our Dirty Indoor Air Vs. Our Clean Living

Now I still find myself wondering about mold in our house, but the more pressing concern has become: do BOTH of my other children have environmental allergies, and WHY did they all overfill their histamine buckets at such a young age?!?

When I was first checking my kids’ breathing at night to see if they were mouth breathing a few years ago at the pediatrician’s request, little Gabriel slept peacefully with his lips sealed. Now that he’s nearly five, I have discovered with dismay that when I check on him and big brother John (they share a bed), his mouth is hanging open as well.

Sigh…

At first I was in denial. Maybe it’s not true! Maybe it’s a fluke, just tonight! Maybe he’s getting a cold!!

But at his last well child check-up this fall, the pediatrician identified nasal inflammation and explained to my husband and me about other signs of allergies she was seeing in Gabe.

We won’t be surprised if his allergy tests show a bunch of problems as well, but at least if we nab them early we’ll avoid some of the expensive dental work John’s mouth breathing has caused him!

And Leah is in a phase where being stuck with a needle is a hard no, so we don’t know what environmental allergies she has. Even though she is strictly off dairy, I still see those darker circles under her eyes.

The good news is what Dr. Christine Schafer of Grand Rapids Allergy said about their symptoms. With the boys’ IgE numbers being so exceptionally high, I’ve always been shocked that their symptoms aren’t more severe.

I asked her if it’s possible that our care with other areas of life: clean eating, less sugar, avoiding toxins – could perhaps have reduced their overall “bucket” of disease and made their bodies more likely to be able to handle those allergies.

She looked thoughtful and agreed that yes, she would expect to see more severe symptoms with numbers like that. She said she liked my theory and that she would absolutely believe that it could be a cause and effect relationship.

At least we’re doing something right!

More to come over the next few weeks on dust allergies and treatments, and if you’re ready to clean your air, you’re invited to a class with the inventor of AirDoctor this week! 

Have you ever dealt with dust allergies in your house?

Sources:

The post We Spent $3892.57 Managing our Kids’ Dust Allergies – and They’re Not Even Close to Under Control Yet appeared first on Kitchen Stewardship | Real Food and Natural Living.

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Should You Use Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Flooring? | iwilldecor

Hardwood Flooring

Sleep expert, professional interior and luxury sheet sets designer Jennifer Adams is back to answer your questions and provide some helpful advice! Today we consider whether vinegar is a good cleaning agent to use with hardwood flooring:

Why Do My Floors Look Dull? I Try to Be Very Intentional About Cleaning Them!

I really appreciate you reaching out to ask about best approaches for cleaning your hardwood floors. I’m so sorry to hear that the finish on your floors looks to have become dulled, I know how frustrating that can be! Depending on exactly which type of finish you have on your flooring, it’s indeed possible that the vinegar or some other acidic cleaner you’ve used could have led to some dulling of the finish. I will also tell you from experience that there’s a chance your finish hasn’t really been dulled. It’s possible that there’s just some dried, leftover cleaning product on the surface of your flooring that’s making it look dull. I’d recommend you try cleaning a patch of your floor with just a mop and some warm water, just to see if that helps.

Check with the Manufacturer

Hopefully you kept all the paperwork from when you had your floors installed, and have been following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to the T. If you’ve been doing that and the finish has still become dull, you should take it up with the manufacturer or installer, especially if your floors are still under warranty. Even if your warranty no longer applies, it would still be a good idea to ask the manufacturer for suggestions about what might bring back the shine. If all else fails, you may just need to have your flooring refinished or replaced.

Good Tips for Cleaning Hardwood

The key to cleaning any hardwood floor is to try and be as gentle as possible. For starters, you need to regularly be removing dust and grit. To that end, I’d recommend a vacuum over a broom. Sweeping tends to rearrange and redistribute dirt and dust more than it actually removes it. For some deeper cleaning or spot cleaning after you vacuum, I don’t recommend using regular soap or detergent products. Rather, use a non-acidic, CO2-based spray cleanser that’s designed for hardwood floors, and go over your floors with a padded microfiber cloth mop that’s just slightly dampened.

Don’t Use Any More Water Than Necessary

If you’re not sure about your finish, it’s generally safe to just go with a cloth that’s barely damp. If possible, it’s always advisable to test in an inconspicuous corner first. Never – and I mean NEVER – pour water or any other fluids on a hardwood floor. The fluids can easily seep into the wood, potentially causing warping, staining, or other significant damage to your flooring.

A Few Final Thoughts

I hope you’ll find these tips to be helpful. I’d love to hear about anything else that works well for you. My two great passions are home décor/maintenance and sleep science. And speaking of the latter, if you’d like to experience some fresh bedding that perfectly balances style, softness, and comfort, I hope you’ll take a moment to peruse our Luxury Bedding Collections at Jennifer Adams!

This content was originally published here.

How To Install Click Lock Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

Oh. My. Goodness. YOU GUYS. Is it possible to fall completely in love with your hardwood flooring?! Because that’s totally happening rightthissecond. Our new hardwood floors look SO GOOD!!! If you recall, we had three different types of flooring on the main floor of our home: dated honey oak hardwood, builder-beige carpet, and dark laminate (my least favorite thing in the world) that was installed over ceramic tile (okay, that’s technically four different types of flooring). I’m not sure why there were so many different floor choices to begin with, but I’m a big fan of a cohesive, seamless look throughout. Replacing the mismatched floors was one of the things we wanted to do as soon as we moved into this house. I’m thrilled to partner with The Home Depot on this hardwood flooring project!

Click lock engineered hardwood floor
I researched a ton of different flooring options, from vinyl plank to tile. I talk more about why I chose engineered hardwood in this post. While all wood floors expand and contract due to changes in temperature and humidity, engineered hardwood is more stable than solid wood floors because of the way it’s constructed. Engineered hardwood is made up of layers of real hardwood and high-quality plywood, each layer positioned in opposite directions. This makes for a more stable product, so the wood will less likely warp and bow in moist or humid conditions. This is especially important in rooms where moisture might be an issue, like a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.

French oak hardwood floor
While all that’s well and good, let’s be honest. The main reason why I chose this flooring is because it looks INCREDIBLE. When we lived in Texas, we rented a house with dark wood floors and it showed every dust particle and dog hair, it was next to impossible to keep clean. I vowed never to have dark floors again, so when I laid eyes on this wide plank French oak hardwood flooring by Malibu Wide Plank, I was smitten. It is absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I love the light (but not too light) wood tone, the wide 6 1/2-inch planks, the depth of the smoked, hand-scraped oak grain, and the matte finish.

Also, this flooring can be installed as a floating floor (not nailed or glued) or it can be glued down. We chose to float the floor just for ease of installation (and because I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe). It can be installed on, above, or below grade and no acclimation is required. I love that it comes in various lengths, with 70% of the planks being 48 inches long.

How to install click lock engineered hardwood flooring
But wait…
It gets better.

This flooring comes with click lock construction, so installation is a breeze. Each piece fits together like a puzzle; you shouldn’t have to wrestle with the floorboards to get them to lay flat and lock into place. Once you lay the tongue in the groove, it should click, lock, and fit like a glove.

“Like a glove!” That’s what my husband said after each plank was laid down, Ace Ventura style. Oh, did I mention we had 1600+ square feet to cover?

Yeah. That didn’t get old AT ALL. #sarcasm

Closeup of click lock installation for hardwood floors
The most challenging part of this project was the fact that we were laying hardwoods across such a large space. Because the dining room opens up to the foyer, which opens up to my office, which leads into the living room, we needed to be sure that the floorboards would be straight going from room to room. And we didn’t want to use any transition boards if we could help it; we wanted a beautiful, seamless floor throughout.

This is the first time we’ve ever laid hardwood floors, so I called on my good friend and custom home builder, Josh Brantingham to help us get started. Josh has built and renovated several homes and he was a huge help! The first thing we did was find the longest exterior wall to start on. An exterior wall is more likely to be straighter than interior walls, so that’s what we wanted to reference. We measured and snapped a chalk line from one end of the house to the other. As long as the floorboards stay parallel to this chalk line, we know the floors will be straight.

How to lay hardwood flooring
Once we had our chalk line, we rolled out the underlayment over the plywood subfloor. We chose this 2mm underlayment because it was cost-effective, yet provided a good moisture barrier and some sound dampening. It was an upgrade from the tar paper the contractors stapled down under the original floors.

Underlayment for floating hardwood floors
We laid the first few rows from left to right, top to bottom, checking to make sure we were staying parallel to the chalk line. As more rows are laid, the more secure the floor becomes. You also want to leave a slight gap between the floorboards and the wall, to allow for any wood movement. The baseboards will bridge this gap. This flooring installation kit comes with a pull bar, tapping block, and spacers. The spacers keep the planks the same distance off of the wall, while the pull bar and tapping block are helpful in tapping the joints tightly into place.

Using spacers when installing hardwood floors
Also worth mentioning… when you’re installing hardwood floors in a single room, you’d typically measure the room and figure out what width the first and last rows should be. Ultimately, you want the first and last rows to be similar in width – you don’t want to start with a wide plank, then end up with a super skinny plank. But because we’re laying this flooring across the entire first floor of our home, this step wasn’t necessary. These floors are going in our foyer, dining room, home office, living room, kitchen, laundry room, powder bath, and hallway, so there will be many, many different walls and doorways that the floorboards will die into. It would be next to impossible to make each beginning and end plank match in width.

How to install click lock hardwood floors
We laid the planks in a random pattern, staggering the seams. There should be a minimum of 6 inches from the seam of one board to the seam of the board below it. In other words, don’t line up your seams – allow there to be at least a 6-inch overhang.

Stagger seams when installing hardwood flooring
For vents, floor outlets, around door jambs and such, we had to cut or notch out parts of the floorboards. First, we took measurements, then notched out the board with a jigsaw.

How to notch hardwood floors
For this floor outlet, we first drilled a pilot hole for the jigsaw blade to start, then followed the pencil lines with the jigsaw. When we were done, we had a neat little window for the floor outlet to peek through.

How to install engineered hardwood flooring
There were other times when we had to trim up the door casing so that the floorboard would fit under it – the Dremel Multi-Max worked well for this task. We used the Multi-Max in the floor demo as well, which you can see here.

How to install hardwood floors the easy way!
Once the tricky parts were taken care of, we were able to rock and roll. It was really easy to get our groove on and make great progress in very little time. Get it? Groove? Because this flooring has a tongue and groove? I’ll be here all night, folks. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

It’s fascinating how each plank clicks and locks into place, like a puzzle. And because we’re floating the floor, it was easy to go back and lift up the planks if we made a mistake. This flooring is incredibly forgiving. The thing I can’t stress enough is this:  just start. If you make a mistake, you can easily go back and fix it. It might take more time, but because there are no nails or glue involved, your mistakes will be easy to correct.

How to lay engineered hardwood floors
Lather, rinse, repeat! Oh, and invest in some good knee pads. They were our saving grace.

How to install click lock engineered hardwood flooring
You guys. I can’t believe we did this!!! It was our first time laying hardwood floors and they look absolutely amazing! It was a bit tricky to photograph because the light coming in from the windows washed out the wood tones a bit, but take my word for it, they look spectacular in real life. We saved ourselves thousands of dollars by installing these floors ourselves – the click lock installation really made things pretty foolproof.

How to install hardwood flooring click lock installation
Oh, and don’t mind the missing baseboards and trim – they’ve been special-ordered, along with my new French doors and custom transom windows. We can’t wait to put this house back together – hopefully before we have to host Thanksgiving this year (!!!). We’re also going to be tackling a home office makeover soon, so stay tuned for that! It’s gonna be so good.

Want to see how we demo’d our old floors? Check out this post.

How to install hardwood flooring
*I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the Flooring Campaign. As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines. This post contains affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, please click here.

This content was originally published here.

One-of-a-Kind Design – Fine Homebuilding

Hardwood Flooring

“This is my mother’s house and she is a ceramic artist and a sentimental collector, so display was a driving factor.” —Hannah Bell, architect

When architect Hannah Bell and her husband, Kevin Bell (also an architect), took on the design challenge of revamping the first floor of her parents’ 1970s colonial-inspired house in Longmeadow, Mass., they had some hurdles to get over. First, they needed to rectify the boggling floor plan, which had the kitchen and dining rooms at the center of the house—sandwiched between a vestibule and a closed porch—making them dark, cavern-like spaces. Also informing their decisions were her mother’s desire to incorporate both her own artwork and generations’ worth of family heirlooms. Additionally, the wish list included pantry storage.

Their first move was to relocate the kitchen, thereby increasing access to natural light and improving the circulation between the main living areas and the rest of the house. The kitchen was moved into the former living room, where the fireplace was significantly altered; the hearth was removed, the height was raised to be above the counters, and tile was brought up beyond where the brick had stopped.

Now, the kitchen connects directly to the sun porch, which brightens the space. The room had previously featured a peaked ceiling, which the Bells lowered, removing some beams in the process. Interestingly, according to Hannah, the kitchen’s new location outside the main volume is more in line with the early colonial architecture after which the house was modeled.

Reworking of the kitchen included narrowing the French doors to the sun porch in order to accommodate the new pantries. To compensate, they raised the door height to maximize daylight. Hannah designed the pantries and together she and Kevin built them. One is strictly utilitarian with floor-to-ceiling stainless steel shelving, the other is more of a coffee bar. With a kind of Victorian vibe, the latter is meant to be attractive when open. “I was trying to include my mother’s things,” Hannah notes. “That mirror belonged to my great grandmother.”

The sliding pantry doors are notable for their panel insets, which were fabricated from radiator coverings and installed with small nails on the backside. Another innovation was to use a Wood Panel X-Mold to create a reveal where the edges of the panels meet at an outside corner joint. This detail was used to hide imperfections in the ship lap’s alignment at the corners—caused by expansion and contraction of the wood.

The dressier pantry sits beneath ceilings of different heights. This was done in order to make it align with the front door, which, in turn, expanded the kitchen. “That was a tricky part to figure out,” Hannah says. “It felt like we should keep [all of the kitchen elements] inside the tall portion of the ceiling, but this way, I was able to make the room a little bigger.”

Of course, the waterfall stainless steel island is a defining feature. Hannah designed it and the couple installed it themselves. “We’ve started to perfect stainless steel countertops,” Hannah notes, adding that they make templates for a local fabricator to follow. “The trick with the island, which includes four corners, is that you can’t just slide the top on. You have to make a template that comes apart. You need to be able to take the outer boarder off and then reassemble it once they’ve welded the sink and countertops.” Where the stainless steel wraps around to meet the cabinet on the waterfall side, they added slightly loose-fitting steel in order to be able to slip beneath it. “It’s not hard to accomplish, but you have to think about it. And until you’ve done it, you don’t even know what to think about,” Hannah muses.

Other notables include the commercial-grade rubber floor and the unusual backsplash, which is made of marble thresholds typically used on floors. This was a cost-savings solution to the expense of a marble slab, which the contractor was hesitant to install, given the weight. “It was way less expensive and it added another layer of texture and pattern,” Hannah says. It also plays well with the high-gloss 3-in. by 9-in. herringbone-patterned subway tiles, which Hannah likes for their undulating, handmade look. The other treatment of note is the LED tape lighting that runs in a channel at the top edge of the tiles. Used to wash the ceiling in ambient light, it is yet another measure to transform the previously dim space. LED strip tape was also used around coffered ceiling in the dining room for the same reason.

The floor plan shuffle included situating the dining room at the center of the house, and the living room was switched to the rear, where it is somewhat removed from regular foot traffic. With views of the gardens, it is significantly more inviting than it had been. The new dining room location, on the other hand, is meant for easy everyday circulation; and its openness allows the table to expand to seat additional guests.

During the remodel, the designers discovered a 12-ft.-long steel beam that had been poorly disguised to look like a wood beam. The decision was made to leave it exposed and paint it, which pushes the contemporary aesthetic. Also contributing to the style are the homeowner’s many art pieces. “Her work is installed throughout the house,” Hannah notes, giving the examples of the hand-thrown counter sink in the coffee pantry and the chandeliers above the dining room table. “Places for antiques, watercolor paintings, prints, and future art were an important part of the renovation.”

Photos courtesy of Hannah Bell

Kitchen flooring: norament grano from Interface; color: Agapanthus

Hardwood flooring: 8-in. solid hickory from Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring

Shiplap corner detail: Wood Panel X-Mold from Flannery, Inc.

Kitchen backsplash: marble thresholds from Daltile

Fireplace wall: 3-in. by 12-in. Artigiano from Daltile

If you have a kitchen project that might be of interest to our readers, please send a short description and images to [email protected].

For more kitchen remodel projects:

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Sienna Mahogany Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

Mahogany is one of the hardest woods on the planet, perfectly suited for flooring applications. It will bring an exotic elegance to your home, while offering a lifetime of use.
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Hardwood Flooring

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Affordable houses for sale near me This really is the perfect 3 room, three baths, concluded basement home. You will not discover homes for the local rental marketplace when using the same degree of improvements! This house uses: energy conserving updates — all stainless home appliances; granite kitchen; all bathrooms possess stone; newer carpeting through; new garage doorways with openers; fresh fittings (drum gizmos, track lamps, indented lighting and fly fans), neutral – popular shades freshly painted throughout. High ceilings with stairs overlooking living room.

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Looking for a new home? Don’t miss these 9 open house events this weekend – CharlotteFive

Hardwood Flooring

This post is brought to you in partnership with Savvy + Co. Real Estate. All opinions are our own.

What’s better than a piping hot pumpkin spice latte in weather that actually feels like fall? That same piping hot PSL in your new home! If you are searching for a new home, or are starting to think you need a bigger space, more privacy, an abode close to the city or something in between, the expert agents at Savvy + Co. Real Estate can help.

The homes featured this week are stunning, with a variety of styles, beautiful updates and fun places to entertain! With these can’t-miss choices, you are sure to find one you will FALL for!

Beautifully-renovated bungalow in the heart of Midwood

Address: 1806 Club Road
Subdivision: Midwood
List Price: $449,900
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28, 1-3 p.m.
Listing Agent: Jeff King
Open House Agent: Sarah Martin
Description: This charming cottage will make you feel like you’ve walked right into the pages of a magazine. You’ll love the amazing curb appeal, full front porch, copper roof, screened back porch and backyard oasis with multiple sitting areas. Inside you’ll find your dream kitchen with marble counter tops, farmhouse sink, white shaker cabinets and more. Walk-up stairs lead to a huge attic for storage or possible expansion, downstairs has a large basement. Much love is in every detail of this beautiful home.

Modern-construction home across from the greenway

Address: 420 Wesley Heights Way
Subdivision: Wesley Heights
List Price: $675,000
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28, 1-3 p.m.
Listing Agent: Patrick Deely & Lana Laws
Open House Agent: John Geuss
Description: Stunning modern construction on the west side with long range views of the Charlotte skyline from the living level, upper loft area and owner’s suite. This house has a full bedroom suite on every floor, a wide-open living level with fireplace and balcony, a large kitchen and island, a separate pantry area, ample dining space and so much more. You’ll love coming home to the owner’s suite featuring a walk-in closet, dual vanity, separate water closet, tiled wet room with freestanding tub and water spout filler (from the ceiling!). Wow!

Charleston-style home with covered front porch and fenced yard

Address: 17119 Sulky Plough Road
Subdivision: Ardrey Commons
List Price: $489,900
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28, 1-3 p.m.
Listing Agent: Melissa Christiansen
Description: This fab home in Ardrey Commons includes an open floorplan, gourmet kitchen with large island, great room with gas log fireplace, kitchen with granite, tile backsplash, gas cook top, vented hood, and stainless steal appliances with a breakfast area. You’ll look forward to coming home to your master bedroom retreat with walk-in closets, en suite master bath with garden tub and tile shower. Hardwood flooring throughout main living area, nine-foot ceilings with detailed moldings. The wow features continue with a screened porch, two-car attached garage and huge walk-in storage space above garage. Amazing shops and restaurants are within a mile!

Pristine contemporary South End townhouse in the middle of everything

Address: 2704 Youngblood St.
Subdivision: Southpoint
List Price: $619,000
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28 AND Sunday, Sept. 29, 2-4 p.m. both days
Listing Agent: John Geuss
Open House Agent: Emma Rothe (Saturday) and John Geuss (Sunday)
Description: This home is better than new! Walk to the light rail, breweries, restaurants and retail. You’ll appreciate the significantly-upgraded interior finishes including lighting, a built-in stacked stone electric fireplace, Hunter Douglas solar shades, Wi-Fi access points on all levels, surround sound, white quartz countertops in the kitchen and master bath, barn doors, and so much more. Come home to your expansive roof top terrace with unobstructed views of Uptown. Perfection!

New-construction close to Uptown in hot Enderly Park

Address: 2222 Camp Greene St.
Subdivision: Camp Greene
List Price: $389,000
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28, noon-2 p.m. AND Sunday, Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m.
Listing Agent: Mike Feehley
Open House Agent: Danielle Potter (Saturday) and Kim Parati (Sunday)
Description: Every inch of this home has been thought out in great detail — from the classic craftsman exterior with huge covered front porch, to the 9-foot ceilings and open floor plan on the interior, this home was meant to impress. Inside, you are met with hardwoods throughout the majority of the house, a fireplace in the living room, and an open kitchen with quartz counter tops and unique backsplash. Off the kitchen is a large laundry room/mud room that leads to the large backyard and driveway. The master bedroom offers a large walk-in closet and custom walk-in shower. Upstairs are two bedrooms, a bathroom and bonus area.

Three-bedroom, two-bath ranch in model home condition

Address: 11819 Hampton Place Drive
Subdivision: Hampton Place
List Price: $274,900
Open House: Sunday, Sept. 29, noon-2 p.m.
Listing Agent: Charisma Smith
Open House Agent: Samara Brown
Description: This home shows like a model home with hardwood floors, an office/study area, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen (double-ovens), open great room, and beautiful sun/sitting room. This ranch features a split-bedroom plan with the master separate from additional bedrooms. Master suite features speakers for relaxing music that leads to a private master bathroom retreat. You’ll want to start and end your day in the ultra-private backyard with no neighbors in the back. This home is turn key ready, don’t miss it.

Bike to your favorite places to hang out and live near the planned trolley line

Address: 339 Cemetery St.
Subdivision: Biddleville
List Price: $319,800
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28, 1 – 3 p.m.
Listing Agent: Mike Feehley
Open House Agent: Samara Brown
Description: This practically brand-new Biddleville home is ready for you! Home features four bedrooms, hardwoods, stainless steel appliances, granite, walk-in closets, and a fenced yard. New development surrounds this home and community, and the area is booming. You’ll love living near the new trolley line — nearing completion — that can take you and the crew directly to Uptown.

Urban living at its best in this Midwood home

Address: 1511 Landis Ave.
Subdivision: Midwood
List Price: $620,000
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28, 1-3 p.m.
Listing Agent: Patrick Deely & Lana Laws
Open House Agent: Jean Gossett
Description: Walk to Resident Culture Brewing, Veterans Park, Pure Pizza and all the entertainment that Midwood has to offer. This home blends high style and rustic chic with a board-formed concrete fireplace and bright, clean, shiplap walls and natural flooring. Come home to your two-car garage and fully-fenced, low-maintenance yard with covered rear porch off the kitchen. The second floor includes a spacious master suite and a huge third floor loft, PLUS, a fourth bedroom with full bath.

You’ll love your new Midwood Place at Commonwealth Park address

Address: 1531 Briar Creek Road
Subdivision: Midwood Place at Commonwealth Park
List Price: Starting under $265,000
Open House: Saturday, Sept. 28 AND Sunday, Sept. 29, 1-4 p.m. both days
Listing Agent: Shonn Ross and Josh Starnes
Description: Make your homeownership dreams come true today with a two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath end unit townhome starting under $265,000. Plus, it’s so close to entertainment, parks and restaurants in the hot Midwood neighborhood. With a future trolley stop a half a block away, the convenience and desirability factor will only continue to rise. Visit the models across the street at 1531 Briar Creek Road and see for yourself.

Cheers to your new home!

Want to know more about Savvy + Co. Real Estate? Click here for more information.

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Spanish style Hollywood Hills hideaway with jaw-dropping views

Hardwood Flooring

This beautifully renovated Spanish style villa in the Hollywood Hills, California, showcases breathtaking panoramic views of the city and ocean below. Constructed in 1923, the home has been transformed both indoors and out with plenty of stunning features that will leave you speechless. Most notably is the cascading waterfall that travels down the side of an outdoor stairwell that leads from the top level down to the bottom level. The multi-tiered outdoor spaces includes a lounge space with a fireplace, dining al fresco courtesy of an outdoor kitchen and cozy outdoor living space, this home has everything, including a hot tub! This residence holds plenty of character on the interiors, with wood beam ceilings, warm and cozy fireplaces and a speaker system that runs throughout the interior and exterior living spaces. A vine clad porch entryway leads you into this three bedroom, three bathroom property with a cozy living room that steps up to the dining area and open kitchen with Carrara marble countertops and a Sub-Zero fridge, and a sitting/changing room just off the master bedroom retreat. Hardwood flooring runs throughout the interiors of this spectacular oasis that offers great privacy with all the lush, mature gardens that surrounds.

Spotted on Emmanuel Xuereb, the asking price for this lavishly designed property is $2,098,000.

Take a tour through this wonderful home and discover all of the unique features that it has to offer. Let us know your thoughts on what you like or not like most about this Spanish style property in the comments section below. Take a peek at some other fascinating features here on 1 Kindesign with cool Spanish style aesthetics:

Exceptional Spanish-style hacienda in Mexico

Spanish Revival home gets an exquisite facelift

Inviting Spanish Revival bungalow in San Anselmo

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5 Reasons Wood Look Tile Beats Hardwood Flooring Sjm Tile And With Wood Look Tile Making Wood Look Tile — The Home Redesign : Making Wood Look Tile

Hardwood Flooring

Back To Article → Making Wood Look Tile

Look tile flooring. Installing hardwood against tile flooring wood look tile flooring ways to consider when making. 5 reasons wood look tile beats hardwood flooring sjm tile and with wood look tile making wood look tile, floors offer after a hardwood daltile you cant beat the smaller projects that sjm tile marble granite reasons wood floors frequently installers are asked to remove an alternative to install a template was made and masonry offers reasons wood is better than hardwood flooring wood look tile marble granite reasons wood look tile or stone floors against tile mineral green and masonry offers reasons wood look tile flooring making. Facts about wood look tile is a hardwood floors against tile.

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1647 Kiralfy Ave, Pittsburgh (Beechview), PA 15216 | Beechview Real Estate

Hardwood Flooring

Property Description

Great opportunity!! Large home with so much potential! Sun porch! Level back yard! Decorative fireplace in living room! Hardwood flooring could be refinished and gleaming again!! Galley kitchen offers plenty of cabinetry! Three generous bedrooms and an additional room on upper level! Basement for additional storage! Centrally located!!

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7 Tips for Installing Solid Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

One of the best ways to increase a home’s value is by updating the flooring. You can hardly go wrong with hardwood flooring despite the ever-changing trends. As long as you use the right tools, have adequate knowledge and patience, the installation of the floor wouldn’t be a much bothersome job. When using solid hardwood flooring, leave the wood in open boxes for at least a few weeks before installing the hardwood flooring. The wood needs to acclimatize to your home’s temperature and humidity to prevent cupping or shrinking post installation. Advice for installing Solid Hardwood in 7 Steps Removing the Baseboard Before installing solid hardwood flooring, the baseboard needs to be removed. While people may recommend undercutting the base, it may make you lose height of the baseboard. You may want to replace or upgrade your baseboard when installing new hardwood flooring. To ensure you remove the base cleanly score the top edge of the base with a utility knife. To pull the baseboard away from the wall, use a small trim pry bar. If you plan to use the baseboard again, set it aside on the site or dispose if you plan to replace it post installation of the hardwood floor. Preparing the subfloor It may take more time to prepare the subfloor that the actual installation of the hardwood flooring. When removing carpet, you can simply use pliers to pull up the carpet and then remove tack strips and underlayment. When removing other types of flooring, the work may be more time consuming. Vinyl flooring is the most difficult to remove Hardwood flooring may be installed on top of particle boards, however most manufacturers wouldn’t recommend that as the staples and nails won’t hold on well. You may simply remove the vinyl layer with a scraper and heat gun the surface flat in case of vinyl over OSB or ply underlayment. Final Subfloor Preparation It is important to check for remaining nails or uneven floor after removing the flooring before you begin installing the new flooring. You can use a steel dustpan or a scraper to run it across the floor at a sharp angle to figure out what needs to be fixed. You can sand the edges to ensure that the edges of the subfloor are flat. With this done, the installation will get much easier. Laying Moisture Barrier/ Paper To keep things from sliding around, it is best that you use a paper underlay as a moisture barrier. You can check with the hardwood supplier as to what they’d recommend according to local climate. Racking the Floor While trends change, the fundamentals remain the same. Here is what to follow when laying out the floor: Ensure that the joints do not come too close together. The joints at the same location need to be at least two rows apart instead of one row apart as seen in older homes. Start laying out or racking before you start stapling or nailing. When racking, use both the table saw or miter saw and ensure that you have a clean cutting area to avoid sawdust under every board post cutting. Installing and Layout the Hardwood Use a pneumatic tool for nailing, as it is one of the most important steps of the installation. You can rent the equipment if you don’t have it already. Manual nailing is also a choice with professionals these days. Solid hardwood has some natural expansion and thus you must leave space for that while nailing. The baseboard will cover the extra-allotted space. This is essential to avoid floor cupping at a later stage due to expansion. Baseboard Installation and Touch ups Once the installation is done, half the work is still left. You need to re-install the baseboard and ensure that any nailing marks you may have made on the wall or the floor is cleaned. These touch ups add to the wow factor of your flooring. This done, installing solid hardwood flooring will now be a breeze.  

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