12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine

12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine
Under Contract!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Length of listing

The listing agreement will specify how long you agree to list your house with a company. Your REALTOR® will probably suggest an average time that homes like yours are on the market. You want a period that's long enough to motivate your REALTOR® to advertise your home and respond to buyers, yet short enough to allow you to change to a different company if you become unhappy with the REALTOR®'s service. Remember that the listing agreement is a contract. You should get a copy for your records. Your REALTOR® is bound to the terms just as you are. You can expect the REALTOR® to keep appropriate information confidential and effectively market your property.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Time to List your Home

Checkout this video: http://marketing.remaxdesigncenter.com/03/70203/1382684/1382684.swf

New Publication on Deering Neighborhood of Portland ME

                  GREATER PORTLAND LANDMARKS
          is happy to announce that 
                      
 Deering has arrived!

Greater Portland Landmarks presents Deering, a new publication that focuses on the architectural and social history of Portland beyond the downtown peninsula area from the 17th through the mid 20th centuries. Authors William David Barry and the late Patricia McGraw Anderson share their discoveries about how Portland has evolved in this 216 page hardcover text, which is richly illustrated with historic photographs, maps, and paintings, and includes new photographs by architectural photographer Todd Caverly.

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and State Historian, said: "Anderson and Barry have accomplished a monumental achievement in bringing order and clarity to the complex story of Deering - its topography, its villages, its buildings, and its people."

Deering is a companion to Greater Portland Landmarks' signature publication, Portland, first published in 1972 and still available, and is an excellent resource for everyone interested in the development of our City.

To order your copy:  http://portlandlandmarks.org/ or call 207-774-5561.

Greater Portland Landmarks promotes preservation and revitalization of historic buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes and encourages high-quality new architecture to enhance the livability and economic vitality of Portland and surrounding communities.

Saco Condo Virtual Tour

http://idx.imprev.net/03782F07/03/70203/1382573/index.ipv

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Performance Art at Friday Night Art Walk






101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

135. Spindleworks, Brunswick Maine---Beautiful works of art!
From their site:
Spindleworks is a non profit art center for adults with disabilities and a program of the Independence Association of Brunswick Maine, whose mission is to help children and adults with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives in their chosen community. Artists in the Spindleworks program come from surrounding communities including Bath, Topsham, Bowdoinham, Portland, Westbrook, Auburn, Lisbon Falls, Richmond, and Freeport.
http://spindleworks.org/

Friday, November 26, 2010

Safe Home for Christmas and the Holidays

Home Safe Home


The holidays should be a magical time for children. Yet each year, hospital emergency rooms treat about 8700 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees.



Keep the season merry with this list of safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.



Safer Trees and Decorations



•When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.

•When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.

•When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.

•Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

•Use only noncombustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.

•Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use nonflammable holders and place candles out of children's reach.

•Take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food, which may tempt a child to eat them.

•Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial-snow sprays.



Bright Ideas for Lights



•Indoors or outside, always use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory that indicates conformance with safety standards.

•Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.

•Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

•Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.

•Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.

•Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).

•Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.

•Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.



Friendlier Fireplaces



•Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.

•Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result, as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

•Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.

Home Safe Home


The holidays should be a magical time for children. Yet each year, hospital emergency rooms treat about 8700 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees.



Keep the season merry with this list of safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.



Safer Trees and Decorations



•When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.

•When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.

•When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.

•Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

•Use only noncombustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.

•Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use nonflammable holders and place candles out of children's reach.

•Take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food, which may tempt a child to eat them.

•Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial-snow sprays.



Bright Ideas for Lights



•Indoors or outside, always use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory that indicates conformance with safety standards.

•Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.

•Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

•Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.

•Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.

•Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).

•Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.

•Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.


Friendlier Fireplaces



•Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.

•Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result, as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

•Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
http://www.rd.com/home-garden/christmas-safety-checklist/article15322.html

Christmas at the Victoria Mansion








Don't miss this fabulous home all decked out for a Victorian Christmas!
http://www.victoriamansion.org/events.html

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RE/MAX By The Bay at Maine Red Claws

The Maine Red Claws 2010/11 season has begun so if you are a basketball fan, get over to the Portland Expo and enjoy one of their home games.

Friday, November 12, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine



134. David's restaurant in South Portland offers fine cuisine in a cosy comfortable atmosphere. The food is freshly prepared in the open kitchen.
I tried the bacon cheeseburger on foccacia with truffle-oiled handcut fries and my husband got a glazed salmon dish.  Both were excellent, plus we were entertained by a jazz duo.
The bread is delicious strips  with plenty of oil and seasonings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

133. The Blue Spoon Restaurant on upper Congress street in Portland has a great lunch menu and was not very crowded at noon.  The decor is pleasant and relaxing.  I tried a hearty white bean and sausage soup with chewy bread and olive oil for dipping.  Francine had the seafood chowder which included muscles and shrimp.  Delicious!

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine


132.Antiques USA in Arundel--  Large group antique shop with loads of merchandise, open 362 days a year.  This shop has something for everyone including furniture.  http://antiquesusamaine.com/

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Master Closet Organization and Layout

By: Oliver Marks

Published: November 4, 2010

Master closet organization creates ample space for one or two users and includes storage features to make the space easy to arrange and maintain.

Effort Med 2-10 days
Investment Med $800-$5,000


A 10x10 closet should provide enough space for two people's needs, plus enough elbow room to reach everything comfortably.
Remodeling a master bedroom, adding on a master suite, or building a new home all afford opportunities to create your ideal master closet. Use these organization and storage ideas to develop your personalized plan of action.

Expect to pay $1,500 to $5,000 and up to equip a 8x10 foot, well-outfitted walk-in closet, assuming you hire a pro to build the room as part of a master suite addition. A DIY installation costs at least $800.

Layout and space requirements

A walk-in master closet should be a minimum of 7x10 feet, and preferably 10x10 feet for two users. That gives you space to line two or three walls with shelves, cubbies, and poles, and the elbow room to reach them easily.

For added convenience, include about 3x3 feet of floor space for a chair where you can perch to put on socks and fold laundry. If possible, leave enough room in the middle for a folding luggage table or built-in storage island with countertop, so you can open your suitcase when you’re packing for a trip.

Options for storage and organization

You could include a dresser in your master closet, but that isn’t the best way to store clothes. You can only see what’s on top of each drawer, and trying to pull a shirt from the bottom of the pile always leads to a jumbled, wrinkled mess.

A better option is a closet-organizing system. These storage units have an array of compartments, each designed for specific pieces of your wardrobe, from individual shelves and bins for sweaters and tops to small drawers for lingerie and accessories to cubbies or racks for shoes, bags, and hats.

The components for master closet organizing systems cost $800 to $5,000 or more, depending on whether you go with ready-made or custom-designed.

A former carpenter and newspaper reporter, Oliver Marks has been writing about home improvements for 16 years. He’s currently restoring his second fixer-upper with a mix of big hired projects and small do-it-himself jobs.


Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/master-closet-organization-and-layout/#ixzz14oXTm7Ec

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine


This is an update on Gauchos Happy Hour.  Check out one of their signature martinis---the New England Patriot.  Only $5 until 6PM.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

131. I tried a new restaurant that just opened on Friday in Falmouth.  HUGS is an Italian restaurant with some really delicious items.  Opening night was very crowded but with reservations we were seated fairly quickly.  It is small and close quarters but was quite festive.

The entrees come with a fresh salad bowl of mixed greens and olives and veggies with a very nice Italian style dressing.
The bread was scrumptious strips of chewy bread with pesto, parm, and pine nuts.



I had butternut squash ravioli with brown sugar sauce.  My husband got a salmon dish with pasta and spinach.  Both were yummy.

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine


130. I have mentioned Friday Night Art Walk before but this night I found a wonderful piece of art at a small group galley on Congress Street.  I bought one of a series of cat prints ---Rex, the Communication Specialist---from artist Bridget McAlonan from Topsham.  Check out her blog at http://www.bridgetmcalonan.com/

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Portland Deal alert:

The Portland Pie company in Portland has a great deal on wine:

50% OFF bottles of wine Monday-Wednesday As a Special thanks exclusively for our Frequent Pie-er Rewards Club members! Come in to your favorite Portland Pie location and enjoy any of the fabulous bottles on our wine list, at half off! Offer good anytime Monday-Wednesday as long as you’re a Frequent Pie-er!
http://www.portlandpie.com/frequent-pie-er/

How To Prepare Your House For Sale

By Elizabeth Weintraub, http://homebuying.about.com/od/sellingahouse/ht/homeprep.htm
Prepping and staging a house. Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Seven to 10 Days

Here's How:

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.

Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.

Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.

Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!

Say goodbye to every room.

Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.


De-Personalize.

Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."


De-Clutter!

People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.

If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?

Remove all books from bookcases.

Pack up those knickknacks.

Clean off everything on kitchen counters.

Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.

Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.


Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.

Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:

Alphabetize spice jars.

Neatly stack dishes.

Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.

Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.

Line up shoes.


Rent a Storage Unit.


Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"


Remove/Replace Favorite Items.

If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.


Make Minor Repairs.

Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.

Patch holes in walls.

Fix leaky faucets.

Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.

Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.

(Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")

Replace burned-out light bulbs.

If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!


Make the House Sparkle!


Wash windows inside and out.

Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.

Clean out cobwebs.

Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.

Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.

Clean out the refrigerator.

Vacuum daily.

Wax floors.

Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.

Bleach dingy grout.

Replace worn rugs.

Hang up fresh towels.

Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows.

Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a no-no.


Scrutinize.

Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house welcome you?

Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer.

Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense.

Make sure window coverings hang level.

Tune in to the room's statement and its emotional pull. Does it have impact and pizzazz?

Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You're almost finished.


Check Curb Appeal.

If a buyer won't get out of her agent's car because she doesn't like the exterior of your home, you'll never get her inside.

Keep the sidewalks cleared.

Mow the lawn.

Paint faded window trim.

Plant yellow flowers or group flower pots together. Yellow evokes a buying emotion. Marigolds are inexpensive.

Trim your bushes.

Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number.

Monday, November 1, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

129. Wild Willy's Burgers:  These burger restaurants are located in South Portland and York and several other places.  The burgers are big and juicy and done they way you request.  I get a small side order of onion rings for a dollar which gives you 3 or 4.  They have a free Portland newspaper so you can relax and listen to the player piano. http://www.wildwillysburgers.com/territories.cfm

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Right Ways to Save Energy During Cooler Weather

October 22, 2010
October means cooler Friday night lights, fall foliage, and hearing myths about saving energy during the winter months. How many of these popular energy myths shared by Texas utility Reliant Energy have you heard?

Myth #1: Heating systems need less maintenance than air conditioning.

Professional maintenance for your furnace or heat pump every year can prolong the life of your system and save energy.

Myth #2: Keeping your windows covered improves efficiency.

During the cooler fall and winter months, open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home; close them at night to help keep that natural heat inside.

Myth #3: Using a fireplace is an efficient way to heat your home.

A nice fire in the fireplace is great on a chilly evening, but it is not the most efficient way to heat your home. Even more importantly, leaving the chimney flue open all the time sends the warm air in your house straight up the chimney. Be sure to close the damper after the fire dies out or you turn off the gas.

Myth #4: Set it and forget it. Keep your thermostat on the same setting all year long.

A programmable thermostat is a great way to keep comfortable and save energy. But, you need to set it appropriately for the season. Keeping your thermostat at the same temperature all year long, regardless of time
of day or year, can impact your electricity bill. If you have a programmable thermostat, change the setting for winter so that the temperature decreases during the day when you are away from home and warms up just before you return in the evening.

Myth #5: You only need to change your air filter when you’re using your air conditioner.

Check your air filters at least once a month. Regularly replacing dirty filters helps your heating and air conditioning system run better and last longer. Check your filter(s) every time you receive your monthly electricity statement.



A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/right-ways-save-energy-during-cooler-weather/#ixzz13tShi1XG

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

128. Tandoor Indian Restaurant on Exchange Street in Portland--- Delicious food in pleasant colorful surroundings--.

We tried the mango chicken and a combo appetizer plate.  Everything was prepared well and very tasty.  The nan bread was puffy and plentiful.  The tea was called massala and was so good we bought some to try at home.  See their menu:
http://www.allmenus.com/me/portland/40204-tandoor-fine-indian-cuisine/menu/

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fix Wet Basement Problems

By: Rich Binsacca

Published: October 29, 2010

Fix wet basement problems and keep moisture from wrecking your new basement remodel.

Investment High $2,000-$6,000 (install sump pump)

If water can't be diverted on the outside, it must be pumped out from the inside with an interior drain system.
A wet basement remodel is worse than no basement remodel at all. So before you add livable space below where you live, be sure to fix wet basement problems.

What’s the water source

If your basement smells musty, looks moldy, or sports little puddles after every rain, you’ve got a wet basement problem. Long-term dampness will damage trim and finishes, and erode framing and foundations—problems that would cost thousands to fix. In addition, damp basements promote mold and mildew, which can harm your health.

Moisture in a wet basement comes from three main sources:

Groundwater: Lives within pockets beneath the earth’s surface; can seep through unsealed concrete slabs, form puddles, or just cause that wet basement feel.

Precipitation: Rain, snow, sleet, and melted hail that flow into basements under doors or through poorly sealed windows.

Hydrostatic pressure: Water-soaked soil that pushes moisture through walls and floors and produces a wet basement.

Fix a wet basement’s water woes

The best way to stop water flow into your basement is to solve the root cause. Sometimes the solution is easy, like extending downspouts or grading property so water runs away from your house.

Sometimes it’s harder to fix wet basement problems.

If your wet basement is caused by hydrostatic pressure, excavate around the foundation’s perimeter and install a drainage system and waterproofing membrane. These reduce pressure against the structure and blocks water from seeping through the walls and causing a wet basement. A professional can do the job for $5,000 or more.

If you can’t afford the outside-in water treatment for your wet basement, solve the problem from the inside out. Working from inside your basement, cover all foundation cracks, framing joints, and floors with a brush-on, waterproofing sealant. This DIY project typically costs $1,700 for a 20-by-30-foot basement.

Sump pumps to the rescue

A sump pump, which removes water from a sump pit in the ground, is your best defense against seeping groundwater or minor floods. (If major floods are frequent problems, don’t finish your basement.)

When the sump pit fills, the pump automatically engages and shoots water into drains or other areas that flow away from the house. Professional installation, including wiring to a dedicated circuit, costs $2,000 to $6,000. Always keep a battery-powered, backup pump around ($300) in case the power goes out during a storm.


Rich Binsacca is the author of 12 books on home-related topics and a contributing editor for Builder and EcoHome magazines. He has written articles for Remodeling, Home, and Architectural Record magazines.


Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/fix-wet-basement-problems/#ixzz13nhlVZJd

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

127. I don't usually include chain restaurants but here is a good deal for a snack after 9pm--the bar at Ruby Tuesday's has $5 drinks, $2 off "bar bites", and FREE mini cheeseburger and fries.

Monday, October 18, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

I have mentioned Gauchos on Commercial Street previously but I just want to note their Happy Hour as well.  You can get very elegant drinks for $5 each and order any of the bar menu items for $5 as well.  My husband always gets the scallops wrapped in bacon.  You get 10 on skewers with a small side salad and a maple syrup sauce.  You can also get steak salad and other dishes that are very ample.  All this in very glamorous surroundings.

Words of Wisdom from Emily


If you are ever on a horse, keep your back straight and hold on for the ride!

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

126. I have been wanting to try the restaurant on Congress Square called Boda for a while.  It has a very nice minimalist atmosphere with pleasant staff.  We sat near the bar.  They have a great selection of Asian and stirfry dishes and fresh specialty salads.  Linda tried one with Granny Smith apples and shrimp.

I had a noodle dish with chicken and veggies that had been stirfried.
We shared a pig pot of peppermint tea.
The service was quick and the whole experience very enjoyable.
(207) 879-4089 - Portland, ME 04101-3303,




101 Things I Love About Portland Maine


125. Siano's restaurants are popping up around the area so my husband and I tried the newer one on Fore Street for Sunday lunch.  We had very good Italian meals of spaghetti and meatballs, fresh salad, and I had a whole wheat crust pizza.  It was large with nice chewy crust and lots of fresh toppings.
http://www.sianosbrickoven.com/

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Attic Insulation Saves You Money

By: Jeanne Huber
Published: September 21, 2010
Add attic insulation to lower heating and cooling costs by as much as $600 per year.
Save Money Med $100-$600 off heating/cooling
Effort Low 1-2 days
Investment Med $1,500 (pro install)

Blanket-type insulation comes in 15- or 23-inch widths. It's designed to fit with typical framing. Image: Owens Corning

Save about $600 per year by boosting the amount of attic insulation from R-11 to R-49. Depending on the type of materials you use, figure on paying an insulation contractor about $1,500 to insulate an 800-square-foot attic, which pays back your investment in three years. You’ll spend about half that to do the job yourself.

Do you need more attic insulation?

A good, quick way to check if you need insulation is to look across your attic floor. If the existing insulation comes up just to the tops of the joists, then you probably need to add insulation. If you can’t see the joists and the insulation is well above the tops of the joists, you’re probably okay and you won’t recoup the cost of adding more.

Types of attic insulation

Add insulation to your attic one of three ways:

Roll-on or blanket-type insulation comes as rolls of fiberglass batts, either 15 or 23 inches wide—designed to fit between the width of typical framing. If your attic already has some insulation in the attic floor, roll out the batts at right angles to insulate over the framing members.

If you’re doing the job yourself, blanket-type material is easiest to work with. Be careful not to compress it or it won’t be as effective.

Loose-fill or blown-in insulation requires a machine that shoots a stream of loose-fill cellulose over the existing attic floor framing. This is typically a job for an insulation contractor. The advantage is that loose-fill insulation does a great job of filling in small crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.

Sprayed foam polyurethane is a good choice if you plan to turn your attic into a finished room. In that case, you’ll want to insulate the roof—not the floor. Sprayed foam polyurethane molds to rafters, blocks water vapor, and has a high R-rating per inch. Expect to pay about double the per-square-foot cost of roll-on and loose-fill insulation.

How much attic insulation is enough?

To determine how much to add, look up the recommended amount for your area, then subtract the value of your existing insulation. If you don’t know, you can figure it out using the Home Energy Saver online energy audit tool.

No matter which method you choose, federal tax credits of up to $1,500 are available until the end of 2010.

Jeanne Huber is the author of 10 books about home improvement and writes a weekly column about home care for the Washington Post.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/attic-insulation-saves-you-money/#ixzz12KaSkGOA

Sunday, October 10, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

123. J R Maxwell's Restaurant in Bath ---This restaurant has been around for a long time.  The decor is old-fashioned although they have renovated the bar eating area.  The food is very good though especially their prime rib dinner served on Friday and Saturday nights.  It comes with a nice garden salad with homemade dressings and a popover. http://www.jrmaxwells.com/pub.html

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine





122. Fryeburg Fair- another fun agricultural fair--the largest in Maine is held the first week in October.  There are several entertainment stages , wandering musicians, carnival rides, every "junk" food you could ever imagine, craft displays and sales, harness-racing, and lots more.  http://www.fryeburgfair.com/

Sunday, October 3, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine





121. Cumberland Fair--held every fall during the last week of September, this fun fair has everything you expect---animal displays and competitions, fried foods, petting zoo, craft exhibits and harness racing.  http://cumberlandfair.com/

Monday, September 27, 2010

Energy Efficient Fireplaces: Wood-Burning and Gas-Burning

Energy Efficient Fireplaces: Wood-Burning and Gas-Burning

By: Rich Binsacca
Published: September 21, 2010Energy-efficient fireplaces, both wood-burning and gas, let you enjoy the glow of a fire without letting your home heating energy go up in smoke.

Effort Low 3-4 hours (pro install)
Investment Low $300-$500 (glass doors installed)

EPA-qualified wood-burning fireplaces regulate how much air is used for combustion, reducing energy use and emissions. Image: Industrial Chimney Company
A traditional wood-burning fireplace adds warmth and romantic ambience to a home’s interior. But most are energy hogs, converting only 15% of wood’s energy into useful heat. Fortunately, new energy-efficient fireplace designs are helping wood-burning fireplaces achieve efficiency ratings of 75% or more. Fireplace inserts and gas fireplaces are even more efficient.
Energy-efficient wood-burning fireplaces
If you’re adding a wood-burning fireplace, avoid the standard design, which sends too much of your home’s heated air up the chimney. Consider these energy-efficient wood-burning fireplaces:
Rumford fireplaces feature a shallow box design that reflects more heat into the room.
EPA-rated fireplaces have good performance and high energy-efficiency ratings. They are designed to pull in outdoor air for combustion, and circulate room air around the firebox to extract as much useable heat as possible. In addition, EPA-approved wood-burning fireplaces produce much less air pollution than standard fireplaces.
Fireplace inserts are sealed metal boxes designed to fit inside masonry fireplace openings. They use outside air for combustion, and are designed to circulate and warm inside air. Inserts burn a variety of biomass fuels, including wood and pellets. Some units are rated at 80% efficiency.
If you already own a standard wood-burning fireplace, make it more energy efficient by installing glass doors. Glass doors limit the amount of room air that is sucked into the fireplace during combustion.
Glass doors work particularly well when a fire is burning down for the night and you must leave the damper open. Otherwise, glass doors block radiant heat; keep them open when your fire is blazing. Expect to pay $300 to $500 for glass doors, installed.
In California, glass or solid metal doors are required on all fireplace openings.
Energy-efficient gas fireplaces
If you want the convenience and low maintenance of a energy-efficient gas fireplace, you have two good options:
Direct-vent gas fireplaces, which use two-way vents that supply outside air for combustion, have energy-efficiency ratings as high as 77%. That’s better than the top gas fireplaces connected to a chimney.
Vent-free gas fireplaces are even more energy-efficient because they don’t send exhaust outside. But they release a lot of moisture into inside indoor air.
Tax credits for fireplaces
Some types of fireplaces qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $1,500 until the end of 2010. After that, certain states may provide tax credits for various types of energy-efficiency improvements, including fireplaces.

Rich Binsacca is the author of 12 books on various home-related topics and is currently a contributing editor for Builder and EcoHome magazines. He has written articles for Remodeling, Home, and Architectural Record, among several others. He intermittently uses the wood-burning fireplace and the gas-fueled freestanding stove that came with his current home.

Seven Selling Mistakes You Don't Want to Make!

Mistake #1 -- Pricing Your Property Too High

Every seller obviously wants to get the most money for his or her product. Ironically, the best way to do this is NOT to list your product at an excessively high price! A high listing price will cause some prospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property. Also, it may lead other buyers to expect more than what you have to offer. As a result, overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price.

Mistake #2 -- Mistaking Re-finance Appraisals for the Market Value

Unfortunately, a re-finance appraisal may have been stated at an untruthfully high price. Often, lenders estimate the value of your property to be higher than it actually is in order to encourage re-financing. The market value of your home could actually be lower. Your best bet is to ask your Realtor for the most recent information regarding property sales in your community. This will give you an up-to-date and factually accurate estimate of your property value.

Mistake #3 -- Forgetting to "Showcase Your Home"

In spite of how frequently this mistake is addressed and how simple it is to avoid, its prevalence is still widespread. When attempting to sell your home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home look as pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Clean. Make sure everything functions and looks presentable. A poorly kept home in need of repairs will surely lower the selling price of your property and will even turn away some buyers.

Mistake #4 -- Trying to "Hard Sell" While Showing

Buying a house is always an emotional and difficult decision. As a result, you should try to allow prospective buyers to comfortably examine your property. Don't try haggling or forcefully selling. Instead, be friendly and hospitable. A good idea would be to point out any subtle amenities and be receptive to questions.

Mistake #5 -- Trying to Sell to "Looky-Loos"

A prospective buyer who shows interest because of a "for sale" sign he saw may not really be interested in your property. Often buyers who do not come through a Realtor are a good 6-9 months away from buying, and they are more interested in seeing what is out there than in actually making a purchase. They may still have to sell their house, or may not be able to afford a house yet. They may still even be unsure as to whether or not they want to relocate.

Your Realtor should be able to distinguish realistic potential buyers from mere lookers. Realtors should usually find out a prospective buyer's savings, credit rating, and purchasing power in general. If your Realtor fails to find out this pertinent information, you should do some investigating and questioning on your own. This will help you avoid wasting valuable time marketing towards the wrong people. If you have to do this work yourself, consider finding a new Realtor.

Mistake #6 -- Not Knowing Your Rights & Responsibilities

It is extremely important that you are well-informed of the details in your real estate contract. Real estate contracts are legally binding documents, and they can often be complex and confusing. Not being aware of the terms in your contract could cost you thousands for repairs and inspections. Know what you are responsible for before signing the contract. Can the property be sold "as is"? How will deed restrictions and local zoning laws will affect your transaction? Not knowing the answers to these kind of questions could end up costing you a considerable amount of money.

Mistake #7 -- Limiting the Marketing and Advertising of the Property

Your Realtor should employ a wide variety of marketing techniques. Your Realtor should also be committed to selling your property; he or she should be available for every phone call from a prospective buyer. Most calls are received, and open houses are scheduled, during business hours, so make sure that your Realtor is working on selling your home during these hours. Chances are that you have a job, too, so you may not be able to get in touch with many potential buyers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine







121. York Animal Park: York, Maine
This zoo has some very interesting and colorful animals from all over the world.  The cages and areas for the animals are clean and well-groomed.  The animals seem to be healthy and entertained.  The off season rate is only $8 for an adult. 
http://www.yorkzoo.com/