12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine

12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine
Under Contract!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

140. Otto's Pizza on upper Congress: A new version of the eatery with plenty of seating and a bar.  Same delicious pizza with flavorful crust, ingredients, and toppings!  http://ottoportland.com/

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fit A Small Bath in Your Small Home

By: Terry Sheridan

Published: January 21, 2011
Squeezing a small bath into your already-small home might seem like a head-banger of a problem, but the space is there if you know where to look.

Effort Low 1-2 days (install)
Investment Low $500 (sink & toilet)

Fitting a small bath into your small home is easier than you think. You’ll only need a sink, a toilet, and about 20 square feet of floor space to meet most local building codes for a half bath. Here’s what you’ll need to keep in mind:

Scouting for space. Consider under stairs, closets, and stealing space from other areas, such as bedroom alcoves and porches. A space about 3-by-6-feet or 4-by-5 feet will work.

Stay connected. The farther away connections to existing plumbing pipes and exhaust vent stacks are, the costlier the project. It’s easier and cheaper to run lines through an unfinished area above or below a bath than a finished area you have to cut into and then re-patch.

Look for space near existing “water walls”—walls that already have plumbing in them, usually located in kitchens and existing bathrooms.

Don’t sweat the windows. No need for windows in your small bath—they’ll just eat up valuable wall space. Instead, install shelves for hand towels and soaps.

The doors. If codes allow and you have the space, have your door swing inward to avoid collisions. Better yet, consider a pocket door that glides into a wall and saves space inside the bath and out.

Small is beautiful. Lilliputian fixtures offer high style for small spaces. The general idea: Pedestal sinks, wall-wide mirrors to enlarge tiny spaces, light colors, wall-mounted sinks and faucets, and shelves.

Kohler claims its Rialto toilet, at 25.25 inches front to back, is the industry’s smallest. Cost: About $300.

Woodcrafters’ Sierra Vanity is just 21 inches wide and 13 inches deep. Available at Home Depot. Cost: About $350.

The Whitehaus Isabella wall-mounted sink (WH114RTB) is a mere 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep. Cost: About $250.

By the book. A bathroom project require permits and an inspection to ensure it meets codes. Otherwise, you could be forced to tear out whatever wasn’t done right.

Terry Sheridan has written about home improvement and remodeling issues for more than 20 years. She’s remodeled homes ranging from 1,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/fit-small-bath-your-small-home/#ixzz1CGaWgCfS

Green Heating Tips

Keep warm and stay green this winter with these helpful, easy tips: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/go-green/home-heating/home-heating-tips.html

Best Portland Martini Bar~Gaucho's on Commercial

Relax in this upscale bar with a huge list of martinis including: Pumpkin, Creme Brulee,  Death by Chocolate and many more.
Served by Portland's Best bartender~ Matt
$5 each at Happy Hour
$5 Scallops on Skewers and other snacks, too!

Monday, January 24, 2011

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

139. Thursday nights at The Pearl Longe on Fore Street: Happy Hour~~everything 1/2 price!
Relax on big leather couches, candlelight, snacks.

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

137.  Acorn Theater in Dana Mill in Westbrook:  Small intimate theater with cutting edge material like "Crying at Movies", a 2 actor play about how movies affect us.  http://acorn-productions.org/pages/Events.html

Monday, January 17, 2011

Staging Videos


Cleaning House: Secrets of a Truly Deep Clean

Cleaning House: Secrets of a Truly Deep Clean
By: Jane Hoback
Published: January 14, 2011
Deep clean your house and you’ll brighten rooms and maintain your home’s value.
Effort Low 1 weekend
Investment Low $4 (polish)

Deep cleaning your house is that top-to-bottom, take-no-dust-bunny-prisoners, mother-in-law-quality cleaning that truly maintains the value of your home. Here are frequently overlooked areas that a little spit and polish wouldn’t hurt.

De-bug the light fixtures

See that bug burial ground within your overhead fixtures? Turn off the lights and carefully remove fixture covers, dump out flies and wash with hot soapy water. While you’re up there, dust bulbs. Dry everything thoroughly before replacing the cover.

Vacuum heat vents and registers

Dirt and dust build up in heat vents and along register blades. Vents also are great receptacles for coins and missing buttons. Unscrew vent covers from walls or pluck them from floors, remove foreign objects, and vacuum inside the vent. Clean grates with a damp cloth and screw back tightly.

Polish hardware

To deep clean brass door hinges, handles, and cabinet knobs, thoroughly wipe with a damp microfiber cloth, then polish with Wright’s or Weiman brass cleaner ($4). Dish soap shines up glass or stainless steel knobs. Use a Q-tip to detail the ornamental filigree on knobs and handles.

Replace grungy switch plates

Any amateur can wipe a few fingerprints off cover plates that hide light switches, electric outlets, phone jacks, and cable outlets. But only deep cleaners happily remove plates to vacuum and swipe the gunk behind. (OK, we’re a little OCD when it comes to dirt!) Make sure cover plates are straight when you replace them. And pitch plates that are beyond the help of even deep cleaning. New ones cost less than $2 each.

Neaten weather stripping

Peeling, drooping weather stripping on doors and windows makes rooms look old. If the strip still has some life, nail or glue it back. If it’s hopeless, cut out and replace sections, or just pull the whole thing off and start new. A 10-ft. roll of foam weather stripping costs $8; 16-ft. vinyl costs about $15.

Replace stove drip pans

Some drip pans are beyond the scrub brush. Replacing them costs about $3 each and instantly freshens your stove.

Jane Hoback is a veteran business writer who has written for the Rocky Mountain News, Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, and ColoradoBIZ Magazine.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/cleaning-house-secrets-truly-deep-clean/#ixzz1BJUh36cn

Happy Nails Salon

Best nail salon in Portland Maine! Located at Union Station Mall on St John

Friday, January 14, 2011

101 things I Love about Portland Maine

137. Happy Hour at The Portland Harbor Hotel in the Old Port:
They have $5 drink specials, wine for $4 a glass and a nice list of snacks including the simple burger with blue cheese and bacon for $6.00!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bathroom Addition: Return on Investment

Published: February 19, 2010 A new bathroom brings added convenience for your family and can prove to be a valuable asset should you decide to sell your home.
Value Added Med $21,700

Effort High 3-6 wks

Investment High $40,700 (nat'l avg)

Adding a full bathroom can increase the value of your home by 20%.
Depending on the size of your family and the number of existing bathrooms in your house, adding a new bathroom may be one of the best home improvement decisions you’ll make. According to Greg Miedema, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers (NAHBR), additional bathrooms are highly desirable features. “You can almost never go wrong adding a bathroom,” says Miedema.

This is especially true if an additional bathroom helps relieve congestion at hectic times, or if it provides much-needed convenience for guests—no small considerations.

As an investment, however, a new bathroom should be carefully considered. The cost of a new bathroom addition ranges from $40,700 to $78,400, but the return on that investment averages a modest 53%, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. That value has been steadily declining over the past several years due to rising construction costs and falling home prices.

Nevertheless, national averages may not be a reliable predictor of value in your particular neighborhood. Before committing to a bathroom addition, call in a real estate agent or professional appraiser to evaluate whether an additional bathroom makes sense in your situation. Buyers tend to prefer houses where the number of bathrooms equals the number of bedrooms, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

NAHB data also suggests that an additional half bath may increases a home’s total value by about 10%, while an additional full bath increases the value by 20%. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll recoup the full value of your remodeling investment—on average, you’ll spend almost twice what you recoup.

National and regional data from the Cost vs. Value Report:

National average cost, midrange 6x8-ft. bathroom addition:

Job cost: $40,700
Resale value: $21,700
Cost recoup: 53.3%

National average cost, upscale 10x10-ft. bathroom addition:

Job cost: $78,400
Resale value: $41,600
Cost recoup: 53%

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/bathroom-addition-return-investment/#ixzz1AZFcybzX

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

101 Things I Love About Portland Maine

136. Edna and Lucy's in Pownal Maine~~it is worth the drive to Pownal to try the delicious donuts--made fresh every morning.  Today they had plain and cinnamon sugar which were crunchy on the outside and moist cake--somewhat chewy--inside.  The other baked goods like chocolate chip cookies looked good, too.  My friend said the coffees are wonderful as well.

Check their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Edna-and-Lucys/396978543288?v=info

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wood Fireplace: 9 Tips for Safety and Efficiency

By: Wendy Paris

Published: October 28, 2010

Besides the annual inspection and sweep for your chimney, improve the function of your wood fireplace with responsible use.

Effort Low 1-2 hrs. (install)

Investment Low $50-$200 (stainless steel chimney cap)

The safest way to build a fire is to add wood slowly as it heats up.
Ready for the colder months? You will be if you follow these simple guidelines to keep your wood fireplace burning brightly—and safely.

1. Only burn dry, cured wood—logs that have been split, stacked, and dried for eight to 12 months. Cover your log pile on top, but leave the sides open for air flow.
Hardwoods such as hickory, white oak, beech, sugar maple, and white ash burn longest, though dry firewood is more important than the species. Less dense woods like spruce or white pine burn well if sufficiently dry, but you’ll need to add more wood to your fire more often, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

2. Burn firewood and only firewood! Crates, lumber, construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood releases chemicals into your home, compromising air quality. Log starters are fine for getting your wood fireplace going, but they burn very hot; generally only use one at a time.

3. Close the damper when not using your wood fireplace to prevent warm indoor air—and the dollars you’re spending to heat it—from rushing up the chimney.

4. Keep bifold glass doors open when burning a fire to allow heat to get into the room. On a factory-built, prefab wood fireplace with a circulating fan, keep doors closed to prevent unnecesary heat loss.

5. Have a chimney cap installed to prevent objects, rain, and snow from falling into your chimney, and to reduce downdrafts. Caps have side vents so smoke escapes. A chimney sweep usually provides and can install a stainless steel cap, which is better than a galvanized metal one because it won’t rust. Caps cost $50 to $200.

6. Replace a poorly sealing damper to prevent heat loss. A top-mounted damper that also functions as a rain cap provides a tighter closure than a traditional damper for your wood fireplace.

7. Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in your house—near your wood fireplace as well as in bedroom areas.

8. Get your chimney cleaned twice a year if you burn more than three cords of wood annually. A cord is 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, or the amount that would fill two full-size pickup trucks.

9. To burn a fire safely, build it slowly, adding more wood as it heats. Keep the damper of your wood fireplace completely open to increase draw in the early stages. Burn the fire hot, at least occasionally—with the damper all the way open to help prevent smoke from lingering in the fireplace and creosote from developing.

Wendy Paris is a writer in New York currently living in a home with a very smoky fireplace that has set off the smoke detector more than once. After finishing this article, she decided to schedule a chimney sweep. She’s written for This Old House magazine, as well as for The New York Times and Salon.com.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/wood-fireplace-9-tips-safety-and-efficiency/#ixzz1A4i7OnrV

Sunday, January 2, 2011