10 Inspiration Drive, Scarborough ME

10 Inspiration Drive, Scarborough ME
Gorgeous Gambrel

Friday, November 29, 2013

101 Things i Love about Portland Maine


335.After an exhausting shopping excursion in Freeport. stop in at Buck's Naked BBQ for a little taste of ribs.  Live music on Friday nights too.
http://www.bucksnaked-bbq.com/

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine








334,  Shopping at Christmas in Freeport and LL Bean's:
Great music and light show was very festive and lots of sales going on.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ready Your Yard for Winter

Fall Landscaping: How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter

Fall landscaping preparations ready your yard for a long winter and glorious spring.

Fall landscaping chores are your last chance to prepare your property for winter, and to protect that curb appeal you’ve worked so hard to create. So pull on some gloves, grab your tools, and get ready to mulch, prune, and plant before snow and frozen ground turn the lights out on your landscaping.
Spread Mulch
“Fall mulching is better for the plants than spring mulching,” says Dan Taft, owner of The Cutting Edge in Chantilly, Va. “It helps protect roots from frost and helps retain moisture during a cold and dry winter.”

Spread 2 to 3 inches of fresh mulch around shrubs and trees. Taft warns home owners to avoid using free mulch from municipal piles, which often contain disease spores; instead, buy hardwood shredded mulch from home and garden centers, he says.

“Cheap, dump mulch mainly is made from trees that have died from disease,” Taft says. “Many diseases will linger in the mulch, like leaf spot and pine bark borers. You don’t want ground-up diseased plants around your landscaping.”
Remove the Dead and Dying
Fall isn’t the time to prune, because that encourages growth when healthy plants should remain dormant. But don’t shelve your shears and loppers yet. Fall is the time to neaten your landscaping before putting it to bed for the winter.

“If you remove dead landscaping in fall, you don’t have to look at it all winter,” Taft says.
  • Remove dead annuals.
  • Deadhead spent blooms, and cut back dead and desiccated ornamental grasses and perennials.

  • Lightly prune dead and dying branches from shrubs and trees. Carefully remove dried blossoms from hydrangea, but don’t remove dead-looking stalks, where new buds will form in spring.
  • After the first frost, cut back tea roses to about a third of their height.
Wrap Delicate Shrubs
Heavy snow, ice, and high winds can dry and split your delicate and pricey shrubs. To protect your landscaping from the winter elements:
  • Hide small plants under overturned plastic pots or buckets.
  • Wrap shrubs, such as boxwoods, in burlap.
  • Surround vulnerable trees with shredded leaves.
Take Advantage of Fall Sales
Early fall until the ground freezes is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. Not only do cooler weather and autumn rain put less stress on young landscaping plants, nurseries often have sales to empty their shelves before winter.

“They need to sell every plant by Dec. 1,” Taft says. “Nurseries generally pay a third of the price that you’re paying. So don’t be afraid to offer less than the asking price. If you’re buying several things, the manager may give you a break.”


lisa-kaplan-gordon Lisa Kaplan Gordon is an avid gardener, a member of the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, and a builder of luxury homes in McLean, Va. She’s been a Homes editor for Gannett News Service and has reviewed home improvement products for AOL.

Friday, November 22, 2013

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine

                            332. El Rodeo Mexican in South Portland
                                   Delicious fresh fajita salad and tacos.  Big $5 Margaritas at Happy Hour!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine







321.Try this great new eatery with Happy Hour from 3 to 6 pm.  The Buratta purse of mozzarella and ricotta with sage pesto and blistered tomatoes is delicious!

http://www.118preble.com/


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Energy Efficient Windows

What You Need to Know About Buying Energy-Efficient Windows

Installing energy-efficient windows is an expensive project that can pay off but may not be necessary. Here’s what you need to know.

If your windows are more than 15 years old, you may be putting up with draftiness, windows that stick in their frames, and skyrocketing energy bills. Energy-efficient windows would be a great improvement, but replacement can be very expensive, from $8,000-$15,000 or more for a typical home.
For that reason, think long and hard before committing to new windows. In most cases you can get the same energy savings by investing $1,000 or so in insulation, sealing air leaks, and repairing your windows instead of replacing.
Related: A Guide to Deciding Whether to Repair or Replace Windows
If, however, you’ve decided your windows definitely need replacing, here are some facts to help you spend your window dollars wisely.
What Your Return on Investment Will Be
The range for energy-efficient window pricing is wide, but Energy Star-qualified windows start around $120 for a 36-by-72-inch, single-hung window and can go up to 10 times that. With labor, you’re looking at about $270-$800+ per window. Typically, windows at the low end of the price spectrum are less energy efficient.
But that doesn’t mean the numbers can’t make sense for you. For starters, window replacement is one of the best home remodeling projects in terms of investment return: For vinyl windows, you can recoup 71.2% of the project cost in added home value, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report.
Based on the replacement projects outlined in Cost vs. Value that use vinyl windows, that’s a value add of about $7,000-$9,300. Plus, if you choose windows that qualify for the federal tax credit, you can effectively lop $200 off the purchase price for windows put into service if installed before Dec. 31, 2013.
Related: Tax Credits for Windows
You’re also likely to see modest savings on your energy bill. In general, you’ll save $126-$465 a year if single-pane windows in a 2,000 sq. ft. house are replaced with tax-credit-eligible windows, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative, a coalition of government agencies, research organizations, and manufacturers that promotes efficient window technology.
Keep in mind, though, that the savings can vary widely by climate, local energy costs, and the energy efficiency of both the windows purchased and the windows being replaced. Finally, you may qualify for low-interest loans or other incentives offered by your local utility that can sweeten the deal, although fewer of these are becoming available.
Price vs. Energy Efficiency
The most efficient windows on the market are usually the most expensive, but it’s not necessary to buy the highest-end products to realize utility bill savings or improve comfort and aesthetics. So how do you choose the most energy-efficient models for the price?
Thanks to Energy Star, you really don’t have to. Energy Star labels will tell you whether a window performs well in your climate based on ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council.
Related: Understanding Energy Ratings for Windows
The Language of Windows
It’s also helpful to familiarize yourself with terms that appear on many window labels:
Glazing is simply the glass used in the window. The number of layers of glazing (single, double, or triple) doesn’t necessarily equal greater efficiency; the presence or absence of the other items in this list affects a window’s total energy performance. Glazing coatings can substantially affect a window’s U-factor, or degree of insulation against the outdoors.
Low-E stands for low emissivity, the window’s ability to reflect rather than absorb heat when coated with a thin metallic substance. Low-E coatings add up to 10% to the price of a window.
If your windows are in relatively good shape but you’d like better insulation, you can buy and apply Low-E films to your windows. They’re effective, but not as much as those put between glazing layers during manufacturing. Look for the NFRC rating on these films. Low-E films start at about $0.50/sq. ft., but you may want to check into the cost of having them professionally installed for large or complicated applications.
Gas fills typically consist of argon or krypton gas sandwiched between glazing layers to improve insulation and slow heat transfer. They often won’t work at high altitudes because differences in air pressure cause them to leak out.
Spacers separate sheets of glass in a window to improve insulating quality; the design and material are important to prevent condensation and heat loss.
Frame materials include vinyl, wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or a combination of those. They each have different strengths: Vinyl windows are good insulators and are easy to maintain but contract and expand with temperature changes, affecting the window’s air leakage; wood offers a classic look but is similarly affected by moisture changes and needs regular maintenance; fiberglass is very stable and low-maintenance but can be expensive; and aluminum is lightweight, stable, and a good sound proofer but is a rapid conductor of heat, making it a drain on energy efficiency.
Related:
Energy Efficient Window Coverings
Take Back Your Energy Bills
Karin-Beuerlein Karin Beuerlein has covered home improvement and green living topics for HGTV.com, FineLiving.com, and FrontDoor.com. She has also written for dozens of national and regional publications in more than a decade of freelancing.


Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/windows-doors/replace-old-windows-with-energy-efficient-models/#ixzz2kAyleIXd

Friday, November 8, 2013

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine


320. Great Little Theater--Saco River Theater in Bar Mills~~Musical Performances and live theater.
This is stage set for Steve Martin's "The Underpants"--very funny!
http://sacorivertheatre.org/

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine




319.  The Frog and Turtle Restaurant:  Fresh local food, beautifully presented and delicious.

http://www.thefrogandturtle.com/

Saturday, November 2, 2013