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Southern Maryland Real Estate

By Tony McMahon | Agent in 20601
  • Maximizing space in your garage

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor, How To...  |  June 23, 2012 12:00 PM  |  912 views  |  No comments
    By Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl 

    Does getting something out of your garage involve running an obstacle course or seem more like a treasure hunt? Is your garage like a time capsule of layered storage against the walls? Unless you are the owner of a Garage Mahal, your garage is likely pressed for storage space. Older homes tend to suffer from pre-SUV and single car syndrome which translates into a smaller garage with little to no excess space.

    If your garage is on the small to medium size, I guarantee that you have unused space within. 

    The most commonly overlooked storage space is over your head. If you have room beyond the garage door tracks, simply building hanging storage that attaches to the ceiling joists will gain you additional space for excess lumber and/or tubs of seasonal decor. If you have exposed vaulted rafters, you may be able to lay some planks down for additional storage up there. And if you want the convenience of being able to access that overhead storage, there are a few companies that sell motorized or mechanical platforms that raise and lower your storage when needed.
    Garage walls are prime real estate for shelving, hooks and hanging space. Simple brackets and sturdy shelves can do wonders for getting paint, sports equipment and other things off the floor. But don't skimp on the materials -- make sure to spend a little extra money to buy heavy duty brackets and shelves that can withstand the weight of garage storage items.

    If you live in an earthquake zone, make sure to secure shelved items with some bungee cords or built-in fences. Pegboard is versatile for storage that can change per your needs. If there is a tool, there is a pegboard hook for it. Yard tools like shovels, rakes, and other tools are easily hung from double hooks. A curved pair of hooks is made specifically to handle your drill. And, a tray for all your toolbox hand tools can be purchased from your local home improvement store.

    (Photo: Flow Wall System)
    A step up from pegboards are slat walls (similar to retail display walls). You can purchase a wide variety of components to add to the slats. Cabinets, bins, hooks and shelves all pop into the grooves in the panels and can be moved around very easily. When you are finished it looks like you hired a professional to install an attractive wall storage unit.

    (Photo: House of Hepworths)

    If you prefer more of a DIY approach to wall storage, try searching online for garage storage tutorials, like this one for a custom built storage hook system for hanging bikes and scooters (should you be one of those families that are overrun by 2 wheel vehicles.)

    (Photo: Pretty Handy Girl)

    Storage that takes up valuable floor space needs to be minimal. Building or purchasing shelving units that hug the wall is one solution. Upright bins and tubes can create a corral that holds yard equipment and sports gear for easy access.

    (Photo: Pretty Handy Girl)

    Clear storage drawer sets are perfect for providing water resistant storage for those little items. Gloves, tape, and other odds and ends fit neatly and can be easily seen through the bins. Label the drawers for added convenience.

    (Photo: Pretty Handy Girl)
    A rolling storage cart can be used as moveable storage. It can rest beside or in front of other objects and be moved out of the way when you need to access items behind it. This tool storage caddy holds a multitude of power tools all in one convenient location.

    When you are ready to reclaim your garage, be sure to look up, down and all around for underutilized space. And don't forget to elevate items that can get wet if you pull in a soaking wet car.

    Link To Article

    Personal Website
  • How To Cut Home Electric Consumption By 8%-20%

    Posted Under: Quality of Life, Remodel & Renovate, Going Green  |  June 21, 2012 7:56 PM  |  575 views  |  No comments

    The HomeMizer™ product is revolutionizing the way people use energy, reducing energy consumption by 8%-20%, , translating to significant monthly savings in energy costs. In addition, our product can significantly help with electric spikes by flattening out the regular peaks and valleys generated as electricity is drawn from the utility company, as well as a filter for harmful Electromagnetic Fields (EMF). This ensures a safer, more protected environment in your home and business. 

    The easy-to-install HomeMizerâ„¢ was designed with the homeowner in mind, providing lower energy bills and improved life for all of the appliances and equipment in your home or office. The HomeMizerâ„¢ plugs into a regular socket. Simply plug it in, turn it on, and start saving immediately!

    Take a few moments to watch the short video presentation at the link below.Please inbox me if you are interested in finding out how to obtain the HomeMizer and or find out more information about this amazing product

    Link To Video
  • Historic British mansion has 48 rooms but no toilet

    Posted Under: Celebrity Homes, Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor  |  May 30, 2012 9:07 PM  |  1,334 views  |  No comments

    Apethorpe Hall (English Heritage)

    Fans of the British television drama "Downton Abbey" could live out the drama in a countryside estate of similar stature that has recently gone up for sale.

    Apethorpe Hall, an idyllic British manor with an astounding 48 rooms, has hit the market for what is considered a "bargain" price of 2.5 million pounds (about $3,882,500). There's just one catch: The place doesn't have a bathroom.

    The Daily Mail reports that the house was originally built between 1470 and 1480 by Sir Guy Wolston, then sold to Sir Walter Mildmay. It reportedly stayed in his family for 350 years. In more recent years, the house has been owned by the Catholic Church and Libyan millionaire Wanis Mohammed Burweila.

    Presumably whoever purchases the house, located in Northamptonshire, England, could afford to install a few modern amenities. But as with any historic location, there are bound to be certain restrictions on developing a piece of property first constructed several hundred years ago.

    Along with not having a bathroom, the house comes with a few other catches: an annual $155,300 maintenance bill and a requirement that the hall be open to the public for at least 28 days a year.

    The British government reportedly spent more than $6 million renovating the house, which had fallen into disarray over the years and was at one time "on the brink of ruin."

    Inside Apethorpe Hall (English Heritage)

    By Eric Pfeiffer | The Sideshow 


    Personal Website

  • Twenty St. Mary's Homeowners Get An Early Christmas

    Posted Under: General Area in Saint Mary's County, Quality of Life in Saint Mary's County, Remodel & Renovate in Saint Mary's County  |  April 30, 2012 2:21 PM  |  459 views  |  No comments
    By Dick Myers 

    Christmas in April Executive Director Mary Ann Chasen gives Rep. Steny Hoyer a tee-shirt at the Deckard home in Mechanicsville
    Christmas in April Executive Director Mary Ann Chasen gives Rep. Steny Hoyer a tee-shirt at the Deckard home in Mechanicsville

    Twenty homeowners got an early Christmas this year in St. Mary’s County. Hundreds of volunteers spanned out all over St. Mary’s County Saturday for the 22nd annual Christmas in April to do a blitz renovations of 20 homes of needy residents.

    Volunteers come from businesses and organizations that run deep into the community and include many volunteers from Patuxent River Naval Air Station and individuals who just sign up to help. The Volunteers range from skilled laborers to people with no particular skill put to work at jobs that include yard work, cleanup and feeding the volunteers during the day.

    A committee meets throughout the year to choose the homes that will be on the list. The homes are unveiled every year at an event for the volunteers at the Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship.

    According to their website, “In the past 21 years, Christmas in April * St. Mary's County, Maryland, Inc., volunteers have repaired over 611 homes; 14 community nonprofit facilities have received help with repairs; 34,700 people have shared their time and talents; and have made free home repairs worth more than $5 million to improve the living conditions of the low-income, elderly, and disabled homeowners in St. Mary's County.”

    The hard work every year is rewarded with an end-of-the-day feast at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds, with food donated from a number of restaurants and organizations. This year’s event was held inside because of the threat of the weather.

    Congressman Steny Hoyer made his home county the first stop on a whirlwind tour of Christmas in April projects in the Fifth Congressional District. He visited the home of Paul and Betty Deckard which was being worked on by volunteers from several county schools and Wyle.

    Hoyer was greeted at the home on North Sandgates Road by long-time Christmas in April Executive Director Mary Ann Chasen. While inside he talked to the Deckards about sponsoring the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Deckard is disabled.

  • New Home Growth Slow, Niche Local Home Improvement Contractors Booming

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Maryland, Remodel & Renovate in Maryland, Home Ownership in Maryland  |  April 24, 2012 7:29 PM  |  606 views  |  No comments

    Disappointing existing home sales in March were still slow, but local home improvement contractors seem to be booming. Fixed residential investment seems to be gaining ground, people are spending money locally on improving their homes rather than buying new ones. Building contractors that concentrate on such things as windows, flooring, sunrooms, roofing and etc. have seen an increase of 14% in their sales overall in the last 12 months according to Sageworks Inc.

    And experts with the Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies on Thursday projected annual spending on remodeling activity will see healthy growth in 2012, ending the year up 5.9 percent.

    That follows BuildFax’s report Monday that February residential remodeling activity showed significant increases across all U.S. regions, and the head of that group told CNBC.com that residential remodeling this winter was the strongest it’s been in five years.

    Home owners are looking inward rather than outward when it comes to where they want to spend their dollars. New private “niche,” building contractors like Honest Exteriors owned by Leonardtown native Rick Stearns are experiencing an explosion in growth thanks to a switch on how they market and sell their services.

    “I used to work as a sales manager for some large regional roofing, window, door and siding companies. A large portion of their sales and marketing strategy was to deceive customers with artificially low advertised prices so they could get their sales people in the door with potential clients. Once in the door, the sales person would give the same industry pitch most companies use and start out with some outrageous price or number for certain amount of windows. They then would apply the pressure sale by cutting that price in half but telling the customer that they had to sign now or they would never get that price again. I hated this strategy and it left the customers with a bad taste in their mouth. Instead, I swore that when I started up my business I would be up-front with costs and concentrate on making the customer happy and make my business more efficient. Large window, roofing and sunroom companies mark up their windows as much as 300%.”

    “ I like concentrating on how I can help home owners save money and make wise decisions. I love educating the customer by getting up on a roof and taking some pictures of places where I see damage and then popping the pictures in my laptop and showing the customer how they can save future grief by catching problems early on. Another thing I have seen is roofing estimators tell someone their roof is larger than it really is. To gain my customers trust I show them a software program that connects to sattelites that I use that can actually give a fairly accurate estimate of the roof size right from space!”

    Rick Stearns - CEO of Honest Exteriors

    The Internet is making home owners smarter and they seem to be looking at investments in their houses as a way to recapture some of the value that was lost by the housing market crash. They are looking at value-added additions and ways to make their homes more energy efficient. Tax credits and other incentives over the recent years has been a big motivator for people to jump onto the Internet and research where and how they can spend money on their homes.

  • Calvert County's 4th Annual Green Expo

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Maryland, Remodel & Renovate in Maryland, Going Green in Maryland  |  April 5, 2012 10:39 AM  |  556 views  |  No comments

    Please join us at Calvert County’s 4th Annual Green Expo, a FREE, family-friendly event where you can meet vendors, see product demonstrations, witness the new recycle art exhibit at AnnmarieSculpture Gardens & Arts Center, eat locally grown food and learn about new resource-conserving technologies.


    Exhibitors will show us how to:


    • Lower our energy bills and reduce water usage
    • Find green products and services
    • Help reduce landfill requirements through easy recycling and composting
    • Identify Maryland and Federal tax incentives and rebates for weatherization projects.  HVAC upgrades and solar/wind/geothermal installations
    • Learn about bike safety  - kid’s bring your bikes and helmets
    • And much, much more!


    Demonstrations     -   Vendor Exhibits   - Sherriff Bike Patrol - Local Food   - Recycle Art Exhibits   - Local Entertainment   -   Door Prizes  -  School Programs 


    Hosted by the AnneMarie Sculputre Gardens and Art Center and the Calvert County Citizen’s Green Team  www.calvertgreenexpo.org

  • Great Big Home And Leisure Show ( This Weekend )

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Charles County, Design & Decor in Charles County, In My Neighborhood in Charles County  |  March 28, 2012 6:49 AM  |  392 views  |  No comments


    Capital Clubhouse
    3033Waldorf Market Place
    Waldorf Md, 20603


    March 30 - April 1

    Link To Event

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