Donna Coffin - ERA Key Realty Services - Distinctive Group

Posted by Donna Coffin on 1/8/2016

Polishing a hardware floor can be a daunting task and most of the hardwood polish you may have been using is toxic, and not to mention expensive.  You can go natural and make your own polish at home. Here are a few homemade wood floor polish recipes:

Recipe I Ingredients: 1/2 cup vinegar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1. Mix the ingredients well. 2. Rub on the floor, and buff with a clean, dry cloth.
Recipe II Ingredients: 1/4 cup of grated beeswax boiling water 1/4 cup of turpentine fruit extract (if desired) 1. Put the beeswax into a bowl. 2. Put the bowl with the beeswax into a pan of boiling water until the beeswax has melted. 3. Add the turpentine into the beeswax and stir continuously until it all starts to cool. 4. If desired add fruit extract to give it a pleasant smell. 5. Apply the polish to a clean floor using a sponge, wipe off extra polish and leave the floor to dry itself for 12-24 hours.

Posted by Donna Coffin on 11/20/2015

The heat of the summer and the cold winter temperatures can do a job on your outdoor deck. A little prevention goes a long way. Caring for, cleaning and repairing your outdoor deck is essential to proper maintenance. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you will enjoy your outdoor space for many years to come: Here are some tools you will need:

  • screwdriver
  • hammer
  • garden hose
  • socket wrench
  • deck cleaner
  • push broom
  • plastic sheet or tarp
  • rubber gloves
  • scrub brush
  • Here are the things you can do to keep your deck in tip top shape: 1. Clear the debris. Leaves, water and yard debris can get caught in between the floorboards of your deck. If these areas are not cleared your deck floorboards could rot or worse the joists that support the deck could fail. 2. Sweep off the deck surface. Use a broom to clear the deck floor, make sure to get in all the nooks and crannies. 3. Tighten all the floorboards, railings and the bolts that attach the deck to the house with a screwdriver or drill. 4. Check for water damage. Replace or repair rotten boards. 5. Use a hammer to pound in any loose or protruding nails. 6. Use a deck cleaner to clean the deck. Make sure to use rubber gloves and protective gear. You will also want to cover plants or bushes with a tarp or plastic sheeting around the deck to protect them from the cleaner chemicals. 7. Last but not least apply a deck sealer. 8. Enjoy!

    Posted by Donna Coffin on 10/9/2015

    Rock gardens can offer a relaxing and beautiful space in your yard. Rock gardens can also be low-maintenance. Rock gardens can be used to plant in hard to grow areas or awkward spots in your yard. The location of your rock garden is key. You might choose a location that is already rocky or choose to import stones into a newly created bed. Rock gardens can either be built into small or large areas.  Rocks that are angular and vary in size are perfect for a rock garden and give a more natural appearance. In order to prepare the area, lay newspapers on the ground to smother grass or weeds. They will eventually decompose. Outline the entire garden with rocks. Then fill the garden with a layer of sandy soil to provide drainage. Choose the color scheme and type of plants that suit your area. Avoid putting too many plants or too many types of plants in your rock garden. Leave room for growth. Fill the remaining cracks between the larger rocks and plants with smaller stones. The plants will fill in and grow over the years. After all your hard work is done, relax and enjoy your rock garden.

    Posted by Donna Coffin on 9/25/2015

    A bar of soap won't just keep you clean it can serve many more purposes! Here are some uses for soap to solve common household problems: Stop squeaky hinges by wedging moist soap between the doorframe and hinge, and work the door back and forth; also rub soap directly onto the hinge. No more squeaks in floorboards when you work a little moist soap into the cracks between the boards. Unstick a stubborn zipper by rubbing soap on both sides while closed, then unzip it and rub soap over the opened teeth. Solve sticky drawers by rubbing both sides and the underside with soap. To keep eyeglasses from steaming in cold weather, rub both sides of each lens with soapy fingers, and then polish. Have any of these tricks worked for you? Share more soapy tips below.  

    Posted by Donna Coffin on 9/11/2015

    You never know when a storm is going to hit and you could find yourself without power. It pays to be prepared for a power outage at all times. Here is a list of things you should keep accessible for use until you can get your power back up and running:

    • Flashlights and fresh batteries
    • Candles or other illumination, battery operated candles are a great option
    • Battery-powered radio and/or television (for news updates)
    • Battery-powered or wind-up clock
    • A land-line telephone that is corded
    • Emergency phone numbers
    • Firewood for heat if you have a fireplace
    • Ice blocks to fill your freezer, a full freezer stays colder longer