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7 Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Energy Bill

7 Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Energy Bill

In the summer, you often wish for the cool crisp days of winter instead of the fierce heat that summer carries. Well, you got it! Winter is finally here, and the temperatures are starting to reflect the season. Are you prepared for the upcoming energy bill that goes along with the cool to frigided temperatures? If not, we have some tips to help conserve energy and save you money.

The following are the items are money-saving tips while conserving energy:

  • Seal Attic Air Leaks
  • Use Energy Star Products
  • Laundry & Water
  • Water Heater
  • Fireplaces
  • Doors & Windows
  • Furnace

Seal Attic Air Leaks

Attics are great for storing those seasonal or unused items that you only need once in a blue moon. When it comes to conserving energy, this is your primary culprit. The crawl spaces in your attic are not a finished product. They have been left exposed. They might look sealed, but take a look under your insulation. You may notice that it acts as a blanket and hides the gaps around light fixtures, plumbing pipes, chimneys, and other bypasses.

How to fix these problems? A quick trip to the hardware store can set you right up. All you would need is caulking, insulation foam, drywall, reflective insulation rigid foil insulation. You would only need the standard house tools and DYI for this project. I would also recommend wearing long-sleeved shirts, safety goggles, and a dust mask. Working with insulation can be an itchy situation. You will want to be protected. If working in an older home, please be cautious if you have asbestos insulation.

When you are in the attic, look around for discolored insulation. The moisture escaping into the insulation can freeze or make dust cling to the affected damp area. This solution is an easy fix. The small leaks will only require minimum caulking or spray insulation. When you leave the attic, make sure that it is adequately sealed, seal the entrance with removable caulking until you have to reaccess.

Use Energy Star Products

Energy Star products are energy-efficient products that save consumers more money and protect the environment in the long run. They are widely known and backed by the government as providing unbiased and credible information for consumers is to make an informed decision by being offered all the research.

Look for the Energy Star logo when you decide to replace your next appliance. It will tell you your savings as well. They recommend different products such as LED lightbulbs, electric vehicle chargers, computers, water heaters, thermostats, and more. Click here for more information on the Energy Star products.

Laundry

Who does not love doing laundry? Don’t worry, that was a sarcastic rhetorical question. Unless you love laundry, then you do you. Laundry is a never-ending chore, so make all the loads count. Do not do half loads if you can help it. Always do a full load, and when using the dryer, make sure that you do not fill it more than ¾ full. If you can, use a drying rack or a clothesline on the warmer days to cut some more energy.

When you think of yearly house maintenance, do you consider your dryer? When your clothes dry, they produce lent. You clean out the lint screen between loads, but those screens do not catch all the debris. The rest of it gets blown out the back through your dryer duct. Clean the dryer duct once a year, if not more. A clogged dryer duct can result in a less effective dryer, using more energy than adequately required. If the maintenance goes too long, it could become a fire hazard.

When cleaning the dryer duct, see if the exterior vent has a flap. The vent and flap will not only stop small animals and insects from entering, but it will keep heat from escaping from your house. Around the mounting, if you notice any gaps, make sure to fill them in with caulk.

Water Heater

When you do laundry, take showers, or wash dishes, you use hot water. Where is the source of your hot water? Exactly, Your water heater. When was the last time that you even looked at the water heater? If you are thinking, then it has already been too long.

Touch your water heater; is it warm to hot to touch? That means that energy is escaping, and you are wasting money. Did you know that you can insulate your water heater? Insulation can reduce heat loss and save you in heating costs. Click here for DYI instructions?

You also want to look at the setting of your water heater. What is the current temperature? The most common default setting is 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The safety recommendation is 120 degrees to prevent scalding, and anything lower than 120 degrees can create a risk for bacteria to grow in stagnant water. If you set the thermostat at 120 degrees, you will be safe from the bacteria and scalding water; while saving money in the long run from the 140 degrees.

Have you ever drained and flushed out your water heater? Draining and flushing the water heater should be on your yearly maintenance checklist. This process will remove any sediment residing at the bottom of the water heater. The water heater has to heat the deposit blockage before it gets to your reserved water, resulting in wasteful energy. If the water heater is old and about to expire, you should consider looking at tankless water heaters that are Energy Star approved. While the initial cost can be expensive, the amount of savings can be significant in the long run. There are other perks too, and of course, there are cons to consider. To learn more about the pros and cons, click here.

Fireplace

When you think of fireplaces, you think of being cozy and warm by the fire. The truth is, fireplaces are more for aesthetics rather than efficiency. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you are losing even more heat.

You have to open the damper to access the flue to release all the smoke, gases, and potential poisonous chemicals created. When you unseal the damper, it is similar to opening a window, except the flue creates a vacuum-like effect and draws out all the heat produced by your furnace. When you are not using the fireplace, you need to close the damper. Failure to do so will result in a significant loss of heat and waste of energy, costing you more money.

Door & Windows

Windows and Doors are the most common yet overlooked items to check for drafts. Think of them as a tailed hole made during construction. When installed, they are insulated and sealed with caulking, but they wear and tear over time. Check for any signs of airflow passing around the lift, spacers, panes, sash lock, and all over. If you notice that you have air leaking through, then you are losing heat. To resolve this problem, you will need to add weather stripping, recaulk, or replace the door sweep.

If you have old windows you instead of replacing them, you can reglaze them and seal any breaks in the glass that cause air to escape. If you consider replacing older windows, consider upgrading to a triple pane glazed glass to save energy in the summer and winter months. Add blinds or curtains to help keep the sun out, and they also act as insulation.

Furnace

You are probably tired of hearing this word, but maintenance is critical. Preventative maintenance will ensure that everything is as it should be and that all the combustion chambers are working correctly. Before the cool days of fall happen, you need to conduct an annual furnace tune-up, this can be a DYI, or you could schedule an appointment for a technician to come out to check your system.

Frequently replacing your air filter will help keep the air quality stable and extend your furnace’s life. Changing your filters will be different for everyone based on various factors. Some people change them monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually. Ensure that you check them frequently if you are not replacing them monthly.

Some other ideas that you might consider when looking at your furnace are checking the seals on your registers, supply ducts, and any entry points from the outside of the house. You can use caulking for all other these. Also, consider insulation on your registers to help with heat loss.

Time to control the temperature. Consider turning down the thermostat when you are not home in the cold winter months. You can do this by installing a smart thermostat. With the smart thermostat, you can control the temperature from a phone. It will also remind you to change your air filter. When you are home, put on warmer apparel when you turn down the heat. You can also save energy by investing in a space heater and running in the most commonly used room. The space heater takes less energy to heat and can focus on the room that you would rather be warmer.

These are just a few tips you can do to save on your monthly energy bill, and there are plenty more that can help save energy. When it comes to saving money, why not start with things you can control. If you think your whole house is just drafty, then sell it and build new! We can help you with that.

How to Plan the Perfect Magical Christmas Dinner

How to Plan the Perfect Magical Christmas Dinner

Grab a bottle of wine, and let’s create a Magical Christmas Dinner! Can you believe that Christmas is almost here? It’s time to start decking your halls in Christmas decorations! Plus, it’s your turn to make the holiday cheer while showing off your new home! Oh, this is going to be such a magical time.

Hosting a magical Christmas Holiday Dinner is simple as one, two, three if you follow these suggestions.

  1. Guests & Invitations
  2. Menu Planning
  3. Decorations
  4. Have Fun  &  Dress Your Best

Guests/Invitations

Let the planning begin. We will start with the guest list. You need to make sure that you know who is coming to your dinner. Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year, so be prepared to see the relatives and friends that do not live locally. When inviting them to your Christmas dinner, you also have to consider their geographical location. Even if you already know they will decline the invitation, still offer that olive branch. The last thing you want is Aunt Hilda complaining that she did not receive an invitation.

Formal invitations are not necessary unless that is something that you want to do. Personally call or text them that you would love to have them over for a magical Christmas Dinner. If you prefer to send out invitations, I recommend the following:

When you are sending out the invites, there is some essential information that you will need from your guests.

  • You will need to know how many are coming from each invite. If your bachelor brother is coming, you might ask if he will bring arm candy or plan for some surprise guests.
  • Take into consideration any dietary restrictions while creating your magical menu.
  • Make sure that you have an itinerary to offer your guests. If you are offering appetizers, make a note on the invitation.
  • Make sure to note details pertaining to beverages or spirits.
  • Make sure to include the location of the Christmas Dinner. You just moved, and some guests may not have your new address and awkwardly show up to your old address.

Planning the Menu

When planning the menu, you should stick with what you know. There is no need to get a wild hair, so keep the Aqua Net handy. Christmas is not the time or the holiday to try a new recipe. Here are some Traditional Menu Items:

Appetizers

Shrimp Cocktail

Baked Brie

Holiday Cheeseboards

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

For more recipe inspirations, go to our Christmas Appetizer Pinterest Board.

Main Course

Bourbon Honey Baked Ham

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms and White Wine

Honey Roasted Duck

Butter and Garlic Crusted Prime Rib

Rosemary & Garlic Rack of Lamb

For more recipe inspirations, go to our Christmas Main Dishes Pinterest Board.

Side Dishes

Honey Butter Thyme Glazed Carrots

Cheesy Gruyere Scalloped Potatoes

Bacon-Wrapped Beans

Savory Baked Pears

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For more recipe inspirations, go to our Christmas Side Dishes Pinterest Board.

Desserts

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

Sea Salt Pecan Pumpkin Brittle

Dutch Apple Pie

Cranberry Custard Pie

Pistachio Cream Pie

For more recipe inspirations, go to our Christmas Dessert Pinterest Board.

Those suggestions were under the assumption that you are cooking the meal yourself. Not a cook? No problem! You can sit back and drink a glass of wine while you call a catering company or delegate your family members the dishes to bring to the potluck.

Decorations

Please do not worry about everything being picture-perfect. The overall goal is to make sure that your friends and family have fun and gain a pound or two. You don’t have to be bold; you can keep it simple. When it comes to the table decorations, you see all those pictures of the beautiful place settings with six plates per person. Want to know a secret? They never take pictures of all the dirty dishes afterward. If you want an elegant look but less cleaning, use disposable. You can purchase fancy paper/plastic plates, champagne flutes, silverware, and matching napkins. The only dirty dish you will have to worry about is delegating someone to take out the trash.

Have Fun & Look Pretty

Christmas is fun and magical when mistakes happen, and they will happen. Those mistakes become memories that you laugh about in the future. When you plan this Magical Christmas Dinner, make sure that you have fun and sip eggnog. When the Magical Dinner approaches, make sure that you look your best. You will have been stressed and struggled to get to this point. If you look your best and smile, no one will know the difference. This dinner will become a picture in time, and all you will see are smiles.

Thanksgiving is an Amazing, Warm, & Inviting Tradition

Thanksgiving is an Amazing, Warm, & Inviting Tradition

Dust off your stretchy pants because Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The best thing about Thanksgiving is the gathering of your friends and family and spending quality time together. When everyone arrives at your home, you want them to get that warm fall feeling when they walk through the front door. You would like to make sure that the ambiance is perfect!

When you think of Fall and Thanksgiving, you think of the leaves changing color and falling to the ground on a dewy day. You envision the squirrels gathering the last of the acorns to last them throughout winter. You imagine pumpkin patches and curling your hands around a warm cup of cider. The impression you want your guests to experience when they step into your home is just that sensation.

Upon arrival, your guests are going to be surrounded by a variety of delicious aromas that your cooking is creating. The house is warm and cozy from all the baking. The grazing table is supplied with all your holiday favorite finger foods and snacks. If you listen ever so slightly, you can already hear the buttons on the pants beginning to get loosened. It is impressive that you have already played a significant role in heightening their sense of smell. Thus, you are starting to create the feeling of Thanksgiving, and your guests have only just walked through the door.

Simultaneously your guests are also experiencing a visual perception of the decorations. The colors of Fall are warm, bold, and inviting. The ever-changing colors of the leaves as they fall off the trees and create a ground cover are breathtaking. As they look around, they are going to notice how you incorporated that feeling into your decoration scheme.

You have pumpkins of all assorted colors, shapes, and sizes throughout your house to give the appearance that you are at a pumpkin patch. The table place setting is elegant with your best china, cloth napkins, and water goblets. You have checked and rechecked that your silverware is perfectly aligned and in the precise position. Your centerpiece is an array of the traditional fall palette: orange, gold, maroon, and brown. You have always wanted to try a fresh look, but you look back with the memories you had with your grandmother, and these make you feel more at home for the holiday.

The fireplace has fresh cedar logs ready to be ignited, and the mantle displays a banner that reads “Give Thanks” and painted pumpkins that spell out “Thankful.” The foliage behind the pumpkins has sage blended into the traditional colors and the lit candles are cascading an amber glow over the whole focal point amplified by the golden trimmed mirror.

As all your guests start arriving, the sound of laughter and chatter is underway. You have the kids playing and running around. Aunt Bertha just yelled at Little John for spilling her wine all over her new thanksgiving sweater that the ladies in the craft group made for her. Uncle Steve talks about how successful his kids have become and apologizes that they could not make it for yet another holiday get-together. Mom is in your kitchen telling you that you are making everything wrong, and you need to stick to her recipe and not go off-script. Your sister is in the background mimicking your mom while she takes another sip of the local IPA that she picked up at the liquor store. Then there is your Dad, your rock, telling you not to worry that everything will work itself out.

The meal is ready for serving. It is time to herd the troops into the dining room so Uncle Vernon can bless the Thanksgiving Feast. As everyone fills their plate as you pass around the sides, you notice all the smiling and eager faces that are happy to eat. The carving of the turkey is always the same testosterone argument of “You are cutting it wrong.” You can hear the knife cutting through the crisp skin and hitting the bottom of the serving platter. Once the turkey is served, the table goes into total silence for the first bite.

The turkey has left your fork and is now in your mouth. The delicious taste of a juicy turkey gives your stomach a warming sensation. That is soon to be followed by the creamy mashed potatoes smothered by homemade turkey dripping gravy. Your tastebuds are screaming that they are in love! You know you should not but, you go back for seconds. The green bean casserole is whispering, “get in my belly.”

Everyone has eaten to their limits. About fifty percent of your guests have belched and unbuttoned their pants, even though you warned them to bring their stretchy pants. You then mention that you have pumpkin pie and apple pie for dessert. Everyone looks at you like they have seen a ghost. Uncle Vernon pipes in, “You have whip cream from them?”  Everyone laughs and inhales a slice of pie because it is, after all, a Thanksgiving Tradition.

There is one element that is needed to make the Thanksgiving Dream a reality, a home. Your home should make decorations look like they have been there from the beginning of time. You require a perfect kitchen to make sure that the turkey is cooked to perfection, is basted, and kept moist. Your kitchen should have plenty of counter space for the pies to knead the dough and cool them to room temperature. That is where Miller Family Homes can help you. We want to make sure that you have a home to can continue your family traditions while your family grows. Give us a call or stop into one of our beautiful model homes. We want to be a part of your tradition.

Miller Family Homes
How to Throw a Housewarming Party

How to Throw a Housewarming Party

Congratulations! You are the proud new owner of a beautiful house from Miller Family Homes! Let me guess, all your friends and family members asking you when they can come over and see your new house. Oh, and did I forget that that your neighbors in the community are looking at you like you just stole their family cat? Well, you can solve that problem all at one time. If you think I lost my marbles, well not quite yet. You can have a housewarming party, and this will solve all your worries and stress. Plus, the benefit is you only have to host and clean one time!

1.      Little Fun History Lesson

If you think this idea is old fashioned, then you are absolutely right! This tradition goes back centuries! The term “Housewarming” means just as it sounds. You are inviting people over to warm up your house. This sounds silly but back in the 1600’s the houses did not have Central Heat, but they did have warm bodies and fireplaces! When you invited Bob & Janice over for this grand occasion, they would come over and offer firewood for a “housewarming gift.” There are also some spiritual beliefs, from the medieval times, that having all your friends and family over is thought to create a warm atmosphere to ward-off any lingering spirits that were to make for an unhappy occupancy.

Okay, I fibbed, just one more brief bit of information. If you are from the South, you may refer to a housewarming party as a “Food Pounder.” This idea has my heart as a foodie. Tradition for this ideology your guests would arrive with a pound of food to welcome you into your new home. They make sure that your pantry is full. Bless my heart, but I love this idea! They were knowing to bring flour, sugar, cheese, cornmeal, and canned goods!

2.      Why Throw a Party?

If you are really reading this blog, you then you are actually considering having a party. I say stick with your gut and do it! This is something that you will look back on and be glad that you did it! Buying your first home is a big life accomplishment. You have a house, and it is yours. You can paint the walls any bold color you want, and not have to worry about dealing with a landlord! If you need some more convincing, here are a few notable ideas.

Incentive to Unpack

Moving is the worse! You have to put all of your stuff into boxes, and then you happen to find stuff you forget you had and then you start reminiscing over the smallest of items you should have detached yourself from years ago. Then once you move all your boxes, you have to unpack the just packed boxes in new house. All you are doing now is dragging your feet! If you were to throw a housewarming party that would solve you from dragging your feet and accomplish the task of unpacking and organizing to make it look like you have your life in order!

Get to Know the Neighbors

You are now the permanent resident of “123 Your New Street,” and you are the new family on the block. Neighbors do not just show up anymore with a welcome wagon filled with jams and jelly to fulfill their curiosity. They put their fingers in the blinds and peek at you hoping that you don’t notice they are watching. It is human nature to be curious, so if you host a housewarming party, this is the perfect time for you to get the scoop of your neighbors and the community.

Inform Friends and Family of New House

This idea may or may not be beneficial for you. You may not want people to know where you live! Joking, where else are they going to send your Christmas gifts! Inviting people into your home will make sure that they know that you moved, and they can update their contact information. In this big milestone you are going to want to share your happiness and excitement with your friends and family.

Show Off Your New Home

You just bought a home and are accomplishing a huge milestone in the American Dream why not boast a little! You will be able to give tours and point our all your favorite things about the house. People are going to come to help celebrate you and your achievement! You might become an inspiration to your friends who are thinking of buying a forever home but are too scared or unsure of the process! Be the spark in their life!

 3.      Choose a Date for Your Housewarming Party

So, you have decided to go ahead with the housewarming party, I know this, because you are still reading. I got you roped in, well saddle up partner this is where the planning all starts! You are going to need to set a date. You should do this with in 6 months of moving into your new house, but not extend more than a year of residency in your new home. Consider a date in the afternoon or evening on a weekend. Make sure that you set a specific time; examples, 11am to 2pm if you are considering a brunch or 6pm to 9pm for the evening. You want to make sure that your guests to the start and end time of the event.

4.      Party Gift Registry, Guest List, and Invitations

When it come to the gift registry, DO NOT DO ONE. Housewarming gifts are already very common for the occasion, and you have a chance of offending your guests. This is a large milestone in your life, but it is not life altering like marriage or having a baby.

When you start thinking about the people close to you in life those are the people that you are going to want to have over for your party. Like I said this isn’t like getting married, you are not obligated to invite certain people. I’m just joshing, or am I? Anyways, start your invitation list and then think about co-workers that you have a civil relationship with and if you are comfortable enough, invite your new neighbors over for a grand time to get to know them.

How are you going to let your friends and family know that you are having a housewarming party? A housewarming party is an informal event, so you are able to do a phone call, e-mail, snail mail, text message, or a group event. You need to think about what message you are going to send as the pitch. If you are having a dinner party, it would be a good idea to send out an invitation to get an RSVP for your food counts; however, this is not necessary.

5.     Housewarming Theme

When talking themes, I am not thinking of a Jay Gatsby’s type of party, I am thinking of more for the mood of the party and food selection. Just remember you do not have to go extreme on this party, you just bought a house and people understand that. A large portion of your savings are now gone. Make sure any decision made is reasonable. Here are a few themes to have you bounce around.

Potluck

The good ol’ fashioned potluck! This is a perfect idea if you are not a cook, still unpacking, and on a tight budget. You can have your friends and family members come over all carrying in some food. If they do previously ask you what to bring, do not be afraid to turn them in a direction that will keep you from having duplicate dishes, or something that you know they excel in that you crave.

Garden Theme

How does your landscape look? If it is something to brag about, make sure that you have a Garden Party. This is the perfect area to show off the landscape and openness of your patio or backyard. This would be the perfect area for a brunch!

Open House

If you are not wanting to have everyone stay for the entire duration, do a more traditional Open House. People will come and go, and you can be more interactive with every guest while you give them a tour of the house.

Help Us Out

Are you still stuck in the unpacking phase? Well, you don’t have to do it alone. If you are open to the idea of your closet friends and family helping you unpack, throw a Help Us Out Party. Give them a box with a room label and let them go to work. This will speed up your unpacking and decision making.

Paint a Room

When you moved in, where there some walls that you dreaded the awful colors or just wanting to add some color? Invite people over to help you. Why suffer alone painting the walls when you can invite your friends and family over to suffer too!  Make sure that you have the needed materials and colors picked out before they arrive, I doubt you want to hear all their suggestions.

Stock the Bar

This idea is for a cocktail party. You can have your guests bring their favorite liquor to stock your bar and one for them to drink during the party! You can have a lot of fun with this theme from decorations to costumes! It is after all your house, your party, and your rules! So why not make Aunt Bertha dress like the Flapper from the Roaring 20’s to celebrate this milestone!

6.      Food

The way to everyone’s hearts is through their stomach! When I first heard this, I thought man, that is very true. You can serve a variety of hot or cold hors o’dourves to a full dinner. Depending on the theme or ambiance that you are trying to create, the food selection will go hand in hand. Make sure that you consider your guest list when making the menu, you will need to take inconsideration any food restrictions that your guests may have. Aunt Bertha is already in the Flapper outfit, you do not want her shellfish allergy flaring up!

Let’s be honest, some people just can’t cook. If that is you no worries, hire a catering company or outsource it to a friend that is attending the party. This will also take stress off of you and you will be able to work on the tiny minute details that might get overlooked and you will have more time for entertaining.

7.      Party Decorations

Put out your yard Flamingos! It’s party time! Seriously, if you own these do it, but if not, decorations are not a big thing to worry about at a housewarming party. If you wanted to put up a banner that would suffice for the occasion. If you were to choose a theme and want to go 100% all in that be fun and vibrant. Just remember, you want to have fun with you close friends and family, so do not stress the unnecessarily details.

8.      Housewarming Party Etiquette

Alright, Susie Homemaker, grab you best apron and let’s be the best hostess that you can be! You are having your closets friends and family over to see you new home! Hospitality is the word of the evening, and you are a going to have to wear multiple hats for this joyous occasion. Just remember to smile, be curious, and have fun. If someone offers to help, do not feel obligated to say yes or no. Trust me, if Aunt Bertha wants to do the dishes and won’t take no for an answer, just let her not worth arguing over.  

9.      Games

When it comes to entertainment, you know your guest list the best. Games are not for every crowd, but they might just work for yours! If you are having a lot of people over it can be something on the side and mot a main staple of the party. Here are a few Games for you to consider.

  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Keep Your Key
  • Room Memory
  • Home Trivia
  • Charades
  • Treasure Hunt

10. Thank You Cards

Great News! You do not have to write thank you cards for everyone who attended the party and gave you gifts! However, if someone really helped you throughout your journey or bought you an exquisite gift then most defiantly handwrite a thank you card. Since, you did not fill out a gift registry so if someone brought you a welcoming gift, for example of firewood to keep your house warm, make sure you thank them at the party and give them a hug and praise. It is the thought that counts, and nothing says thank you more than some affection.

Fall Tips for Lawn Care

Fall Tips for Lawn Care

Fall is in the air. You can feel the temperatures starting to drop and winter will be here before you know it. You are finally going to get a break from all the mowing and yardwork until next spring. Don’t start your happy dance yet. This is the time to start preparing your lawn for hibernation so when Spring comes your lawn will be lush and brilliant again. Here is some helpful information to help you prepare your lawn for the Winter months and a healthy and green Spring.

Rake Your Leaves

I know, this is the dreadful part of fall. The leaves are changing color and looking beautiful! You are drinking a warm cup of apple cider, snuggled up in your perfect blanket on the porch swing, and then it happens. Those darn leaves have to ruin the season and fall in your yard, and you know what that means, you now have to rake.

While raking seems like an endless pain, it is a necessity if you what that healthy grass again next year! The leaves collect the early morning dew and just sit wet and soggy smothering the grass underneath it and sheltering it from the sunlight. If you do not rack, the grass will become moldy and unhealthy.

 

Aerate the Soil

Some people often skip his step; however, this is very important to make sure that the soil is oxidizes and is less compacted resulting in that the roots grow that, and intake of nutrients is possible. Can you ever cooked spaghetti, and just let the noodles sit in the strainer while you prepared the sauce?  When you go to dump the pasta, it still holds the form. That is what happens to your lawn. The dirt has just been getting impacted all season and making it hard for the roots to reach out and grow.

If you would like to make this process fun for the whole family, get a plywood or 2×4 board, hammer, and some 1” to 1”-1/2”nails and twine and make you own shoes. You can make these with the kids

as a fun project, and after you can have a dance party that involves moving around the yard! The best part is that the kids think its fun, and do not realize that you are putting them to work!

Fertilize Yard

Just like the last step this process this step is just as important. The grass that you currently have needs a nutrient booster. The summer has been long and hard on them just as much as it has on you. When fertilizing, you are applying the much-needed nutrients that your soil and seedlings need for growth. If you are wanting to get really detailed, you can perform a soil test to see all the nutrients that you are lacking, or you can just  gat a balanced fertilized or a high phosphorous fertilizer for your lawn. Make sure that you read the instructions on the fertilizer before using.

Reseed Yard

Start looking for the bare spots in the lawn. This is the perfect time to start making those spots shine again. The summer is too hot to start reseeding that is why right now is perfect! You want to make sure you know what type of grass that you have in the yard and buy a good seed of the same variety.

You have already aerated the soil and the holes make it easier for the seeds to germinate faster since the moisture of the hole will keep your seeds from drying out. Make sure that you read your seed bag for properly distribution of the seeds and that you are not overcrowding. This will result in your growth not yielding.

Water Lawn in Fall

I know that you were thinking that you could start winterizing your sprinkler system or preparing your hoses for the winter, but not quite yet. One important thing to keep in mind is that your yard is about to hibernate and right now it is trying to absorb moisture and nutrients for the winter slumber. You need to keep your yard and plants watered until the week before the first freeze is expected.

Hire a Professional?

Let’s admit something, we all have a busy life. If you do not have the time to reseed your yard, or you just don’t want to do it, no one is going to blame you for hiring someone. I would recommend that you ask around and shop local. Call a landscaping company and see if they have availability or if they recommend someone.

The Miller Family Homes Difference

The Miller Family Homes Difference

We know that buying or building a home is a major financial decision and undertaking. It can be an overwhelming, yet exciting time for even seasoned buyers. We know that you are looking for more than just a house – you’re looking for your home where you will make memories, enjoy meals with family and friends, host birthdays and holidays, watch first steps, take the first day of school pictures and so much more. We take all of this into consideration while we plan, design and build our homes and communities. That’s why every home comes with an impressive list of included standard features that include healthy and smart-home features from name brands you know and trust, adding value and instant equity to your home. No matter the price of the home or the area it resides in, our goal is to ensure that you are getting the best value and a better-built home that you’re sure to enjoy for years to come. That’s the Miller Family Homes Difference.

Miller Family Homes Difference Building a Better Home for Your Family

STANDARD FEATURES INCLUDED IN EVERY HOME

A plus sign (+) indicates a plan-specific item. Features with an asterisk (*) can be personalized during the selections process. Keep in mind, these are the standard features and there are upgrade options available for many of these items and selections. Ask a New Home Specialist for specific details.

  • Landscaping consisting of a Rain Bird® sprinkler system and approximately 1/4 acre of sod (additional sod will cost more)
  • Two lighting packages to choose from in two different styles and colors that includes two ceiling fans*
  • 36” Stained cabinets throughout with 5 different door styles to choose from & soft close drawers*
  • Laminate countertops throughout in a variety of styles and colors*
  • Tile backsplash in the kitchen
  • Double bowl stainless steel kitchen sink with an InSinkErator garbage disposal
  • Whirlpool stainless steel appliance package that includes a range, over-the-range microwave & dishwasher*
  • Generous island sizes in most floor plans+
  • Walk-in shower master bathroom shower with a chrome-framed shower door and clear glass
  • Private commode room (water closet) in the master bathroom with an elongated stool
  • All bathrooms have 36” high vanities, laminate backsplash the same pattern as countertops and framed mirrors in a variety of styles and options*
  • Plumbing fixtures are all in a chrome finish
  • Hardware consisting of doorknobs, handles, locks, etc. are in a brushed nickel finish
  • 2-Car Garage with raised panel-painted garage doors*
  • One (1) Chamberlain® myQ® smart garage door opener that can be operated from your smartphone
  • 6″ Concrete corners from garage doors
  • Energy-efficient Pella® 250 Series windows with a limited lifetime warranty*
  • White Interior Window Trim
  • Fully cased windows
  • 9′-10′ Ceilings in main living area and master bedroom+
  • Tamko® brand roof shingles in a weathered wood color*
  • Composite LP Smart Siding in a variety of color options*
  • Exterior paint consisting of body, trim and accent colors from Sherwin-Williams*
  • Interior paint wall color in flat or matte finish with white trim and six-inch baseboards throughout
  • Flat, knockdown ceilings (no popcorn texture)
  • Carpet in all bedrooms, bedroom closets, finished basements and staircases (except exterior and garage stairs)*
  • Cable jacks in every bedroom and one in the family room, plus one phone jack
  • 1 Window well in the basement
  • 36″ Sidewalks
  • Quality design in finish selections
  • Generous bedroom sizes in most floor plans with the smallest being 10.5′ x 10′
  • 1-Year builder warranty with checkups at 60-days and 11-months

HEALTHY, SMART, ENERGY-EFFICIENT FEATURES

  • Honeywell® Wi-Fi thermostat
  • 92/5% AFUE energy-efficient furnace system
  • Multi-zone heating and cooling with Trion Air Bear Air Cleaner and 5” pleated filter that provides better indoor air quality
  • Outside air forced into a pressurized system
  • Sealed air ducts
  • Smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside every bedroom door and at ceiling height changes
  • Cook-top vented to the outside
  • Energy heel trusses and California Corner insulation practices
  • Passive radon vent

ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY-SPECIFIC INCLUDED FEATURES

As an added value and benefit, each of our communities comes with an additional set of standard features. Some of the options below are plan-specific and are indicated with a plus sign (+). Many of these options can be personalized during the selection process, indicated with an asterisk (*). Along with these standards, there are still many upgrade options available for many of these items and selections. Ask a New Home Specialist for specific details.

Additional Included Features in The Enclave at Clear Creek

  • 3rd-Car garage
  • Well for the sprinkler system with wiring
  • Solid surface countertops in the Preferred Series Granite or Quartz Options*
  • Tile backsplash in the master bathroom*
  • Solid surface backsplash in secondary bathrooms*
  • Wood laminate in the Preferred Series in the entry, living, dining, kitchen, powder baths, secondary bathrooms, laundry room and basement bathroom*
  • Cabinet hardware*
  • Choice of 1 kitchen island option*+: cabinets on the back of the island, 4′ island depth, columns/posts added to the end of the island on the bar side
  • Tile floor in the master bathroom*
  • View-Out & Walk-Out foundations get a covered composite deck
  • Daylight foundations get approximately a 10′ x 12′ covered patio with a cedar post
  • Decks consist of cedar posts, composite deck boards, aluminum balusters and approximately a 4′ x 4′ concrete pad for the landing+
  • Painted drop zone*+
  • 42″ Sidewalks

Additional Included Features in The Crossing at Clear Creek

  • Electrical ran for irrigation well with a disconnect included
  • LVP flooring in the living room, dining, kitchen, powder baths, secondary bathrooms, laundry room and basement bathroom*
  • View-Out and Walk-Out foundations come with decks made from pressure-treated wood and approximately a 4′ x 4′ concrete pad for the landing+
  • Daylight foundations get approximately a 10′ x 12′ concrete patio

Additional Included Features in Southern Ridge

  • 3rd-Car garage
  • Well for the sprinkler system with wiring
  • Solid surface countertops in the Preferred Series Granite or Quartz Options*
  • Tile backsplash in the master bathroom*
  • Solid surface backsplash in secondary bathrooms*
  • Wood laminate in the Preferred Series in the entry, living, dining, kitchen, powder baths, secondary bathrooms, laundry room and basement bathroom*
  • Cabinet hardware*
  • Choice of 1 kitchen island option*+: cabinets on the back of the island, 4′ island depth, columns/posts added to the end of the island on the bar side
  • Tile floor in the master bathroom*
  • View-Out & Walk-Out foundations get a covered composite deck
  • Daylight foundations get approximately a 10′ x 12′ covered patio with a cedar post
  • Decks consist of cedar posts, composite deck boards, aluminum balusters and approximately a 4′ x 4′ concrete pad for the landing+
  • Painted drop zone*+
  • 42″ Sidewalks

Additional Included Features in Village Estates

  • Electrical ran for irrigation well with a disconnect included
  • LVP flooring in the living room, dining, kitchen, powder baths, secondary bathrooms, laundry room and basement bathroom*
  • View-Out and Walk-Out foundations come with decks made from pressure-treated wood and approximately a 4′ x 4′ concrete pad for the landing+
  • Daylight foundations get approximately a 10′ x 12′ concrete patio

EXAMPLE UPGRADE OPTIONS

These are just a few of the upgrades you can make to your home during the planning stages and selection process. Ask a New Home Specialist for more information about any or all of these options.

  • Adding a Feature Wall in a variety of styles
  • Incorporating a built-in entertainment center available in a variety of styles
  • Providing that cozy-home feeling year-round with a fireplace in a variety of styles and options
  • Adding instant, timeless beauty with a tray ceiling in any of our multiple styles and options with or without beams
  • Upgrading countertops from laminate to granite or quartz
  • Upgrading LVP floors to wood laminate
  • Swapping plumbing fixtures for luxury options in a variety of finishes
  • Adding lighting under the kitchen cabinets
  • Make a statement in your kitchen by adding a range hood in a variety of styles and options
  • Add luxury to your master bathroom with a full-tile walk-in shower
  • Add storage to your master bathroom with either an additional cabinet on the vanity or a linen cabinet
  • Ask about our secondary bedroom options like adding a window seat or vaulted ceiling
  • Keep your house tidy by adding a built-in drop zone to almost any floor plan
  • Add elegance with open railing in a variety of styles and looks
  • Finish the basement for instant equity, additional living spaces and more bedrooms

Disclaimers & Notes: These Included Features are subject to change without notice and may do so at any time. Additional options & selections are available. All options and name brands indicated are based upon current availability and vendors and may change over time. Luxury upgrades, features and finishes are available for additional costs. If an item or selection is out of stock or discontinued, it may be substituted with an equivalent item. For the most up-to-date information, speak with a New Home Specialist.