Ben Esposito - RE/MAX Real Estate Center



Posted by Ben Esposito on 9/15/2019

For many buyers, a basement is an added bonus. While it does not figure into the living space by most calculations, a basement may expand square-footage, improve storage, extend living space, and be that final trump card in the homebuying process. Or, it could be the worst possible nightmare. If you hope to buy or build a home with a basement, here are some things to think about—both positive and negative.

Types of basements

  • Cellar – a cellar is an old-fashioned word for an unfinished hole underneath a home’s foundation that may, or may not, be lined with concrete block, or concrete walls. In ancient houses, the cellar might be lined with hard-packed earth. Many times, cellars were used to store root vegetables and so earned the nickname “root cellar.” The underground temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year, so colder than outdoors in summer, but above freezing in winter, making it an ideal food storage place. After the advent of canning, added shelves created space for jars of canned goods and preserves.
  • Partial – a partial basement is a foundational basement (part of the home’s foundation) that is under only a portion of the house. Sometimes partial basements are used because there is an impediment to a full basement such as an underground boulder or other obstruction to digging a full basement. Other times it is an added feature so that mechanical items reside there, leaving space in the living floors for more storage and open planning.
  • Full – a full basement is one that is the complete foundation for a home. Full basements often have window wells (a window set below ground level with an enclosed “well” on the outside to hold the earth in place) for light, but not for egress. In a full basement, because of the lack of exit doors or windows, bedrooms are not up to code.
  • Walk-out – a walk-out basement typically sits into the side of a slope so that a portion of the basement is entirely in the earth and a part of the basement has exterior egress (i.e., you can walk out the door). Rooms with windows or doors on the walk-out side may be used as bedrooms.
  • Living height – some basements are not full height (less than 8 feet tall) and so typically are for storage and mechanical/plumbing items only. A living-height basement has a full 8-foot or higher ceiling and is suitable for finishing as living space.
  • Unfinished – in new-builds, basements typically are not finished, and it is up to the homebuyer to frame in rooms and add walls, floors, and ceilings. An unfinished, living-height basement is the perfect blank slate for creating a man-cave, media or game room, or a crafting area. Often in older homes, laundry facilities sat in the basement as well.
  • Finished – a finished basement means that the exterior walls have drywall or another wall finish, the floor joists for the floor above are covered by ceiling material (drywall, insulated ceiling panels, etc.), the concrete floor has tile, carpet, or other flooring and the area has ventilation (HVAC) lights and power outlets. If your basement is already finished, all you have to do is set it up the way you like.

Basements can be a blessing or a curse. If your basement needs some TLC, seek a professional basement contractor with experience on waterproofing and extending the HVAC to handle the extra space.




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Posted by Ben Esposito on 9/8/2019

To clean a kitchen cabinet, the type of cabinet you have in your kitchen matters. For general kitchen cabinet cleaning, the following cleaning materials are essential:

  1. Water and detergent
  2. All-purpose cleaner
  3. Vinegar and water
  4. Non-abrasive All-Purpose Cleaner
  5. Baking soda and water

Painted Cabinets

Oil-based painted cabinets are durable and easy to clean. You can use any of the above-listed cleaning materials for this type of finish. There is no concern about damaging the finish, hence; all you need to do is scrub hard to rid it of the dirt and food items. Use water and baking soda if your painted kitchen cabinets have stubborn stains. 

You, however, should be careful if your painted cabinet comes with a water-based latex style of paint. Baking soda, for instance, might scratch off the surface. Instead of this, consider warm water and be sure to be gentle while scrubbing. 

Metal Cabinets

The easiest of the cabinets to clean are the metal type. You can use any of the above means to clean a metal cabinet, except a baking soda. Be careful not overuse water to prevent the obvious – rusting!

Wood Cabinets

An oil-soap wood cleaner is the best cleaning material to use for a wooden cabinet. You can get this at the local grocery or hardware store. Also, with everyday kitchen materials, you can also clean your wooden cupboards easily.

  • Detergent: Any grease or oil laundry detergent and water works well on wood cabinets. Just mix two cups of water alongside every cup of soap. Be sure not to over wet the wood because it can affect the finish. It is also important to wipe it down with a damp and separate cloth.
  • Vinegar: Without any liquid based detergent, you can use water and vinegar as a good alternative. With vinegar, you can get rid of sticky films as a result of dirty hands.
  • Baking Soda: When you have stubborn stains, baking soda is the best to get rid of it. Mix baking soda with water to have a paste, with a wet cloth wipe it cloth

Conclusion

Since a kitchen cabinet is like the workbench in a kitchen, it sees a lot of bacteria, oil, dirt, and grease. That is why it needs frequent and regular cleaning. With routine cleaning, you save more on cleaning services and also ensure you have healthy cooking all year round. If you are having trouble cleaning your kitchen, call in a professional cleaning service to help you get it into shape.




Tags: cleaning tips   how to   kitchen  
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Posted by Ben Esposito on 7/24/2016

You’ve made it through the bidding process and you’ve finally unpacked the last of your boxes. It’s finally time to show off your new home to your friends, family, and new neighbors! Throwing a party can be intimidating, especially a housewarming party since it's not every day you move to a new house. If you don’t know where to start to host your housewarming party keep reading for some tricks and tips below. Send out the invites. In the age of technology sending out e-vites is as easy as a few clicks and saves on postage, however, physical invitations include the opportunity to add a handwritten note to your loved ones and new neighbors. This adds a personalized and thoughtful touch to let them know you look forward to having them attend your party. You may also want to consider allowing guests to bring a friend. Doing so will also help you expand your social circle in your new community and make new acquaintances more comfortable. Including a reply by date will give you the opportunity to know how many guests to expect and allow you to plan accordingly. Clean and stock your home. A tidy home will impress your guests. Ensure that every room is spick and span as your guests will be hoping to see each room in your new home. Make sure your bathroom is well stocked for your guests. Think items like toilet paper, soap, air freshener, and extra towels. Go the extra mile and make your home smell good with lightly scented candles or an oil diffuser. Plan your menu. Skip the sit-down dinner in favor of finger foods. You will also want to keep dietary restrictions in mind when creating your menu, include a few vegetarian, dairy free and/or gluten free options to play safe. Creating a few different table spreads will allow for guests to mix and mingle throughout the house and avoid an overcrowded room. Greet guests. Be sure to greet incoming guests at the door or assign someone to do so for you to create a welcoming atmosphere for your party. Offer to take any coats or bags and make introductions to other guests to encourage a sociable atmosphere. Entertain. Have some simple games on hand to occupy guests like horseshoes or tic-tac-toe. You’ll also want to have a playlist prepared ahead of time to encourage a party atmosphere. If putting together a playlist isn’t your thing look into a music service that will automate one for you so that all you need to do is pick the atmosphere you would like for your party. The idea of hosting a party might seem like the last thing you want to do after the stress of buying and moving house however you can throw a party that is just as much fun for you as it is for your guests. By planning a casual housewarming party you can put in minimal planning and focus more time on having fun with your friends, family, and new neighbors.




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