8 Tips to Help Prepare Your New Home for Winter

8-Tips-to-Help-Prepare-Your-Home-For-WinterCaring for your home – especially a brand new home that you hope to keep in tip-top shape for years to come – is important. In the Northwest, where winters can be harsh, knowing and performing some basic winter maintenance musts is critical to the health of your home. Fortunately, winter maintenance is pretty straightforward. Here are 8 tips to help prepare your new home for winter, to ensure you are keeping your dream home looking great.

Outdoor Maintenance Takes Priority

Maintenance for the outdoor area of your new home should take priority. Some outdoor tasks that absolutely need to be completed include:

1.  Blow out your sprinkler lines, which will keep them from freezing when temperatures drop;

2. Clean up and cover outdoor appliances and tools, such as hoses (which should be stored and drained);

3. Remove leaves from gutters and drains – if leaves are left in gutters and drains over the winter, they can lead to clogs and other damage;

4. Keep an eye out for snow and ice buildup on your roof and around your home – any unusual buildup or runoff should be dealt with swiftly.

Of course, before the snow comes, you should also make sure you have a sturdy snow shovel ready to go. Removing snow promptly as it accumulates will reduce the work, help your home’s foundation stay dry, and keep your family and guests safe.
Prepping the Inside of Your Home
While it’s easy to focus on what’s happening outside when winter is approaching, remember that the inside of your home requires some annual TLC too. To keep the inside of your home in great condition, be sure to:
5. Leave your heat on when you’re out of town to prevent freezing of pipes. Our recommendation is to keep your heat at a minimum of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, while you are away. On especially cold nights, some homeowners will open up cabinets around water pipes to help prevent them from freezing when they are out of town.

6. Ensure your water heater and HVAC system are in good working order (fortunately, if you’ve purchased a new home, this shouldn’t be an issue for years to come)

7. Check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and change them if needed; and

8. Commit to changing air filters at least once every three months, and more if you have pets or anyone in the home with allergies.

Remember, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to contact a local professional for maintenance and repairs.
Keep Your New Home Looking Great
Your new home will serve you well for years to come if you do your part too – which includes preparing your home for the coldest months of the year. For how-to videos and your seasonal maintenance checklist,  visit our home maintenance page here.
If you are growing tired of all of the ongoing maintenance energy and repairs you’re having to do on your older home, we can help. Hayden Homes has beautiful new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and we can assist you whether you’re buying your first home or upgrading homes. Call us today to learn more.

Backyard Ideas for Your New Home

Part of the excitement of buying a brand new home is deciding how you want to decorate both inside and out. If you’ve recently purchased a new home and have big plans for your backyard but aren’t sure where to start, here are some great backyard ideas for your new home.

Outdoor Dining SpaceOutdoor Dining

If you love to eat outdoors, and let’s be honest who doesn’t, you may want to focus your backyard on an outdoor dining set up. This can be created with the installation of an outdoor patio or deck and a nice outdoor dining set. In addition to the basic table and chairs, the right lighting can add a magical ambiance. Outdoor dining arrangements are often nicely accompanied by pergolas and honeysuckles, which can provide shade on hotter days. If you don’t have an outdoor grill yet, consider buying one that you can grill and smoke meats and/or vegetables on. There are a lot of wonderful food smoking recipes that you and your guests will love.

Create an Outdoor Living SpaceOutdoor Living Space

If you just can’t get enough of the outdoors, investing in an outdoor living arrangement may really hit the spot. An outdoor living arrangement will include an outdoor dining set and may also expand to include outdoor chairs and recliners or benches, a built-in firepit, and perhaps even a full outdoor kitchen. Hot tubs are another favorite addition if you can afford one. You can look for deals on outdoor furniture when sets go on clearance at the end of the summer. Whether you are eating in your backyard, playing card or yard games, or just want a cozy corner to read a good book, you can find a lot of creative outdoor living ideas on Pinterest or by doing a simple Google search.

Create an outdoor space for peace and serenityPeace and Serenity

Some people want their backyard to offer peace, serenity, and a chance to reconnect with nature more than anything else. In order to achieve this, it can be nice to incorporate two of the most natural elements: fire and water. To do so, consider the installation of a gas or wood burning fire pit and a water feature, such as a small pond or fountain. Enjoying the sound of trickling water doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Plenty of shade and greenery is necessary to achieve the feeling of being in nature, too. Bird feeders and bird baths can be a nice touch as well.

Lush Gardens for your backyardLush Gardens

You may be excited about your new yard because it offers you the chance to grow all of your favorite fruits, veggies, and other plants. Gardens are not only a wonderful way to connect with the earth and potentially grow food for your family, but also a visually appealing addition to a yard, too. You may opt for a large plot that allows you to grow a wide variety of veggies, a smaller plot in a corner for a salsa garden, or even a series of designated garden boxes throughout the yard – one for tomatoes, one for herbs, one for peas and beans, etc. Whatever you do, allow plenty of space for your plants to grow as they will need as much sunlight and oxygen as possible to thrive.

Hayden Homes Dream BackyardWhat Are You Looking for in a Great Backyard?

Your backyard is your own canvas and anything is possible with some imagination and hard work. Whether you have landscaping experience or not, with a little help, you have the potential to transform your backyard into a paradise that brings you joy for years to come.

At Hayden Homes, we’re as excited about getting you into your new home as you are. Whether you’re buying your first home or upgrading to your dream home, we make working with us straightforward and easy. To learn more about our homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and meet with our Northwest home builder, contact us today online or by phone. We can’t wait to help you find your new home!

Even Better… Enter to Win your own dream backyard, NOW thru August 15th, 2018! 

ENTER TO WIN

Designing Your Dream Backyard

While summer is well underway, there is still plenty of time to create a magical backyard that you love to spend time in, and there is certainly enough time to start planning for next year. But unless you’re a gardener or a landscape mastermind, you may not know how to design a backyard that really wows. Here are some tips for backyard design, as well as a look into the Hayden Homes’ Dream Backyard Giveaway.

The Path to Designing your Dream BackyardHow to Design Your Dream Backyard

A great article published online at HGTV.com provides some tips for designing your dream backyard and creating a landscape plan. Some of the biggest takeaways from the article include:

  • Start with the big areas. The article recommends that a homeowner start by planning the size and shape of the biggest areas of the backyard first, such as lawn or courtyard. This will help you to understand how the rest of your yard will be shaped.
  • Understand your personal preferences. When creating spaces, you have a choice between straight lines or curved, symmetrical or asymmetrical designs, circles or squares, etc. While the shape of your home and the amount of space you’re working with may influence these choices, your personal preference will likely have the biggest effect on this decision. Look through landscaping and gardening magazines and pay attention to what draws your eye and affection the most.
  • Keep things balanced and bold. As you’re planning your landscape, you want to keep things balanced, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little bold, too. One recommendation from landscape architect Gary Menendez is to soften straight lines with flowers or lush plants, and to make curved garden pop by putting in an herb garden in a geometrical or sharp-line pattern.

Of course, there’s always the option of hiring a professional, too! With a little research and planning, though, you should be able to create a beautiful landscape on a budget.

How-to-Design-Your-Dream-BackyardDownload Ideas from our Previous Backyard Winners
If you’re looking for a little more inspiration and you don’t want to design your backyard from scratch, we are excited to share with you the plans from our past Dream Backyards winners! Feel free to download and utilize these!

The-Hayden-Homes Dream-Backyard-GiveawayThe Hayden Homes’ Dream Backyard Giveaway

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just have a professional come and design your backyard for you and if you didn’t have to worry about coming up with the moolah? With the Hayden Homes’ Dream Backyard Giveaway, that’s exactly what you could get! The Dream Backyard Giveaway is an opportunity to turn your dreams for your backyard into a reality. The giveaway is a whopping $25,000 that can go to whatever your backyard dream is! Have you been thinking about a backyard jacuzzi? Or maybe a fire pit? Or just beds upon beds of gorgeous flowers or vegetable gardens? You can enter to win NOW thru August 15th, 2018 on the Hayden Homes’ Dream Backyard Giveaway website. There is no purchase necessary.

Start-with-Your-Dream-HomeStart with Your Dream Home

Before you can start thinking about your dream backyard, you need to find your dream home! Hayden Homes can help – we have homes for sale throughout the Northwest, including the states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. We help homebuyers like you in buying your first home, upgrading to a bigger home, or just changing locations. Contact us today to learn more!

Beat the Heat with These Summer Gardening Tips

You need vitamin D, and being outside in the sun is the very best way to get it. And who doesn’t like to soak in some rays on a gorgeous summer day? But, just like your plants, too much heat and sun can leave you feeling fried, dehydrated, and downright burnt. As such, knowing when enough is enough, and smart ways to beat the heat, is important.
In order to get all your gardening done in your new home’s yard, you’ll need to be outside. So here are some great summer gardening tips that are designed to help you provide your plants with the care they need, all while staying cool.
 Beat the Heat with the great summer gardening tips
1. Use a Sun Hat!
One of the best ways to keep the sun off of your face and neck while you’re in the garden (and look stylish while doing it) is to use a sun hat! Sun hats with a side brim that provide full coverage of your face, neck, and even chest are the best. Some hats are even made with UV-protective materials,  which may be a good option.
2. Don’t Forget Your Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is critical to feeling good and being safe when you’re outdoors, especially when temperatures are hot. Drink plenty of water before going outside, and sip frequently while working, too.
3. Use Lightweight, Long-Sleeve Clothing
It can be tempting to expose all of your skin to the sun – who doesn’t love a nice tan? But keeping covered will not only help to keep you cooler (so long as you’re wearing airy, light-colored clothing), but also help to keep you safe. Skin cancer is a serious concern that shouldn’t be taken lightly – cover up if you’re going to be outdoors for hours at a time!
4. Shade is Your Ally
Take a day to track the sun and the shade in your garden. At what time of day does each section of your yard get the most direct sunlight? In order to beat the heat, try working with the shade, which means working in shaded areas and avoiding sunned areas, and then rotating as the sun moves across the sky.
5. Take Plenty of Breaks
Staying in your yard for hours at a time to finish clearing up all those weeds or planting your summer crops without taking a break doesn’t make you a hero. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to take a break as needed to cool off. Overheating can be a health hazard and can lead to frustration.
 Beat the Heat with These Summer Gardening Tips
Get Your Yard Looking Great This Summer!
If you’ve just bought your dream home and you want to make sure it looks great both inside and out this summer, the tips above can help you achieve that. If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect home, we here at Hayden Homes can help. We have new homes for sale in communities throughout the Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Learn more about our brand new homes and how to qualify for your new home purchase by reaching out to us today!

Low-Maintenance Perennials for the Pacific Northwest

Now that you’ve moved into your brand new home, you’re likely focused on tips and strategies for keeping your dream home – and your yard – looking as wonderful as possible. With great weather up ahead as the days become warming and longer, now’s the time to start thinking about low-maintenance flowers that can add color and beauty to your Pacific Northwest home. For low-maintenance gardening that will continue to bloom year-after-year, we come up with this list of some of the best (low-maintenance) perennial, flowers, that are perfect for homeowners in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

Pink Primrose for Pacific Northwest HomePrimroses

Best for homes that get a lot of sun and soil that will drain completely, primroses are easy to care for, and will keep coming back without replanting every year – a homeowner’s dream! These are one of the earliest flowers to bloom each season, making them especially eye-catching.

Cardinal Flower for PNW homeCardinal Flowers

Cardinal flowers, also called cardinal wildflowers, are some of the most beautiful flowers to keep in your yard. These flowers are a shocking red color that catches the eye and draws attention from passersby, and are one of a hummingbird’s favorite. These flowers like morning sun and afternoon shade, and moist soil (perfect in Washington and Oregon). A great plus of these low-maintenance flowers, is that they will self-sow if left unclipped, meaning that you can count on them reblooming for years to come. Don’t want them to drop seeds? Clip out the flower stems when they’re done blooming.

Dahlia Flowers for Easy to Maintain PNW homeDahlia

The name of this flower alone may be enough to persuade you to plant it; when you find out that there are thousands of dahlia varieties, you’ll be convinced. These flowers can get up to six feet tall, and are available in multiple colors. They’ll start blooming about eight weeks after planting (or around mid-July if you already have them in your yard). Grown primarily for cut flowers in bouquets, you can leave your dahlias in the ground, or cut them and bring them inside for a way to spruce up your new home.

Shasta Daisy for Low Maintenance YardShasta Daisy

The Shasta daisy is a simple and sweet flower that is easy to grow and nice to look at. These flowers will bloom in the summertime, and can provide year-round green foliage depending on your location. To keep these flowers happy, plant in an area where the soil drains completely and the flowers will be partially shaded; full sun can be too harsh for Shasta daisies. One of the best things about these flowers is that once they’re in the ground, care is minimal. You can cut foliage back after blooming (usually around September) to keep the plant healthy and ready to flower again the following year.

A Beautiful, Easy to Maintain, Yard Can Make a Big DifferenceA Beautiful, Easy to Maintain, Yard Can Make a Big Difference

When you have a beautiful yard, your new home will feel that much more inviting, and the outdoors will be more enjoyable to spend time in. For these and other great home maintenance tips, check out our home maintenance tips/tricks page HERE. To learn more about our new homes for sale in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, get in touch with us today. Whether you’re buying your first home or looking to upgrade to a new home in the Northwest, we have the properties of your dreams.

Pacific Northwest Landscape Ideas, Low Maintenance and Budget-Friendly

If you own a brand new home in the Northwest, now’s the time to start getting your new home’s landscape in order. That means starting up your watering system, fertilizing and getting an early start on weed control. Thankfully, the weather is finally warm enough to enjoy being outside, and to not have to worry about winter frosts that may kill flowers and buds that are planted (knock on wood). That being said, here are a number of low maintenance, and budget-friendly landscape ideas that you can try this spring!

Low Maintenance Landscape IdeaBudget-Friendly, Landscape Idea #1 – Plant Some Vegetables

Planting a vegetable garden is one of the best ways to make use of your yard, and can even end up saving you money (fewer trips to the supermarket). There are a lot of different stylistic options for planting a vegetable garden – square-foot gardening is often touted as one of the most effective ways of maximizing vegetable production and minimizing costs. In addition to being relatively inexpensive and providing your family with vegetables throughout the season, veggie gardens also look great! Want to try something smaller but equally as spectacular? Consider creating an outdoor herb or salsa garden.

Add Light and Warmth to your LandscapingLow Maintenance, Landscape Idea #2 – Add Light and Warmth

Another landscape idea for your Northwest home, is that you can use to make your back or front yard look great is to add some lighting. From solar lamps to big bulbs, outdoor LED lighting is one of the easiest ways to add ambiance and warmth. You can even consider adding an outdoor fireplace, many of which can be purchased for under $200.

Create and Outdoor Living Space - Landscape IdeaLow Maintenance, Landscape Idea #3 – Create an Outdoor Living Space

When the weather is nice, there is nothing more pleasant than spending a few hours outdoors with family or friends, perhaps for a game of Scrabble, a barbeque, or just to have a nice conversation or read a book. Which means that you need to create a great outdoor living space, which will not only contribute to your comfort, but also add to the overall look and feel of your yard. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on brand new patio furniture, consider repurposing older furniture with outdoor fabrics, this is not only a budget-friendly landscape idea, but can be a great conversation starter with friends and family.

Plant Wild Flowers Landscape-IdeaBudget-Friendly, Landscape Idea #4 – Go Wild

You can reinvent parts of your yard without spending hundreds of dollars or spending a lot of time. Just let things go wild! We’re not talking about letting your landscape become overgrown and out of control, but rather throwing wildflower seeds in un-planted garden beds, a ditch, or other areas of your yard that could use some color. Wildflowers are easy to grow and require little maintenance, which is perfect for those with busy lives that are looking for an easier, more low maintenance option for the landscaping in your new home.

Spring has Sprung. It’s Time to Spruce Up the Landscaping in Your Yard

Are you living in a new home in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho that doesn’t yet have a finished landscape? You can use the landscaping ideas above to inexpensively transform your yard into a place that attracts positive attention and is a joy to spend time in. To learn more about our new homes for sale in the Northwest, reach out to us today!