7 Tips for Reducing Your Home’s Energy Consumption This Summer

With these 7 simple changes to your daily habits, you could reduce the amount of energy you and your home consume, while keeping your home comfortable. Here are 7 easy ways you can save energy this summer.Summer means warm weather, barbeques, water sports, and high energy bills. Electricity use and costs rise every year between June and September. When this time of the year comes around we are often asking ourselves, or being asked, “How do I reduce my home’s energy consumption, especially in the summer?” With these 7 simple changes to your daily habits, you could reduce the amount of energy you and your home consume, while keeping your home comfortable. Here are 7 easy ways you can save energy this summer.

1. Be smart with your thermostat

There’s no denying how good that burst of cool air feels when you step inside an air-conditioned building after being outside. However, that good feeling disappears when you receive that bill at the end of the month. Set the thermostat to at least 75F (the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 78F) when you’re at home and higher overnight or when you’re away.

Those temperatures may sound warm but if you couple that with a few of these other energy saving tips, you won’t break a sweat. Every degree above 78F can save you up to 8% on your utility bill. Programmable or smart thermostats make this a breeze by allowing you to create custom schedules and, if you have a smart thermostat, control the temperature from your phone.

2. Keep it breezy

Double up on the cooling power of the air conditioner by running ceiling or portable fans. Fans do a great job at circulating air so turning on the ceiling fan or placing a fan by an A/C will quickly cool your space. Using fans in your home will allow you to keep the thermostat set at that target 75-78F without feeling overheated. If you have a ceiling fan, set it to rotate counterclockwise to create a cool downdraft.

Once the sun begins to set, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows to invite the cooler evening air into your home.

3. Block the light

Sun shining into your windows can increase energy costs and warm your home. Keep curtains and blinds drawn during the hottest parts of the day, typically between noon and 4pm. This blocks the sun and keeps your room cooler, especially if you have southern or western facing windows.

4. Consider LED lighting

Did you know regular incandescent lights can make a room warmer? It’s true! 90% of the energy an incandescent bulb uses is released into the air as heat. Instead of using inefficient incandescent bulbs, consider switching to more efficient LED or CFL light bulbs. Not only do these bulbs use less energy to light a space, they don’t release as much heat, keeping your room cooler.

5. Rethink appliance usage

Heat-generating appliances like the oven and stove, dishwasher, and washer and dryer are common culprits in rising energy costs. In fact, the oven and stove can raise your kitchen’s temperature by 10 degrees! Instead of firing up the stove, cook with energy-efficient cooking appliances like the microwave, ary fryer, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. You can even cook outside or take full advantage of warmer weather by ordering in or going out to eat.

Dishwashers tend to be more efficient than handwashing but you can still save a bit more energy. Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher and let your dishes air dry instead of using the heated drying option.

You may not be able to outsource the laundry but the same idea applies. Wash full loads of laundry in cold or warm water, air dry when possible or dry right-sized loads for your machine (overstuffed loads take longer to dry). Another drying tip: separate towels and heavier cottons from lighter-weight clothes when drying. Since towels and heavier cottons take longer to dry, your lighter-weight items will be over dried by the end of the cycle.

6. Stay low

Heat rises so if you have a two-story home, consider staying downstairs for most of the day.

7. Keep track of your electronics

Any device or appliance that uses electricity generates heat, albeit some less than others, which can derail your cooling strategy. Keep heat-generating electronics like lamps and televisions away from thermostats. The heat they generate can trick the thermostat’s sensors into thinking the room is warmer than it actually is, causing it to spend more time and energy cooling the room.

While you’re being mindful of where you place these electronics, make sure you turn off any items when not in use.

Knowing how to save energy during the summer months means you can stay cool at home while lowering your monthly utility bills.

If you’re still on the hunt for your dream home, we have homes for sale in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. We are ready to meet with you! We work with those at every stage in the home-buying process, whether you’re buying your first home or purchasing your second or third. Contact us today to learn more!

Summertime Watering Guidelines for Optimal Lawn Health

Home Maintenance TipsAs the temperatures begin to heat up, watering your yard is essential to make sure your grass and plants look their best. We’ve put together some guidelines and information to help you understand the importance of scheduling your watering system, maintaining your yard with regular mowing and weeding, and other factors that help prevent over/under watering and give your lawn and plants the best chance at staying green and healthy all summer long.

First, it’s important to understand that certain types of soil have a mixture of clay and may take longer for these types of soil to dry out especially after heavy rains. In some of our regions, like in the Boise area, this can become an issue if you’re not adjusting your watering schedule seasonally or during heavy rain storms.

Second, to maintain a healthy looking lawn, we recommend that you fertilize regularly. For most lawns, applying fertilizer once or twice a year is enough to keep your grass green and healthy. Precisely when you apply fertilizer depends partly on your climate, but mostly on the type of grass you have. The key is to fertilize during the season when your grass is doing the most growing

Here are some guidelines to help ensure you’re preventing pooling and properly watering your yard.


1.  Schedule your sprinkler system – So you don’t have to remember to turn your sprinklers on and this will help ensure that you’re not over or under watering. Schedule your water to come on during the coolest time of the day. This allows for the shortest irrigation run time with the most optimal and minimized amount of evaporation due to heat.


2. Regular mowing and weed eating around sprinkler heads will also ensure that the right amount of water is being dispersed over the grass instead of being blocked by grass and concentrating in one area causing pooling or flooding issues.


3. Aerating the grass area on a seasonal basis can also aid in percolation as well as the health of the grass.



4. Seasonal Maintenance is important. Remember to have your irrigation lines blown out prior to freezing weather in the fall.

The following is our recommended schedule to follow for different types of sprinkler systems:

  1. For Pop-up spray sprinkler systems: Run them for a maximum of 5-10 minutes, 2 times a day
  2. For fan or motion spray sprinkler systems: Rum them for a maximum of 10 minutes, 2 times a day

Allow for your sprinkler system to have a break! We recommend that you allow for one day off per week minimum.

Pro Tip – be sure to read through the manual that Hayden Homes provides on how to operate the clock and understand the difference between start times and run times.

If pooling occurs in your yard, without weather related precipitation, the water may need to be turned down.

We are here for you, if you have additional questions or need assistance you can email us at info@hayden-homes.com. For other great home maintenance tips, check out our home maintenance page on our website.

Declutter Your Home for the New Year And Beyond

Declutter Your Entire Home month by monthEveryone wants to start the new year in a clean and organized space, but decluttering your home can feel like a daunting task. You may start out inspired to tackle the mess in your home, only to have that inspiration wane over time. Instead of trying to declutter your entire house from the start, stretch the process out over the year. Not only will this keep you motivated to continue doing the work, you’ll also enjoy the satisfaction of having a consistently decluttered space. In this blog, we provide you with a suggested focus for each month of the year, so you can check that off your list!

January: Kitchen/Pantry

The kitchen is the heart of the home and tends to have the most stuff. The cabinets are filled with food and pots and pans, the drawers are stuffed with cooking tools and utensils (not to mention the odds and ends in the junk drawer) and the counters are covered with appliances and maybe even mail. Before you throw your hands up and give up, here’s how to break down the process:

  • Sell, donate, or toss specialty appliances, cookware, and dishes you no longer use or need
  • Toss or recycle food storage containers with missing lids and giveaway cups you don’t need
  • Empty the pantry and donate any unopened nonperishable food items and toss anything that’s expired or you don’t use

February: Home Office

With tax season in gearing up, this month is the perfect time to declutter and organize, not only your home office, but also any paperwork (both physical and digital).

  • Sort through any piles of paper and decide what to file, shred, or recycle
  • Clean up any unused files on your computers and back up any data
  • Switch to paperless billing whenever possible

March: Closet

The closet might be one of the most daunting areas of the home to organize. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! With the changing seasons, now is the perfect time to streamline the closet. Try on all clothes and keep what still fits and makes you feel good. Sort through clothes and keep only what truly makes you happy. Here are a few more tips to help you through this process:

  • Sell or donate clothes, shoes, and accessories that are in good condition, tossing anything that’s beyond repair
  • Launder and store any winter items for next season
  • Repeat this during the fall season

April: Bathroom and linen closets

A clean, well-organized bathroom is a mood booster and makes hosting guests (even last-minute ones) less stressful. Place most used items at eye level so they’re easier to find, placing items you don’t use as often on higher shelves in the medicine cabinet.

Also take time to review your linens, donating items in good condition or tossing anything that’s worn (or repurpose them into rags) and update with new items as needed.

  • Move moisture or heat sensitive medications to a different location (make sure it’s safely out of reach of children)
  • Toss expired and unused makeup and skin-care products
  • Safely dispose of expired medication

May: Laundry Room

The laundry room sees a lot of action during the year, making it one of the hardest-working rooms in the home! Keep clutter at bay by creating a place for everything. Store cleaning products out of reach of kids and pets. And take time to clean your washer and dryer.

  • Designate a small basket or jar to hold found items from pockets and a basket to hold missing socks or gloves until they can be paired up again
  • Sort laundry before it going to the laundry room to avoid the dreaded piles

June: Garage

Before summer activities and travels begin, take some time to organize the garage. Remove any sporting equipment the kids may have outgrown or no longer use, inspect lawn care and gardening tools, and check outdoor furniture and toss worn-out pieces. When you’re ready to organize your space, think in categories, like sports equipment, gardening tools, holiday décor, etc., and group like items together.

July: Living areas

The living room is a well-used space, from cozy movie nights to game watching parties, it’s often where the fun and action is when hosting family and friends. Make this space more enjoyable by imagining what activities you want to take place in these rooms and furnish the room in a way that supports this desire. Store magazines, movies, and electronics out of sight behind a cabinet or in a console table.

  • Return items that belong in other rooms to their proper space each night
  • Sell or donate old DVDs, CDs, books or other entertainment accessories you don’t use
  • Identify catch-all areas and use baskets to hold these smaller items while reducing visual clutter

August: Bedrooms

Bedrooms are meant to be serene and rejuvenating spaces. It’s tough to relax when you’re staring at a pile of clothing on the floor! This goes for kids’ rooms as well! You’ll feel instantly more relaxed once you declutter and organize your room. Start by removing anything that doesn’t belong in the bedroom, like dishes and paper and even consider removing extra furniture pieces.

  • Make your bed everyday
  • Make it a habit to put away clothes and items instead of letting them pile up on surfaces around the room
  • Clear away unneeded items daily from nightstands

September: Entry spaces

School is back in session and the entryway of your home will be busy! Thanks to their prominent Entryways tend to be tricky to organize but not impossible.  Put away out of season items (like winter coats during the summer), allocate space for small items like keys, mail, and other small personal items.

  • Make it a habit to sort through any baskets or trays in the entryway to remove junk or replace items in their proper place

October: Entertaining supplies

Get ahead of the curve and take stock on your entertaining supplies. With holiday entertaining looming ahead, you’ll be glad you’re ready to welcome guests.

  • Inventory your dinnerware and serving pieces and consider whether you have enough pieces or will need to purchase more
  • Toss worn out or stained tablecloths and other linens

November: Kitchen/Pantry

The holidays are back around so it’s time to prepare your kitchen and pantry ready for this year’s feasts. Restock on pantry staples; take stock of dining ware, purging chipped pieces and replace as needed, and cooking utensils and tools.

December: Clear Clutter

You’re probably expecting to get new items this holiday season so now is a great time to begin reviewing your belongings and getting rid of items that are no longer of use to you (as always, sell or donate items that are in good condition!). This can also apply to holiday decorations. That way you can avoid the struggle of trying to store everything at the end of the holidays this year!

Stretching your decluttering tasks throughout the year turns a potentially overwhelming project into manageable bites. Not only that, you’ll create a sustainable habit of keeping your home in its best shape.

At Hayden Homes, we have beautiful new homes throughout Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Contact us today and we’ll be here to help you find your dream home this year.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your New Home – Tips to keep your home in good condition

Goals, Plan, Action for a New Year's Resolution for your new homeWith the New Year just days away, we’re all thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. But what about New Year’s resolutions for your new home? While most of our resolutions include conditioning for our bodies, in the spirit of new beginnings and positive changes, we’ve put together our list of the top 5 things that you can do this year to keep your new home in tip, top condition.

1. Declutter By Focusing On A Particular Problem

Decluttering your home and personal space is a common New Year’s resolution. While the thought of tackling your entire house can seem daunting, don’t let this resolution slip away. Think about streamlining this daunting task by narrowing this resolution down to a “particular problem” in your home whether it’s your master closet, pantry, or garage. Create a better system in the space by organizing with bins or boxes and focus on the functionality of these storage containers rather than how they look. Establish a plan for what will stay and be sure to measure the storage options for the best system to ensure you keep organized.

2. Donate Unused Items

Once you have gone through and organized your home, you likely have a pile of things that you either forgot you even had or don’t want anymore. One great way to feel good about this process is to donate these items. Locate your local Goodwill or other non-profit, in need of donations, and give them a way. (Don’t forget to grab your donation receipt for your taxes this year!)

3. Tackle Small Projects

You may not have thought about adding home improvement projects to your New Year’s resolution list, but with the right planning, you could get all those small projects, that keep piling up, crossed off your to-do list. Whether it’s simple tasks like cleaning the gutters, caulking around your bathroom shower, or hanging family photos, as you prepare for the New Year, write down your entire list of house projects for the year so you have it ready when you take the time to complete the projects. You’ll feel better once they’re checked off.

4. Work Out a Regular System for Keeping Your House Clean

Coming home to a clean house is one of the best feelings. Come up with a system that works for your family. For example, make a list of the things that need to get done daily and weekly and assign them to a specific family member. Daily tasks such as dishes need to be done nightly, dirty clothes go in the hamper, and jackets/clean clothes are hung up or put away.  To ensure that your weekly tasks like vacuuming, mopping, or cleaning the bathroom are done as efficiently as possible, here are a few tips from Jeff Campbell, author of the book Speed Cleaning and owner of the Clean Team housekeeping service in San Francisco:

  • Keep all your cleaning supplies handy and organized in a portable container that moves with you from room to room.
  • Stash cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, scraper, sponge, a few cleaning cloths and plastic bags in a builder’s apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
  • Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. It’s faster, Campbell says. Wipe down fingerprints on all the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that’s done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
  • For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. If you can, divide the jobs among at least three parties: one of you can do the dusting/vacuuming and changing beds, the other can do the bathroom cleanup, leaving only the kitchen and trash emptying for you to handle. The upside? You can get the whole house done in 45 minutes, Campbell says, leaving more time on the weekends for fun activities.

5. Bring Home Fresh Flowers

It may seem like a small thing, but the smell of fresh flowers and their bright cheerful colors can improve the ambiance of any room. Finding the right colors, heights and arrangements can really complement the existing decor in your rooms. And the right house plants can not only improve air quality but may provide some at-home aromatherapy to help you relax.

One of the best ways to make sure that you’ll come back to your New Year’s resolutions for your new home is to plan them out in advance. Decide the order in which you’ll clean your rooms and spread your decluttering projects over a couple of months. Then write down all your small projects for the year so when the time comes, you’re ready to tackle each one head on. When you’re ready, sit down and make your plan for keeping your house clean and divide out the chores between each family member. Finally, the next time you’re at the store, pick up some fresh flowers, we promise they will bring a smile to your face after a long day at work.

We wish you well in the New Year and hope that these 5 tips will help keep you on track for keeping your new home in the best condition possible.

If a new home is on your wishlist this year, Hayden Homes can help! We have new homes for sale throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon. Contact us today, we look forward to helping you find your dream home!

How to Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

How to Get Your Yard Ready for SummerSummer is just on the horizon and now is a great time to start getting your yard ready for the warm summer months. Regular lawn maintenance is the key to a healthy and happy lawn. Use this guide to help you keep track of how you can prepare and keep your yard looking lush during the summer months in the Pacific Northwest.

Aerate your lawn

Aerating your lawn allows water, oxygen, and vital nutrients to better reach the root system. Over time, lawns become compacted thanks to everyday activities that occur in our yards. This compression can make it difficult for grass to grow properly because the roots don’t make much room. For our homeowners in the Pacific Northwest, an ideal time to aerate the lawn is during the spring while the grass has started growing. Most experts recommend aerating your lawn every one to three years, but if your yard gets a lot of action, you may want to aerate more often.

Fertilize the grass

Fertilizing your lawn twice a year is usually all you need, with a light application in the spring and fall months. Opt for a slow-release or organic fertilizer (just be aware that you may need to apply more fertilizer if you use an organic one). You can also use compost or manure if you prefer.

Mow right and as often as needed

Mowing is the core maintenance task that can make or break your lawn. Many homeowners make the mistake of cutting the blades too short. Instead of giving your grass a buzzcut, try to remove no more than one-third of the grass. Two inches is a perfectly acceptable height for most grasses. Longer grass blades provides shade to the soil, keeping it moist. You may need to only mow your lawn once every two or three weeks (or once your grass reaches at least three inches in height).

Make sure your mower’s blades are sharp and well maintained. Dull blades will damage the grass by ripping or tearing it instead of cutting cleaning.

Water wisely

Most homeowners are wary of under-watering their yard; however, over-watering can be just as harmful. When it comes to summer watering, consider watering deeper and less frequently. Most experts recommend watering 1 inch of water once a week instead of sticking to a specific amount of time. If you don’t know how long it takes to lay down an inch of water, place a rain gauge or plastic cup to measure how much water you’re putting on. This will cause the grass roots to grow deeper into the soil, making it possible for it to sustain itself during periods of drought.

Try to water your grass during the early morning or late evening hours to allow the lawn the best chance at absorbing the moisture instead of being quickly evaporated by the summer heat.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting your yard ready for summer so you can enjoy your lawn well into the summer season.

For other seasonal tips and videos take a look at our homeowner maintenance page here. 

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. Check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and change them if needed; and
  4. 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! 


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!

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Buying a new home is exciting, in part because a new home often means a lot less time and money will be spent on home maintenance in comparison to an older home. But whether you’re in a brand new, never been lived in before, home or one that has been around for a while, all homes need at least a little TLC during the springtime. So here are 10 home maintenance tips to keep in mind as the weather warms in the northwest.

Examine Windows and Doors 1. Examine Windows and Doors

Winter can be harsh on windows and doors, so during your spring maintenance, give them a good look-over. Do you notice that weatherstripping should be replaced? How does the silicone look? Do you notice any condensation between glass panes? When you catch things like this early on, it can save you headaches down the road.

Clean-your-gutters2. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters can get clogged during the wintertime, as debris, including leaves, sticks and dirt, are often common. Because gutters are responsible for directing water away from your roof and home, it’s important that they’re clean. Gutters slope ever so gradually, so it doesn’t take much debris to dam up flows.

See-how-your-roof-held-up3. See How Your Roof Held Up

If you are living in a new home, you probably won’t have to worry about your roof this year. If your home is dated, however, make sure you assess your roof once the weather starts to warm. Missing shingles should be fixed immediately. After a good rainstorm, take a moment to visually inspect your attic spaces for any leaks. Oftentimes, a leak will drip onto insulation creating a small cater so that’s something to watch for.

Spring-Tips-for-taking-Care-of-Your-New-Home4. Prep the Flower Beds and Lawn

Before Mother’s Day hits, consider preparing your garden beds by turning the soil, applying a compost if necessary, and getting any new weeds pulled.

Check-your-AC-unit5. Determine Whether You’ll Need to Service Your A/C

Before it gets too hot, make sure you service your A/C unit – the last thing you want to do is wait until the heat of summer to learn your A/C isn’t cooling your home properly, or at all!

6. Give the Exterior a Wash

Grime, dirt, bird poop and more can show up on a home’s exterior over the winter, which can both detract from its aesthetic appeal and be damaging to its surface. The best thing to do is to invest the time in cleaning it. You can use a mild soap and extendable brush to do so. Rinse with a garden hose afterward.

organized-garage7. Organize Your Garage

Spring maintenance means spring cleaning, which includes your garage. Take a few hours to throw out things that you no longer need, organize, lock up any hazardous materials, and put things into labeled bins. You’ll be glad you did!

Spring-Cleaning-Photo8. Do a Deep Clean

Spring’s also the time to give the inside of your home a good scrub down, including areas of the home that may not see as much affection throughout the year (like the inside of your oven, window seals or your baseboards). Turn on some music and have some fun while you’re at it!

Check-your-smoke-alarm9. Check Smoke Alarms

Don’t delay on checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re in working order. Do this even if you have done it in the last six months; there is never any harm in double-checking when it comes to keeping you and your family safe.

Check your furnace filter10. Replace Your Furnace Filter

Finally, your furnace puts in a lot of hard hours during the winter. Take care of it in return by replacing your furnace filter on a regular basis. This is an easy DIY-project and one that will promote longevity in your central heating/cooling unit.

Remember, the newer your home, the easier spring maintenance will be. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Northwest, we have brand new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho you’ll be sure to love. For other great tips to care for your home, check out our home maintenance resource here!