How to Naturally Freshen Your Home

How to Naturally Freshen Your HomeAfter being in your home for an extended period of time, it may need a bit of a “pick-me-up.” Instead of lighting another scented candle or spraying an air freshener, try some of these all-natural alternatives to keep your home smelling clean and fresh.

Open the windows

Opening the windows and doors allows fresh air to circulate through your home, whisking away stale air and lingering smells. Have you ever gone for a hike or into the countryside and felt like you could breathe easier? That’s the power of fresh air! Clearing out offending odors is always the best course of action instead of covering them with an air freshener. Leaving your windows open for at least ten minutes a day is a good start.

Use baking soda

Baking soda is a great, non-toxic air freshener without leaving a scent. You may already have an open box in your refrigerator and freezer. Consider placing boxes in cabinets, closets, and even at the bottom of the litter box. You can also sprinkle baking soda in the trash can or on any carpeted area or rug as a deodorant. Simply let the baking soda sit on the carpet for at least 20 minutes before vacuuming.

Deodorize with vinegar

Just like baking soda, vinegar is another natural deodorizer. Placing a bowl of vinegar in a room can clear up even the most stubborn of odors. You can also vinegar to neutralize odors in the air or on fabric by mixing three parts white vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle. Don’t worry about the pungent smell. It will naturally dissipate as it dries but if you don’t want to wait, you can create a citrus-infused vinegar cleaner that smells nicer.

Fill your home with plants

Not only will houseplants liven up your home, they can help clean the air. Don’t worry: you don’t need to turn your home into a jungle; a modest collection of plants can still bring health-boosting benefits. Try plants like palms, Boston ferns, snake plants, or spider plants. If you have pets, be sure to choose plants that are non-toxic to them.

Simmer herbs or fruit on the stove

Simmer some water with citrus slices, spices like star of anise or cinnamon, or herbs like lavender or mint to easily fill your home with a homemade potpourri.

Nothing beats a fresh smelling home. These simple, all-natural air fresheners will make your home smell great. If your house could use some freshening up, try one of these ideas!

Hayden Homes has beautiful new homes for sale in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We’re here to help you find your dream home, whether you’re buying your first or upgrading your current home. Reach out to us today!

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. 

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!

Spring Home Exterior Care and Prevention

Doug-Zeigler-Customer-Service-Manager-Hayden-HomesjpgWhen you are a homeowner, taking care of your home inside and out is important. While most homeowners tend to focus a majority of their time and attention on inside upkeep, exterior care and prevention is equally, if not more, important, and applies to both older and newer homes. Here are some helpful tips from our Inland Northwest Customer Service Department at Hayden Homes!

Check for Exterior Damage

If you’re like most people, and it’s been awhile since you visually inspected the exterior of your home, start by checking for any damage to your roof, gutters, siding, and more. Checking for things like missing shingles, warped and weathered siding, and loose or leaky gutters is a good place to start. If you have an older home, damage is more common, especially in homes that are 20+ years old.

Areas on the outside of your home to inspect include:

  • Windows and doors
  • Sidewalks and driveway
  • Roof and overhangs
  • Garage doors
  • Gutters and drains
  • Irrigation systems
  • Decks and porches
  • Siding
  • Foundation

If you do notice any damage on the exterior of your home, you should take action to repair or correct it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse things can get, and the more costly a repair may be down the road. For example, if you catch your siding starting to show early signs of water damage due to worn paint, a simple caulk/repaint job may do. However, if your wood siding warps beyond repair, you may need to pay the expense of replacing the siding.

Whether you decide to tackle the repair yourself, or hire a local contractor, it’s important that the job is done well, and that it will last. You may need to refer to local codes and regulations before undertaking a project, as well as checking whether your repair will be covered by insurance, keeping in mind that a bad repair job may decrease the value of your home.

Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance

If you don’t notice any damage, then preventative maintenance to reduce the risk of exterior damage in the future is important. The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies here. This might include simple procedures such as:

  • Replacing weather stripping on windows and doors
  • De-junking the gutters
  • Cleaning siding
  • Adjusting sprinklers
  • Caulking/Repainting
  • Checking outside faucets
  • Cleaning the chimney
  • Trimming tree overgrowth
  • Checking foundation vents

Exterior of a New Home

If you do not perform regular home maintenance, the materials that make up the exterior of your house are more likely to experience significant wear and tear faster than they would otherwise. This can lead to early deterioration, and a greater need for more significant and costly repairs at an earlier date. In severe cases, the cost of repairs can exceed the value of your home, resulting in a huge financial loss.

Old Homes vs. New Homes – What You Need to Know

As mentioned earlier, the amount of exterior maintenance and repairs that you will need to perform for an older home are significant when compared to a new home. While the exterior of a new home should be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis, maintenance is much less intensive. For this reason, many people choose to purchase new homes so they do not have to deal with the constant repairs that older homes can require.

Think about it. Why spend your time caulking and repairing siding and shingles when you could be planting flowers and hosting get-togethers? New homes are built with the best materials on the market today, and in many cases come with guarantees, giving you the peace of mind that they’ll last for years to come.

Explore our website to learn about our home locations and exciting new home models, and come see our new homes today!

About Hayden Homes
For nearly 30 years, since it was established in Redmond, Oregon, in 1989, Hayden Homes has built more than 12,000 new homes in over 300 new home communities, across more than 50 cities, spanning Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Hayden Homes continues to be the largest, privately held new homebuilder in the Pacific Northwest.

Hallmarked by a commitment to build high-quality, value-driven new homes, Hayden Homes supports local communities by employing local contractors and vendors and contributing annually to philanthropic efforts in the communities in which they build. Since 1989, Hayden Homes has contributed more than $9 million to charitable donations with the flagship of their giving through the 501C3 Non-Profit, First Story. The Hayden Homes brand family of companies include – Simplicity by Hayden Homes, Wise Size Homes and Hayden Homes, all providing an unparalleled selection of opportunities for those looking to purchase in a new home community in a new home community in the Inland Northwest, including new homes in Spokane, new homes in Spokane Valley, new homes in Coeur d’Alene, new homes in Airway Heights, new homes in Pullman, new homes in Cheney, new homes in Rathdrum, or new homes in Post Falls. Contact us today.

Spring Tips and Ideas for Your New Home

At Hayden Homes, we believe that in order for you to have a high-performing home, you need to maintain it. Spring-Tips-for-taking-Care-of-Your-New-HomeTo help you keep things in tip-top shape, here are some tips that our Central Oregon Customer Service Manager, recommends for new homeowners.

Clean Your Gutters

Gutter cleaning is a must. The easiest way to avoid major gutter problems and draining blockages is to clean out the gutters on a regular basis. Usually, you can do this by simply scraping out the gutters with your hands and a pair of gloves, or using a leaf blower to rid the gutters of debris. For more intense buildup, you may need to use a water hose or pressure washer. This should be done at least twice a year – once in early spring, in preparation for “April showers” and once in late fall, in preparation for winter. While working on your gutters, you may need to fasten them back up if they have become a little wobbly due to the weight of standing water, ice or debris. Gutters that aren’t properly fastened can sag and prevent proper drainage.

Remove Styrofoam Vent Block

The Styrofoam vent block helps to protect crawl spaces during the freezing winter months. In the pacific northwest, this is necessary for maintaining desired temperatures within your home (and lowering heating costs) and preventing pipes from freezing in extreme conditions. In the summertime, you should remove vent covers to allow air to move underneath your floor and help keep things cool. The added ventilation will also help keep your crawl space dry, which is especially important for new homes in the coastal regions of Oregon and Washington.

Service Your Air Conditioner

Even though your home is new, it is advised that you have an air conditioner professional tune up and service your heating and cooling system each year. Regular inspections and maintenance on your home A/C can help keep things like the condenser, coils, fan and other parts working well, saving you money and preventing the need for more serious repairs down the line.

Get Your Grass Growing

Spring is the time to get your grass growing, which starts with fertilization. While chemical fertilizers are popular, consider organic lawn care as an equally efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly way of getting things green. You can purchase organic fertilizers at most major stores, or even consider making your own! Spring is also the time to aerate your lawn – a service that you can hire a company for, or perform yourself using a few basic tools.

Check Your Sprinklers

Each spring, you should check your sprinkler system and make any necessary adjustments for the summer season. Keeping your lawn healthy does require some diligence, especially in drier climates like western Idaho, Eastern Oregon and Washington, which is why you should continue inspecting and adjusting your sprinklers every month to ensure optimal performance. The first time you turn on your sprinklers in the spring, however, is the most important. If you blew out your sprinklers in the fall, then you shouldn’t encounter any issues in the spring. But, you’ll want to check your lawn for pooling water, muddy areas near sprinkler heads or areas where the grass doesn’t appear wet at all. Any of these could indicate a problem with a sprinkler head or a leak in the system.

Drain Your Water Heater

It is recommended that you drain your water heater once per year. The reason for draining your water heater annually, is to make sure that sediments and minerals are removed, which can build up over time and cause long-term problems. Draining is a very easy thing to do, involving turning off the water heater, letting the water cool, and attaching a hose to the drain valve. Make sure you read your water heater’s instructions or contact a professional before draining.

In addition to these new home maintenance tips, do not forget about inside spring cleaning, too! Spring is a great time to get rid of things you no longer use or need and get organized!

About Hayden Homes
For nearly 30 years, since it was established in Redmond, Oregon in 1989, Hayden Homes has built more than 12,000 new homes in over 300 new home communities, across more than 50 cities, spanning Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Hayden Homes continues to be the largest privately held new homebuilder in the Pacific Northwest.

Hallmarked by a commitment to build high-quality, value-driven new homes throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Hayden Homes supports local communities by employing local contractors and vendors and contributing annually to philanthropic efforts in the communities in which they build. Since 1989, Hayden Homes has contributed more than $9 million to charitable donations with the flagship of their giving through the 501C3 Non-Profit, First Story. The Hayden Homes brand family of companies – Simplicity by Hayden Homes, Wise Size Homes and Hayden Homes – Provide an unapparelled selection of opportunities for those looking to purchase in a new home community in Bend, Oregon, Redmond, Oregon, or Sisters, Oregon.