Sarah Lockwood Pardee married William Winchester, magnate to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, in 1862. Now, most people know of the Winchesters for the Model 73 Rifle, better known as ‘The Gun that Won the West,’ released in 1873, but Sarah Winchester is responsible for one of the single most fascinating homes in the United States. After her husband’s death from tuberculosis in 1881, Sarah inherited the Winchester fortune, purchased an eight-room farmhouse in San Jose, California, and started building in 1886.
The first time I saw a Vermont window was pretty recently. It flickered through Facebook, touting itself down the ‘Creepy Facts’ site that I’m subscribed to. Vermont windows are often called by other names—such as Witch windows or Coffin windows. Well, color me intrigued. The windows are named as such due to their unique placement and style. They are often double hung windows that have been installed on an angle fit between two eaves of a house so that they follow the line of the roof. They are more simply called sideways or lazy windows by people who aren’t looking for a scary story.
It’s that time of year again—every kid’s nightmare and every parent’s dream. It’s Back to School Season! It seems like everywhere you go this time of year, you’re bombarded with colored folders, giant binders and notebooks, divider and tabs, pens and pencils, markers and crayons in every color, glue sticks and staplers. It looks like our office supply closet multiplied by about a thousand.
Schools in session, Halloween decor is everywhere and a few trees are starting to show their fall colors. Although we hate to say goodbye to the warm weather, many of us look forward to cooler temps, football games and cozy sweaters. What we don't look forward to is putting away all that summer gear that has crept up all over the yard and house.....and the eventual sleet and snow that will make its way to our area. If you follow these tips to get your garage space ready for winter, you'll be back to sipping that pumpkin spice latte in no time!
Start with a Clean Slate
Start by giving your garage floor a good sweeping.
As September begins, we close the door on summer, but open it up to my favorite season—fall. While it’s not quite time yet for pumpkin cream cheese, spiced lattes, and scented candles, we can talk about another of my favorite fall things. Our entrance door manufacturer, Provia, has some of the coolest glass on the market. You can choose a design from the colorful Inspirations Art Glass collection, their countless decorative glasses, and even simpler beveled glass for exactly the look you want. Provia is leading the charge with several different and beautiful obscured glasses for any room in your home.
We all have our favorite folksy sayings and our general manager Marc is no exception. Recently, we were chatting in the office about getting things for free and Marc hits us with a kernel of wisdom—‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.’ At first, I thought that was the end of it, but Marc expanded on his lesson by asking if I knew the origins of that expression.
Installing a storm door may not be high on your “home improvement” list, but read on to see how this simple addition can enhance your home for years to come.
Storm doors are typically made from a strong aluminum, providing an added layer of protection to your home. Most doors come with a separate key lock or a bolt & padlock feature. The ability to lock this door when you have your main door open, provides a safeguard for children or pets that may lean on it. Reinforced screens and tempered glass also contribute to the overall security.
Now, I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but there’s one old adage that always comes around from the people in my life who do—‘Play the ball before it plays you.’ Apparently, it stems from the way you’re supposed to play a ground ball. Once the ball is in play, it does all sort of unexpected things once it hits the ground. It might keep rolling, it might change directions, or it might slow down in the grass. What it won’t do it is roll right into an outfielder’s glove, therefore ‘play the ball before it plays you.’ It’s pretty catchy and is actually pretty helpful in day to day life.
Your new window installation is finally complete! You've added hardware and carefully chosen curtains to complement your décor. You smile every time you walk past your windows until.....you see it......that first hand print.....or perhaps you see a smudge that kind of resembles a nose print. The reality sets in that maybe your windows may not look perfect forever. Or can they? With the proper maintenance, inside and outside the home, your new windows will look great for years to come.
It's always good to check the manufacturers guidelines in regards to what products are safe to use on and around your windows. Generally speaking, using a damp cloth to wipe down wooden frames of dirt and dust build up should be a safe method. Avoid getting the cloth too wet so you do not encourage rot due to excess moisture. Clean around the frames and the nearby walls to prevent dirt from making it's way into the sills and causing jams in the future. Clean your glass panes with a homemade cleaner or your favorite over the counter spray. Using crumbled newspapers is a great way to avoid streaks. Vacuum the inside window sills or use a cloth to wipe away dirt.
The Fourth of July has come and gone. I hope everyone had a great holiday! I spent my time traveling from one picnic to another, enjoying the company of friends and family alike. The benefit to this day and age is the delicious blending of cultures that’s going on in the area. However, it did lead me to an interesting discovery—German potato salad.
If you think a garage is too small of a place to start a business, think again. Jeff Bezos started Amazon as an online bookstore in his home garage where he stored all his books for nearly a year before Amazon made its first sale. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft in a garage and with very few resources. Thankfully, not much space is necessary for programming. Walt Disney and his brother, Roy, started their company in their uncle’s garage in 1923. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak assembled fifty computers in thirty days in Jobs’ parents’ garage before getting Apple off the ground. Google was started as a college project in the garage of the current Youtube CEO.
How about that storm? It came up out of nowhere like a drunkard on a bender, trashed your house, and left without even so much as a goodbye. The whole rest of the week, our phones were ringing off the hook with people needing estimates to replace damaged garage doors, windows, and doors. How can hail get that big that fast?
June is garage door safety month. Help prevent accidents and injury by taking a few minutes this week to not only look over your garage door, but the surrounding area for any hazards. We have highlighted some key areas to watch out for as you make the rounds.
“Know what’s below,” sounds like the tagline to a campy horror movie. While it might not be the best advice for dealing with the mole people or the creatures from under the stairs, it’s actually sound advice when beginning summer projects. Every nine minutes, an underground utility is damaged by third-party excavation. If you call 811 three days before beginning a digging project, they will come and mark the underground utility lines for you.
We’ve all heard about them, read about them, had the misfortune of seeing them or stepping on them. Yup, lanternflies—plant-hopping insects native to China, Vietnam, and east Asia—are taking over Pennsylvania. They’ve been invading since 2014 and are now officially established in Berks and Lehigh Counties. They’re nasty buggers that feed on woody plants, stunting their growth and even eventually killing them. They present a serious threat to our industries of grapes, fruit trees, and logging. [Those of you that enjoy wine should especially care since we need grapes to make wine.]