Easter Egg Hunts in Colorado Springs 2015

Looking to join in some Easter fun and take your kids to an egg hunt? I'm grateful that someone has compiled a list of egg hunts. Some of these have already happened, but some are coming up ~ so check them out at Colorado Springs Christian Moms site.

Have a fun and joy filled Easter.

Springtime Clean Up Tips

I know my last post was also about Spring. Even though our Colorado Springs weather has us guessing on a daily basis what season it is, the follow tips are great reminders for safety.

As the warmer temperatures roll in, you probably won’t need to light the fireplace and you probably will need to turn on the air conditioning. Follow these quick tips to make sure you are ready for springtime!

Clean the fireplace.
Shovel out any ashes and have your chimney professionally cleaned. Close the damper tightly to prevent drafts, rainwater, or animals from entering your home through your chimney.

Check filters.
Blocked air filters can reduce the efficiency of your air condition system’s ability to push and pull air through air registers. Clean or replace dryer vents, air conditioners, stove hood, and room fans.

Test your safety equipment. 
Audit your emergency systems by replacing the batteries, pressing the alert buttons to check for responses and are in overall good working order.
Systems include:
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide sensors
- Fire extinguishers
- Home security system

Spring Time in the Rockies

Goodbye Winter. Hello Spring. How Did Your Home Hold Up?

Now that we are just a few weeks away from spring, it’s important to begin inspecting your home for areas that may have been “hit hard” during the chilly, winter season. Cold temperatures can take a toll on your windows, doors, gutters and more. Hire your Handyman Connection professional to inspect your home in the following ways:

Examine caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows.
During cold weather conditions, windows and doors tend to separate slightly from their frame. For doors, the weatherstripping needs to be intact and provide a good seal around the door. For windows, the seals should show no cracks, splitting or peeling.

Check gutters and downspouts.
If your gutters have collected heavy debris, they will need to be cleaned to avoid build-up. Winter storms can also cause damage to downspouts leading to clogs and leaks.

Look for other exterior damages.
Front porches, decks, and roofs are all areas susceptible to damages after a severe winter. Cracked siding, blemished decks and missing or loose shingles are common aftermaths many homeowners may be forced to deal with after a season with snow and ice.

Homeowner Tax Tips

I can't believe that it's TAX TIME again. I thought the following might be helpful to you.

Even if you’re having a professional help you with your income tax return, you need to provide them with information on the money you spent that might be deductible.

Look at the following list to see if any of these things need a little more investigation to determine if they apply to your situation.

  • If you refinanced your home for the second or subsequent time in 2014, there may be points that can be taken as an interest charge.
  • Compare mortgage interest, property taxes and other eligible itemized deductions to your standard deduction to see which will give you a larger deduction.
  • If you’re paying mortgage insurance premiums with your payment, you may be eligible to deduct them.
  • If you purchased a home in 2014, there may be some deductions found on the HUD-1 form you received at closing.
  • If you purchased a home in 2014 and the seller paid points on your behalf in order to get a mortgage, you may be able to deduct them.
  • If you purchased and installed in 2014 qualified residential energy efficiency property or improvements, you may be eligible for tax credits.
  • If you have dedicated, exclusive space in your home for a home office, you may be eligible for a deduction that may include a pro-rata share of insurance, utilities and other things.

For more information, see IRS Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction; 2014 Instructions for Schedule A.

If you need another copy of your closing statement for the home you purchased or sold in 2014, contact your real estate professional.

Improve Your Homes Curb Appeal

Easy Ways to Increase Your Curb Appeal 

1. Spruce up your front door. Are your house numbers hanging on by a dingy nail? Is your door in need of a new paint job? Adding something as simple as a new overhead light fixture or lockset can elevate your home’s curb appeal tremendously.

2. Light up your lawn. Installing a few low-voltage landscape lights can make a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal and provide extra safety and security. Placing accent lighting underneath trees or lining light fixtures up to illuminate your driveway are easy ways to add a sophisticated look to your home.

3. Give your mailbox a makeover. Your mailbox should be an extension of your home. If your house’s exterior color is a redwood tone, your mailbox should be painted the same. Surrounding your mailbox with a flowering garden is another way to give your home’s outer look an extra touch of beauty.

4. Add an arbor or fence panel. Arbors, garden gates or decorative fence panels will enhance your garden and add value to your curb appeal. Paint or stain these items with colors that are already on your house to obtain a cohesive and stylish look.

5. Tile your doorstep. Having this extra feature at your entryway is an easy way to add creativity and personality to your home. The character that it brings will not only add extra beauty to your exterior but surely impress any visitor that steps towards your door.

Here's a great article with even more ideas.

Daylight Saving Time (D.S.T.) Reminder

Friendly reminder to SPRING your clocks ahead by 2 a.m. tomorrow. Daylight Saving Time
begins Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 a.m. and ends on November 1, 2015.

Home Flooring Trends

In the flooring world, carpeting is getting softer. Wood is getting more roughed-up. And vinyl is getting more luxurious.

Yes, you read that right. “Luxury vinyl” isn't a contradiction in terms — it’s the phrase du jour among those who pay close attention to the materials home buyers are eager to walk on.

“It’s the fastest-growing portion of the industry in the past two years,” according to Scott Humphrey, chief executive of the World Floor Covering Association, a trade group based in Anaheim, Calif., who said this flooring category has developed thanks to extraordinary photo technology that mimics wood (or just about any other material) so closely that you have to look twice to see that it’s vinyl.

But luxury vinyl is far from the only flooring product that’s drawing consumer attention.

Here’s what’s hot underfoot:


It’s getting more environmentally friendly and a few manufacturers are creating fiber combinations that take softness to a whole new level, Humphrey said. “Everybody is making carpet that’s green,” he said. “They have factories that do this all across the United States. Shaw (Floors) is the only one that recycles nylon into carpeting, but a lot of companies melt down polyester and make new fiber over and over.”

Humphrey, who grew up in a carpet-manufacturing family, said he regards the development of softer textures as the cutting-edge trend in the business. “The thing that has been most surprising to me is the return of luxury carpet,” he said. “Some of it is the softest carpet I've ever felt.”

He particularly cited Shaw’s Caress line (nylon, with a new way of processing the fiber) and Mohawk Flooring’s SmartStrand Silk line (a nylon product that the company says uses three times the number of fibers of other carpet). Humphrey said the carpet industry was likely to follow suit.

In terms of carpet styles, the current favorite probably is a broad genre called cut-and-loop, in which the pile is partly cut and partly looped to create a sculpted look or pattern, he said. “They’re ‘heathered’ and multi-tonal,” explained Amber Shay, vice president of the design studio for Standard Pacific Homes’ Denver operation, which works with homebuyers to choose the features and finishes of their new homes. “The trend is more toward the patterned carpet, with a cleaner finish, and some personality to it.”

Shay said Standard Pacific customers in her area (flooring preferences tend to vary by region) who favor carpeting tend to use it in bedrooms and on stairs.


With the advent of the “great room” concept that unites kitchen and family rooms into one expansive space, it’s become common to see hardwoods on kitchen floors, Shay said. “We’re almost always doing woods in kitchens,” she said. “With the great room plan, having consistent flooring is a big part of that picture, having the space ‘roll.’ ”

A popular route to take with wood floors are the laminate versions, she said. “(Laminate) is a thin piece of wood on a core that’s made of something else,” Shay explained. “It creates structural stability, so you have less movement in the floor and it’s less expensive than solid hardwood.”

Preferences in hardwoods are leaning toward darker stains, with a growing interest in gray tones, she said. “The trends are also toward larger planks or toward using multiple-sized planks and toward more exotic species — hickory, cherry, walnut.”

Look for more wood floors that have been hand-scraped and hand-textured, Shay said. Humphrey concurred: “People are willing to pay for a new floor, but they want it to look old.”

And in a related (and greener) vein, a growing segment of the market is interested in reclaimed woods, which have been salvaged from older residential flooring or even from old barns. “Or, a lot of companies are taking new hardwood and making it look old,” Humphrey said. “It’s like what happened with blue jeans — making them look worn.”

Bamboo flooring made a big splash in the industry some years back because it comes from an easily renewable resource, but the category gradually met with some resistance because some early versions were known to have shrinkage issues. “Bamboo is getting better,” Humphrey said of the recent incarnations. “I haven’t heard much about the shrinkage issue in a couple of years.” Look for bamboo to be produced in an array of colors and plank widths.

Luxury Vinyl

The “luxury” angle may be a bit of a stretch, but technology unquestionably has given some vinyls a whole new look. At its most basic, the process of producing it amounts to taking a photo of wood and printing it into the significantly less expensive vinyl flooring, usually in the form of squares or planks.

“But anything you can take a picture of, you can make it into vinyl tile,” Humphrey said. “It can go into various rooms — some of it looks like marble and people put it in bathrooms.”


Ceramic tile is getting bigger — literally. Tile in formats larger than the standard 12-by-12 inches are growing in popularity, though there’s a lot of variation in regional preferences, Humphrey said.

“And those digital prints that you see on laminate countertops and vinyl tile — they’re also doing that on ceramic tile, so that you might also see tiles that look like hardwoods,” he said.

In the Denver area, Shay said the biggest trend is toward “modular” sizes — rectangular tiles or 12-by-24-inch sizes. “We’re seeing lots of tile that looks like a fabric, or like wood,” she said. “Some of them have a concrete kind of look.”

Written by Mary Umberger and found on NewHomeSource