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DeLena Ciamacco is a well-known, respected Top Producing Realtor in Central Ohio. Her myriad of accomplishments, recognition, and professional credentials as they relate to Real Estate, make her a perfect individual to provide insight to the masses on all aspects of Real Estate sales. Her creativity and honest approach to marketing Real Estate has enabled her to succeed in her career. DeLena’s philosophy is “An educated and well prepared Buyer or Seller is a smart Buyer or Seller”. Her desire is to inform the public, by pulling from her 20+ years of Real Estate sales & Marketing, what is necessary to get to a successful closing in these challenging times.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

​A homeowner's guide to a year-round deck



(BPT) - During the warm summer months, having an outdoor deck for barbecues and gatherings with family and friends is a great addition to any backyard. The approach of cool weather may signal the end of barbecue season, but homeowners can still use their deck after the warm temperatures have passed.



"Although decks are generally a summer attraction, there are ways to make them accessible during the winter as well," says Stephen McNally, TAMKO Building Products Inc.'s vice president of sales and marketing.



There are many ways to make your deck functional and enjoyable during the winter, no matter where your home is located.



Step 1 - Warm up your deck



The addition of a fireplace can transform your deck into an outdoor gathering spot and a scene-stealing area for those cool nights. The type of fireplace you decide on for your deck can add beauty and charm as well as complement your existing color scheme and deck furniture and decorations. Outdoor fireplaces can be made from stone, brick, tile or even granite, so the color options are endless.



"Outdoor fireplaces can be big, beautiful and elaborate, but there are other options for homeowners who prefer to keep their outdoor living space simple," McNally says.



If a large outdoor fireplace is not for you, but you want to enjoy your deck on cool winter nights, consider the addition of a fire pit, fire bowl or even a chiminea.



Structural safety and potential fire hazards are serious considerations when deciding on a fireplace, so having your deck inspected before you begin installing an outdoor fireplace is suggested. If you install an outdoor fireplace of any kind, make sure that it is done to the manufacturer's standards.



For more information on TAMKO EverGrain products and ideas for year round deck aesthetic appeal and maintenance, visit www.tamko.com.



Step 2 - Reducing summer dirt and grime



As the summer months come to an end, your deck is due for a well-deserved, thorough cleaning. Fall is a great time for this necessary chore because other outdoor tasks, like gardening and mowing, usually begin to decrease.



"Semi-annual cleaning of your deck is part of the required maintenance that reduces dirt, dust, grime and other residue build-up that the summer months have left behind," McNally says.



Use a garden house to rinse your deck. A fan-tip nozzle works best, but make sure the pressure from the hose does not exceed the manufacturers regulations. Ensure that you have removed all food and trash particles from the summer so that they do not contribute to build-up over the winter. For TAMKO's EverGrain decking products, use a nozzle with pressure that does not exceed 1,000 psi.



While rinsing your deck can reduce dirt and grime buildup, water alone will not remove the stains that have appeared on your deck. Cooking oil, suntan oil and other greasy substances can stain your deck over the course summer use. But before applying cleaner to your deck, make sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot to ensure that it will not change the coloring of your deck boards.



Step 3 - Spice up plant life



When it comes to enjoying outdoor living, beauty is everything. A well-installed deck can offer a certain aesthetic appeal by itself, but plant life can make a big difference, even in the winter time.



When the cool temperatures of late fall start to move in, you can help your plants extend their life. Move them closer to your house, ideally under a roof, to delay when they are hit by frost. If you have time before a frost sets in, help protect your plants by covering them with lightweight blankets or plastic sheets overnight and uncover them in the morning.



If you want to decorate with plants during the cool months, there are a variety of colorful, cool vegetables that make handsome pot-fillers. Consider plants with purple and dark-green leaves like beets, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard, spinach or even herbs. Mixing several types of plants together in the same pot can have a nice effect and the addition of garden art statues can add a pop of color.



Green living plus green savings: an efficient equation for today's homeowners



Across the world, both building professionals and consumers are embracing the idea of sustainable building practices. This practice follows a process that is environmentally responsible and resource efficient throughout a building's life cycle: from design to construction, operation to maintenance and renovation, to eventually, demolition. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability and comfort.



Green building brings together a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health. It often emphasizes taking advantage of renewable resources, such as using sunlight to generate solar power and using plants to reduce rainwater run-off.



According to the Energy Information Administration, the demand for green homes is expected to rise 900 percent in the next five years.



In the home, using energy efficient appliances can dramatically reduce energy waste and cut costs. Companies like Miele offer a wide range of Energy Star rated appliances for every room in the house from the kitchen to the laundry room.



For example, Miele offers induction cook-tops, which use a non-contact method of heating using magnetic fields to transfer energy directly to cookware. The induction element stays cool, while the target object heats up rapidly for extremely efficient cooking. Like gas, induction is exceptionally easy and quick to control. The ability to precisely control the power makes induction perfect for all types of cooking. It is highly reactive and exceedingly safe. The cooking surface is cool in operation and only generates heat where the pan sits on it. As soon as the pan is removed, the flow of heat stops immediately.



For more information on the various types of energy efficient appliances available, visit www.mieleusa.com.



Young, savvy, environmentally-conscious consumers are at the forefront of the green movement. Programs like the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon allow this demographic to create and design an energy efficient home.



The Solar Decathlon is a program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. This year's winner was the University of Maryland Team WaterShed.



"We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Miele on our entry into last year's Solar Decathlon competition," says Brian Grieb, University of Maryland Team WaterShed's faculty project manager. "Miele has a reputation for providing elegantly designed, environmentally conscious, cost-efficient products that are constructed with longevity in mind. These attributes are exactly the qualities we were seeking to include in the WaterShed home."



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

10 tips to help you save home energy



Before you spend money on the latest energy-efficient gizmo that's supposed to save you money, let's look at some energy saving ideas that will really help you save home energy. The strategies that we will look at will maximize the effort you put in, and help reduce your home energy consumption.



First sit down and think about all the different ways your family uses energy around the house. Now put an approximate type and cost of energy used. You may have trouble breaking down the cost but try to do it. Now all you have to do is find ways to save on your resources at the same time cut your costs. You may have to think creatively but it can be done.



So here are some tips to get you started:



- Turn the lights off when you're not using them. This is really simple and easy to do. Do you really need your bedroom light on when you're in the living room? Do you leave lights on when you leave the house? Do you even need more than one light on in a room for what you are doing? Believe it or not it makes a big difference.



- Turn all electronics and other appliances off when you're not using them. No one can do everything at the same time. Can you really listen to a radio, watch television, and use your computer all at the same time?



- Set your thermostat down a couple of degrees in winter, or up in summer, to conserve energy. And dress appropriately indoors for the time of year it is. For instance in winter, put on a sweater or some extra clothing, or may snuggle under a blanket to stay warm. In the summer, wear less and stay cooler naturally.



- Only turn an appliance on when you have a full load. This is true especially for the washing machine, dryer and even the dishwasher. It is amazing how much extra energy is used doing multiple small loads in comparison to one full load.



- Do regular maintenance on your appliances. Keeping them clean means they don't have to work as hard. Changing filters reduces the energy needed to accomplish a task. Regular care will also mean any maintenance bills that you might come up against may well be cheaper.



- Be careful how you use your water. Like when brushing your teeth or washing your hands, use only the water you need. Don't let the water run the entire time. Also, try and use less water if you take a bath, or control your shower times.



- Simply let your hair air dry, instead of using a blow drier every day.



- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F.



Don't forget the bigger projects as well.



- Seal the cracks around your doors and windows. You are paying for your hot air that escapes through cracks all around your house. You need to make sure you are doing all you can to keep the warm air you're paying for inside your house.



- You also need to check your house's insulation. Though this has been done by many homeowners nevertheless you still need to do it before you pass it over. It is probably the biggest thing in reducing heating costs.



Now some of these things may seem trivial to you but let me assure you that even the small things add up over time. And really most of them you won't even notice the difference to your life except your bills.



These tips and suggestions will make your home more affordable, and take some strain off of our world's resources. Just think if all of us would make a few of these changes, it would make a huge difference.



by: Dave McIntosh

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7258.shtml



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Give your home a fresh look with color



(BPT) - A fresh coat of paint can give any room an instant lift, making it a great solution for converting a space from drab to fab.



Though neutrals reign as America's most popular paint choices, the National Home Color Survey from Sherwin-Williams shows people are becoming bolder with color. Three-in-four homeowners indicate they want to incorporate more color into their home, most commonly in their living room, bedroom and kitchen.



"Colorful paint is an easy and inexpensive way to stylishly transform a space," said David Bromstad, HGTV(R) star and celebrity interior designer. "Set the mood for a room with a splash of color and you'll spice up your space like a design pro."



Bromstad offers the following tips for anyone looking to add color to their home:



* Identify a colorful object as the focal point of the room. Select bold items to build your room around, such as a piece of artwork, rug or chair that really makes a statement.



* Use a color palette to guide design choices.-HGTV(R) HOME by Sherwin-Williams takes the guesswork out of choosing colors with coordinated collections of color, paint and wallpaper designed to flow beautifully throughout your home. Mix and match the colors to help guide your wall, furniture and accessory color choices.



* Coordinate your color transitions. For high-impact transitions, combine bolder shades with their more neutral counterparts and for a more tranquil transition, stick to softer or lighter shades that are from the same color family.



* Highlight unexpected areas. Turn ordinary areas like ceilings, banisters or door frames into extraordinary spaces. If you want to keep walls neutral, paint a piece of furniture, such as a chair, headboard or the back of a bookshelf.



* Use colorful patterns for the illusion of space. Horizontal stripes can help small rooms feel more spacious, while vertical stripes can add the illusion of height to low ceilings.



"Every colorful room adds personality to a home, from playful to serene to luxurious and beyond," said Bromstad. "That's what's great about paint colors; they allow you to express yourself through your home."



For more tips and color inspiration, visit sherwin-williams.com/color.



Tips for making homework less work for both kids and parents



Some parents are shocked when their first-grader comes home from school with homework. The reality is children are learning more at a younger age and take-home assignments are increasing. Parents play an important role in engaging children and providing a positive homework environment, but knowing what is best for kids can be as confusing as the assignments themselves.



How much homework should the average student have? The National PTA recommends 10 to 20 minutes per night in the first grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade level thereafter. For example: 20 minutes for second grade, 120 minutes for 12th grade. Some older students may have more depending on their class load.



Balancing school, homework, extracurricular activities and family life is important for good childhood development. This year as part of its back to school campaign, Lance Sandwich Crackers has partnered with Colleen Burns, The Mom on the Run parenting expert and mother of five boys, to provide practical advice for parents to help them make homework a positive experience for everyone.



Give them time to unwind

Unwinding is an important preparation step. Your kids have been sitting and learning all day - minus the walk, car or bus ride home. Give them 15 to 20 minutes to blow off some steam and run around outside before they start their homework. Everyone needs a little break.



Positive reinforcement

A positive attitude goes a long way. Shower children with positive reinforcement. For larger homework projects completed over several days, reward each step as well as the overall completion. It's important for kids to understand that progress is being made.



Keep snacks on hand

Remember hungry kids are distracted kids, so offer them a wholesome snack while they work. Lance Sandwich Crackers, which are available in 19 varieties, including whole grain, 100-calorie and reduced-fat options have zero grams of trans fat, no preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup, making them a sensible snack any time of day.



Get help when needed

Feeling stumped with your child's homework question? You're not the first parent to feel that way. When your child asks a question you don't know how to answer, show them that mom and dad sometimes need help too. These are some great resources to help parents help kids:

* www.dadmath.com

* www.scholastic.com/kids/homework

* www.niehs.nih.gov/health/scied/students/homework

* www.thinkfinity.org/parents-and-kids



Set the stage for success

Set aside a space or corner that is the designated space for completing homework. All family members should recognize that when someone is sitting in that area, they should not be disturbed unless they ask for help. Don't underestimate the importance of a comfortable chair and proper lighting when it comes to making homework time a pleasant experience. Set household homework rules. Mom, dad and other siblings should not be watching TV in or near someone completing homework. All house or cell phones should be "parked" - this goes for mom and dad also.



Create a homework kit for each child

Prepare a "homework kit" with all the necessary supplies your children will need to complete their assignments. Contents vary by age, but usually include pencils, pens, highlighters, ruler, crayons, markers, glue sticks, erasers and a pencil sharpener. Older children might need a calculator or other electronic items.



And always remember, homework is about practice - it will take some children longer than others to get the hang of it. With the right preparations and materials on hand, you can ensure that homework time in your household is effective and enjoyable for the whole family.



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Spend more time entertaining and less time cleaning



The arrival of fall is a busy time for the whole family. From hectic back-to-school routines to the advent of holiday entertaining, your home is bound to become a hub of activity. To prep for a season of social events and family occasions, it's time to give your kitchen a cleaning and de-cluttering makeover.



Cut Through The Clutter



Whether its school lunches or a Thanksgiving feast, your fridge can quickly become a haven of leftovers and expired condiments. Toss out products that are past their expiry date, and store leftovers in clear plastic containers for easy identification. Remove fruits and vegetables and use a multi-surface cleaner to wipe out drawers and other internal surfaces.

Eliminate The Evidence



Stainless steel appliances are a beautiful accent to any kitchen, but after frequent use fingerprints and smudges can dull their shine. To keep your stainless appliances sparkling, use a product specifically designed for these delicate surfaces. The popular stainless steel wipes by affresh™ are an easy to use solution for a streak-free shine. Simply wipe to eliminate residue.

Double Duty



When entertaining family or guests, serving platters provide a handy solution for sharing large quantities of food. Storing these plates can be a different story. To eliminate the hassle of finding space for large trays or bowls, we recommend re-purposing them as a decorative accent when not in use. The addition of flowers, potpourri or even seashells and candles can create a unique centerpiece or arrangement.

Tackle The Tough Stuff



Dry water residue around stove elements or baked-on grease is not a pretty sight when guests are coming for a special occasion. To quickly and effectively cut through residue, use a cook-top cleaner such as affresh™, that comes with a cleaning pad and is safe for use on glass, ceramic and porcelain. Maintain your cook-top once a week to avoid build-up and to keep tough stuff at bay.



Friday, September 4, 2015

NEW LISTING IN GALENA!

JUST LISTED!
~1827 Renee Ct.~
THE PERFECT SETTING! Nearly 2 acre gently rolling & wooded, cul-de-sac lot with meandering creek and ravine in a small, secluded community close to everything! Ceramic Foyer opens to a very spacious Great Room with stone fireplace & 2 sets of french doors to screened porch & deck. Formal Living and Dining Areas. Updated Kitchen has new flooring, appliances, corian counters & bay wall. First Floor Master Suite with tray ceiling, walk-in closet & whirlpool Bath. First Floor Laundry/Bath. Giant Bonus Room/4th Bedroom or Home Office in Upper Level. Many updates include, roof, furnace, heat pump, updated Kitchen and more! 4 BRs & 3 Full/2 Half Baths. Over 3,400 SF! Big Walnut Schools. Only $389,900! Call DeLena today!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stop the spread of cold and flu viruses this school year





On average, elementary school children get eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the older kids, it is about half that. That's why it's important that parents, teachers and kids work together to stop the spread of germs in the classroom. Everyone can follow these simple steps to help prevent the spread of germs that can cause cold and flu viruses this school year:



Get vaccinated: Getting a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in flu prevention. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year to protect against the flu virus.



Stay home when sick: If possible, keep kids home from school when they are sick to help prevent teachers and classmates from catching their illness.



Sing and scrub: Make sure kids wash their hands the right way. They should wash frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice).



Do the elbow cough: Teach kids to cough into elbows, not hands, since hands are more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through touch.



Disinfect germ hot spots: The CDC recommends disinfecting frequently touched surfaces or objects when someone is ill. In the classroom teachers can use a disinfectant approved to kill cold and flu viruses on desks, computer mice and doorknobs.



"Creating a healthier learning environment starts with small actions that add up to a big impact," says Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children thrive. "Parents play an important role and can lend a hand to teachers by reinforcing healthy lessons at home and donating useful items like tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes."



To provide teachers with the resources they need to help stop the spread of germs in the classroom, the Clorox Company is partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for "Canisters for Classrooms." For every parent that takes the "Canisters for Classrooms" pledge, Clorox will donate a canister of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to a school in need and $1 to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program, which creates healthier learning environments in more than 18,000 schools, reaching 11 million students across the country. To take the pledge and learn ways to help keep your family healthier this school year, visit www.CloroxClassrooms.com. Parents that take the pledge will also receive a coupon, so that they can donate disinfecting wipes and make a difference in their child's classroom, too.



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