Joseph Reidy's Blog
A fire pit can elevate your yard into a truly enchanting entertainment area, liven up your space and even help enhance your curb appeal. While some home projects are not ideal for the DIY approach, you can make a striking firepit on your own in about a weekend. You'll need to gather some supplies, determine the size and shape of your fire pit and get ready to work your muscles as you create a new focal point for your yard.
Create a Fast & Easy Firepit
Fire pits are surprisingly fast and easy to create. If you can layer stones and follow basic directions, you can create an enduring accent you'll enjoy for years to come.
A fire pit needs a gravel base and surround, stones or concrete bricks for the sides and firepit stones for the interior. You'll also need some basic tools for leveling the ground and finishing the space, including a shovel, rake and a can of spray paint. While you can head right to the DIY big box store, contact your local landscape supply stores as well. You'll need both stone and gravel in bulk and you'll pay far less for it from a landscape provider.
Choose natural stone if you enjoy working things out and want to take the time to work with raw materials that may differ in size and shape. Opt for uniform pavers, bricks or poured stones if you like an overall look and want the pieces to be easy to stack.
Create a Firepit
- Determine the size and shape pit you want to make -- larger pits make bigger entertainment spaces, but require more rock. You'll need space for the pit and for seating around it, so take these needs into consideration as you determine where the pit should go and how big it should be.
- Use spray paint to mark off a shape for the pit. It can be square, circular or just an appealing organic shape.
- Dig about an inch down, remove all grass and sod and create a level surface on the ground.
- Begin stacking your chosen stones around the edges, within the leveled off area. You will not need to mortar between the stones, but should attempt to stack them evenly, without a lot of gaps. Stack one layer at a time, then move on to the next.
- Fill the base with the amount of fire pit stones recommended by the manufacturer -- this can vary and will be printed on the container.
- Spread gravel around the outside edges of the pit to create a seating area and to prevent grass from returning.
- Light it up and enjoy!
Once complete, a fire pit will be a lasting, low maintenance focal point for your yard for years to come. Use in the summer for grilling and roasting marshmallows, then fire it up for warmth on cooler nights -- either way, you'll love enjoying not only a gorgeous accent, but a piece you've made yourself.
Filling out a mortgage application may prove to be a long, arduous process, particularly for those who are buying a house for the first time. Lucky for you, we're here to help you dot the I's and cross the T's on your mortgage application to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly acquire your dream house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare your mortgage application.
1. Be Diligent
A mortgage application may appear daunting at first. The application may include several pages of questions, and you may have only a limited amount of time to finalize your submission.
When it comes to completing a mortgage application, it generally pays to be diligent. If you answer each mortgage application question to the best of your ability, you likely will have no trouble moving forward with your home purchase.
2. Avoid Guessing
If you're uncertain about how to respond to certain mortgage application questions, there is no need to guess. Instead, search for the information that you need to provide a comprehensive response. This will help reduce the risk of encountering potential problems down the line that otherwise could slow down your home acquisition.
Remember, guessing on a mortgage application probably won't do you or your lender any favors. But if you allocate the necessary time and resources to understand mortgage application questions and provide thoughtful responses, you can minimize the risk of application errors.
3. Ask Questions
Completing a mortgage application sometimes can be tricky. Fortunately, a lender employs mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your application concerns or questions at any time.
If you're unsure about information that is requested on a mortgage application, don't hesitate to reach out to a lender's mortgage specialists for help. These specialists possess extensive mortgage expertise and can help you complete a mortgage application.
Furthermore, mortgage specialists can offer insights into a wide array of mortgage options. These specialists can explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and enable you to select the right mortgage option based on your financial situation.
As you prepare to buy a house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying process.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to acquire a house, regardless of the finances at your disposal. This housing market professional can set up home showings, help you submit offers on houses and ensure you can purchase a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations. And if you need help getting a mortgage, a real estate agent may even be able to connect you with the top lenders in your city or town.
Ready to move forward in the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can finalize a mortgage application and secure the financing that you need to acquire your ideal residence.
Preparing to put your home on the market almost invariably involves three things: painting, cleaning, and organizing. Since you might also need to do some repairs and updating, it's crucial that you prioritize your tasks and make sure you're not spending more money, time, and energy than necessary.
Consulting with your real estate agent about what projects are the most important will help you make the most of your available resources.
All home sellers have a different timetable in which they need to get their home ready for potential buyers. Few people, however, have the luxury of tackling those projects slowly or sporadically. When you factor in your busy schedule with everything that typically needs to be done before a house goes on the market, time management and self motivation become crucial elements in the process.
Wall painting often tops the list
In spite of your best intentions, walls and doors are going to get scuffed, scratched, and marred. Small, but noticeable holes from nails and thumbtacks also have a way of increasing with every passing year. Regardless of how careful you think you've been, it's virtually impossible to keep your walls looking fresh, clean, and well maintained. Bathrooms pose even more of a challenge because moisture and steam from showers will gradually cause paint to crack, peel, and lose its original smooth quality. Bedroom walls, especially those of children and teenagers, will also be subjected to a lot of wear and tear.
Fortunately the cost of a couple gallons of paint, along with brushes, rollers, and other basic supplies, is an affordable solution for most home sellers. It's one of the most cost-effective methods of freshening up your house, and it significantly enhances your home's eye appeal and marketability.
One of the pitfalls of repainting your walls, however, is the possibility of choosing colors that may turn off some potential buyers. Colors which you may describe as vibrant, splashy, or cool, might be viewed by others as garish, tacky, or "over the tip." That's why it's often best to play it safe by choosing colors that are considered neutral, such as grey, beige, tan, eggshell, and ivory.
By veering away from colors that might be considered too bold and strident, you're increasing the likelihood that your décor will appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. While there may be exceptions to just about every rule -- especially as it pertains to decorating -- your objective as a house seller is to increase the probability that your home will appeal to as many people as possible!
"Immaculate" is a good goal
Another thing prospective buyers will frequently notice is the level of cleanliness in your home. While it's difficult (at best) to keep your home absolutely spotless all the time, it does pay to establish a few family rules and expectations to help you maintain a semblance of order until your house is sold!
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