Outdoor Fireplaces or Fire Pits Safety Tips

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit adds ambiance to your St. George, UT homes for sale backyard while creating a wonderful place to gather year round. But as you entertain, hang out or stay warm during cool Utah nights there are many things to remember. Ence Homes recommends you adhere to the following outdoor fireplaces or fire pits safety tips in order to keep safe.

Safety first – Maintain a clean area around your fire pit or fireplace and clean it regularly. A screen is recommended for creating a barrier from the fire to stop sparks from flying out of the pit. Don’t allow your children or animals to play around or be near the fire. Never burn trash or plastics in your fire because they discharge dangerous toxins.

Fire safety equipment – Fire safety gloves are suggested to manage your fire. In case of an emergency, keep a fire extinguisher, water hose and buckets of water handy.

Location – Place your fire pit or fireplace on a solid surface and keep it at least 100 feet from your St. George, UT homes for sale. Situate it away from anything that can catch fire including overhanging rooflines, plants, trees and electrical wirings or anything that absorbs heat like metal tables, chairs or railings. Position your furniture far enough away from the fireplace or fire pit as well.

Wood – Hardwoods like hickory and oak are suggested because they emit less smoke.

Observation – Use a fatwood stick to light your fire. Start with a small fire to understand which way the wind is blowing, how strong it is and only add fuel when needed.

Ventilation – Proper ventilation is essential for maintaining safety at your home. Never place your fireplace or fire pit in an enclosed area, including your covered patio. Use smoke vents on your fireplace to direct the smoke upwards.

Supervision– Always keep your eyes on the fire and never leave it unattended.

Double check – Make sure the fire is completely extinguished when you’re finished using the fireplace or fire pit before heading back inside your St. George, UT homes for sale.

Ways to Spruce Up Your Patio or Deck

The St. George, UT home builders, Ence Homes design team created a wonderful home. As summer nears you’ll find yourself spending more time outside. Create an outdoor living space that’s trendy, reflects your personality and you’ll actually use. Sprucing up your patio or deck doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a fun activity that brings the beauty outside to match the beauty inside of your Ence Homes. Here are several ways to spruce up your patio or deck. 

Clean up – as simple as it sounds removing anything you don’t intend on using is a way to spruce up your patio or deck. Once you’ve cleaned it up sweep and dust the area.

Tablecloths – throwing a tablecloth on your table could help disguise an old or rundown table, be good for parties and also bring a nice element to your outdoor living space.

Buy new furniture– purchasing new stylish furniture can liven up your patio or deck. Coordinate your furniture sets color scheme and style to match what the St. George, UT home builders created for you. You can add pillows and some appliances to make your outdoors living space functional like the indoors.

Free standing fountain – a free standing fountain can bring tranquility to your patio or deck and be a great place to relax and unwind.

Add lighting – lighting’s a simple and cheap way to add spunk to your patio or deck. You can use solar lights or candles. Put candles in ordinary dirking glasses to place on your table. For atmosphere, use the outlets installed by the St. George, UT home builders in your covered patio to hang up Christmas lights, Chinese balls, Chinese lanterns or rope lights.

Rugs – rugs just aren’t for the interior of your home. Outdoor rugs enhance your exterior and should be an extension of your interior by adding warmth and color to the exterior. They’re sturdy and designed to endure the elements.

Plants – planting seeds and watching them bloom add life. You can create a project with your family by watering, fertilizing, trimming and removing the weeds from the containers.

 

Grilling Tips to Celebrate National Barbecue Month

The weather is warming up, outdoor cooking season is upon us and Memorial Day is quickly approaching. May is National Barbecue Month. Before you fire up the grill at your new homes in St. George, UT it’s important to brush up on your grilling skills. Ence Homes offers your grilling tips to celebrate National Barbecue Month.

Keep it clean – clean your grill before each use to ensure your food doesn’t get stuck on the grates and that there aren’t any unwanted flavors or debris on your food.

Grill placement – position your grill on stable ground, at least three feet away from your home and away from any overhangs or flowers. Test the direction of the wind to avoid smoke getting into your eyes or from blowing into your home.

Preheat the grill – preheat your grill at least 15 to 20 minutes prior to barbecuing.

Keep things close – to keep an eye on the grill and to avoid so you’re not running back inside your new homes in St. George, UT have everything you need to grill nearby including your food, cooking utensils and anything else needed to cook. Use long-handled utensils to avoid burning yourself.

Safe Grilling – keep a fire extinguisher handy and baking soda nearby to control any grease fires.

Thaw your meats– never put cold foods on your grill. Don’t thaw your foods at room temperature but defrost in your fridge or in a microwave and remember to cook immediately.

Soak your bamboo – your bamboo skewers must be soaked for 30 minutes before placing them on the grill. You can elect to use metal skewers to avoid soaking, especially if you don’t have the time or are forgetful.

Cook meat thoroughly – grill on both sides by turning your fish, beef and poultry at least once for even cooking.

Cleanliness – to avoid cross contamination always use clean plates and utensils to transfer raw and cooked foods. Keep your works surfaces clean and wash your hands frequently.

Following these tips will allow you to enjoy National Barbecue Month and the rest of your summertime barbecue festivities at your new homes in St. George, UT with your family and friends.

Tips on How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Earth Day is April 22nd but that doesn’t mean you can’t take certain measures every day throughout the year to reduce your carbon footprint in your Ence Homes. Here are some tips of how to save money and energy in your St. George, UT homes.

Water Conservation – one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and keep money in your pocket is through water conservation. Reduce the amount of time you spend bathing. Showering takes less water than it does to fill up your tub. While brushing your teeth, turn the faucet off between brushes and only turn on to rinse. A low water showerhead will help you save water. Your ENERGY STAR dishwasher can help conserve energy and water by helping you save on average more than $25 a year in energy expenses.

Energy-proof your home – the majority of your household energy goes to cooling and heating your home. With high performance energy efficiency you can save up to 30% on heating and cooling. Use a ceiling fan instead of running the air conditioner. During the hottest times of the day close all your windows to ensure your air condition unit isn’t in overdrive but keep the windows open in the early morning or in the evening. Compact light bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last longer than standard light bulbs but don’t forget to use natural light in your St. George, UT homes.

Eco-friendly modes of transportation – You live in a great neighborhood and have great neighbors, why not carpool to and from work or school? Try making all your errands at once while you’re out instead of going back-and-forth and using more gas. If you have errands bring a neighbor or two to save energy and have fun.

Get disconnected – if there are any appliances you don’t use in your home frequently, unplug or turn them off. Items like battery chargers or televisions use electricity even when they’re not being used. Power strips are recommended if you have a group of electronics to simply turn everything off in one click.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – designate an area in your St. George, UT homes to put all your paper, plastic and bottles away in a recycling bin rather than in the normal trash. When shopping, look to buy items that use recycled materials to fill your pantry and cabinets. Instead of using paper or plastic bags purchase environmental reusable shopping bags.

iPad Apps for Interior Design

Are you looking for some home improvement ideas? Have you ever thought about utilizing your iPad to do so? If you haven’t consider getting an app for that to assist you in getting great interior design ideas for your first, new or custom Ence Homes. Check out several iPad applications that may give you the motivation to customize St. George, UT homes for sale.Remodelista – this app is a fan favorite to architects and designers with its trendy DIY projects and Steal This Look and 10 Easy Pieces features. Not only are you able to view the products by browsing through rooms or shopping categories, but also the posts, a feature only offered in the paid version of the app.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas – this app has one of the largest home design idea databases and includes over 150,000 ideabooks and 70,000 photos. You’re able to browse their ideas and create your own virtual idea book and bring it onsite. The app gives you the opportunity to connect with local designers, architects and contractors, making it easier and convenient to customize St. George, UT homes for sale.

Dream Home HD – this app doesn’t require an Internet connection and allows you to view designs based on color, style and the type of room. High-resolution photos are viewable in a gallery layout with the option to listen to music while looking through the images. Don’t forget to bookmark your favorite designs and to check back weekly for updated designs that you can use in your home.

Interior 2011 – Sweet Home (HD) – this app is app paradise with hundreds of images that will help modify St. George, UT homes for sale. The collection includes but isn’t limited to 195 bathrooms, 98 bedrooms, 120 kitchens and 209 living rooms giving you many ideas to chose from. Keep in mind this app does require you to have an Internet connection to operate.

 

Tips to Creating a Pet Friendly Home

Creating a comfortable and enjoyable living space in your innovative and energy efficient Ence Homes for yourself is just as important as it is for your furry friends. Here are some tips for keeping your new Mesquite, NV real estate home clean while creating a pet friendly environment.

  1. Designate a pet area in your home near an entryway. This is especially helpful and convenient for your outdoor pets that will track dirt inside your home. You can furnish the room with built-in shelves and storage containers to stow away their food, toys, leashes and towels to clean them off before they head back in the house.
  2. Grooming and washing your pet on a consistent basis is essential to keeping your Mesquite, NV real estate household clean. Pets with manicured nails can’t ruin your upholstery by clawing at it or marking up your vinyl floors. You’ll also do away with excess hair that can spread throughout your home on furniture, floors and curtains. Fresh pets equal less smelly and more cleaned homes.
  3. Dirt, pet hair and odors can collect throughout your home. Keep a well-maintained house by cleaning and vacuuming. When your pets are shedding you may have to vacuum more to avoid the buildup of unwanted hairs.
  4. The type of flooring you chose in your Mesquite, NV real estate home can make a world of difference. Vinyl flooring is more practical when it comes to cleaning up after your pets.  It’ll help avoid carpet-clawing cats and is easier to clean up any pet messes versus carpets that attract stains and trap pet odors. If you do want some carpet in areas of your Ence Homes that have flooring, chose machine washable area rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting because they’re sturdy and less expensive to replace.
  5. When selecting the color scheme of your home you may choose colors that match your pet in order for the hairs they leave behind to be less noticeable. You may purchase a brown throw cover to match your chocolate lab or paint an assenting wall orange to match your Red Mackerel Tabby.

7 Steps to Organizing Your Garage

Now that you have a new St. George, UT home from Ence Homes, plan ahead to keep your new garage organized as you unpack. With a little reorganization, your new garage should be able to fit all of your workshop tools, gardening equipment, recycling bins, holiday decorations and other miscellaneous items as well as your family cars.

1. The best way to start organizing your garage is to sort through all of the stuff you will be storing there. Make separate piles of gardening tools, work tools, sports equipment, etc. Keep things that are similar together or things that you will use the most often together. Create a system for organizing your garage stuff and stick to it.
2. The next step to keeping your St. George, UT home, with a great garage, organized is to clean the space. Sweep and mop the floor. Wipe down any pre-existing cabinets or shelves. Start fresh with a clean space. If you don’t like the color, paint over your existing walls and make the space unique, creative and fun for you.


3. After cleaning and sorting, the next step to organizing your garage is to de-clutter. Donate any items that you have not used in a long time or will probably never use on a future project. Donate any old toys that your kids have out grown or never play with anymore. If the items are too worn out, expired or old to donate, then trash them. Donate and getting rid of old items will help make space the items you have left and any new items you might acquire for future projects.

4. The best way to organize your remaining piles of equipment and tools is to find shelving units to store them on. Either buy new or used shelves at the hardware store or repurpose old shelves from other rooms in your house or garage sales or thrift stores. Adjustable shelves are great for items that are items that are not standard sizes. Remember to place items you rarely use on higher shelves and items you use regularly at an easy height for you to reach.
5. Hooks are a great way to store other items that might not fit on a shelf. Place bikes on hooks from the ceiling or a bare wall. Hang brooms, shovels or other tools from hooks on a peg board.

6. Label everything in your garage so that you can find items you are looking for more quickly. Labels will help you stay organized in the future.

7. Get creative in the garage of your new St. George, UT home. Repurpose recyclables and other items you might throw out to help you stay organized. It’s your space, so keep things simple and fun so that you can enjoy your space to its full potential.

5 Tips to Creating a More Productive Home Office Space

When looking for St. George, UT homes for sale, it is important to find the space for a home office if you plan to work from home. Ence Homes would like to help you keep that work space as productive as possible. Here are a few tips for fighting writers block and staying more proactive when working from home.

1. The easiest way to stay productive in your home office is to stay organized. Look for built in shelving or spaces for your own shelving at St. George, UT homes for sale. Label your binders, books, etc. and put them away when you are done. Get creative with storage for pens, pencils and other desk accessories. If your work area is organized and free of clutter, then you are more likely to stay productive instead of looking for all your work materials.

2. Lighting is important to work productivity. Place your work desk near a window for easy use of natural light. If you work more in the evening, then make sure you have enough lamps so you can see what you are working on. Bright work areas will inspire you to stay focused and work more productively from home.

 

3. Comfy furniture is also important. Nobody wants to work long hours in an uncomfortable chair. Choose furniture that is both functional and practical. You will spend lots of time in your home office working, so make it a comfortable place where you want to go to work.

4. Get inspired in your home office. Choose a St. George, UT homes for sale that has an inspirational work space for you. Liven up your home office with a fun accent wall in a bold color or funky print. Decorate with inspirational pictures, quotes, books or artwork. Inspirational spaces will help you be more creative and productive when working from home.

5. Don’t forget the power of music. Tune into some classical Mozart or Beethoven concertos. Listen to something without words or in a different language if you find yourself distracted by popular Top 40 songs. Let music inspire your work or play something in the background to help you focus your work energy.

6 Tips to Saving Money Around the House

Ence Homes would like to help you save money around the house. Here are a few tips for cutting back and saving a few dollars throughout the year.

1. The easiest way to save money on your electric or energy bill in your new Mesquite, NV home is to turn off lights you are not using or when you leave a room. Saving energy one light bulb at a time adds up after a while. You will save money on your energy bill and you will not have to buy light bulbs as often.

2. The same light bulb rule also applies to household appliances. Turn off and unplug your coffee maker when you are done brewing. Power down and shut off your computer when you are done checking emails or finished working for the day. Unplugging appliances will save you money on your energy bill in your new Mesquite, NV home. Switching to energy efficient appliances can also save you money. All new homes built by Ence Homes are green and energy efficient.

 

3. Turn the air conditioning up in the summer and lower your heat in the winter to save money. Your heating and cooling systems will not have to work as hard to heat or cool your home if you adjust the thermostat a few degrees. Wear a sweater and socks in the winter and keep cool in your new Mesquite, NV home with some cold lemonade in the summer.

4. Shopping sales and clipping coupons can also help you save money on items for your home. Talk to your cable provided about any sales or special prices they are running for bundling your phone, internet, cable, etc. services into one low bill. Try sites like Groupon.com or LivingSocial.com for sales or special prices for stores in your area.

5. Eat leftovers to save money on your grocery bill. Freeze extra food in small portions for easy microwave reheating. Make a shopping list for the grocery store and stick to it. Lists can help you stop over buying at the grocery store and save money for your new Mesquite, NV home.

6. Budget your money. Sticking to your budget is the best way to save money around the house. Make a list of all the things you buy for a month and research where you can cut back costs to save money.