Stucco Maintenance

Many builders in the Southwest have turned towards stucco as a decorative finish to the exterior of homes. While vinyl and brick are both excellent choices, this low-maintenance siding is superior against the intense heat and has become a staple in many Southwestern home designs! Stucco is a plaster that is exceptionally durable and resistant to many traditional exterior home issues. However,?there are some of the low maintenance options you can do to keep your stucco looking brand new. Let’s take a look!

Staining 

While stucco rarely needs maintenance, you may notice over time some discoloring or mildew build up near areas with high shrubs or plants. Plants require water which can cause unwanted algae to build-up on your homes. This will not happen overnight, but you may notice over time that some stucco can begin to form darker spots. Using an oxygen bleach solution can help remove stains. That being said, do not use bleaches that are too harsh for the environment outside since these can kill your nearby plant life. 

Cleaning 

Stucco is a decorative concrete and is porous. Being naturally porous can allow liquids to penetrate it and absorb stains. However, painting your stucco should never be your first means of fixing the issue. You will not need a complex formula to clean your stucco. A power washer with some dish soap will do just fine. Test the power of your power washer in a hidden area to see how your home reacts. Next, spray down your home and watch unwanted mold and mildew build up disappear!?

Sealing 

If moisture gets into your walls, it can lead to unwanted cracking or bowing. Sealing your stucco is recommended. Being porous is stucco’s main vulnerability. By sealing stucco, you can prevent moisture penetration. New stucco should be sealed with clear concrete. Stucco sealing can be done every five years, and the waterproof finish will significantly improve the longevity of your exterior. Some sealants are made with micro holes which will allow water to escape but not enter. This gives your stucco the opportunity to breathe, and these sealants can last up to 10 years.

Stucco is very low maintenance. Remember, if you decide to paint your stucco, this can bring more annual maintenance. Depending on your preferences, you may decide to leave your stucco unfinished for lower maintenance. These simple tricks and tips will keep your curb appeal beautiful for decades to come.

What to Consider When Home Shopping 

Evangeline from Fulton Homes

Buying a home is arguably one of the most significant investments you can make in your life. Such a colossal decision requires a lot of thought, and ultimately, a good investment should be capable of maintaining or increasing a resell value. You should also consider other essential factors like the economy of the area, school systems, and crime rate. While all these can play an important role in your decision, we believe there are three key elements every investor should prioritize. Here are our top picks of what everyone should consider when home shopping:

Location 

Location is everything. Being close to work, food, activities, and freeway entrances can be critical factors we do not always consider. At Fulton Homes, we always strive to place our homing developments in prime locations strategically. Your time is important to us, and we want you to be able to commute and travel as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Quality 

You have probably heard the quality versus quantity debate. The quality of a product is always more important than how many of the products you have. At Fulton Homes, we use top-grade flooring, superior HVAC systems, and premium building materials. Feel at peace of mind, knowing your home was built to last.  

Aesthetics 

While you cannot judge a book by its cover, it is essential to love the way your home looks. Your home is your refuge of relaxation and where you can escape from the world. Making this fortress genuinely feel like an expression of you is ideal. The home’s aesthetics play a direct correlation on how we interpret the atmosphere. At Fulton Homes, we pride ourselves in giving a selection of options that can best help tailor your home to you. Unlike other cookie-cutter homes, having a variety of options to choose from can allow you to customize your home to your specific wants and needs. 

So, when considering homes to buy, remember: location, quality, and aesthetics. These will help you make the right investment and love your home for years and years to come. For more information on Fulton Homes, please visit our website here.

Pest Control in the Valley

Arizona’s breathtaking landscape continues to allure tourists and homebuyers to this ideal paradise. With some of the most consistently blue skies in America, the Grand Canyon State has so much to offer travelers. From unbeatable rural scenic views to the friendly city dwellers, Arizona has it all. Yet, if you are new to the Valley, you may be unfamiliar with some of the challenges the desert brings with it. This rocky oasis is inviting to more than just humans. Many pest and critters enjoy Arizona as well; this means we need to be smart about our home’s pest control.

Critters to Consider

While a new home is not going to be infested, you should not wait. If you wait, you may be subject to some unwanted guests. Ants are very common in Arizona. You can be susceptible to fire ants which no one wants or carpenter ants. The carpenter ants will eat into your woods in wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens, and this can easily cause unwanted structural damage. On the outside of your homes, you could be exposed to killer bees or even wasps. While beautiful flowerbeds may attract these fellows, you do not need them nesting up near your home. Another lethal intruder is some types of spiders. While tarantulas are scary, they are not as dangerous as the Black Widow. Having your home treated to prevent termites, roaches, and rodents is a widespread Arizona protocol.

How Often Should I Spray?

Once your home has been treated, keep up on your pest control. Some of these home invaders can cause severe structural damage. Typically, having your home treated bi-monthly will prevent any infestations. It is not guaranteed that an untreated home will be infested, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you can act ahead, you will not have to deal with these unwanted vermin’s later in life.

Make sure any company you hire is abiding by the Arizona state laws. Termite control laws and regulations can prohibit specific procedures. Keeping your home safe and pest free is essential, but be sure to follow Arizona’s state laws to stay safe.

Tips for Curating Your Home with Quality Items

You have been obsessing over creating a stylish home just like the ones you see in the magazines and on television shows. While designing a space is all about your personal style, it can be essential to focus on key elements that add quality over quantity to your home design. So before you head to your nearest store, here are some tips for curating your home with quality items:

Do Not Make This Mistake

Often, when we are setting out to design our homes with the goal of buying as many pieces as possible with a relatively small budget. So you score items from popular chain stores to furnish your home for less. While some of the furniture may be solidly built, you cannot expect most of these pieces to last a long time. If you are determined to curate your home with quality items, it is essential to take a more thoughtful approach. Start by getting rid of the mindset that you have to furnish every room in your home quickly. With this approach, you will likely be motivated to purchase a bunch of low-quality, inexpensive furniture just so your home can look “complete.” Instead, you want to make sure that the furniture you select is appropriate and that it lasts for many years to come.

Quality Over Quantity

The key to creating a stylish home is having an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories that complement the overall design of your home. This is done by taking your time and investing in pieces as you go along. Look at consignment shops, yard sales, and boutiques for unique items. It may be tempting to purchase a lot of inexpensive furniture that may even be attractive, but be sure to focus on quality over quantity.

Analyze Things You Buy

Will this piece be useful in the next few years, or can you repurpose it into something useful? Or can this furniture serve more than one purpose? For instance, a vintage dresser could later be reused as a television console in the living room. Be sure to ask yourself these questions before you make a purchase.

Save and Wait Because It Is an Investment

You should also invest in things made of quality materials. You will find that a lot of furniture purchased from chain stores is made up of MDF. MDF is an engineered wood that is easily susceptible to cracks and will fall apart fairly quickly. Try to purchase pieces that are made from genuine wood. It is okay to wait and save up for pieces. We understand that buying home decor is a process and an investment. Go slow, save, and buy what you can when you can.

We hope you found these tips helpful. Check back weekly for more home inspiration and tricks, and be sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading!

Scented Design

What actually creates your home’s design? Is it colors and patterns? Is it the design theme you choose? Maybe, it is how the atmosphere makes you feel? Your design is more than just a room’s visual aesthetics. Factors like textures, sounds, and scents can all play a vital role in how others construe your space. Incorporating different aromas to your space can rejuvenate your atmosphere. Here are several great aromas to use in your home to help enhance your atmosphere:

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oils are extremely popular for their added benefits such as anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and antiviral components. Adding an essential oil diffuser is a great way to capture incense while taking advantage of different benefits of diverse essential oils. Try adding oils to help calm or relax and the atmosphere like lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, or jasmine. You can also use other oils like wild orange, peppermint, and bergamot to help add a more positive, upbeat energy to a room.

Candles

Another great scented remedy to have in your home are candles. Candles are great for adding a warm, inviting energy to a room. With hundreds of aromas available, you can have your room scented however you want. Candles can also be a great addition to add to a fireplace during the warmer months. You can get the visual and aromatic benefits of the fire and candles without adding too much warmth to your space.

Incense

Incenses can usually be burnt for religious, meditation, or cultural purposes. However, they can also add a great scent to your home and have an aesthetic appeal. Burning incense is a great air freshener and odor eliminator but also can have benefits for helping you concentrate and stimulate your creativity. Try adding these to your home office or areas in your home where you spend time being creative and being focused the most.

Never try to mask odors. Try to keep odors eliminated and create your own scents for your atmosphere. More than just visual aesthetics play a role in a room’s overall feel. What are some of your favorite scents? Comment below and let us know.

What Should I Do with My Leftover Furniture?

Soiled and saggy, you have realized that your favorite sofa is on its last leg. Whether you have managed to score a vintage piece of furniture or your living room is sporting a hand-me-down sofa, it can be challenging to decide if you should let it go. It is especially so if you are working with a small budget. Do you clean it, reupholster it, or buy a new one? No need to fret! We will help you decide what is the best choice.

Consider the History

One of the first questions you will want to ask yourself is, “where exactly did the piece of furniture come from?” If it was passed down from a family member or friend obtaining some information about the original cost, quality, and conditions that the furniture may have endured is a breeze. On the hand, if you purchased it from a thrift store or it was a roadside rescue, it might be impossible to tell what it endured.

What Is the Condition?

Perhaps your biggest concern should be the current condition of the furniture piece. For instance, if the piece spent years in a smoker’s home, you can expect the smell of cigarettes to cling to the upholstery. To be honest, you might never be able to get rid of the scent.

What if the upholstery spent several months stored in someone’s garage or basement? Then you will need to inspect for signs of mold. These environments are home to high levels of humidity and moisture. Moisture and humidity can easily absorb into wooden frames making for the perfect opportunity for mold and bacteria growth. In cases like this, you will have to strip down the piece to the furniture, have the wood professionally treated for mold. You will have to determine whether you are interested in investing some money into restoring the upholstery.

Cleaning

If the upholstery is badly soiled, you will have to make use of a professional upholstery cleaning service. Sometimes an expert can tell prior to cleaning, what kind of results you can expect. However, there is no guarantee whether it is possible to clean the upholstery to your satisfaction.

What if cleaning a sofa is not enough to restore it to its original condition? Reupholstering is your next option. Reupholstering a couch or chair can be expensive. For vintage pieces, it may be worth the investment.

In order to determine what you should do with your old furniture, you need to consider the piece’s use and functionality. If it is in good condition, you may have more options. Just keep in mind the different steps to take when restoring it and keep an open mind if those steps do not work.

How to Preserve Your Wood Furniture

Whether it is your beloved dining room table that you paid some serious bucks for or an antique rocking chair that has been passed down in your family, no doubt you want your wood furniture for several years to come. While wood furniture can last for a long time, proper care and maintenance can ensure that it looks good throughout the years. Here is how you can protect your favorite wood pieces:

Things to Avoid:

  • Sunlight: Believe it or not, the sun pouring in from a nearby window can damage your wood furniture over time. Therefore, you will want to avoid placing your favorite pieces near exposed windows where direct sunlight can alter the color of the wood stain. If you have to put a piece of wood furniture near a window, consider adding blackout shades or curtain to help prevent sunlight from affecting the furniture.
  • Water: Try your best to not expose your wood furniture to water even during cleaning. Drinking glasses can leave behind sweat rings that are nearly impossible to remove once they are ingrained in the wood surface.
  • Heating Vents: You probably never thought your heating vents could pose a danger to your wood furniture, but it actually can. Avoid putting pieces near or over a heating vent. Heat can also damage the finish of wood finish and completely dry out the material. Instead, try placing the furniture in the center of the room.
  • Humidity: Heating is not the only natural force that can erode wood finishes, but changes in humidity levels could ruin a beautiful piece of wood furniture. If you can, try to keep humidity levels at 40-60%. Anything above those levels can make a wood piece warp causing the finishing to crack and chip.

How to Protect Wood Furniture

  • Tablecloths: Wood tabletops often take a beating. The best way to protect such a surface is to use a tablecloth because it will protect against stains and marks.
  • Polishing: Depending on the finish of the wood, you should only require polishing 1-2 times a year.
  • Dusting: Dust can easily mix in with the humidity lingering in the air. When it settles onto your wood furniture, it can potentially damage the surface. To prevent this, make sure you dust as often as you can.

We hope you find these tips and tricks useful. For more informative pieces, please visit us at Fulton Homes.

Tips and Tricks for Moving Day

Moving can be one of the most significant stress factors in life. It can be overwhelming and very time-consuming. Not only do most people not like change, but the stress of packing everything from one home to the next can be a challenge. You want to pack your precious belongings with care and make sure they get from point “A” to point “B” safely.

Supplies

You will want to break down your house into mini projects to help alleviate the size of the task. A project is always easier when the right material is all at hand before you start. Get boxes or crates which can easily be stacked on top of one another. Additionally, you will need tape, newspaper, bubble wrap, and probably should invest in a two-wheel dolly.

Small to Big

Select one room at a time. Start with all smaller trinkets and items. For fragile object, try wrapping them in newspaper or bubble wrap to reinforce them before packing them in their boxes. Books can be heavy, so always consider the weight of the box before taping it. Try to keep cords with their respective electronics, and if you must remove screws, put them inside a Ziploc and tape them to the furniture piece.

Fragile Items

Depending on the electronic, you may want to bring it up front with you in the moving truck or wrap it in bubble wrap. Place large mirrors between mattresses and wrap them with towels. Disassemble any fragile furniture and wrap glass shelving. Packing a moving truck needs to be handled very strategically. If possible, consider taking televisions and computers in your personal vehicle.

Packing the Truck

Larger items will be your big puzzle pieces. Use your smaller boxes to stabilize everything in the moving truck. Like a giant game of Tetris, you will want to fill in any gaps. Use tie-downs to hold big furniture in place along the walls. You may also need to consider your packing order. What goes in last comes out first. Do not get yourself stuck in a standstill because you packed the truck backward and you need objects from the front of the truck first to continue.

Be Cautious

Drive with caution and avoid large potholes and bumps. It is not a race and accelerating and braking too aggressively can cause objects to shift. You need to be aware of this as well when you get to your destination. Open the truck door with caution because objects may have shifted during your commute. You will also need to have a good understanding of how you pack the truck so while unpacking you do not put pictures and mirrors at risk. Breaking the moving process into smaller increments will save you from over-stressing.

How to Design a Coffee Bar in Your Home

Coffee is our fuel which keeps us going through the day. If you are a coffee lover, you know how important coffee is to your sanity, and since your home is your sanctuary, maybe you should dedicate some space to this necessity in your life. Coffee bars are great to add to your home and do not require a ton of investment to begin creating. You can have your coffee bar in your kitchen, office, or even your bedroom. If you are looking to create your own coffee bar, here is everything you should consider adding to it:

The Essentials

To create your coffee bar, you will need to have a few coffee essentials present. Decide how you plan on brewing your coffee. You can add a Keurig, a coffee maker, an espresso machine, a pour over maker, or a french press. You can even invest in a hot plate and brew your coffee wherever you decide to set up the coffee bar. Just make sure to get some coffee mugs or to-go thermals as well. Add anything to your coffee stand that would typically be added to your coffee. You may want to include creamer, sugar, sugar alternatives, honey, and milk. For items that need chilled, you may need to invest in a mini fridge for the area. Consider having clean-up items readily available under your coffee station like paper towels or rags in case any accidents may occur.

Brewed Your Way

Not an avid coffee drinker? That is okay. A bar is still a great option to add to rooms for aesthetics and entertainment. You may want to create an alcohol bar with some of your favorite drinks readily available. You can have a reach-in fridge with chilled beverages or even install a kegerator for instant brews. You can also create a dessert or and an “hors d’oeuvre” bar. Find the perfect remedy for your home or tailor your bar to your guest or events.

Appearance is Everything

Your coffee station does not need to be solely for functionality. Consider decorating it to make it a fun focal point in a room. You can make a DIY chalkboard, install floating shelves, display your mugs, and even add some plants for added character. You can even create a shabby chic look with a distressed, whitewashed coffee stand or a more modern look with floating shelves and a metal end table. The possibilities are endless.

A coffee bar can be aesthetically pleasing and a great addition to your home. You can put it in your dining or living room or even in some place further away from the kitchen in your home. A coffee bar can make your coffee making experience even more enjoyable. For more tips and tricks, make sure to subscribe.

Creative Upcycling Inspirations and Ideas

We love getting new things and while it can be hard getting rid of our old stuff as well, perhaps with some clever tricks, you can repurpose your old stuff and create new innovative ways to incorporate them into your home. Upcycling is a great way to reuse old material and create a higher quality purpose for it. So, stop throwing away old containers and wired hangers and start converting the old to create something unique and useful. Here are our top five creative ways to upcycle your waste and repurpose it for something beautiful:

Textiles

Have an old favorite sweater with a hole in it or one that you have and do not fit anymore? Maybe you love the pattern on it, or perhaps you like the way it feels. You do not have to get rid of it though, just upcycle it into a different article of clothing. You can easily make some cozy slipper socks for your home. Take the sock size you would like to replicate, and cut out the shape twice and sow it together to create a sock! You can go a step further and take an old pair of slippers or water shoes and remove the rubber bottoms from them and attach them to your socks. You now have a comfortable pair of slippers you can wear around the house.

Glass

Have old mason jars in your home? These can serve hundreds of purposes, but we think they work great for storing foods. You can create hanging mason jars in your cabinets or pantry. Place the lid against the bottom of a shelf or cabinet. Drill a screw into the lid to hold it in place. You can now twist your mason jar to allow it to hang. Fill these with pasta noodles, spices, seeds, or anything you would like. These are great for creating more space while making a more organized pantry.

Tires

Ever blow out a tire and have a worn tire removed from a rim? Some shops will charge you to dispose of the tire. Instead, ask for the old tire back. You can repurpose the old tire into a planter for flower bushes or small trees. You can make a creative pattern and cut it into onside of the tire. After, turn the tire inside out, and you are ready to go. You can paint it to add some color as well. Just fill it with the dirt and seeds then enjoy!

Upcycling hacks are brilliant ways to repurpose your old goods. If you have never considered upcycling before, these are perfect beginner projects. You can deep dive into more upcycling ideas and be even more creative. For more repurposing tricks and hacks, make sure to subscribe!