Only 9 Beautiful Homesites Remaining in Clarkston, Michigan

Posted in Around Your Home, Homeownership, Lifestyle, Manors of Deerwood, New Homes, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on July 14, 2015 by Kevin Fox

DW Lot 395Another beautiful homesite has been sold – there are only 9 sites remaining in The Manors of Deerwood. There are walkout and daylight lots available, ranging from 0.6 acre to 2.1 acres.

The Manors of Deerwood is located approximately 2 miles north of the Village of Clarkston, and is close to shopping and entertainment.

For more information on the homesites for sale, call Pat Hansen at 248-895-1115 or visit our website.

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Another Beautiful Homesite Sold – Only 10 Remaining for Sale in Clarkston, Michigan

Posted in Construction, Homeownership, Lifestyle, Manors of Deerwood, New Homes, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on June 16, 2015 by Kevin Fox

Now, you can purchase a homesite in one of Clarkston’s most desirable neighborhoods – – – The Manors of Deerwood. There are walkout and daylight lots available, ranging from 0.6 acre to 2.1 acres.

Manors of Deerwood Lot (New Home) | Clarkston, Michigan | Robert R. Jones HomesThe Manors of Deerwood is located approximately 2 miles north of the Village of Clarkston, and is close to shopping and entertainment.

For more information on the homesites for sale, call Pat Hansen at 248-895-1115 or visit our website.

Only 11 Beautiful Homesites Available for Sale in Clarkston, Michigan

Posted in Homeownership, Lifestyle, Manors of Deerwood, New Homes, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on October 9, 2014 by Kevin Fox

Deer on Manors of Deerwood Lot | Clarkston, MichiganThe Manors of Deerwood has always been one of Clarkston’s most desirable neighborhoods, with beautiful custom homes, rolling terrain and heavily treed homesites. Now, you can purchase a homesite and have your own builder construct your home.

  • Both walkout and daylight lots available
  • Large homesites from 0.6 acre to 2.1 acres
  • Clarkston Schools
  • Minutes from I-75 and the Village of Clarkston
  • Close to shopping and entertainment

The Manors of Deerwood is located approximately 2 miles north of the Village of Clarkston. The property was formerly farmland, but it is now nicely wooded. It is bordered of the East by Independence Oaks County Park and on the West by privately owned parcels. To the North are 30 acres of privately owned land, yet to be developed, and to the South are earlier phases of the Manors of Deerwood.

For more information on the homesites for sale, call Pat Hansen at 248-895-1115 or visit our website.

Beware of Potholes: They are back and they are bad

Posted in Construction, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Local News, Worth Repeating with tags , , on March 19, 2014 by Pat Hansen

Potholes have returned and hitting one with your car can do a number on tires, wheels, steering, suspension and alignment.

Pothole (Sinistar | morgueFile.com)

Photo credit: Sinistar | morgueFile.com

To help determine if hitting a pothole has damaged your vehicle, watch for the following warning signs provided by the Car Care Council:

  • Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming-out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads. These are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key, safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. Key components are shocks and/or struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack/box, bearings, seals hub units and tie rod ends.
  • Pulling in one direction instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear. These symptoms mean that there is an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of the tires and helps ensure safe handling.
  • Flat TireLow tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the rim. These problems will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible since tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions.

“Every driver knows what it feels like to hit a pothole. What they don’t know is if their vehicle has been damaged in the process. If you’ve hit a pothole, it’s worth having a professional technician check out the car and make the necessary repairs to ensure safety and reliability,” said Rich White, Executive Director, Car Care Council.

Potholes occur when water permeates the pavement, usually through a crack from wear and tear of traffic, and softens the soil beneath it, creating a depression in the surface of the street. Many potholes appear during winter and in spring months because of excessive rainfall and flooding. The deteriorating pavement is usually easy to spot since there are often chunks of pavement lying nearby. These chunks often pose a hazard as they can be sent flying if hit by passing vehicles.

Spring is on the way. The orange road repair trucks and orange cones should be a welcoming sight. A little patience is required here, but knowing that the menacing potholes will soon be filled is worth a few delays.

March is the Time for Making Maple Syrup

Posted in Dining with Pat, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Lifestyle, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on March 12, 2014 by Pat Hansen

Making maple syrup is a traditional right of spring, signaling the end of winter. Several species of maple trees grow in Michigan. Although all produce sap suitable for the production of maple syrup; two species, sugar maple and black maple are the source of sap for most commercial maple syrup production. Sap suitable for conversion into syrup may also be obtained from red and silver maples, although such sap usually has a lower sugar content.

**NOTE: The E. L. Johnson Nature Center in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
is hosting “A Day in the Sugarbush Maple Tapping
this Saturday, March 15, 2014.
Details are noted at the end of this article**

Necessary Equipment

Collection-PailMaple syrup can be produced with a minimum of equipment, but a few standard items increase the efficiency of the operation and the quality of the product, including:

  1. A drill with a 7/16 or 1/2 inch bit for drilling tap-holes in trees.
  2. A metal or plastic collection spout for each tap-hole.
  3. A collection container (bucket or plastic bag) or tubing line for each tap-hole.
  4. A large pan and a heat source for boiling down the sap. The size needed will depend on how much sap you intend to handle.
  5. A large-scale thermometer, calibrated at least 15 degrees above the boiling point of water.
  6. Wool, Orlon or other filters for filtering finished syrup while hot.
  7. Storage containers for the finished syrup.

Tapping the Tree

TapTo obtain the earliest runs of sap, tapping should be completed by the first week in March in Michigan. Minimal trunk diameter for trees suitable for tapping is 10 inches at 4 feet above the ground.

To tap a tree, select a spot on the trunk of the tree 2-4 feet above the ground in an area that appears to contain sound wood. At this point, drill a hole approximately 2-2.5 inches deep into the wood. Then insert a collection spout and tap lightly into the tree and attach a bucket or plastic bag or a tubing line to the spout. Open buckets used for sap collection should be covered to keep out rainwater, debris, insects and other foreign materials.

Collecting the Sap

Collecting-SapSap flow in maple trees will not occur every day throughout the tapping season. It occurs when a rapid warming trend in early morning follows a cool (below freezing) night.

To collect the sap from the tree, simply hang a bucket on the tap and watch the first few drips fall into the bucket. This should happen quickly, though there will be little drips that won’t amount to much at first. Place a lid over the bucket and let the sap continue to drip.

After a day or two, you can check to see just how far your sap collection has come. If you are satisfied with the progress, you can drain this bucket into a larger vat to take inside to start the syrup making process. Do not store the sap as it can spoil.

Turning Sap into Syrup

Syrup-KettleWhen you have a large quantity of sap, it’s time to cook it up to make the syrup. This is done by boiling the sap in a large pan on the stove as long as you have a vent fan and a dehumidifier on hand. When you boil sap, it can produce considerable moisture in the air. Professionals prefer to use outdoor gas ranges with large metal pans in order to avoid the moisture build up in their homes. There is also a hobby-sized evaporator available.

Boil the sap until it becomes thicker as the water boils off. You will need to continue to add sap to the pan, never letting the level get below 1-1/2 inches from the bottom of the pan.

As the sap is boiling, you need to skim off any foam that might be on the top. Using a candy thermometer, boil the sap until it is 7 degrees above the boiling temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you have reached this level, let the syrup completely cool. The sugar sand and other matter will settle to the bottom, allowing you to pour off the good syrup into a glass bottle. Let it cool and you are ready to serve homemade maple syrup.

If you plan to can the syrup, make sure to can the syrup at 180 degrees Fahrenheit and pour into sterilized glass containers to prevent spoilage and contamination by bacteria.

Sugar-ShackIf you feel that making your own maple syrup is a task too daunting to undertake, you can visit the Bloomfield Hills’ E. L. Johnson Nature Center this Saturday, March 15, 2014 and participate in tapping the trees, collecting the sap and visiting the sugar shack to watch the boiling process that produces pure maple syrup. Then, you can visit the log home for a taste of nature’s sweetener!

For a guided tour, meet at the Visitor Center:

  • Tours are from noon to 4:00 pm.
  • Tours are scheduled every 20 minutes and last approximately one hour.
  • Pre-registration is suggested to reserve a specific time: click here for details

E. L. Johnson Nature Center is located at 3325 Franklin Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI; phone: 248-341-6485; website: http://naturecenter.bloomfield.org/

Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency with Technology

Posted in Around Your Home, Electrical, Energy Efficiency, Home Maintenance, I Wish I'd Thought About That with tags , , , , on March 5, 2014 by Pat Hansen

Today’s home owners and buyers are looking for ways to incorporate home technologies that increase the long-term value of their house but also provide convenience, safety and comfort. Energy management is a highly-desired feature in both newly-built and existing homes, along with multi-zone heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and lighting controls. Not only are these features easy-to-use, but they also provide energy-efficiency.

By incorporating the following technologies, home owners can save money on their utility bills:

  • Automated HVAC systems can maintain a more energy-efficient temperature while the home owners are away at work, but switch to a more comfortable temperature prior to their arrival home.  Zones can also be created to heat or cool only the areas most used by the occupants, keeping other areas, such as guest bedrooms, shut down until they are needed. They also can combat the problem of heat rising, keeping upper floors cooler in the summer without freezing the lower floors in a home. According to Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats can save consumers about $180 per year in energy costs.Programmable Thermostat
  • Water heaters with a timer can be turned off when the occupants are traveling, then can turn on and begin heating the water in preparation for their return home. Tankless gas water heaters — which only activate when residents start to use hot water and immediately de-activate when they are done — are also a great option and can reduce water heating costs up to 35 percent annually.
  • Lighting can make up 10 to 20 percent of the total electrical usage of the home. Installing an automatic dimmer, which adjusts to the home owner’s needs based on time of day or occupancy, will lower electricity bills and increase the life expectancy of light bulbs.
  • Blinds and drapes can be programmed to close during the hottest part of the day to block out the sun; keeping the house cooler. In the colder winter months, they can open up to allow the sun in to warm the house, which helps regulate the room temperature.

By incorporating technologies that help make your home operate more efficiently, Energy Star estimates that home owners can save $200 to $400 annually on their energy bills.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

Design Trends for 2014 and Beyond

Posted in Around Your Home, Housing News, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Lifestyle, New Homes with tags , , , , on February 26, 2014 by Pat Hansen

The National Association of Home Builders recently announced the winners of the Best in American Living Awards – a prestigious award program that spotlights design excellence for the entire residential building industry.

Award recipients represent the forefront of innovative design in America, and are lauded as the most creative and inventive builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation.

Based on submissions from this year’s crop of winners, some of the newest trends in design that home buyers will see over the next several years include:

Light Colored CabinetryWhite on White – Cabinets, flooring, backsplashes, counters, fixtures and appliances are beginning to lighten up. Layering white on top of white is a new approach in many kitchens and bathrooms that is giving way to a fresh and light feeling. To achieve clean lines and a modern feel, designers and builders are selecting European cabinetry, adding shiny surfaces via appliance, backsplash and countertop choices, and incorporating glass walls.

Bold Exterior Colors – Bold colors are making their way to the exterior of homes. Whether it’s through paint, a mix of cladding materials, doors, windows, porches, shutters or trim, an extra layer of drama is being adding to the design of elevations, further enhancing curb appeal.

Interior Courtyards – Interior courtyards are popular in all housing types right now. The primary difference is scale. Within single-family homes, courtyards provide private and safe outdoor living areas and are being shifted to side yards.

New Light FixtureSpecialty Lighting – Specialty fixtures are “lighting it up” this year. Regardless of whether it involves a custom or a stock fixture, designers are finding ways to showcase them as pieces of art rather than just a functional element. Lighting is being paired with wood ceiling details to further enhance the room’s design and create a feeling of warmth.

Historic Style with Modern Flair – New or remodeled homes, whether they are Craftsman, Prairie, Mid-Century Modern or another historic architectural style, are adding modern flair to their traditional designs through color, finish, fixture and lighting selection, while continuing to be influenced by the past through the use of reclaimed building materials and classic proportions and detailing.

Outdoor KitchenBlurring the Lines Between Inside and Out – Lines continue to be blurred between the inside and outside of homes. No longer limited to areas with warmer climates, this is being seen all across the country. More homes now feature moveable glass walls, gourmet outdoor kitchens and interior courtyard pools, adding more everyday living space.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

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