Basic Maintenance and Cleaning For Your Hardwood Floors

Mop on hardwood floor

We use hardwood floors in our homes because they offer a great look and are actually easier to keep clean than carpet. While some have concerns over durability, with proper care, a hardwood floor will look better for longer than a carpeted floor. Here are some basics for caring for your hardwood floors that ensure they look like new for years to come.

  • Just add water

Many of us overthink the cleaning of our hardwood floors. The truth is you don’t need expensive, chemical cleaners. You only need warm water. That’s warm, not boiling, which could actually damage your floors. With a damp mop, you should be able to perform typical cleanings. Two additional notes here. First, there are other tactics to use if you have extreme scuffs or stains on your floors. Second, be sure not to completely soak the floors, as too much water could cause floor boards to expand.

  • Technique

There’s also a very specific way to use your mop to ensure all the dirt and grime on your floors is washed away. Look at your floors and determine which way the grain goes. Now, use your mop to go with the grain. This ensures that all the nooks and crannies in your floor are cleaned and no dust gets lodged in them. If you have a vacuum with a floor brush attachment, you can use this before you mop to get loose dust out of the way.

  • Deep cleaning

When weekly mopping isn’t enough to remove excessive amounts of dirt, pet hair, scuffs and stains, it’s time to bring out the big guns. First, try a trusted wood cleaning product. You’ll first need to know if your floor has a hard finish or a soft oiled finish. This will dictate which product you buy. For tough grease stains and heel marks, you can clean with detergent to gradually break down the stain. You’ll likely need multiple attempts depending on the stain. A fine steel wool sponge and floor wax can then eliminate water marks and diminish any small scratches.

Should any significant damage occur to your floors, authentic wood floors can be replaced board by board, whereas laminates often must be replaced completely.

To see our currently available homes, complete with wood floors and other amenities, visit the Available Homes section of this site. Or, if you’d prefer to build your own home, contact us to get started.

 

3 Ideas For A Shadier Backyard

Gazebo in shaded yard

While this certainly wasn’t the the hottest Oklahoma summer on record, you may have still been forced to endure some extreme temperatures in your backyard. This is the time of year that many homeowners make changes to ensure that next year, their backyard offers a little more comfort. If your yard requires more shade, consider these ideas and get a much needed respite from the sun next summer.

  • Trees

When you think shade, the first thing you think of is likely trees. Unfortunately, trees aren’t an immediate fix. If you plant trees in your yard this year, it could take a few years before they grow large enough to provide substantial shade. Additionally, there are the additional headaches of messes from birds, falling debris like nuts and branches, and roots that could cause damage to sewer lines. Still, there’s nothing quite like a backyard shaded by mature trees. If you’re considering purchasing a new home, look for a lot that already features mature trees and plenty of shade.

  • Umbrellas

Go to any resort and you’ll likely see some form of umbrella offering shade to guests on the beach or by the pool. For your backyard, you could purchase a table with an umbrella included for shady cookouts, or a free standing umbrella for lounging. They’re a fast, affordable solution, but not necessarily one that’s built to last. Umbrellas won’t hold up to wind and storms well, and will likely need to be packed away at the end of the summer.

  • Structures

A more permanent idea is to build a structure with a roof in your backyard. Pergolas, cantilevers and gazebos all offer a luxurious look while also bringing a shady paradise to your yard. The size of your budget will determine how intricate your plans are, but even a simple canopy or awning can create a much more comfortable space. There are also options that allow you to let in just as much sun as you want. If you don’t want to be completely shaded, make the roof opaque or lattice.

At Perry Hood Homes, many of our available lots and houses come with mature trees, spacious backyards and beautiful views of neighborhood ponds. To find a lot that’s perfect for your next home, simply contact us. Or, browse through our currently available homes. 

4 Tips To Avoiding Major Foundation Problems

Leaning house

There are few areas of your home that can rack up repair bills like the foundation. When foundation problems start, they can quickly affect other areas of your home, which is why it’s vital to catch signs of trouble early and fix them effectively. Many of these problems can be avoided with proper maintenance and keeping a watchful eye. Here are a few tips for keeping your foundation strong and healthy.

  • Minor cracks

When you notice small cracks in your foundation, you may be tempted to ignore them. These small cracks have a nasty habit of growing into major problems, however. Instead, clean out the cracks immediately to clear away any dirt and debris. Then, you can seal them with epoxy or other materials meant for concrete repair. This ensure the crack won’t grow over time.

  • Moisture levels

During dry, hot Oklahoma summers, the soil around your foundation shrinks and can eventually cause damage. However, over-watering this soil can also be detrimental to your foundation. The key is to never let the environment around your home to get too extreme. If you have plants and other vegetation around your home, keeping these healthy should also keep your foundation healthy. If you don’t, consider installing rock beds that extend to about a foot or two from the foundation. This allows rain water to gradually filter to the soil and keep it cool and moist all year.

  • Drainage

A similar issue is drainage from gutters and downspouts. If these are pouring water too close to your foundation, it over-waters the area and can cause damage. In most environments, downspouts should point away from your home and be located at least 5 feet away from the foundation. Many homes require an extension to downspouts to accomplish this, but they are cheap and easy to install. This can also help prevent water from pooling in areas you and your family often walk.

  • Plumbing inspections

Again, the problem of too much water in the wrong space is a concern. Your entire plumbing system should be inspected annually at minimum and a professional should be called any time you notice leaks. These need to be repaired immediately for a number of reasons, which includes potential damage to your foundation. If you have a sprinkler system, there’s additional possibilities for leaks and improper drainage so keep an eye out and have that system inspected regularly also.

At Perry Hood Properties, we build high-quality homes in Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Bixby and want to help residents keep their homes in top quality for years to come. When you’re ready to build a new home, give us a call or browse through the homes we currently have available.

Tips For Preparing The Perfect Game Room

Feet on table watching TV

Having some extra space in your home is a luxury that allows you to creatively create a room for fun or extravagance, rather than necessity. At Perry Hood Properties, many of the homes we build feature a game room, or bonus room, that you can use to put your own personality into your home. Once you have an available game room, put these set-up tips to use to ensure you and your guests always have a great time.

  • Decide the function

Game rooms don’t have to have a specific function, that’s part of the fun. But, if you do plan to use the room for a specific type of activity most often, it’s good to know before decorating and choosing furniture. It may be for your children to play in, for movie or sports watching, or for an at-home bar area. You can see how each of these would call for distinctly different decorating ideas. So, before you get into the details of your room, decide on how you want to use it.

  • Seating

The seating included in your game room will also be dictated by the function, but there are a few good rules of thumb to go by. First, the amount of seating available. You’ll want to meet or exceed the amount of seating in your dining room. If you can comfortably serve eight guests, be sure all eight can then have a seat in the game room. Then, be sure to get extra comfortable chairs or couches to ensure guests can stay for hours. If you’re planning to watch movies or sports or play games, you don’t want discomfort to interrupt the proceedings.

  • Personalize it

Perhaps more than any other part of your home, a game room is a space where you can really let guests know your personality. Remember your bedroom when you were a kid? There were likely posters and other items that let people know what you liked. A game room can be similar. Hang up pennants or memorabilia from your favorite sports teams or movies. Incorporate colorful furniture that would look out of place in other parts of the house. This is your chance to be you without having to worry about matching the rest of the home’s decor.

  • Remember refreshments

Most game rooms are located on the second floor of a home, which means that you may have to run up and down stairs for drinks and snacks. Instead, plan ahead and include a small refrigerator, liquor cabinet or wet bar. This way, refreshments are always just a few steps away and you and your guests can hole up in the game room without interruption. This could be particularly handy if you have teenage children. Either you or them can use the game room without having to walk through the living room and interrupting the other’s plans.

A game room offers a number of advantages to your home. At Perry Hood Properties, we offer a number of beneficial amenities in our homes. Customize the options you want included and end with your dream home.

When you’re ready to start building, just give us a call or look at our currently available homes.

 

5 Tips To Make Your Home Building Process A Breeze

Couple and builder looking at plans

If you’re new to the home building experience, it can seem daunting. There are a number of decisions to make and plenty of paperwork up front. But, if you’re working with an experienced builder, like Perry Hood Properties, these obstacles are minimized and the process runs much smoother. Additionally, if you go into the process with an idea of what to expect, it will be a much more enjoyable experience. With that in mind, here are some things to keep in mind as you start the home building process.

  • Structural changes

These are major changes that need to be agreed upon early in the process. Often, a structural change or addition affects the building permit so your builder needs to know about them as soon as possible. These are also the type of changes that will greatly increase the cost of the project if you attempt to make them later. They could require walls going up or coming down, electric or plumbing being moved and the like. Keep that in mind when you’re deciding on your home’s floor plan and be sure that it’s exactly what you want before moving forward.

  • Upgrades

These are more cosmetic in nature than structural changes. A post-purchase upgrade refers to paint and cabinet color, lighting, plumbing fixtures and other details that give your home the look you want. While you could purchase these upgrades independently, purchasing them through your builder allows you to roll the cost into your mortgage if you choose. There’s also the fact that the last thing most home buyers want to do after moving in is start working on their home. By deciding on these upgrades during the building process, your home is perfect the day you move in.

  • Know the timeline

Every builder’s timeline will be similar, but will have specific difference that should be noted. For example, the amount of time you’re able to make changes varies. To save yourself from making a costly change after a deadline, be sure you and your builder discuss this. Since you’ll likely be selling a house at the same time, it’s also important to have deadlines for certain phases. This way, you can know that your project is on-schedule and when a likely move in date will be so you can move out of your current home accordingly.

  • Don’t forget resale value

Initial design meetings often leave home builders with plenty of ideas on how to customize their home. Over-customizing to match your personal taste and style results in a dip in resale value, however. For example, a unique granite countertop may drive potential buyers away in the future, whereas a uniquely painted wall can be easily painted over. You don’t have to skip customization, but do it intelligently so that if you need to sell your home, it will be appealing to a wide audience.

  • Build with trust

Whether you’re a first time home builder or have been through the process before, it’s important to work with a builder that’s experienced and trustworthy. You’re not expected to understand every phase necessary in building a house, but having a builder who not only knows the process, but can also offer you valuable advice can save you from mistakes that could delay your project or increase the cost. Trust their expertise and don’t be afraid to come to meetings with plenty of questions and ideas. When you have a specific idea of what you want, your builder is able to guide you to it.

At Perry Hood Properties, we’ve built homes in Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Bixby since 1981. If you’re ready to build a new home for your family, or would like to see our move-in ready available homes, contact us today.

Your Home’s Fall Preparation Checklist

Leaves on roof

There are still plenty of hot days left in summer, but it’s already time to start preparing your home for the fall. Tackling these issues while it’s still warm out can potentially save you from costly repairs down the road. Here’s a quick checklist of fall preparation to ensure your home is ready for the changing seasons.

  • Clean the gutters

There’s a reason this is such a familiar chore for homeowners. Gutters are responsible for keeping water away from your home’s exterior and foundation. If they’re full of leaves and debris, water drains off your roof and down your siding, which can cause rapid deterioration. Water consistently draining down the side of your home can also cause foundation issues. Since there will be plenty of leaves falling soon, clean your gutters now. It’s also a great time to look into mesh guards that can help keep debris out of the gutters.

  • Locate drafts

As the weather turns cooler, it becomes increasingly important for your home to be well-sealed. Gaps in caulk and weather stripping cause your heating bills to be significantly higher and make it more difficult to effectively keep your home comfortable. These materials aren’t expensive to replace, but they wear out over time. Be sure to invest in closing up any areas where are is being let in now and enjoy a much more comfortable fall and winter.

  • Check the roof

The fall brings rains, falling leaves and falling limbs. It can be hard on your roof. Problems can occur quickly if your roof is already in need of repair. Take some time now to check the quality of your shingles, and look for other potential problems. Fixing them will prevent leaks and help lower your utility bills. These repairs could also save you from major problems when leaves and limbs start to fall.

  • Prepare outside faucets

Most of us stay vigilant when the weather gets cold to keep indoor pipes from freezing. The same attention is rarely paid to outdoor faucets, however. But, these outdoor faucets freeze easily and can cause real headaches. When you finish with your outdoor faucets this year, drain the line as much as possible, disconnect hoses and invest in faucet covers when needed.

  • Furnace inspection

Before the weather gets too hot in the spring or summer, it’s a good idea to have your air conditioner checked. The same goes for your furnace in the fall. You’d hate to turn on your furnace for the first time and discover that it isn’t working properly. There are also health and fire concerns over a malfunctioning furnace. You can do some simple inspections yourself, but it’s best to trust a professional to not only look over your furnace, but to help ensure it’s working efficiently for the upcoming cold weather.

It’s also a great time to check the batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors and change your home’s air filters. By following these tips, you’ll have a much happier fall.

If you’d like to be in a new home by fall, call us at Perry Hood Properties or browse through our currently available homes.

Finish Options For Your Home’s Fixtures

Bathroom fixtures

When constructing homes for our customers, we allow them to choose their own hardware. You have the choice of oil rubbed bronze or nickel for lights, plumbing fixtures, towel bars and other accents and pieces around the home. Whether you’re building a new home or just looking to update your current home, making these choices can be difficult, however. Here’s a primer to help you choose between all the various fixture finishes available.

  • Oil rubbed bronze

The choice of many of our home-buyers, oil rubbed bronze hardware around the home offers a traditional look and feel. It’s a great alternative to the more modern chrome or brushed nickel finishes. Oil rubbed bronze is also easy to clean, durable, doesn’t show water spots or fingerprints and is easy to match with other elements in your home.

  • Brushed nickel

Brushed nickel is another great choice because it goes with almost everything. That’s likely why it’s been a standard choice for homes for decades. It also lasts longer than nearly any other finish so you won’t need to re-finish or change out fixtures in the foreseeable future. The only material designers recommend you don’t use with brushed nickel is stainless steel because it makes the nickel blend in rather than standing out.

  • Polished nickel

A close cousin to chrome finishes, this smooth, shiny finish offers a slightly darker look. It even has a tendency to change color slightly under different lighting. This can make it hard to match, however. But, it’s another easy to clean and durable option that helps you create a modern look.

  • Polished brass

An old stand-by, polished brass immediately gives any room a vintage, old world feel. While it’s readily available, brass is typically more expensive than other finishes. Still, it matches well with almost anything and is quite durable.

  • Satin brass

This could be the finish of the future as designers have been increasingly infatuated with it. It brings a brushed gold look without the shiny, showiness of polished brass. The matte finish also makes it more durable and means it doesn’t show water spots and fingerprints. Currently, it’s difficult to find, however, and can be quite expensive. But, it can be paired well in almost any setting.

  • Chrome

If you’re looking for a simple, inexpensive finish for your home’s fixtures, chrome is the first thought of most home builders. It’s both versatile and easy to maintain. But, while it goes with almost everything, it also requires constant cleaning. More than any other finish, every smudge and stain shows up clearly on chrome.

Ready to build your own custom home with features that you love? Give us a call and start the process today!

Common Repairs All Homes Eventually Need

Fixing leaky faucet

Repairs are an unfortunate reality for home owners. Even if you buy a newly constructed home, eventually repairs will be needed in some areas. Planning and budgeting for these inevitable repairs makes them much easier to deal with. At Zillow, Mary Boone put together a list of common repairs you can expect to make to your home after a few years of ownership. While some of these can be repaired yourself, others may require a professional.

  • Garbage disposal

On average, a household garbage disposal is expected to last about 10 years. However, if a kitchen disposal is used often or isn’t cared for properly, it’s likely to last much less time before needing repairs or replacement. New units with professional installation are likely to cost a few hundred dollars, but minor repairs can likely be performed yourself. Jams or clogs are typically fairly simple fixes, but eventually a blade, impellor or motor will probably need replacement. For these more major repairs, buying a brand new unit is sometimes more cost-effective. If you do decide to work on your own disposal, be sure to take proper safety precautions.

  • Plumbing

Backed up sinks and clogged toilets are also part of being a homeowner, but don’t necessarily qualify as actual repairs. Plumbing problems do occur, however, and even something seemingly minor like a dripping faucet could be costing you money each month. For example, the EPA reports that leaks in an average household waste more than 10-thousand gallons of water every year. One in 10 homes have leaks that lose at least 90-gallons each day. These leaks may not even be evident without some investigating. To check your home, check your water meter, then use no water for 2-hours. Check it again and if the meter reading has changed, there’s a leak somewhere. Check your toilets by dropping a small amount of food coloring in the tank. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and see if any of that coloring has made its way into the bowl. If so, there’s a leak. When a leak is found, it usually a good idea to hire a licensed plumber to fix it and investigate the rest of your plumbing.

  • Paint and siding

High quality paints and siding can stand up to lots of abuse and last for years. Even the most durable paints will need touch-ups eventually, however and severe weather may accelerate that need. When paint starts to chip or crack, or siding is damaged, your home becomes more susceptible to rain, wind and insects. Sanding and painting the trim around doors and windows is a simple job for homeowners and will likely need to be done every few years. A full exterior paint job typically costs at least a couple thousand dollars, but waiting could increase costs as weather and insects do more damage. Other exterior materials on your home, like stucco or brick, also need regular inspections and repairs.

If your home is constructed out of high-quality materials, like our homes at Perry Hood Properties, you’ll have the luxury of living in it for years before repairs are needed. Even so, knowing these types of repairs are likely eventually will help you properly plan for them and potentially prevent them for longer.

If you’re ready for a new home in Tulsa, Bixby or Broken Arrow, browse through our currently available homes or call us to start construction on a custom home.

The Advantages of Frameless Shower Doors

Frameless shower 1

Over the past few years, more and more home buyers have expressed interest in frameless glass shower doors. There’s no denying these doors give any bathroom a more modern and sophisticated look. That’s part of the reason why Perry Hood Properties homes have been using frameless glass shower doors in many of our newly constructed homes. Here are some other reasons we enjoy about using them.

  • Style

Above all else, a frameless shower door brings a stylish look to your bathroom. Not only is the crystal clear glass an amenity that suggests luxury, but your carefully decorated shower tiles also have a chance to shine. No more will you be stuck with an ugly, metal frame typical of showers for decades. This new, more minimalist approach ensures your bathroom will be stylish for years to come.

  • Value

A frameless shower door helps to increase the value of your home. While many who are installing frameless showers after their home is constructed may be concerned about their price, the value they add to the home helps you make up that cost when you sell. They also make your home more attractive to potential buyers. At Perry Hood Properties, we put thought into each room of our homes and install features that last, save energy and add value. Frameless shower doors offer our home buyers a great look and a lasting value.

  • Durability 

At first glance, a frameless shower door may not appear very sturdy. Something made entirely out of glass can’t possibly stand up to much abuse. In reality, these glass shower doors are tempered to make them as durable as possible. For any predicted bumps and knocks that a shower door would typically withstand, these doors will remain flawless. Cracks and shattering are no concern in typical situations.

There are very few reasons not to add frameless shower doors to your bathroom, and even less reason not to purchase a new home with this feature.

To browse through our available homes with modern bathrooms and other amenities, check our online catalog or give us a call to start building your own custom home.

Protecting Your Home From UV Rays

Sun through blinds

It can be an eye opening experience to move out of a home you’ve lived in for years, or even replacing furniture in your home after years in the same spot. It’s often at times like this that you first notice just how faded parts of your furniture or carpet truly are. The damage done to furniture and flooring is due to the sun’s UV rays. Just like your skin being damaged by the same rays, items in your home are vulnerable. Thankfully, there are a few different options for maintaining your home and your furniture.

  • Blocking UV rays

If you want to avoid getting a sunburn, you would apply sunscreen or sit in the shade, right? There are similar tactics for your furniture. To avoid fading in your home, close the blinds or curtains. That makes your home dark and dreary, however. Another option that doesn’t shut out natural light is to install new windows. Laminated windows or low-E coated coated glass, which is featured in many Perry Hood Properties homes, can block as much as 99-percent of harmful rays without blocking out light. Not only does this protect your furniture, but it also protects your family’s skin.

  • Protecting rugs

Major fading problems occur on your home’s rugs when they stay in the same spot day after day. Sun from your windows will hit a rug in the same place and eventually fade those spots. But, if you periodically rearrange your room and rotate your rugs, fading can be minimized. Or, at least, fading will be more even, which makes it less noticeable. Spray-on fade protection is also available, but many question how effective those really are.

  • Protecting wood flooring

Wood floors are susceptible to fading from the sun just like furniture and carpet. Often, this leads to costly repairs also. Oddly, some wood will turn darker when exposed to large amounts of sun, while others will lighten. For natural wood, your best options are either protecting the floors from UV ray exposure, or using rugs and furniture to lessen the amount of direct sunlight on your floors. Again, by periodically rearranging your furniture, you can provide some protection and keep obvious faded spots from forming.

  • Protecting furniture

The key to protecting your furniture from the sun starts when you purchase it. Lighter fabrics tend to show less fading and are a good option for rooms that get a lot of direct sunlight. The same goes for many leather finishes. When buying a new piece of furniture, be sure to ask about colorfastness to avoid any surprises. If a piece of furniture is expected to fade, consider moving it to a room with less sun exposure.

When protecting your items from sun damage, your choice is to keep them out of the sun completely or to invest in windows that help keep out UV rays.

At Perry Hood Properties, we believe Low-E windows are a great investment for the home. Not only do they filter out UV rays, but they also help to lower energy costs. Browse through our currently available homes to see more of our features or call us to start construction on your dream home.