Tag: kitchen

The Best & Worst Times to...

Ever have chores that you keep pushing off because you think there has to be a better time to do it? We all have things we need to do that we keep pushing off. Here are the best and worst times to do all kinds of things around your home.

...Clean your gutters.
Best: Early spring and late fall after all the leaves have fallen. Cleaning out your gutters twice a year prevents build-up of debris which weighs down your gutters.
Worst: Early fall before the leave are done falling. It'll undo everything you just accomplished! Also avoid this chore when the ground is wet and slick. That makes it very dangerous to be on a ladder!

...Get your chimney inspected.

Best: Spring when the chimney business is slow. Since the companies are so slow during this time, they might offer some discounts. This timing will also allow you plenty of time to make any repairs before the cold returns.
Worst: Don't do this during the fall!

...Paint your house's exterior.
Best: On a dry day when the temperatures should be between 50 and 95 degrees and shouldn't drop down below freezing at night. Early summer is usually the best.
Worst: When it's about to rain, humid, or chilly. Avoid super windy days too. It makes being on a ladder a little scary!

...Buy a major appliance.

Best: September and October. These months are just before the new model releases, and the stores get eager to make room in their inventory meaning discounts for you. Also look for sales during the weekends before or after holidays.
Worst: November, December, and January. These months are right when all the new models come out, and you'll be paying full price.

...Grocery shop.
Best: For the biggest savings, hit the store the same day the ad comes out. To avoid crowds, shop Monday or Tuesday between 10am and 3 pm if you can.
Worst: Weekends are going to draw the most people and have the biggest crowds. After 6 on weeknights will be busy too when everyone's trying to rush in after work.

...Clean your oven.
Best: When you don't need to be in your kitchen for a while. The oven's self-clean cycle can take three or more hours. Make sure to do it on a day when you can have your windows open, so you can air out those funky fumes.
Worst: Before bed or when you're not home. Oven grime could get smoky or even catch on fire.

...Plant a tree.
Best: Once the ground has thawed in the spring and before your tree has sprouted all its leaves. Or early fall.
Worst: Midsummer is the worst time to plant a tree. The heat and process of transplanting can stress the tree causing it to have less energy to settle its roots into its new home.

...Reseed your lawn.
Best: Fall if you live in a cool climate and spring or summer if you live somewhere warm. Grasses grown in cooler climates need cool soil and adequate rainfall to establish their roots. In warmer areas, grasses prefer temperatures in the 70s or higher to get started.
Worst: Midsummer for cool climates because heat poses a challenge for these grasses to grow. For warmer climates, the worst time to plant is in the early fall because the grass won't have enough time to establish roots before the temperatures drop.

...Plant bulbs.
Best: Six weeks before your area's first frost date for spring-blooming plants. For summer bloomers, plant them late in spring when the chance for frost is over.
Worst: Early in the spring when cold, wet soil can cause bulbs to rot.

Let's all get started on these chores and knock out that "honey-do" list!

Combining Form and Function with a Kitchen Island

Kitchens are, without a doubt, one of the most important areas in a home. While the layout of a “perfect kitchen” will vary from person to person, the main thing that tops everyone’s wish list is plenty of work space and storage. A kitchen island adds both of these things. An island provides extra counter space and useable storage options, in the way of cabinets, drawers, or shelving. 
When you build with Ball Homes, you’re able to personalize your home (and your kitchen) to meet your needs. We offer a variety of different options to make your kitchen fit your family’s lifestyle. We’ve highlighted a few design features you may want to think about when designing your kitchen.
One of the most common requests we get is to have a multi-use space where families can cook, eat, entertain, and help children with their homework. A kitchen island is the ultimate multi-tasking space, even sometimes replacing the family room. Make sure there is plenty of seating for everyone at the island, like in the Jackson II floor plan. It’s a perfect place to perch while you’re waiting for that pot to boil. To cut down on scuff marks, place a stone front on your island, like in the Baldwin floor plan.

Storage is a hot commodity in any kitchen. Make your kitchen island work for you by incorporating power outlets and built-ins into the island, like a wine rack in the Arlington II Expanded or the Coventry II.

When it comes to kitchen islands, you don’t have to stick with the straight lines or square shapes. We offer a variety of curved islands which are conducive for conversation, like in our Hudson and Alexander floor plans.

There are many things you can do to personalize your kitchen to meet your wants and your needs. To see all the options Ball Homes has for you, visit our Model Open Houses this weekend.

Ball Homes Sales Team Goes On A Fieldtrip

We here at Ball Homes are always looking to improve our products and services. You don't get to be "Lexington's Favorite Builder" by keeping to the status quo. We've listened to our customer's suggestions and we've made some changes to our appliance packages through Pieratt's, our Kitchen Appliance Partner. Not only will we offer the same great Frigidaire appliances we have always offered, but we are now adding a line of Electrolux appliances into our package options.

To get more familiar with the new appliance line we will be offering, our Lexington Ball Homes Sales Team and our Design Consultants took a trip to the Pieratt's store to have a private informational session about the new product line. The employees from Pieratt's fielded questions from our team and we came away with a lot of great information that we can pass on to you, our clients.

Thank you to the staff at Pieratt's for giving us information on these new appliance packages. We are very excited to be incorporating these new products into our design options! For more information on the appliances we offer, or to get more information about our homes, contact a Ball Homes Sales Team Member today!

Top 3 New Year's Resolutions

Tonight, everyone will be celebrating the end of 2012 and look forward to 2013. For many people, the new year means a fresh start and a new outlook. For a majority of people, a new year means new resolutions: pledges to make a change in the upcoming year for a better life. We’ve narrowed down a list of the three most common New Year’s resolutions and included some tips on how to help you stay focused in 2013.

1. Get In Shape
There’s no doubt that Get In Shape/Get Fit/Lose Weight/Get Healthy is one of the top New Year’s resolution on many people’s list. Why not let your home help you keep your resolution? Losing weight starts with being more active! Use the bonus room in your new Ball Home to put a treadmill or weight machine. Take advantage of the many walking trails and parks around your subdivision, like Chilesburg or Notting Hill. Getting out and getting active around your community is a step in the right direction to leading a healthier life!
2. Get Organized
Many of our popular floor plans offer sizable closet spaces, attic areas, and storage options; make the most of them! Install space saving shelving in your garage so that everything has a place. Use large plastic bins to store holiday decorations, sports equipment, and out of season clothing items. Reorganize your bedroom closet to make sure you aren’t keeping clothing you never wear. If you haven’t worn an item in the last 6 months, chances are you probably don’t need it. For tips on how to organize your kitchen, read our previous blog post.
3. Save More/Get out of Debt
Saving more money throughout the year starts with changing small habits, and the best place to start is by cutting energy use in your home. To save on your utility bills, lower your thermostat before you leave for work. Install compact florescent bulbs in your lamps. Switch off your electronics and lights when they aren’t in use. Utilize your fireplace instead of turning up the heat a few degrees. If you really want to take a big chunk out of your debt this year, why not look into refinancing your home? With mortgage rates at historic lows, now is the time to refinance and save money on your mortgage payment. Contact a loan officer at Walden Mortgage for more information on your refinancing options.

From all of us at Ball Homes, we wish you a very happy New Year and we look forward to what 2013 has in store!

Organizing Your Kitchen

After you’ve moved in to your new Ball home, make sure your kitchen remains organized and clutter-free with these quick tips!

  • Organize your kitchen cabinets by placing items you’ll use the most on the lower shelves and the things you’ll use least on the higher shelves.
  • Store small appliances like a coffee grinder, handheld electric mixer, and toaster, inside a cabinet on a large lazy Susan. You’ll be able to keep the large, bulky items hidden, but still within reach when you need them.
  • Use your new glass-front cabinets to showcase your good china, antique bowls, or even canisters filled with pasta. 
  • Create a cooking zone around the stove, storing pots and pans as close to the range as possible. Stow essential tools together within easy reach of your cooking zone for efficient food prep.
  • Utilize your interior cabinet doors. Line a door with cut-to-fit sheets of cork to create a message center, or attach a magnetic board to the inside of a door.
  • Set aside one drawer for junk. Most organization experts agree that you can and should have a junk drawer for all the little odds-and-ends things around the house. Use drawer dividers to keep it organized and make sure you go through it at least once every few months to throw away the things you really don’t use. 

    Do you have any other kitchen organization tips? Let us know on our Facebook page!

  • Group like items together. Keep plastic bags and wrapping together in a drawer near the refrigerator to make quick work of storing away leftovers. 
  • Organize your pantry shelves as you would a library, with food items grouped by category. Save space by storing bulky food items in coordinating containers.
  • Line the base of your cabinets with a waterproof mat. You’ll be able to easily wipe up spills, leaks, or crumbs while protecting your cabinets. 

    Do you have any other kitchen organization tips? Share them with us on our Facebook page!