Stay Safe This Christmas

The holiday travel season is in full swing. Over the river and through the woods, we are all headed somewhere this Christmas gathering with family and friends and celebrating. Unfortunately, elves of the unsavory nature are also gallivanting about this time of year too. Empty homes create the perfect setting for scrooges out to spread mischief.

According to an Allstate Insurance 2013 report, 56 percent of Floridians will travel away from home for an overnight stay. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said that their daily habits and routines change during the holiday season. Overall, theft reports go up during this time of year so it pays to be extra vigilant.

Travel is a necessary part of the Christmas season for many Floridians and criminals know this. The sudden shift in daily routine makes it clear that you aren’t at home and, unfortunately, it is noticed. However, there are things you can do to protect your home.

Motion Sensor Lighting

Motion activated lighting placed in strategic areas will alert neighbors and prowlers alike. They are relatively inexpensive and don’t waste money because they only come on when they sense movement.

Install Outdoor Surveillance Cameras

Outdoor cameras are a great way to keep watch over your home even if you aren’t there. They also provide key evidence incase of a break-in.

Never State Your Plans on Social Media

In the digital age, we are all connected no matter how far apart we actually are. Thieves know this and scan social media outlets looking for victims. Never post your plans on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Once you are safely back home you can post all about your wonderful Christmas away!

Electrical Timers

Electrical timers can be a lifesaver. Set them according to your natural home routine and it can look like your home is still inhabited. If that seems like too much work, try setting them to turn on various lights throughout your home at various times to give the appearance of occupation. Keeping your house completely dark while you are away is a sure fire way to alert thieves of your absence.

Sign For Packages

Unfortunately, when packages are left at your doorstep it is an open invitation for robbers. Without much effort they can stroll right up to your door and walk away with them. Make sure any packages delivered to your home require a signature that way you are home when they arrive and can take them safely inside.

The Holiday Season is one of great joy and part of that is travelling to see loved ones. While there is no foolproof way to avoid being the victim of theft there are things you can do to protect your home and loved ones. Your Melbourne Fl home builder is with you every step of the way in creating the home of your dreams and we want you to travel with peace of mind.

Millennial homeowners: Simple, affordable ways to personalize home decor

(BPT) – Every generation of homeowners has its design priorities. Baby boomers look for home design that will let them age in place, while generation X wants features that facilitate busy lifestyles. Millennials crave interior decor that meshes with their technology, blending energy efficiency, family-friendly features and plenty of personalization. Since many millennials are starting out in their personal and professional lives, affordability is also a priority.

It’s possible to achieve a personal look that accommodates all your requirements. Here are handful of tricks and tips that can help.

* Color your world. Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to give your favorite interior spaces an instant facelift. Gray has become the must-have neutral, while pops of color add energy throughout any season. Place an accent color on a singular focal wall or add a border between the ceiling and the wall color for a subtle pop that adds timeless style and class.

* Look for products that return on your investment in multiple ways. Applause honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas can be a smart choice for millennials. An affordable way to achieve custom window treatments (Applause shades are made to measure), they are also energy efficient. The honeycomb construction traps air in pockets within the shade, helping keep cool air inside during summer and warm air in during winter, and helping to improve a home’s overall energy efficiency. Available in a variety of colors and customizable to your window dimensions, the shades offer four operating options for ease of use. For young families, Applause shades have the extra bonus of cordless operation for enhanced child safety and a new fabric boasts antimicrobial fabric protection that resists the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. Visit www.hunterdouglas.com to learn more.

* Repurpose furnishings. Whether it’s an heirloom china cabinet that’s been in your family for generations, a rocking chair from a secondhand store or that shabby but still-comfy sofa from your parents’ living room, repurposed furniture can add a personalized look to your decor at a fraction of the cost of new items. Inspect all the parts of a refurnished piece to ensure they’re in good repair; tighten screws, apply wood glue where needed and add a fresh finish or new upholstery. Personalizing a repurposed piece creates a unique look at little cost, and by reusing an older piece, you’re doing something for the environment, too.

* Don’t overlook the impact of lighting. Upgrading lighting is a cost-effective way to personalize the look of a room. There are a variety of fixtures to suit every decorating taste available now. Simply switching out an ordinary fixture in the breakfast nook, dining room or family room for a design that speaks to you can elevate a room’s personal feel. While you’re at it, feed your eco-friendly, energy-efficient craving by outfitting new lights with electricity-sipping CFLs or LEDs. Such bulbs produce the same level of light as incandescent bulbs, and they use about 80 percent less electricity. Plus, they can last eight years or longer.

* Make your own wall decorations. You don’t need to be an artist or even particularly crafty to create your own wall art, and nothing is more personal than something you’ve made yourself. Look online for wall art that appeals to your sense of style, then search for instructional videos and guides that can help you achieve the same look on your own. Whether you opt for hand-framed prints you created yourself, an arrangement of mirrors as an accent on one wall or creative treatments of your favorite family photos, wall art is an easy, cost-effective way to create a personal look in any room.

Light the Night

Burton Homes in Melbourne, FL is the place for exclusive custom-built homes in Brevard County. Our expert team is here to work with you from inception to creation allowing you to create the home of your dreams. We also value providing our clients with the best tips to create living spaces that defy imagination and enlighten the senses.

Now that daylight savings time is in full effect, the hours of sunlight within the day have diminished. That doesn’t mean that you have to live in the dark though! Have you ever considered adding landscape lighting to your home?

There are a multitude of choices when it comes to lighting the outdoor spaces of your home and doing so can give your more living space and highlight your gorgeous landscaping. Here are a few good reasons why you should consider outdoor lighting if you have not already.

Added Security

There are dark nooks and crannies in every yard where sight is limited. If you choose to add landscape lighting you can diminish those dark spots adding an extra dimension of security and highlighting the architectural facets of your home at the same time. We can work with you to design outdoor lighting that provides both beauty and security to your Burton Custom-Built Home.

Lighting the Way

Lighting pathways and potentially hazardous walking areas around your home will give you, and your guests, piece of mind. There is no end to the possibilities when it comes to pathway lighting. You have so many choices to accommodate the style of your home and add functionality too.

Show Off Landscaping

Florida has the advantage of superb weather year-round. Our tropical climate is notorious for its ability to cultivate lush landscaping full of brilliant greens and luscious vivid colors. There is no doubt that you have put in time and effort to design and create a yard that pleasing to the eye so why not enjoy it in the evening hours too. Landscape lighting affords you the ability to enjoy your hard work even if the sun is not shining.

Extend Your Living Space

Again, the Florida lifestyle is one of the outdoors. Strategically placed outdoor lighting can allow you to create living spaces outside of your home. Lighting gives you the chance to entertain in a cozy safe environment and you won’t have to stumble about in the dark when doing so.

Thanksgiving Safety Checklist

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! This festive time of year brings families and friends together to celebrate the wonderful things life has afforded them over the past year. Gathering together, we celebrate one another and indulge in recipes that have stayed alive through the generations.

We gather together in gratitude thankful for all that has been bestowed upon us. Turkeys roasting in the oven, green bean casserole baking, and luscious sweet potato pie are just some of the scents that waft through the air as we cook together and then share a meal.

There is no doubt that Thanksgiving is a glorious time. Burton Homes, your custom homebbuilder in Brevard County, wants to make sure that this holiday season is one of joyous occasion rather than a potential safety hazard. By following these simple tips you can make sure your day goes off without a hitch.

Guard the Stovetop

Lots of cooking goes on during the Thanksgiving holiday as families gather together. When you are utilizing the stovetop try and use the back burners as much as possible. Turn the handles of pots inward away from little hands eager to assist in the cooking with you.

Never Leave the House When Something is Cooking in the Oven

The turkey may take several hours to roast in your oven and it could be tempting to venture out and finish those last minute errands. Don’t!! Wait until the turkey is done and the oven is turned off before heading out.

Keep the Kitchen Floor Clear

With so many people in your home during the holiday it is especially important that you keep the floor clear of toys and other objects to protect everyone from tripping.

Check Your Electrical Cords

Your electrical outlets get a lot of use during this time of year. Make sure that the cords are in tact and free from fraying or other types of damage when you plug them in.

Try Battery Operated Candles

Candlelight can really set the mood for a Thanksgiving meal. However, it can also be the source of fires within your home. Try using battery operated candles rather than the standard flame to reduce your risk of fire. On that note, never leave the home unattended by an adult should you choose to forgo battery operated candles.

Thanksgiving is a time for festive celebration. Burton Homes wants you to experience it with a full heart free from the worry and stress of potential dangers. Keep yourself and others safe and rest in the holiday that reminds us all of how much we have to be thankful for.

Protecting Your Home During Cooler Weather

Fall is officially upon us here in Brevard County, FL. Cooler temps and frigid breezes are making their way into the Sunshine State. While a few days of cold weather is no guarantee, when it does happen you need to be prepared.

Burton Homes, your custom homebuilder in Melbourne, FL and the surrounding areas, is committed to bringing you the home of your dreams from start to finish. We work with you from inception to creation to provide you with a home nothing short of your wildest imagination. Whatever you seek in a home, we can help you achieve it.

Along with helping you in every phase of the design and construction process, Burton Homes wants to educate as well. You are living your dreams and we want to make sure that it stays that way.

Florida is internationally known as a place of refuge from savage winters. However, we do get our fair share of cold weather now and again. We are all prepped and ready for ravishing heat and hurricanes, but what about prepping for freezing temperatures?

Have you invested time in learning about what needs to be done to protect your home and family in case of severe winter-like weather? This two part series will take a look at what you can do to protect your home and what you can do protect the people and pets that live within it.

Protect Your Pipes

Here in the South we aren’t accustomed to harsh winters and neither are our pipes. During times of temps at freezing or below, pipes can freeze with water still inside them. While it may seem as though the freezing water within the pipes can cause rupture that isn’t the case.

After a blockage within the pipes due to ice and a faucet that is closed at the end, the build up in water pressure is what causes the disturbance. So what can you do, make sure your pipes are properly insulated?

Because freezing pipes aren’t on the forefront of anyone’s mind here in Florida, it pays to know where your pipes are and, at the very least, wrap them when there is a threat of freezing weather. You can also turn your outdoor faucets on and allow a slow drip to help prevent freezing from within.

Protect Your Plants

Brevard County, FL boasts beautiful weather almost year round. Many people invest time and money in their landscaping. Beautiful yards abound here so make sure your plants are protected during cold snaps.

In the event of freezing weather be sure to cover your foliage. This will help ensure that they survive the cold blast with no lasting repercussions.

If you have cool sensitive trees such as citrus and palms, cover the root system. You can also utilize a 100-watt heat lamp made for outdoor use. Place the lamp in the interior of the tree. These measures should prevent damage to the root systems.

Protecting your most valuable asset is important to you and Burton Homes wants to assist you in this process. These steps are powerful and can help you be at ease when cool weather reigns on the Space Coast.

Playing It Safe On Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. A day for delightful ghosts, goblins, super heroes, and princesses to join together in a festive evening of trick-or-treating. You never know just whom you may meet when your doorbell rings.

Everyone loves the smiles on little faces and the spooky decorations that adorn homes and yards during this time of year. In order to keep your family and your home safe from safety hazards on the spookiest night of the year take a look at these tips to keep smiles all around.

Check Outdoor Décor

Outdoor lighting, high flying ghosts, and eerie ornaments hanging from trees all help set the Halloween mood. However, your festive décor could spell trouble if it isn’t kept in check. Make sure all electrical items are in tact. Check for broken or frayed wires and make sure electrical outlets are safe and functioning properly. If you have hanging items make sure they are made of fire resistant materials and kept away from possible points of ignition.

Battery Operated Candles

Candles are wonderful additions to Halloween decorations but can cause larger scale fires quickly. A better way to achieve the perfect ghostly look is to use battery operation candles rather than those that have wicks. This drastically reduces the possibility of fire and will help you enjoy the evening worry free.

Clear a Path

Another tip is to clear driveways, patios, walkways, and yards of debris and create a clear path. As the night wears on and the moon rises ever higher, vision can be impaired. It is best to keep obstacles out of the way to keep everyone safe.

Costume Safety

Choose costumes made from fabrics that are flame resistant and have some sort of reflective feature. Try and avoid costumes that are long and leave a trail behind the wearer. The extra fabric can cause your little one to trip. Masks should fit properly and have adequate eyeholes so that vision isn’t impaired.

Trick-or-Treating

An adult should always escort children. Everyone should be mindful of pedestrians during trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t pay attention so it is up to you, adults, to help keep the children in your care safe. Make sure you look before crossing the road and adhere to the rules of traffic. If you are driving on Halloween night keep a vigilant eye out for any trick-or-treaters and slow down in neighborhoods.

Rain Check

In recent weeks we have seen more than our share of rain. The deluge of water pouring from the skies has been nothing short of a monsoon. Thankfully we are experiencing a few days of clear skies and the sun is finally making an appearance giving Melbourne, FL something of a break.

With all the rain recently, now is a good time to brush up on some basics when it comes to water and your house. You home is your most valuable asset and Burton Homes wants to make sure that you remain safe within it.

Check Your Roof

Quality construction by licensed contractors like Burton Homes is your first line of defense in preventing devastating leaks in your home. After that’s taken care of be sure to inspect your roof, ceilings, and walls for any possible water damage. If you see wet spots or leaking areas call a professional right away.

Protect Wooden Floors

Make sure the beautiful wooden flooring in your home is properly sealed to prevent water damage. After significant rainfall traffic in and out of your home may consist of soggy wet feet tracking in all sorts of muck. Worse yet, if you have any leaks they could be devastating to your flooring. Take the proper precautions before the rain to keep your home in tiptop shape

Hold Off on Yard Work

When it begins to rain it is always best to put away any tools that require electrical power to operate. This sounds like common sense but all too often zealous handymen and women try to beat the rain and finish that one last project. If it is raining: stop. Step away and put the tools down.

On that same note, don’t use electrically powered tools when the ground is super soggy. The rains of the past few weeks have saturated the ground and while it is tempting to get outside and do work with the sun shining, be sure to make sure the ground is dry enough to work with. This protects you and your yard.

Get Your Gutters Cleaned

Gutters help move rainwater away from the foundation of your home and your roof. They are essential to preventing rain damage on and in your home. Take some time to clean the gutters surrounding your home or have a professional come out and take care of it.

Hopefully the rain is moving beyond Melbourne, FL now! We are the Sunshine State after all. By following the suggestions and taking care to notice any effects the recent rain may have had on your home, you can keep your family safe and your wallet fuller.

How to avoid crowds in Rome

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(BPT) – Rome has been a starring city on the world stage throughout history. Art is all around you in this cultural center where pieces by Bernini, Raphael, Caravaggio and Michelangelo are daily decor. The city surrounds you with masterpieces from throughout the ages, making it a highly coveted destination with plenty of crowds. DreamPlanGo has provided some tips to help you avoid long lines and enjoy the city in peace:

Time your trip. Certain times of the year bring in more crowds than others. If you truly can’t stand masses of gawkers, it’s best to avoid Rome during June, July, August, Easter, Christmas and New Year’s. Cooler weather but also quiet sites and lower prices will greet you in November, early December, January and February.

Evade long lines at the Colosseum. The Colosseum in Rome is one of the biggest attractions in the country and a bucket list stop for many. Don’t let the winding long lines deter you from seeing this world wonder. Start by purchasing your ticket, but not at the Colosseum. Buy a combo ticket for two sights at Palatine Hill. The line at Palatine Hill is short or even non-existent. You’ll get your ticket purchased, tour the ancient parts of the city at the hill and still get into the Colosseum with time to spare.

Mind the time of day you visit the Vatican. It pays to be organized. Book your tickets to the Vatican in advance online. Try to make it for first thing in the morning and as the doors open, make your way directly to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or the Raphael rooms. These masterpieces by the Renaissance artists get very crowded. If you’re not a morning person, visit at 1 p.m., while people are elsewhere eating lunch. Alternatively, save the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael rooms for last, right before the Vatican closes at 4 p.m.

Enjoy Via Appia Antica (The Appian Way). Get a breath of fresh air and stretch your limbs in this Roman road that feels like an exclusive escape. Spreading out on the south side of the city, it reaches nearly 340 miles outward to Brindisi. Take a bus tour through the Italian countryside, or bike the path on Sunday when all vehicles are barred.

If you want to escape the Roman crowds altogether, visit Dreamplango.com to learn more about the 5 Day Trips You Must Take From Rome.

Home Container Garden How To

Are you looking for an activity you can do to your new home Melbourne Fl that includes your entire family? Why not attempt your own vegetable and herb garden? Gardens breathe life into our homes, require light maintenance, and can teach valuable lessons. There is something truly magical about planting something, tending to it, and then watching it grow. It is even more fun to pick fresh veggies and have them for dinner.

Gardens are a great way to get even the youngest of your children involved. You may think you don’t have a “green” thumb, but you never know. Sure, some of your plants may wither, but that is okay! All you really need to have your own garden is a little time, soil, planters, and plants. The rest is up to experimentation.

There are so many options when it comes to establishing a home garden. If you don’t want to plow up parts of your yard or have little space, container gardening may be your best bet. Container gardens are a great way to bring fresh vegetables and herbs into your home with little expense. So how do you get your own container garden started? Try beginning with these steps.

Location

Choose an area that receives full sun. Vegetables, in particular, need at least six hours of sunlight to grow. Find a spot in your yard or perhaps your patio or deck that gets the appropriate amount of light. Once you know your location you can determine how much room you will have to get started. You can get away with less sunlight when it comes to tender vegetables and herbs like lettuce and basil.

Choose Your Plants

Newbies are best served by purchasing plants that have already been started. Planting from seeds is a viable option but it takes more work and you may not be interested in that. You’ll want to choose plants that are in season. Our area of Florida is in Zone 9. This is helpful information when it comes to choosing appropriate plants that will do well in a given time of year. September and October are great planting months as the weather begins to cool off so keep that in mind.

Choose Your Planters

There are tons of options when it comes to planters. You can choose stone, ceramic, plastic, even wooden boxes will do the trick. There are three main concerns when it comes to choosing appropriate containers: size, depth, and drainage.
You will want to choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the plant you choose to put inside it. This goes for width and depth. Tomatoes and eggplants, for example, like lots of growing room so choose a larger size that is deep. Basil, thyme, and oregano will work just fine in a smaller pot. You can also go larger with these if you choose. Lettuce, on the other hand, does not need much room or depth so smaller pots will work.

Plants don’t like to be soggy so make sure there are drainage holes in the containers you choose. If there isn’t sufficient drainage water will get trapped within the soil and waterlog your plants.

Select Your Soil

There are lots of options when it comes to soil so don’t get overwhelmed. A good potting soil that has fertilizer included will serve you well. If you want to get fancy try mixing in some compost or composted cow manure.

Feed and Water Your Plants

Once your plants are resting comfortably in their containers all you have to do is make sure they are getting enough water and food to sustain life. This is the easy part. You should water in cooler parts of the day and try giving them a little fertilizer once a week or so.

There you have it! Container gardening can be something your entire family can be a part of. Little ones can help dig dirt and plant. They can even assist you when you water your garden each day. The most important thing is to have fun. Over time you will learn what works best and then you can begin again trying new techniques.

http://spacecoastliving.com/home-container-garden-how-to

Creative Designer Touches: Chalkboard Paint

When designing your home you have specific concepts in mind. You know the colors you love, the features that will serve you and your family best, and you want the highest quality available. In essence, you have a story you want to tell and a place you want to create that speaks the language of your family.

Your home builder Melbourne FL is here to assist you on every step of that journey. We are with you from conception to creation providing you with the most knowledgeable staff available. We are conscientious of your needs and value your priorities and dreams.

Once your house is built and you are busy making it your home, there may be some decorative touches you want to add. Here’s a thought: Chalkboard paint. This versatile paint can transform everything from ceramic pots to picture frames in an instant. So just what can you do with this modern marvel? Just about anything.

Transform Your Herb Garden

Chalkboard paint adheres really well to terra cotta and other potting surfaces. You can paint the entire pot and write whatever you choose or, if fancy is more your taste, draw out specific designs and fill them in with the paint. This will allow you to write all over your pots designated specific plants, send messages to your guests, or write words of affirmation to yourself.

Renovate an Old Dresser

This is a great idea! If you have old furniture lying around or find a special piece somewhere you can always dress it up by applying a couple of layers of chalkboard paint. Once dry, you can label each drawer. This is a great idea if you have kids around the house who are learning to read. Label the drawers with the contents within and let them put their clothes away. They are learning to read and do chores at the same time. That is a winner!

Convert a Lampshade

Lampshades are another way to add creative flair to your indoor décor. If you have old lampshades that are begging for a new look, try painting them with chalkboard paint too. You can write little messages to yourself or your loved ones that shine when the lights are on. If you happen upon used lampshades at inexpensive prices, scoop them up. This renovation can really add a personal touch to your home or outdoor living space.

Picture Frame Chalkboards

Most of us have a few frames lying around that aren’t getting any use. Simply paint the frame in whatever color you like and cut a piece of plywood to fit the opening. Once you have the wood cut out, paint it with chalkboard paint and wait for it to dry. Once that step is complete, insert the painted wooden piece into the frame. Voila, instant chalkboard. You can then hang your customized chalkboard anywhere you need a place to leave messages.

Interior Cupboard Doors

Have you ever wonder what you have stocked away inside of your pantry? Trying to dig through shelving and drawers to find that elusive item can be a real pain. Here’s a thought: paint the interior side of your pantry door with chalkboard paint. Apply a couple of coats and let it dry. You can then keep a running list of items you have and items you may need in the future.

Burton Homes the premier custom home builder in Brevard County, Florida. We are here to assist you in designing and building the home of your dreams. Please feel free to call us with any questions.