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.


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


(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 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.


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.

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.

Travel secrets revealed: How to experience a destination like a local


(BPT) – Travelers today want more from their vacations, including authentic experiences that are off the beaten path. Knowing where the locals go and what they like to do is key to discovering the hidden gems of any destination. Fortunately, finding this seemingly secret information is easier than you think if you just follow a few tricks of seasoned travelers.

Research weather patterns: The ideal weather at a particular location doesn’t necessarily align with popular vacation times or holidays. By looking into average temperatures, you might be able to book an affordable vacation during the off-season and still enjoy beautiful weather. For example, fall months bring warm and comfortable temperatures to the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina dubbing September and October as the “perfect time of year” by locals. Learn more about off-season travel

Look beyond the hotel: Prime tourist areas are ripe with hotels and resort options, which can be wonderful. But for a more authentic experience, consider renting a house or condo instead. Your home-away-from-home might be in a neighborhood where locals live, allowing you to experience day-to-day life from a fresh perspective. You might even mingle and make some new friends.

Try the local food: Food provides an inside glimpse into a region’s history, culture and favorite flavors. Before you head home, be sure to research cuisine unique to the area and try a few new dishes while away. Southern coastal cooking has created a phenomenon called low-country cooking. This type of cuisine includes dishes like chicken bog, a pilau dish typically made of rice, chicken, onion, celery, sausage and spices. A trip to South Carolina is not complete without a visit to Shorty’s Grill in Loris, located just outside Myrtle Beach, where locals head every Thursday for Chicken Bog Day.

Embrace digital research: Spending time online will help you discover some of the best information about any vacation destination. Videos, social media and online chat boards are all great resources for exploring what’s hot within the local community.  For example, “local’s look” YouTube video series highlights favorite hotspots and things to do in the Myrtle Beach area. To learn about other local favorites, go to

Drink like a local: Raising a glass filled with a tasty libation has been a bonding ritual bringing people together for hundreds of years. Be sure to research bars that have built a strong local following, and strike up a conversation with the employees and regulars. Breweries and distilleries offer another opportunity to experience the local flavors. For example, New South Brewing is Myrtle Beach’s only local microbrewery that offers tours and tastings every Tuesday and Thursday. Also, Palmetto Moonshine is a facility that sells locally grown and made moonshine.

Play like a local: What do locals do in their free time? In beach towns this often means heading inland while the shoreline is packed with tourists during weekends. Consider exploring the city center when the work week is done and gridlock has ceased. It might mean visiting a park that comes alive at night with music and food booths, giving locals a break from the nine-to-five. Do a little digging and you’ll discover where the locals go – and the places they avoid – during their free time.

Converse with locals: If you’ve done some research and know a few places rumored to be favorites of local residents, the final step to ensuring an authentic experience is to be friendly and talk with people you meet. Residents typically have a lot of pride in where they live, and many are more than happy to share their thoughts on favorite restaurants, stores, beaches and more. An approachable smile, a friendly attitude and willingness to listen might help you learn about an amazing coffee shop or rarely frequented seashore that your family will adore.

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Reuse, recycle and fix to turn trash into treasure

(BPT) – We break things every day, and all too often we throw those items away before trying to fix them. This contributes to Americans generating more than 250 million tons of trash each year. Reusing, recycling and fixing items not only helps the environment, it can also save you money. Christopher Burton Homes wants to encourage you to participate in reusing and recycling when you can in order to reduce your carbon foot print.

From now through December, you can visit and enter your fixes to be eligible for monthly prizes and a grand cash prize of $40,000.

Choosing Paint Colors

Trying to choose interior paint colors that best reflect the mood of your home and mesh with your family’s personality can be a real challenge. There are as many colors of paint as there are stars in the sky it seems and the choices can be overwhelming.

The Melbourne Fl home building process can be made simpler by following a few simple tips. They won’t guarantee the perfect color will be on the next paint strip you pick up but they can help you narrow your focus and discover what you are truly looking for.

Look For Inspiration

Sometimes you don’t know what you are looking for until you see it someplace else. Keep your eyes open and save images or take photos of objects or places that inspire you. After a while you may notice a theme developing.

Perhaps you are continually drawn towards the various shades of green found in nature. Maybe the color variations of the ocean are what inspire you most. You may even find yourself surprised by some of your choices. Whatever inspires you, keep a record, and reflect back when considering paint colors.

Set The Mood

When considering paint choices for a given space or room it is extremely helpful to determine what you’d like the mood of the room to be once it is finished. Do you want a serene bedroom? Consider a very light coat of blue-gray. Would you like a regal in-home office space?

Try an earthy brown or rich maroon. What about your living room? Think about how you want to live in the space. Does boisterous and fun describe your family or do you all prefer quiet moments with minimal intrusion. There are colors that can help you achieve the atmosphere you desire so think about mood when making your choices.


The great thing about paint is that it can always be changed. If you’ve been thinking about choosing a funky color or perhaps adding daring stripes or some sort of bold design but have been reluctant…go for it! Once you get the paint on the wall you may love it. If you don’t, you can always make a change.

Test Color Before Committing

On the flip-side, if you would rather be absolutely sure about your color choice you can always test it before committing. Many brands offer sample sizes at a very low cost. Choosing this option allows you to try a sample on the wall without paying for an entire gallon. Benjamin Moore offers an online tool called “Personal Color Viewer.” This lets you try out different colors virtually. No commitment necessary!

Use Varying Finishes

The same color mixed with a different base can create subtle differences that make for a striking look. Experiment with satin or flat paint. suggests using this technique in rooms with lots or windows or doors and minimal wall space.

Consider Lighting

The light in a given room will directly affect the color you choose. Think about the natural and artificial light sources in the room when choosing your color palate.

Nothing makes as much an impact as paint on the walls of your home. Your décor speaks to who you are and what your family values. Choosing colors for the rooms of your home doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Ultimately, choose colors and tones that speak to you.

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