Friday, January 30, 2015

Gardening, Roof Repair + Finished Basement


One of the ways to boost the value of your home is to plant a flower garden - especially roses, as roses are very easy to maintain and quite hardy. Rose bushes really just need to be trimmed once in awhile so they look good, and during the autumn you need to mound the dirt up around their bases to protect their roots more, so they can survive the winter easier. That is pretty much it. Some people also sometimes use powder pesticides on their roses to prevent insects from eating them, but it is not a huge necessity.

The other benefits of roses is that you have a constant supply of flowers to decorate your home with... which means prospective buyers coming to your home may see a vase of roses on the kitchen table, immediately bolstering their opinion of the place subconsciously.

 And because Valentines is almost two weeks away I thought I should include some tips about roses / vases...

Tips to Keep Your Roses Fresh in the Vase Longer

Many people love to give roses and get roses but after a couple of day the roses start to droop or dry out.  Shortly after that they wither and die and you have to throw them away.  It is such a waste and a sad way for you roses to go.  You try everything you can but you just cannot keep your roses as fresh as possible for as long as possible.  There are some old wives tales that say use sugar in the vase water, clip the ends every couple of days but do these tips really work?  Below are a few tips that may help you keep the roses from your lover a little while longer. (Or prepare a vase for prospective buyers viewing your house.)

#1. Sugar in the vase water really does help.

Sugar can help to keep your roses longer after all.  The theory is that sugar simulates the photosynthesis process and makes the flower rejuvenated.  You can use regular sugar (for a regular sized vase use about 1 teaspoon).  Or you can use leftover soda pop to produce the same effect.  Use the clear soda (Sprite or 7 Up) if you have a clear vase.

#2. Hairspray?

Yes, this works. The hairspray locks the moisture in.  All you have to do is get your hairspray bottle from your bathroom, grab your bouquet of flowers, hold the hairspray about a few inches away from the flowers and spray them well (make sure you get every section of the flower, but do not saturate them). Don't worry about the stems in the water.

#3. A Little Bit of Vodka Never Hurt Anyone

This works similarly to the sugar.  The vodka is meant to prohibit the growth of bacteria which could prematurely weaken the roses.  It may be a good idea to use in conjunction with sugar as sugar can cause bacteria to grow.  You only need a few drops so do not worry there will be plenty left for you to drink later. In theory anti-bacterial mouth wash would also work.

#4. Roofing Tar?

Wait, what? Roofing tar???

This sounds just as crazy as the hairspray idea, but if you want to keep your roses forever, this may be a great choice for you.  The roofing tar coats the entire rose and preserves it forever. A million years from now it will be a fossilized rose.

What happened was local Torontonian Rob Campbell decided to do an experiment when he decided to make black roses by dipping red roses in ToughRoof flat roofing tar. Basically all you would have to do is head to your local roofing guy who deals in flat roofing tar and ask him if he can dip your roses into the leftover roofing tar.  Within 3 minutes you should have a fresh set of a dozen roses that will never parish.  What a great way to celebrate Valentines with your loved one. (Especially if they are a goth and love black roses...)

See also
Valentines Day Black Roses made from roofing tar
How to make Black Roses using Roofing Tar

I am not sure if this would help sell your house, but hey you never know.

Roof Repair

To continue on the vein of the repairing the roof, this is another excellent way of boosting the value of your home. Having a new roof installed (after ripping out the old one), repairing the old roof by adding either new shingles or aluminum can dramatically change the look of your home and give it a fresh look - effectively a face lift for your house.

Check the before and after photos below showing what a great difference having your roof repaired makes on the appearance. To say nothing of better insulation and preventing leaks.

Or in the case of the photo at the top here, getting rid of a serious mold infestation by simply cleaning the roof.

Below - New roof plus solar panels.

Below - A lot less drab looking on the new roof.

The big thing these days is to install roofs that are plastic or aluminum and shaped like tiles or shingles.

Finished Basement

The last thing I want to discuss is the concept of making a finished basement. Not just to prevent flooding by having some basement waterproofing done (see the City of page about how to prevent basement flooding or visit a website like Royal Basement Waterproofing), but also because when trying to sell your home whether you have a finished basement can be a big selling point. See the before and after photos below to see what I mean.

Having a finished basement means you can have a living room or recreational room down there. Some people even make their own private bar, or put in a swimming pool, lots of options. Like the basement swimming pool below.

At which point you have to say, who wouldn't want a swimming pool in their basement?

1 comment:

  1. Good piece Charles. Kind of a romance and renovation post. Love the black rose ;)


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