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What Type of Fencing Should You Build Around Your Yard?

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The type of fence you choose for your property depends on its purpose. You may be looking to keep pets in and creatures like deer and coyotes out. Perhaps you are wanting privacy or something to add beauty and charm to your home choice. The following characteristics of common fences can help you decide the right fence for your home.

Chain Link Fences

Source:" target="_blank">The Spruce

Chain link fences are perfect for keeping pets and children safe and for keeping unwanted intruders from trampling the landscaping. They are the cheapest to install and require almost no maintenance. You won't be hiding your plush lawn and rose bushes, but a chain link fence won't provide any privacy either.

Wood Fences

Source:" target="_blank">Fixr

Popular for centuries, wooden fencing is still the choice of many homeowners. You will get the advantages of a chain link fence while adding cottage-style charm to your home. Wood is good for building tall privacy fences, and neighbors sometimes share the cost of installing them.

Depending on the type of wood you select, a wooden fence should last without significant overhauling for around 20 years. A wooden fence will need ongoing staining or painting, and damaged pieces will need replacing.

Vinyl Fences

Source:" target="_blank">DIY Vinyl Fence

Vinyl or "plastic lumber" fences became in vogue during the 1980s. A white vinyl fence can add all the beauty of a wooden fence with less upkeep. They are available in many models from picket fences to privacy fences. Instead of coats of fresh paint, you can simply wash them with soap and a hose for a continuous brand new look.

Aluminum Fences

Aluminum Fence

Source: Superior Aluminum

Aluminum fences are fairly maintenance free and are not as pricey as wrought iron or steel. You can paint them to look like virtually any other kind of fence. If you live in an area that gets lots of extreme weather, aluminum fencing is not a good choice, as it is damaged more easily than other types.

Wrought Iron Fencing

Wrought Iron Designs|Driveway gates|Railings|Gate Hardware

Source: Fencing Blog

Wrought iron fences can be a work of art and are the choice of homeowners who want both security and beauty. They are more expensive and need to be repainted every two or three years.

Living Fences

Source:" target="_blank">YouTube

Some properties may do well with a "fence" that is a barrier made of hedges and shrubs. If you choose the right plants, they can add some privacy and will be sure to add plenty of beauty. Good choices are evergreens such as juniper or arborvitae.

No matter which type of fencing you choose, be sure to properly maintain it. An attractive fence can add quite a bit of resale value to your home.

Thinking Green: How to Maintain Your Home Without Impacting the Environment

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Thinking Green: How to Maintain Your Home Without Impacting the Environment

The arrival of spring brings new ideas of projects and to-do lists around the house, such as cleaning gutters, landscaping, and pressure washing. Many of these maintenance projects have environmentally-friendly alternatives. Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling on thinking up environmentally-friendly ways to maintain your house.

Energy Efficiency

The first thing we should address when discussing environmentally-friendly homes is energy efficiency. You are probably already doing some things to cut down on your energy impact, such as using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). These lights are easy to find in stores, use less energy, and have a longer life cycle than traditional bulbs. With summer around the corner, the air conditioners are going to be running full blast again (if they aren't already). Another way to maintain an energy efficiaent home, and also a good project to do in spring, is to check your insulation. The correct amount of insulation will allow the house to maintain consistent temperatures easily. Not only will this cut down your electricity bill, but it will cut down on the amount of energy your house is using to run the AC.

Green Pest Control

All homeowners at one point or another have to break down and call a pest control service. Unlike pest control companies that use pesticides and poisons, there are several green pest control companies nationwide and locally who are certified by the Green Shield program, which is the first national program to hold stringent prevention-based standards and regulations. For small infestations or basic prevention, DIY solutions will work just as well and cheaper than a pest control service. Diatomaceous earth and boric acid will deter cockroaches and kill ant beds. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your home and yard will keep down the pests as well.

Green Pool Cleaning

Chlorine and other chemicals have long been used to keep pools clean, but many pool owners are finding alternative ways to reduce chemical usage. Salt water systems have become very popular in lieu of chlorine systems. Also, robotic pool cleaners can clean up any debris that falls in. If you don’t have time to personally clean up your pool, there may be local green pool cleaning services that can give your pool a deep clean.

With spring arriving and summer around the corner, there are a lot of house projects already on the to-do list. Finding green ways of doing them will greatly reduce your impact on the environment. Hopefully, these ideas will get you started!

Featured image courtesy of Arete Pest Control.

5 Updates Your Home Needs Before Spring

Posted on January 25, 2018 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Many people consider spring to be the best time of year. Living in Florida we don't get the coldest winter, but it is still nice when the weather begins to turn and it is still cool enough that we aren't dealing with the overwhelming heat that comes with summer. There is new growth and warmth, but these things can bring a host of problems for your home if you aren’t properly prepared. Making these repairs now also means that you will be prepared when the next hurricane season rolls around. Here are a few things you should look into before spring or as it starts to get warmer.

Roof Repair

For homes that experience snow and ice, the severity of the winter can affect your roofs condition, but even for homes in Florida the spring is a great time to check your roof for any damages before the the next hurricane season. There is no way to know if there is damages without inspecting it. Any loose shingles need to be replaced, and cracks need to be sealed. Just because you don’t have winter storms doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about leaks. The spring and summer will bring plenty of rain and you want to be sure you are prepared before potential water damage becomes an issue.  You should hire a professional to inspect and repair your roof since they have the tools needed to find the little things that haven’t become problems yet. This is also a good time to clean your shingles and remove any moss or stains left from algae.

Pest Control

The winter may have brought relief from pests, but they are about to make a comeback. The best way to avoid this? Get on your pest control ahead of time. This is particularly important if you live in a warm and humid climate because this is where pests thrive. Get your home inspected to make sure you don’t already have a problem and that you are taking the proper precautions.

New Insulation

You may begin using your air conditioner once the temperatures rise, so you want to make sure that you aren’t spending a ton of money trying to cool the outside. Check your insulation, especially in areas like the attic, to make sure you aren’t letting all the cool air escape out of your house.  If you haven't already done one, this is also a good time to get an energy audit from you power provider.  The audit may also offer some discounts for home upgrades like new insulation or windows.  Check with you local power company to see what they offer.

Add a Shed

While not a complete necessity, if you don’t have a lot of space in your garage, but you do have some extra yard space, adding a shed can be a great investment. This will allow you to free up some space in your home and garage by storing any tools and equipment in the shed. This will make your tools more accessible and prevent frustration from overcrowding. You can build a simple shed from a kit or from scratch if you are handy with tools.

New Siding

Just as your roof may take a beating during the winter, you should inspect your siding to confirm it is still in good condition. If it is damaged or broken, you need to repair it quickly. The siding can often suffer from damage due to heavy winds, rain, and snow during the winter months, making it necessary to replace the materials if they've worn down. Not only does your siding keep your house looking good, but it also protects the house from damage, so don’t neglect this.

It's important to take good care of your home so you can enjoy it for many years. By performing a few updates before the spring season, you can get more use out of the space and ensure that you don’t have any massive problems that you could have prevented.

At J&M Home Management, we are happy to facilitate any and all of these projects for our clients.  If you are interested in setting up a FREE walk though of your home to discuss our home watch services, please contact us at 727-368-6589.

5 Ways a Security System Can Improve Your Home

Posted on January 22, 2018 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Why should you install a home security system? Cost aside, there are many reasons, not least of which is the peace of mind you'll enjoy knowing that your home is as safe and secure as possible. Here are just a few of the benefits you should consider, all of which far outweigh the initial price tag.

1. It protects your valuables

Beginning with the most obvious, it is just a good idea to keep your most valued possessions safe -- and your home should indeed be counted among these, as it is likely the most significant investment you've ever made.

That beautiful necklace your husband bought for your anniversary is something you treasure. A security system will help keep it safe. The big-screen TV, the priceless flatware, and the confidence that comes from being secure are essential reasons to have a security system.

2. It helps keep crime rates low

Home security systems can prevent burglars and other criminals from achieving their ends, which translates into a lower crime rate for the neighborhood at large. This lower crime rate, in turn, makes the area seem more desirable for potential buyers, thereby increasing the value of your home.

Plus, you want your children to be able to play in the yard or at the park in safety. It is about protecting your family as they are what is most important. That security system can provide that sense of security that you are seeking.

3. It lowers your overall costs

Indeed, it costs money to install a security system. But most insurance companies provide lower premiums when a home has additional security, as this means the homeowners are less likely to make a claim. The reason they are less likely to make a claim is the risk that lead to claims is reduced with a security system. The security system protects you from burglars and potential vandalism or violence. It also can warn you of any flooding issues or a possible fire with that smoke detector.

4. It keeps you informed in case of emergency

Essential security devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are required in any home on the market. But other systems can alert residents to issues that aren't supported by primary insurance, such as water damage. While flood insurance is rarely required unless the home is located in a hazardous zone, flood sensors are for more than just flood detection. If the line breaks on your fridge water dispenser, the sensors will let you know before the water reaches a destructive level.

5. You can keep a closer eye on the kids

A surveillance camera allows you to not only keep an eye on what the kids are up to but also keep tabs on the babysitters. While young ones are likely to complain about an invasion of privacy, parents can rest easy knowing that their offspring are far less likely to engage in dangerous or reckless behavior if they know they're being monitored.

These are compelling reasons to protect your home, but they're only the beginning. Keep your most significant investment safe with the minimal additional cost of a home security system.

Don't stop at a security system when protecting your home.

In addition to having a security system in your home, we highly recomend having a Home Watch company that can respond to emergencies when the alarm is triggered.  Of course, first responders should always be the first people to report to an emergency and make sure the area is safe and secure, but if you are away and a break-in is discovered, they police will expect you to have the ability to secure the broken window, or whatever other actions are required.  Short of getting on a plane yourself, having a Home Watch Professional on retainer will allow the issue to be addressed and corrected quickly.  Keep in mind, first responders only respond to emergencies and a burst pipe in your home may not qualify as an emergency in their book.  Having a Home Watch professional on your side also means helping to mitigate any additional damage that can occur from a minor water leak that can turn into a major repair very quickly.

Don't wait, contact us for your Home Watch needs today!

Sources" target="_blank">Protect Your Home" target="_blank">Landmark Home Warranty" target="_blank">Digital Trends

Peace of House


How to Feel More At-Home in a New House

Posted on January 9, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Moving into a new home can be a daunting task! For some, it may be their first time moving and for others they may have moved multiple times, but even if you had a good system, there is still lots to be done. However, there are a few things that you can implement to make yourself feel right at home when moving into a new house. Today, we'll break down five of those things.

Organize Your Closet First

When moving, items can get a little disorganized. The last thing you want is to wake up and have to find what you're going to wear for the day. By organizing your closet first, you can easily find exactly what you want to wear and start your day. This creates less hassle in the mornings, clearing your mind and letting you transition to other important things that need to be done in the house. Plus, organizing your closet can help make the house more personalized.

Create a Daily Routine

This step can be especially useful to hoeowners with more than one property because it is location-neutral which means it can be done anywhere at anytime. When moving into your new home, try to mimic the routine you had before you moved. This means you should try to wake up, eat breakfast, dress, shower, and so on around the same time each day. Having a specific routine that is the same regardless of where you are at will save you a lot of time, allowing you to use that time on other things that need to be done in the house.

Install a Home Security System

By installing a home security system, you'll ensure that your family is safe and secure in their new environment. Moving to a new neighborhood can be tough for families, especially if they don't know their surroundings. Installing a system will create less worry for your family and will ultimately be a good investment for the time you spend in your home and while you are away.

Unpack Favorites First

By unpacking your favorite items first, you'll instantly create a better bond with your new home. This is because your favorites give your home a more personal touch and will help you settle in more quickly. Prioritize unbreakable items, since you don't want to break your favorite decorative things later in the unpacking process.

Overall, these are four great tips to implement if you want to feel more at home in a new house. Some work better than others, but I would try all of them.

Resources" target="_blank"> 

5 Things to Remember When You Go on Vacation

Posted on January 3, 2018 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Going away for a vacation can be exciting, but, before letting the trip go to your head, there are some things you'll want to do to prepare. Beyond packing and making reservations, you want to make sure your home is safe, your travel documents are in order, and a long list of precautions have been taken. Here's a short list of the most important points to consider, before leaving town.

Take Pictures of Important Items

It's impossible to foresee everything and the chances are good that you'll either forget or lose something. If that something is important, you may find yourself in some very big legal or medical trouble. To avoid this, use your smartphone to take pictures of important documents like your passport, birth certificate, and driver's license. Additionally, take pictures of medication labels and other health-related documents that may be useful in the case of an emergency. Give a copy of these photos to someone at home just in case you lose or can't get access to your copy in an emergency.

Fortify Your Home

The key to keeping your home safe is to take steps to prevent others from knowing you're away. While having a custom alarm system is essential if you want to be fully protected, there are also things you can do to make it appear as though nothing is out of the ordinary. Stop your mail, so it doesn't pile up in front of your door and arrange a timer to turn lights on and off at uneven intervals. If you can’t do this, consider having someone come to your home to take care of these things. They can pick up your mail, keep your home up to date, and give the appearance that someone is currently living there, which will deter criminals. 

Contact Your Credit Card Companies

Credit card companies are more concerned than ever about safeguarding their customers from unauthorized access to their accounts. In addition to security features like the newly implemented RFID chip, they also monitor accounts for abnormal behavior. You are likely planning to use debit or credit cards on your vacation, so it may be wise to contact the card providers and let them know to expect this type of unusual activity. This way, they won't place a frustrating block on your account.

Unplug Electronics

Even when they are powered down, electronics can put a drain on your electricity. Unplugging everything can avoid this problem. It can also reduce the chances of an electrical fire while you are away and prevent damage in the case of a power outage.

Turn Off the Water

Here is another way to save on resources and reduce the risk of damage to your home.  It is highly recomended you shut off the water to your home to reduce the chances of a broken pipe or other leak.  If you elect to leave the main water shut off valve open because of pool or landscaping requirements, turning off water on the dishwasher, ice makers, washing machine, and toilet can eliminate the chances of water waste and water damage. Itncan also prevent any accidental flooding if plumbing problems develop while you are gone. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, be sure to cover your toilets and drains to reduce evaporation from the bowl and drain traps that can lead to sewer gas and possible pest intrusion.

These are just a few key points to consider when preparing for your vacation. By taking a handful of simple precautions, you'll be better able to relax and enjoy your time away from the daily grind. Follow these suggestions to be safe and secure, while away from your home.


Home Watch Services

Prep Your Home for Vacation

Protect Your Home

Vacation Home Prep Checklist

Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The National Fire Prevention Association has announced that October 9 - 15, 2016 is Fire Prevention Week.  This year the focus is on educating people about their smoke detectors.  A recent study showed that "only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced."


Here is a reminder for you:  

  • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
  • Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
  • To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

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To learn more from the NFPA, check out the NFPA Journal

To learn more about how J&M Home Management can help keep your home safe while you are away, Contact us today.

Proper Air Conditioner Settings & Mold Prevention

Posted on August 11, 2015 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Proper Air Conditioner Settings Mold Prevention while you are away

Earlier this week I was performing a bi-weekly Homewatch check for one of my clients when I immediately noticed that the house was extremely warm. Upon checking the thermostat I saw the display was out which can be a big problem. When the temperature is not being read by the thermostat, it does not triggering the air conditioner to kick on automatically. The fix was to simply replace the batteries, but had they not had someone checking on their home this could have easily turned into a much bigger problem.

Especially in Florida, a broken air conditioner means it cannot do its job of pulling the humidity from the air, which can quickly lead to mold in the home. If left unchecked this problem can grow and require professional abatement. This is a good reminder of why it is so important to have someone check on your house when you are gone.

Avoid Air Conditioner and Mold nightmares by following these tips:

1) Have your AC serviced before you leave.

Annual Maintenance ensures the system is running correctly and can catch any minor issues before they become a larger problem. Be sure that the tech cleans the coils, checks that the condensate drain line is working properly and that the drain pan has no mold.

2) Change your filter

A clean filter allows your AC unit to work more efficiently, saving you money and reducing the risk of breakdowns. If you plan to be gone for more than 3 months be sure to leave a spare filter for someone so they can change it out if the filter gets too dirty.

3) Set your thermostat between 77 - 82

This temperature is warm enough that it will keep your electric bill down, but still cool enough that the AC will kick on and pull the humidity from the air.

*FPL recommends setting your thermostat 72 degrees on a timer which kicks on during the early morning for a couple of hours and then at 88 degrees for the rest of the day. This will reduce your power bill and will effectively pull the humidity out of the air that causes mold. 

In my opinion this also increases the risk of failure because you have now added a timer to the mix that could potentially fail or not turn on if incorrectly set. This also means that the person checking on your house will experience warm temperatures and it may take longer for them to realize there is a problem if the air conditioner has failed.

4) Confirm your insurance policy still covers you while you are away

Be sure to check with your insurance carrier regarding vacant or unoccupied homeowner policies before you leave for an extended period of time. You may find that repairs for water intrusion/mold are not be covered by your insurance if you do not report them in a timely manner. Some policies also offer discount if you can prove you had regular home checks while you were away.

5) Enlist someone to check on your home regularly

This is important not just for air conditioner concerns, but also to make sure there are no leaks, pests, or home invasions. The last thing you want after an extended stay away from your home is to have to spend your first days or even weeks back fixing a problem. This can also get very expensive.

If you would like further information on any of the above or would like to enlist our home watch services, please contact us at 727-368-6589.

FPL Website: ;

Florida Home Care Resources

Posted on July 5, 2015 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks for visiting the J&M Home Management Website.  We hope you will find these resources helpful in caring for your home and planning for your time away.

National Home Watch Association

Tampa Bay Hurricane Preparedness Guide - Tampa Bay Times - Your comprehensive guide to the Snowbird Lifestyle

Guide to Mold, Moistuer & your Home - EPA