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Ashland

"Summer Lovin'" Your Backyard!

With Summer fast-approaching, our calendars will soon be full of activities that bring us outside and into the sunshine! Going to the beach, soaking by the pool, amusement park trips, and more will consume some of our free time. However, it is equally as important to make sure that the time you spend in and around your own home is enjoyable during these hot months as well.                  At Shurm Homes, we have many different options available to help enhance your home and yard so that your enjoyment of the summer months is not limited to vacations and day trips! Our Designer will be able to help make your vision a reality during your design appointment—but here are a few ideas to help craft that vision, and get your Pinterest board started!   Add or Extend Your Patio A concrete patio is a simple, yet game-changing element for backyard entertainment!  Patios offer space away from the grass that is perfect for entertaining or just enjoying that summertime air. Imagine filling your patio with outdoor furniture, maybe even a firepit, and enjoying an icy beverage as the sun goes down. This is also the perfect area to place your grill for the summer cookouts! Some of our communities, such as Brickshire and even offer a patio as part of the included “Standard Features!”       Add a Deck or Screened-In Porch Decks and Porches are often some of the first things that come to mind when thinking about the enhancing the exterior use of a home. Here at Shurm Homes, you will find our hand-crafted decks and porches are the best place to enjoy some summer sun! With the right rugs, seating, and maybe even a television for those sunset baseball games, you will never want to leave! Our screened-in porches provide ultimate protection against bugs, with the screens running, not only AROUND the porch, but also UNDERNEATH—so there are no bugs crawling into your entertainment area! Whether you are listening to the kids playing in the back yard, enjoying some food, watching the game, or catching up with friends, your deck or screened-in porch just might be your new favorite place to “chill,” even when the weather is warm.   Create a Space for Cooking Outdoors As they say, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and at Shurm Homes, we believe there is never too much love to go around! So why not add an additional kitchen outside! You will never have the fear of missing out on the fun being had at a party outside if you have an outdoor kitchen! Cooking in an outdoor kitchen makes cooking feel like a brand-new experience. Outdoor kitchens also bring a luxurious feel to the backyard that will wow your guests as you prepare a meal without needing to commute in and outside of the home.     Upgrade Your Driveway One of the most underrated features for outdoor entertainment is the driveway! Whether it’s shooting baskets, drawing with chalk, or riding on roller skates, a Paved Driveway can undoubtably provide a safer alternative for summer fun than playing in the street! Paved driveways allow for playing in the sprinklers without flooding the front yard, and a place for the adults to set up chairs and watch the kids play from the comfort of their property! There may even be options for you to extend the driveway for more space to play. Don’t let your driveway be a second thought when you are building your new home!     Bring the HEAT with an Outdoor Fireplace What is a summer without S’mores? Go no further than your own patio for the bon-fire treat when you build an outdoor fireplace on your new home! The ambiance of a fireplace on your patio will be unmatched, and you are sure to find yourself unwinding after a long day in the sun next to the crackling fire. It is the perfect embellishment on a hand-stamped patio that will take it to the next-level! This envy-worthy feature will have all of your friends talking!    

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Winter is coming!

It seems that the cold weather is coming in more like a dam-break and less like the trickle of a faucet this year! One day, we were choosing between shorts or jeans, and the next day we were digging our winter coats out of the back of our closets. As you prepare yourself and your family for the incoming cold-weather months, don’t forget to prepare you home as well! Yes, that is right— in the same way that we need to prepare ourselves for the Winter by getting out our gloves, hats, vitamin-C, heavy blankets and cozy socks; we need to prepare our homes for the changes they could go through due to those pesky winter temperatures. Here at Shurm Homes, we know that knowledge is power when it comes to home prep, and we have compiled some of the top tips to help you make sure your home is as safe and comfortable this Winter season as you are! Check Your Heating! This may seem like a “no-brainer,” but checking your heating before the cold weather sets in can be an absolute life-saver (LITERALLY!) Make sure that your home is up to the task of keeping your family warm and cozy. An HVAC inspection can insure that your home is venting properly. This can cut down your risk for Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Test Your Detectors! Make sure that you test your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors. Winter is the season that averages the most house fires per year! Of course, one of the goals of this list is to show you a few ways to avoid having those alarms sound, but we want you to be as prepared as possible in the case of emergency. If your detectors are beeping, it is likely time to change out those batteries. A new set of batteries before the winter months is never a bad idea! While you are in the mindset of checking your alarms, don’t forget to go over a family fire plan with your loved ones. Pick a meeting spot outside that you all know to gather at, and even do a fire drill to make sure everyone is up-to-date on fire safety information! Take a Look at Your Trees! Before the first snow of the season, take a moment to look at the trees that are surrounding your home. Look for any that look like they may be dying, fractured, or limbs that look particularly weak. When we think of snow, we often think of light, fluffy flakes. However, when snow piles onto the limbs of trees, it becomes very heavy. This, plus freezing temperatures can leave limbs weighed down by heavy, icy snow that can cause a break which may cause damage or injury. It is important to nip this problem in the bud (or “limb”) before such an issue occurs. Clean Your Gutters! Once the trees around your home are bare, it is time to clean out those gutters! During the fall, leaves… well… fall. This leaves your gutters packed with fallen leaves, leaving no room to do their job accurately. Water can sit on and between the leaves in your packed gutters and cause them to overflow. This leaves dripping water to fall down the sides of your home and cause deterioration the exterior of your home. Not to mention that overflowing water that freezes into icicles can be very dangerous! Don’t Forget About Your Pipes! Pipe bursts can be expensive and debilitating. It is so important to make sure that you are doing your due diligence to get ahead of the effect that winter weather can have on your pipes. Make sure that you drain all of your outdoor faucets. Sprinklers outside should also be blown out. You can have a professional come out and “winterize” your sprinkler system for you so that you can rest easy knowing it wont be a problem. On particularly chilly nights, when the weather is going to drop to or below freezing, it can be helpful to drip your faucets. Even the lightest movement of water through the pipes (a very slow, steady drip) can help keep the water from freezing in the pipes. It also will help to open the doors underneath your sinks to allow the pipes to be warmed by the air in the home. (If you are doing this step—PLEASE make sure that the items under the sink that are unsafe for children and your furry friends are REMOVED from the exposed area under the sink!) It is recommended that you keep the home at one temperature at all times of the day if possible to ensure that temperature changes do not aid the freezing of your pipes.       Whether this is your first year in your own home, or your 50th year in your own home, we want everyone to enjoy the winter and holiday season with their families. This should be a worry-free time of laughter, making memories, time spent with loved ones and engaging in all of your yearly traditions! We hope that you have been able to take away something helpful from this article that you can implement in your new Shurm Home!  

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Riva Ridge... Just west of the Center of the Universe...

If you've ever driven through the Town of Ashland, VA, you may chuckle to yourself when you see the sign that says "Ashland, the Center of the Universe."  How can this quaint town right off of I-95, with a population of 7,200 be the Center of the Universe?   Just a quick drive to both Richmond VA and Washington DC, Ashland is centrally located along the East Coast, with easy driving or train access to many major US cities.  Richmond International Airport and the airports near DC offer convenient access to flights around the world (when we can travel again, or course!).   Just West of Ashland, down Patrick Henry Road, you'll find Riva Ridge, a pristine community of 8 5-8 acre homesites, with sprawling landscapes, gardens, and a place where you can finally bring your horses home. We are still a few months out from sales starting and our model home construction, but we are excited to share some of the development activity going on! Roads are being cleared and will soon be in!  We are excited for construction to begin and to release more information as we get closer to our preview event.  The beautiful colors of the autumn leaves perfectly frame the development activity, and with a little imagination you can envision what this may look like next fall, when residents of the 2 and 4 legged variety will call Riva Ridge home. If you are interested in finding out more about Riva Ridge, and how we can handcraft your dream home on 5-8 acres near the "Center of the Universe," sign up for our Riva Ridge VIP list at www.shurmhomes.com/riva-ridge.  

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