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"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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Thanksgiving kitchen inspiration, just in time for the holiday!

Whether you are gathering virtually, or having a small dinner in person, Thanksgiving tends to be a time where our kitchens take center stage.  Is your kitchen meeting expectations, or could it use an overhaul?   We are sharing some of our favorite features in a kitchen to help you prepare a delicious meal, no matter how small the size may be this year.   1.  The Double Oven The turkey (or tofurkey in this girls case), the green bean casserole, the pumpkin pie, the rolls... how do you fit it all in one oven and it all be HOT when it's time to eat?  We love the functionality of a double oven to make multi-tasking a breeze!  This Ellwood kitchen combines mixed metals and classic colors to create a timeless space!   2.  The Pot Filler Voted "Best Feature" in our 2020 Parade of Homes entry, the potfiller is a kitchen feature that is both functional AND luxurious.  It's luxurious in the fact that you don't have to have one.  Anything you can do with a potfiller you can do with the kitchen sink, but it's so much cooler to do it with a potfiller!  From water for the mac n cheese and deviled eggs, to filling a kettle for tea after dinner, the potfiller helps make the home chef's life easier!   3.  Butler's and Walk-In Pantry A place for everything, and everything in it's place.  That's easy to do when you have the convenience of a walk in pantry directly across from a Butler's Pantry.  If you are entertaining, the Butler's Pantry helps you be the hostess (or host) with the mostest!  The built in wine fridge helps keep those extra bottles of wine chilled for you to grab at a moments notice, and the privacy of the pantry allows you to quickly stash things you don't want your guests to see, in person or virtually!   4.  Outdoor seating off of the kitchen Outdoor spaces became an extension of our dining spaces long before Covid-19 hit.  What better way to gather responsibly than in the fresh air?  With spaces including decks, screened porches, and paver patios, your options for outdoor living are versatile and customizable.  Grab a blanket or an outdoor heater, and enjoy the tranquility of mother nature while feasting over your Thanksgiving dinner.   Interested in learning more about our communities, or building on your own land?  Drop your information below, or visit our website!

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Did someone say BASEMENT?!?!

What do you think of when you hear the word "basement?"  An extra space for the kids to play?  Additional storage for those items you just can't bare to part with?  A refuge from storms when they roll through?   The basements of your childhood have gotten a makeover!  Long gone are the dark, drab spaces where Kevin McAllister did his laundry.  Basements today are versatile and highly desired!  They are also something that you don't find in every community, so your house can really stand out.   Whether you want an additional hang out space for your family, a guest bedroom and bathroom, a virtual schooling space, or a theatre, we've got you covered with our basement homesites available in Pennwood Estates and Dispatch Station. To find out more about the private basement homesites available in our communities, or learn more about building a basement home on your own land, email sales@shurmhomes.com or call 804-929-4297.

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