Rick Herrick & Paula A Farnsworth | Franklin Real Estate, Wrentham Real Estate, Medway Real Estate


Architecturally speaking, many home buyers have very definite ideas about their preferred house style.

Whether it stems from a sense of practicality or positive childhood memories, few house hunters are "on the fence" when it comes to the number of stories their ideal house should have.

Perhaps you're one of those people who grew up in a two-story house and wouldn't feel right sleeping down the hall from the kitchen and family room. Some people just prefer their sleeping quarters to be on the second floor!

Although it's a matter of personal preference, there are certain practical aspects to buying a ranch-style or traditional rambler house.

Less stair climbing: While this is an advantage that seniors typically value the most, stairs can be a burden anyone -- especially when you're lugging suitcases, boxes of books, or that heavy new futon you wanted to put in the guest room.

You can probably also recall countless evenings when exhaustion set it, and the last thing you felt like doing was climbing a long, winding staircase to get to your bedroom. (Okay, well maybe it's not "winding," but you get the idea!)

Then, of course, there are those times when you haven't been to the gym in a few months -- make that years -- and your home treadmill has turned into more of a clothes rack than an exercise machine! Although going up and down stairs a few times a day can help counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, sometimes stairs can feel like they're more trouble than they're worth! That would definitely be the case if you have any physical conditions or health problems which make climbing stairs painful or medically unsafe. (Your physician can provide helpful advice on the latter.)

Home maintenance: If you hate getting up on tall ladders to paint your house or clean your rain gutters, owning a one-story home is a solution. Since home maintenance and repairs can often end up costing a bundle, it may make sense to consider doing your own exterior house painting. Although it's time consuming, messy, and sometimes a bit strenuous, painting your own house can potentially save you thousands of dollars in labor costs. Naturally, you'll still need to buy your own paint, brushes, rollers, and other supplies, but the amount of money you can save on labor is substantial.

Personal safety: If there's a fire or other emergency and you need to quickly evacuate your home in the middle of the night, a first-floor window can be safer and less scary than having to exit your house though a second-story window. While this type of dire situation is unlikely and will hopefully never happen to you, it's one of many factors to consider when comparing and contrasting ranch-style homes with other architectural styles.

If you do opt for a two-story (or three-story) architectural style, such as a colonial, craftsman, Tudor, Victorian, or farm house, it's especially important to have a fire escape ladder on hand, as well as a working knowledge of its proper use.


You know there are certain household items that need to be replaced regularly. But just how regularly is where things might start to get fuzzy. Especially those big tickets items that need to be replaced on a yearly span rather than months or days. Keep reading to discover how often you need to replace items around the home. Pillows. You want to replace the pillows in your home every couple of years. You’ve probably heard by now that up to a third of a regularly used pillow’s weight can be attributed to dust and dead skin cells. You may not, however, made the connection that a dust filled pillow equals dust mites. While dust mites do not carry communicable diseases, they do pose as an allergy and/or asthma irritant. HVAC filters. During the summer and winter months when your system is working longer hours to maintain your home’s temperatures you will want to change your filters each month. Meanwhile, in the spring and fall, you can do so less frequently, changing it around the three-month mark. Changing your filter regularly will keep your system running efficiently and save you money on energy costs in the long run. Fire extinguisher. You have a fire extinguisher in your home, right? If you don’t I suggest you run out and get one right away. Fire extinguishers can be replaced every ten years, however, they do need to be tested monthly and inspected regularly. Toilet brush. This is one not many homeowners think of, if ever. However, it advisable to replace your toilet brush every six months with regular cleanings in between. As you can image, toilet brushes are host to all kinds of germs and bacteria you don’t want to hang around your home. Toothbrushes. If your family stays on top of their recommended regular teeth cleanings every three months this point shouldn’t be an issue. However, it is one worth mentioning. Your family’s toothbrushes should be replaced every three months as they can develop bacteria that lead to gingivitis and/or tooth decay. And isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid when we brush our teeth? Smoke detectors. It is best practice to proactively replace the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year. With that said it is a good idea to also replace the smoke detector itself every ten years to ensure you have an up to date model. Throughout those ten years, however, you should be regularly testing your alarms. If you have recently moved to a new home and are unsure of how old your smoke alarm system is it is a good idea to plan on replacing them in the near future. Hopefully, you already regularly maintain these items. However, if you can’t remember the last time you have replaced any of the items mentioned you should consider making a plan to invest in some replacements. Making a spreadsheet in your home binder or setting up alerts on your virtual calendar will help you stay on top of the regular maintenance your household items require.

Many homeowners are unaware that the most common causes of house fires are cooking related. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires cause 46% of house fires and 44% of household injuries.

You aren’t alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips to protect you and your family from the most common and some lesser known causes of kitchen fires. 

Cooking fire statistics 

Knowing the most common causes of cooking fires is a great way to understand just how dangerous certain types of cooking really are. The NFPA reports that frying is the most dangerous type of cooking. Two-thirds of cooking fires were the result of the ignition of food and cooking materials.

In terms of equipment, the range or cooktop is the most dangerous part of the kitchen, causing over 60% of fires. However, much of the time the cause comes down to leaving your equipment unattended.

Cooking safely

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. Unattended ranges, stovetops, and ovens can be particularly deadly since they can happen as a result of someone dozing off while watching television, or someone forgetting they left a burner on after they go to sleep.

A good way to monitor your cooking is to always use a timer, even if you don’t necessarily need one for the cooking that you’re doing. Also, be sure that your smoke detectors are working and that you have a functional fire extinguisher in your home. Make sure your family knows what to do if they encounter a fire.

Before you turn on your burners before frying, make sure there is nothing around your oven that can catch fire. A food container, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels, or curtains could all potentially catch fire if they come in close contact with a burner.

Clothing is also a leading cause of kitchen fires that turn fatal. Make sure sleeves and other pieces of clothing aren’t near any burners or open flames.

In case of fire

If you encounter a large cooking fire that is spreading throughout, the best thing to do is to immediately gather your family and get out of the house, avoiding the kitchen entirely. Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are safely outside and don’t re-enter the house under any circumstances.

For small grease fires, smother the fire with a lid and turn off the burner immediately.

Understanding cooking fires

Most fire requires oxygen to burn and spread. If there is a small fire in your kitchen, using a soaked towel or a pan lid to smother it will suffice.

However, grease fires work differently. Never put water on a grease fire, this can cause the fire to spread very quickly. Rather, use a lid to put out the fire if it is small enough to get near. You can also throw baking soda, or use a fire extinguisher on a small grease fire.




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