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Spruce Up for Spring

by Melissa Foster
When winter wraps up, will you and your home be ready to face the first warm weekends of the year?

Spring is an ideal time to clear out clutter, take inventory of what you do and do not need, and prepare your home for sunny skies, backyard barbecues, and entertaining friends and neighbors.

After a season of freezing temperatures, inclement weather and (just a little bit) of snow, your yard needs a bit of cleanup.

“We have a full staff of landscape professionals that can handle any type of outdoor project, delivering it on time and on budget,” says Elite Landscaping owner Dave Feast. Cleaning up dead leaves and broken tree limbs is a must in seasonal maintenance, he says. In addition to regular lawn care, you can revitalize your tired yard with turf, by installing watering systems, or adding new shrubs and trees. Smaller details like bright, colorful flowers and seasonal plants will bring your home into the present.

Getting Organized
But springtime cleanup isn’t just limited to the outside. Don’t know where to start? Try the garage, suggests says Terry Kenny of Garage Concepts.

“The spring season is a good time for cleaning out basements, closets and garages to identify items that you don’t really need anymore and get an idea of how much space you have and how much you may need going forward,” he says. “It’s also a good time for cleaning out corners, getting things up off the floor, and making sure animals like mice haven’t moved in.”

While picking through your garage and sheds, Kenny also recommends checking your lawnmower and other tools so that everything you need to maintain your home during the spring and summer months is ready to go.

Next, Kenny adds that a racking system helps people stay organized and eliminate clutter. Make items that you’ll need on a daily basis, like gardening tools, easily accessible while moving those that won’t get much use, such as holiday decorations, to higher racks.

In some cases, homeowners may want to consider painting or putting down a polymer floor in the garage to keep it clean, Kenny adds, which creates a nice space for the summer.

“You don’t want to be thinking about this in July and August. You want to be out and enjoying the summer. This is the time of year to do it.”

Out with the Old
As the days become brighter, the same should be true for your home.

In addition to spring cleaning, Kathy Geller of Rooms in Bloom says swapping out heavy window treatments for bamboo shades or lighter-weight panels can brighten any room. She also suggests reexamining the placement of decorative items around the house.

“Edit too many accessories to get rid of that heavy feeling, on bookshelves and surfaces, for example,” she says, noting spring is a good time to rotate family photos lining walls and shelves that build up over time.

Replacing remnants from the colder months, including heavy fabrics and throw pillows, with lightweight pillows in bright colors and spring patterns can also lighten and freshen up living rooms and family rooms.

In bedrooms, Geller adds, color can be key.

“Toss on shams and a blanket in a spring hue,” Geller says. “You can even cover your box spring with a brightly colored sheet for a real ‘wow factor’ that looks good even when you don’t make the bed.”

Another way to add dramatic new life to your home may be to add an indoor fireplace, suggests Alexis Rettinger of Rettinger Fireplace Systems. Homeowners who already have fireplaces should consider giving it a facelift or having it serviced during the spring, as this is when wait time is less and special off-season pricing can help cut costs.

“Spring is also the time when we update and refresh our showroom in anticipation of the next burn season,” she says. “It’s a great time for homeowners to take advantage of greatly reduced showroom displays, save money, and be ready for the fall/winter season.”

Wide Open Spaces
Even though it’s been a mild winter, many families have at least one closet crammed with coats or drawers stuffed with sweaters. It’s the right time to do some spring cleaning, but what do you do when you have no space for storage?

It’s a challenging problem, says JoAnne Landis of Closet City, but not an insurmountable one. Begin by evaluating your clothes and belongings. “You should really only store what you need and really want.”

The need for space, however, isn’t limited to wardrobes and closets. Spring and summer usher in opportunities for hosting friends and neighbors, but a high-tech home entertainment system looks less impressive with remotes, DVDs and video games scattered in front of it. Designing a storage system involving cabinets, shelves or drawers around what you want to store could help hide these accessories while also doubling the amount of space in the room.

These storage systems can also be tailored to the individual homeowner’s needs and tastes, Landis says. “Even with something as simple as the laundry room or a pantry, we can add things to really dress it up, like crown molding or hardware that matches or complements other areas of the home.”

Backyard Oasis
As traveling becomes more expensive, many people are spending spring and summer breaks at home. Now might be a great time to consider how an outdoor bar, a pond or water feature, or cooking area could create your ideal “staycation” spot right outside your door.

For a true outdoor living space with a luxury feel, experts at The Fireplace People, of West Berlin, suggest looking into outdoor grills and fireplace pits—perfect for families that love to entertain guests and enjoy the backyard day to night.

“All manufacturers are now making stainless-steel fire pits so that nothing rusts out,” says The Fireplace People’s Tim Toomey. Many fire pits have eye-catching tile and stucco details that can add a decorative element, which can be matched to different aesthetics.

Foodies and barbecue enthusiasts will love the addition of an “outdoor kitchen,” which can be achieved with a new outdoor gas, charcoal or electric grill or a portal smoker. Or you can take it to the next level by building an island countertop with an outdoor sink, beverage refrigerator and an outdoor dining area.

Toomey says that, no matter how big or small the outdoor kitchen is, “people are looking into building an environment where they can enjoy their family.”

Lay of the Land
New technologies like LED lighting installations, combined with the fact that lighting has become more efficient and less expensive to operate, result in a nice and affordable way to keep your property bright and attractive.

“Lighting is critical,” says Eric Setzer of SLS Landscaping. “It serves a dual purpose. It’s important for security, but it also enhances the landscape.”

Other popular spring projects include planting, hardscapes and irrigation systems. These are all big undertakings and can be time consuming, so they should be scheduled early to avoid problems later in the summer.

Ed Swietanski of Gill’s Landscaping emphasizes that a home’s landscape is “a living, growing, ever-evolving entity that requires maintenance, irrigation, fertilization and knowledge.” The work does not end after the contractor leaves, he explains.

“A well-planned, professional landscape can add real value to your property. Almost as important, a poor landscape can decrease the value,” Swietanski says. “Be sure to team up with the company that is willing and is licensed to care for your property after the initial project is completed.”

No matter what you choose, attention to detail and a positive attitude, plus a little professional help, will make your spring cleanup a success. u

Spring into Action

These home professionals can help you with springtime projects and more.

a5 Handyman & Remodeling
The premier full-service handyman and home improvement company in South Jersey. Offering a variety of remodeling services, including kitchens, bathrooms, decks, porches, windows, doors and siding—just to name a few. Owned and operated by John Rowand. Call today for more information.
(856) 719-0200

All Brite Carpet Cleaning
“Don’t worry, everything’s gonna be All Brite!” All Brite’s trained technicians and powerful equipment will clean your carpet for maximum removal of soil and contaminants. Your carpet will be beautiful and you will breathe easier. Man’s best friend doesn’t have to be carpet’s worst nightmare.
(856) 764-7966

Amazing Decks
Amazing Decks is a professional remodeling company specializing in designing and building outdoor living spaces including decks, decks with roofs, pergolas, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and screened rooms. For 21 years, they’ve been committed to providing superior service and excellence in their work. For more than amazing ideas on how to expand your outdoor living space and increase your home’s value, call Amazing Decks today.
(800) 220-3275

Amiano and Son Construction, LLC
Amiano and Son Construction understands that you have your own personal flair and style, and they’ll help you incorporate that into your kitchen, bath, addition or remodeling project. Visit their new kitchen and bath showroom located in Tabernacle. They manage your project from the concept to the last finishing touches. Improve and protect your biggest investment with Amiano. Serving all of South Jersey including the Shore.
(609) 268-5923

Ariston Masonry
Do it once, do it right! Ariston Masonry is a second-generation, family-owned and operated business, carrying on the tradition of building facades, patios, swimming pool decks and outdoor kitchens. They use natural stone and masonry materials to give you timeless and quality work. Call today for a free home consultation and be ready for all of your upcoming events.

The Barn Door, LLC
When looking for a storage shed for your backyard or a gazebo for your garden, come visit The Barn Door. All products are made by Lancaster County Amish, offering great durability and construction at low prices. You will also find chicken coops, horse barns, dog kennels, pergolas and garages. Products can be custom ordered to your specifications and size. Try the online storage shed color visualizer to see how your shed will look in your choice of colors before you buy it.
(856) 768-3535

Brindisi Builders
Brindisi Builders will strive to retain its position as the remodeling industry’s preferred provider of quality products and personalized services. The family of highly-trained craftsmen is committed to exceeding clients’ expectations in every way. Their commitment to you will be reflected through pride in workmanship, professionalism, ethics, efficiency and courtesy.
(856) 985-6219

Burlington Carpet One Outlet
Dedicated to providing customers with affordable carpeting and the best installation service in the industry. Their trained sales professionals and installers work as an installation team to make every step worry free. Stop in today.
(856) 310-9292

Catalina Doors & Windows
Catalina has been in business for more than 20 years. Owners Bob Nasuti and Craig Secreta are able to offer the latest in techniques and materials as well as give patrons the highest-quality products at competitive prices, together with a personal commitment to customer satisfaction.
(800) 786-3667

Closet City, LTD
For 25 years, Closet City has organized and improved home interiors throughout the tri-state area, providing functional and unique storage for closets, pantries, laundry rooms, mudrooms and home offices.
(800) 342-0700

Closets by Design
Closets by Design has built a reputation of integrity as the industry leader in customer service and total customer satisfaction for more than 20 years. From the no obligation in-home consultation, custom-tailored designs, and the highest-quality product construction, their products simply offer the best value in the industry.
(800) 293-3744

COIT Cleaning Services
With more than 60 years of industry experience, COIT is your No. 1 source for carpet cleaning services. COIT also specializes in upholstery and drapery cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, air duct and dryer vent cleaning, and 24-hour restoration services.
(856) 566-0700

Create-A-Scape wants you to be a customer forever. They make it a point to respond to your calls, guarantee your shrubs, plus help you design and create any landscape or waterscape from beginning to the end with an award-winning staff. Call them today and avoid the rush.
(856) 547-4276

Dambly’s Garden Center
Dambly’s Garden Center, based in Berlin, has been providing expert service to South Jersey for more than 32 years. They offer a wide variety of gardening supplies, plants, hardscape materials, bulk mulch, bulk stone, animal feed, seasonal decorations and more.
(856) 767-6883

Eaise Design and Landscaping, Inc.
This family-owned and operated landscaping company will use their more than 25 years of experience to plan, design and install the outdoor living space of your dreams. They also offer lawn maintenance, irrigation systems, outdoor lighting and holiday lighting. Eaise is small enough to know you, but large enough to serve you.
Cherry Hill (856) 428-7769
Mullica Hill (856) 478-4555
Washington Township (856) 740-2900

Elite Landscaping
Backyard need a new look? Elite is a full-service landscaper based in southern New Jersey. Their services include lawn maintenance, installation of retaining walls, brick walks and patios, ponds and waterfalls, and more.
(856) 753-1944

The Fireplace People
Welcome to the premier hearth and barbecue specialists in southern New Jersey, serving you since 1975. They offer the area’s largest display of wood, electric and gas fireplaces. Their showroom will inspire your next project.
(856) 768-0009

Floor Coverings International
Whether you are looking for new carpet, tile, stone, vinyl, laminate or hardwood floors, this expert staff is ready to help you every step of the way. From design, to consultation on products and budget, through to installation, let the professionals at Floor Coverings International help you beautify your home swiftly and within your budget. If you’re ready to get the floors of your dreams, they’re ready to help you reach that goal.
(856) 616-9566

Garage Concepts of New Jersey
Providing affordable solutions beyond your garage. Family owned and operated, Garage Concepts of New Jersey has a passion to make your life less cluttered and more organized. They also have an online store for you to select items at your convenience, or see the great storage provided to other clients.
(888) 581-8107

Gill’s Landscaping
For ideas, quality products and results that are second to none, Gill’s Landscaping is the only place to call. From large hardscaping projects to small garden landscapes, their experienced design team will meet with you and be there for you throughout your entire project. For a free design consultation on how you can take your landscaping to the next level, call Gill’s today.
(856) 223-9770

Green Lea Garden Center & Patio Furniture
With more than 150 sets of patio furniture on display, Green Lea is New Jersey’s largest patio furniture store, furnishing backyards from South Jersey to the Shore for more than 35 years. Check out their virtual showroom on their website.
(856) 767-4413

Home Trimwork
Enhance the beauty of any room in your home with unique, beautifully crafted custom crown molding, wainscot, archways, window moldings, picture frames, raised panels, fireplace mantles, bookcases, stairs, iron balusters, wood floors, interior painting and more. The possibilities are endless.
(609) 206-8621

Induct Industries of Hainesport
Induct is a licensed and fully insured air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning business that serves the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia areas with the highest-quality cleaning equipment and restoration capabilities of any provider in the area. Residential customers, industrial, commercial and municipalities served 24/7. Induct does not cut corners and your satisfaction is 100 percent guaranteed.
(609) 265-0775

Tired of those old window treatments? With more than 26 years of experience, Jen-N-Josh will help you in selecting what you need. Serving the South Jersey market, the Shore and the tri-state area and offering free, convenient shop-at-home service. Jen-N-Josh also services everything they install.
(888) 536-5674

Joseph’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. & Joseph’s Garden Center
Joseph’s is a full-service landscaping and irrigation company that proudly serves South Jersey. Their newly revitalized garden center is open from March through December. They offer plants, shrubbery trees, flowers, herbs and vegetable plants. Check out all they have to offer for planting and gardening to make your home even more beautiful this spring.
(856) 629-9528

Lomonaco’s Iron Concept & Home Décor
Your home is your biggest investment and you want to make a great first impression. Let Lomonaco’s show you why they are a step above the rest. With more than 20 years of experience in the iron stairs industry, they are confident they can help you with your home improvement needs. Call today for a free in-home consultation.
(856) 740-1071

Magnolia Garden Village
Family owned and servicing their loyal South Jersey customers for more than 50 years, with a variety of healthy, hardy plants, trees and shrubs. Magnolia Garden Village stocks landscape materials, lawn and garden ornaments, pool and pond supplies and more. The experienced staff can help you on any project from start to finish.
(856) 783-4717

Matteo Family Kitchens and Flooring Inc.
All of Matteo’s designers are trained to help you realize your dream of a beautiful, functioning new kitchen or bath. Designers help with the selection process and explain the difference in all the products available to ensure you get the kitchen of your dreams. Stop in for your opportunity to step out of your dream and into the reality of living in your beautiful new kitchen or bath.
(856) 769-2490

McAllister: The Service Company
Home and business owners have relied on McAllister for more than 120 years for heating fuels, state-of-the-art heating, air conditioning and indoor comfort equipment, and for prompt, dependable equipment service.
(856) 665-4545

Mr. Green Jeans
Mr. Green Jeans is considered to be the one of the area’s largest garden centers, specializing in a large selection of high-quality plants, shrubbery and produce throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons at the lowest prices. They also offer soil, mulch and other gardening supplies, as well as seasonal decorations.
(609) 567-5786

Otto’s Landscaping and Lighting Contractors
Make your dreams become reality. With more than 14 years of landscape construction and lighting knowledge, you will receive the satisfaction of a job well done. Otto’s offers their customers excellent landscape design and installation, plus lighting, hardscaping, water features, outdoor fireplaces, maintenance and more. Please call for an estimate.
(609) 334-2660

Rettinger Fireplace Systems
Once you enter Rettinger’s gorgeous showroom, you will realize immediately what they mean by their motto, “Where Details Make the Difference.” Rettinger’s offers a wide selection, from wood, gas and pellet fireplaces, stoves and inserts, custom mantles and built-in cabinetry, and marble, granite and slate fireplace surrounds. Stop by the Voorhees Design Center showroom and work with their knowledgeable hearth experts.
(856) 783-5501

Rightway Waterproofing Company
Rightway Waterproofing is known for its honesty, high-quality work and professionalism. Their reputation in the Delaware Valley for basement waterproofing, basement remodeling and mold remediation is second to none. With Rightway, homeowners deal directly with the owners and get a lifetime guarantee on all waterproofing. Call today for a free home inspection and have your basement done the “Rightway.”
(856) 317-1111

Rooms in Bloom
Rooms in Bloom’s experience has enabled them to work with clients on many levels of design—including space planning and color schemes, architectural details, furniture selection and overall room design. Whether a homeowner is decorating for themselves or they are selling their home in today’s competitive market, Rooms in Bloom provides superior designs that will either enhance their lives or quickly sell homes.
(856) 722-1505

Signature Home Solutions
This family owned company is here to help your family live better. Signature Home Solutions is a full-service home improvement company that can tackle any home improvement project you have in mind. With licensed architects and a professional design staff, they can help you achieve a custom look at affordable prices for the interior and exterior of your home.
(856) 552-0496

Sila Heating & Air Conditioning
Sila provides heating and cooling systems of all kinds, including: furnaces, boilers and heat pumps; geothermal heat pumps; central air conditioning; “whole home” backup power generators; and “24/7” service plans. Locally owned and operated since 1986.
(610) 491-9400
(888) 491-9030

SLS Landscaping, Inc.
SLS Landscaping, Inc. presents custom designs in landscaping, hardscaping, outdoor lighting, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, paver patios, walkways and more, guaranteed to make your home stand out from the rest. This full service landscape management company is committed to quality work, no matter what your project is. SLS also offers turf fertilizer programs and plant health care programs to keep your home’s curb appeal for many years.
(609) 518-5263

Swim-Mor Pools
Swim-Mor Pools has been building and servicing in-ground swimming pools in South Jersey since 1967. They have been able to maintain their success and longevity because they build a high quality swimming pool with their own crews, and honor their warranties and guaranties. Swim-Mor makes customer service and satisfaction a priority.
(856) 456-3332

T.J. Eckardt Associates, Inc.
For more than 32 years, homes and business owners have relied on T.J. Eckardt Associates for first-class heating, air conditioning and indoor comfort equipment and for prompt, dependable service after the sale. As an independent Rheem Team Dealer, they carry a full line of heating and cooling systems and related products. You can be sure that T.J. Eckardt will have what best fits your home’s needs and your budget. Please call for a free no-obligation estimate.
(856) 767-4111

Total Basement Solutions
TBS Basement Waterproofing, a family-owned and operated business, proudly serving the Greater Philadelphia area, south and central New Jersey, and northern Delaware since 1989. TBS has changed the standard in waterproofing. Their licensed and fully insured contractors specialize in complete basement waterproofing, mold remediation, basement remodeling, outdoor excavation and structural repairs. TBS Basement Waterproofing provides discounts to seniors, military, firefighters and the police force. Services include a lifetime guarantee on all pumps, warranty transfers and a promise to use only non-toxic, odorless “green” chemicals.
(800) 501-9708

The Window Factory
The Window Factory has been manufacturing and servicing homeowners with high-quality vinyl replacement windows, offering beauty, comfort and value for more than 30 years. They manufacture and install every window they sell. Their products are custom made to fit your openings. The Window Factory guarantees their windows for the lifetime of your home, covering materials, parts and labor.
(856) 546-5050
(800) 322-0002

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March, 2012).
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