About partial cans of paint


Sometimes home sellers will leave partial cans of paint behind when they move out so that the buyers have paint for touch-ups. Old paint isn’t really that great and if it isn’t used it has to be disposed of.

It is super easy to match up paint colors when small amounts are needed for touch up. Usually, you can use a scrapper and find some loose paint or peel some off with a razor blade. It isn’t hard to find tutorials on the internet. Take it to a home improvement store or where ever you buy paint and they will make the color for you.

When I paint I write on top of the can the date I bought the paint and what I used it for. I don’t keep leftover paint more than five years and that is probably too long. Check with your county for information on how to dispose of old paint.

If you are buying a home and the seller offers you partial cans of paint it might just be easier to say no thanks.  If the sellers offer to leave a ladder behind say “yes please”.

Builder beige now Builder gray

There has been a color shift in recent years. In the past when REALTORs and others recommended painting a home to get it ready to sell the preferred neutrals were shades of beige. It was called builder beige and REALTOR beige. Before that white was the preferred neutral.

In fact, one of the best ways to see the latest trends in home design and color is to tour some new construction . . . if you can find it.

For the last several years the most popular neutrals have been shades of gray. I’ll admit that at first, I did not like it. Maybe it is an acquired taste and I have acquired it.

Just like colors from the beige family or the white family, there are many other colors that work with gray. There are so many shades of gray that choosing one is almost overwhelming.

Here are a couple of homes with gray siding, white trim, and yellow on the front door. Primary colors work well as accents.

gray siding yellow doors
Yellow doors on dark gray siding and light gray siding.

consider the roof rake

The first snow of the season is behind us and so is the second. The first snow kicks off the ice dam season. One of the best ways to prevent ice dams on roofs is to remove the snow before it has a chance to melt and freeze and turn into ice.

Yes, you can shovel your roof with a roof rake. They can be purchased at most building materials stores and they are not very expensive especially as compared to repairing water damage caused by water pooling on the roof because of the ice dams.

Now is a good time to buy a roof rake. They will sell out quickly if we get a big snow and they are considered seasonal which means they will be replaced by flower pots and seeds in late January or early February.

To learn about snow and ice dams go to the University of Minnesota Extension website and read up. Knowledge is power!

Related article Damn Ice Dams


Ice rake
roof rake

Almost too late to plant bulbs


It is almost too late to plant bulbs, but not quite. Many years ago I bought some tulip bulbs, crocus bulbs and daffodils bulbs and planted them along the South side of my house.

They bloom every year without fail. Bulbs are easy to plant. They just need a hole and I like to dump some bone meal in first.

Bulbs should be planted by mid October which is why they are inexpensive to buy right now.

Tulips are the most tolerant of being planted late. If you can’t get them in by the end of the week, wait until next fall. If you plan ahead you can save money by buying bulbs in October.

Start the fall to do list for a warm winter

If you are a home owner and live in Minnesota now would be a great time to have your boiler or furnace service, inspected and or tuned up.  There is still plenty of time to get it fixed or replaced before it gets cold and it will get cold.

Usually there are specials this time of year too for those who get it done before it gets cold and the repair guys get busy.

I hate to sound like your father but it is a good ideas especially here in Minnesota where it gets so cold to schedule a furnace tune-up every fall. It generally costs less to get work done in late summer or early fall than it does during the heating season.

I see a lot of houses with old furnaces that have been well maintained. They really do last longer with regular maintenance. Personally I am not a fan of the service plans but I am a fan of service.

If you are selling your home this fall or winter it is a good idea to have the furnace or boiler serviced and save the receipt or even tape it to the furnace. Buyers who are closing on homes this fall should either have the furnaced tuned up or should make sure that the seller has already taken care of it.

snow and cold will come


Take advantage of back to school sales

silver maple
Maple leaves

School starts in a couple of weeks. There are a lot of sales and it is a great time to buy office supplies, computers, small electronics, bedding and other household items.

Last year I took advantage of the “college” section in one store and scored a pretty nice toaster and a new crockpot. Both were on sale. August seems to be the best time for sales on items that might be used in a dorm room.

Next month I’ll be buying a new computer for my business. I have an excellent desktop computer and a tablet but miss having a laptop computer.

September is the month for buying office supplies. My business is fairly paperless but I do use some office supplies and this is the time of year that I stock up for the whole year. I’ll buy paper, pens, notebooks, folders and art supplies.

My own offspring are beyond school age . . which means I have more money that I can use to buy school supplies to be donated to children who need them.