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Fireplace Maintenance and Safety

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


A wood burning fireplace is an appealing feature of many homes. If you have not replaced your wood burning fireplace with a gas or propane fueled one, there are precautions you should take to stay safe and warm, and to maximize your enjoyment of a cozy fire.

Annual Inspections - Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional to ensure that it’s obstruction free and clear of creosote – a black, oily substance that builds up on the inside walls of the chimney. Because creosote is highly combustible, a thick accumulation creates a serious hazard that can put your home at risk of a major fire. 

Feeding Your Fire – Use dry, well-seasoned hardwood in your fireplace. Avoid using pine and other oily woods, as these will not burn cleanly. If you choose to use manufactured fire “logs”, do not burn them with real wood to avoid the possibility of flare-ups. 

Plan Ahead - Clear the area around the hearth of debris, decorations, and flammable materials. Use a metal mesh screen that covers the opening, whether you have glass fireplace doors or not. Leave glass doors open while a fire is burning to ensure good ventilation and airflow.

When to Clean - During periods of heavy use, clean the firebox regularly once the embers are cold. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain heat longer. Do not use a vacuum to clean up fresh ashes, as embers can smolder for as long as several days after the fire is out, creating a real fire hazard. 

Upkeep - Check that vents are unobstructed and able to do their job. Clean the fan and all air circulation passages. In non-wood burning fireplaces, clean and adjust glowing embers and logs for best appearance. 

Cap Your Chimney - Have a cap installed at the top of the chimney to deter animals from entering, help prevent water damage and keep debris from blocking the opening. A spark arrestor will prevent live embers from escaping the chimney and landing on nearby roofs.

Safety First - Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with charged batteries. 

Use Common Sense - Never leave the fire unattended. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed, and keep children and pets away from the fireplace.

Be Community Aware – Many local ordinances prohibit the burning of wood, manufactured logs, or pellets on days or nights when the amount of particulate matter in the air reaches a predetermined level.  Be sure to check with your local air quality district or fire department before lighting your next fire.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

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Source: 25th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (January 31st, 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

What buyers desire in 2011

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

If you’re selling a home, whether being in Florida, Thailand or Costa Rica, then you should know what the buyers in your area are looking for this year. Buyers today want it all. Having spaces that mix indoor and outdoor living, like patios and decks, and a little luxury with high quality appliances will help give buyers what they want. Buyers want to drive a hard bargain and get a great deal.

Buyers demand a home in well-maintain condition. Buyers don’t want an unknown expense hanging over them after they move in. They would rather spend more to move in at first. Very few people want fixer uppers anymore. Buyers today only have enough money to buy the house, not buy it and fix it up. Having a well maintained house will help you sell your house.

Buyers aren’t going to settle, because they known they don’t have to. They will negotiate to get a better deal. Repairs, updates, cleaning and staging will help you win over potential buyers. Kijner & Sons International Realty can give you a few other hints as well.

It can’t be stressed enough the buyers are very interested in outdoor living areas. Consider screened porches, outdoor kitchens and two way fireplaces. It’s a selling point if your house already has it.

Green features are on the top of buyers lists. Not only because it’s good for the environment but because it’s easy on the wallet. Having energy efficient appliances and triple glazed windows is a selling point.

Open kitchens interest buyers as well. Having an open kitchen in your home can appeal to a lot of buyers. The kitchen is becoming part of a gathering room, and blocking if off doesn’t appeal to new buyers.

Buyers are buying smaller homes and want to be able to use every inch of it. The formal rooms are disappearing. Buyers want rooms they will use all the time rather than a formal room used only a hand full of times a year.

Small touches of luxury are an affordable way to give buyers in Florida, Thailand or Costa Rica, the luxury they crave, without breaking the bank for you. Slightly more expense finishes give the feeling of luxury.

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83-85 Boulevard de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France


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