Give your home an annual check-up - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

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Give your home an annual check-up

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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 6:45 am

We schedule annual check-ups for ourselves, our kids, our pets, our cars…what about our homes?

Giving your home an annual check-up, like visiting your doctor every year, is a great preventative measure to ward off future issues and problems. It’s a way to check vital signs, see what is working and what needs attention. It’s also a good thing to do if you are thinking of selling your home and want to get it in the best possible condition for an inspection that a potential buyer is likely to schedule.

Autumn is a great time to do this. Right before the holiday rush and when the weather here in Arizona is glorious. You can enlist help from family members or team up with a neighbor to examine your homes together. You won’t need a stethoscope; all you need is a few hours and a few tools to complete the check-up. Don’t forget a pen to check off the items from the list below.

Annual home check-up list:

• Make sure all plumbing fixtures are in proper working order with no leaks.

• Check that toilets are secured to the floor.

• Check that bathroom vents operate.

• Check all interior and exterior light fixtures to make sure they work.

• If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas.

• Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords.

• Ensure all windows operate smoothly.

• Replace all damaged window screens.

• Tighten all doorknobs and tighten or repair all handrails, also check to be sure all interior and exterior doors latch.

• Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor and that it is in proper working condition.

• Divert all water away from the house, i.e. down spouts, sump pump, condensation drain, etc.

• Check under carpets and around windows for visible mold or mildew.

• Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding/stucco, preferably 6 or more inches of clearance.

• Clear away all dead vegetation around the home. Trim away all vegetation touching the house such as tree branches and leaves.

• Remove wood/firewood from contact with the house.

• Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.

• Install window wells and covers where windows are at or below grade.

• Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources; check present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.

• If your house has a crawlspace, check to see if it is dry and properly vented.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Liz O’Neall is co-owner of AZ Property Inspections, a Valleywide home inspection company.

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Keystone Montessori

[David Jolkovski/AFN]
Teacher Pily Pantoja helps Sarah Wang, 4, with the addition snake game at Keystone Montessori on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.

Keystone Montessori has come a long way since its founding in 1995. Back then it was operated out of the founder’s home before eventually moving on to rent rooms from Horizon Presbyterian Church. It was only in 2000 that they had gained a strong enough enrollment to move into the facility where they currently reside on Liberty Lane, just off Desert Foothills Parkway and across from the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA.

The school services students as young as 18 years old, as part of their toddler program, and as old as ninth-graders. The current enrollment is around 320 students, who all have access to Spanish, music and arts programs in addition to the full Montessori curriculum.

“We provide an authentic Montessori education which focuses on the independence and whole development of the child, including academic as well as social and emotional growth,” said head of school Cindy Maschoff. “We want our students to become independent citizens of the world.”

The school will be taking the time to present the concept of Montessori education to the public Jan. 29 and 30. At the presentations the school will provide a clear understanding of what Montessori education looks like at each level of education. Those wanting to attend should plan on going to both meetings, with the Jan. 29 meeting going from 6-7 p.m. and the Jan. 30 meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meetings require attendees to RSVP, which can be done by emailing laura@keystonemontessori.com.

For more information, visit keystonemontessori.com.

• Compiled by James Gingerich.

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