Ari Koufos
REALTY EXECUTIVES | 617-799-8948 | ari@arikoufos.com


Posted by Ari Koufos on 11/10/2015

Child-Proofing Your Home. Unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in children under 14. That should be enough to make any parent shudder. Child-proofing a new or existing home can be quite the headache, but it's an incredibly neccessary step in making sure your home is safe for all members of your family. Luckily, by following a simple checklist, you can rest easy knowing that you've covered most, if not all of your bases. While there are extra steps that may need to be taken on a house-by-house basis, most of these steps are applicable to just about every kind of residence. Smoke Detectors - While this may seem like an obvious step, you'd be surprised how many people don't follow through with their fire alert system. Low batteries, improper placement, and broken detectors can all spell potential tragedy for you and your family. Pay close attention to the manufacturer's instructions. You should have at least one smoke detector per level of your home, including the basement and attic. One very important step you can take these days is to purchase batteries that are designated for electronic devices. Carbon Monoxide Detectors - These need to be placed near sleeping areas, and at least 15 feet away from any fuel-burning appliances. Anti-Scalding Devices for your faucets - Contact your local plumber to get an estimate. Door Stops and Door Holders - If your home already comes equipped with these, then make sure they are all in good working order. Outlet Covers and Plates - Ensure that covers and plates aren't easily removable. Edge and Corner Bumpers - These come in a variety of styles, and are easily installed on the sharp edges and corners of your home. Pay special attention to the corners in your kitchen, as many child injuries take place here. Safety Latches and Locks - These need to be installed in cabinets that would be accessible at your child's level. These will prevent your child from gaining access to areas that hazardous cleaning materials are stored, like under your sinks. Doorknob Covers and Door Locks - Use these on rooms that aren't child-proofed. If you can prevent unsupervised access to a room, you don't have to worry about keeping it in perfect working order in regard to child proofing. Child Gates - Stair-related accidents can be avoided by implementing a gate system. Pay special attention to the types of gates used.....Pet gates are NOT the same product, and may lack the level of protection needed to ensure proper safety of your child. Childen are resourceful individuals, and can breach many systems that your family pets cannot.





Posted by Ari Koufos on 11/3/2015

If your home has a septic system, or you are thinking of buying a home with a septic system, you should know that septic systems need regular maintenance. Owning a septic system means getting on a schedule of checkups and clean-outs. Septic tanks should be inspected a minimum of once every two years, however, once a year is ideal.  An inspection will check sludge and scum levels and tell you how rapidly solids are accumulating in the tank. This will give you the opportunity to remediate any problems before they happen. Make sure to hire a licensed septic-field inspector. You may not need your septic pumped every year but pump it often. How often it needs to be pumped depends on several factors: tank size, size of household, volume of solids in the wastewater and how much you use the garbage disposal. Always use a licensed septic pumper and hauler to pump your tank. Keep a maintenance record on your septic system. Make note of things like the date the system was serviced, who serviced it, what work was done, and a description of the system's health.  





Posted by Ari Koufos on 10/27/2015

Sooner or later after you bring your baby home it will be time to childproof your home.  There are five areas that you will want to pay particular attention to: cabinets, appliances, electrical outlets and bookshelves. Here are some tips on what to do about those potential trouble spots: 1. Cabinets often contain cleaning products and other hazardous materials and must be secured. Attach child safety latches to the doors and frames of any cabinets that you want to keep small children out of. 2. Bookcases may seem innocent enough but they can tip over and fall on a small child. Use an anchor harness to secure bookcases or any furniture that can tip over to the wall. They sell anchor harnesses in any store that sells childproofing materials. 3. Keep kids out of the fridge with an appliance latch. Childproof refrigerator latches mount to the fridge with adhesive tabs. 4. One of the most obvious child proofing details is to cover the electrical outlets. Insert plastic protectors into all sockets that are within reach of young children. 5. Baby gates are also a must to keep toddlers away from anything they shouldn't be exposed to. There are many different gates to choose from. You can buy gates for staircases, pressure mounted and even gates that have a walk through door. Do you have any other tips for childproofing your home?





Posted by Ari Koufos on 9/29/2015

Does your house need a new look? Do you think changing the look will take too much time or money? Using small changes can often have a big effect. Here are some low-effort and low-cost ideas that can quickly transform your space: 1. Switch out lampshades and/or finials or change a chandelier 2. Reframe or rearrange artwork 3. Have favorite photos printed on canvas and hang them front and center 4. Swap throws and/or pillows 5. Change a rug or pull it up to expose hardwood or tile floors 6. Take out "high-hat" light in living room for a more ambient atmosphere 7. Give your bookcase a makeover 8. Clear the clutter 9. Switch out bar stools 10. Change drawer knobs and/or cabinet handles 11. Put new towels and/or mats in the bathroom 12. Add a hanging pot holder in the kitchen 13. Sew a fabric band to bottom of shower curtain 14. Change the draperies 15. Add flowers or plants 16. Add accessories like vases, sculptures, candles or photos 17. Lean your artwork rather than hanging it for a way to easily move it later 18. Change slipcovers 19. Use sisal rugs, which are inexpensive and in style 20. Put a decorative plate or bowl in the corners of kitchen counters (where tile meets wall) to increase flow and tie a space together




Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Ari Koufos on 8/25/2015

Everyone loves a green and gorgeous lawn. When it is time to either start or fix your lawn you have lots of decisions to make. One major option to consider is if you should choose seed or sod?  There are a few factors you will want to consider before making the choice. There are advantages and disadvantages to both seed and sod. Here are some of the advantages of grass seed: -less expensive than sod - installs much quicker -may be more viable option in shady areas -seed blends may be better for difficult to grow areas Here are some of the disadvantages of grass seed: -seed cannot be used immediately -requires attention while growing -can develop weeds and patchy bare areas -can be difficult to grow in areas where erosion is a problem -can only be planted at certain times of the year Here are some of the advantages of sod: -usable lawn much quicker -few if any weeds -no risk of erosion -wider range of appropriate planting times Here are some of the disadvantages of sod: -more expensive to buy and install -must be ordered through a local sod farm or professional landscaper -can be difficult to grow in very shady areas. Proper preparation and care is important whether you choose grass seed or sod. If you are unsure the best option for your yard consult a professional landscaper.  




Categories: Help Around the House