Jan. 21, 2022

Pipe Dreams? Best Methods For Unclogging Your Drains

Plumbing is one of those things that nobody thinks about until it's too late, causing water damage that impacts property value. Unfortunately for them, it’s usually when there’s a foot of water on the floor, a broken pipe flooding the backyard, or their drain is completely clogged. 

Fortunately, though, there are some signs to watch for before it gets that bad. And when you notice these signs, it’s possible to dislodge that blockage in your drain and get your water flowing freely again before it becomes a big problem.

Signs of clogged drains

Here are some of the signs your drains could need a good clean out:

  1. Your toilet is bubbling
  2. There is a musty, nauseating odor
  3. Water is backing up in your sicks, showers and baths
  4. Water takes a while to drain
  5. You hear a gurgling sound coming from the drains
  6. Puddles of water on the floor near any sinks or tubs
  7. Toliet does not flush

A number of things can clog your drains, but the most common causes are a build-up of grease, food, or soap in the kitchen; hair, soap, and toothpaste in the bathroom; toilet paper, wipes, and paper towels in the toilet. 

Mould and mildew can also cause issues with your pipes. So, what do you do? Here are some of the best options.

1. Start with DrainO 

Unclogging your own drain is one of those things that you don’t have to be a qualified plumber to do. If you find that a drain in your house is clogged, start with DrainO. DrainO is a chemical mixture that causes a violent reaction, using its acidic properties to eat through whatever is clogging your drain. Follow the instructions carefully and stand back while it does the work. 

2. Use a natural solution 

If you're not that keen on using chemicals in your home, there's a natural solution for your drain clogging woes. Chief among these natural de-cloggers is a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. The reaction between the two will cause the food or other blocking item to break down by the force of the chemical reaction and hopefully free your drain. 

3. Break out the snake 

Otherwise, it’s time to bring out the snake and stick that down the hole, in the hopes of unclogging the drain. The snake is a long metal wire, with a coil on the end-user to collect and pull up whatever is clogging your drain. 

The snake is mostly used for the more tricky clogging, such as food, or bunched-up toilet paper. While usually in a plumber's toolkit, the snake should also remain part of your own personal home plumbing toolkit. 

You may need to try a different angle of attack when it comes to using the snake, depending on the location of the blockage. This may require the cutting of some piping before you can access the pipe. Only do this with a pipe cutter if you're confident in your abilities, or, if not, be sure to call in the plumber. 

4. Use the good old plunger 

This should perhaps be the first thing that you try - the old plunger method. This is relatively simple. Plunge away at your clogged drain till the blockage is shifted. The pressure created by the air forced down the pipe by the plunger will hopefully be sufficient to move whatever the blockage is. Plungers must be used whilst simultaneously blocking any other route for the air pressure built up to escape, make sure to plug any other air gaps such as overflows before you start giving it all you've got. 

What about the shower or tub? 

While it is less common, bathtubs and shower drains can indeed become blocked too. These will build up over time, rather than be an immediate problem, as the hair becomes trapped in the drain. To solve this problem, simply remove the drain cover, cover the overflow pipe with a cloth (while pressing against it) and plunge away. 

You can also use a snake in this instance, too. Be sure to keep your drains as clean as possible to prevent a recurrence. A good investment is a drain guard for your bathtub, used to catch all of those stray hairs. 

No matter the plumbing project, it goes without saying that if you are unsure of your work, you should have it checked over by a professional. However, it doesn’t hurt to try things for yourself and see how you make out. Unclogging a drain is a relatively simple skill that everyone needs to learn how to do, but if the above tips don’t work (or you don’t have the time yourself), call in a plumber.

Posted in Homes and Garden
Dec. 20, 2021

Hudson Valley Jazz Weekend in 2022

The Cove Castle, 13 Castle Cove in Greenwood Lake, has live jazz. Its most recent owner has done an outstanding job of presenting live music, hosting weddings, Broadway Nights, outdoor summer attraction and now an upstairs jazz club. Their stage, lights, sound and quality food make it an ideal city alternative in the pristine Valley.

Partnering with The Hudson Valley Jazz Festival, utilizing many of the artists heard through their yearly series, The Cove has had it's first "jazz weekend" in November and the next one January 20-22. In addition there are a series of Sunday Jazz Brunches, Jan 30, Feb 6 & 13. Artists include Rave Tesar, Vinnie Cutro, Jeff Ciampa, Ryan Berg, Joe Vincent Tranchina and Teri Roiger, leading their groups which include among others, Sue Williams, Pete Levin, Jeff Siegel, Lew Scott and festival director Steve Rubin. Prior performers to date have been Mike Jackson, Mitch Schecter, & The Hudson Valley Jazz Quartet with Gabriele Tranchina.

Schedule:

Fri Jan 21: Rave Tesar Trio 7 PM

Sat Jan 22 Vinnie Cutro Quartet 7 PM

Sun Jan 23 Jeff Ciampa Trio 1 PM

Sun Jan 30 Ryan Berg Trio 1 PM

Sun Feb 6 Teri Roiger Trio 1 PM

Sun Feb 13 Joe Vincent Tranchina Trio

Posted in Things to do
Sept. 21, 2021

How To Make The Most Of Your Outdoor Spaces: Renovation Tips

Image Credit: Pixabay

Is your outdoor space looking a little bit – lonely? If you are searching for ways to customise your backyard, there’s good news. You have many options to choose from. 

The tricky part is selecting what to do in terms of customisation. Coming up with creative ideas can help you maximise what you get from your outdoor space. Don’t worry if nothing comes to mind - the following tips are designed so you can use them to create a backyard with great utilisation of space. 

Building a backyard tool shed and workshop

If you’re a keen DIY enthusiast, why not utilise your outdoor or backyard space to build a backyard workshop? Your tools are going to need a ‘home’, particularly if they are looking a bit out of place inside the main house, and a tool shed will provide the best space for your equipment. You’ll have easy access to your tools, and they’ll remain rust-free in your tool shed as the environment is completely dry.  

Why not go a step further and really get the most out of your backyard? Why not build a backyard workshop or invest in an outdoor shed? It’s ideal for staying on top of your small DIY projects, keeping organised and keeping your main home clutter-free. To create one, you’ll need to think about the size of your outdoor space and then consider the design of your backyard workshop. Think of it as a tool shed on a slightly bigger scale.

Constructing a children’s play area

Your backyard is a great place for your children to get fresh air and exercise – that’s why it is the ideal location for a small children’s play area. It’s one of the best ways for your children to explore their outdoor space in a safe, secure way while having hours of fun and entertaining themselves. 

You might consider installing a slide or a swing set if you have space, which will then leave the rest of your backyard free for all your other projects. But just bear in mind, any changes you do, ensure that they’re going to add value to your property.

Creating a decked area or small nature nook

If you’re in your later years and your family has grown up, some of your best, most peaceful moments can be spent relaxing in a decked area in your backyard. A decked area is also ideal for those who want to recline in an outdoor swing with a good book and enjoy their outdoor space. For this reason, a decked or paved area has made our list of popular things to construct in your backyard.

Now, there’s nothing better for those who enjoy being outdoors than a small and quiet nature nook. It combines the best of nature’s elements – the flowers and shrubs – with the benefits of a seated decking area. In the same way children love treehouses (which is another feature you might decide to build in your backyard.), a nature nook is just ideal for adults looking to pass their free time outdoors, get back to nature and relax.

Building a pool house

Do you have an outdoor pool? How about a pool house? You’ll reap so many benefits from building a pool house in your backyard, including a top storage location for your outdoor pool items. 

A backyard cabana will cost around $4,000 to $10,000, but it’s important to contact your local council before you start to build because sometimes planning permissions are required, but pool houses are the way to go. 

With a relaxed style, your pool house will invite you and your guests in and they won’t want to leave. You’ll be able to furnish it with seating areas and maybe even a bathroom where your guests can change into their bathing suits.

Maximise your outdoor space

Now you’ve got some great ideas for things to build in your backyard, all you need to do is go out and do it. Just remember, to make it easier:

  • Always think about the amount of space you have
  • Contemplate the design of your outdoor building project, and
  • Don’t forget to look into those planning permissions and ensure you’ve got the green light

 

You’ll be surprised how what you build in your backyard can change the space for the better. Give it a try and get your project started.

Posted in Homes and Garden
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates
April 6, 2016

Rockland and Orange County March 2016 Real Estate Trends

Westchester and Putnam County March 2016 Real Estate Trends

The warm winter has helped the real estate market stay active in the Hudson Valley! Real Estate sales in March 2016 was the highest in March since 2007. Rockland and Orange Counties are seeing a healthy balanced real estate market. The average property that is well priced does not stay long on the market.

The most expensive home sold in Rockland and Orange County in March 2016 was a 4000+ square foot mini estate in Tuxedo, Orange County. It sold for $1.45 million.

April 6, 2016

Westchester and Putnam County March 2016 Real Estate Trends

Westchester and Putnam County Real Estate March 2016

We've had a very warm winter, and home sales in Westchester and Putnam County are at the level of 2006 and 2007. As you can see from the infographic, the average days on market are very low. Well priced properties are selling within a day or two of hitting the market with multiple offers!

The most popular price range of the home sales in first quarter of 2016 in Westchester County are at the $500,000 - $700,000 range. The most expensive home sold in March 2016 in Westchester County was a waterfront property in Rye, for $5.6 million.

 

Posted in Real Estate Stats
Nov. 6, 2015

Temporary Hiatus Until Spring

Thank you for everyone who has been visiting our blog. We will be taking a temporary hiatus from updating this blog until spring 2016. We will be working on adding more permanent content on our Hudson Valley resources and real estate pages. In the mean time, we will still be updating our twitter account if you want to follow what is going on in the Hudson Valley. Thank you!

Posted in Weekend Guide
Oct. 22, 2015

Things To Do in the Hudson Valley October 23-25, 2015

Hudson Valley Weekend Guide

Things to Do in Westchester and Rockland County, October 23-25, 2015

The Yonkers Film Festival, Yofi Fest, runs from October 22-25. Enjoy four days of watching and discussing movies. 

Westchester County Parks Habitat Day is on Saturday, October 24. There are walking tour of the various habitats at the preserve including meadows, forest and inter-tidal zone. Check out the events at Croton Point Nature Center, Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers, The Ward Pond Ridge ReservationRead Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, the Marshland Conservancy in Rye, Cranberry Lake Park Preserve

Halloween Festivals in Westchester County:

The Ridge Hill Shopping Center in Yonkers is holding its Harvest Fest on October 24. Cross County Shopping Center annual Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 25 from 5-8pm. Kids up to age 12 will enjoy a magic show, costume contest, live music, and trick or treating parade. 

The Village of Tarrytown Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 24, at 5:30pm. 

Mount Kisco Halloween Costume Carnival on Sunday, October 25 from 3-5pm. 

Halloween Festivals in Rockland County:

Nyack’s 28th annual Halloween Parade will be held on Saturday, Oct 24 at 5:30. Earlier in the day, there is a costume-optional 5k race at 9a and live music on Main Street. With an annual crowd of about 25,000 spectators, the Nyack Halloween Parade is the largest parade in New York, second only to the march in Greenwich Village.

The Suffern Halloween Parade is October 25 at 2pm. 

"Boo at the Zoo" at the Trailside Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park on October 24 from 10:30am-3pm. 

Don't forget this is the last weekend for the Oktober Fest at Bear Mountain. Also check out our list of fall festivals at our Hudson Valley Farms, and our list of Haunted Houses in the Hudson Valley

Things to Do in Orange and Dutchess County, October 23-25, 2015

The Chocolate Expo at the Motorcyclopedia Museum in Newburgh on Sunday, October 25 from 11am-7pm. Enjoy a yummy day and taste a variety of chocolates, baked goods, specialty foods, gelato, cheeses, wines and more from 35-80 local, regional and even some international vendors.

Candle Light Ghost Tour at the Wallkill River School of Art on Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25 from 7-9pm. It will include a a book signing and lecture by local author, Linda Zimmerman, featuring highlights from her ongoing investigation of the Patchett House. Following the lecture there will be an actual ghost investigation and seasonal refreshments. 

Eastern States Fair at the Orange County Fair Speedway 54th Annual Eastern States Weekend, this Friday to Sunday The weekend’s headline race remains the Eastern States 200, the oldest consecutively-run championship event for dirt track Modified stock cards in the country. 

Weekend Jazz Festival at SUNY Orange. The "Weekend Jazz Fest" will celebrate Latin Jazz with two consecutive evenings of concerts in the Orange Hall Theatre at SUNY Orange.

The Museum Village in Monroe is making a No Scare Halloween Weekend on Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25 from 11:00AM – 4:00PM. Everyone will be able to take a Hay Ride, participate in a Scavenger Hunt and show off in a Costume Parade.

Halloween Party and Haunted House at Tymor Park in Lagrangeville on Friday, October 23 at 6pm. Enjoy games, dance, haunted house, and trick or treat. 

The sixth annual St. James' Historic Graveyard Tours in Hyde Park, across from Vanderbilt Mansion will be offered Friday and Saturday nights. It will feature professional actors in authentic period costumes--portraying 'residents' of this 200-year-old cemetery. Come stroll through the graveyard by lantern light for entertainment, education, and insights into their lives and times. 

You can also visit the historic Haunted Hugenot Street in New Paltz. 

  

  
Posted in Weekend Guide
Oct. 8, 2015

Things To Do in the Hudson Valley October 9-12, 2015

Hudson Valley Weekend Guide

Things to Do in Westchester and Rockland County, October 9-12, 2015

There are several street fairs going on throughout the lower Hudson Valley this Columbus Day weekend: 

The Hudson Valley’s Annual Smoke and Fire Fest features a full roster of sizzling smoked and fiery foods from spice-loving regions around the Hudson Valley. As well as amazing live music and a chili contest to knock your socks off. Saturday, October 10 at Provident Ball Park at Pomona, New York.

There are fall festivals throughout the Hudson Valley this weekend. In Westchester you will find fall fests and Columbus Day celebrations at the Greenburgh Nature Center, and the Halloween Dino train show at the Ladson Park and Arboretum.

Some of the fall festivals you will find in the mid Hudson Valley include the Hurds Farm in Modena, Harvest Moon Orchard in Brewster, Barton's Orchard in Poughquag, and more. Check out our list of U-Pick farms in the Hudson Valley for more information about different farms and festivities. 

If you are looking to shop over this Columbus Day weekend, check out our list of flea markets in the Hudson Valley. Some of the flea markets this weekend include the large Stormville Flea Market, Hastings Flea, and Beacon Flea Market. 

Things to Do in Orange and Dutchess County, October 9-12, 2015

The Village of Sugar Loaf will be holding its fall festival this weekend. As part of its fall festival, you can also enjoy its Oktoberfest, featuring American craft beers, local foods, and live music.

Every Columbus Day, the Pine Island Chamber organizes and hosts a pumpkin festival every fall with a fun-filled afternoon of activities for adults and children of all ages. It will be on October 12, 2015 from 11am-3pm.

It is Second Saturday in Beacon on October 10th. Enjoy art gallery openings, artist receptions, and culinary tastings at galleries and shops that will open until 9pm. It is also Community Free Day at the Dia at Beacon on October 10th. 

The Barnstar Antique Fair is this weekend at the Dutchess Fair Grounds in Rhinebeck. It will be on October 10 and 11. 

The Adams Markets start their Annual Harvest Fest this weekend. The Poughkeepsie festival is October 11 from 11am-4pm, the Kingston festival is October 12 from 11am-4pm, The Newburgh festival is October 17, and the Wappinger festival festival is October 18. 

 

  
Posted in Weekend Guide
Oct. 5, 2015

Maker's Market at Warwick

Warwick Maker's MarketThe Maker’s Market in Warwick, NY is a delightful display of Hudson Valley craftspeople and artisans. From intricate glassware and robust ceramics to copper jewelry and tie dye clothing, there is a bit of something for everyone.

The makers rotate with each market and as such, there’s a wide array of artisans featured. Warwick plays a magnificent host and is a picturesque small town backdrop. Though smaller in size, the entire market makes for a splendid day out.

You can visit the next Maker’s Market in Warwick located at Railroad Green Park on October 18th, 2015. While attending the previous market in August, I had the pleasure to connect with a variety of local artists:

Virginia Piazza Pottery Pottery & Ceramics from Beacon, NY

virginiapiazza.com

Virginia had enjoyed drawing, watercolor, printmaking and various textile processes in the past, but clay was her material! For the past 20 years her work has centered on functional ware, mostly porcelain, in a limited glaze palette. She mostly focused on simple surfaces, using one or two harmonizing glazes.

She earned a BFA degree in ceramics at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1990. She works from a studio at home in Beacon, NY since 2001. Prior to that, she lived in Brooklyn, and maintained studios in communal workshops in the Gowanus and Williamsburg areas.

Virginia taught ceramics at various places in Manhattan, including the Crafts’ Students League (YWCA), the 92nd Y, Chambers Pottery, the Clay Art Center, Port Chester, and the Garrison Art Center.

You can find Virginia's work locally at shows, including the Beacon Flea Market, Warwick Applefest, and the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo.  Her work is also sold through shops and galleries, and online through ETSY @ etsy.com/ceruleanblue Her work was included in BEST OF POTTERY, Quarry Books and 500 TEAPOTS, Lark Books.

Warwick Maker's Market  Warwick Maker's Market

Susan Sylvester DiGilio

Artist from Hyde Park, NY

digiliodesigns.etsy.com

Warwick Maker's Market
From Digilio Designs

Patti Ursel: GetGlassy Kiln Fused Glass Jewelry and Gifts from Sloatsburg, NY

getglassy.com and getglassy.etsy.com 

Glassware from GetGlassyGlassware from GetGlassy

Valerie M. Wood: Copperdoodles Handcrafted Jewelry from Poughkeepsie, NY

copperdoodles.etsy.com

Valerie is entirely self-taught in jewelry making, and have had a wonderful journey from absolute rank novice to somewhere just north of there right now. "Learning a craft this way is very humbling - it teaches you patience and reminds you that there is a whole world of knowledge out there that you can acquire, if you are willing to work at it. Oh, and I look forward to going to work everyday now."

Warwick Maker's Market

Karen Campbell

Clothing Designer & Victorian Inspired Accessories from Warwick, New York

kpc82@warwick.net

Mary M. Bono: Snooze Crafts

Upcycled, Crocheted, and Other unique Crafts

snoozecrafts.etsy.com

Crocheting is the basis for many of Mary's handcrafted items--summer and winter hats, button bracelets, tote and handbags made from recycled plastic bags. She also offers cards, picture books and a few original illustrations,and hairbands adorned with flowers and butterflies.

Judith Hearney Jewelry from Beacon, NY

Delicate, Fine Stone Jewelry

judithhearneyjewelry.etsy.com

Julie Stevens

Silver Beak Studio Jewelry and Fine Miniatures  

silverbeakstudio.com