Judy Browne Realty

Realtor for Women

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Energy Rebates and Savings

Denver Waterwww.denverwater.org or 303-628-6343By purchasing an eligible high-efficiency washing machine or toilet, customers can receive rebates ranging from $25 to $150. Rebates are also available for outdoor fixtures, such as rotary nozzles, weather-based smart controllers and rain sensors.

Xcel Energy
www.xcelenergy.com or 800-895-4999
The insulation rebate program will rebate you up to 20% of the total insulation and installation costs for contractor installed attic insulation, wall insulation and air-sealing and weather stripping. Maximum rebate is $300 per customer.
The savers switch program is a free program that helps reduce peak energy usage. By signing up for the program you will receive a $40 credit on your energy bill in October. Sign up at

Energy Savings Tips

  1. Install a programmable thermostat to save money on your cooling and heating costs.
  2. Install motion sensors to control your lights in rooms you use infrequently. Learn how to install these in our Electrical Basics class on April 7th & 9th
  3. Insulation and weather seal helps both in the summer and winter to reduce costs.
  4. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees.

Chinese Drywall – Toxic?

The issue of potentially toxic drywall manufactured in China seems to be all over the news in the last few days. I am not an expert on drywall or a scientist specializing in product testing and consumer safety. I am however a pragmatist and generally I am skeptical of the media and the tendency to over exaggerate problems for the sake of ratings.

If you haven’t heard homeowners in Florida have complained of a ‘sulphur’ smell coming from their wallboard and copper coils on air conditioners corroding. There are also claims of potential health related issues.

Hopefully to save you time and energy trying to research the validity of the claims. Here is what I have discovered so far.

#1 Neither the EPA (environmental protection agency) nor the CPSC (consumer product safety commission) have any information whatsoever available on their websites. Many of the news reports have indicated that both agencies are investing the issue but obviously no reports or conclusions have been published.

#2 The Florida Department of Health has begun investigating the issue, since the first evidence of a problem occurred there. They have set up a website for the public. http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/indoor-air/drywall.html
I recommend you read the report on the testing that has been done to date if you have any concerns.

#3 It appears (remember I’m not a scientist) that the problems seem to occur in the presence of high heat and humidity which explains the Florida connection. None of the information to date has come to any conclusions regarding the potential health issues. Obviously much more testing needs to be done before anyone can make conclusions, recommendations or take action.

#4 Of course the lawyers are already involved

Home Maintenance Inspections – Why???

As many of you may know I am now a Certified Home Inspector with Pillar to Post. I have received extensive training both in the classroom and on site. I am also a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). This is a goal I have been working towards for almost a year and I’m excited to be able to offer this additional service to my students and the homeowners of the Denver Metro area.

What is a home maintenance inspection?
A home maintenance inspection is a professional evaluation and visual inspection of all accessible systems and components of your home including: structure and foundation, electrical systems, plumbing systems, roofs and attics, basements and crawlspaces, gutters and drainage, walls, floors, ceilings, porches, decks and property. It also includes a visual inspection of your furnace, air conditioner, plumbing fixtures and water heater.

Why should you have a home maintenance inspection?
Traditionally home inspections are done during the buying process. A prospective buyer will have a home inspection completed to highlight any existing or potential problems or issues with the new home. A home maintenance inspection provides the homeowner, whether they’ve lived in the home for 1 year or 20 , with a thorough and comprehensive visual inspection of the home with specific recommendations regarding the ongoing maintenance, repair or replacement requirements of the home and it’s systems.

How long does an inspection last?
An average inspection takes 3 to 4 hours but can vary greatly depending on the size of your house, condo or town-home.

How will the inspection results be reported?
You will receive a comprehensive computer generated report on site at the completion of your inspection. The report will contain a detailed description of the findings, digital photos a summary of the major items to be addressed, and a maintenance checklist presented in a 3 ring binder.

How much does a home maintenance inspection cost?
The cost of the home inspection is directly related to the size and age of your home and is very reasonable. As an example only: a 2000 sq ft home built after 1965 with a basement or a 1600 sq ft bungalow with a basement are $330.00. A 1600 condominium without a basement or crawlspace built after 1965 is only $230.00.

For more information, a quote or just to answer questions give me a call at 303-284-6354 or email me at judy.browne@pillartopost.com .


I look forward to hearing from you!
Judy Browne
“Your advocate in the home inspection business”

Woodworking Classes at Rockler Woodworking

2553 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, Co. 80222 (303) 782-0588
Updated 2 March 2009 – Subject to change

To hold a position in a class you must sign up and pay the tuition. We must have at least two students for a class to run.

March 7 Saturday 0900 – 12:00
Dovetail Jigs – Set up, Through and Blind Dovetails Al Cummins $70.00

March 8 Sunday 0900 – 4:00pm Pete Holtus $70.00
Woodturning a Natural Edge Bowl (Beginning Bowl class or experience required.)

March 14 – 15 Saturday & Sunday All Day Stuart Batty stu@Stubatty.com
Woodturning Techniques (Single Day) Contact Instructor Directly

March 21- 22 Saturday and Sunday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Rich Gady $175.00
Marquetry – Making Pictures in Wood

March 28 – 29th Saturday and Sunday, All Day Stuart Batty stu@Stubatty.com
Woodturning Techniques (Single Day) Contact Instructor Directly

April 4 Saturday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Al Cummins $70.00
Router Fundamentals hands-on for Beginners! Get started right!

April II – 12th Saturday and Sunday, All Day
Woodtuming Techniques & Woodturning Projects

April II Saturday 1 :00 pm – 5 :00 pm
Custom Mortises for Tri-Leg Pedestal Tables using the Router

April 18 – 19th Saturday 12:30 – 4:30 pm and Sunday 9:00 – I :00 pm Woodworking 101
April 18 – 19th Saturday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Introduction to Building Your Own Cabinets
Tracy Gray 303-902-8856 Contact Instructor Directly

May 2 – 3rd Saturday and Sunday, All Day
Woodtuming Techniques & Woodtuming Projects

May 9 – 10th Saturday 12:30 – 4:30 pm and Sunday 9:00 – I :00 pm Woodworking 101
May 9 – lOth Saturday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Introduction to Building Your Own Cabinets Tracy Gray 303-902-8856 Contact Instructor Directly

Keep old office furniture out of landfills

Check out this article in Colorado Biz Magazine http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/how-to-keep-old-office-furniture-out-of-landfills/#

Info from their website www.facilitycycle.com

It’s Time to Solve a Big Problem – Join in Today!

FACILITYcycle is a place where Facility Managers, Non-Profits, Commercial Real Estate Professionals, Recyclers, and other interested parties can come together to solve a big problem – throwing too much ‘stuff’ into landfills! Best of all, registration and usage is FREE!

We hear lots of hype about sustainability and ‘going green’. But how can any of us have an impact on what seems like an almost insurmountable problem? We believe you have to start with what we know…
What we know is that each year, waste from facilities contributes to more than 8.8 million tons of landfill… and that number is growing!

Every day, businesses need to dispose of old office furniture, building materials, and more for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, it’s urgent. Most of the time, there is no good solution – and no time to find one! That’s why tons of stuff gets dumped into landfills.

Well, we’ve developed a powerful solution – FACILITYcycle.com! It’s a free, online community resource for business owners, facilities managers, non-profits, commercial real estate professionals, and others who want to help keep their used stuff out of landfills. It’s a place where you can:

Sell or trade used stuff to other businesses

Find and buy used stuff from other businesses

Donate used stuff to charities, startups, and other entities

Recycle used stuff with reliable, qualified local recyclersFACILITYcycle is developing partnerships with charities, non-profits, and key local recyclers who can help you dispose of your used stuff in a way that’s kinder to our environment!

Think of it this way… while we can’t help you REduce the amount of facilities ‘stuff’ you use, we can help you REuse (i.e. Buy, Sell, Donate) and REcycle your facilities ‘stuff’! FACILITYcycle is that simple – REuse & REcycle – so you can help Keep Our Environment Working!

Free Foreclosure Seminar – Saturday March 14th

If you know someone who might be facing foreclosure please pass along this information.

Saturday, March 14 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon
Foothills Community Church, 8270 W 80th Ave., Arvada

This seminar is being offered by The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline and the City of Arvada
There will be seminars, resource booths and counselors available.
Doors open at 9:00 AM, seminars begin at 9:30 AM.

Now Offering Home Inspections!


—“Single women home buyers need an advocate,” she says

DENVER, Colo.—According to Fannie Mae, an estimated 31 million single women will own homes by 2010, which accounts for about 28 percent of all U.S. households. Judy Browne, founder and lead instructor for Denver’s Workshop for Women, which offers home improvement classes for women, realized in 2008 that many of her students had needed an advocate during the home inspection process.

“It’s a perfect complement to my business,” Browne says. “My focus is on home inspections for single female home buyers and sellers, although I don’t intend to be exclusive in that regard. I feel I can provide a better service to these women who may feel overwhelmed and/or intimidated by the home buying and ownership process.”

When teaching her home maintenance courses at Workshop for Women, Browne always starts by asking her students about their experiences with home inspections. “I’ve heard a lot of stories of inadequate inspections,” she says. “I hear about inspectors who don’t explain everything, inspectors who treat women differently because of their gender. My students talk about how they often feel unable to ask questions because they don’t even know where to start. They don’t feel comfortable following the inspector around or asking too many questions.”
Denver Realtor Sandy Mazarakis says she knows that women will feel comfortable asking questions of Browne. “Judy has an eye for what women need to know about a house,” she says. “In addition to the health and safety issues that women tend to focus on, Judy can explain things in a non-patronizing way. There are few women in the home inspection industry, so Judy’s expertise, personality and thoroughness will appeal to and benefit both female and male homebuyers.”

Browne came to the home improvement/home inspection industry in a round-about way. In 2003, after 20 years as a project manager and manufacturing engineer, she left her job to volunteer full time as an assistant construction supervisor with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. After her year ended, she founded Workshop for Women, which offers fun, hands-on classes in basic home improvement skills for women. Browne is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors and has completed 80 hours of classroom and on-site home inspection instruction through Pillar to Post.

For more information, contact Pillar to Post at 303-456-6789, Judy Browne at 303-284-6354 or judy.browne@pillartopost.com.

Stuff you should know about

Formica Flooring http://www.formicaflooring.com/
They have both wood laminate and tile like flooring that is easy to install by yourself. The cool thing is the wood and tile snap together so no more transition stuff between rooms! You can view this and purchase it through Project Professionals http://www.projectproslp.com/

Club Workshop http://www.clubworkshop.com/
They offer one day or monthly memberships to use their DIY equipment. Everything from automotive, to metal and woodworking, to embroidery. They also have classes. Check out Automotive 101 and Embroidery Basics.

Intro to Woodworking http://www.woodworksstudio.com/
Beginning woodworking class held at Rockler Woodworking on Colorado Blvd, just south of Evans. Tracy Gray is the instructor and the classes are fantastic. email Tracy at tgray00@aol.com

FLOR carpet squares http://www.flor.com/
Flor has great carpet selections for indoor and outdoor! They have a great selection of styles you can EASILY create your own carpet and place them yourself. They are easy to clean and guaranteed.

STOP it! Interesting new home safety product

I’m always looking for interesting products that can work to make our homes safe and comfortable and that we can install, apply or assemble ourselves.

I just read about a new product that I think you should all know about. It is an anti-slip product that can be applied to a variety of surfaces both inside and outside.

SlipCare® – STOP it was specially developed for coating small areas, one kit will cover about 18 square feet and it costs just under $40. It can be applied to a variety of surfaces such as wood, PVC, granite, marble, glass, steel, stone, plastic, metal, enamel, acrylic and more. In the article I read the author tested it on a concrete patio, bathtub, tile and finished wood floors.

We plan to get some to put on our front porch. I’ll report our results in a follow up post.

Check out their website at www.slipcare.biz

Color by design – Part 3


Welcome to the third of a series of short articles about color:

Starting Points for a Color Scheme and Designing a Space:
Color preferences change throughout our lifetime, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Forget past references, what makes your heart sing today?

First, as with most projects, make a list by writing down the basics: Decide which items will stay, such as a sofa or a rug, and which elements you would like to change such as wall color or window treatments. Give away, change, or relocate anything you don’t absolutely love or that won’t work with your developing ideas.

Next, determine a budget (yes, there always needs to be a budget) – what are the absolute priorities, and what would be “nice” to include. Keep in mind the changes that will have the most impact for the dollar, such as paint, upholstery or slip covers, and accessories. These simple changes can make a dramatic impact to a room.

Generate ideas by creating a collection of things that appeal to you. Collect swatches of fabric, paint chips and wall paper samples (wall paper is coming back “big time”). Be sure to include items that you are drawn to in other parts of your life as well. What colors in your garden do you like the best? Do you have a favorite vase, piece of pottery, or artwork that evokes favorable emotions? Look through magazines and tear out pages of rooms that you like, objects that appeal to you, or ideas that you find intriguing. Make sure to look at all types of magazines, not just home and decorating (shelter) magazines. You would be surprised what you can find in fashion, food, travel or even news magazines! Don’t worry about coordinating colors or themes just yet.

Determine your Color Preferences and Develop a Palette

Take a look at the items you have collected and consider the following:
1. Are you drawn to warm colors such as reds and yellows or do you prefer cooler blues and greens?
2. Do you like a lot of colors, or various shades and tints of a single color?
3. Are you looking to create a sense of calm in your life / room or a feeling of energy?
4. What colors in nature appeal to you?
5. What colors are “in your closet” – what colors do you feel most comfortable wearing (and notice when you receive the most compliments)?
6. Where do your selected colors fall on the color wheel?
7. Do you have a range of intensities?
8. Do you need to add accent colors for interest?
9. How does your selection work with your floor color? After walls and ceilings, floor color is the largest area of color and can be a determining factor in creating your palette. In fact, keep in mind that all surface materials (wood – tile – stone – brick – metals) have their own colors and undertones to take into consideration. So, don’t forget to consider the exposed brick wall, the kitchen cabinets and counter tops, the ceiling beams, or other architectural features that exist in our home.

Begin grouping colors to see what appeals to you the most.

Editing Your Collection of Ideas
Throughout the editing process, think about harmony and balance. Consider the size and scale of the room and its furnishings. View your samples all together in the space, since element such as lighting and the color of other objects in the room, like carpeting, will impact your decisions. The larger the area, the bolder a color will appear. Repeat colors in a room through accessories such a pillows, lamps, and draperies. Don’t use a color just once or it may look out of place, but keep in mind that your chosen color can have different value ranges, light to dark to create interest. Tip: Carpet will appear lighter in larger quantities (versus the sample piece you bring home) and paint will appear darker on a large and vertical area than the little paper swatch.

At final choice, you should love all of the colors, fabrics, patterns and textures you have chosen. Their combined effect should be one that pleases your eye, feels balanced, and makes you comfortable.

Color and Paints
Paint is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to make a change in a room. Subtle or dramatic, how many times have you witnessed the difference fresh wall color makes in a space? There are several factors you should consider when selecting paint. Those little paint chips you get in the store can lead you to the right color choice for you (always look at them in the room you will be painting – do not rely on the color as shown in the store), but you shouldn’t rely on them to truly predict how a color will look (they are just too small, and they are printed on paper…are your walls made of paper)?

The best way to determine paint color is to purchase a quart of the color and do what is referred to as a “brush out.” Brush the paint onto the walls or onto fairly large pieces of plasterboard to allow you to move these samples around the room. See how the color works on all the walls in the room – those receiving a lot of light, deep shadows, and corners that reflect off of each other. Look at how daylight affects the color at different times during the day as well as how artificial light affects the colors during the evening.

Consider the types of finishes available for paints: Flat, matte, eggshell, pearl, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Flat paint absorbs light creating a sophisticated opaque color. Gloss reflects the most light, and the higher the gloss, the darker and more intense the color rendition.

Premium Quality Paint
When it comes to choosing paint, always choose a quality product. Eighty-five to 90% of the cost of manufacturing a gallon of paint is spent on raw materials. These materials vary in grade, so naturally, the better the materials, the higher the cost of the paint.

A premium paint will give better coverage and have a greater ease of application, saving you both money and time. Quality coatings also ensure color uniformity, an important aspect for touch-ups and/or underestimated paint needs. Premium paints wear better, longer, and hold up against repeated cleanings.

Many brands today also offer green products to help your health and spare the environment.

Cynthia Peacock is a professional Interior Designer (member of the American Society of Interior designers, ASID) and Principal of her own design firm, PEACOCK Interior Design, LLC. Cynthia has worked on a wide variety of outstanding projects (residences, offices, hotels, ships) in her 16 year career as an Interior Designer, and finds that color is the constant challenge, joy, and reward. If you are color-challenged, and need gentle guidance, Cynthia may be contacted cynthia@peacock-interiordesign.com