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Some DIY Summer Fun

We’re having a 4th of July BBQ this year and I wanted to come up with something different and fun to have for games outside.  I saw a fun post on Facebook on how to make traditional inside games into yard games.  Here’s a link to the original post from our friends at “This Old House”:

Jenga & Yahtzee

7 Giant Yard Games You Can DIY

I decided to go for what I thought would be the 2 easiest. My husband and I made yard sized Jenga and Yahtzee.

We also needed some score sheets for Yahtzee which I downloaded here.

Location, Location, Location – Littleton Home for Sale $365,000

A 5860 S Hickory 002 (2)5860 S Hickory St, Littleton CO

OPEN HOUSE, – Saturday June 25, 2016 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

5 BEDS, 2 BATH

OVER 2500 FINISHED SQ FT

Move-in ready ranch home in a prime Littleton location just blocks from Ketring park and a mile to light rail and downtown Littleton. There is plenty of room in this home with 3 large bedrooms on the main floor and a full bath. The basement has a huge family room with 2 additional non-conforming bedrooms a large 3/4 bath and a walk-in closet. The open floor plan, updated kitchen, family room with a fireplace and covered back patio make for great entertaining space and a covered front porch for you to enjoy, too. There are beautiful floors throughout the main floor. A workshop off of the carport and an 8 x 8 shed in the back are great for additional storage. The expensive stuff has been done, a newer furnace with central air-conditioning, newer water heater and roof. I think you’ll like what you see. Quick possession.

Awesome Home In Denver for Sale $230,000

AA 1690 Valentia 041 (2)1690 Valentia St, Denver, CO

OPEN HOUSE -Saturday June 25, 2016 – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

2 BEDS, 1 BATH, 1 CAR ATTACHED GARAGE.

LARGE CORNER LOT WITH FENCED YARD

A move-in ready ranch home that is close to everything. Hardwood floors throughout. Oversized 1 car garage with room to add another off of the alley. Just one block to public transportation and walking distance to shopping, restaurants and parks. Huge fenced back yard for pets with alley access and plenty of room. Located just south of Stapleton this home is perfect for someone who wants to be centrally located and is looking for a well-priced home. 5 year roof certification, furnace cleaned & serviced, sewer line cleaned, newer water heater. Everything is ready for you to make this your home today.

Shutting down your sprinkler system

Shut down and drain your system around October 15th.
Note: If a hard frost is forecast in your area before you have shut down your sprinkler system, your back flow system must be protected. You can protect your back flow device by covering it with some type of insulation.

  1. Close the main shut-off valve at the main water line branch (Main Shut Off Valve)
  2. Open backflow testing valves on back flow device and loosen drain cap on back flow system.
  3. If you are blowing out your system attach an air compressor to the ¼” or 3/8” connector located after the back flow prevention device.
  4. Manually open one zone valve at a time (located in your valve box) and blow out that zone as described above.
  5. Open drain valve at end of the manifold system and backflow testing valves located on the backflow device, to finish draining all components.
  6. Replace drain cap onto back flow device DO NOT TIGHTEN.
  7. Verify that all valves are in the open position. These valves will remain open until you start up your system next season.
  8. Turn system controller to off.

Shutting Down Your Sprinkler System (PDF with instructions and graphic)

Sprinkler System SO

 

Ways to hold title to your new home

Now that you’ve gone through all the hard work of finding your perfect home, it’s time to make an offer. The ‘offer’ is a contract between you, the buyer(s) and the seller(s) and in Colorado is is call the “Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate”.

When completing the contract with your Real Estate Broker, one of the first decisions you need to make is how you will be holding the title to your new home.

Thanks to Heritage Title for providing this information.  Please note: this information is for reference purposes only. How title is vested has serious legal consequences.  You should consult an attorney to determine what will work best in your personal situation.

If you are a single person buying a home and you will be holding title by yourself it is called holding title “in severalty”.  “In Severalty”, is used  when real estate is owned by a single person or legal entity.  A sole owner is free to do anything with the property that is within the law—sell it, lease it, gift it, or pass it to heirs without anyone else’s permission.

If two or more people will be holding title to the home, things get a bit more complicated.

Here is an overview of the different ways two or more people can hold title and how ownership is affected.  You can also download a pdf of ways to hold title here.

Joint Tenancy

  • Two or more people can hold title to the property
  • All parties hold equal interest
  • Title is held in the names of the individual owners
  • There is an equal right of possession
  • If one of the owners conveys their interest then it breaks the joint tenancy (for example, if one owner decides to sell their interest to another person or one of the other owners then the ownership automatically defaults to “tenants in common”.
  • If one of the owner’s dies then their interest automatically passes to the survivor(s)
  • Last survivor owns the entire interest
  • Co-owners interest may be sold at an execution sale to satisfy any judgements by a creditor (see above for what happens to title)

Tenants in Common

  • Two or more people can hold title to the property
  • Any number of interest, equal or unequal.
  • Title is held in the names of the individual owners
  • There is an equal right of possession
  • Each co-owner’s interest may be conveyed separately.  No automatic conveyance.
  • If an owner dies their interest is passes according to their estate.
  • Heirs become tenants in common
  • Co-owners interest may be sold at an execution sale to satisfy any judgements by a creditor.

Partnership

  • Two or more people can hold title to the property
  • Partnership interests may be equal or unequal
  • Title is held in the name of the partnership
  • Possession is determined by the partnership agreement
  • Any general partner, authorized by the partnership agreement, may convey the title.
  • If one of the partners dies, the partnership agreement provides for termination or continuance of the partnership
  • Heirs will have rights in the partnership but not in the specific property.
  • Any judgment by a creditor can only affect the profits of a partner.

Trust

  • There can be any number of beneficiaries of the trust
  • Interest in the trust may be equal or unequal
  • Title is held in the name of the trustee.
  • Possession is determined by the trust agreement
  • Trustee may convey title in accordance to the trust agreement
  • Trust agreement usually provides for distribution upon death of the settlor.
  • Usually, a creditor cannot execute on a beneficiary’s interest.
Ways to Hold Title

Title Vesting Informational Chart

Replacing doorknobs and deadbolts

When I have a client who is buying a home.  I strongly recommend that they replace the entry door knobs and deadbolts on their home as soon as reasonably possible.  There is no way to know who the previous owners have given a key to.  For personal safety alone, this is a task that should not be delayed.

Types of Cylindrical Door Knobs
Privacy lock (aka bedroom) – has a button or thumb turn on the inside knob, which locks the door so it cannot be opened from the outside.
Passage (aka closet and hall) – cannot be locked and is typically used on closets and hallway doors.
Keyed P1000295Lockset (aka entry) – can be locked or unlocked from both sides of the door by usin g a key, a button or a throw latch depending on the type.
Dead bolt – This is an auxiliary lock that is used to improve security. A double cylinder dead bolt requires a key on both sides of the door to lock or unlock the door.

P1000365
Keyed Alike – this is when all locksets and deadbolts use the same key to lock/unlock.  When replacing locksets/deadbolts on more than one exterior door you can purchase multiple sets that are keyed alike. Look for matching numbers on the back of the packaging.

Steps to Changing a Doorknob

P1000317P1000349

Remove Screws

Remove Screws

1. Detach the trim or rose (the ring of metal between both doorknobs and the door) by removing the two screws that hold it on. In newer doorknobs, this does not exist.

2. Remove two more screws under the trim. These are long screws that attach the two doorknobs on either side of the door.

3. Pull the doorknobs apart and remove them from the door.

 

Remove Screws

Remove Screws

 

4. Remove the two screws that hold the bolt (the locking mechanism), which remains attached to the door, and extract the bolt or throw.

Note: If you are replacing your doorknob with the same brand, you may not need to change this portion out.

 

P1000297

 

 

5. Look at the metal strike plate attached to the frame around the door (this is what catches the bolt). If the strike plate is not loose and is the right color, leave it there. Otherwise, detach it by removing its screws.

6. Insert the new bolt into the door and screw it into place. Remember to face the slanted side toward the direction the door closes.
7. Insert the doorknob on both sides of the door, making sure the two are aligned so that P1000328the long screws can hold them together.
8. Tighten the screws gradually, alternating each one so that the doorknobs come together evenly.

DIY Cat Tower

About 9 months ago I had to euthanize my last cat.  It was very difficult and I needed to take some time before I brought another kitty into my house.  Once I decided it was time I had to get ready for our new roommate.

Here are some basic instructions for the cat tower I decided to make so my cat would have a place to retreat to when the world got a little crazy or the grandkids came over.

I had never done anything like this before, I got some ideas from the internet and then decided to just wing it from there.  It definitely isn’t fine woodworking but my new cat is just fine with it.

Here’s the finished tower.

Finished Cat Tower

Finished Cat Tower

Cat Tower Materials:

3/4″ OSB, 2″ PVC piping, 2″ wood dowel, sisal rope and 2 part epoxy.
I used the OSB for the 3 shelves (bottom, middle and top)
The bottom and middle are 24″ x 24″ and the top is 24″ x 18″.

cat tower materials

cat tower materials

I then created the box that has 2 sections with 3 entry points.  My intention is to get a 2nd cat eventually.

The box is 24″ high and 18″ x 18″ square.

I first cut the 4 sides, then marked the placement of the 2 holes in 3 of the 4 sides.

marking the holes and drilling a starter hole for the jigsaw

marking the holes and drilling a starter hole for the jigsaw

 

 

 

 

 

I then cut 2 holes, using a jigsaw, into 3 of the 4 sides

Cutting the holes with a jigsaw

Cutting the holes with a jigsaw

4 sides of box

4 sides of box

I then assembled the box using triangle pieces cut from scrap 1 x 4 placed in the middle of the sides to provide the base of the upper box.

Placing corner braces to support upper box base.

Placing corner braces to support upper box base.

Corner braces and 2 sides attached

Corner braces and 2 sides attached

Corner braces and 3 sides attached

Corner braces and 3 sides attached

I cut the shelves to size and cut off the corners.

Box with top and bottom and 2 supports.

Box with top and bottom and 2 supports.

I used 24″ long 2″ diameter PVC pipes for the support posts.  I glued 6″ lengths of wood dowels into the ends to have something to screw into when attaching to the shelves.  I then wound sisal rope around the PVC for the cats to use as scratching posts.

Gluing wood dowels

Gluing wood dowels

Inserting dowels into PVC

Inserting dowels into PVC

Covering posts with sisal rope

Covering posts with sisal rope

I then covered everything with carpet that I found at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for under $15.

covering base with carpet

covering base with carpet

Base covered with carpet

Base covered with carpet

Then I assembled all together.

Finished Cat Tower

Finished Cat Tower

Cat tower Tonks     Cat Tower TonksCat Tower Tonks

 

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