Tips for First-time Home Sellers to List the Best House on the Block

First time homeowners are overwhelmed with new information from the day they start looking at homes to when they need to repair an issue or hire a contractor. And once the newbie homeowner is ready to put their home on the market there’s even more to learn. Just like as a buyer, a realtor will help the seller get the best deal. But here’s a brief list of some important things sellers need to do before planting that ‘For Sale’ sign.

Home Repairs


You want your house to be in great shape. Even if you’ve been living with some issues, now is the time to fix it up and make it appeal to buyers. Patch holes and cracks in walls, fix any broken appliances, leaky faucets and HVAC systems, replace worn carpet or professionally clean existing carpeting, repair broken window glass, and of course, examine your roof for any potential damage to avoid any expensive surprises during the home inspection.

Tip: Don’t increase the price of the house to cover a repair. An overpriced house sits on the market longer. Fix repairs and work with your realtor to price appropriately.

Buyers aren’t the only ones who can get in your way of selling your home. Your buyer’s lender will likely seek an structural inspection to verify that there are no problems with the house. If you’ve left repairs to be the next owner’s problem, reconsider your strategy as you might have issues with the final bank loan until repairs are made.

Curb Appeal


Recently a neighbor selling their home mowed their lawn at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. Of course this wasn’t to the delight of any of us within earshot, but she had a last minute showing scheduled at 8 a.m. and needed to get the lawn cleaned up before the prospective buyer arrived. A manicured lawn instantly appeals to every home buyer, and there are other simple projects you can do without a budget for a full exterior makeover to give an extra boost to your home’s curb appeal.

  • Pick up anything unsightly like kid’s toys or hanging up a lose hose to make it more accessible and attractive.
  • Hide an air conditioning unit or trash cans with a basic screen using lumber or premade panels.
  • Showcase windows with shutters to give a finished feel to any home or add window boxes with flowers.
  • Add hardware to your garage like decorative handles, and of course make sure it’s properly hung up and working properly.

Professional Staging and Photos



A study conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association found that on average staged homes were on the market for just 41 days compared to 184 days for homes that were not staged.

Store personal decorations, arrange furniture, and display art to brighten the space to give prospective buyers an easier time visualizing themselves in the home. If you want to give your home an extra edge in a competitive market, hire a professional designer to stage and photograph your home for an eye-catching online listing to help it stand out among the rest.


Overwhelmed with repairs and home improvement jobs? View our list of verified contractors to help you get your project done on time and on budget.


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Millworks Cedar Sheds Delivers on Function, Beauty and Innovative, Eco-friendly Garden Roofs

Gardening isn’t just for the ground, take your garden to new heights with garden roofs customized to your Millworks Cedar Sheds‘ structure.

A green roof, also known as a living roof, is a surface that has been intentionally covered with layers of vegetation.  There are traces of humans growing plants on roofs dating back to 600 B.C. but even in modern times it’s not as common to see green roofs in suburban residential communities. Millworks Cedar Sheds believes in creating environmentally sustainable and friendly products, and they want to encourage more “shed-owners” to consider adding vegetation to their roofs.

Green roofs help absorb and infiltrate storm water, provide cooling from excess heat, offer habitats to a diversity of species and improve air and water quality. According to the National Research Council of Canada, “If widely adopted, rooftop gardens could reduce the urban heat island, which would decrease smog episodes, problems associated with heat stress and further lower energy consumption.”


Millworks Cedar Sheds will work with you to customize your own unique backyard structure. Together you can choose your desired vegetation and what will work best for your environment and unique preferences.

How a Living Roof is Assembled 


  • Living Layer (vegetation)
  • Growing medium
  • Drainage, aeration, water storage, root barrier
  • Insulation
  • Membrane protection and root barrier
  • Roofing membrane
  • Structural support

To create a functional eco-friendly roof it’s best to stick to specific species of plants that are native to the area. You’ll also want low-maintenance vegetation so there’s no need to go on top of your roof and do any weeding or fertilizing. Sedums, or succulents, are a popular choice because they require little maintenance and survive year-round. Wildflowers can survive easily in limestone and chalk environments and offer you diverse options of colors.


Sedums are unique and vibrant, giving you unlimited design opportunities for your green roof.

Each structure designed and installed by Millworks Cedar Sheds is an original work of art. Their custom lumber is milled locally, and they use quality, recycled materials whenever possible (such as old windows or doors.)

A customized and appealing backyard shed is often built with a sloped roof, just like a regular home and not a high-rise building. Don’t be fooled by the shape, sloped roofs can provide feasible and year-round gardens.

she-shed-1 (1) she-shed-4

Tap into existing and overlooked resources for gardening and vegetation, and consider utilizing existing space on your shed rooftop. Dan and the talented team at Millworks Cedar Sheds will help you go beyond your imagination with your own customized shed and live roof.

For more information and to get started, contact Millworks Cedar Sheds. 

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Explore the Many Benefits of Sheet Metal with Exterior Metals, Inc.

Exterior Metals, Inc. was founded in 1990 as an architectural sheet metal firm, metal roof systems and material supplier. The company specializes in all phases of exterior sheet metal work including metal roof systems, flashing, fabrication, and installation work on both commercial projects and high-end residential homes.  Located in South Prairie, Washington, Exterior Metals has expanded their footprint by installing or suppling products across Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii.

Metal roofs are popular among large commercial buildings because of their easy maintenance and long lifespan. Typical metal roofs can last up to 50 years. Another important benefit of metal roofs is their durability. They can withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour and heavy rain – an important factor in the Pacific Northwest.

Being environmental stewards is important to many of us and utilizing metal for roofing is incredibly eco-friendly and sustainable. Most metal roofing is comprised of 25% recycled material and is 100% recyclable; in contrast, asphalt roofing contains hundreds of gallons of crude oil (asphalt roofing is fiberglass infused with oil and gravel) and needs to be replaced every 10-20 years. Metal reflects more solar energy than an asphalt roof which can help homeowners save 40% in home air conditioning costs.


With a very extensive inventory of equipment and a complete sheet metal shop, Exterior Metals can build items ranging from simple roof flashing to louvered attic vents to radius bay window units.  They also have extensive expertise working with multiple metals, to include but not limited to copper, stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized and pre-painted steel. If you have a special request, the professionals at Exterior Metals can bring your creative imagination to life!


Pictured above is roll forming equipment used by Exterior Metals to install sheet metal.

In addition to metal roofs, they also custom design, build and install beautiful copper Bay window units. You can work with the team at Exterior Metals to design your own unique look and dimension.


If your business or home is interested in metal home roofing or other projects, contact Exterior Metal, Inc. today for a consultation.

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DIY Electrical Work is Never a Good Idea – That’s Why There’s Fuller Electric, Inc.

In this day and age, it’s impossible to imagine a world without electricity. We use it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Expertly trained and skilled electricians are vital to our everyday needs.


Since 1990 Fuller Electric, Inc. has been there for residences and businesses of the Puget Sound for any immediate electrical problem. Or whether powering a new sound system, security system, hot tub, or intercoms and telephone systems, they are skilled to handle any project big or small. Fuller Electric offers free estimates for both residential and commercial customers.

At Fuller Electric, Inc. their mission is to provide the optimum value for their customers’ investments. What makes them a leader in their industry are their committed and enthusiastic employees who strive to exceed expectations for each customer, combined with their expertise in innovation and awareness of modern rapid technological advances.

Fuller Electric’s resume and accomplishments speak for itself.  They are continually being awarded contracts for large commercial entities proving that no job is too big or small for their expertise. Some of their projects include the Northwest African American Museum, Fall City Library, Valley View Medical and cellsites.



They’re great. We use them for everything – commercial, industrial, instrumentation, control panels, large power systems. They are very reliable, knowledgeable, and work hard. They have always done good work for us. We’ve been very impressed. – Nordic Construction, Tacoma, WA

Very responsive and quality work. They put in new electrical panel and all the wiring for our new air conditioning and furnace. They worked well with the other subcontractors and even came in under budget. We really liked working with them and will continue using them in the future. – Jay, Mercer Island

With Fuller Electric, you can be confident in the services offered by a company with great standing and reputation in our community. Contact them today for your next electrical project, or keep their number on hand for the next electrical emergency.

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6 Summer Home Improvement Projects (That Don’t Involve Painting)

We are always looking at simple ways to make our home feel more comfortable and clean. Of course fresh paint on the interior and exterior make a home look brand new, but we don’t always have the time, budget or desire to tackle it. Here are six simple home improvement projects that will make your home instantly look and feel better.

Create more memories outdoors

Hire a contractor to help you with backyard deck projects, add a garden pond or waterfall, install an awning.

Or take things into your own hands and add a simple tree swing and a picnic table for dining al fresco with the family all summer.



Make your windows sparkle

Cleaning your windows inside and out is one of the most effective and cheapest ways to give your home a new sparkle. Clean only when there is no direct sun on the window to avoid streaks.

  • Mix one-part hot water to one-part distilled vinegar. Wipe the window dry using a clean, rubber-bladed squeegee.
  • Use TSP (trisodium phosphate) — an inexpensive powder degreaser found at hardware stores — mixed in water and squeegee it off for a streak-free finish. Review the instructions for proper handling.
  • Add a few drops of dish soap diluted in a bucket of warm water. Use a rag to wipe the squeegee and clean up soapy water that runs down the window.

Power wash for an instant facelift

Give your walkways and home exterior a high-power shower.  It’s easy and makes a big difference, but be careful and follow the sprayer’s instructions to prevent damage.


Banish Pests

Warm weather gives you a chance to circle the outside of your home and remove anything that could shelter wood-boring insects, rats, mice or spiders. Keeping pesky bugs away will make enjoying outdoor time on your property much more enjoyable.

Here are suggestions to help prevent pests from making a home out of yours. For more help with pest control, turn to a professional.

To do: Remove yard waste, tools, ladders, toys and stacked lumber. Clear vegetation and debris under decks and steps. Pick up fruit as soon as it drops from trees and bushes. Keep tight-fitting lids on your indoor and outdoor garbage cans. Drain pools, puddles and ponds and change bird bath water frequently to discourage mosquitoes.

Install Ceiling a Fan (or Two)

A ceiling fan during the summer time reduces your need for pumping the A/C, or if you don’t have an air conditioning system, it’s a really simple and cheap way to keep your interior temperature cool. Have you considered adding a ceiling fan to your backyard patio? Nothing beats a gentle breeze! A general contractor can help you install a ceiling fan and get you feeling cool again.

Hire a Contractor to Repave your driveway

Summer is the best season to repave your concrete driveway because it adheres betters in the warmer temperatures than in the cold. Of course, it’s just a generally bad idea to repave when it’s raining or snowing, so take advantage of the sun to improve your driveway and walkways.


(Image by Concrete Impressions, Inc)

Responsible Contractors was designed to make the process of finding a general or specialty contractor easier. There is no charge to search our site and we don’t ask for your email or other personal information. You choose the contractors you want to contact and how much of your contact information you want to share with them. We encourage you to pick up the phone and give them a call.


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Get Cleaner, Purer Water with Blue Line Water, Inc.


Water can cause real problems for anyone and especially for homeowners who may be unfamiliar with the issues it causes and the home’s water quality and history of inspections. It effects many things including your pipes and faucets, bathtub and shower tile, laundry, and taste and quality of potabale water.


Water needs to be treated if it is hard, contains chlorine, iron, or manganese, if it smells like rotten eggs or if it contains bacteria. Municipal water, tap water you use for gardening, cleaning and drinking, is filtered and treated through city or county water systems.  But sometimes water contaminants can get into our systems and add chemicals or unwanted minerals into the water we drink and use to clean our homes.


If water is slow running, smells funky or has a poor taste, you may have an old, dirty filter as shown above.

Blue Line Water, Inc offers the latest in technology for the treatment of water.  Hard water minerals adhere to the inner walls of plumbing and overtime will restrict the flow of water. It also combines with soaps and detergents to create a soap curd that adheres to tubs, showers and even your skin. It makes soaps and detergents less effective and can stain your laundry.

In addition to treating residential water problems, Blue Line Water also provides industrial and real estate services. They offer ozone systems, storage tanks, maintenance, monitors and controls and pumping systems to provide clean water for manufacturing, hospitals and municipalities, and beverage, glass and food processing industries.

If you are looking to buy or sell your home, or if you’re in the real estate industry, ensuring the quality of the property’s water system is paramount to a successful transaction. Blue Line Water completes comprehensive inspections of sanitary conditions, pump evaluations and laboratory testing for coliform bacteria or chemical contaminants.

Blue Line Water also offers water treatment supplies with their large inventory of water filters, rust remover pellets and solar salt crystals.

Contact Blue Line Water for your water filtration and quality concerns.



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Go Beyond the Ordinary and Envision a Landscaping Paradise with Evergreen Landscaping and Ponds


Transform your backyard into your own private paradise with unique water features such as garden ponds and waterfalls, inspired by the lush Pacific Northwest mountains. Evergreen Landscaping and Ponds will help you cultivate and design the perfect landscaping for your home, including captivating water gardens with unique and stunning features.

Evergreen Landscaping and Ponds is an award-winning team of landscapers with more than 32 years of combined experience.  They are a full-service landscaping company that specializes in beautiful water features. Their experience and expertise help you think beyond the ordinary and envision a backyard paradise with ponds, waterfalls, hardscapes, and more. The possibilities are endless.

According to, a water garden can be an elaborate planting in and around a pond. A water garden opens a new world of planting and landscaping possibilities. Properly installed water gardens offer daily enjoyment and relaxation. You will be fascinated with brilliantly colored fish and self-watering plants. They are a self supporting, naturally maintained ecosystem. Gurgling waterfalls add a relaxing element to your backyard and with the growing popularity of “water gardening,” many homeowners look at their ponds as an exciting hobby.




The professionals at Evergreen Landscaping and Ponds have the skills, expertise and craftsmanship of a professional contractor combined with grand creative visions. They are Master Gardeners, Certified ICPI installers (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute), and licensed, bonded, and insured landscape contractors.

Evergreen Landscaping and Ponds won the Silver Award for their display as a Garden Creator at the 2013 Northwest Flower and Garden Show.


With Evergreen Landscaping and Ponds, you can trust that you’re in capable and honest hands. They offer a one-year warranty for any issues involving workmanship.

“They key to our success is our satisfied customers.”

Take it from this telling review from Lori in Little Rock, WA.  “It was my pleasure to have Evergreen Landscaping & Ponds build my water feature. They are hard working and charming team. I gave them carte blanche and they did stellar work. I had them back to redo the front landscaping, retaining wall and walkway. I have never been disappointed. They are focused and stay on the job till it is done. I have referred them to several people and they have all loved the results.”

Ready to transform your outdoor space into a stunning water garden? Contact Evergreen Landscape and Ponds to get started on your creative landscaping.


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