Home Services

Spruce Your House Up for Spring

The Spring market is in full swing and Barrett & Company agent Melanie Zwicker is also a home seller who recently put her own house on the market. Working with buyers and knowing what they are looking for when viewing homes helped her a lot when it came to deciding what work needed to be done before the house was listed. Melanie relied on professionals she trusts and has worked with in the past to help her tackle the list of projects. In a few cases, when she needed recommendations, she asked some of her fellow Barrett & Company agents for suggestions of contractors they have built relationships with.

She had wonderful experiences with the folks who did the painting, landscaping, gardening, electrical work and flooring and shared them with me to pass along to others who are getting spruced up for Spring!

Interior Painting

The whole interior of the 1,900 square foot home, including basement and cathedral ceiling, was painted by Peg Walker from Peg's Painting 978.777.4162 (recommended by Barrett agents Laura McKenna and Jeannine Taylor). Melanie said "Peg works hard, arrives early, paints fast and efficiently and is reasonably priced. She does beautiful work and it was nice to have a woman contractor in the house in the early a.m. for the past month."

Flooring

Winn from Chambers Flooring, 617.887 2338, was recommended by Bob Champey, another Barrett agent. Winn removed and disposed of ceramic tile and carpet, installed two rooms of hardwood floors and refinished one bedroom floor. According to Melanie, "The bedroom floor looks brand new and the newly installed floors are gorgeous. Winn works hard, does what he says he is going to do and is reasonably priced. He matched the finish on the new floor perfectly to the existing flooring in two adjoining rooms. It appear seamless, like it has always been hardwood."

Electrical

Billy Hutchinson, an electrician, 978.815.7014, was also recommended by Bob Champey. He has done basic electrical work for Melanie and several of her clients over the past 6 months. Melanie finds him, "...honest, reasonably priced and knowledgeable. He is also very accessible."

Exterior Painting

The entire exterior of the home was painted last summer by George Grow, 508.222.0864, who was recommended by Ann Trudeau. Melanie says "George is the calmest, most efficient contractor I have come across. He is reasonably priced with expert painting experience, is very knowledgeable and does beautiful work. He arrived every day at 7:00 a.m., was done by 3:00 and I barely noticed that he was on the property."

Trees and Lawn Maintenance

Tom Cullinane, of Cullinane Not Just Tree & Landscape, 978.833.0787, did tree work and lawn maintenance and "has done a tremendous job on my property. He is efficient, reasonably priced and a nice polite businessman. His crew is always polite as well. Tom trimmed a few very large trees this past summer to open up the appearance of my home from the street. Does great work!"

Garden Installs & Upkeep

For installation of gardens and upkeep, Melanie says her friend Fran Callahan, 978.395.1097, "cannot be beat. Fran prides herself on organic gardening. She has installed gardens on the entire perimeter of my home over the past 5 years. She can plan, install and upkeep gardens. She works hard, is reasonably priced and is as strong as most men. She can easily spread 7 yards of mulch in a day while maintaining a garden."

Melanie admires and appreciates these contractors because "they are are good at what they do and they are honest, hard working individuals." With their help, along with staging support from the Barrett & Company Designed to Sell team, the property is well on its way to a quick closing.

The Allure of the Amble

"I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements." Henry David Thoreau, Walking

Concord, Massachusetts is known for many things, most notably for being at the heart of the American Revolution, but there is more to the quaint New England town than just that. Concord is also home to American Bloomsbury, a group of writers, philosophers, and revolutionists; two members of which were the Fathers of the Transcendental movement of the 19th century: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Emerson Thoreau Amble2

Both authors, spanning their writing careers, produced some of the most influential American Literature that is still studied in university courses today. In Emerson's famous essay "Nature" he proclaims "a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society" and that "When I behold a rich landscape, it is less to my purpose to recite correctly the order and superposition of the strata, than to know why all thought of multitude is lost in a tranquil sense of unity." Much like many of his essays, as with Thoreau's, the focal point lies in reconnecting the human spirit with nature. To do this, both Emerson and Thoreau would spend hours wandering the uncharted woods of Concord forging their own paths. Thanks to a recent project undertaken by the Town of Concord, the Trails Committee, the Emerson family, the Mill Brook Task Force, and many volunteers, one known path has been restored for all to enjoy.

Emerson-Thoreau Amble 2

On Friday, June 14, 2013, a grand opening was held for the newly finished Emerson-Thoreau Amble that begins at Heywood Meadow and stretches to the location where Thoreau's cabin was sited at Walden Pond. Curving and cutting through woods, wetlands, and fields, the Amble follows the same path both famous authors frequented, sometimes together, with notable points of interest along the way, including the recently refurbished Gun House, Emerson's House, and the Concord Museum, just to name a few.

Amble1

Although the path has already been forged, the Amble still has a certain allure. With each step forward one is thrust backwards into the time of Emerson and Thoreau, when walking wasn't for fitness, but for leisure and a way to find oneself among nature. Keeping in mind how times have changed, how in the current epoch people have information at the tips of their fingers, this path can hopefully serve as a way for us to return to our roots. To once again, take an intrinsic act and walk, not into the future, but into oneself.