Monday, December 30, 2013

New Years Events Near Lexington

There are several events this year in and around Lexington, MA.

1. Science Discovery Museum: Tuesday, December 31 from 12-3pm at 177 Main Street Acton MA 01720. Make some noise this New Year’s Eve! Construct your own noise makers to use as you celebrate the coming of a new year. Help us count down to 12 (noon) with a dance party with special guest Bessie!

2. Fenway Park: Tuesday, December 31 from 5-10pm. The Boston Red Sox will introduce their first "New Year's Eve at Fenway Park," an ice skating and sledding event for families and children. Tickets are on sale now at at $40 per person. The event is part of Citi Frozen Fenway, a 17-day period in which the ice rink will serve as host to a variety of skating and hockey events.

Fans can select a specified half hour to skate when they purchase their tickets (subject to availability) but are welcome to come to the ballpark at anytime from 5-10 p.m. to enjoy the festivities. Ticketed patrons will have access to the new 'Monster Sled' throughout the night.

The State Street Pavilion Club and EMC Club will provide areas of warmth and comfort, including free hot chocolate for kids. In addition, groups of up to 22 people can make separate arrangements to celebrate, skate, and have dinner in a private suite that looks out over the ballpark. To book a suite, please call 617-226-6888..

The World Series Trophies of 2004, 2007, and 2013 will be on display on the field and available for photographs. Fans are also invited to come  down and take pictures on the warning truck and in the dugouts.

Traditional ballpark fare will be on sale at concession stands in the temperature-controlled Home Plate Concourse.

The event is the first at Fenway Park in which skating and sledding are open to all of New England.

3. Odyssey Boston New Years Eve Fireworks/Dinner Cruise: Tuesday, December 31 from 8pm-1am at the Boston Harbor. Boston's most luxurious cruising vessel awaits. enjoy a champagne toast at midnight and spectacular views of the fireworks. For more information and pricing please visit

MBTA riders should note that there will be no fares after 8pm on New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Caroling

Lexington’s Annual Christmas Eve Caroling

Please bring family and friends to Lexington’s 10th annual Christmas Eve Caroling event!  As always, caroling will take place from 4:00 – 4:30 pm on December 24, 2012 at the Hastings Park Bandstand in Lexington, which is located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Worthen Road.  

Join in this town tradition that is enjoyed by several hundred residents and neighbors each year who gather to sing an assortment of traditional and favorite carols.  Children will be invited up onto the bandstand with the musicians to ring bells to the final song - Jingle Bells, of course!  

Song sheets, hot chocolate, and cookies will be provided to all!  Please bring your own candles or flashlights.   

Contact: Jackie Piscitello   781-861-8772


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Prepare Your Lexington Home for Winter

Convert to Gas
Nothing communicates home-loving coziness like a fire in the fireplace. Unfortunately, traditional wood burning fireplaces tend to lose more energy than they produce, pulling heated air out of the house and sending it up the chimney (and burning wood adds to air pollution). If you have natural gas or propane heating, consider having gas logs installed. A direct-vent system is best for new, air-tight homes; it pulls in air from outdoors, pushes it past the firebox, and sends the warmed air into the room. Vent-free systems require no chimney, flue, or outside exhaust. They're relatively inexpensive to operate, warm the room efficiently, and meet national standards for indoor air quality

Call the Chimney Sweep
If gas logs aren't in your budget and you use your wood burning fireplace often during the winter, have it cleaned and inspected before winter. Burning wood releases volatile gases that cool and condense on the inside of the chimney, forming sticky, smelly, highly flammable creosote. Allow enough of it to build up, and you run a risk of a chimney fire. Also make sure the damper is working properly and that the chimney is capped with screening to keep out critters.

Put the Ceiling Fan in Reverse
Check your ceiling fan for a switch that allows you to reverse the direction of blade movement to turn clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. Warm air rises, and the clockwise rotation of the blades forces the warm air down to where people benefit from it.

Wash the Windows
Yes, it's a tedious job, but washing the windows inside and out twice a year--spring and fall--rewards you with sparkling views, unobstructed light, and the opportunity to check for cracks and damaged caulking. Use a commercial window cleaner or make your own by mixing 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water. Newspaper makes the best "cleaning rag" because it's absorbent and won't leave lint, but wear gloves to protect your hands from the newsprint.

Make Windows Airtight
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 percent of the air that leaks out of a house exits through the windows. Caulk around window frames and apply weather stripping between the sash and window frame to eliminate air leakage. Tension seal and magnetic types of weather stripping are durable and effective for double-hung windows. For casement and sliding windows, apply self-adhesive V-strip weatherstripping to the side of a clean, dry sash or window jamb. Measure the length you need, cut the V-strip to fit, then peel off the paper backing while pressing the strip in place.

Rearrange the Furniture
Changing the furniture arrangement is an easy way to give your rooms a new look and feel for the winter. Pull seating pieces close to the fireplace to create a cozier mood, and bring out soft chenille or fleece throws to ward off the chill. Set up a new display on the mantel to create a wintertime focal point--dark colors and layers of objects supply rich texture that adds increases the cozy factor. Some homeowners keep two sets of slipcovers, white for summer and a dark, warm color for winter.

Put Up Storm Windows
Install storm windows to reduce air leakage year-round. You can find storm windows with vinyl, wood, or aluminum frames and glass or plastic panes. Glass is heavier but longer lasting and clearer than plastic, which scratches easily and yellows over time. Interior storm windows are generally mounted inside the window jambs or flush with the molding. They're easy to install but must be removed when you want to open the windows to let in fresh air. An exterior double-track or triple-track storm window is permanently installed on the outside of the window, and the lower half of the window moves in a separate track from the screen so you can lower or raise it to control air flow.

Clean the Gutters
Whether your gutters have become roofline planters like this one or have simply accumulated a season's worth of fallen leaves, get them cleaned out before winter rains and snows arrive. After scooping out leaves and debris, flush the gutters and downspouts with a strong stream of water from a hose. Make sure the gutters fit snugly against the house and repair any cracks or damage. Many companies offer leaf guards that claim to prevent leaves from collecting in the gutters, but most don't keep out dirt, debris, and seeds, so you'll still have to flush them out.

Check Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Experts recommend replacing the batteries in smoke alarms twice a year, and if your smoke alarm is between 5 and 10 years old, replace it with a new one. There should be at least one smoke alarm on every level of your house and one in or near each bedroom. Safety experts recommend similar placement for carbon monoxide detectors--high on the wall, one on every level of the home, and near bedrooms. Where NOT to put them: within 15 feet of gas appliances, furnace, or fireplace because these give off small amounts of carbon monoxide when they're first turned on and would trigger false alarms.

Have the Furnace Inspected
Call an HVAC professional to check the fan belt that runs the blower, vacuum out dust and debris, and oil the bearings if necessary. Buy enough filters to see you through the winter months and change them monthly--when filters become clogged with dust, the furnace doesn't operate efficiently and your energy bill goes up. Set the thermostat at 68 to save on energy costs, and consider replacing a manually controlled thermostat with a programmable one. This allows you to set the temperature at a comfortable level when you're in the house and cut it back to a cooler level when you're at work. Used properly, programmable thermostats can save up to $180 a year on heating and cooling costs.

Time to Go Tankless?
Conventional storage water heaters use energy to keep the tank full of hot water at all times; a tankless heater provides hot water only when you need it, which requires less energy thus saving you money. Whole-house tankless heaters are probably not cost effective for most homeowners--they cost more upfront than storage water heaters, and installation costs are also much higher and more complicated. Point-of-use heaters, however, are small and installed where you use them--at the kitchen sink or in the bathroom--and because they only need to furnish enough hot water for fixtures in that area, they can be efficient, cost-effective, and green. Gas-fired models deliver hot water at a faster rate than electrical models, which require upgraded wiring if they have to do much more than supply hot water to a bathroom sink.

Plug Hidden Leaks
About 30 percent of the cold air that leaks into your home comes through holes where pipes, vents, or electrical conduits run through the walls, ceiling, and floors. Check under sinks in the kitchen and bathroom and in the basement for gaps around pipes, and fill them in with an insulating foam sealant. Small gaps can be effectively sealed with caulk

Protect Pipes from Freezing
To minimize the possibility of water freezing in your plumbing pipes causing them to burst, wrap each pipe in a blanket of foam insulation. Check hardware stores for these foam tubes, which have a slit on one side. Just cut the tube to the length you need, pull the slit open, and push the tube onto the pipe. If the slit doesn't have self-adhesive edges, use duct tape to secure it.

Add Insulation
Check the attic to see whether you need to add insulation -- experts recommend a depth of about 12 inches. Ultra Touch from Bonded Logic is an eco-friendly, formaldehyde-free insulation made from the scraps and waste left over from the manufacture of blue jeans. It's treated with a boron-based solution to prevent mold and mildew growth, discourage pests, and retard fire, and it won't irritate your skin during installation.

Courtesy of

Monday, December 9, 2013

Parking Changes Coming to Lexington

Town developing an action plan to tackle long-standing parking issues in the Center

The Town of Lexington needs the community’s participation to launch the development
of an action plan to address long-standing parking issues in Lexington Center. The goal
is to make parking more accessible for all users, from regular lunch-goers to employees
and tourists. A proposal for action will be developed and presented to the Selectmen in
spring 2014. The public is invited to join the effort on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 from
6:00PM to 9:00PM at the Lexington Depot, located at 13 Depot Square, Lexington, MA
02420. You can also provide valuable input by going on-line to fill out a five minute

Over the years, town staff, committed residents, and business owners have studied
parking patterns in the Center as well as learned new approaches to better manage
parking. Beginning this December, the Town and Nelson Nygaard’s parking consultants
will engage stakeholders in a series of public meetings and coffee sit-downs to create and
advance an implementation package to the Board of Selectmen.

The implementation package may include new technology, enhanced payment methods,
paid parking, and changes to employee parking. Associated issues such as circulation
patterns, enforcement, and alternative modes of transportation will also be assessed for
their integration into the parking system. Fiscal analysis and ongoing maintenance will
ensure that final recommendations are implemented responsibly and sustainably.

Pre-registration is encouraged in order to provide refreshments and snacks; however,
drop-ins are always welcome. Please register at Eventbrite look for “Lexington Parking.”

Future meetings are scheduled as the effort evolves, please mark your calendars:
January 15, 2014 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM at the Lexington Depot
January 29, 2014 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM at the Lexington Depot

Can’t attend the meetings? Please join the conversation by visiting our online public
forum “LexEngage” and look for the topic entitled, “Parking Management.” You can also
visit the Town’s parking webpage at

Contact: Melisa Tintocalis David Kucharsky
Director of Economic Development Transportation Planner
Telephone: (781) 862-0500 ext. 257 (781) 862-0500 ext. 247

Email: or 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

7 Tips for Selling Your Lexington Home This Holiday Season!

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, the hustle and bustle of shopping, parties and events has everyone in a festive spirit!  Yet, there are those of you who may have your attention divided during the holidays if your Lexington home is currently on the market.  Selling your home this time of year may seem impossible, but there are buyers out there who like to take advantage of not having as much competition!

In fact, selling your home during the holidays can have an advantage!  Buyers get to see your home in the best light with appealing holiday decorations, cozy atmosphere and the joy of the season as a backdrop.  These elements can help buyers envision themselves hosting their own holidays in your home! 

As a Lexington Real Estate agent, sellers ask me all the time what they can do to help their home sell.  Below you’ll find seven easy tips that will boost your Lexington homes’ appeal this festive time of year!

1. Highlight the Highlights- Draw attention to a beautiful fireplace mantle with a few tasteful ornaments or enhance an arched doorway with hanging mistletoe.
2. Add Holiday Adornments- Again, you don’t want to go overboard, but a simple evergreen wreath, a poinsettia center piece or light holiday decorations can create a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. Of course it’s best to avoid overly religious flourishes as this can be off-putting to some.
3. Complement Your Décor- You’ll want to make sure that your Christmas decoration palette matches or complements your current décor. If the colors clash or seem to be fighting for attention, this can be very distracting to buyers and can take away from the great features of your home you’re trying to highlight.
4. Give Warmth- Just before a showing, be sure to turn up your thermostat a few degrees to make it extra toasty inside. Put a fire in the fireplace to add an extra sense of warmth and highlight the cozy atmosphere that this feature of your home can bring.
5. Go Light on the Lights- An abundance of outdoor lights can leave Lexington buyers wondering what the front of your home looks like. And, while you may love your giant inflatable lawn ornaments; it may be best to leave those in storage this year. Everyone has different tastes and you don’t want buyers to be met at your home with a sense of “tacky.”
6. Mind the Tree- While a tall Christmas tree can showcase a two story living room, be sure to be careful of the tree’s width. The last thing you want is to have your Lexington home appear smaller than it really is. Also, you’ll want to stick with a cohesive theme for your ornaments. The family homemade ornaments can be meaningful to you, but can quickly make your tree look gaudy to outsiders. Keep it simple this year and remember, there’s always next year when you can display those keepsakes in your new home!
7. Offer Tasty Treats- While you don’t want to come across as trying to bribe buyers, everyone loves holiday treats and having a plate full of cookies and candy can make the home showing a little sweeter. Hot chocolate and apple cider are always welcome and buyers will feel that you have their best interest in mind.
Buyers will be drawn to your Lexington home if you follow these tips for showcasing your home at its’ best!  Of course, I’m always available to answer your questions about selling your Lexington home, and would be happy to help you throughout the entire home selling process!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Theresa D'Antuono

Lexington's Holiday Festival Night 2013

* Lighting with Santa *  Shopping * Dining *
  Performances & More 

Friday, December 6th, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m 

With the holiday season approaching, the Lexington Chamber of Commerce is already busy
planning this year’s upcoming “Holiday Festival Night” in Lexington Center event. The
celebration is filled with activities for all ages to enjoy. Festivities include the Holiday
Lighting Ceremony (at 6:30 pm on Depot Square) where you can see Santa with great
fanfare arrive aboard a fire truck to illuminate the holiday tree & greet families with children.

Downtown businesses participate by staying open late, offering refreshments, hosting
raffles, and featuring special discounts. During the evening, a variety of musical
performances take place outdoors throughout the Center and within specific indoor venues.
The Lexington Symphony hosts two performances of their “Holiday Pops” in Cary Hall that night, an early show for young children at 4:00 p.m. along with the primary performance at 8:00 p.m. Children can expect visits from Santa Claus to the downtown businesses, and a good time is had by all well into the evening.

Be sure not to miss Lexington’s official kick-off to the holiday season!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Saturday November 30, 2013
1:00 PM until 3:00 PM 

Work off some of those Thanksgiving calories with CLC's First Annual Post Thanksgiving Walk. We will explore Whipple Hill and the new trail improvement structures built this past summer. Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring a walking stick if you have one, as trails are steep. Lexington is a great place to explore and late fall is the best time of year.

Heavy rain or snow cancels the walk. Meet at the Winchester Drive entrance.

Hope to see you all there!

Lexington has over 1,300 acres of conservation land, including 26 conservation areas with trail access. This conservation land creates a patchwork of forests, fields, and wetlands that provides habitat for plants and wildlife and adds to the quality of life for Lexington residents.

On Lexington's conservation land, visitors find the opportunity to walk, jog, picnic, birdwatch, cross-country ski, bicycle, and garden. Over 50 miles of trails cross our conservation land, many with boardwalks over wet areas.

Volunteers of the Lexington Conservation Stewards help to care for Lexington's conservation land and keep the trails open for everyone to enjoy.

More information about Lexington's Conservation areas can be found below:
Conservation Areas Maps >>

Walking your Dog on Conservation Land >>

Community Gardens>>
Open Space and Recreation Plan >>

Conservation Trust Funds >>

Conservation Land Regulations >>

ACROSS Lexington>>

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Tradition of Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

Thanksgiving at Plymouth
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

Thanksgiving Becomes an Official Holiday
Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.

In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving Traditions
In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.

Information Courtesy of

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday Marketplace

Looking for fantastic and unusual gifts for the holiday season?  Come to Temple Isaiah, 55 Lincoln Street, Lexington, on Sunday, November 17 from 10am - 3pm. Temple Isaiah hosts Holiday Marketplace with free admission.

Select a handcraft item for yourself, your child, grandchild, friend, or home.  This year's assortment is more distinguished than ever.

Many new and returning artisans will present their products for sale, including 15 new vendors.

Browse through the photographs.  Consider the ceramics, wooden products, fused glass, metal sculptures, and silk flowers.  Purchase a doll and hair accessories for the younger folks in your life.  Try on some of the many lines of children's, men's and women's clothing, knit and felt hats and scarves. View the dazzling display of jewelry, both vintage and contemporary.  Consider a pocketbook or purchase note cards.

Enjoy a stunning display of contemporary and traditional Judaica from our expanded Sisterhood Judaica Shop.  Purchase all your Chanukah needs including gelt, dreidals, menorahs, candles, gift wrapping paper, books, jewelry, toys, and so much more.

Take a break with a homemade lunch or snack.  Choose from the homemade soup, kugel, bagels, a variety of salads, some surprises, and soft drinks.  Savor the homemade baked goods.

Proceeds from Holiday Marketplace benefit many charitable organizations.  Admission and parking are free.  The temple is handicap accessible.

For further information, please contact Temple Isaiah at 781-862-7160. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The next LEXINGTON OPEN STUDIOS is APRIL 26 and 27, 2014

We've made some great growth in the last few years and we'd love to have you join us.

Prior to this we'd like to invite you to an informational gathering:
  • Whether you’ve taken part in LOS before or not…
  • Whether you’re an emerging artist or a well-established artist…
  • Whether you live or work in Lexington or whether you have another ‘Lexington connection'…
  • Whether you’re just interested to find out more or whether you’re ready to jump right in and help with planning… 

We’re eager to meet you!

We’d love to hear about your art, hear your questions & suggestions and tell you why we love participating in the town-wide Lexington Open Studios weekend.

Our goal in 2014 is to feature even more artists in our community.

So please join us for coffee, cookies & conversation on:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

7-9 pm

Plummer Studio

Lexington Arts and Crafts Society,

130 Waltham Street.

If you have any artist friends/connections who might be interested in joining us for the next fun & successful LOS event, do forward this email along.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weather-Stripping Cuts Energy Costs

Winter is fast approaching in Lexington.  Here’s how to replace weather stripping and stop air leaks.

Identifying Worn Weather Stripping

Weather stripping deteriorates due to age, friction, and exposure to the elements. It also can be damaged by people, pets, and pests. At least once each year, inspect your windows and doors to check for air leaks that indicate your weather stripping isn’t doing its job.
Self-adhesive foam tape loses its grip over time, causing it to pull away from the door or window frame -- or fall off completely. Foam also can lose its resilience, no longer springing up to fill the gap.
Rubber and vinyl weather stripping becomes dry, brittle, and cracked. Over time, it can also lose its shape and effectiveness.
Spring-metal V-shaped weather stripping bends out of shape, cracks in spots, and comes loose thanks to missing nails.

How to Remove Old Weather Stripping

For peel-and-stick-type weather stripping, simply pull the foam strips off the door or window by hand. Stripping that is fastened in place with nails or screws requires a more tedious process of locating and removing all the fasteners.

Options for New Weather Stripping
There’s no shortage of weather stripping options at hardware stores and home improvement centers. As is often the case, the cheaper and easier the product is to install, the less effective and durable it probably is over time.

Adhesive-backed foam tape is inexpensive — costing less than a buck a foot — and peel-and-stick types are easy as pie to install. It works best where the bottom of a window sash closes against a sill, or a door closes against a doorframe. It’s the compression that produces the seal. Don't expect this product to survive longer than 3 to 5 years.

V-shaped weather stripping, sometimes called tension-seal weather stripping, is the best option for the side channels of a double-hung window or a tight-fitting door. This product springs open to close gaps and plug leaky windows and doors.

Inexpensive peel-and-stick V-shaped vinyl (as little as $0.50 per foot) is easy to install but won’t last much longer than foam tape. More expensive copper or bronze styles cost as much as $2 per foot and must be nailed into place, but they look better and will last decades.

Tubular rubber or vinyl gaskets prove the most effective for sealing large and irregular gaps, such as around an old door. These hollow tubes are large enough to plug big gaps but soft enough to compress nearly flat. Types that are nailed in place last longer than peel-and-stick varieties. Prices range from less than $1 per foot for peel-and-stick to $1.25 per foot for nail-in-place.

Prepare the Surface
Before installing any new weather stripping, start with a smooth, clean, and dry surface. Remove all old adhesive using an adhesive cleaner and perhaps a light sanding. Fill and sand old nail holes. If old screw holes can’t be reused, fill and sand those as well.

Installation Tips
Some peel-and-stick types should only be applied when the temps are at least 50 degrees. Check the product label.
Start with one small area to make sure the door or window opens and closes without difficulty before completing the entire job.
Measure twice before cutting to prevent mistakes and waste.
Cut rubber and vinyl varieties with shears or a utility knife, and metal types with tin snips. Be careful not to bend the thin metal while cutting it.
Make sure to face the opening of V-shaped weather stripping out toward the elements to prevent moisture from getting inside.

Installing Weather Stripping
Adhesive-style weather stripping: Remove the backing and press firmly in place. Removing the backing as you go helps prevent the sticky part of the strip from accidentally adhering to something it shouldn’t.

Nail-in weather stripping: Fasten the strips in place by nailing through the pre-punched holes. For double-hung windows, you’ll need to install the lower half, drop the sash, and then install the upper half.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5 Things to Look for When Buying a Lexington Home

Lexington is vibrant right now with the stunning fall backdrop luring residents and visitors alike to spend time exploring our great town.  In fact, you may be visiting my blog because you’re considering relocating to the area!  If so, you’ve come to the right place! 

As a Lexington Real Estate agent for a number of years, I know that buyers can be leery of buying a home in the fall.  They feel it would be better to wait until more homes come on the market in the spring and summer months.  However, the fall can be a great time to buy!

Sellers are most likely hoping to get their home sold before the holiday season and are more willing to negotiate on the price.  You’ll also find there’s less competition since many buyers will wait until the spring.  Because of these two factors, you can find a great home at a great price this fall in Lexington!

As you begin searching for a home in Lexington, here are five things you’ll want to look for in a home to ensure it’s the right fit for you.

1. Layout and Space-  Know your goals for the home, whether it’s a long term home or a home that you’ll use for hosting family and friends. Floor plan, along with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, play a role in how comfortable and efficient your home is for you.  Although you want the most space for your money, buying a home that’s too large may not be in your best interest.

2. Location- It’s often said that location is key, and that’s very true!  You can always make changes to the interior and exterior of your home, making it look exactly as you would like, but you cannot move your home to a new location. Be sure that the location you choose matches your desires for things such schools, work, daily errands and community.  A home that’s a good price, but is not in the community that fits you best may not be the home for you.

3. Kitchen- For many, the kitchen is the “heart of the home” so you want to know you enjoy the space! Remodeling is always an option, but is a huge undertaking and can become very costly.  Determine what projects you’re willing to undertake and the costs associated with the remodel. 

4. Closets and Storage- Not having enough closets and storage can be a huge point of frustration in a home.  Be sure to check closets and storage options in a potential home.  It will make life much easier in the long run.

5. Finishes- Look at those special details that make the home stand out. While this is minor, it is still what makes a home feel pulled together. If you absolutely love the home, but aren’t keen on the finishes; buy it. You can always make additional updates later!

I hope these tips help as you get started with your Lexington home search!

If you have questions about living in Lexington, about the Lexington Real Estate market, or you’re ready to begin the home buying process; please contact me today

Theresa D'Antuono

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top 10 Websites for Halloween Ideas

Halloween is next Wednesday. You might be going to parties this weekend and there will definitely be trick or treating next week. Maybe you just want to get in the spooky spirit. Below are links from everything to costumes ideas, food and recipe ideas, decorations, pumpkins, safety, costumes for pets and more. We hope everyone in Lexington has a safe and Happy Halloween.











Figured I would through a link in from CBS Boston:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why You Need a Real Estate Agent

Home buyers and sellers today have access to an array of real estate search tools from computers, iPads and even mobile phones. Quick access to market data has truly benefited the initial property search, but to ensure a smooth home purchase or sale you'll need the help of a real estate professional.

Listing a Home
When selling your home, the goal is to get the greatest amount of money in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of inconvenience. However, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), a typical For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) home sold for $40,000 less than an agent-sold home. It all comes down to expertise.

In addition to staging your home, pricing it well, negotiating with the buyers and scheduling showings, your real estate agent will be an expert in marketing your property. Staging and professional photography are key to attracting potential buyers. Your REALTOR will also manage contract creation and ensure the entire process moves smoothly. A survey of FSBO sellers reported that understanding and performing the high volume of paperwork was the most difficult task, followed by correct pricing and home staging.

Buying a Home
Without a doubt, most home buyers search for properties online - 90 percent, according to NAR - but the actual process of buying a home is much more involved and complicated than scheduling showings.

When purchasing a property, you'll need someone who can negotiate the price, write up the necessary contract, work with the seller to push the transaction through, recommend the right home inspectors and vendors, interpret crucial mortgage data and generally manage the whole process. In a NAR survey, 40 percent of buyers reported the mortgage application and approval process to be more difficult than they expected.

Your home is your most precious financial asset. Put it in the hands of a real estate expert. I know the business, the Lexington area and have the full resources of Grant Cole Realtors so I can help you with all of your home buying or selling needs. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the market or your next steps.

Theresa D'Antuono

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Walk through Lexington

Lexington has four upcoming events that allow you to see fall in all its splendor.

Lexington Autumn Leaves
Thursday, October 17 from 2:30-4:00pm
This walk is geared for children in grades 2 – 5 accompanied by an adult. Join Karen Longeteig for a walk around the Buckman Tavern 'arboretum' to gather and identify autumn leaves and hear tree stories.
Wear boots or be prepared to have muddy shoes. The walk will take place in light drizzle, but will be cancelled if it pours.  Call walk leader if in doubt.
Meet at the Visitors Center on the Buckman Tavern grounds. Street and municipal lot parking are available.
Contact: Walk Leader: Karen Longeteig   781-862-4094

Walk Across Lexington
Sunday, October 20 from 9:30am-12:30pm
Take a walk on the second section of the new ACROSS Lexington trail system. ACROSS Lexington (Accessing Conservation land, Recreation areas, Open space, Schools and Streets in Lexington) will eventually consist of 40 miles of well marked walking, jogging and off-road biking routes connecting all of Lexington. This will be the inaugural walk on a wonderful new 4.5-mile route that will traverse several conservation areas, recreation areas and school property.
The route will consist of: Clarke Street, Lincoln Field, Bridge School, the Old Res, Marrett Road, a residential neighborhood, Clarke School, Dunback Meadow, Cotton Farm, Upper Vine Brook, Highland Avenue and back to town along the bikeway. 
This is a wonderful way to socialize on a quiet Sunday morning and meet people in Lexington that you may not know. Everyone will learn (and share) some Lexington history and interesting town facts and you'll get some excellent exercise. 
Severe inclement weather will cancel the walk. Meet at the rear of the Depot in Lexington Center.
Contact: Walk Leader: Rick Abrams   339-927-4345

Halloween Walk through the Old Burying Ground
Saturday, October 26 from 6:30-8:00pm
Start at the Depot Building and march to fifes and drums into the Old Burying Ground to meet Colonials of the past who will tell you their story. Good for children 5 and up. Advance reservations and tickets available by contacting the Historical Society. Visit their website at
Location: Lexington Depot Building. Contact: Lexington Historical Society   781-862-1703

Post Thanksgiving Holiday Walk
Saturday, November 30 from 1:00-3:00pm
Work off some of those Thanksgiving calories with CLC's First Annual Post Thanksgiving Walk. We will explore Whipple Hill and the new trail improvement structures built this past summer.
Wear sturdy hiking boots and bring a walking stick if you have one, as trails are steep. 
Heavy rain or snow cancels the walk. Meet at the Winchester Drive entrance. 
Maps of conservation lands can be found at
Contact: Walk Leader: Keith Ohmart   781-862-6216

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sell Your Lexington Home This Fall With These 5 Tips!

As you know, fall is one of the most beautiful times of year in Lexington MA!  Visitors find their way to our town to experience the rich history and beauty.  It comes as no surprise then, that buyers will also want to move to Lexington for the same reasons! 

If you’re considering selling your Lexington home this fall, you may be concerned about the activity on the Lexington Real Estate market.   And, while it’s not the busy spring or summer season, selling your home this time of year is not impossible!  In fact, buyers who search for a home during the fall are typically more serious about finding a home and settling in before the holiday season hits.

So, as you begin thinking through selling your home this fall, you may be wondering what you can do to help your home stand out from the competition.  Below are five great tips you won’t want to miss!

1. Create Beautiful Fall Curb Appeal- As we get more into the fall season, lawns and trees can begin to look drab.  Summer flowers are long gone and creating an eye catching home from the curb can be more of a challenge.  To make a solid first impression, be sure to keep leaves raked and debris off the driveway and sidewalk.  You’ll want to add a simple fall wreath and maybe a few pots with brightly colored mums to your front porch.  Also, don’t neglect your home.  Any siding or paint issues will be more easily seen with less foliage, so be sure to power wash or touch up paint before you begin showing your Lexington home

2. Don’t Overdo It- It can be easy to want to over decorate your home with fall themed decorations.  However, if a buyer walks into your home and can only see pumpkins, gords, and other harvest decor; it will immediately take away from the focus on your home.  Adding a few simple touches here and there will be enough to enhance your space without overpowering it.

3. Make Comfort a High Priority- As the days get cooler and drearier, you want people to feel instantly cozy when they come into your home.  Keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature, put out a few unlit fall scented candles, and have a fire in your fireplace.  Continue to help buyers envision themselves enjoying cool fall days by having a cozy throw on your couch and even a table with hot chocolate, cider and fall treats.  This will help your home stand out in a buyers mind as you appeal to all their senses!

4. Lighten Up Your Home- With the sun setting earlier, you’ll want to showcase your home in the best light.  If you host open houses earlier in the day, be sure to have curtains open to let in the natural light and keep your home feeling bright and airy.  If you’re showing your home in the later afternoon or evening, you’ll want to have warm light bulbs in every lamp and have as many lights on as possible.  A dark home can feel dreary and buyers will have a hard time seeing all the great features of your home. 

5. Don’t Stop on the First Floor- As you create a warm and welcoming environment in your home this fall, don’t forget to carry that feeling throughout your entire home.  Make sure bedrooms look fresh and clean by switching out an old comforter for a new fall one,  or add a few accent pillows to enhance the feeling of your bedroom being pulled together.  Each room throughout the home should be clean, free from clutter and feel as welcoming as possible. 

As a Lexington Real Estate agent, I want to help you prepare for home selling success!  Hopefully these tips will inspire you to create an environment in your home that buyers can’t refuse.

If you’re ready to get started with the home selling process, or if you’d like to meet up to talk more about getting your home sold; please feel free to contact me today!

Theresa D'Antuono