By Mark Sidgwick
United Water reminds its customers in the Pelhams that there are certain steps to take to protect their water meters and prevent pipes from freezing this winter. Homeowners are responsible for preventing damage to the water meter and pipes inside their property line from damage caused by frost and external causes. They are also responsible for any costs that might be incurred to repair such damage.
On a beautiful but still chilly March day in Pelham Manor, Carolyne Rainero sat in the brand new kitchen of her recently fully renovated 1910 house at 678 Ely Avenue and reflected on the process that brought her and her husband Julian to their new home. The couple was already living close by on Manor Lane with their three young girls and they knew that it was time to move up to a larger house and so they began their search, knowing they wanted to stay in the Siwanoy school district. “We had been looking for some time and this was the first one that we both really liked,” said Carolyne as she showed me around the impressively finished renovation.
National Wildlife Federation® announced this month that the property of Tai and Andrea Montanarella, members of the Environmental Coalition of the Pelhams (EcoPel), located in Pelham Manor is now recognized as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat™ site. The property attracts a variety of birds, butterflies and other local animals by providing a wildlife-friendly landscape.
The first step in planning a home improvement project is establishing your goals. What are you trying to achieve? Are you tired of your old bathroom, leaking faucet, moldy tile and rusted bathtub or has your family grown and you can no longer all fit in your kitchen? It could be as simple as a bathroom makeover or as complicated as a kitchen or a family room addition with master bedroom suite above. Do you simply need to repair your patio or do you wish to create a larger patio and outdoor kitchen? This is where your dream becomes an actual wish list. At this stage, specifics are less important than establishing the scope of the project. A rough budget is helpful as well. This will help you determine what kind of professional help you need to achieve your goals.
Chris Weber, a lifetime Pelham resident who grew up at 522 Stellar Avenue, a modest Colonial in the Manor that the family had bought in 1963, recalls: “It was a sad day.” She is speaking about the day that her father Gus, a former TWA pilot, told her that they had to cut down the cherry tree in the front yard. When she was young, every summer it had yielded a bounty of juicy black cherries that delighted her and the neighborhood kids; now it was diseased and had to go. It was the last remaining cherry tree on the block, in an area that had once-upon-a-time been a cherry orchard. It seemed like the end of an era.
When we last talked to Dan and Simona Beldiman for our Fall, 2014 issue, they were in the early stages of renovating their 1920 Tudor at 620 Esplanade. The house had been gutted, framing was almost complete and a bump-out on the second floor had added 500 square feet to the floor plan. Wiring and plumbing were well under way under the watchful eye of lead contractor John Saravia of Landmark Construction, but it was still a construction site, not a home. In the yard, boulders had been moved to the bottom of the garden in preparation of raising and flattening the lawn and extensive new drainage was planned since an underground stream in the area and Pelham’s high water table demanded it.
When Suzanne and Van Snyder moved to Pelham in May of 2014 with their two boys, there had been two main factors that drove their search for a town. Firstly, with both of them working, an easy walk to the train was a must. Secondly, they have a child with special needs, so finding a school district with a strong reputation in that department was also critical. “I drew a one quarter mile circle around the train stations of the towns we liked,” said Van, “and we started looking.”
Asphalt driveways - Winter delivers the perfect mix of conditions to cause potholes, pits and cracks in asphalt surfaces. While you may need professionals to pour new asphalt, repairing existing asphalt is well within the abilities of most DIYers. For pothole repairs, start by sweeping and removing any loose materials from the area needing repair. One product to use is U.S. Cold Patch by Sakrete in the trouble spot. Spread evenly to a depth of no more than two inches at a time. Use the back side of a shovel to compact the material; then, because there is no oily tracking with this material, just drive over it a few times with your vehicle. The compaction causes the product to cure into an effective patch. For deeper potholes, keep repeating in two inch amounts until completely filled.
Consider this: An insulated garage door will maintain the temperature in your garage in the winter and summer and likely decrease heating and cooling costs.
Among Pelham’s diverse housing stock that dates back well over 100 years, 190 Townsend Avenue is an absolute baby, not even 20 years old. Built in 1996 when the neighboring property was divided into two lots, its style reflected contemporary trends, with a cathedral-ceilinged family room leading off the kitchen and a large master bedroom suite. The contractor who built it lived there with his family until 2011 when it was bought by the Gambone family. Relocating from New York City, where a backyard is a rarity, Ken and Joanne were attracted to the property particularly for the enormous yard after they had looked at everything else that was available at the time. “You just don’t get this in many other parts of Pelham,” said Joanne who is an avid marathon runner, loves the outdoors and has planted a vegetable plot that yields fresh summer produce for the dinner table.
When the weather heats up, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system quickly becomes a most valuable player in your home life and stays that way for several months.
Home inspections by licensed experts have become fairly common in today’s real estate transactions—checkups, performed by experts usually requested by prospective buyers, but often sought by homeowners who want to make sure their house meets basic standards. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) was formed in 1976 as a nonprofit organization to help set professional guidelines in the growing field of home inspections. Applicants undergo extensive field training and a written exam before receiving certification by the state, and they are required to keep up their skills through continuing education to maintain their license.