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special advertising section efficient in terms of its energy use. Habit is the 6th largest builder in the nation right now. I'm very proud to be working with Habitat and spreading the word not only for affordable housing, but also green building. Each Habitat Regional Chapter selects projects they are going to build. And every Habitat project is very focused on green design. The projects will blend professionals—mason, carpenters, plumbers—with volunteers. And between the strength of knowl- edge and the strength of a volunteer labor base, Habitat is really focus on green building—which is better for the homeowner and the planet. Spring Spruce Up Don your work gloves, dust off garden furniture, and clean those paint brushes. 'Tis the season to make those home and garden improvements you haven't been able to get to all winter—whether it's adding a fresh coat of paint, planting the window boxes, or layinvg a new brick terrace. Northshore asked local builders and landscape designers what they suggest to spruce up our homes this spring. Here's what the experts say: "One great way to spruce up your home is to replace any rotting trim piec- es—railings, porch newel posts, balusters—and add a fresh coat of paint," says Chris Monaco, owner of Monaco Johnson Group. "Painting the front door in an accent color can make your house pop." Chris also suggests other small fixes that can make a big impact, such as replacing your old storm door, updat- ing your mailbox and house numbers, replacing old door hardware, installing a new entry light, and adding planters to the front porch. "Pressure wash your walkways and steps," says Tony Hurley of Artistic Landscapes. "Oftentimes, bluestone and concrete will discolor or become PhotograPhy by Michael rixon slippery from algae—pressure washing will bring back their natural look and make them safer to use." Tony also suggests going through magazines and cut- ting out garden and plant photos you like. Then, you or your landscape design- er can introduce them into your garden. He also says to incorporate elements that will help you enjoy the laid-back summer months once the spring planting is done, such as a new patio or fire pit. Steve Howell, owner of Howell Custom Building Group, believes adding simple architectural elements, such as a wall-mounted trellis or window flower boxes painted to match your house trim color are great spruce-up moves. He Mara Landscape Design, LLC We specialize in creating outdoor living spaces that enrich the home and community. Leader in Oriental Rug Cleaning for 75 Years Free Pick Up and Delivery Eco-Friendly and Green Certified Cleaning Agents 13 Withington St. Newbury, MA 01951 50 Greensboro Rd, Suite101 Hanover, NH 03755 A safely cleaned oriental, brings out the best in every room! Ph. 603 632 1230 Cell. 603 304 9513 Marblehead | Newburyport | Danvers | Peabody 781-631-3321

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