8LF | THURSDAY , OCTOBER 1 , 2020 | THE RECORD P HOMESCAPE / ADVERTISING SECTION
Property Lines : where to look
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company to rule out any underground gas lines . Once in the ground , markers are hard to move , but if there ’ s any reason to question validity , reach out to the original surveyor , said Klapper .
Deed : A deed holds the most value as an instrument that conveys the title to your property , but it can also offer up some clues to your property line . “ A deed is going to give you a general idea of location ,” Klapper said . Your deed may use a metes-and-bounds description ( which starts at a point of beginning and heads clockwise ) and / or refer to the plat ( map ) of subdivision recorded with the county clerk . A deed can be a good intro to any markers of record on the property .
Kitchen Islands : seating matters
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AT YOUR SERVICE
“ In today ’ s new normal with so many people now working from home , kitchens have taken on a totally different role ,” Sherman comments . “ Food is being carefully sorted and washed before anything is put away . So , a second sink [ in the island ] is useful . But you also need more counter space for all this disinfecting . Islands for microwaves and warming drawers are popular , too , serving as extended prep and reheat stations . Even take-out is being reheated to sanitize it .”
Fennessy says that many of her firm ’ s clients are moving the cooktop to the island . “ They want to create another cooking station for a second chef ,” a practical choice as families are more inclined toward home-cooked
If you can ’ t find your deed , no worries . Deeds are on file with the clerk ’ s office in your county of residence . County clerk / hall of records : The plat of survey in your development is a map that divides land into blocks and lots , a system you might be familiar with from your municipal tax bill . This map is drawn to scale and will depict roadways , easements , flood zones , and the general configuration of the lots . “ If the lot was created in the 1800s , it ’ s probably not going to show conditions as they are today ,” cautioned Klapper .
Municipal tax maps / assessor ’ s office : Tax maps , as mentioned , also use a block and lot system to identify homes , which can give a general understanding of the property .
meals now . “ And ,” she says , “ it ’ s a great way for the host or hostess to enjoy the party while entertaining .” All that cooking also requires adequate ventilation . “ An overhead vent can be a grand focal point for a kitchen ,” suggests Fennessy . “ And we see vent hoods installed above an island . However , this adds to the overall cost of the project if the ductwork [ for venting cooking odors , smoke , and grease to the outdoors ] isn ’ t already in place .
“ Another option is a pop-up vent , or downdraft system , that rises out of the island when in use ,” she adds . This system draws the bad air down and through vents under the floor to the outside . It ’ s not as effective as hooded system , but it ’ s much more efficient than a fan .
They are created for tax purposes with numerals that may not match the plat of survey , said Klapper . Most of the time these maps will line up with the survey , O ’ Connor said , but it ’ s not always 100 percent , so still not enough to base a project on . Realtors typically have access to tax maps through their Multiple Listing Service , he said .
Your iPhone : For those more comfortable with technology than old stakes in the ground , O ’ Connor suggested the homesnap app , which contains realtime data including property lines based on GPS and other tools . A potential buyer or a curious homeowner can have the experience of walking the property ’ s boundaries with homesnap or a similar app .
Fennessy recommends bar stools . How many depends on how much space you can allocate for proper seating . “ Each stool generally requires 36 inches of space for sitting and getting up and down with ease . And remember to plan a counter overhang of seven to eight inches to sit comfortably .”
“ I use the 24 inches per seat rule ,” Sherman counters . “ If you have large stools , then you need more space . If you have swivel stools , they also need more space for your knees to pass the next stool . Also , counter stools are for kitchen counter height and bar stools are for bar height . I run into clients who purchase stools that are too high for the counter and they are uncomfortable when seated .” Again , measure .
Building department : This is the place to go to learn of any zoning or other restrictions on property , nice to know if you are planning a project and want to stay on the neighbors ’ good side .
Like a detective you can track down your property line in a few ways , but the most reliable is the survey you have done professionally . To save some money before starting out , Klapper suggests talking to the town to find out the type of survey it requires . Some towns want a topographical survey which considers terrain and features of the land . Having to schedule a second survey because of poor communication with the municipality is an unnecessary wrinkle in your project schedule . So , do your homework and eliminate obstacles .
For additional comfort , consider where the best placement for seating will be at an island that serves other functions .
“ I am not a big fan of sitting directly across [ from ] a cooktop or a sink ,” says Sherman . “ If I have to have either cooking or cleanup at the island , I will offset the seating when possible . Also , I always try to have the seating wrap around the corner , so you don ’ t feel like you are sitting at a diner counter .”
Finally , don ’ t forget about lighting . Recessed fixtures can illuminate tasks at the island . But you ’ ll probably want some type of decorative lighting , too .
“ Many homeowners are using one or two lanternstyle fixtures , today ,” notes Fennessy . “ But we also see pendants and chandeliers as popular choices .”
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Knowing where property lines are is critical when installing a fence or building a structure that requires a setback .
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