Adding a pond to your vacation home …

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Adding a pond to your vacation property

DCL HomeWorks LLC.



A free-form pond can be customized for any landscape, with different rocks, plants, shapes, and waterfalls. But we’ll give you some helpful points on placement, size, and materials.

Before you start, call 811 or your local one-call center to have electric and gas lines marked so you know where to dig to steer clear of them. Then, when you map out the location of your pond, put it where it will be noticed—visible from a window, off a patio, or along a walkway—but away from the play areas of small children or pets. Keep clear of major root systems or mature trees, which can block too much of the sunlight plants and fish need. You’ll also need to be within reach of a grounded exterior outlet so you can plug in a pump, an essential tool for keeping the water aerated; most pumps come with a maximum cord length of 25 feet, and extension cords are not recommended. You may need to bury the power cord a few inches down in PVC pipe to hide it.


Cleaning your outdoor furniture …

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When spring rains rinse and refresh the outdoors, decks, patios and everything on them get a bath, too. But, once it’s dry you see the remaining film that stays: dirt, bird droppings, sticky tree sap and buds, and whatever other debris that gets carried in the wind to land on your patio. These outdoor elements and others cause your furniture to stain, discolor and wear out much faster.

Keeping patio furniture looking like new for a long period of time is not difficult. Proper cleaning and maintenance will extend the life of your furniture. Here are some tips to caring for your outdoor patio furniture:

* Wash it with a good cleaner at the beginning of the season and then once a week squirt it off with a hose. Both dirt and chlorine will deteriorate patio furniture.

* When cleaning vinyl patio furniture, never use a harsh brush or bleach. The brush may create pores in the vinyl, damaging it and causing it to lose its shape. Plus, the bleach will deteriorate the vinyl.

* Check to make sure that none of the bolts holding the furniture together are rusty. Replace them if they are, and tighten them thoroughly.

* If the paint on aluminum furniture is in poor condition, rub it gently with a piece of fine steel wool or sandpaper to smooth it out. Next, take some standard car-wash polish to buff the furniture back to its original luster.


10 spring renovation projects … bringing your home back to life after a long winter

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10 Spring Home Improvement Projects

DCL HomeWorks LLC.  :   Deep Creek Lake, Maryland   :  (301) 533.0111   :

Now that winter is at its end and Spring is beginning its reign, now is the best time to work on those home improvement plans you’ve been talking about for the past couple of months. The following projects are perfect for a Spring home makeover and can also add resale value to your house.

1.) Update your Rain Gutters: Without rain gutters, our homes are defenseless against the raging rain storms. The water from rain could erode the soil around the foundation, splash dirt onto the siding of the house and leak into the basement causing internal damage to the house. Modern covered gutters cut maintenance to a minimum – no more climbing the roof to clean out the clogs. DiGiorgi offers Leaf Guard gutter systems brand gutter systems that not only lead water away from your house but keep leaves and other objects from clogging up the system.



2.) Build a Deck: Decks allow you to fully enjoy the sun and serve as a great place for socializing and dining. Decks come in all sizes and can be built in a short time with pressure treated wood or composite decking material, that withstands everything the Deep Creek Lake weather can throw at it.

3.) Add a Hot Tub: Did you know the ancient Egyptians were big fans of hot tubs? Treat yourself like a Pharaoh this Spring.  Hot tubs are calming after a long day and provide a fun social setting and major health benefits. You choose the hot tub from your favorite dealer—we’ll build a custom deck around it and create an oasis in your own background. 

4.) Update the Siding: All winter long you were inside keeping warm, while outside your house’s exterior was enduring the winter’s harsh temperatures and intense weather conditions. Have your siding inspected and consider replacement with today’s great looking, high performance, energy efficient siding options.


5.) Install an Enclosed Porch or Florida Room: You don’t have to live in Florida to enjoy an enclosed porch addition. Create a three or four season living space with energy efficient windows that make full use of the sun and create a window on the outside world. DCL HomeWorks will help you plan your porch addition and execute the project to the highest standards. Bring the Sunshine State to your Deep Creek Lake home with a Florida room this Spring.

6.) Have Your Air Conditioner Inspected: Summer follows Spring and we’re going to need our air conditioners more than ever. It’s a good idea to have your central air conditioning system inspected before it starts to get hot. Your air conditioner not only keeps your home cool during the hot summer months, it also dehumidifies your house and keeps mold from developing inside the walls. During the inspection, ask about installing a UV light inside the air conditioner to keep mold and other germs from developing.

7.) Repairing the Roof: This year’s intense snowfalls took a toll on lake area roofs. Your home’s roof may have suffered damage such as moisture seeping in between the cracks and creases. Curling, peeling and even disintegration of the shingles can occur if the roof is not inspected and repaired by a professional roofer.  A skylight is always a great idea for your home, but not the kind of skylight provided by a damaged roof.

8.)   Install Skylights: Skylights can dramatically increase the amount of light in your home, creating an open, sunny feeling in your favorite living space. Installing a skylight in your roof on your own can be a difficult job and leaks can be a problem if not professionally constructed.

9.) Kitchen Cabinets: Homeowners’ magazines this year are talking about sprucing up the kitchen cabinets as a spring home improvement project. Replace the knobs on the doors of the cabinets and add molding to give your cabinets a new look at a low cost. If you are ready for a full kitchen makeover, DCL HomeWorks can handle new cabinets, a center island, and all the details that make your kitchen the centerpiece of your home.


10.) A New Mailbox: This is an incredibly simple way to add to your house’s sidewalk appeal. A new mailbox that complements the style of your home gives a clean and welcoming look to your home’s entrance.

Instead of sitting around and watching the grass grow after three long months of winter, spring into action this Spring. Plant the garden, paint your door, build that deck and give us a call if we can help. Here Comes the Sun, and in the words of the Beatles, “It feels like years since it’s been here.”

21st Century Building Trends

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Where form meets function:

The rise of new building methodology and technology has created a host of exciting trends in building. From multi-function living space, to home automation, all the way up to allowing your home to work in-sync with the surrounding environment, have all improved not only the quality of general home construction, but the functional aspects of the home. Here are 7, current building trends, that can be used when building, renovating or adding on to your existing home.

  1. Accessibility:

This can be linked, sometimes, to factors associated with aging or a general second look at current space. Highly accessible bathrooms, living spaces and especially kitchen/dining areas, are becoming the norm. It’s amazing how much open space is created, simply by taking a revised look at existing space, re-fitting in key components and opting for often more energy efficient and functional modern equipment. Fewer stairs, larger doorways, and cleaner/modern design spaces are all linked to the accessibility puzzle. In a recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) survey, nearly half of the design professionals who responded, said that accessibility was key in today’s home design market.

  1. Large Garages:

The garage has become more than just a docking bay for cars these days. They offer extra storage or even a hangout for hosting social events. In an area like Deep Creek Lake, where often boats, kayaks, ATVs, snow skies, etc are a normal item for homeowners to have, a large garage can be a perfect place to store all your outdoor accessories, along with your car.

  1. Multi-Function rooms:

As homes change in layout and size, according to the AIA, rooms designed solely for one purpose, are going to the wayside. To replace them, all-purpose rooms are taking over. Kitchen/dining area combinations, living room/play area combinations, are a great way to maximize the flexibility of space, especially in homes intended to accommodate guests.

  1. Home within a home:

Deep Creek home owners are often entertaining family, friends or other groups. The layout of a home can be modified, or designed, to offer literal homes within a home. Here various design aspects can work together, tailoring each section of the home with a different function and feel, making it almost like a harmonious single, yet separate, living space.

  1. Energy Efficiency:

Many people associate green with expensive. While some green alternatives cost more upfront, many are simple changes that can save a lot in the long run. From properly sealing the home, to the use of energy star appliances all the way into the application of solar and geo-thermal technology – where efficiency was once an option it’s quickly becoming the norm.

  1. Home plans for today’s lifestyle:

Laundry areas have evolved to offer easy access, from a variety of points within the home. Some owners even install laundry chutes, allowing quick drop off from any desired point. What is dubbed a “Costco pantry” is a large pantry, right off a garage, used for storing bulk items for the kitchen, without cluttering up the rest of the house.

Finally, drop points are areas, where upon entry into the house, gadgets such as cellular phones, ipods, keys, etc can be dropped, for quick and continuous access.

  1. The open plan:

While nothing new, in the realm of home renovation or construction, the open plan is becoming increasingly popular. The open plan not only makes a home’s interior seem larger, it offers open line of sight, less hallways and a continuous flow. According to AIA, a 3,200 square foot, open floor plan today can appear larger than a 4,000 square foot floor plan, of 20 years ago. A visitor would feel like they are in a larger home, when in fact the home is 20% smaller.

If you are interested in taking a fresh look at your current home, contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Ice Damming … A potential winter time disaster

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Ice Damming:

Often, the feeling created by a home laden with icicles, brings back fond memories of wintertime and the holiday season. In reality those beautiful pillars of ice could be signaling a major problem brewing on top of your home, ice damming. An ice dam is a common home maintenance issue in colder climates, like what we experience at Deep Creek Lake in the winter. These occur when snow accumulates on the slanted roof of a house with inadequate or failing insulation. As heat rises, it conducts through the inadequate insulation and warm air bypasses through the attic warming the roof. Often snow that has accumulated on the roof above living spaces melts, but the snow on overhangs does not. Melted water flows down the roof, under the cover of the un-melted snow. Eventually this allows ice to accumulate along the eave and in the gutter. As the snow above heated living spaces continues to melt, the water cannot drain properly through the ice created on the eave and in the gutter. This water has nowhere to go and is indiscriminate in its infiltration of the home, often damaging ceilings, walls, floors and the result in an unoccupied vacation home, can be a disaster.


To make matters worse, if an untrained person attempts to remove the snow and ice that has resulted in a dam, it can cause further damage to the roof.

There are a variety of ways to prevent and manage an ice dam. One is simply getting onto the roof and removing the snow and ice build-up, though as mentioned above, this can cause further damage to the roof. The best way is to increase insulation, sealing and ventilation in the attic space, thus eliminating hot air from warming the roof above living spaces, and allowing heat to escape via ventilation. Another option is to install heat cable in gutters and along the eaves of the roof, melting the ice that accumulates as snow melts and preventing the dam.


Over the years tough winters in Garrett County have resulted in various ice dam related problems for our clients. To stay on top of ice damming and prevent it from happening, we have found two products that work very well when installed correctly.

The first is Grace Weather Shield. Grace weather shield is a premiere waterproofing membrane, constructed of two waterproof materials – aggressive asphalt adhesive backing backed by a layer of high density, cross laminated polyurethane. The back of the shield applies to a roof or decking surface and the rubberized surface seals around nails, preventing water infiltration through nail holes from ice damming or wind driven rain.

The use of two water proof materials creates a dual barrier blocking water infiltration into the home and functions well underneath asphalt, cedar shakes, tile, slate and metal.


As I mentioned above, heat cable is often used to combat ice damming by melting the ice in gutters and on roof eaves. The problem is, heat cable can be unreliable. Often small animals such as squirrels can chew the cable’s coating, causing it to fail, or heavy snow can push the cable out of place or damage it. Also, many homeowners don’t like the appearance of heat cable installed on their roof.

To combat all of these issues at DCL HomeWorks, we utilize a product called Thermal Tech or engineered roof de-icing. They create ice damming solutions that use traditional heating technology encased in a permanent aluminum housing, even creating sloped eave covers that allow water to drain. These are outfitted to match your current roof color and are not only attractive, but act as a permanent fix to ice dam related water leaks.



To contact us for a consolation regarding an ice dam related problem at your home, feel free to contact us via email, or phone (301) 533.0111

For information on the products described in this article, visit: and   

How are things in your, “Nest?”

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When looking at the multitude of new home management products released each year, occasionally something grabs my attention as truly innovative and out of the box. Recently I stumbled across something called, “Nest.” On the outside this looks like an iPod touch and a digital thermostat had a baby. After some research into the product, it’s that and a host of other features.

On the surface the Nest appears like a cool, easy to read, digital thermostat. It’s second generation model works in line as a learning thermostat. This means an internal CPU picks up on common trends and adjusts itself automatically for those.

Here is what sets the Nest apart. First, the nest has a motion sensor. If it notices motion in a room that corresponds with the temperature adjusting to 70 (i.e. if you walk into the room and turn up the thermostat) then upon detecting motion it will automatically adjust the temperature. If the Nest notices that a lack of motion corresponds to the temperature being lowered, (i.e. you lower the temperature when you leave for work) then it will lower it automatically as well.

If you wake up at about the same time each morning, turn up the heat, then turn it down when you leave, the nest will do that automatically. It can even be preset to raise and lower the temperature at certain times. 

If that wasn’t enough, the Nest also complies graphs on energy usage, showing your peak consumption and offering tips on how to save energy. You can even link it with your wi-fi network and access it from any computer, tablet or smart phone and adjust the temperature on the go. If you left your Deep Creek home and forgot to turn down the temp, no big deal, grab your phone and adjust it. If you are headed to the lake and want your house nice and warm, adjust it from your phone or PC before you leave, or on the way.

What makes the Nest so attractive to us, as property managers, is that it doesn’t require extensive, high tech and costly set-up. All that is required is the Nest unit, a wireless network and a low voltage thermostat hook up. A free app download syncs the unit with Android and iOS, and online access works via a PC or Mac. 

Check out the video below along with Nest’s website. If you are interested in having a Nest of your own, contact us today for installation.



Gaining peace of mind and enjoying your time at Deep Creek Lake …

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All gave some, some gave all.

Renovation : Remodeling : Property Management: Landscaping and more

DCL HomeWorks is a member of the Maryland Home Improvement Commission: (MHIC) #: 95329

DCL HomeWorks is also a member of the Maryland Home Builders Registry: (MHBR) #: 5418

DCL HomeWorks is a satellite member of the National Association of the Re-modeling Industry (NARI) Organization #: 12630192

DCL HomeWorks is a registered pro

MaryLand     logo porch


DCL HomeWorks has only one mission: to make Deep Creek Lake a second home paradise for home owners. The lake area has been a reprieve from stressful city life for generations and here at HomeWorks, we want to ensure you maximize every minute of your time at the lake. We want to make DCL more than just a part-time home or vacation destination but a place that truly holds a special place in your heart.

Over the past 14 years, we have compiled a network of licensed, insured and experienced contractors to manage, fix and renovate any issue a lake home can present. As your single point of contact for any property/home related concern, we want to make sure that caring for or expanding your DCL home is painless, fun and unforgettable.

When you reach Sidling Hill (coming from DC or Baltimore) or turn onto 1-79 (coming from Pittsburgh) your mind should slip into a state of relaxation, improved by the certainty of knowing your home has been professionally cared for.

If you’re ready to make Deep Creek Lake more than just a getaway, contact DCL HomeWorks today.

Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland:

Oakland-Deep_Creek_LakeDeep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest inland body of water. Like all Maryland lakes, it is man made. Composed of 3,900 acres of water and 69 miles of shoreline, the lake is the perfect retreat for boating, water skiing and swimming. In the summer months the lake’s water temperature reaches the mid-seventies and a variety of native freshwater fish make it perfect for anglers. During the winter months the lake freezes solid offering ice fishermen an exciting getaway. The ancient sport of ice-boating is still practiced on the lake, with both winter and summer adventure sports being popular.

The surrounding area offers a variety of state parks. Deep Creek Lake state park offers hiking, swimming, mountain biking and breath taking views. Swallow Falls State Park boasts Maryland’s largest waterfall. Herrington Manor state park, Big Run state forest and New Germany state park are all a stone’s throw away from the lake area.

img_0107-1200Wisp Resort is located in McHenry, Maryland offering skiing in the winter along with a variety of summer activities. ASCI (Adventure Sports Center International) is nearby and serves as one of the world’s only artificial white water rivers.




Office: (301) 533.0111


Some resources we follow and recommend to home owners:



Green Home Institute: Sustainable Hardwood Contractor


Hanleywood University: Propane/solar water heating contractor, renewable propane solutions contractor, solar/propane hybrid energy solutions contractor, exterior design for remodeling contractors