Monthly Archives: January 2020

Home, Sweet Home: Modifications for Maintaining a Healthy Living Space

If you and your family are experiencing symptoms that neither you or your doctor can account for, it might be time to take a close look at your living environment. A “sick” building may be the cause of health problems that mimic flu, cold, or allergy symptoms, which never seem to go away. The cause can be something as innocuous as carpeting, upholstered furniture, or pet dander, everyday objects that have a cumulative effect on one’s breathing. It’s essential to locate the source of the problem and take steps to resolve it, which can usually be done with fairly simple home modifications and repairs.


Bedrooms contain more allergens and indoor pollutants than any other room in the house, according to Green America. Bed clothing is an ideal breeding ground for dust mites and other microscopic irritants that contribute to an array of pulmonary and skin-related problems. Bedrooms are often among the most cluttered rooms in any home, providing ample opportunities for bacteria, mold, and cockroaches to live and multiply. Boxes and bags should be kept in the basement or in closets, and carpeting must be vacuumed and cleaned regularly to keep allergens from causing health problems. Recycling is important in keeping clutter under control. Look for a textile recycling facility in your area if you need to get rid of old bed clothing, mattresses, or clothing, and donate reusable appliances you no longer want to a homeless shelter or charitable organization, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army.


Carpeting is a haven for many of the allergens that cause or exacerbate a range of health problems. For that reason, it should be vacuumed and cleaned on a regular basis. The good news about carpeting is that, if kept clean, it can act as a huge filter that traps microbial and particulate indoor air pollution and odors in its fibers, which keeps these indoor air quality threats from re-entering the air. Left unattended, carpeting becomes an incubator for many kinds of indoor pollutants and contaminants. If you have pets, it’s especially important to keep your carpeting clean because pet dander, hair, ticks, and fleas can quickly accumulate and pose a serious threat to the air you and your family breathe. If you choose to replace carpeting with hardwood or tile surfaces, make sure you have quality tools, including a hammer, tape measure, and utility knife (available for $13.99 on Amazon).

Paint Problems

Lead-based paint is less of a health problem than it used to be thanks to the World Health Organization, but it’s still present in many older homes. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that as much as 40 percent of US housing has some exposure to lead paint. It is a dangerously toxic substance that should be replaced with a safe substitute, though the EPA recommends that a qualified contractor do the work. If you need to remove lead paint from your home, this can be an expensive project with costs ranging from $9,600 to $30,000. There are many paints you can use instead that are comprised of safe ingredients that come from natural substances like berries, roots, and plants.

Lush Living

Emphasize the natural beauty inherent in your yard with low-water landscaping. Emphasize hardy and durable greenery and colorful plants, but take the time to organize it all thoughtfully and strategically rather than creating a jumble of lush vegetation that’s difficult to keep under control. You can beautify your yard in many ways and get as creative as you like with an array of plants and flowers. If you live in a dry region, consider using plants that flourish in arid climates, such as deep blue Arizona sage or Munstead violet English lavender.

Self-Care Space

Take care not to overlook your mental and emotional well-being when making modifications aimed at making home a healthier place to be. Everyone needs some time to themselves, a period relaxing interlude during a busy week. Consider transforming a room into a reading space with soft lighting, green plants, and comfortable chairs, or you may opt to set up a meditation room.

Your family’s health and well-being is always your first priority, and if there’s one place where you should feel safe and healthy, it’s at home. Take a close and careful look at the materials in your living space if your family is experiencing inexplicable health problems. You may be able to correct the problem with a few simple modifications.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

If you and your family are experiencing symptoms that neither you or your doctor can account for, it might be…

Jenna Kimberley Featured in the January Issue of Build Des Moines ‘2020 Predictions’

As home buyers continue to demand new homes at $300,000 or below, Jenna Kimberley of Kimberley Development says developers will need to seek new ways to meet that demand. “It’s a unique situation. Municipalities are typically not allowing smaller lots, which is what the market needs right now since development costs continue to rise. The zoning and stormwater regulations make it extremely difficult to meet the price point buyers are looking for.”

She says 25% of the price of a new home used to be land-related costs. Now that cost is closer to 30%, which drives up the price of the home or reduces the amenities builders can offer. Because the majority of buyers are in the midrange market, inventory levels in that range will continue to remain low while homes over $400,000 are sitting for as long as six months.

“I don’t see that situation changing in the year ahead,” she says. “But builders and developers will continue negotiating with municipalities to get those regulations in line with what the market demands.” While some local communities are beginning to recognize the changing needs of both developers and homeowners, the cost of development and the struggle with regulation will remain an ongoing challenge for builders in the years ahead. Kimberley doesn’t anticipate the November elections will have a major long-term effect on the housing industry, however.

“Elections typically cause a kneejerk reaction, but over the long term, they don’t have a significant effect. Trade agreements, especially the U.S.-China agreement, is much more significant. A positive result there can really help the market.” In general, Kimberley says, “You can ask a dozen economists what they think will happen with interest rates and markets, and you’ll get a different answer from each one. No one can really predict what’s ahead. As a company, we look at the trends and the overall economic situation, and then we continue to adapt to meet those demands as best we can.

As home buyers continue to demand new homes at $300,000 or below, Jenna Kimberley of Kimberley Development says developers will…

Kimberley attention to detail, quality of materials & construction, and responsiveness to customer concerns is excellent

Building with Kimberley Development was a great experience from start to finish. We had an outstanding building supervisor who worked with us every step of the way. The Kimberley attention to detail, quality of materials & construction, and responsiveness to customer concerns is excellent. We recently moved into our villa and couldn’t be happier with it. We definitely recommend Kimberley Development for a great building experience!

Conrad Jungmann | Waukee