Monthly Archives: November 2014

Do Brass Doorknobs Disinfect Themselves?

Do Brass Doorknobs Disinfect Themselves?

For centuries brass has been the metal of choice for door knobs. In recent years design trends have shifted to brushed nickel coated steel and recently to black coated steel. But there may have been a reason brass was popular for so long … it actually kills bacteria. As many infections can be spread by door knobs, it’s interesting to note that a brass knob (unvarnished) will disinfect itself in about seven hours. Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum knobs will never disinfect themselves.

This effect was discovered by Swiss botanist Carl von Nageli in the 1890’s and is known as the Oligodynamic effect. He studied how metal ions, even in low concentrations, are toxic to living cells and microorganisms, concluding that the metal ions of silver and copper and copper alloys interfere with their metabolism.

You might think that shiny stainless steel door knob would be a better antibacterial than a grungy-looking tarnished brass one. Think how many times you have seen stainless steel knobs in hospitals, they must know a few things about germs, right? In fact, brass (being a copper alloy commonly 65% copper/35% zinc) is germicidal. Stainless steel (being an iron alloy (88% iron/12% chromium) is not.

If you want to get the most disinfectant benefit from your brass door knobs you have to remove the coating that manufacturers put on them to keep them shiny. Paint stripper will do the trick. You’ll have to polish once in a while if you want them to be shiny, but they also look very nice if you let them age to a beautiful patina. Here’s to beautiful brass.

Things to do in the Fall around Sudbury, MA

Things to do in the Fall around Sudbury, MA

Fall is my favorite time of year in New England, the air is crisp and has the smell of falling leaves and harvest time is upon us.

If you like picking apples, there are lots of opportunities in Metrowest Boston, about 45 minutes from the city. You can pick your own or buy them in their country stores, and remember no pets allowed, so even though the idea of having Rover run through the fields sounds great, leave him/her at home (it’s for their own safety). Here are some of my current favorites:

    • Honeypot Hill in Stow (http://www.honeypothill.com/) is open daily 10-5 and they have a petting zoo of farm animals, a hedge maze, hayrides and lots of easy apples to pick. Be sure to check out their apple cider donuts, yummy.
    • Berlin Orchards in Berlin (http://www.berlinorchards.com/) is also open daily 10-5 and a little later on the weekends, they also have barnyard animals and hayrides.
    • Shelburne Farm in Stow (http://www.shelburnefarm.com/) open daily 9-6. They have farm animals, pony rides, a moon bounce and on the weekends they have a hay mountain and toy tractor rallies.
    • Tougas Family Farm & Kitchen in Northboro (http://www.tougasfarm.com/) open daily. They have wagon rides to the orchards on the weekends, be sure to check out their apple crisp.
    • Belkin Family’s Lookout Farm in Natick (http://www.lookoutfarm.com/) open daily 10-5. Lots of weekend activities, including train rides and an expanded childrens play area with burlap maze, hay pyramid, and pony/caterpillar rides.

 There is also a unique place in Bolton, called the Nashoba Valley Winery (http://www.nashobawinery.com/) open daily 10-5, where you can pick apples as well as enjoy tasting some of their micro-brews and locally produced wines. Their restaurant is both excellent and has a spectacular setting so you can get great food with a view.

 I hope you enjoy visiting some or all of these places.
What is Average House Size in Greater Metrowest Boston Towns?

What is Average House Size in Greater Metrowest Boston Towns?

As most people know, real estate is not a liquid asset.  In order to convert it to cash you have to put it up for sale and find a buyer who is willing to buy it, which can take an unpredictable amount of time and effort. If you want to have your home as easy to sell as possible, my best advice, which I have followed in several of my own home acquisitions, is this:  When you buy a house in the average size for the town in which it is located it will always sell. 

So here’s a list of average house sizes for homes that have sold from January 1, 2014 to today for towns in the greater Metrowest Boston area.

They are listed from small to large.

  • Maynard   (1,715 sf)
  • Framingham   (1,945 sf)
  • Hudson   (2,005 sf)
  • Marlborough   (2,041 sf)
  • Ashland   (2,117 sf)
  • Northborough   (2,174 sf)
  • Natick   (2,182 sf)
  • Stow   (2,576 sf)
  • Acton   (2,609 sf)
  • Wayland   (2,730 sf)
  • Needham   (2,850 sf)
  • Southborough   (2,919 sf)
  • Sudbury   (3,112 sf)
  • Boxborough   (3,270 sf)
  • Concord   (3,298 sf)
  • Wellesley   (3,340 sf)
  • Lincoln    (3,512 sf)
  • Weston    (4,405 sf)
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