Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fall 2017 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

As we move into the holiday season, I am prompted to reflect on the importance and nature of community, and especially how fortunate we are to live in a neighborhood like Lakeport. As relative newcomers (April 2015), Mary and I have enjoyed the natural beauty of Lakeport and Lake Thoreau and our proximity to wonderful cultural venues, fine dining, and recreation and shopping of all kinds. We have also appreciated getting to know neighbors throughout Lakeport and look forward to getting acquainted with those of you whom we have not had the opportunity to meet.

Before moving to Lakeport, I was a faculty member at the University of Miami, and my long-time academic habits prompt me to share the following thoughts on community. The English word “community” derives from the Latin communis, meaning “shared by all or many,” which in turn finds its origin in the prefix cum (“with”) and the root munis (“obligatory service” or “duty”). Thus the original meaning of “community” seems to refer to a group that shares, and in particular one that shares duties and services. For most people our family is our first and most enduring example of such community, something we’re reminded of especially during this holiday time. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could think of our Lakeport community in the same way, as a group of people who are willing to share the responsibilities and tasks that are necessary to have the highest quality of communal life possible?

Interestingly, the word “communication” shares the same Latin roots as “community” and means literally “to make common,” with a similar implication of sharing duties and obligations. And obviously communication is essential to the formation and maintenance of community, further encouragement for us to make a serious effort to get to know one another and share our thoughts and ideas about ways to enhance our community.

We hope you find Ripples, Lakeport’s newsletter, a helpful medium for communication within our community. Toward that goal, we welcome responses to this issue (ssapp@miami.edu).

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Alerts and Reminders

  • Image result for image for reminder
    Leaf removal: Genesis landscape service will be back for our second leaf removal on December 8.

  • Holiday trash schedule: American Disposal Service will not be picking up trash on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Christmas trees will be collected on January 3 and January 10 (no decorations, tinsel, or plastic bags, please).
NOTE: Please do not dump your Christmas tree in the woods!

  • Regular trash collection: If your trash or recycling is not picked up by 2:00 p.m. on a scheduled collection day, please call ADS at 703-388-0500 (also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin if you forget the number).

  • Inspection letters: To maintain the standards and value of our community, our management company made an architectural inspection of all Lakeport homes to identify maintenance problems and violations of standards that need to be addressed, as specified in our cluster bylaws. Affected owners have received letters and should plan to correct the items noted or request an extension to make the corrections. Those not receiving letters have one more thing to be thankful for!

  • Frozen pipes: Several Lakeport residents have had to deal with burst water pipes as a result of freezing temperatures. If you have pipes that are vulnerable, you should take steps to avoid having to address the problem of broken pipes and potentially costly damage and repairs. It is also a good idea to arrange with a neighbor to have access to each other’s homes in case one or the other of you is out of town when this (or some other emergency) arises.

  • Quarterly assessments: From time to time some residents forget to pay their quarterly HOA assessment and have to pay an additional $25 late fee if the payment is not received by SCS within 30 days of the beginning of the quarter (i.e., by January 30, March 30, July 30, and October 30—note that SCS goes by the date they receive the payment, not when it is postmarked). One strategy that many residents have found helpful is to set up an automatic payment plan with their bank.

  • Dog waste: If you see a dog walker who fails to pick up the dog’s waste, please remind the person that doggie bags are available at two stations on the walking path in Lakeport.

Design Standards Committee

By Kelly Driscoll, Chair

The Design Standards Committee is looking into options to amend the design standards to allow another option for front doors in Lakeport Cluster. Several homeowners have expressed an interest in replacing their front door but have been unable to find an option to match the original design with three glass panels. Reston Association wasn’t able to provide any specific guidance on a replacement door that would be approved by the RA Design Review Board.

If anyone is interested in working with the Design Standards Committee on this project or wants to contribute recommendations or ideas to the effort, please contact Kelly Driscoll (kmdriscoll@outlook.com). The committee will need to identify a door design that is readily available and fits in with the existing designs. Once options are identified we’ll work with the Board to get more specific feedback from homeowners and submit a request to RA’s Design Review Board.

Door designs currently allowed by the Lakeport Cluster Design Standards
Phase 2 (Three Glass Panel Door)
Phase 2 (15 Panel Door)
Phase 1 (Solid Door)

Home Maintenance Reminders and Tips

By Kay Quam and MaryAnn Hoadley, Board Members

As a result of the annual standards inspection, a number of homeowners recently received notices of maintenance that needs to be performed on their homes. This is a good reminder for all of us to take a close look at the exterior of our dwellings.

Lakeport Cluster is now three decades old. It is inevitable that our homes will need maintenance. We may be more likely to update or make improvements on the interior because we see that every day. In fact, many homeowners have renovated their interiors. We are less likely, however, to notice the need for upkeep to the outside of our homes. Take this opportunity to look more closely at the exterior of your home:

  • Is the trim deteriorating in some places or in need of paint?
  • Are siding boards cracked or rotting on the edges (see below about potential problems if not addressed early on)?
  • Are railings scratched and rusting?
  • Are walks and decks looking worn?
  • Are you wondering if it’s time to replace your roof (see below about why you perhaps should be)?

Now is the time to fix those items before they become big—and more expensive—problems. And if you are planning a major maintenance project (e.g., siding, trim, painting, roof, windows, or driveway) or have had experience with a vendor you would recommend, please pass this information on to the Board. Pricing might be more favorable if several owners negotiate with the same companies for their services.

Remember that the appearance of each home contributes to the appearance of the entire community and also affects everyone’s house values. Let’s make Lakeport a Reston cluster that stands out as a desirable place to live because all of our homes look fresh and well maintained. Let’s also be good neighbors and inform other residents in Lakeport about recent problems we have encountered so they can avoid them.

Learning from our neighbors

Because our homes were built in the mid- to late-1980s, we are approaching the 30-year mark, which is the typical warranty timeframe for most roofs. The Lakeport developer used FRTD (Fire Retardant Treated Plywood) as the sheathing under the asphalt roof shingles. Many articles have appeared about this plywood because it is known to disintegrate over time (see, e.g.,
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/11/nyregion/a-plywood-used-in-many-homes-is-found-to-decay-in-a-few-years.html?pagewanted=all). During the recent final move-in inspection of MaryAnn Hoadley’s house, the disintegration of this plywood was clearly visible from the attic. The wood was black and splintering. Obviously this affected the structural integrity of the roof itself, which is why it was the first thing she replaced. The cost of replacing the affected plywood and the shingles was about $5500. Another roofing-related item to be aware of is the flashing around the chimney. In MaryAnn’s case, water had been running down behind the shingles due to flashing that had not been repaired.

During MaryAnn’s homeowner’s inspection rotted siding where the retractable awnings attached to the house was noted as being in need of repair, a project that ended up being fairly expensive because both the siding and the plywood underneath had to be replaced. As a result of moisture from this problem, some termite damage also had to be removed and repaired (the same moisture sources that cause fungal wood decay can encourage termite infestation). To prevent mold and termites, identify moisture sources like leaky plumbing, leaking roofs, dripping air conditioning condensers, and poorly maintained gutters that don’t drain away from the home’s foundation . . . and then fix them fast! Any of these moisture sources create the perfect environment for mold growth and termites.