11
Mar

If you are in the market for a new home, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed, especially if this is your first time purchasing a home. First-time home buyers may need a little help knowing what to look for, and more seasoned home buyers may simply be in need of a few pointers. The following article may be able to help you out, as it outlines a few things to look for when searching for prospective new homes in Dover, DE.

What to Look For in a New Home

What to look for in a new home differs from person to person and circumstance to circumstance. There are, however, a few basics that you should be looking for in a new home to make sure you get the home that is perfect for you and your family. The following list outlines a few things to look for when searching for your new home, and can help you whether this will be your first home or your fifth.

  • The worst home on a good block: This is a good pointer for first-time home buyers, as they are typically on the lookout for a good deal. When searching for a home on a strict budget, look at homes that may be in need of a lot of work, but that are in a good neighborhood and that can be restored to their original beauty. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the worst home on a nice block, so that your home is a good deal, but that you can restore it so that it is worth a lot of money when it comes time to sell.
  • A lot of potential: First-time home buyers should look for homes with potential, not homes that are perfection. Even if this is not your first home, do not expect to find everything on your wish list in one home. Be open to the idea of remodeling or making small changes in order to get what you want in a home. If all of the essentials in the home are in good repair (roof, foundation, free of mold, HVAC system, etc.) and the bare bones of the home are to your liking, what is a few small projects here and there in the grand scheme of things? It is rare that you will find a home that has everything on your wish list, so be open to compromise and search for homes with potential.
  • Attached garage: An attached garage is a must-have if you live in a climate that has a harsh climate. This will keep you comfortable and your car in better repair.
  • Updated kitchen: A kitchen renovation will cost you the most money in a project, hands down. If you are okay with this, great. If you are looking for a home that is move-in ready, find a home that has an updated kitchen. You may not get granite countertops and brand-new cabinets, but you want a kitchen with newer appliances and an updated feel.
  • Updated bathrooms: While updated bathrooms are lower on your must-have list than an updated kitchen, as they are less expensive to do yourself than a kitchen remodel, it is still a good thing to look for in prospective homes, especially if you do not have the money to fix the bathrooms up yourself. This does not mean you should pass up new homes in Dover, DE, that have run-down bathrooms, but you should make sure they are worth the value you will be paying.
07
Mar

Throughout the colder months of the year, it can be difficult to protect your pipes from freezing and breaking or causing water damage in your home. This can be an expensive endeavor. You can prevent this from happening by taking the necessary steps to winterize your plumbing system with the help of a professional, such as those with Sheesley’s Sewer Service Inc. This includes checking the outdoor spigots, programming your thermostat, insulating your pipes, and opening your cupboards.

Check the Outdoor Spigots

When it comes to worrying about your pipes freezing over, you should start by worrying about those on the exterior of your home. This includes all outdoor spigots and sprinklers. Disconnect your hoses and turn off the irrigation system. It’s a wise idea to have your landscaper or plumber come to your home and help you blow out these pipes. He or she will use compressed air to make sure that there is no water in the pipes that could freeze and cause the pipes to burst.

Program Your Thermostat

As temperatures drop, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting increases. This means that nighttime is a critical time to care for your pipes. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat that can help keep your home warm enough throughout the night. You may want to turn it down enough to help you save money on your monthly utility bills, but don’t turn it down below 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Insulate Your Pipes

Just as with any exterior pipes that are exposed to the cold, there are pipes inside your home that can be in danger of freezing. Some of these exposed pipes include those that touch the outside wall, are in your crawl space, or are in your attic. These should be insulated through the use of covers and wraps. If you need help doing this, it would be wise to contact your plumber. He or she can help you locate problem areas in your home and help you safeguard them against the cold.

Open Your Cupboards 

Even with the heat circulating through your home, it can be problematic to get it to the pipes that need it the most. This includes the ones inside of your cabinets and cupboards. If the air can’t get to these pipes, they could end up freezing over. You can prevent this from happening by leaving the cupboards and cabinets open, especially at night.

As you work to winterize your plumbing system, you may find that your pipes freeze and burst. You should call in a professional, such as Sheesley’s Sewer Service Inc, to help you. He or she can help you find ways to thaw your pipes to prevent them from bursting and causing water damage in your home. Your plumber can also help you fix any pipes that get damaged as the frozen water expands and puts too much pressure on your pipes. The best way to prevent this from happening, though, is to take the time to prepare your pipes no later than October. If you have any questions about how to do this, contact your plumber as soon as possible.

28
Feb

Home improvement projects can be very taxing. Quite often, the more research you do the more confused you get. Add all the wild stories you hear when discussing kitchen or bathroom renovations with friends, and you may get even more nervous. Are you really doing the right thing? Experts like 1A Contracting are constantly confronted with apprehensive customers. They can put these homeowners’ concerned minds at ease by debunking myths and lies like the 4 listed below.

1. Buying the Materials Yourself Saves Money

Does that sound right to you? Could you actually find a building material supplier that will give you the same discounts that home remodeling contractors get? Would you even know where to buy anything from price-reduced to high-quality materials and components? Even if you only shop when you find sales and have coupons, you would still be spending more than a professional. It is also quite possible that you end up with the wrong parts.

2. All Remodeling Projects Are Good

Think again. Renovation projects vary widely in size. They also do not always work out as intended, or they backfire. Yes, you may like a movie theater in your house, but very few other people do. This can have a negative impact when you ever decide to sell the property. It may take a while to find a like-minded buyer with adequate funds. You should also be careful when implementing design trends. They may just be a fad.

3. Your Help Is Appreciated

Unless you are a licensed plumber, skilled electrician, or experienced carpenter, it is best to keep your tool belt tucked away in a drawer. Trying to help out to save a few dollars can have devastating, expensive consequences. You can cause a lot of damage by adding your touches after the workers went home for the night. If you mess up too much, your contractor may even decide to abandon the project. What are you going to tell the guy you hire to pick up the pieces?

4. All Contractors Are Alike

Companies like 1A Contracting are often asked why a customer should select them over their competitors. There is a good reason why consumers shop around for interior and exterior remodeling experts. They are looking for reliable teams that work with premium materials, offer quality craftsmanship, and book results in a timely manner.

06
Feb

Buying a garage door from your home is an investment. It can add personality and value to your home, which is why homeowners need to be choosy when making this purchase. One of the best ways to purchase a garage door is to visit companies like Aero Garage Doors, Inc. Companies that specialize only in selling garage doors will provide you with the expertise you need to purchase a garage door that is functional and stylish.

Design

The design of the garage door that you purchase matters quite a lot. Although any garage door you purchase should be functional, the truth is that the garage door is the first thing that most visitors see as they pull up to your driveway. For this reason, it is crucial that you choose a door that complements your home and blends in well with your home’s overall design. Some of the most popular garage door designs are traditional paneled doors and old-style, carriage house garage door designs.

Insulation Values

What do you think of when you think of insulation? Do you think of those large rolls of yellow insulation that fit in between the framing in your walls? This is one type of insulation, but your garage doors should contain an insulating factor, too.

Homeowners use their garages for a variety of purposes. If you have a workshop in your garage or use it for entertaining purposes, it is important that the area is protected from the heat and cold that the days can bring. Even if you just store your cars in your garage, the amount of insulation your garage door has is important to ensure that the door you choose has a high R-value. When shopping for a new garage door, look for doors that have polyurethane insulation as opposed to polystyrene. Polyurethane has a higher R-value and will keep your garage better insulated.

Safety Features

Homeowners store a number of valuables in their garages. This is why it is important that the garage door you choose has safety features that prevent forced entry. One such feature is a remote control device. These devices limit a person’s access to the garage and can be programmed with unique codes to keep people out.

In addition to keeping your valuables safe, garage doors should also be constructed with personal safety in mind. Look for doors that are made to minimize sudden outward thrusts. This motion can create a situation where one’s fingers can easily become pinched or stuck in the door.

Warranty

The garage door you purchase should come with an extensive warranty. It is not unusual for garage door manufacturers to offer a one year warranty with retail outlets adding an additional year. However, these warranties are sub-par. When making such a large investment, it is best to shop around for garage doors that come with longer warranties. With a little bit of research, it is possible to find some garage doors that come with 10-year limited warranties or lifetime warranties.

Installation

Don’t forget to find out about professional installation. When purchasing garage doors, make sure that the company you purchase your doors from offers installation services. Look for companies like Aero Garage Doors Inc. that offer installation services to reduce the need to find third-party installers to help you install your new garage door.

04
Feb

When you first started your business, you worked at the kitchen table. You were the boss to exactly no one but yourself and you put in long hours to get your business up and running. When it got to be too much to handle on your own, you began contracting with reputable people to help here and there. Soon, however, you realized you needed to hire some help instead of just paying contractors and you knew that everyone couldn’t fit around your table and you didn’t think they would want to call that the office anyway. You thought about hiring general contractors in Augusta, ME to build your office space but you knew it was out of your budget.

Since then, times have changed. Your initial rented space has become smaller and smaller each month as your work load increases and your staffing increases with it. What once was a spacious rented office building is now bursting at the seams with people and equipment. The conference room has been transformed into additional office spaces and now when you want to meet with potential clients, you need to rent a different space or meet at the local diner. Neither situation is ideal. But, what choice do you have?

You have plenty of choices when it comes to a better office environment! You can drop some of your clients and downsize the amount of work you need to do. You’d need to lay off some employees when there wasn’t as much going on around the office but that would free up the conference room again. Do you really want to downsize your business? All your blood, sweat, and tears are what brought it to this point and it is just getting ready to take off to another level of success. Now is not the time to downsize.

Instead of downsizing, now is the perfect time to up size. Hiring general contractors in Augusta, ME to custom build your own office space is just what all your success demands. It’s time to show the world that you are here to stay and your business is thriving by getting out of the rented space and into a space that is built specifically for you and the needs of your business. Just don’t forget to add extra storage and office spaces so that as you continue to grow, you don’t have to give up the conference room again.

04
Feb

Public restrooms with automatic features are becoming increasingly popular. Auto-flush, auto-water, and auto-paper towel dispensers are not just modern features, but they can actually save businesses money. If you are interested in saving money using these products, consider speaking with an Oakland plumbing contractor about how this new technology can be useful at your place of business.

Toilets

Up until the late nineties, people were literally flushing money down the toilet. Before then, toilets used up to five gallons of water per flush. Then regulations were passed limiting one flush to a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water. If you figure that the average American flushes four times a day, that is a savings of 12 gallons per day. Newer toilets now have dual flush, one for liquid waste and another for solid waste. The solid flush still uses 1.6 gallons, but the liquid one uses only .8 gallons. That could save almost 6,000 gallons per year and quite a bit of money.

Hot Water

Anybody that has waited for the shower water to heat up may not realize how much money is going down the drain. A conservative estimate would suggest that a person could waste up to a gallon of water before the water heats up to a comfortable temperature. As you might be able to ascertain from this example, a tank water heater is not the most efficient way to heat water.

New, on-demand water heaters have a heating element at the faucet that heats the water instantly, instead of storing it in a tank. But, these on-demand faucet heaters can heat only so much water at one time, making them ineffective for filling a bathtub or taking a shower.

There are also circulating pumps that are used in conjunction with a tank-style heater. The pumps loop the cold water that usually goes down the drain back to the tank and cycles the hot water into its place. The recirculating pump still uses a tank water heater, but eliminates the need to run the water waiting for it to heat up.

Controlling Your Water Bill

If you are interested in learning how these new technologies can help you save money, contact an Oakland plumbing contractor to find out how you can install these items in your home. Although there may be an initial investment, the savings you will accrue over time will be worth the upfront cost.

03
Feb

During the heat of the summer, it may seem impossible to survive without air conditioning in Lutz. If it is time to make some changes to your air conditioning system or install a new one, you’ll need to get familiar with the different types of options you have. Your decision will largely depend on the size of your home or business, level of overall humidity, and how much you would like to spend.

Split System

A split system is designed to cool the air inside of the building with the help of an outdoor condenser. This type of cooling works well for apartment buildings and small business structures. Such systems are energy efficient too, which means you can help the environment without sacrificing the ability to stay cool when the temperatures soar.

Packaged System

With this option, there is one unit that does the same as the split unit. Everything is packaged outside of the building, and ducts are used to force the cool air inside. An air distribution system also has to be in place. This allows the air to be spread throughout the building evenly. This type of air conditioning system is typically used in large businesses.

Heat Pump

It may sound ironic to use a heat pump to create cool air in a home or business. However, this is a common method that is cost efficient too. The valve in place actually offers a reversal of the system for generating heat. This means that it can also be used to heat the home during the colder time of the year. This is often referred to as a central air system, since there is a central element and central control panel that generate the heat and the air conditioning.

Chilled System

There are coils used in a chilled system for air conditioning. A pump is used to circulate the cool air into the system. A cooling plant is established outdoors, where the majority of the processing takes place.

Window Fans and Coolers

There are many air conditioning systems that aren’t permanent. They can be placed inside of windows at your convenience. This can be ideal if you are renting a place rather than buying it. You can place a box fan inside of a window. You can also use a swamp cooler that fits inside of a window with the bulk of it outside. Water is placed into the system outdoors and runs through the pump as the motor turns. This generates cool air into the dwelling.

Conclusion

If you need more information to make a well-informed decision about air conditioning in Lutz, you can consult with someone that is HVAC certified. HVAC technicians understand the pros and cons of all the different air conditioning types. They can help you evaluate what is right for your home or business, as well as for your budget.

22
Jan

If you are a homeowner, there is likely a multitude of items on your repair and maintenance checklist. From lubricating, to sharpening, to filter changing, to Colorado sewer service in Denver, there are dozens of items in your home that need your attention.

With so many things to take care of, you undoubtedly neglect or omit a few maintenance items each year. The best practice is to mark a date on the calendar and make sure that those particular maintenance needs are taken care of by that date. It makes the most sense to cluster maintenance jobs with the change in the seasons, corresponding to the times when those items will be most in use.

In order to help you remember all of the maintenance and service projects you need to complete in your home each year, the following article outlines some of the items that must be taken care of but are often neglected.

A Checklist of Home Maintenance Projects

Your home and the items inside it are an investment in your future, and you want to keep them running smoothly and performing at capacity. The best way to do so is by routine maintenance. Most items must be serviced or maintained once each year, and if you neglect to do so, you risk costly repairs. The following list outlines a few home maintenance projects that are often neglected.

  • Flush the hot water heater: The mineral deposits that build up in your water heater can cause it to run less efficiently, and over time these minerals will break down your machine. Flushing the system once yearly will prevent these problems and extend the life of your water heater.
  • Sharpen lawn mower blades: The sharper the blades on your lawn mower, the more clean the cut of your grass. While you may not be able to see the difference between cleanly cut blades and poorly cut ones, your lawn will be healthier as a result and you will see the difference in a greener, fuller lawn. Sharpen your lawn mower blades once yearly.
  • Clear A/C unit coils of debris: If you want your air conditioning unit to run efficiently, you need to clean the condenser coil every six months. This is a simple task, and all it requires is wiping them off. Cleaning the drainage pipes on your outdoor air conditioning unit once each year is a good idea as well—and while you are at it, head on inside and clean out the drainage pipes for your furnace too.
  • Change HVAC filters: While the frequency of changing your HVAC filters depends upon how often you run the unit, a general rule of thumb is to change the filter four times each year, or with the change of the seasons. If you suffer from allergies, you may want to change the filter once each month. While it is difficult to remember to change the filter, the best practice is to buy a year’s supply of filters to lessen your chances of forgetting.
  • Sewer service: If you have a septic tank, it is important to have it serviced every five years or so. If you live in the city and have Colorado sewer service in Denver, you will want to call in professionals to have your system checked for problems. If you live in an older neighborhood where there are many large trees with extensive root systems, these roots may clog your sewage pipes. A professional can come in and cut the roots from your pipes and keep your sewage system running efficiently and safely.
14
Jan

When you move to a new area, you have to amass a new list of specialists. Your pediatrician was recommended by a good friend or maybe even your previous practitioner where you came from. Your dentist was the luck of the draw when you needed someone fast when your son’s tooth broke during a rough game of touch football. Your hairdresser took some time. You started asking around to people who had the look you were going for. Your Oakland plumbing contractors were the same way. Referrals from people you trust go a long way for services you count on.

When you needed a hair dresser, you didn’t start asking around or calling random salons in the phone book the day you needed to get in. You did your research. Maybe you started with something easy like your son’s hair cut. It is a simple cut that grows so fast it wouldn’t matter for long if it wasn’t perfect. You asked the girl at the bank who had the perfect color who did her hair. You talked to your neighbors at the park while watching your children play. You asked your co-workers and random people you met along the way because you wanted someone you could trust to do a great job and treat you well.

When it comes to the pipes in your home, it is just as important to get a good referral to a plumber in your new area. Not everyone is going to treat the job with the same level of care and professionalism. Unlike your son’s haircut, if the job isn’t done right, it won’t work itself out in a couple of weeks. A plumbing job that isn’t done correctly can lead to further damage and larger expenses. You want someone you can trust to do a great job and treat you fairly.

You may have time when you move in to research Oakland plumbing contractors but don’t put off getting a good recommendation until you are in a bind. When water is spraying from your sink or leaking down the walls in the basement, it’s too late to start collecting information. The best time to get the scoop on a good plumber is before you need them just like the best time to get the scoop on a good hairdresser is before you need it cut and colored.

10
Jan

With the rate of natural disasters on the rise, chances are you might encounter one or two during your lifetime. For the most part, you never know when they are going to hit, so planning for one is nearly impossible, however, you can get a few things prepared for those unforeseen incidents. One thing you will want to do is put the contact information for Allure Residential & Commercial, Inc. in your emergency kit. Should your house fill up with water or be torn apart by an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane, you are going to have the number handy for their expert assistance.

It is difficult to imagine your home and all of your belongings covered in water or ripped apart, but things like this are happening all the time and knowing who to call when you find yourself in disaster’s path is going to give you a lot of hope and peace of mind. Surviving a huge storm or other natural disaster can leave a huge emotional mark. Repairing your home might just be the easiest repair to make. Working to restore a sense of safety and security among your family members might take a little more time. Luckily, there are plenty of therapists and other emotional trauma experts willing to give you the help you need to get back to life as usual.

You and your family deserve to enjoy a happy and secure life. For this reason, you will want to plan for your future in the ways you can. Make sure you have a source of clean water stored away for emergencies. A supply of food is a good idea as well. You might even want to keep a little money packed away to help you get to a new location if needed.

There are so many things to think of and consider when you are preparing for an unknown emergency, but anything you can do to prepare will leave you better off should something unexpected actually happen. If disaster does strike and you find your home in shambles, remember to call in the experts at Allure Residential & Commercial, Inc. They will be able to restore your home and give you and your family the fresh start you need.