Home Improvement

Do you need a backup Generator for your home?

Do You Need a Backup Generator for Your Home?

Many people live where power outages occur quite often. This can be caused by storms or simply an unreliable power grid. If you experience regular power outages, you may be wondering if you need a backup generator. Here are some considerations for you to think about before you buy.

You May Need a Back-up Generator if......
· You store large amounts of frozen/refrigerated food – Do you have a

storage freezer or regularly keep large amounts of food on hand?

· You have life-saving medical equipment on-site – Are you or a loved one reliant on medical devices to stay healthy that require power?

· You need electricity to stay warm in winter – Do you live in a location where temperatures drop to dangerous levels in winter and rely on power to generate heat?

· You have essential equipment on site – Do you have systems that must run constantly to prevent damage? A good example is a sump pump that prevents flooding.

If you do need a generator, there are still options you must investigate. How much power do you need and for how long? Generators need fuel and regular maintenance. They also are loud and emit fumes, so placement is very important. You can also choose from a permanent generator or a portable version.

Power outages can cause serious issues and a home backup generator is a great way to safeguard from loss. Do you need a backup generator? Consider why you want one and then do some homework. Generators are an expensive investment but may be important...

Considering Solar Panels

Considering Solar Panels?

With soaring energy costs, many homeowners are turning to solar for both their homes and their cars to save money. With solar companies touting huge monthly savings for electricity costs, how can you know what makes sense for your needs? Here are the basics of solar panels to help you start the process.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels are positioned on your roof and absorb energy when the sun shines on them directly. The amount of energy generated will be affected by the amount of square footage of the panels. Therefore, your roof must have enough area with extended direct sunlight each day to be effective.

How to find a solar panel company?

There are a lot of solar panel companies advertising their service right now. Some companies specialize in panels as well as roofing companies adding solar as an option and big-box home improvement stores. It’s important to consider both price and expertise when choosing a contractor to install the panels. You should read reviews and get referrals before making a final decision.

How long will the panels last?

Solar panels are typically guaranteed to last 20-30 years. The amount of energy generated will decrease over time and you should choose a warranty that guarantees the amount of energy over the life of the panels.

Summary

Solar panels can offer significant energy savings and lessen your reliance on shifting prices. A solar system is also a large expense, so before purchasing or leasing a system, do your due diligence and learn your options.

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Protecting Your House After Snow

Who doesn’t love a snow day? Cuddling on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa while watching holiday movies can make anyone not want to venture out into the cold. Next time you find yourself in this spot, it will be a good idea to head out for half an hour to protect your home, especially if you want to sell in the future. Once your driveways and sidewalks are shoveled, check out these tips on protecting your home that you may not have considered.

Clear Your Vents: Make sure your furnace vents are clear of snow. Carbon monoxide could build up if your furnace vent is blocked.  A blocked vent may also cause a hot water heater to quit functioning. Use a broom to remove any snow.

Uncover Fire Hydrants: If you live near a fire hydrant, you should take a few minutes to dig it out if you notice it is covered - this can help a firefighter if there is an emergency!

Unblock Ice Dams: Be sure to check your gutters for ice dams. When ice dams are present and water backs up, it slows the water melting off the roof behind it and that water then seeps under the shingles and into the house.

Sweep Off Hot Tubs: Always broom off your hot tub if you happen to own one. The weight of heavy snow can cause the cover to buckle in the middle.

Shovel Decks:  If there is more than half a foot of snow, you may want to consider clearing it from your deck. Using plastic shovels can help prevent unwanted scratching on your deck material. Avoid using ice melter or salt as it could damage wood decks.

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5 Tips to Create a Home Bar

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So many businesses have been affected by the events of 2020, causing permanent and temporary closures of many of our favorite spots—including the corner bar. The local watering hole has always been a great place to meet friends, watch sports, and unwind after work. Many homeowners have used this time at home to work on home improvement projects. Why not consider adding or improving a home bar to the list? Making simple changes can have a large impact.

1. Moody Paint – Carve out an unused nook and paint it a dark, masculine color. Think of the old speakeasy with dark wood and soft lighting.

2. Sophisticated Seating – If your space allows, create a lounge-style atmosphere with barstools or a bistro set. A black or wood finish will emphasize the feel of a bar.

3. Stock Up – The key to a great bar is having the right tools and ingredients. Retailers offer a variety of styles for such items as shakers, muddlers, corkscrews, among others. Don’t forget the alcohol and mixers.

4. Open Up – Open glass shelving will showcase your style. Save money by displaying the liquor bottles themselves instead of decanters.

5. Make It Mobile – If you don’t have extra space for your bar, there are a multitude of bar carts to not only suit your style but allow you to go where the party is.

If you’ve exhausted your weekend honey-do list, consider spending a little time to create a home bar. With a little thought and attention, you can entertain in style, even if you’re alone.

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Home Improvements During Labor Shortage

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Tight labor markets are affecting industries across the country. Skilled and unskilled jobs remain unfilled as employers struggle to find prospective employees. For anyone ready to hire a contractor or handyman to perform home improvement projects, this shortage is causing frustration. As more people embrace the “staycation” and seek ways to upgrade their homes, many are finding few tradesmen to even come to provide estimates, much less schedule the work. If you are trying to find good people to help with home improvement projects, there are still a few ways to achieve your goals. Here are a few tips to help you find a professional to help with your project.

• Social Media – One great way to find reputable laborers is to ask for help from local social media groups. Apps like Facebook and Next Door have local groups where you can ask for help. Make sure to mention where you got the referral; the tradesmen will want to live up to the referral and are more likely to provide good, timely service.

• Big Box Stores – Home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot offer a wide variety of in-home services. They also have referral services for projects outside their scope and these contractors keep the stores happy by providing good service to homeowners.

• Online Service – There are sites like Angie’s List and Home Advisor where professionals pay for leads. Because they have paid for the contact, they tend to be more likely to follow through on the project.

The labor shortage is affecting all aspects of life right now. If you have a home improvement or upgrade project, there is no reason to put off the work. Try these tips for finding qualified and vetted help.

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