January 28, 2013
Doing any type of work on your home can be a thrilling adventure. Conventional thinking has been to tackle home improvement and remodeling projects during the spring and summer months. Well, it is time to change the way you think! One of the best-kept remodeling secrets is to do your remodeling work during the winter months.
- The Price is Right-Contractors may provide incentives during the winter if their work is slow. You can also beat the typical price increases that occur in the spring for items like lumber, windows, cabinets, etc.
- Beat the rush-Don’t try to schedule your projects when everyone else is! Right now many contractors have less to do and can schedule and perform your renovations a lot quicker. This is the best time for those interior projects like painting, replacing flooring, updating lights, or replacing cabinets.
- What about the mess? Don’t be concerned about dust and fumes. With the products and technology available today, contractors are able to contain the mess to their work area. Items such as plastic zip doors, fans with negative pressure, and filters to seal off heat ducts are available to insure that your family won’t be inhaling anything they shouldn’t be!
- Less Interruption-Many folks plan vacations to escape the long, cold months of winter. That is a great time to have work done at your home. You won’t have to deal with the inconvenience and havoc that remodeling can sometimes cause in your daily life. So go on, relax, enjoy a break. When you return you’ll find only a beautifully, completed home renovation project; no mess and no hassle for you.
- Outside Project? Yes, if the weather cooperates, you might even be able to cross one of these projects off your to-do list. Outdoor painting may not be such a good idea, but building a deck, porch, or other addition might just be a possibility.
It’s time to “think outside the box”. Get your contractor working during the off-season. You may be able to save yourself money and get your projects done a lot sooner than you thought! Your contractor may even thank you for keeping them working during these slow winter months.
It’s a win-win situation for all!
January 25, 2013
Depending on where you live, a few snowflakes may have already fallen. Many people look forward to the first snow fall that elegantly drapes the trees and shrubs. After that initial glee wears off the reality of the situation will finally hit; now you have to shovel! We hope these snow shoveling tips will keep you from injuring yourself this winter and may actually make this chore more enjoyable.
- Snow shoveling is no different than any other physical activity, check with your doctor first to make sure it is safe for you and then warm up properly. Yes, you read correctly. Stretch and warm-up the same as you would before exercising. Be sure to stretch your hamstrings, back, and shoulders. Pace yourself, start slowly and build up your pace, do not attack it just to get it done!
- Dress for success. Dress in layers that can be removed if you start to overheat, and also make sure they are easy to move around in. Wear a hat, your head is where you lose the most heat. Proper boots will keep your feet warm and dry and also provide traction on slippery surfaces. Finally, make sure your gloves are heavy enough to keep fingers warm, prevent blisters, and give you a good firm grip on your shovel.
- Proper Equipment. You are almost ready to begin; now you need the best shovel for the job. Shovels come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. Plastic shovels will weigh less; after all, isn’t the snow heavy enough? A smaller shovel blade will move less snow each swipe, but will also keep you from lifting more weight than you should. An ergonomic shovel (with a curved handle) will help you keep the correct form, keeping your spine straighter, which means less chance of injury. Another tip is to spray the blade of your shovel with a silicone lubricant to keep snow from sticking. PAM cooking spray actually works very well!
- Have a plan. You are now ready to head outside. Remove snow from around your front door and on your sidewalk as you go along. Removing it before you trample it is much easier than trying to scrape it up later. Now it’s time to tackle the driveway. Consider it to be a rectangle. Clean around the edges first. Then move/push everything the shortest distance; pushing snow from the middle toward the closest outside edge. Choose a spot to dump your snow that will be close, but also out of the way. You do NOT want to have to move it twice! Clean the snow off all vehicles in your driveway before you clean around them. Be thorough, but not too fussy! After clearing the bulk of the snow, spread some de-icer, and let the sun do the rest of the work for you.
- Maintain proper posture. Use your legs muscles as much as possible; pushing more than lifting it you can. If you must lift, keep your back straight and bend at your knees. Keep the shovel close to your body and one hand close to the shovel blade for better leverage. Throw snow in front of you, not over your shoulder. Do not twist your body; always keep it in front of you as you throw.
- Some final tips:
- Keep hydrated and rest often.
- Remove snow as it accumulates rather than dealing with it all at once.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages and energy drinks which will elevate your heart rate before you even begin.
- Recruit. It’s much easier and quicker when you get help for this task!
- Stretch when you are done and use an ice pack and ibuprofen to relieve inflamed muscles.
Reward yourself with some well-deserved rest after this “back-breaking” chore.
YOU’VE EARNED IT!
January 21, 2013
While looking at properties, call or text our Home Info 24/7 phone number and get property details before you even leave the curb.
ADAMS & YORK: (717) 801-1845
BERKS: (610) 228-4346
CHAMBERSBURG: (717) 496-0826
CUMBERLAND, DAUPHIN & PERRY: (717) 798-3858
LANCASTER & LEBANON: (717) 715-1835
MARYLAND: (433) 268-0780
SCHUYLKILL: (570) 385-1488
You’re on the go – grocery shopping, taking care of the kids, your morning commute, or just cruising through a neighborhood where you might like to live. Every time you see a home you like, the yard sign has a different phone number to find out more. Try calling that number during the evening or on the weekend, and you may find that the office is closed or the agent is unavailable. At Prudential Homesale, we think it should be easy for you to find out more about any home for sale when it’s convenient for you.
Prudential Homesale’s Home Info 24/7 is your curbside connection. Listen to current information about ANY HOME for sale with ANY COMPANY by using ONE phone number. Hear estimated monthly mortgage payments, and have the option to connect to your Prudential Homesale real estate agent.
This voice technology is simple enough for even the most basic telephone. But, it also has robust features such as text confirmation and photos for iPhones, Droids and other smart phones. Find out everything you want to know about a property… while you are sitting right in front of it… even without getting out of your car.
Get the info you want…before you drive away. For more information contact your Prudential Homesale agent or activate your phone online at http://www.AllHomesAllPhones.com today!
January 16, 2013
The holidays will come and go but we still have a few more months of winter to endure. Here are some tips for keeping your home in tip-top shape during the weather.
These simple steps could help you navigate the next few months without home repair headaches!
January 10, 2013
The garage is often an overlooked area in many homes, becoming nothing more than a storage space for tools, vehicles, and miscellaneous household items. With the right plan, some basic materials and tools, and time, anyone can turn their garage into a useful and comfortable room.
Importance of a Good Door
Garage doors typically lift to open the entire front portion of the space. Choosing one that provides a measure of security is important to protecting your home. Features to consider when choosing a door:
- Can it be operated by remote? Most automatic doors today come with both handy remotes and a switch placed on the wall.
- Does it have automatic lights for safety and convenience?
- What material would best suit your home and needs? Steel, wood, and plastic are the most common options today.
Insulating the Walls
There are typically no heating or air conditioning ducts running into the garage space, so it can be very cold in the winter and very warm in the summer. This does not make for an ideal place to spend any length of time. In order to make it more comfortable, insulation will need to be put in.
- Many heavy duty steel doors come with foam insulated backs. This is great for temperature control, and it can also reduce the amount of noise coming through from the outside. Insulation also prevents serious dents and damage to the door.
- If you live in an area with three or four seasons of weather changes, you can save money on your home heating and cooling bills by insulating the walls.
- Foam board insulation is affordable and easy to install. Spray foam can be blown into the crevices and along the area where the ceiling meets the wall.
Most garage floors are cement. They can be painted for aesthetic purposes. You could also choose a floor protector pad.
- Floor mats are perfect for protection. They can be placed in the area where vehicles will be parked, or used to cover the entire area.
- An epoxy coating will offer protection from stains and keep the floor from deteriorating over time.
- If vehicles will not be stored in the space, carpeting may be an option.
Even if you plan to use the garage as an area to spend time in, you will likely still want to have ample storage space. You can consider many options and come up with a design that allows you to make the most use of the space.
- Stand-alone Shelving is typically made from heavy duty plastic or metal. Once built, they can be placed in the desired area and moved when needed.
- Wall shelving is a good option for keeping items off of the floor and maximizing use of the space.
- Cabinets are a great choice for keeping a clean, uncluttered appearance.
Thank you to Cassie for writing and providing us with this great information!