Some thoughts for change of season:
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries.
Check your clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
Check the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
Now is a good time to check your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in. Call in a professional before the weather goes cold.
Bring in hoses indoors…drain and store for spring.
Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Don’t forget to oil the furnace. Contact your local utility company who will often check out your system for free.
Check out your snow blower, shovels, scrapers, etc. Making sure these items are in tip top shape before the first snow will save you time, energy and lot’s of time on line at your local hardware or repair shop.
For more home maintenance tips or for a quote on your upcoming projects. Call HMMA, Inc., at: 201-943-3331.
So, you want to be a landlord?
Well, running a successful and profitable property, whether it is a rental home, apartment, condo or commercial building requires dedication, hard work, perseverance and the right tools.
Some folks enter the property management business by accident: They have a home that hasn’t sold, so they decide to rent until it does.
Other folks are looking for an income opportunity.
Well, there are many important aspects to consider and here are some of them:
- Remember that there will be vacancy periods. Keep this in mind when pricing your rent. Once you know what you want to receive monthly you can choose to add an additional cushion for the times that the property will be between renters.
- Just because you CAN fix something, it isn’t ALWAYS the best choice. Whether it is a timing issue, a cost issue or other reason, you may find that hiring a reliable outside professional provides the quickest and least troublesome repair.
- Hiring a professional for a small job today is somewhat like an ‘interview’ for future; larger projects. Note this message from DALE CARNEGIE:
4. Once you have a successful experience with the work of a local professional on a small project, you will have someone to turn to when the larger repairs arise.
5. Another useful tool is a Move In/Move Out Checklist. There are several available online like this one from HUD.gov: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=90106.pdf
Have the new/outgoing tenant sign off on the property. Adding photos can help you both agree on the condition of the property as well.
As always, check with your professional advisors when entering any new project and let us know if these ideas have helped you or if you have questions regarding any property repairs for your current properties.
HMMA, Inc: 201-943-3331
We like these strategies to help you save energy during the spring and summer. Some of the tips can save you money this season. Visit the link for more information:
Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips | Department of Energy.
We wanted to share these helpful tips from PSE&G. We’re happy to help you with any of the following energy saving installations, changes or improvements. Just give HMMA a call: 201-943-3331.
10 Ways to Keep Warm This Winter
Simple things you can do to save energy and money
Winter’s cold temperatures bring an increased demand for gas, as people turn on their heating systems to help keep warm. PSE&G wants you to know there are some simple things you can do to stay warm and manage your heating bills this winter:
- Visit PSE&G’s Home Energy Toolkit at www.pseg.com/toolkit. The toolkit is full of ideas to help save energy and money on home appliances and heating systems.
- Check for sufficient water levels in the sight glass for steam systems and the pressure gauge for hot water systems. This will ensure maximum efficiency from your heating system.
- Lower your thermostat by just one degree, which may reduce your heating bill by up to 3 percent. More savings can be achieved by lowering your thermostat 2 degrees during the day and 5 to 10 degrees at bedtime if health conditions allow.
- Close dampers in fireplaces not being used.
- Move furniture and drapes away from heating registers, radiators, and baseboard covers. Open any register or baseboard dampers.
- Cover window air conditioners to reduce drafts. Install insulated or lined drapes on your windows.
- Use weather stripping or one-sided sticky tape to seal up cracks and stop drafts in windows and doorframes. Caulk smaller gaps. Beneath doors, install draft guards or insulated door snakes.
- Seal wall switches and electrical outlets with small foam gaskets available at home improvement centers and hardware stores. Remove the cover plate, insert the gasket, and screw the cover plate back in place.
- If you have a door leading outside from your basement, hang a full-size sheet of plastic from the door frame to keep heat from escaping. Seal windows in the basement with plastic to create a barrier against the cold. (Make sure you allow enough air supply to feed your fuel-burning appliances safely).
- Keep your garage door closed if the garage is attached to the house.
If your budget permits:
- Install (or have installed) a programmable thermostat that can be set to automatically lower room temperatures when rooms are not in use and at bedtime, if health conditions permit.
- Install ceiling fans to promote heating efficiency in winter (and cool your home in the summer).
- Consider replacing older windows with newer, more efficient models. New windows will provide added insulation and reduce heat loss.
Many folks enjoy the convenience of a generator so that the all important electronic gadgets can be used in the event of a storm.
However, have you ever consider the danger a loss of electricity might be to a senior citizen or individuals with specific health issues? You may need to power valuable electronic devices, elevators, therapy equipment, etc. that will be of assistance to the care of someone living in the home.
In any case, a stand-by generator will add value to your home and is best installed by a professional.
A stand-by generator is quite an investment and can be powered by gas or propane. Be sure to purchase the unit that fits your needs. Unless you MUST have that hot tub running during a power outage-you might consider a smaller, more affordable unit.
One family might want just the basics covered: A/C, refrigerator, well water or sump pump and some outlets. Another family may choose to power the whole home. Expect to be governed by the rules of your town as well. Some have noise restrictions and location limits.
Ask a professional contractor such as HMMA, INC. to review your needs and help you choose the right size for your home or business.
The reasons that most folks hire a General Contractor are many:
- The job is too large or time-consuming to manage alone.
- The job requires the management of a professional.
- The job requires several trades whose work needs to be checked prior to hiring.
- The job requires a dedicated perfectionist….what?!
Yes, your job-no matter how large or small requires a detail oriented, eagle-eyed, ruthless perfectionist. Why? Remember the saying ‘measure twice; cut once’?
The last thing you need is to ‘learn’ about what not to do on a remodeling or new construction project that you have been dreaming about for years.
Ask these questions of your GC to help you decide if he/she is worth hiring. It just may save you time and money in the long run.
- How long have you been in the industry?
- How many _______ have you done?
- Are you insured?
- How long before you start the job?
- How long do you estimate the job will take?
- Do you have a standard set of sub-contractors or employees that you work with?
- What will you do to protect our timeline and budget?
- How are you paid?
- How will hiring you save me time and money?
- How can I trust you will handle my job with care?
Now, armed with these answers, you can make a clear decision regarding the work you are planning.
For more information about your upcoming project-send us your request below:
Use this handy Kitchen Remodel Checklist to stay on track.
Like an Excel spreadsheet with formulas or have questions about your project? Just send an Email: email@example.com or call: 201-943-3331