5 Tips You Can Do Yourself to Help Your Home Get Cozy for Winter

5 Tips You Can Do Yourself to Help Your Home Get Cozy for Winter

Want to stay cozy and comfy this Winter? Well try these 5 tips to stay comfy.

  1. Get your furnace inspected. It’s worth making sure this major appliance is up for the season.
  2. Have window air conditioning units? Cover them! Use a waterproof cover and keep out drafts.
  3. Ceiling fans-remember to change the direction. When you change them to run CLOCKWISE they push the heat from the ceiling down to you for extra comfort. Don’t forget to reverse in the summer to move the hot air up and away from you!
  4. Check out the weather stripping on your doors and replace if they are worn.
  5. Outdoor water faucets…they make little faucet ‘socks’ that can help keep the warmth in during the cold months ahead.
Photo by fnfoto on Pexels.com

10 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

10 Tips for Hiring a Contractor
Ask Your Contractor…

1. Ask for Written Estimates

Get written estimates from at least three contractors. Be cautious of estimates that are too high or too low. Ask what’s included so you are comparing the same info.

2. Hire Local, Recommended and/or Licensed and Insured Contractors

Local contractors are easy to reach. Licensed and insured contractors tend to be more experienced, professional and accountable.

3. Ask “have you done this before”

Does your contractor ‘specialize’ in the work you are asking about? Check any Better Business Bureau, Google or other Social Media Reviews.  Be sure to read how the contractor handles complaints.  You can’t please everyone, so how one handles complaints can speak more about how they work.

4. Think Before You Sign

No contractor should pressure you to sign with them. Any contractor who doesn’t give you time to get other bids, discuss or think before you move forward should be avoided.

5. Get it in Writing

Your estimate should give a good idea of the work to be done. It should include a detailed description of the work to be completed and the price of each item.  Ask about the payment schedule (never pay the entire project at once), what’s NOT included and generally when the job will be started and completed.

6. Understand Cancellations

Federal law may require a “cooling off” period, in which you can cancel the contract without penalty. If you do cancel, consider sending the notice of cancellation by registered mail or email with a read receipt to ensure you have proof of the cancellation.

8. Anticipate Changes or Delays

Delays are never pleasant and often may not be the fault of your contractor. In spite of the timeline outlined in your contract, circumstances may hinder the ability to stay on schedule. Be realistic and adjust agreements as needed.

9. Be Clear About Communication

Agree on how you and the contractor will communicate.  Email? Text? Phone? Cellphone?  Make sure there won’t be misunderstandings because you like to text and your contractor doesn’t see texts while at work.

10. Keep a Dated Job Journal

Keep your agreement, color charts, planning notes, etc. in one folder. Keep copies of checks, change notes, permits and any pertinent information together.

Getting Ready for Spiced Everything

Getting Ready for Spiced Everything

Autumn is the time of year that everything turns spice colored and flavored as well. We love a nice hot pumpkin spice latte…doesn’t everyone?

Well, grab your latte and check out these easy autumn tips for keeping your home pleasant and comfy for the season

This list will be an easy set of tasks that won’t take any heavy duty tools or time. Let’s face it, in 2020 we could use a break with some easy home and office improvement accomplishments.

So, number one: You may be one of the many people with a newly designed work from home (WFH) section of your home. Often it turns out to be the dining room table.

While you can call on your favorite contractor to help you build a whole new office, we promised this was an easy challenge. So, find a closet you can give up and add a nice ‘skinny desk’ that has a cabinet for files and a shelf for your printer. That’s all you need and when work is done-just close the door! Bonus…you can put all the closet items on shelves above the desk.

This still gives you the use of your closet AND a way to ‘leave’ the office behind at the end of the day.

Number two: Speaking of lattes-your kitchen top may be getting a little crowded with all the fancy coffee and tea gadgets you are enjoying this season.

Well, we’re reminding you to think ‘UP’ and keeping the ‘office’ theme in mind-try a desktop drawer organizer to lift all the goodies off the counter.

You can separate coffee, tea, hot chocolate in their own drawer, filters, stirrers, sugar packets, etc. All you need for that awesome well-deserved break or ‘recess’ during your workday.

These desktop organizers are great for keys, mail and other counter-top space stealers.

Number three: Your final tip for today (remember, these are supposed to be easy and tool-free) is to check out your home or office like a visitor would. Bring a pencil and paper – or tablet to write down every thought that hits you as you make your way around. This is not to create large remodeling projects, but, easy-do-in-between tasks like:

  • label and secure dangling wires,
  • check backs of bookcases and entertainment centers for loose nails (if you catch it in time a ‘no-tool’dab of glue to the rescue!)
  • test shades and blinds for needed adjustments
  • look for dark corners that will benefit from a stick up (no tools!) motion detector light
  • where can you add an easy makeover for electrical faceplates and light switches-ok it does require a screwdriver, but we did say no ‘heavy duty’ tools.

Now, wasn’t that easy? You probably didn’t even finish your latte yet.

Happy Autumn and remember to call a professional before you begin a home or office remodeling project. Get price estimates and proof of insurance from every contractor you plan to hire. Be sure to call your town to find out if you need permits for the work you are about to do.

And as always…“Measure twice; cut once.”― Alistair MacLeod