When people shape for replacement windows for their homes, their first priority is often price. They of course want to purchase a good quality window, but they want to get the best window that they can get at the lowest price possible, which is completely understandable. They will typically look at the different qualities of a window in order to determine it’s quality. They look at things like the insulation values of the window, the number of panes that it has, whether double pane or triple pane, they check the expected lifespan of the window before it will need to be replaced from there in order to narrow down the selection. Then they typically take what is left, cut out the most expensive and the most inexpensive options and go with something in the middle.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with this method of selecting new windows for a home, it does leave out some of the other factors that you may want to take into consideration when you are purchasing windows for your home. Some of the most overlooked qualities of a window are also ones that end up impacting how happy you are with your purchase down the road. Those factors are security and the warranty on the windows.
Most homeowners tend to focus more on the tangible benefits of new windows. They want to see a kickback, or a real physical benefit that they will get from spending all that money on new windows. That often comes in the form of energy savings. When you have new windows in your home that are of good quality, you will likely see your bills lower because your heating and cooling systems do not have to work as often or as hard to bring your home to your ideal temperature. Sometimes one of the factors that they overlook or assume is included is the security lock. During a home break in, most often the intruder will find a way into the home through a window. The window could have been left open or perhaps it just had an outdated or flimsy locking method. Make sure that any windows that you consider purchasing has a solid security lock on it.
A common ploy that homeowners fall for when purchasing windows is that they do not take the time to ready the fine print on the warranty. It is standard for all windows to come with a warranty, therefore every one assumes that the warranty is the same for all windows when it is not. Be especially wary of warranties that claim they are Lifetime Warranties. Often this is referring to the life of the window and not to the life of the homeowner. That means that a window with an expected lifespan of 10 years will have a warranty on it for the life of that window, or ten years. So when the window starts to fall apart at exactly ten years, that warranty that you put so much faith in is now worthless.
If you are a homeowner the you are likely already familiar with radon gas and the different methods for radon mitigation. Radon gas is a harmful gas that is also impossible to detect without proper testing because it has no color and no odor. That is part of what makes radon gas so scary for homeowners. Unless they are proactive about testing for it then they will have no way to know if that harmful gas has been building itself up and seeping into a house through the cracks or gaps in the walls, pipes, construction joints and other small areas that only a gas could make its way through.
Many people think of radon gas as something that is sitting in the soil or rocks surrounding a normal home, but it is also a gas that can be present in the water supply. Homes that subsist off of a well for their water are at higher risks for radon contamination in their water, but radon can exist in low levels throughout any kind of water. We spoke with radon mitigation experts SWAT Environmental to find out more about the different ways that radon can be made and here is what we learned. Radon can exist in the soil as well as the water supply, but typically the radon levels in the rocks and soil will pose a much higher health risk than the radon levels in the water. This is a little surprising because when radon is in the water, you can be exposed to it through double whammy: you can ingest is as well as inhale it. Since radon is radioactive, the main health concern that exposure to it will cause an average person is cancer. When you inhale radon gas, you put yourself at a much higher risk of developing lung cancer.
When the main source of radon in your home is through the water supply, you also has a small risk of developing stomach cancer from the radioactive exposure, but the larger concern remains to be lung cancer. Radon that is in the water supply can become airborne when water is used inside the home for things like showering and cooking, and at that time the gas will be inhaled.
When you are deciding whether or not to have radon testing done on your home, you should take into account what kind of water source your house has. If it is a well or a public water supply system that gets its water from surrounding ground water, then you should definitely consider having the water source tested directly. If your numbers come back with elevated radon levels, then do not worry, it can be treated with a couple of different radon remediation methods. Point of entry treatment can treat and remove radon before the water actually makes its way into the home, and point of use treatment is used to remove radon from water as it comes out of your faucet. Each option has its own benefits and should be considered.
When you are ready to build a detached garage on your property, you want to make sure that the company that you are using is one that is not only going to do amazing work on your property, but that is going to have good customer service, great communication, and fair prices. If this is your first time hiring a contractor to do this kind of work on your home, then there are a few other things to consider before you sign a any paperwork with a company. Yu want to make sure that the company that you work with is reliable and is capable of completing the work at hand. Here are a few tips to help get you started with choosing a custom garage builder for your home:
- Ask for references. Any company that has been in business for a few years should be able to give you a minimum of three references. You should make sure to follow up with them and ask them about their experience with the contractor that you are considering using.
- Shop around for estimates and make sure to get more than one. Some companies may charge you for an estimate and some may not. Either way, you want to get a few different bids so that you can compare them and see if you are being offered a fair rate by all of the companies involved. This is also a good opportunity to decide if you like the way that a particular company handles their customer service. Do they show up when they say that they will? Are they polite and professional, or do they try to use high pressure sales techniques in order to get you to book a job immediately. You want to do business with someone that you feel good about, so if a particular company is being unpleasant as early as the estimate process, then you may want to look elsewhere.
- Make sure the potential company is licensed. Any contractor in this area should be licensed and insured. You can ask to see copies of their insurance, but you can also check their license online to verify that they have one.
- Ask about the availability of services after the initial job is done. Do they also do repairs and service work on the garage? If your garage breaks a few months later, it should be their responsibility to fix it.
- Look for companies that will stand behind their work. This may come in the form of some kind of warranty on their work, or perhaps even discounted repair fees within the first year after the garage build is complete.
- Can they work on custom jobs? When you are hiring a contractor, make sure that they possess the minimum ability to build their own garage from the ground up. Anyone can buy a garage from their local hardware store, but if you are looking for something that is truly unique then make sure that the company that you are considering has the ability to build a custom garage that will meet your needs.
If you are looking to update your kitchen space this year, then you will want to know about all the latest trends for new kitchens. Here is some of the best advice we have received when it comes to making updates and changes to any kitchen area. If you keep these in mind while creating your new kitchen design, then you will create a kitchen that is both modern as well as classic.
Specialized storage – Now you no longer have to settle for one size fits all cabinets. Many cabinet distributors can order custom sizes for each individual kitchen. This allows you to maximize the use that you would get out of a particular space. So you can put in narrower drawers to hold the lids for your pots and pans, or you can create a larger pullout cabinet that can hold your recycling and your trash cans. If you find in your current kitchen that you do not use certain cabinets because they are an inconvenient size, then you now have the freedom to change that. Some cabinet distributors even have the ability to create built in knife blocks in the drawers or even a built in spice rack. This allows you to free up valuable countertop space.
Choose kitchen cabinets that stretch to the ceiling. Another dated trend in older home is cabinets that were installed about 12 inches down from the ceiling. No one knows why or how this trend caught on, but it destroyed precious storage space in the kitchen. Many homeowners attempted to compensate by using the space created on top of the cabinets as a shelf to display rarely used kitchen items, but that ended up just creating more work for them. Instead of having access to more space to store kitchen items, they now had an extra chore of climbing up and dusting the items that were sitting out in the open air.
Get rid of the microwave over the stove. Microwaves that were installed over the stove were a huge fad in the 90’s and there are still a lot of homes that are holding out with this style, but it is old and dated, and it does not contribute anything to the sophistication of a kitchen. Use that area instead to create more storage options by installing more kitchen cabinets, or install a custom hood for your range. The final look will be more classic as well as more modern, and you will avoid looking like a home that was ripped out of a 1999 home catalog.
Select home lighting fixtures that make a statement. A unique fixture or set of fixtures is a great way to make a kitchen stand out. They are also easy to change up down the road, so you do not have to worry about falling into the fad trap of choosing a style that is super popular right now but will look dated in a few years. You can easily change up the fixtures again down the road at a fraction of the price that it would cost you to swap out larger things like cabinets and appliances.
If you are looking to hire an electrician, then there are a few things that you should know before you make your final decision:
Verify that they are licensed. No matter what state you currently live in, all electricians are required to have a license to work in the electrical field. That being said, each state will have their own license that they will issue, so you should never accept a license from out of state.
Know what kind of electrician they are – there are two types of electricians: master electricians and journeymen. A master electrician has passed the state electrical test and he will have at least two years of experience working in the electrical field. A journeyman is also licensed to work in the state, but he might not have passed the standardized state test yet and may not have as much experience. Some states will require that a journeyman electrician can only work on a home under the direction and supervision of a master electrician. If you are looking to save money by hiring a journeyman instead of a master electrician, make sure that you check the laws in your state first to see what the regulations are for journeymen and master electricians. The concern is not that the work will not be just as high quality when you hire a journeyman, but when an inspector comes to evaluate the work that was done by your electrician and make sure that it is up to code, they need to be able to provide the proper documentation before the inspector will even begin to look at the work done.
Ask about specializations – Some electricians prefer to specialize in particular types of electrical work. Some work solely as a commercial electrician and do not like to work on residential buildings. Others might have a preference towards new builds only, and still others prefer to work on revitalization projects or home renovation projects. Look at the past work that an electrician has done to see if your project falls into the same category. You want to hire someone that has specific experience in the type of project that you will be asking them to work on.
Check with others for referrals and ask the electrician for references – Word of mouth referrals can be a great way to find a good electrician. Ask friends and neighbors that have had electrical work done if they were happy with their electrical contractor and if they would hire them again. Communication is key when you are working on a big project with that requires an electrician. When your architect or contractor is creating plans for a remodel or new build, an electrician needs to understand where they are going to be installing outlets and light fixtures, and what size and kind of fixture is going to be in that place so that they can make sure that they are doing the right work. They also need to be good at coordinating their work and schedule with the rest of the contractors so that they are not delaying the work that other people are waiting to do.
If you are a fan of thai foods, then you are likely already familiar with the many exciting kinds of dishes that can be enjoyed that fall under the umbrella of Thai cuisine. A question that is commonly asked by consumers is if Thai food is a healthy meal option for them. There are many stereotypes that exist that state that consuming thai food is about as healthy as eating from a fast food restaurant but most of these theories and ideas are unfounded. But how healthy is thai food exactly? Let’s take a closer look:
Trying to classify the healthiness – or unhealthiness- of all thai food under one category is like trying to ask if all American food is good or bad for you. There is not one clear cut answer, because just like standard American fare, choosing to eat at a Thai Restaurant is going to give you a wide range of choices. Some of those choices will be good for you, and some will not, just as eating a cheeseburger or slice of pizza may not be the healthiest option on a menu, there are also items on menus in Thai food restaurants that will have options that will better fit in with a well rounded diet. The difficulty can be in trying to determine what those healthy options are and which ones you want to stay away from.
In order to determine the healthy dishes on your local thai food restaurant;s menu, you must know what kind of healthy you are looking for: Are you trying to eat gluten free or nut and dairy free? Since most thai dishes are made with rice or rice noodles instead of wheat noodles, and authentic thai restaurants do not cook with soy sauce like Chinese restaurants do, which is commonly known as a place for gluten to sneak it’s way onto your plate. If you have a nut or dairy sensitivity, then make sure that you check with the staff as the restaurant, as many dishes do contain nuts, or are prepared near nuts. However, dairy is not often used in the preparation of thai foods. Curry dishes are thickened with coconut milk as opposed to regular dairy milk, and standard thai food doesn’t contain yogurts (like Indian food does_ or cheese (like almost all American dishes.)
If you are looking for dishes that are low in fat or calories, Thai soups are a great option as are most of the salads on the menu, though you should always check the calorie count on the dressing that is provided. Some of the dishes that are not as well known in the mainstream that are also healthier options are any of the curry dishes that are not prepared with coconut milk: look for dishes that have a broth based curry instead, as well as dishes such as chicken satay, which are white chicken that has been grilled and comes with a side of peanut sauce. Peanuts have a higher fat content but it is the ‘good fats’ that your body needs.
When you start the search for your new puppy, you want to get a dog that will be the right temperament for you and your family, but you also want to get a dog that is healthy and was brought into this world through responsible breeding. Highlands Australian Cobberdogs explains the traits that you should look for when you start to search for a breeder.
- How long have you been breeding this type of dog? While experience does not always guarantee a happy healthy puppy, it can certainly help. With breeds like the Australian Cobberdog that have only been an officially recognized breed since 2012, there is not going to be as must history as there will be with other older breeds.
- Where do the dogs live? Even if the breeder is a professional breeder that devotes all of their time to breeding dogs, the dogs should live inside. If you are looking to adopt a family dog, then you will want a dog that is treated like a family dog from the beginning. That means in the house, not outside, not in a heated shed and not locked in the basement.
- Can I meet the parents? This should be a no brainer for any breeder to say yes to. A breeder is (or should be) someone that has fallen in love with the breed and wants to do their part in being an ambassador for that breed to the public. They should want to show off their beautiful healthy dogs to you, so they can demonstrate how great their puppies will be. If you decide to come to their home and meet the doggy parents is completely up to you, but a breeder will likely be better able to match you with the right puppy if they can get to know you a little better.
- Do you have references? A good breeder is going to be happy to give you names of people that are raising puppies and are happy with them.
- May I see the health clearance? Pure bred dogs are especially prone to genetic conditions that can affect the health and the lifetime of the dog. A health clearance is an evaluation that is done by an independent organization that test for hereditary problems. Each breed is going to be different in what conditions they are prone to – labradoodle puppies for instance are prone to having hip dysplasia and joint problems.
- Do the dogs participate in shows? A breeder wants to promote the breed of dog that they love and the best way to do that is to gain credibility in dog shows.
- How many liters do you have a year? Realistically a breeder will only have time to properly care for socialize one or two litters a year.
- Do you have a spay/neuter contract? Responsible breeders want to keep others from being irresponsible breeders, so they typically have a spay or neuter contract with new owners. This also helps prevent them from adding to the pet overpopulation problem.