It’s Tool Time!!!

If in need for something to pick you up this morning we recommend watching this clip. The entire clip is exactly what the title mentions, grunts. A collaboration of every grunt from Home Improvement, which is still considered one of the greatest television sitcoms of all time. The show provided households during the 90’s with plenty of laughs and taught us how not to use tools. So if watching the clip might bring you out of your funk and let you recall the good ol 90’s.

Also, I want to mention as a Chicago based company we forgot the show’s emphasis on Detroit sport’s team. So as the current home of Stanley we’d like you to take the time to grunt in honor of our Chicago Blackhawk’s championship year. Hope this helped a little and happy hump day!!

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Food 4 Thought: Window upgrade?

One of the most expensive upgrades for your house is windows. As homeowner’s we neglect windows due to the belief “unless it’s broke, don’t fix it.” Well, this attitude will cost you thousands of dollars in heating and air conditioning bills EVERY YEAR. If dollars fail to make you cringe maybe the dangers associated to older windows will persuade you. Older windows tend to be thinner (easier to break), possible exposure to lead (harmful substance), and related to 5,100 injuries from window falling. This report also distinguished that 2/3 of these injuries were toddlers. If you believe I’m trying to scare you into purchasing windows feel free to check out the National Safety Council webpage and yes I am.

The NSC webpage offers great safety advice, but at times undermines the importance of windows. Today’s innovative windows and fall protection systems is an appropriate step in the right direction and many people believe a window’s purpose is only to allow natural light in. Natural light is a benefit, but windows provide other benefits from a better insulated house, cheaper heating & air conditioning, safety, and outdoor connection. An article by ezinearticles.com mentioned

Windows serve as a convenient gateway to the outside world without needing to venture out of your four walls. You can even be sitting at the comfort of your sofa but still get to experience the outside by looking through the window. It is a way you can see what happens outside. It conserves your energy and allows you to know what is going on outside. After all you have no other way to know what happens outside your home”

The description above seem’s a little “hippiesish” yet it’s true. Every company sell you the savings and exterior look, but at the end of the day it’s your medium to the great outdoor’s. As a construction company we believe it’s in your best interest. However, maybe you’re content at the “comfort of your sofa” with a single pane, lead infused window.  If you’re not pleased every time you open a window or deal with paint chipping off, it’s time for a new one. After contemplating whether your house is in dire need first you should check out local tax credit to see potential savings.

Energy star

The reason we believe checking your states energy efficient tax credits before contacting a window expert or home remodeling company is because recently there’s been huge savings. Costs might be covered by the government as well as the contractor who may have a summer special going on.  Historically Midwest states offered tax credit for upgrading to energy-efficient windows, so be aware of these potential savings. An article posted on National Public Radio specifically discusses a llinois case. Take a few minutes to read the story to get a better grasp on the positive effects of window replacement.

Here’s an example of the immediate difference from work by Wilke Window:

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The after window below would make any homeowner happy, but the savings associated to this type of upgrade will make them ecstatic. This homeowner understood that windows are a long-term investment and they’ll benefit. The “before” window provides you with that “gateway to the outside world” at the cost of using all your force in opening/closing it and letting air out. Depending on the square footage and age of your house this can be a knockout upgrade.

So maybe you’re considering an upgrade? What’s the first step?

Know your budget and style of window!!!

As much as we’d like to sit here and tell you that heating savings could be as much as 25% we can’t do this because you might be financially strapped. The better windows (energy star qualified windows) can do that 25%, but maybe a triple pane window is out of your budget. Maybe a two pane window is near your budget and a 20% savings is good enough, know your WANT’s.

A few other reasons to consider altering those 70’s windows by Windows4Buffalos:

  • – Functionability
  • – Ease of Cleaning
  • – Appearance
  • – Ability to resist cold weather steam
  • – Filters out UV rays
  • – Decrease fading of upholstery and furniture

Why Pinterest is your next home improvement best friend.

Yes, you have friends, that handyman neighbor, or  know someone who possesses every possible tool (just in case something happens, but it often never does).  Every person living in a subdivision understands the value of these helpful neighbors; whether helping assemble a shed, re-shingle your roof, or join for that cold brew after an exhausting day. Face it these friends make life easier for the entire house. Maybe you’re not a DIYer and you prefer a licensed professional doing it. Whether you enjoy doing it yourself or handing matters over, you should always have complete control on your house improvement.

PInterest Logo

We believe it’s your house so don’t have neighbor’s or contractors making the decisions and trust your own gut. Every homeowner generally has an idea of what they’re looking for, but  lack creative punch. It’s easy to aisle shop at Menard’s or Home Depot to solve your need. This process drown’s creativity and hides your houses desire to stand out. Home improvement start’s with an idea and that’s where Pinterest comes in.

Before we discuss what Pinterest brings to the table, we understand not everyone has a Pinterest account or is tech savvy.  The politically correct word for these people is digital immigrant’s. It’s someone new to technologies such as the internet, laptops, or lack tech knowledge. Generally these are grandparents or people over sixty. There’s older people whom stay current with the tech times and not every young adult is tech savvy themselves. We bring this up because now Generation Y is beginning to enter the housing market. Generation Y is the title given to people born after the 80’s and early 2000’s. It’s believed that 97% of this generation either owns a laptop or computer device. This generation will utilize electronic devices and programs when making a household decision.

This generation feels comfortable navigating the internet as well as incorporating it in their daily lives. They’ll research daily tasks online or consult that handy neighbor, whereas generation Y (baby boomer’s) use the yellow pages as well as that trusted neighbor. So what can a social media platform with 3 years of experience (started in 2010) bring to the table compared to next door Chuck’s 40 years of plumbing experience down the street? The title is home improvement not home upkeep. Chuck’s plumbing experience is useful when seeking the latest plumbing for a newly refurbished kitchen/bathroom.   The house timeline remains constant for upkeep purposes like electrical work, water, roof, windows, and air conditioning. Yes we love solving common issues that plague every homeowner, but you’re trying to improve your house. Upgrading shingles, siding, windows, or gutters are ways to help increase value as well protect your investment. Maybe you want to improve your house by becoming more eco-friendly, incorporating designer sinks, or creating your own office. Before drastic decisions ask yourself what you want. Below is few bizarre questions to ask yourself.

Did you want that pirate ship tree house?

Maybe you wanted to paint your house in zebra stripes?

Grass on Roof

Can you grow grass on the roof?

These questions seem childish, but who better to consult for creativity then a child? Creative thinking allows you to differentiate your house from the next-door replica, make it your own, and inject color. We’re not requesting neighborly competition (that already happens) or paint a Van Gogh on your exterior siding. The neat thing about Pinterest is it’s free and allows you to pin your favorite projects/activities.

Often home improvement is the last household decision due to the finances, but this site provides cost-effective ways to target your wants. We believe Chuck could help you think abstract or build a cornhole set worth bragging about, but Pinterest allows you to view thousands of ideas in the matter of a click. The famous Marie Curie said “Be less curious about people and more about ideas.” Marie Curie might be a Nobel Prize winning physicist yet she understood something about thinking outside the box.

Pinterest provides you an escape from the traditional house style or bland colors. We are not requesting you to build a replica of the Solider Field space ship on your house, merely enjoy the improvement process and love the finished product. If sticking with the household status quo pleases you Pinterest most certainly will frighten you.  Remain aware of protecting the longevity of your asset as well. If you trust your gut you’ll make the best decision to satisfy your want. One Pinterest page has an entire board dedicated to houses that resemble the fable of the “old lady who lives in a shoe.”  Living in a shoe style house may not appeal to you, but maybe living in an entirely eco-friendly house does.

House in a shoe

We promise that you’ll find one intriguing picture or idea that you try emulating yourself.  These ideas range from picture frames, baskets, or wall painting techniques. If your house is in dire need of a little interior design injection please check out this site. Various ideas range from low to high-end of the price  scale. Finding something to improve that hideous room or make you the talk of the subdivision lies in Pinterest. Maybe Chuck’s innovative cornhole paint job does interest you, but there’s no way it’ll trump the swimming pool in your dining room.

Think you have a roof leak?

           Notice a stain in the ceiling or wall? Maybe stored items in your attic are moist or damaged. Sometimes stains or discoloring (possible mold) could be the result of condensation from your air conditioning system. Make sure to 2x check your unit prior to calling a roof consultant

Before you call a roof specialist conduct your own test! This short video will have you searching for the leak as if you’re Sherlock Holmes.

In our 25 year history we’ve seen some cheesy do-it-yourself video’s as well as poor construction tutorials. However, Danny Lipford’s video provides a great overview in checking for a leak and an easy do-it-yourself check (water hose test). A little about Danny Lipford, he was the host of the radio & television Today’s Homeowner. He’s also been used as the home expert for show’s such as The Weather Channel and CBS’s The Early Show. If you enjoyed his video or have other homeowner questions check out his website or YouTube channel for other tips/knickknacks.

todayshomeowner.com