Category Home Improvement

Pros and Cons of Installing Solar Panels for Your Home

Solar panels have become increasingly common throughout the United States, especially in areas that experience sunny days throughout the year. If you are considering having these installed on your home, there is a lot to think about before signing the contract. By weighing the pros and cons, you can confidently approach this investment knowing you’re making the right choice.

Pros:

  1. Savings

Most homes can save hundreds to thousands of dollars each year when they have fully functioning solar panels on their roof. In addition, most states offer tax breaks as incentives, which can help cover some of the costs of having these installed.

  1. Proven Technology

Solar panels have been around for many years, so you can invest knowing that the technology has passed the test of time. What’s even better is that since this technology is established and automatically works in your home, you don’t have to do anything to use it once the panels have been installed.

  1. Longevity

Although solar panels do not last forever, they still have a relatively long life of 25-30 years. This means they can more than pay for themselves in the time you have them, making the investment well worth it.

  1. Environmentally Friendly

With solar panels installed, you’ll be making your home more energy-efficient. This is great for the environment and can lower your overall carbon footprint.

Cons:

  1. Cost

For many homeowners, the initial cost to purchase solar panels is more than they can afford to spend at once. While paying in full is a great way to save on interest, it’s not the only option. There are many ways to make solar panels easier to afford with monthly payments.

  1. Limited Usage Times

Solar panels do not work at night nor are they effective during bad weather when the sun isn’t shining. If you live in an area that isn’t particularly sunny, this may mean you won’t get a lot of use out of your panels throughout the year.

  1. Professional Installation Required

Although many projects can be done to your home yourself, installing solar panels is not one of them. In most states, a permit is required to install solar panels and extensive knowledge of the installation process is crucial. Without the right knowledge or experience, you could end up improperly installing these and not seeing optimal performance.

  1. Cleaning

Panels need to be cleaned regularly to keep their performance optimal. Dust and dirt will collect over time making them less efficient. Solar panel cleaning can be a daunting task for the average homeowner. You might need to hire a solar panel cleaning service to get the job done.

Investing in Solar Panels

Millions of homes throughout the country proudly display solar panels. However, for some, it’s simply not the right choice. If you’re unsure whether you should invest, take the time to speak with a professional. They’ll help you learn more about what to expect out of these panels and the pros and cons you can expect.

ATR081624

Should I renovate or relocate? -Tips to help you decide

Deciding Between Renovating and Moving: Practical Considerations

If you’re thinking about whether to renovate your current home or move to a new one, there are some practical factors to consider. Let’s break down these considerations to help you make an informed decision:

1. Location Matters

Think about how you feel about where your current home is located. If you like the area and the neighborhood, renovating might be a good choice. However, if you’ve always wanted to live in a different place, moving could be more suitable.

2. Time Horizon

Consider how long you plan to stay in your current home. If you’re planning to move again relatively soon, a major renovation might not be worth it. But if you see yourself staying for a while, a renovation could make sense.

3. Budget Realities

Think about how much money you’re willing to invest in the renovation compared to the potential value it could add to your home. Keep in mind that renovations often come with unexpected costs, such as hiring contractors like electricians. On average, hiring an electrician for a small project can cost around $50 to $100 per hour, while larger projects could be more expensive.

4. Investment and Return

Consider how much value a renovation could add to your home. Smaller, well-planned renovations tend to offer better returns on investment. If you’re not planning to recoup the renovation costs when you sell, it might be worth reconsidering.

5. Duration of Stay

Think about how long you’ll live in your home after the renovation is complete. If you’re planning to move shortly after, the benefits of the renovation might not be fully realized.

6. Current Home Condition

Assess the condition of your current home. If it needs extensive repairs or upgrades, a renovation might be a logical choice. However, if it’s in good condition but just not to your liking, moving could be a simpler solution.

In conclusion, when deciding between renovating and moving, practical considerations are key. Take into account your attachment to the location, your long-term plans, budget constraints, the potential return on investment, the duration of your stay after the renovation, and the current condition of your home. Also, remember to factor in the cost of hiring contractors, like electricians, when evaluating your budget for a renovation project. By weighing these factors, you can make a decision that aligns with your needs and financial situation.

ATR081224

 

5 Ways to Keep Allergens at Bay in Your Home

https://youtu.be/vYnH8PXsk0w

Allergens can make your home uninhabitable, leading to sneezes, itchy eyes, and stuffy noses. Maintaining an allergen-free home can be easier than you think. You can use some simple yet effective DIY strategies to make an immediate, impactful environmental difference. This guide offers five effective techniques that will help create an allergen-free space for you and your family. By following these methods, you’ll breathe easier while feeling better. Let’s begin creating an ideal living environment now.

1. Select Allergen-Proof Bedding

Your bed can be a breeding ground for dust mites. Allergen-proof bedding may help alleviate this issue by protecting mattresses, pillows, and duvets with tight-woven fabric covers that prevent mites from entering or exiting. In addition, washing bedding regularly in hot water will also help eliminate them.

2. Use Air Purifiers

An air purifier is one way to effectively combat allergens in your home. They work by trapping airborne particles before they circulate freely around your living area and even capture bacteria or viruses that could wreak havoc with health. Look for models equipped with true HEPA filters, which are more capable of trapping allergens and keeping you healthier.

3. Regular Carpet Cleaning

Carpets can become home to various allergens, including dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores. Regular DIY vacuuming can help alleviate some issues. For deeper cleaning, professional carpet cleaning services offer deeper solutions that remove deep-seated dirt and allergens more effectively than can traditional home remedies. Professional cleaners specialize in deep carpet cleaning. You should consider this service every six-12 months to maximize an allergy-free carpet environment.

4. Monitor Humidity Levels

High humidity levels provide the ideal breeding grounds for dust mites and mold growth. Therefore, use a dehumidifier to maintain humidity levels between 30-50% for best results in curbing allergen formation. Furthermore, ensure proper ventilation in damp areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

5. Keep Windows Closed

While fresh air can be enjoyable, it can bring allergens from outside into your home. Keeping windows closed during pollen seasons helps prevent pollen from infiltrating. Instead, use air conditioning to cool your space. Most systems come equipped with filters designed to remove airborne particles. Thus, regularly changing or cleaning these filters will ensure their effectiveness.

No single method will completely eliminate allergens from your home. Still, combined, they provide a holistic approach to allergen reduction and can create a comfortable living space with reduced allergen levels. With some diligence and consistency, you can maintain an allergen-free space.

Every person’s allergy sensitivity differs. If allergies continue despite these measures, it may be beneficial to consult an allergist who can provide tailored advice based on individual needs and sensitivities. However, the above measures should be your starting point and a good way to keep yourself free from allergens at home.

What to Do When Your Home Is Damaged By Water

Water can do a significant amount of damage to your home. Fortunately, you can reduce this damage by acting quickly. You will need to take the following steps if your home is damaged by water.

Minimize the Hazards

Water damage is a hazard. If water comes in contact with electricity, then you can get shocked. That is why it is important for you to turn off the main breaker. You will also need to call an electrician.

Get Rid of the Standing Water

You should get rid of as much standing water as you can. A wet vacuum cleaner can use in order to get rid of the excess water. You can also use a sump pump to get rid of a large amount of water. Make sure that you wear protective equipment while you are working around water.

Find the Source of the Damage

You can minimize water damage by finding its source of it. For example, if the damage is caused by a burst pipe, then you should turn off your water. You can contact your city if the damage is caused by a natural disaster or storm. They can send someone out to fix the source of the damage and clean it up.

Ventilate the Area

You will need to ventilate the area after it has suffered water damage. This will help reduce the chances of mold accumulating in the area. You can ventilate the area by opening the windows. You can also use a fan to ventilate the area.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you have home insurance, then it may cover the water damage. You should call your insurance company as soon as the damage occurs. They can send out an adjuster to assess the damage. Do not make any repairs until the insurance company comes. Make sure that you follow all of the instructions that your insurance company gives you for filing a claim. It is also a good idea for you to take pictures of the damage.

Find the Right Contractors

Water damage restoration probably isn’t something that you will be able to remedy on your own. That is why you will need to hire the right contractors for the job. Good contractors will be honest about the work that they do and give you a fair estimate. They will also be honest about what can and cannot be salvaged.      

6 Things You Should Do Early to Get Ready for the Holidays

 

Happy Everything to Everyone written on wooden with Santa Hat

You probably have a long list of tasks to take care of before the holidays. That is why many people find themselves getting stressed during the holiday season. Fortunately, you can do the following things to get prepared for the holidays.

Set a Budget

One of the reasons that people get stressed during the holidays is that they spend more than they can afford. That is why you need to set a budget now and make a plan to stick to it. Keep the following in mind when you are planning your budget.

Your budget needs to be realistic. You should think about the stage of life that you are in and your daily commitments. You should also think about things that you can go without during the holiday season.

Start Shopping Now

There are several reasons that you should shop early. You will beat the holiday rush. This will help save you stress so that you can focus on spending time with your family. You may also be able to save money by shopping early.

Make Travel Reservations

If you plan on traveling for the holidays, then you should make the reservations early. You don’t have to worry about not being able to travel on the dates that you select. You will also have one less thing to do.

Clean Your Home Up

It is important for you to clean your home up if you plan on hosting a family gathering. You can start cleaning up your home by decluttering it. Clean out your pantry and refrigerator. Get rid of toys that your kids are no longer playing with. Declutter your bathrooms and clean them thoroughly. If you have not used something in more than a year, then you can probably do without it.

After you have decluttered, it will be easier for you to clean up. You will also need to get a professional carpet cleaning. Good carpet care will make your entire home look better. It will also remove dust and allergens. Additionally, your home will smell better after a good carpet cleaning.

Stock Up on the Essential Things

You may have a hard time finding what you need if you wait until the last minute. That is why you need to stock up on essential items. This includes things such as paper plates, toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, plastic forks, and spoons.

Install Christmas Lights

You can install lights early because they can remain off until the appropriate time. This will help to get a head start on your decorating tasks. To save time and have it done safely hire a Christmas light installation service.

 

5 Things You Should Know Before Hiring an Electrician

It’s not always as simple as dialing the first electrician in an online search. You must get the facts straight and get advice from an established expert with a solid reputation. There are so many electricians that it might be hard to tell who to hire. That’s why we put up this handy checklist of the five most important factors to consider while looking for an electrician.

Electrician installing and connecting a lamp to a ceiling.

Request Recommendations

Select many electricians to provide you with quotes, then evaluate them side by side. Discuss their qualifications and experience with each candidate. Have them take you through the project step-by-step so you can see how everything fits together and get a feel for the time and money commitment involved. Planning and scheduling meetings with all other contractors are essential to ensure a smooth workflow when electrical components such as wire, circuit boxes, and fixtures must be completed for the project to pass electrical inspections. If there is any buried cable in the area, it must be investigated as well before the trenches may be backfilled. The meter’s wiring, the main disconnect, and the grounding should also be checked.

An Electrician Needs To Be Properly Licensed And Insured

Before starting work, make sure you’ve double-checked both are current and valid. Poor wiring might cause expensive repairs. Do not engage an electrician unless they can give you both. A lot is at risk if that happens. Gather duplicates of their insurance and operating certificate as well as their license.

Affordability

Prices for electrical work ought to be reasonable. Before making a final choice, getting estimates from multiple electricians for the essential electrical services can be helpful. Remember that there may be call-out fees associated with the services you require. Spend time making a list of all the electrical services you’ll need, and then contact many electricians to see who offers the best package deal. In doing so, you will exercise caution in your quest for a competent, licensed electrician.

Professionalism

To protect your interests, you should only collaborate with those who are always professional. Even before you speak with a potential technician, you can detect if they are competent and trustworthy. Without even a personal interaction, a qualified electrician will make you feel like a priority. The way they talk to you, their demeanor, adaptability, integrity, honesty, friendliness, looks, and politeness are all crucial factors to consider.

One’s Own Innate Wisdom

It would not be brilliant to work with an electrician with neither good manners nor technical expertise. It doesn’t matter how qualified or experienced they are if they have a terrible attitude, produce shoddy work, and have a sketchy character. No matter what, a person’s demeanor must always be professional; choose someone who makes you feel at ease. The ability to express yourself is equally essential and falls under this category. How upfront is the home repair technician with their estimates, and does the electrician keep you apprised of any delays? If you can each see the other’s perspective, it sounds like a good idea to recruit this person.

You can learn a lot about an electrician by checking out their website. A good electrical contractor will have information on the site that will answer most if not all of your questions.

ATR080624

What Does Your Home’s Exterior Say About You?

Your home’s exterior says a lot about you. It shows that you care about the way that your home looks. That is why it is important for you to fix up the outside of your house. There are several reasons that you should fix up your home’s exterior.

Save Energy

The cost of electricity has increased drastically. However, there are things that you can do in order to save energy. For example, you can install new siding and windows. Those features will help keep the outdoor out and the conditioned air in. This also helps you stay comfortable.

Increase Value

You can add value to your house if you fix up the outside of it. What you have done to your home is one of the factors that will determine its value. Simple things, such as replacing a garage door or getting new siding, can add significant value to your home.

Appeal to More Buyers

When people are looking for a new home, they don’t just look at the inside. They also pay attention to the outside. You can make the home more appealing to potential buyers by fixing up the outside. They want a home that stands out from the other ones that are on the block. Furthermore, you will be able to get more money for your home.

Easier for You to Maintain

It takes time to keep your home in the best shape possible. However, if you take the time to improve the exterior, then you won’t have to do as much maintenance. For example, if you get new siding, then you won’t have to paint as much. The only thing that you will have to do is make sure that you power wash your home regularly. Consult with a Georgetown, TX pressure washing company to get more information. 

A new garage door is easier to operate than an old one. It won’t be as likely to get stuck. You also don’t have to worry about painting a new garage door.

More Protection

There are a lot of things that can damage your home. It can be damaged by termites and excess moisture. You may end up having to get extensive repairs in the future if you do not take the steps that are necessary to improve your home.

Furthermore, you can make your home more secure by upgrading the exterior. For example, replacing the windows and adding a new garage door can deter potential thieves.

 

Home Improvement Projects

How to Prioritize Home Improvement Projects

As a homeowner, you may have to deal with home improvement projects once in a while. It is imperative to know why you’re improving your home and how it would add benefit. There are many reasons why you would opt to enhance your home.

You may be looking to sell your home, and improvements are a way to increase value. You can add features that most home buyers look for and make it easier for you to sell. Home improvements are also an excellent way to build equity in your house as you make monthly repayments. Here are ways to prioritize your home improvement project.

Functionality
Before adding extra features to your home, evaluate how they would improve some essential functions. Thus, it would help if you went through various areas in your home and determine your daily routine. This way, you can identify the inconveniences you’ve dealt with and how you can improve your life quality.

Go for features that improve functionalities to make your life easier. Determine how much you will need for all additions and compare how they would improve your daily life.

Home Improvement Projects

Aesthetic Appeal
It’s not about making life easier but also making you enjoy space. You can focus on home improvements that appeal to you and your visitors. This way, you can identify how to go about your interior design and extra customizations to make your home look good.

Design matters, and it would help if you chose an interior design template that meets your needs. Pay attention to detail and determine how every minor aspect fits in the overall design. For example, you can decide whether to choose a custom wallpaper or give your wall a new coat of paint.

Safety
As much as you need to make your home look and feel new, don’t forget about the main aspect. Don’t make improvements at the expense of your security. Thus, walk through your home and determine whether there are any security loopholes/

Security should be your priority and focus on features that enhance your home’s safety. This way, you can concentrate on safety-related improvements such as roof repair, roof replacement, and gutter repair. You can focus on adding security features such as surveillance cameras and intruder-alert systems.

Home Improvement Projects

Budget
You may have various objectives on your to-do list, but it would help to check if you can afford it. Prioritize your budget and how much you’re ready to spend on the home improvement projects. Draw a realistic and achievable budget plan that accounts for everything needed for the project.

Evaluate how much it will cost you for the desired features and whether you can find an alternative. Price should not be the driving factor of your improvement project and opt for quality over cost. Plan your improvement project, know what you need, and check whether you have enough in your coffers.