Monday, February 22, 2010

HOME IMPROVEMENT....Boomers.....Seniors
Are you wanting, in need of, improvements but are afraid, scared stiff about doing anything? The uncertainty of the economy, value of your home, lack of cash you stymied???

Well....take heart!!!!

FDR's comment after Peral Harbor:
"the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" was made, of course, to bolster peoples feelings. Alto this is not WWII, the statement is very applicable today concerning your home improvements.

The sky is really not falling, Chicken Little; well, not all of it anyway, and not necessarily your part folks. What is required in overcoming these "fears" is a redirection in one's thinking. Yup...the "rules" got changed on us and no one bothered to tell us, but now knowing these new rules, they can be dealt with. The "home improvement game" is still safe, fair, and worthy of playing.

New Rule #1: A redirection of assessing home improvements from the traditional "value-base" of increasing the resale value of your home. With this new rule of home valuation, this approach no longer applies. What ever you might do to increase your homes value is not going to pay dividends any time soon. Lenders are not going to give you additional credit for such. Yes, doing such might increase the likely hood of a sale, but you are probably not going to recover the cost. You are stuck in a bottoming, depressed value market that is not going to change in the foreseeable future.

New rule #2: You can't just figure that you can sell and get something different; move up/down as necessary.
a) If your home would sell, it's going to take quite a bit of time to do so if you want to get your price. The problem here is that you are stuck in an auction/short-sale driven market in which you can't win. People are wanting a "steal".
b) You have no doubt lost a TON of equity. This cuts heavily into your re-investment capability.
c) Finding exactly what you need w/o having to make alterations/improvement any way is doubtful.

SO.....What do you do.....

New rule #3: The "value-base" of your home now need to be directed to maximizing its livability for you; meeting your life-stlye requirements. You need to adjust your home to one that works for you in meeting your day-to-day and future needs. Further, such actions will greatly enhance your ability for living independently and aging in your current home

Also: things become more valuable if increased benefits can be acheived through incremental modification to the same base element. Such can be the case with your home. Subtle home improvements can gain benefits greater than their cost, especially if directed to "essentials" vs. "luxuries".

By understanding and applying these new rules, you can overcome the fear. And as I said.....Take Heart!!!!.....You do not have to tackle these by yourself. I can walk you through this new direction and assist in your "due-diligence"; show you where and how to acheive this new "value-base"

So...Alice!! Step through the looking glass. DO step through the fear. Obtain a new confidence. Feel good about your home.
CALL ME!!!! 714-731-3567

Sunday, February 14, 2010


For your 2-story (3?)'s not just about stairs, or adjustments to your stairs anymore. Personal elevators are IN!!....and HIP!!! Ya, seriously!!!!

Significant innovations in their looks and operation...and cost..have made home elevators a viable addition to your livability. Don't over look them. They can fit-in bettetr than you might expect. They can be hidden in a closet-type enclosure, or be free-standing. Varrious ingress/egress arrangements are available as well as sizes. They can be inside your home or, if necessary, installed outside.

Wheither you have a traditional, modern, contemporary, or "classic" home, there is a style to fit. We have installed them for other people, we can install one for you......CALL US!!!! 714.731.3567

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Further Bonus Coverage....Energy Efficient Homes 2

In the previous "bonus", EEH-1, talked abut the Attic. Before we leave the Attic...another component: your heating ducts. Need to check these for air leaking connections. "Tons" of heating can be lost thru these causing your heating unit to run far more than necessary.

In older homes your ducting is prob. either metal or asbestos. If it is the "A" word stuff...just LEAVE IT ALONE. Not causing any probs. unless it gets disturbed. Metal ducting, check the seams. They should be wrapped in insulation at the transitions and at the vents. Straight runs are often taped with "duct tape". Yup, that's where the name comes from. HOWEVER, "duct tape" has become as generic as referring to a spa as a "Jacuzzi". The "grey stuff" is not actually duct tape, and it comes in several grades. Manufactures just ref err to all of it as "duct tape". Actual
tape use for heating ducts is SILVER tape. The difference: the grey stuff will deteriorate over time, silver won't.

Therefore, if you find your ducting in wrapped in the grey stuff; pull it off and replace it w/silver. Yes, it really is worth it.

If the insulation is frayed, or missing, re wrap it. Note, this is NOT wall/ceiling insulation. It is actual insulation for wrapping ducts. Goes on w/spray adhesive. And, again, YES, it is worth it.

Related to the ducting is of course the furnace itself. If your unit is more than 10 years old, prob. only around 50% efficient; means it has to run twice as long to do its job. New one's often are 80% or better (and about 1/2 the size!) Clean and service it!!! at least at the start of the heating season....and that many of your actually replace it? Should be replace twice during heating season, once during AC. If not, it gets blocked, and not only does that impact your air quality, the fan hast to run longer to push the air through. All of these issues contribute to consumption of more energy.

In conjunction with the furnace, the thermostat. Most areas now require programmable units...but they are of no value unless USED. Makes sense, right. But how many of you have 'em, don't make full use of 'em? These are great for being more energy efficient. Set the timer to reduce, even turn off, the unit at night or when you are gone. Can be set to restart so home is "warm again" when it actually needs to be. Same applies to your AC usage.

For more Energy Efficient Home tips....stay tuned it!!!