Archive for the ‘home improvement’ Category

New Year Organization

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It’s New Year’s resolution time and a great time of year to start fresh. It’s also a time when we often have a lot of stuff cluttering the house—new toys and clothes, wrapping paper, boxes and that box of items you’ve been meaning to give away.  How can you get started organizing?

First, purge. This can easily take weeks or months, but if you want to keep it simple, stick to one closet or room at a time or think about what is taking up the most space in your home and focus your efforts there. Ask yourself: have you worn/used it in the last year? If you were shopping today, would you buy this?

Install hooks in the bathrooms and bedrooms. A rod in the bathroom will only hold one towel—hooks will hold many. Hooks in the bedroom will hold hats, bags and other items. If you have room, you can install some in the closet as well.

Make each closet serve a specific purpose. It is easy for many different items to start cluttering the closets. Make things easier by choosing one closet for cleaning materials, one for blankets and towels, etc.

Shelf dividers, cubbies and thinner hangers will help you organize and save some space. See what is taking up the most space or doesn’t have a proper area and go from there.

Light up your closets. LED lights and track lighting and motion detector lights will make a big difference when you’re getting dressed on those dark mornings.

Put your holiday items away and label their containers.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Things That Lower Resale Value

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

You may love your home or maybe you see some flaws, but either way, there is plenty to think about when you’re looking to sell. There are some common things that turn many buyers away that you may want to consider if you have the time and resources to make changes.

If you don’t have enough bathrooms or if they are not placed well it can be a turn off for buyers. You need an adequate number relative to the number of bedrooms and they should also be located in convenient areas of the house. You wnt at least one bathroom on every level of the house. Adding an entire bathroom can cost thousands of dollars, but it makes an impact just to put in a half bath. Also consider upgrades to existing bathrooms such as a new vanity.

Distinct décor and colors can put some people off. If you have some bright colors in your rooms or very particular styles, consider making more neutral changes. Conservative is always best.

Some “green” items can be an asset, such as “smart” technology or solar panels. However some don’t want to take on the lease for the panels or the maintenance. Some “green” items such as rain barrels or composting toilets can be a turn off to your average buyer. Think about who will likely want to buy in your neighborhood.

Other things like an awkward layout or a swimming pool may cause your home to sit on the market for longer than expected. Don’t let that deter your from buying what you like, but keep these things in mind when you are looking to sell.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Set Up for Odd Shaped Rooms

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

It is more or less impossible to find the perfect house. So, for many of us, we are stuck with one oddly shaped room in the house that we don’t know how to set up and decorate.

How can you work with the shape? Take note of where your cable outlet and electrical outlets are located. (Also look for the phone jack if you have a home phone.) This will dictate many of your furniture and set up choices.

Look for lighting. Windows and overhead lights will be your starting points. Then, if you need more light, look for the outlets. Lighting will help determine you set up, as you’ll want more light in reading areas or spaces where people will gather. You may also want a variety of lighting options to change the mood of the room as needed.

If you have a fireplace, it is often a good idea to make that a focal point. It doesn’t have to be the only focal point in a very large room, but rather can be the center of a cozy gathering area.

Look for a space that you can make into a conversation area. Don’t line up the furniture along the walls. This is particularly important if you have a very large or oddly shaped living room. You can make separate the room into two spaces used for different activities, such as watching TV, reading, or sitting with guests. Some easy ways to do this are using furniture, such as a bookcase turned on its side (use it for display) or a couch. You can also use a rug to make a certain part of the room feel cozy and separate. (Gather the furniture around the rug.)

Place your anchor furniture and move the pieces around to see what flows best. A coffee table, chairs and a sofa are good places to start.

Don’t be afraid to try different set ups and take a step back to reevaluate.

If you need to add more built-in lighting or electrical outlets, it is best to contact a professional.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Light Up Your Home

Posted on: November 21st, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Whether you’re sick of tripping over things in the evenings or want to create a certain ambiance, lighting can make a huge impact in your home. Different types of lighting will work best in different rooms. What should you consider for your home?

General lighting, also known as ambient lighting, helps to create the overall mood of your home. When you are looking for general lighting, first take note of your other lighting systems in the room to make sure additions or changes will flow well. For example, you don’t want dim overhead kitchen lighting with overly bright cabinet lights. Recessed lighting is a good choice for your everyday tasks as well as to accent a room.

Accent lighting brings attention to the features of your home, such as interesting architecture or artwork. Track lighting is a good choice for this purpose. Track lighting is easy to install and versatile since the direction of each head can be individually adjusted.

Task lighting is what you want in work areas, such as around countertops and tables. For desks, a simple desk lamp will likely suffice. For the bathroom mirror, you can get rid of shadows by placing vertical fixtures on both sides of the mirror.

Think about smaller areas as well. Adding some pantry, cabinet and closet lights can make your daily routine smoother. Fluorescent light fixtures under the upper kitchen cabinets will offer bright light without producing heat.

It is crucial to make sure your lighting plan is functional and easy for your lifestyle. You don’t want a remote-controlled closet light if you’re the type of person who loses things easily.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Repurpose Your Dining Room

Posted on: November 21st, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

You may be getting a lot of use out of your dining room during the holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? If you don’t typically use it as a place to eat, you might be thinking about reworking the area of better fit your needs. Plenty of families use the space for homework, paying bills, storing items, etc. most of the year.

If you don’t mind a big project, look into an expanded kitchen. We spend plenty of time in the kitchen, so adding more space where the family can gather makes sense. Knock down the walls connecting the kitchen and dining room (get a professional) and make one large space! If you don’t want to go that far, you can simply put an island or shelving in your dining room for food or storage of pots, pans and other items.

Another easier option than knocking down walls is to transform the dining room into whatever room is needed. If you need a play area, make it into the kids’ toy room. If you want to use it as a game room, go for it. If you use the space primarily for homework or bills anyway, why not turn it into an office? This can be a very inexpensive project. Remember, there is no rule that you have to have a formal dining room or that you have to use the space as intended. Think outside the box. You will need to consider lighting and electrical setup. You may need to add extra lighting or change the lighting, or get creative with how you arrange the furniture.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Small Bathroom Storage

Posted on: November 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Your bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house, but—especially with a large family—is often used. If you have a small bathroom, how can you maximize your space to store more than you expected?

The inside of your cabinet doors is a great, unused space. Put in some racks to hold hair dryers and any products you want to be able to grab easily.

If you’re looking for new cabinets, look for those with plenty of storage.

If you have kids and need a step stool, get a storage step stool. This way you can store soap, bath toys or other items.

For the kids’ toys, use a storage basket that attaches to the sides of the tub. This can also hold other items as well. These are lightweight and easy to clean.

Use wall-mounted racks and shelves to add storage on empty walls. One great space is the area above the toilet. If you don’t mind reaching up high, put in as many shelves as you can up towards the ceiling, or get a tall shelf. This will maximize wall space.

Install hooks on the underside of your shelves to hang washcloths and towels.

Add a ledge-style shelf over the sink and underneath the mirror to give you a little extra space for makeup or small toiletries. This will also make them easy to access.

Use space outside of your bathroom if possible. You can store extra towels in the hall closet or add a small shelf just outside the door for a few more items.

If you’re looking for more space, but not necessarily more storage, consider a pedestal sink. These have a small base (think of a stem with a flower at the top.) They are great for half-baths. Get a trusted professional to install.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

Make Your Home Safer

Posted on: November 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

With 2 million home burglaries reported each year, it is important to make your home as safe as you can. Whether you only have a little bit of money to spend or quite a bit, there are plenty of options.

Use a heavy-duty deadbolt on your front door.

Use timers to keep lights on at home when you’re not there. Some will turn on randomly throughout the day or night, some can be set ahead of time to a specific time or increments of time. Some will work with only one appliance, others are power strips and can program several appliances.

Keep your car locked, whether it is outside or in the garage. Keep valuables out of sight—or better yet, out of your car.

Lock your windows and doors when you leave the house. Even when you are home, do not open windows more than four inches.

Install plenty of outdoor lighting around your home. Motion sensor lights are a great idea. Don’t forget to over all of your bases—make sure there aren’t large blind spots around your home. Security lighting should be up higher off of the ground, shining downwards to cast a big area of light, as well as prevent burglars from tampering with the lights. Make sure that your wires are hard to access. Lighting is also important for the safety of your family and guests walking around at night.

Store valuables in a safe place.

Consider an alarm system. There are many different options including motion detector, video monitoring and sirens.

If you’re an animal person, consider getting a large dog or two to deter burglars.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving

Posted on: November 10th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Getting your home ready for Thanksgiving—and all the holidays that follow—can be exciting, but also a huge chore. However, you don’t have to scrub your house from top to bottom. With a few tasks, you can get your house ready for all the people and of course, the food.

A week or so ahead of time, schedule your biannual HVAC inspection and cleaning to make sure it is in top shape before everyone arrives. The last thing you need is for your heating to go out.

The main area to focus your cleaning on is the kitchen. Wipe the counters, sweep the floor, empty the trash, and make sure all the dishes are clean and put away. If you don’t want to have a huge pile of dishes to do later, make sure to get some paper plates and disposable cups/silverware. Make your home smell like fall by boiling a few orange peels and cinnamon sticks and then letting it simmer.

Make space for extra tables and chairs if needed, and if there will be kids, make a space for them to eat and play as well. Cover the electrical outlets if there will be babies or toddlers.

Prepare as much food as you can ahead of time, especially if you’re the main cook.

Clear out a place for guests to hang coats and bags. If you don’t have a coat rack or enough room in the closet, make a bed in one room and designate that as the coat bed.

If you’ll have overnight guests, wash the towels and bed linens and make the beds.

Clean the bathroom that guests will use.

Vacuum in the areas where guests will be.

Lastly, put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine!

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

Install Fire and CO2 Alarms

Posted on: October 9th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

October is fire prevention awareness month, and winter is prime time for fires due to people using unsafe techniques to warm up. How do you install smoke and CO2 alarms? Where do you place them? How many do you need?

Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. In addition, a smoke alarm should be installed on each level of your home.

Smoke alarms should be high on the wall (but not less than 12 inches away from the ceiling) because smoke rises. For ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within 4 inches down from the peak, called the apex. Make sure your alarms are not near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with them. They should also be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance unless you enjoy hearing false alarms often!

The best way to protect your home is with interconnected alarms. To do so, you’ll probably need to hire a professional if using hard wiring. There are also wireless technology options. With interconnected smoke alarms, make sure they are from the same manufacturer.

Buy smoke alarms that show a label of a recognized testing laboratory and are combination ionization-photoelectric alarms, also known as dual sensor alarms. These respond to both flaming fires and smoldering fires

Carbon monoxide mixes with the air, so these alarms should be at knee level (to meet the height of a sleeping person). You can move them up to chest height if needed in a home with young children. A single-function carbon monoxide alarm is typically recommended. If you have a dual smoke-CO detector, put it higher up so it can detect smoke. Make sure to put at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level. Extra detectors near sleeping areas are also a good idea. Any place where you have a fuel-fired appliance such as a gas fireplace or gas clothes dryer, make sure you have a CO2 alarm.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Bathroom Ventilation Fans

Posted on: October 5th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Long showers feel fantastic—but they aren’t so great for your home. The humidity can breed mold and mildew, which is not only a health hazard, but also bad for your building materials. Ventilation fans can help remove moisture, mold spores and odor from your bathrooms. Nowadays they are “smart” and efficient. What should you look for?

Think about where the air will go. Bathroom ventilation fans often exhaust air in between ceiling joists or into an attic, which brings the moisture into closed spaces where mold can breed. Instead, connect your bathroom exhaust fan to vent ducts that exhaust the air outside your house. If you’re concerned the fan will take the heated air out of your house, install a heat-exchange ventilator fan. Keep in mind that these are more expensive.

Measure your bathroom’s floor space. The air flow capacities of bathroom ventilation fans are measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The Home Ventilating Institute says that your fan should have 1 cfm for every square foot of floor space.

Are you bothered by loud noise? Have a sleeping child or spouse? Fan noise is rated by sones. A rating of 0.5 to 1.2 sones means the fan is very quiet, 1.5 to 2.0 sones is a good middle range, and above 4.0 sones means noisy.

Of course these days there are “smart” options. Motion sensor activation turns on the fan when someone enters the room. Fan speed can be pre-set to remove the moisture of smaller tasks like shaving. Some offer a night light to help you in the dark. Humidity sensing fans automatically switch on when they detect high levels of humidity. Some even have built-in heaters.

Another modern luxury—energy efficient ventilation fans, which use about 60 percent less energy than standard fans.

Be prepared to spend between $90 and $400 for a new ventilation fan, and more if you get a professional installation.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!