Looks aren’t everything, Home Improvement do’s and don’ts

Certain home improvements are more likely to improve the value of your home than others. Some home improvements can down right lesson your chances of a sale.

And the winners:

Kitchen remodels and updates – always a plus, its the heart of the home

Bathroom remodels and updates – absolutely, best alone time in the house

Patios (especially covered) and Decks – A good bet, a great extension to the rest of your castle

Landscaping – A picture tells a thousand words, what is your landscaping telling all who pass by?

And the ones to be wary of:

Swimming Pools – BIG bucks, not all home buyers remember Nemo, they All remember JAWS!

Out door kitchens – Can be very costly and not all of us co-exist well with the outdoor creatures buzzing around their food

Turning a Garage into a family room or a bedroom into an office just to sell the house is a risky bet. You eliminate those who like to have guests for the holidays and tinkering on non-house friendly projects  in the winter months . These options are not a good bet to increase home value.

Projects that appeal to the masses have a much better chance of increasing your value and shortening the time your home is on the market when the time comes to move to the mansion on the hill.

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Most important day of your new System!

According to third party articles and the manufacturers themselves, Air conditioning systems and furnaces are designed to last for up to 15 years.

Obviously the better they are maintained the longer they last and the more efficient they are.  Regularly scheduled maintenance is recommended by manufacturers and service companies alike.

CHANGE YOUR FILTERS REGULARLY! Have a system tune-up in the spring and fall.

Having said all of this, there is one piece of the pie that is more important than all the rest combined, having your system installed properly. The most important day of your new system is the day it is installed. This will determine the life and efficiency of your system. Make sure the company you choose have certified, trained and experienced installation technicians!

Another very important part of your installation process is to make sure the company you choose pulls the appropriate city/state permits. IT IS THE LAW and yet only 10% of all companies pull permits. A city permit ensures your system will be inspected for proper installation and codes. A third party inspection to make sure your company did its job right.


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New Government Furnace Requirements

In 2007, the U.S. Congress passed the Energy
Security and Independence Act (the “2007
Energy Bill”). This bill set a new precedent by
allowing the Department of Energy (DOE) to
develop regional standards for the installation
location of heating and cooling equipment.
In northern states, high-efficiency furnaces
are required after May 1, 2013.
Will This Affect You?
Those who will be impacted the most by the
new regional standards are people that live in
the North Region and have a non-condensing
gas furnace. The upcoming regional standards
will require that gas furnaces installed in the
North Region have at least 90% Annual Fuel
Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, compared
to the current 78% AFUE, effectively excluding
the use of non-condensing furnaces and requiring the installation of condensing furnaces
in the North Region

What Will You Do?
The new regional standards will require the installation of condensing furnaces in the North
Region starting on May 1, 2013. It may be wise
to upgrade your current, older non-condensing
gas furnace for a new non-condensing gas
furnace before that date. Otherwise, you will
likely be required to install a condensing
furnace and deal with the added complications.
Your HVAC contractor can provide an estimate
that includes both furnace options.

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Be Prepared, Remember the Ant and the Grasshopper!

While the grasshopper was having fun playing and frolicking around the neighborhood, the ant was busy gathering food and building shelter for the Winter.

And guess what, here comes Winter! It may be warm out now, but in the not to distant future, you will be scraping ice off the car window. Are you the Ant or the Grasshopper?

Don’t wait for the first cold snap to call for a furnace tune-up, get your heater safety checked and tuned up now. It will much harder to get on the tune-up schedule once the cold weather hits, DO IT NOW!  BE THE ANT!

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It is absolutely Shocking!

Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT normal or safe to have sparking from your light switches and plugs, no matter how cool your kids think it is. It is highly recommended to have your homes electrical system inspected on an annual basis. Of all of your homes major systems, your electrical system can cause the most amount of damage and grief when it goes wrong.  Do your lights dim every time your iron clicks on, this is not an energy savings feature of your iron, it is a red flag that something is not right. The blazing hot days and chilling cold nights in Salt Lake City are taxing on your homes electrical system. Schedule an Electrical safety inspection once a year to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your and your family.

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