Show Notes: Bath Safety, Home Insurance Check-up and more
We are celebrating the last few days of National Bath Safety Month. Water and smooth surfaces can together convert the bath into a risky place. Julie has such a bathroom and needs help in determining what to replace an unsafe tub with in her bath. Today we have hints for keeping your insurance current, where affordable housing markets are and plants to help the indoor air quality of your home.
Thank you to our guests:
Maria Senn: Bedrosian’s Tile and Stone
Nick Kimball: Xman Level
Your Dream Bathroom; sponsored by American Standard Walk in Baths
We want to have our huge master bathtub removed, but don’t know what would be put in its place as we already have a shower.
To listen to our answer click on Your Dream Bath icon at our home page:
On The House Recall of The Week
Rockler Murphy Bed
Are you having some guests over this weekend? Did you put them up in your guest room and deploy that old murphy bed of yours? Hopefully you got the right hardware holding that death trap up because according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Rockler has recalled a number of their hardware kits, 2300 to be exact, due to a “tip over” and “entrapment” hazard.
The hardware is used to secure the wall enclosure to the wall studs but is not providing adequate bracing and poses a serious injury hazard to all parties involved, especially children.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that consumers that have recently purchased a Rockler Murphy Bed or the associated hardware immediately contact Rockler at 800.279.4441 to inquire about free replacement hardware and instructions.
Rockler is also doing its part by reaching out to known purchasers of the hardware to warn them and get them an immediate replacement.
To learn more about Rockler’s hardware recall or other ways you can prevent yourself from being trapped inside a murphy bed visit onthehouse.com!
Your Annual Homeowners Insurance Check-Up
Five Questions to Ask Your Agent About the Insurance on Your Home
When reviewing your policy, find the answers to these three questions:
1. What type of coverage do I have?
A homeowner’s insurance policy covers the structure, belongings and legal obligations if someone is injured at your home.
Replacement Values. Check the type of replacement value provided in the policy. Actual cash value (ACV) is the amount it would take to repair damage to a home or to replace its contents after allowing for depreciation. Replacement cost is the amount it would take to rebuild or replace a home and its contents with similar quality materials or goods, without deducting for depreciation.
Liability Limits. Liability insurance protects you from legal obligations arising from accidents involving visiting non-residents. With a few exceptions, such as auto or boating accidents, all-purpose liability coverage follows wherever you go. An umbrella policy can extend the liability limits of a homeowners or renter’s policy if the policy limit is insufficient.
Medical payments. Homeowners and renter’s polices typically include limited medical expense payments for injuries occurring on your premises to visiting non-residents. It may also cover medical expenses of another individual injured by you, a member of your family or a family pet while away from the home.
2. How much coverage do I need?
Make a home inventory. A home inventory is the best way to determine the appropriate level of coverage needed for contents. It is also a useful tool to have in case of a loss. When doing the home inventory, make sure to include as much detail as possible about the items. Click here for a home inventory worksheet and tips to get started.
Do not over insure. Homeowners do not need to insure the value of the land a home sits on, but coverage should include any outdoor structures on the property. For both homeowners and renters, concentrate on an accurate list of belongings and be sure liability limits are at a proper level.
3. What are my deductibles and discounts?
Deductibles and discounts are generally the easiest places to save money on this type of policy. Most companies offer discounts for people who have more than one type of insurance policy with them, and for people who have had few claims or are long-term customers. When it comes to the deductible – which is the amount you have to pay if there is a loss – usually the higher it is, the lower the premium. It’s normal to consider raising a deductible to save on premium, but remember, the bill will be that much more following a claim.
After reviewing the policy, call your agent or insurance company and ask these five questions:
1. Is the coverage on my home and its contents adequate? Is it too much?
The home inventory will help this. If you have any special items like art, jewelry, memorabilia or collections (such as stamps or coins), mention that, too. These items may require special coverage. And, running a small business at home will affect the premium, so mention that.
2. Is my premium as low as I can expect it to be? Are there additional discounts available? Can /Should I raise my deductible? What about militating against damage from local threats?
Mitigation – or taking steps to reduce a potential loss before it happens – can help limit your home’s exposure to certain local risks (such as wildfire or hurricane). Ask if there are risk mitigation programs and discounts available.
3. Are there any losses – like flood or earthquake – I need to worry about that are not covered in my current policy?
Neither flood or earthquakes are covered by a standard homeowners or renter’s policy. There are optional insurance policies for both disasters. Ask about available options or visit www.Floodsmart.gov for details on flood insurance.
4. Would my long-term financial health benefit from an umbrella policy?
An umbrella policy provides excess liability limits and possibly other additional coverages above a homeowners or renter’s policy. For example, an umbrella policy can extend the liability to $1 million or more above the $250,000 limit of liability that might be in a basic homeowners policy. As your asset portfolio grows, your insurance company or agent may suggest an umbrella policy for better protection.
5. Has anything changed in my coverage in the last year?
Insurers may change policy terms at renewal, but they must notify you first. Read all notices and information sent from the insurance company. When talking with the agent, ask if there are any anticipated changes when the policy renews.
10 Most Affordable Housing Markets
If you are like me, that is, a first-time homebuyer, you look at the booming housing market as a double-edged sword. Which means that there is a direct correlation between the rising economy and the rising prices of homes. Fortunately, the folks over at Realtor.com have put together a list of the 10 most affordable housing markets in America.
#10- Cumberland, Maryland with a median house price of 110,000
#9- Topeka, Kansas with a median house price of 109,000
#8- Elmira, New York also with a median house price of 109,000
#7- Lima, Ohio with a median home price of 95,000
#6- Pinebluff, Arkansas with a median house price of 94,500
#5- Weirton, West Virgina with a median house price of 90,000
#4- Bay City, Michigan with a median house price of 88,900
#3- Pottsville, Pennsylvania with a median house price of 69,900
#2- Danville, Illinois with a median house price of 69,700
And last but not least, the most affordable housing market in the United States according the realtor.com is…
#1- Marion, Indiana with a median house price of a whopping 66,750!
Got Indoor Air Pollution?
5 Houseplants For Removing Indoor Air Pollution
New research finds that certain houseplants are best for removing specific harmful compounds.
It’s not new news that houseplants are beautiful little workhorses when it comes to human health. Among their many benefits is one decidedly impressive one – they remove toxins from the air. And this isn’t just woowoo mumbo-jumbo. NASA, given their interest in improving air-quality in sealed environments, has researched this extensively and concluded: “Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone.”
Meanwhile, indoor air pollution is a constant problem and a threat to human health. So looking further into the idea of how houseplants can fend off the potentially harmful effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a main category of air pollutants, a team of researchers have made some new discoveries. They found that certain plants are better at removing specific compounds from the air – this is especially meaningful for indoor air, as studies have shown that interior air can have three to five times more pollutants than outside.
“Buildings, whether new or old, can have high levels of VOCs in them, sometimes so high that you can smell them,” says Vadoud Niri, Ph.D., leader of the study.
VOCs include things like acetone, benzene and formaldehyde – they are emitted as gases and can cause short- and long-term health effects. They are invisible to the eye and come from common things many of us have around the house, things as innocent seeming as furniture, copiers and printers, cleaning supplies and even dry-cleaned clothes.
- Jade Plant
- Spider Plant
- Caribbean Tree Cactus