SHOW NOTES: Winter Home Check-up & Trends 2016
It’s time for a mid-winter check-up to get you safely through the rest of the cold wet weather. We have a great check list for you to follow to keep your home warm and dry. If you are planning a remodeling project for the spring or summer, you will want to check the home trends for 2016.
Thank to to our guests:
Brian Pagel, Vice President of the Kitchen and Bath Group, Emerald Expositions
Kimberley Simonson, Simonson lumber and Design:
Trader Joe’s Is Secretly Making Your Home More Valuable
We knew the jalapeño hummus was good… but higher home values?
Now that’s really delicious.
Turns out that living within a mile of a Trader Joe’s store makes your house or apartment more valuable than others in the area, by a significant amount.
A recent study in the book Zillow Talk found that two years after a given Trader Joe’s opens, the median home within a mile of that store has increased in value 10 percent more than others in the same city.
Homes within a mile of a Whole Foods also appreciate, or gain value, faster than others in the surrounding area, the study found.
So what’s a homeowner to do? If you live near Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods (or Starbucks, for that matter), good news: Your home will likely have a higher asking price than others when you try to sell it.
5 Top Home Remodeling Trends For 2016
Products that will help your home look and function better, without all the fuss
Low Maintenance Meets High Design
Low maintenance made the list of most desirable home features. Beauty, however, will always rank supreme with homeowners. That’s driving even more interest to quartz countertops, which come in some stunning designs without all the upkeep of marble, granite, and other natural stones.
Luxury Appliance Suites Get Richer
A major new appliance brand debuts at the show, but 2016 saw the launch of Signature Kitchen Suite, a line of “super-premium” home appliances that includes refrigerators ($5,000-$10,000), cooktops ($1,500), ranges ($5,000), dishwashers ($1,300), and more. Though the brand was developed by LG, it’s being marketed separately by the South Korean manufacturer, much the way Lexus stands apart from its parent company Toyota.
Restaurant Features Find Their Way Home
From smoked meats to fresh-baked pizza, GE unveiled its new Monogram Pizza Oven, $10,000, a first-of-its-kind indoor oven that fits into a standard 30-inch wall opening and requires no additional ventilation. GE claims the oven can reach ideal pizza baking temperature of 750° F in 30 minutes.
Virtual Reality Becomes Practical
Let’s say you’re planning a major kitchen remodel. If you’ve done your homework, or you’re working with an experienced designer, you know to come up with a floor plan that promotes good traffic flow. But until you’re actually standing in the space, it’s impossible to know for sure that it works—and by that time it could be too late. Enter the brave new world of virtual reality, which lets you experience your new kitchen (or any room in the house) before the real work gets underway.
Clever Ways to Save Water
Drought conditions have eased up in some parts of the country, but the market for water-efficient products remains red hot. One of the most innovative show offerings was the AquaBoy Pro II from Aquarius Brands, an atmospheric water generator that produces up to five gallons of purified water, hot or cold, from the air. One caveat: the machine needs the relative humidity to be at least 30 percent, so it might not be an option in some arid regions during the daytime. The AquaBoy Pro II sells for $1,850, with leasing options.
Smart water heaters are another possible source of savings, since they let consumers track their consumption in real time. The Trutankless TR Series smart water, starting at $1,600, incorporates connected capability in a tankless water heater—an inherently efficient piece of equipment, since it only delivers hot water when you need it (unlike traditional water heaters, which maintain a storage tank full of hot water whether you need it or not). The catch with the Trutankless is that it runs on electricity, which is more expensive than gas in most regions. In addition to tracking water usage, the Wi-Fi heater allows users to remotely set the temperature through their smartphone. Rheem and Rinnai, two other water heater manufacturers, also introduced Wi-Fi-enabled models, including both tank and tankless water heaters that run on gas.
Give Your Home A Mid Winter Check-Up
It may not be raining at the moment, but you can count on rain in the future. With all the wind we have had, check gutters to make sure they are clear of leaves or other debris. While you are up there, check to make sure support brackets are secure.
Do a test by spraying the garden hose at various points around your roof. Is water draining away at downspouts? Make sure it is not flowing behind the gutters.
If you have ridge vents, make sure these are free of debris.
Clean or replace your furnace filter. This time, put a note with the date somewhere nearby so you’ll know for sure when you did it last.
If your return-air grille also has a filter, replace or clean it.
Inspect around the home to ensure that registers that bring warm air from the furnace aren’t blocked by furniture or carpeting.
Check your registers to make sure there is little or no debris. Clean with a vacuum attachment if necessary. It won’t get all the debris from deep within your duct system, but a lot of debris in the room where the register is located can end up within a foot or two of the register. Your vacuum attachment can get that.
If you haven’t done so before, install a carbon-monoxide detector.
The traditional time to change batteries in your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors is when the time changes in the spring and fall. However, not all batteries will wait for this. Best to check now.
Check for air leaks in your home, which make it drafty and also boost your energy costs. Turn off the furnace on a cold, windy day and close all doors and windows. Turn on your stove vent, kitchen and bathroom fans. This will depressurize your home. Light an incense stick and hold it near common air-leak locations, such as around windows, doors, electrical outlets and switches. If the smoke from the burning incense stick travels horizontally, chances are you’ve found an air leak.
Weather strip, seal or caulk the areas where there are leaks. If the problem is an exterior door, you may need to replace the bottom sweep. (You can also hire a professional who can test and seal leaks.)
How long has it been since you’ve checked your fire extinguishers for the proper pressure? Too often, people overlook them and then they’re almost useless when needed.
Winter Weather and Pets
When the temperature drops and snow starts to accumulate, rodents including mice, rats and squirrels will be searching for warmth indoors. Rodents can squeeze through small cracks and crevices that might get overlooked, especially where pipes and wires enter the home. Once inside, they can cause structural and electrical damage and spread disease.
One issue to be on the lookout for is ice dams. They form on roofs and can prevent snow from melting. The moisture backup from ice dams can cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and drywall. This can attract a number of pests that love moisture such as carpenter ants.
Strong winds can cause damage to roofs shingles. Cracked areas in the roof and siding are perfect places for nuisance wildlife including raccoons and bats to gain access to the home. Periodically check the roof for missing shingles and be sure to fix damage right away.
Homeowners should check trouble spots for any leaks or areas of moisture caused by rain or melting snow. Pests such as termites are attracted to moisture and are often unseen as they build nests and grow their colonies inside homes. Be sure basements and attics are dry and clear of water damage after heavy rain to avoid pests making the damage worse.
Water Leak Detector: Water Cop: watercop.com