Show Notes: Chores and a Chunk of Change
We’ve got the scoop on chores and how to make a chunk of change in a new and interesting way.
This week the Carey Brothers discuss
- how you can rent your yard in the Bay Area
- Home wellness
- The household chores that cause the most arguments
- How to maintain your home to save your wallet and your stress
- Products all DIYers should have
Looking for other ways to save a chunk of change this summer? Revisit this article about how to beat the heat and save the bucks! Or learn about how weatherstripping can help you save. Or about how LED bulbs, too, can help you save!
Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here.
Make Yourself a Chunk of Change: Rent Your Backyard!
A new company, Rent the Backyard, which launched in the Bay Area this week, is trying to ease the housing crisis on both sides for homeowners and renters.
In San Jose, the average cost to rent a studio apartment is just under $2,000.
Brian Bakerman and Spencer Burleigh are the founders of Rent the Backyard.
“What we do is build studio apartments in your backyard at no cost to you, rent them out and split the rental profits with you 50/50,” says Burleigh, who alongside Brian showed us around the backyard of a home in San Jose.
What they’re doing is a site-visit to a homeowner’s backyard to assess the feasibility of building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on the property. The 300-450 square foot units are built by two different companies right now.
Rent the Backyard says they’ll take care of everything from the initial assessment to filing permits to overseeing construction and finding a suitable tenant.
The company estimates homeowners will receive, after fees, around $10,000 or more per year in rental income.
There’s a lot in Rent the Backyard’s favor.
Mayor Sam Liccardo set forth an ambitious goal in 2017 of building 100,000 affordable housing units by 2022. Ever since a 2016 law passed-reducing regulations on ADUs to make more affordable housing statewide, the number of permit applications has skyrocketed.
Rent the Backyard serves the entire Bay Area, but says cities like San Jose that cater to homeowners with shorter permitting times are, right now, most ideal.
With dozens of requests for site-visits so far this week, the co-owners of Rent the Backyard say they anticipate their first ADU going up in about a month.
You can learn more about Rent the Backyard here.
Home-Wellness What Is It and How to Make it Happen
Set up your home to help you sleep better, breathe more easily and eat more healthfully
Home ought to be a haven of rest, relaxation and wellness. And while the term “wellness” gets bandied about an awful lot these days, the fact remains that there are some things you can do to help your home work harder to keep you healthy. Here are a few essentials that really make a difference, like sleeping in a dark bedroom, cleaning the air, purifying the water and making room for relaxing.
Give Your Bedroom a Sleep Makeover
Many American adults do not get the recommended seven to eight hours per night of sleep. What can you do if you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Here are a few good basic steps to getting a better night’s sleep.
- Install blackout drapes to block outdoor light sources (like streetlights and passing cars) at night for a more restful sleep.
- Move or cover light-pollution sources within the bedroom when possible, such as nightlights, hall lights, clocks and baby monitors.
- Turn off the television, computer and other screens at least an hour before bed. These light sources can make falling asleep difficult.
- Invest in a comfortable mattress and bedding made of natural fibers such as cotton, wool and linen.
Clean the Air With Houseplants
Adding a houseplant or two is an easy way to make the air inside your home cleaner. Some of the plants that work most effectively at cleaning the air include Boston fern, shown here, spider plant, English ivy, snake plant and peace lily. Some plants (like peace lily) are toxic to humans and pets, so be sure to check that you’re buying a pet-safe plant. Want to go beyond the pot? Consider adding a living wall of fresh green plants.
Get an Air Purifier
Whether you have asthma or allergies or you are concerned about air pollution (or smoke from wildfires), adding an air purifier to your home is a good way to reduce pollutants and allergens. Be sure the air purifier you choose has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, and pay attention to the room size stated on the unit. If you have a larger space, you may need to use multiple units to get the air clean.
Use Natural Cleaners
There’s no doubt that heavy-duty cleaners get the job done. But for light daily cleaning, it’s not really necessary to bring out the serious chemicals. And since most natural cleaning recipes can be made using just a few simple, inexpensive ingredients — like distilled water, white vinegar, Castile soap and baking soda — you’ll breathe easier and probably save a little cash.
Choose the Right Water Filtration System
If you’ve been using the same water filtration pitcher for years, it may be time to upgrade. Under sink water filtration systems tend to work more effectively, thanks to the added pressure forcing water through the filtration system — and since they filter while being used, there’s no need to remember to refill a pitcher. Beyond your drinking water, you may also want to consider a filter that attaches to your shower head, especially if excessive chlorine in your water bothers your skin.
Ensure the Right Amount of Light
Getting enough sunlight during the day is an essential part of staying healthy — and avoiding vitamin D deficiency, which can be a problem if you spend a lot of time indoors. Boosting natural light in your home through windows and skylights is a good way to ensure you’re getting enough.
At night, it’s equally important to make sure your bedroom is truly dark. Exposure to excessive light at night (including screen use) can disrupt sleep, according to the American Medical Association. Block the light with good bedroom shades and shut
These Household Chores Cause the Most Arguments
If you’ve ever gotten into an argument—large or small—over house chores,you’re definitely not alone. People fight with roommates, parents, children, partners, and maybe even pets (maybe) over the chores that don’t get done, the chores that are waiting to be done, and even the proper way to handle chores. Chore-related fights are typical, but seeing the hard numbers for exactly how common these fights are can be a bit of an eye-opener.
To that end, TaskRabbit—the service that connects people with handymen, organizers, movers, and more to handle household tasks and chores—surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults about how they feel about chores and routine home maintenance. According to the new survey, 78 percent of people have had a fight about household chores in general.
Funnily enough, almost half of survey respondents—46 percent—have gotten into an argument over the right way to clean things, proving that (for some people) just clean isn’t enough. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything from laundry (no fabric softener, please!) to loading the dishwasher, and for these particular folks, just finishing the chore isn’t enough to ward off a fight. (These types will be well-served learning fair fighting rules to preserve their relationships, even while they correct household members on their garbage-removal process.)
Chores that commonly cause fights include
- Decluttering or getting rid of things: 41 percent have fought over this
- Clearing the shower drain: 30 percent
- Assembling furniture the right way 27 percent
- Folding laundry correctly: 23 percent
Other distasteful or disliked chores include laundry, vacuuming, simple replacement tasks (such as changing a light bulb), cleaning the bathroom, yard work, and cleaning up after pets—though these aren’t necessarily the chores causing those never-ending arguments.
So what can wanna-be pacifists do to cut down on these chore-induced arguments? First, if you do believe there’s a right and a wrong way to clean, accept that everyone does everything differently and just be glad your housemate is cleaning at all. Second, work toward understanding and compassion: Is there a reason your housemate didn’t finish the chore, or did it incorrectly or sloppily? What can you do together to make sure that doesn’t happen again? And, third, maybe consider hiring someone (through as service such as TaskRabbit) to tackle those chores you truly hate. After all, if someone else—a professional, at that—is handling it, that’s one less fight for you.
Clean the Gutters
One of the most important jobs around the house is cleaning out the gutters. It’s generally best to do this a couple of times per year, or quarterly if you want to be proactive. You can use a rake and a leaf blower to clear away the mess of leaves, dirt, sticks and other debris that builds up.
To help prevent debris from building up quickly, particularly if you have lots of trees overhead dropping leaves into your gutters, install micromesh guards. These have fine mesh that stop not just leaves but also shingle grit, pine needles and so on from accumulating. There are hinged gutter guards available, too. These are handy because they keep mess at bay but can be lifted when you need to get in and clean the gutters.
Get this chore out of the way, and you will stop icicles and ice dams from forming in your gutters during the cold months. These can be a problem because the water can melt and pool up, and eventually cause rust and holes that will allow water to pool up against your home and wreak even greater havoc.
Check the Roof
An annual job that not enough people attend to each year, is checking the roof. It pays to arrange for an experienced roofer to come to your home to do this job. They can inspect your roof for signs of damage and significant wear.
Over time, shingles and tiles break. When this happens, the exposed areas can develop leaks and holes, allowing water and debris into the inside of your roof. The sooner any repairs are made, the less likely you will have water damage or pests damaging the interior of your home.
Maintain Your HVAC Systems
Next, you no doubt have some kind of heating and/or cooling systems in your home. Don’t neglect these systems if you want to keep them running efficiently, lasting as long as possible and being cost-effective. Your HVAC should be inspected by a licensed electrician or other provider once a year. The filters in your products especially need to be cleaned and replaced as often as quarterly, but you can probably do this yourself.
If you ever hear strange noises coming from the unit or the vents, or seem to have cold or hot spots in one or more areas of your property, there could be an issue with the ventilation. A professional will need to inspect the system and make necessary repairs. Get them to check out the condensation hose on your air conditioner when inspecting the unit too, to be sure water is flowing freely from the line.
9 Products All DIYers Must Have on Hand for Quick-Fix Repairs
Every self-respecting DIYer has to have these products in their bag of home improvement tricks.
Window Screen Repair Kit
Whether it’s bugs you’re worried about or burglars, Screenmend allows you to mend rips and tears in window screens, screen doors, tent mesh, pool screens, RV screens and more. It’s a simple and easy application that only requires heat from a hairdryer
Spray Rubber Sealant Coating
Flex Seal’s liquid rubber coating transforms into a durable waterproof barrier. Once sprayed, it seeps into cracks and holes, eventually drying as a rubberized coating. It’s the perfect DIY product for quick fixes when you need to keep out water, air and moisture while preventing rust and corrosion.
Screw Hole Repair Kit
A hole in wood or drywall from a loosened screw is a very common problem. Fix the stripped screw hole with these Mr. Grip steel mesh strips that can be cut to your desired size and placed over the hole before putting the screw back in. This will ensure proper traction and holding power
Leather and Vinyl Repair
What do you do when you get tiny tears or holes in your beautiful leather couch to car seats? Don’t panic! Extend the life of these and other leather and vinyl items with Plasti Dip VLP, a clear, glue-like substance that will mend the damage in no time.
The Drain King
It seems like a clog in the drain always happens at the most inopportune time. When this happens, many people grab a chemical drain cleaner and dump it down the drain, hoping it will dissolve the clog. But now there are nasty chemicals, that may not solve the problem, down your drain. And those chemicals are hard on your pipes, too. A safer and effective approach is Drain King, which attaches to a garden hose and is inserted into the drain where it uses pulsating jets of water to loosen up clogs.
Tibet Almond Scratch Remover
A simple scratch on your beautiful wood furniture can stand out like a sore thumb. While you might consider sanding and refinishing the scratch, that takes a lot of time and effort and you may not be able to make the original stain color. Instead, repair it with Tibet Almond Stick Scratch Remover. It’s a tightly-rolled stick of cotton that has been soaked in a formula the company calls a “family secret.” Watch the scratch disappear before your very eyes!
Every time that screen door squeaks or that stubborn drawer sticks, you cringe a little, right? The noise! The extra effort! For a quick solution, try AGS DE-2 Door Ease Lube Stick. It’s a small and simple product that can be applied like a crayon to eliminate those squeaks and ease up those sticking drawers. This versatile product works on sliding door and window channels, curtain rod slides, latches, doors, drawers, zippers, sunroofs, seat tracks, screws and nails, plus power and handsaw blades
Flex Shot Rubber Adhesive Sealant Caulk
For a quick bead of caulk without having to work a caulking gun, get Flex Shot! It’s as simple as pressing the small trigger on the canister. The narrow tip at the end of the long nozzle will release an accurate application for you to apply around sinks, tubs, toilets, window frames and more for your waterproof sealant or adhesive needs.
- Rent the backyard: https://www.rentthebackyard.com
- Home wellness: https://www.houzz.com/magazine/10-home-wellness-essentials-for-a-healthy-life-stsetivw-vs~120743293
- Arguments Over Chores: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/cleaning-more-rooms/chores-arguments-taskrabbit
- How to Maintain Your home: https://www.momenvyblog.com/how-to-maintain-your-home/
- Products for DYers: https://www.familyhandyman.com/stuff-we-love/9-products-all-diyers-must-have-on-hand-for-quick-fix-repairs/
~ Thank you~
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We love to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
- Rico Figliolini – Digital Master
Thank you for tuning in for some Chores and how to save a Chunk of Change! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“Chores and a Chunk of Change” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired August 10, 2019.
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